Thursday, January 3, 2013

NBC True Power Rankings, January 2013


It's time for another edition of the True Power Rankings! I line up every entertainment program in broadcast primetime by network/category using my timeslot metric True2, offering my take on the ratings strength of the shows. This week, I'll offer a few thoughts on individual shows as part of the preview of midseason.

As on the Weekly True Power Rankings, these True2 and A18-49 numbers are averages of the last third of the season's episodes to date, rounded up. The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." Due to Nielsen holiday delays, we don't have everything from last week, so these numbers are all through December 23. But since almost nothing aired in originals last week, that mostly doesn't make a difference.

Other January True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW




NBC ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo Elite
1The Office2.222.0339

It's been awhile since a show so clearly at the top of its network's totem pole in a category came to an end. Even former beasts like House, Desperate Housewives, Smallville, Heroes and ER were pretty much even with if not well behind some other drama on the network by the time they ended. But The Office is pretty clearly the strongest NBC comedy (since Go On has a three-point lead-in advantage) and it's over.

NBC ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
Hmmmmm...
2Go On1.652.30410
3Parks and Recreation1.571.5339
4Guys with Kids1.431.28410
5Whitney1.421.3524
6The New Normal1.411.68411
7Up All Night1.371.10411

And what's left in the NBC sitcom department has to be pretty frightening for NBC. I hate to be one of those pundits Nate Silver makes fun of, but... everything's a "toss-up." Whichever way the development wind is blowing, NBC could find a marginal sitcom or two out of this bunch that would pair up with it.

The only strong likelihood is that Go On will be renewed. It actually looks somewhat deserving right now, following a couple good weeks leading into the winter break.

Though Parks is (barely) the strongest show of the five remaining, it will not benefit from the crumbling of the NBC Thursday tradition on other fronts (Office, 30 Rock both ending). The New Normal probably has a better shot than the Wednesday multicams, but I don't think it should. There is really no separation among those three shows right now. Perhaps this will all end with me making an impassioned plea for a Whitney renewal, just like last year. But right now, it's hard to make much of an impassioned plea for anything.

I fully expect Community will join this bunch, and 1600 Penn probably has no chance to go any higher than this group. Based on its preview ratings on December 17, it'd be happy to find itself on the bubble.

NBC ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo
830 Rock1.211.2038
9Animal Practice1.121.1525




NBC DramasTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Elite
1Revolution2.302.73410
2Grimm1.921.78412
3Parenthood1.911.83411
4Chicago Fire1.771.65410
5Law and Order: SVU1.701.5338

Who'd have thunk coming into this fall that of NBC's five fall dramas, SVU would be the least safe of the five by the end of the fall??? I'm sure it won't end up at the very bottom of the drama totem pole by season's end. NBC still has midseason dramas to come, and at least one will probably fail miserably. But even if it's near the bottom, one would think NBC would probably be willing to move on from a show this old and thus expensive.

However, as I said in the Upfront Revisited post, I'd probably bring back all these shows if the season ended today. They're currently power-ranked ahead of all the potentially returning comedies.




NBC UnscriptedTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Elite
1The Voice Mon3.633.96515
2The Voice Tue3.613.85616
3Dateline Fri1.681.36514
4Take It All1.571.3026
5Rock Center1.120.94513

I guess the only question mark here is whether holiday strip Take It All will return. I say if they didn't renew last year's Who's Still Standing? then they definitely won't renew this. It couldn't do better than low-1's on its own, and it's much more overtly holiday-themed than something like WSS? (which conceivably could've been tried in the summer or something).

4 comments:

Spot said...

Completely agree with your analysis.

I agree that the comedies are all bubble shows. People seem to be overestimating the strength of the Tuesday block, especially The New Normal, compared with the other comedies. It's nice that we'll actually be able to see Go On have its giant lead-in ripped out underneath it at mid-season so soon we won't have to deal in hypotheticals.

My guess is that Parks gets renewed barring a complete collapse in spring since NBC seems to have delayed its syndication until 2014, which suggests a renewal. A half-season would see it cross the 100 threshold.

I also agree that it probably makes sense for them to renew all their current dramas. Not only do their ratings deserve it, but NBC need to get themselves out of a rut where they are promoting half-a-dozen new shows each fall. I think NBC executives realise this, which is why 8pm Friday remains vacant and Rock Center stubbornly remained on the schedule this fall.

Spot said...

This season it's felt like NBC wanted to throw a variety of sitcom types/formats against the wall to see what would stick: single and multi-cam, family and work-oriented, and Up All Night will cross all four by the end of the season with its format change. It's become a jumbled mess that's not paying off. Go On and Parks & Recreation feel the safest of the bunch right now, and The New Normal may survive to stay in the Ryan Murphy business, but what does NBC do with them? They need to develop a comedy brand again and get some kind of focus.
NBC has more breathing room on its schedule for marginal ratings players than, say, CBS, but cost is going to be the tipping point. If Chicago Fire and SVU continue pulling equal ratings, then I think SVU loses out. It needs to make a stronger ratings argument, or hope to get a move back to Friday where it thrived in its early days.

Spot said...

My ranks (I take into account syndication proximity, number of episodes, new show vs. old show, etc):

Comedies
1. Go On: 1.36
2. The Office: 1.31
3. Parks and Recreation: 1.17

4. Whitney: 1.06
5. The New Normal: 0.96
6. Guys with Kids: 0.83

7. 30 Rock: 0.77
8. Up All Night: 0.68
9. Animal Practice: 0.62

Some notes here: Whiney is this high because of its season high yesterday (my model gives a much higher weight to recent airings, so last night's rating has quite a bit of importance, otherwise it would be behind the new normal). Similarly, Up All Night is this low because of its last two episodes that aired in a night of repeats. I do not think it is as dead as this makes it look like, especially being a sophomore. I think it all comes down to how it doe as a multi-cam, i think the previous ratings won't matter at all.

Dramas:
1.Parenthood: 1.45
2. Revolution: 1.07
3. Grimm: 0.99


4. Chicago Fire: 0.77
5. Law and Order: SVU: 0.70


I agree with you for the most part here. The Parenthood advantage again comes from syndication potential.

Spot said...

I agree with this totally. I don't see how either Go On or TNN can be counted on in the second half once you chop their lead-in by 40% or so for a couple months. That's why I don't understand why Revolution is not coming back until Voice does. I'm assuming (wrongly, I'm guessing) they'll want to move it to 9 PM on Wednesday or Thursday and give another show the boost come fall. But if that was the case, why not see how it'll do on it's own now? This is starting to sound like a Dancing-Castle thing now.

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