Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Two Weeks, The New Normal

The Tuesday 9:30/8:30c debut of The New Normal scored a 2.5 demo, representing a loss of 26% from its lead-in, the fairly solid start of Go On (3.4). That's not much of a number from The New Normal, but it's not a totally DOA situation either. As with Go On, I have to note there was very little competition on the pre-pre-premiere Tuesday.

The second week for The New Normal saw a 12% drop to a 2.2 demo. 12% is usually a slightly above-average second week for a new show. But it came on another uncompetitive Tuesday, was the biggest week-to-week dropper of the Tuesday NBC lineup, and its Go On lead-in (3.4) remained steady. That makes it a little worse than the average -12%.

It might seem easy to dismiss this show, which is already losing more than a third of the Go On audience before any real broadcast competition even shows up. But there are a couple things nudging me in the other direction: 1) A show like Cougar Town was able to survive for quite awhile in this kind of relationship with its hit lead-in; and 2) That 2.2 in week two was still bigger than anything in NBC's Thursday comedy lineup on premiere night, and I don't have a lot of hope for either of the yet-to-premiere Wednesday comedies. I thought about deferring this call to week three (a new option I'm trying out this season), but I don't see week three being a result that will drastically sway me from the way I see it right now. I still believe it goes beyond 13 episodes and has a good shot at a full season. I may regret this if/when it becomes apparent NBC only has like one or two other renewable comedies on the whole network, but I'm saying it's narrowly a Cancel. At least this way I can definitely say I was right either in the fall preview or in the First Two Weeks...!

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line up all of the premiere and week two drop numbers together.


Spot said...

One thing I recall about Cougar Town was that it didn't start out in that position in its relationship to Modern Family. In fact, I vaguely recall near equal ratings for the two until a couple months into that first season. The fact that a show's already debuting in a "drop big from big lead in" position would be a big red flag for any prognosis.

Spot said...

Cougar Town definitely benefited from not only its Modern Family lead-in but also that ABC's comedy cupboard was bare; only those two shows and The Middle were ABC's returning sitcoms into the 2010-2011 season, and The Middle had been hampered all season with a 8:30 slot with weak lead-ins. If NBC has the same situation with Go On its only sitcom success, I think a younger (read: less expensive) show with current ratings like The New Normal can make it to a season 2.

Spot said...

I agree with your analysis.
This seems like a bubble show to me, one that scrapes into a back 9 and misses a renewal after its timeslot gets weaker (whether through Go On erosion or, more likely, being moved at mid-season).

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