Last year, this was one of the few up year-to-year slots, mostly because for once every network had a relatively healthy show. ABC and CBS often made massive year-to-year gains with the debut of Revenge and the move of CSI respectively, while Law and Order: SVU remained among NBC's top dramas despite its major drop year-to-year. This year, there's a lot of new blood as ABC and NBC each go with rookie dramas.
|Nashville (NEW!)||Slot Average|
|Slot Orig Avg|
|Premieres October 10||2.32|
|Best Case: Nashville is just as juicy creatively as previous occupant Revenge, but the country music angle bumps it up even another notch. 2.60, beats CSI and gets renewed comfortably.|
Worst Case: This has long been a cursed timeslot for ABC. It just so happens Revenge was the one program transcendent enough to defy that, but lightning isn't striking twice here. Ultimately a mediocre show with a 1.50 average and gone by 2013.
Likeliest: It was a risk to jettison the one thing that's worked in this hour in many years, but I'm feeling pretty positive about this show. Looks good in promos, reviews are solid, and I think the country music angle will be a bit of a draw. I'm giving it a 2.46, right on pace with Revenge, and a no-brainer season two.
|20/20: Revenge for Real|
|Premieres September 26||2.41|
|Best Case: Ted Danson and the Wednesday timeslot rejuvenated the show last year, and it was arguably stronger in the second half of the season. Drops just 3% to a 2.64.|
Worst Case: Yeah, the Wednesday move slowed the bleeding, but the more favorable timeslot caused just one blip in what's been a steeply negative trajectory in its later Thursday years. Down 18% to a 2.22 and moved to Friday for a likely final season in 2013-14.
Likeliest: Unless it gets super-ugly, I'm pretty sure CSI will be able to say at season's end that it officially outlived both of its spin-offs. I'm saying the show drops 11% to a 2.43 and sees the gap with Criminal Minds widen, creating an interesting decision for the CBS schedulers.
|Slot Orig Avg|
|Chicago Fire (NEW!)||Slot Average|
|Slot Orig Avg|
|Premieres October 10||1.69|
|Best Case: Though the SVU lead-in isn't worth much anymore, Chicago Fire is able to build at 10:00 against lighter competition. Its 2.00 average is a pleasant surprise and gets it an easy season two.|
Worst Case: The SVU lead-in isn't worth much anymore, and there's just not enough of a base audience left at NBC to get people to show up for this kind of thing. Another member of the Mercy/Trauma/LOLA/Prime Suspect fraternity. Ties Prime Suspect at 1.19 and done by early 2013.
Likeliest: This feels like yet another of those "conventional wisdom" dramas that I listed above. NBC seems to bomb out with one every year. It seems like a pretty competent procedural production, and that seems like something NBC should be doing, but then it can't get out of the gate at all. If it can start off decently, maybe, but the only one of the above that did had the Law & Order name attached. Something has to break the rule eventually, but consider me highly skeptical until NBC proves otherwise. 1.40.
|Law and Order: SVU|
|American Horror Story||FX||10/17||1.60|
|Key & Peele||Comedy||9/26||0.91|
|Hot in Cleveland||TV Land||11/28||0.34||-32%|
Network to Watch: I'm taking ABC here just because I have more hope in their new show than I do in NBC's.
My Picks: Will try both newbies, though (again) Nashville looks right now like the better of the two. I'm also in for another season of Psych (assuming it's scheduled here, which seems likely but is not official).