Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fall 2012 Best Case/Worst Case, Thursday 8/7c


The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Thursday 8:00 11.3 7 -6% 12 32.8 15 34% 4

A brutally difficult weeknight hour, with the lowest overall viewing of any of the 15 weeknight hours yet the seventh-most broadcast viewing. Fox, CBS and the CW are at or near their strongest levels of the whole week in this hour. That means a string of mediocrity at best out of NBC and ABC for the last several years.




Image Last Resort (NEW!) Slot Average
1.57
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 27 1.56
Best Case: I don't really see any way this show pulls off a Flashforward-like opening, but that show proves something like this can open in this timeslot. So Last Resort manages a 3.0 or so, is creatively fantastic, and settles at a 2.50 average. By ABC standards (see right), a massive success for the hour and a no-brainer renewal.

Worst Case:
Unable to get out of the gate at all. Premieres with a My Generation-esque 1.5 demo and is done after three episodes. 1.13.

Likeliest:
I'm probably going to like the show and I want to believe it'll work, but... I don't. Pretty much every on-air promo for the show has been terrible, IMO. Not that I think I could do better. It's just a hard show to describe. So the major obstacle is just getting sampled. But even if it does that, it has to have the creative goods. The people involved suggest it might, but the odds with this kind of show are not really in its favor. Good luck, but I smell a short run. Right in the Charlie's and Missing vicinity with a 1.40.
Occupants
Charlie's Angels
1.37 1.36
Winter Wipeout
1.86 1.96
Missing
1.45 1.86




Image The Big Bang Theory Slot Average
Premieres September 27 4.17
Best Case: The massive year-to-year growth that characterized the second half of Big Bang's 2011-12 continues into the first half of this season, and it remains ahead in the second half. Easily the top entertainment program, going another +15% to 5.70.

Worst Case:
Up year-to-year in the fall but unable to maintain the scorching pace set in the second half. Ends up down a bit to a 4.80 and narrowly beaten again by an overachieving Wednesday American Idol for top entertainment program.

Likeliest:
Of TV's megahits, the only one that was really trending positive at season's end was Big Bang. So I consider it the odds-on favorite to finish as the top entertainment program, ending a ridiculously long streak by Idol. I doubt it is going to stay quite so hot all season, but it'll build up enough momentum from a huge fall to grow a couple more ticks overall to a 5.20.
Slot Orig Avg
4.95
4.97Occupants
The Big Bang Theory
y2y Label
+24% megahit4.97 5.08
True2 Sitch
5.04 -1%
2011-12 Slot
Thursday 8:00


Image Two and a Half Men Slot Average
Premieres September 27 2.95
Best Case: POWER HOUR. Two and a Half Men holds about 90% of the Big Bang audience and averages a 4.60, down just 7% from last year's inflated numbers. How can they end it now??

Worst Case:
"It can't handle a new timeslot" and "more Ashton rejection" are the tales as Men drops 30%ish from Big Bang and averages a 3.60, down 27%. Valiant effort, but it's time for this one to go.

Likeliest:
Either way, it'll get better ratings than other after-Big Bang options, but I have a feeling this show on Thursday will be a bit of a disappointment to some. It just feels to me like this one is winding down. Despite the lead-in, -17% to a 4.10 and CBS very strongly considers ending it, even if it doesn't really deserve it.
Slot Orig Avg
3.09
4.96Occupants
How to Be a Gentleman
y2y Label
+11% megahit2.60 1.93
Rules of Engagement
True2 Sitch
4.04 +23%2.91 2.59
Rob
2011-12 Slot
Monday 9:003.30 2.77




Image 30 Rock Slot Average
Premieres October 4 1.43
Best Case: It's airing in the fall vs. the spring last year. People care about the final season of 30 Rock. Sarah Palin randomly becomes newsworthy again, putting Fey in the SNL spotlight. Jonathan's back! +10% to a 1.69.

Worst Case:
This ain't Lost, man. 30 Rock goes out with a whimper, starting off NBC's white flag Thursday in horrific fashion. -15% to 1.31.

Likeliest:
I don't think the final season-ness of it all will matter that much, but airing just in the fall/winter and avoiding DST should at least make the year-to-year comparisons more favorable. Might get an OK finale bounce. I'll give it an even money 1.54.
Slot Orig Avg
1.54
1.54Occupants
Community
y2y Label
-32% flop1.56 1.78
30 Rock
True2 Sitch
1.81 -15%1.53 1.70
2011-12 Slot
Thu 8:00, Thu 8:30


Image Up All Night Slot Average
Premieres September 20 1.61
Best Case: It may have appeared to struggle after The Office, but its audience its super-loyal and scaling back the Ava stuff works creatively. It builds by a couple ticks on 30 Rock and scores a back nine. Spring struggles drop its average to 1.64, down 12%, but it's still on the bubble.

Worst Case:
It should've been axed last year. Drops from 30 Rock, ends after 13 with a 1.38 average and NBC sets up a Parks/Community/Office/The Farm Thursday at midseason.

Likeliest:
I still have a sneaking suspicion NBC's ultimately aiming for a Parks/something/Office/The Farm midseason Thursday. Though the ratings aren't pretty, I have a feeling "keep Lorne Michaels happy" might edge a Harmon-free Community for the "something" spot. 1.53 average, back nine, a close call at season's end.
Slot Orig Avg
1.73
1.86Occupants
Parks and Recreation
y2y Label
marginal1.87 1.95
30 Rock
True2 Sitch
1.85 +1%1.50 1.93
2011-12 Slot
Wed 8:00, Thu 9:30




Image The X Factor Slot Average
Premieres September 13 3.85
Best Case: Britney and Demi are huge draws initially, and they're better at actually doing the work than most people think. A megahit is born; it just took a year longer than it was supposed to. 4.24 average, +18%.

