Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First Two Weeks, The Mindy Project

Most people felt the best hope among Fox's fall 2012 newbies was comedy The Mindy Project. And it did have the best premiere ratings (a 2.4 demo on premiere Tuesday), but that was weaker than most expectations. It held onto 86% of its New Girl lead-in (2.8) and was three tenths ahead of the 8:30 Fox newbie Ben and Kate (2.1).

Though New Girl held onto that 2.8 premiere demo in week two, Mindy had no such luck. It dropped by a painful 21% in week two to a 1.9 demo, leaving it at only about two-thirds of the New Girl ratings. Mindy was still the block's second-biggest show and stayed three tenths ahead of fellow newbie Ben and Kate, but it remains a disappointment relative to the expectations.

Basically copying over the Ben and Kate prognosis, save for the very end.

You can believe me or not believe me, but prior to yesterday's full-season orders I had written in this space that at least one and probably both of these shows were going to get extended. How was Fox even going to get through the season if they canned both by 2013? However, renewal is a different story, and May's a long way away. So the real task is parsing these two underwhelming-rated shows. Does one have a clear advantage?

Raw numbers-wise, it looks like big advantage Mindy. You can argue that Fox prefers Mindy and that's why it got more episodes yesterday. (Though Fox said it had to do with the B&K showrunner's pregnancy.) But the thing is... Mindy has a huge advantage situationally speaking. Its lead-in was 1.1 points bigger, three of the four competing networks are much stronger at 8:30 than at 9:30, and there's a lot more overall viewing at 9:30 than at 8:30. Add all of those up and there's a rather eye-opening prelim True2 result in week two: Ben and Kate 1.64, The Mindy Project 1.56. In other words, if you'd flipped the shows' timeslots in week two I'd expect B&K to get a 1.9 to 2.0 and Mindy to get a 1.6 to 1.7. So Mindy's got the raw numbers but is, for now, probably the bigger disappointment of the two.

Really thought about deferring both of these, because I wonder if this may be another hyped-disappointment-vs.-little-show-that-could situation like last year's Secret Circle vs. Hart of Dixie. But I just doubt one more week will provide that much more clarity. I think Fox likes Mindy better, so I'm gonna slightly lean Renew on this one.

"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.

1 comment:

Spot said...

I’m torn between The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate being my
favorite new comedy. Any fan of The Office can tell you how talented Kaling is,
while I had to get some help from DISH coworkers on Faxon’s resume—very talented
behind the camera, too. Either way, I’ll be watching both shows this season. I
don’t even have the hassle of setting timers for them, because they auto-record
with my Hopper’s PrimeTime Anytime feature, along with the rest of the big 4 networks' PrimeTime. The more time I get to actually watch my shows, the better.

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