Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Two Weeks, How'd We Do In 2011-12?


The fate of all 44 new scripted shows has been decided, so let's take a look at how I did in my "First Two Weeks" posts.
I line up all the shows using an objective "system," but it is not really that high on my priority list nowadays. I mostly just keep doing it because I like seeing all these numbers on new shows lined up, but obviously there should be adjustments made for each network's expectations and stuff if I were really leaning on it. I'm more interested in seeing the accuracy with which you can pick a show's fate by this early point in a show's run just using the "eye test." So let's see how it went there.



Eye tests:

Ringer - CANCEL - CORRECT
Up All Night - RENEW - CORRECT
Free Agents - CANCEL - CORRECT
The Secret Circle - RENEW - INCORRECT
2 Broke Girls - RENEW - CORRECT
The Playboy Club - CANCEL - CORRECT
New Girl - RENEW - CORRECT
Unforgettable - CANCEL - CORRECT
Revenge - RENEW - CORRECT
Charlie's Angels - CANCEL - CORRECT
Person of Interest - CANCEL - INCORRECT
Whitney - CANCEL - INCORRECT
Prime Suspect - CANCEL - CORRECT
A Gifted Man - CANCEL - CORRECT
Pan Am - RENEW - INCORRECT
Terra Nova - RENEW - INCORRECT
Hart of Dixie - CANCEL - INCORRECT
Suburgatory - RENEW - CORRECT
How to Be a Gentleman - CANCEL - CORRECT
Last Man Standing - RENEW - CORRECT
Man Up! - CANCEL - CORRECT
Once Upon a Time - RENEW - CORRECT
Grimm - RENEW - CORRECT
Allen Gregory - CANCEL - CORRECT
I Hate My Teenage Daughter - CANCEL - CORRECT
Work It - CANCEL - CORRECT
The Firm - CANCEL - CORRECT
Are You There, Chelsea? - CANCEL - CORRECT
Rob - RENEW - INCORRECT
The Finder - CANCEL - CORRECT
Alcatraz - RENEW - INCORRECT
Napoleon Dynamite - CANCEL - CORRECT
Smash - RENEW - CORRECT
The River - CANCEL - CORRECT
Awake - CANCEL - CORRECT
GCB - CANCEL - CORRECT
Missing - CANCEL - CORRECT
Bent - CANCEL - CORRECT
Touch - RENEW - CORRECT
Best Friends Forever - CANCEL - CORRECT
Scandal - CANCEL - INCORRECT
Apartment 23 - RENEW - CORRECT
NYC 22 - CANCEL - CORRECT
The LA Complex - CANCEL - CORRECT*

*- Though the CW has picked up 13 additional episodes, I refuse to admit defeat on this one unless it gets another regular season run. If you want to give me another incorrect, I won't hold it against you.

Final record was 35-9 (80%), which is better than last year when (including the reversal on Breaking In not included on that post) I was 27-9 (75%). Still doesn't seem that amazing considering there are so many "easy" ones, but it's nice to improve the percentage. Of course, some of those shows were tough to pick even based on the full body of ratings work, so the ones I'm most interested in are the ones on which I was clearly wrong by the end of the season. And I think there were just three that were clearly totally wrong by the end: Pan Am, Alcatraz (both clear cancels) and Person of Interest (a clear renewal). But in the interest of masochism, I'll take a quick look at all the whiffs along with some similar shows that I may have been lucky to get right.

Fox Dramas (2-2)
Terra Nova - RENEW - INCORRECT
The Finder - CANCEL - CORRECT
Alcatraz - RENEW - INCORRECT
Touch - RENEW - CORRECT

As I acknowledged but didn't really embrace on the Terra Nova post, the expectations were just different. A 3.1 was just not a good starting number for this kind of show, and I should have treated it as the "disappointing-not-DOA" start that it was and not been swayed so much by the often deceptive week two. It ended up in the low 2's, numbers that were almost certainly renewal-worthy in a vacuum but not relative to the costs. This one may have been a legit mistake on my part.

I don't think any of the other three deserved renewal in the end. I feel it would've been tough to pick against Alcatraz based on a 3.3 -> 3.0 start, though if I'd seen the final TRUE scores at the time (where it was -22% in week two) I may have been more tempted. I got Touch right because I leaned very heavily on the idea that it might be the season's "face-saving" renewal, and I'm pretty sure it was in the end.

CW Fall Dramas (1-2)
Ringer - CANCEL - CORRECT
The Secret Circle - RENEW - INCORRECT
Hart of Dixie - CANCEL - INCORRECT

If I have an Achilles heel over the last couple years, it's gotta be the CW, where I'm a terrible 1-4 picking their fall dramas! (And throw in another loss if you count The LA Complex as a renewal.) In my defense, none of them have exactly been easy picks through two weeks. I felt Ringer vs. TSC was an either/or situation, and I was confident enough that TSC had the better situation and fit better with the CW brand to go that direction. I'm pretty sure I was ultimately right about TSC finishing ahead of Ringer, but both were disappointments.

I was pretty sure Hart of Dixie was gonna flop, and though it didn't appear to be a total bomb through two weeks, I saw no real reason to go another direction. If you read the CW Power Rankings, you know that by season's end I was staunchly defending the show, and I'm ultimately very happy with how the CDub ruled on these three shows, even if it means me going 1-2 here! I think Hart was absolutely the right call, but it was still pretty close till TSC collapsed late in the season.