Worst Case:
Britney and Demi are big draws initially, and they're disastrous at actually doing the work. Early year-to-year gains are more than cancelled out by season's end. Down 13% to a 3.12.

Likeliest:
I do believe it's gonna be up a little bit early; Britney Spears has been a significant draw in nearly everything she's done on TV, after all. But I can't imagine her actually providing significant entertainment value long-term. Down 10% to a 3.23.
Slot Orig Avg
4.12
3.59Occupants
The X Factor
y2y Label
big hit3.65 3.44
American Idol
True2 Sitch
3.39 +6%4.74 5.20
2011-12 Slot
Thursday 8:00




Image The Vampire Diaries Slot Average
Premieres October 11 0.92
Best Case: This show continues to deliver. It drops 8% to a 1.19 and again drops less than anything else on the network.

Worst Case:
This show finally hiccups creatively. It drops 21% to a 1.02. With Arrow a disappointment and this show sub-1 in the spring, talks about the CW as a network shutting down actually meaningfully intensify.

Likeliest:
-11% is really good for a veteran serialized show, especially one on the CW. Or at least it was last year. So the odds are the show won't maintain that, but I don't think it goes into tank mode either. I'll say -14% to a 1.11, with a 1.2ish in the fall and a 1.0ish in the spring.
Slot Orig Avg
1.28
1.29Occupants
The Vampire Diaries
y2y Label
-11% 1.29 1.31
True2 Sitch
1.31 -2%
2011-12 Slot
Thursday 8:00



Cable:

ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
Thursday Night FootballNFLN9/132.49



Network to Watch: CBS. If they're not gonna expand to four comedy hours, they sure had better get a lot of mileage out of the remaining three. The Big Bang Theory has a great shot to win the season among entertainment shows.

My Picks: Definitely The Big Bang Theory. Beyond that, I like the look of Last Resort. Finally gave up on 30 Rock and Up All Night last season, though since I'll have a tuner open at 8:30 I may try what sound like good changes on UAN. Not even halfway through the TVD season and probably not that likely to get caught up, so maybe I'm out on that one. In other words... I don't really know.

3 comments:

Spot said...

I don't see NBC doing Parks/Something/The Office/The Farm.

Well, I can imagine NBC doing it, but only because I think they would be totally crazy to do so, and NBC aren't exactly the best-run network. Even so, NBC must have seen what happened to 30 Rock when they moved it into the 8pm Thursday death slot. It wouldn't make much sense for them to repeat that little experiment again and kill off one of their few remaining minor hits.

Instead, I suspect NBC will do Low-Rated Veteran/Parks/The Office/The Farm, with one of Community/Up All Night/Whitney or even Off Their Rockers taking the 8pm slot. Alternatively, NBC finally concede the 8pm Thursday hour to CBS, realising that nothing will beat the Chuck Lorre juggernaut.

I suspect Up All Night will struggle next season. It struggled last season, but now it has 30 Rock rather than The Office as its lead-in and it's now up against TaaHM. I wouldn't be surprised if it loses viewers after 30 Rock and is gone by mid-season.

Spot said...

Every time I look at NBC's Thursday line-up, I can't help but shake my head. This is what happens when you focus on critical acclaim, awards and "buzz," rather than ratings. 30 Rock, Parks, and Community are all bubble shows, that have wasted The Office's lead-in. Then there are UAN and Whitney, which are very different in that they have little to no critical acclaim, awards or "buzz," but are alike in that they haven't taken advantage of Office's (weakened, to be sure) draw. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I don't see any of these shows making it to next fall. 30 Rock and Office are in syndication. Parks and Community will have enough episodes by the end of the season. Everything else is too far from it.

Spot said...

I think the real problem is when a network focuses on supporting old shows rather than launching new ones.


That's the key reason The Office lead-in was poorly utilised: lead-ins should be used to support new shows rather than keep new ones afloat. Parks, an Office quasi-spin-off, launched at 8:30 because they kept 30 Rock in the post-Office slot. Community was only in front of The Office for its first 3 episodes because they kept 30 Rock in the post-Office slot. Perfect Couples and The Paul Reiser Show were both DOA in the 8:30pm slot because they finally decided to give Parks the post-Office slot in its third season. Poor launch scheduling led to Community/Parks both underperforming to this day.


Incidentally, I think 30R/Community/Parks unfairly have a bit of a bad rap for their ratings and being "niche". 30 Rock did pretty well for a long time, albeit with excessive network support. Community has become niche, but it has survived against the odds in a really tough timeslot and little network support. Parks ratings are relatively buoyant but it never found the audience it deserved because of its poor launch and weak opening season.


NBC's real problem is their awful show development and launching strategy. After all, 30R/Community/Parks did beat 100 Questions, Are You There, Chelsea?, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Free Agents, Friends With Benefits, Kath & Kim, Outsourced, The Paul Reiser Show, Perfect Couples, Up All Night and Whitney in the ratings to stick around. And that's without counting the many failed dramas and The Jay Leno Show. Their hit-to-miss ratio is terrible.


As to whether their veteran comedies will be back in 2013-14, it depends on how their new comedies do. It's certainly possible they will do worse than even the veterans and one look towards The CW will attest that NBC could be doing worse than they already are.


I think Parks will be back unless NBC have an unprecedentedly good season, and every other show is likely to be axed. Parks survives because its ratings are solid (it would be renewed on ABC or Fox too) and it has syndication income in its favour. I also can't imagine NBC wanting to develop and launch even more hours of programming than they already are, given they were already short of programming and NBC needing to replace both 30 Rock and The Office this season.

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