Save Our Shows 2019: Fans pick ‘Madam Secretary,’ ‘Whiskey’ and ‘Rookie’ as their favorites
A fifth-season drama about a female professor recruited as Secretary of State. A newcomer about dueling CIA and FBI agents who team up on spy missions. And a police series about Los Angeles’ oldest rookie cop, starring fan-favorite Nathan Fillion.
Those were the big winners – by a mile – in USA TODAY’s 22nd annual Save Our Shows poll, which asks readers to vote on which of 26 endangered series deserve another shot, and which should be exiled.
Of more than 90,000 votes cast, “Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni, took top honors: 53% of voters want CBS to renew the show for a sixth year, while just 20% want the network to drop it. (The rest didn’t care either way.)
The series “addresses relevant current political issues in a time where our country is divided,” enthuses Irene Chan of Deerfield Beach, Florida. “The way they portray the White House gives people hope of what America can really be like if we can learn to work together. And now that Tea Leoni’s character is getting ready to run for president, CBS just has to renew it for Season 6.”
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"Madam Secretary" (CBS, 2014-present): Tea Leoni is Elizabeth Adams McCord, the U.S. Secretary of State who advises the president on international issues. (Photo: Sarah Shatz, CBS)
ABC’s freshman dramas “The Rookie” and “Whiskey Cavalier” ranked second and third, with 50% and 48% support, respectively. A dozen more shows, ranging from “Blindspot” to “Lethal Weapon” to “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff “Station 19” hovered well behind, in the 20% to 25% range. Two shows fell to the back of the pack: Fox’s “Star” (just 5% voted to keep it) and CW’s “All American.” And the CBS revival of “Murphy Brown” had the highest percentage of voters seeking to kill it (39%), perhaps reflecting its political bent.
But fans of “All American” and CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico” needn’t worry: Both dramas were renewed last week, the only two among the list of series “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation to have sealed their fates. (Although it’s not looking good for “Lethal Weapon.”)
The final fate of these series will be revealed in mid-May when broadcast networks unveil their new lineups to advertisers in New York.
Nathan Fillion on "The Rookie." (Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC)
Breaking down the numbers by gender, “Madam Secretary,” “Whiskey” and “Rookie” were the top picks among women, followed by NBC’s “The Enemy Within” and CBS’ “MacGyver.” Men chose “Whiskey” first, followed by “Madam,” “Rookie,” CBS comedy “Life in Pieces” and NBC’s “Blindspot.”
Save Our Shows helped earn a renewal for NBC’s “Timeless” in 2017, days after it had been canceled, chief programmer Robert Greenblatt said at the time. The time-travel fantasy series won a second reprieve, after winning last year’s survey, for a two-hour series finale that aired last December.
FBI agent Will Chase (Scott Foley), left, and CIA operative Frankie Trowbridge (Lauren Cohan) of ABC's 'Whiskey Cavalier,' are the latest incarnation of a TV staple, the bickering, crime-fighting couple. (Photo: Larry D. Horricks, ABC)
“The Rookie” star Fillion’s last series, ABC’s “Castle,” won the 2016 poll, while CBS drama “Person of Interest” led in 2015. Both shows were renewed after those wins but canceled a year later. And in 2014, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” proved victorious; that drama, already renewed for a 21st season, next week officially outlasts NBC’s original “Law & Order,” which lasted 20.
Also contributing: Jayme Deerwester
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