ABC 10:00 Dramas (2-2)
Revenge - RENEW - CORRECT
Pan Am - RENEW - INCORRECT 
GCB - CANCEL - CORRECT
Scandal - CANCEL - INCORRECT

Revenge/Pan Am looked to me like another either/or, with both almost identical (and pretty good by ABC standards) through two weeks. Usually if I don't see a compelling reason to pick one, I just hedge and go with both in the same direction. One survived. I'm not sure what the heck made everyone flee Pan Am after the second episode, but its week three drop (2.6 -> 1.9) had to be one of the swingiest ratings results of the whole season. I figured it was like a 60% proposition after week two, then it was basically dead after week three. Shrug.

I'm glad Scandal made it as a viewer, but it still didn't look like a slam dunk based on the info going into the upfront. Its renewal makes it the new lowest big-four weeknight scripted premiere to eventually get renewed (breaking the old record of Better Off Ted (2.1)).

CBS Marginal Dramas (1-1)
Unforgettable - CANCEL - CORRECT
Person of Interest - CANCEL - INCORRECT

Another either/or. Both frankly looked pretty bad by CBS standards through two weeks, so I picked against both and acknowledged I'd probably go 1-1. Person of Interest ended up having a real roller coaster of a season. I still didn't really think it was safe throughout the fall, but it had a big surge in the winter that wrapped it up. Then it suddenly got slammed against the NFL Draft and never really recovered.

NBC Fall Sitcoms (1-1)
Up All Night - RENEW - CORRECT
Whitney - CANCEL - INCORRECT

Here, I actually wish I had done worse and yet very nearly could've done better. The buzz suggested Whitney was all but dead at one point, even though I felt Whitney was a significantly stronger performer than UAN by season's end. I felt with NBC's marginal shows (these two and Community), NBC should've played a game of Kill/Boff/Marry. Commit to one (my choice was Whitney), hold one as a midseason backup (Community), axe one (Up All Night). Instead, NBC boffed all three, renewing them for 13 apiece in bad timeslots...

Rob (0-1)
Rob - RENEW - INCORRECT

My last miss was the second-highest rated new show of the entire season by average. It had a bad last couple weeks, but I was still higher on it than most. Also, it's probably a coincidence, but most of the big surge by Person of Interest happened after Rob. So I don't really regret my choice on this one. Still, I imagine it was not that close a call after CBS opted not to add a comedy hour.



Here are how the "systems" did:

"System" (A18-49 version)

EXCELLENT (5-6 points): New Girl, Once Upon a Time, Alcatraz, Suburgatory (6 points), Rob, Last Man Standing, Touch (5 points) (5-2)
BORDERLINE (3-4 points): 2 Broke Girls, The Secret Circle, Napoleon Dynamite, Smash, Up All Night, Ringer, Whitney, Terra Nova, Apartment 23, How to Be a Gentleman, Hart of Dixie, GCB  (4 points), Revenge, Pan Am, Person of Interest, Unforgettable, Grimm, Man Up!, Allen Gregory  (3 points)
IN TROUBLE (0-2 points):  I Hate My Teenage Daughter, The River, Are You There, Chelsea?, Scandal, The Finder, NYC 22, Bent, The LA Complex (2 points), Missing, Awake, Prime Suspect, A Gifted Man, The Playboy Club (1 point), Charlie's Angels, Free Agents, Work It, The Firm, Best Friends Forever (0 points) (17-1)

In total, the A18-49 version of the "system" was 22-3 on the shows on which it actually made a call. 19 of 44 shows were "borderline." So assuming 50% on the borderlines, that'd be a record of 31.5-12.5.

"System" (TRUE version) 

EXCELLENT (5-6 points): 2 Broke Girls, Suburgatory, Last Man Standing, Once Upon a Time, Terra Nova, New Girl (6 points), Ringer, Grimm, Rob, Alcatraz, The Secret Circle (5 points) (6-5)
BORDERLINE (3-4 points): Pan Am, Up All Night, Napoleon Dynamite, GCB, Touch, Smash, Hart of Dixie (4 points), Unforgettable, Person of Interest, How to Be a Gentleman, Scandal, Apartment 23, Revenge (3 points)
IN TROUBLE (0-2 points): Charlie's Angels, Whitney, Prime Suspect, The Finder, The River, Awake, Missing, The LA Complex (2 points), Allen Gregory, Man Up!, The Playboy Club, Are You There, Chelsea?, Bent, NYC 22 (1 point), Free Agents, A Gifted Man, The Firm, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Work It, Best Friends Forever (0 points) (19-1)

It's nice to have fewer borderline shows, but it's not really that useful if it only does a coinflip job on the extra shows. Amusingly, the TRUE version actually did worse when it made calls, going just 25-6. Give me a 50% clip on the borderlines and it's another 31.5-12.5 record. It did pick out a couple extra failures, but it also put quite a few eventually failed shows up in the top category. It actually ended up being a very bad thing that it mitigated the declines for stuff like Ringer and The Secret Circle during the traditional premiere week.

2 comments:

Spot said...

On Pan Am, I'm compelled to think the exodus from week one to week three was people agree w/ Travis Yanan's assessment of the show as "an over the counter sleep aid".

Spot said...

You know, that's an interesting point about stuff like both Terra Nova and Pan Am. Perhaps people are just so dazzled by the visuals in week one that they come back, but then in week two they start to realize there is not much there there. That may be what makes the off-beat dramas so hard to predict.

I'm gonna say that I will only count it as a renewal if it gets another regular season run. I see we may be confronting that situation again with Unforgettable. I also would've probably maintained Missing was a cancel if it'd gotten picked up for summer 2013 (which I still thought was possible up until the last couple weeks since it was a co-production).

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