Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winter 2013 Best Case/Worst Case, Thursday

Introductory stuff now at the bottom.

Other Winter 2013 BC/WC: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Fri/Sat/Sun

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Thursday 9.1 4 -4% 3 33.2 5 28% 3

At -4% year-to-year, Thursday is in a virtual tie with Friday and Sunday for the healthiest night on broadcast this season. The X Factor and NBC's comedies have really struggled, but ABC has been reasonably healthy and CBS has actually grown noticeably with The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest on the upswing and Two and a Half Men now on the night.

Image 1600 Penn (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 10 1.61
Best Case: Don't overreact to mediocre ratings for the one-off preview on December 17. It can hold onto The Office about as well as Parks and Rec did. Maybe even a little better; I mean, it's being screened at the real-life White House! 1.75.

Worst Case:
The preview showed us how little interest there is here. As weak as the bubble is for NBC's comedies, it won't even get to that point, and it'll only barely hold more than half of The Office. 1.20.

I pretty much hated the pilot. I don't rule out that some people may be more into Josh Gad's brand of comedy than I am, but it's hard to believe many people find it special enough that it'll transcend the low-rated culture of NBC Thursday. 1.30.
Parks and Recreation
1.64 1.67

Image American Idol Slot Average
Premieres January 17 2.46
Best Case: Last season was a bit of an "overreaction" by the viewers. Things will straighten out somewhat this year, and the new judges work pretty well. Down just 8% to a 4.50, and it's miraculously the (EDIT: broadcast-only) #1 entertainment show yet again after The Big Bang Theory drops big late in the season.

Worst Case:
The new judges don't work, and what was once the gold standard in competition reality is now an X Factor-esque trainwrecky mess. Another -32% to 3.33 and squarely below The Voice.

I've overestimated the appeal of what I thought were huge names in judging, and I'm pretty sure Idol's new ones aren't huge names in judging. So the drops will continue. I kinda doubt it'll be as steep as last season, but it won't be pretty. I'll say a decline about as big as The X Factor's, -21% to a 3.86.
Slot Orig Avg
The X Factor Thu
y2y Label
-31% megahit2.79 2.77
True2 Sitch
5.37 -9%
2011-12 Slot
Wednesday 8:00

Image Do No Harm (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 31 0.97
Best Case: The NBC drama mojo is back. While the critics won't love this show as much as they did last year's occupant of this slot, Awake, the Jekyll/Hyde theme is a little easier to sell in promos and to grasp on the screen. 1.60, ends up building noticeably on 1600 Penn, and a renewal after NBC considers how awful its slot was.

Worst Case:
It's a worse show than Awake, and it has a worse lead-in than Awake. That's it. Even worse than Rock Center's fall numbers at 1.00.

I'm pretty sure this show will end up a casualty of NBC's good fall. Airing after 1600 Penn is a brutal place to be. I'll say it does just a touch better than Awake (which averaged a 1.08), but it'll be impossible to argue it was enough that it truly transcended its situation. 1.15 and done.
Rock Center
1.02 1.11

Image Community Slot Average
Premieres February 7 1.36
Best Case: The new showrunners do a very competent job, and this show's ratings will, as usual, not look all that bad amid the total mess that is the NBC comedy world. 1.40.

Worst Case:
The new showrunners are about as competent as their parody Twitter feed suggests. 1.05 and an easy cancellation.

I'm largely copying what I wrote about the show in the fall BC/WC (when it was skedded on Friday), just adding two tenths to each prediction since this slot is at least a teeny bit better. Last year its -17% was actually the smallest of the veteran NBC comedies. And I'm saying its 19% decline to the same 1.24 as 30 Rock will be relatively small this year. Pathetically, NBC's comedy mess means that average may actually not be a slam dunk cancel by the time we reach the depths of Daylight Saving Time. But ultimately... it shall end.
Slot Orig Avg
30 Rock
y2y Label
-17% flop1.24 1.27
True2 Sitch
1.77 -13%
2011-12 Slot
Thursday 8:00

Image Zero Hour (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres February 14 1.47
Best Case: The promos make this look like a generic National Treasure rip-off, but generic National Treasure rip-offs can draw a decent crowd, and they can also be pretty fun sometimes. The timeslot prevents a real breakout, but it's the show that finally finds the level ABC can live with in this hour. 1.85.

Worst Case:
If Last Resort couldn't make it, then a show in the same general space except much worse certainly won't make it. New depths for ABC's long-troubled hour. Zero point 99 makes this a literal zero hour for ABC.

Maybe I'm just weary from destroying basically every show in the Tuesday and Thursday posts, but for some reason I feel like this might have a puncher's chance. The promos have a bit more potential to appeal to people than did Last Resort's. Still, it's only a puncher's chance, and since I have to make it official, I'd say it's probably gonna be no stronger than its fall counterpart. It finishes a bit behind Last Resort at 1.35.
Last Resort
1.45 1.51


ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
SuitsUSA1/17, 10/9c1.23-7%
Anger ManagementFX1/17, 9:301.20
ArcherFX1/17, 10/9c0.67+23%
LegitFX1/17, 10:30NEW!

It's tempting to take NBC since they have three shows premiering on this night in the next month or so, but I'm gonna mix it up a bit and go with ABC. I don't have huge hopes for Zero Hour, but I think there's a small chance it could do OK (at least a less small chance than NBC's new shows have), and I also really want to see if the late-2012 surge by Scandal has legs.

My extensive Best Case/Worst Case previews from the fall are BACK for the midseason. For the most part, these posts are the same as in the fall. You can refer to the Intro post from last summer to explain most of what you'll see below.

The main difference is that the timeslot info in "The Basics" and in the timeslot portion of each show card now cover the fall 2012 numbers, from September 24 through December 23. (In the Fall Best Case/Worst Case, they covered all of the 2011-12 regular season.) So the slot averages are all across that three-month fall span, and the "Occupants" are things the network aired in the slot this fall.

To avoid covering stuff that's too far down the road, I'm just hitting the January and February premieres here. I tried to figure out how to break these up with a similar number of shows in each post but couldn't really crack it. So I'm just doing one post for each day of the week until Friday, which will cover Friday/Saturday/Sunday.


Spot said...

I think with your logic that it looks like NBC would be the network to watch for all the new shows on the night, since two of the three (Community & 1600 Penn) are scheduling filler caused by 30 Rock ending and Up All Night taking a long hiatus to become a multi-cam com. Do No Harm is the anomaly here, and I don't know why NBC is trying another drama here. It would be a better fit with Grimm on Fridays.

But I'd argue that even with no midseason shows here CBS is the one to watch. Will The Big Bang Theory hit/continue another hot streak against Idol? And will Elementary's post-Super Bowl episode lead to a sustained increase that makes it an elite CBS drama? The latter may be the one thing that cools Scandal's ratings off.

Spot said...

1600 Penn: during early fall, I was pretty outspoken about how dumb NBC was by not using election year to promote this show instead of something like animal practice. i have not watched the show yet but seeing how mostly everyone hated the pilot, i conceed that i may have been wrong. I will go with the worst case scenario of your predictions to the most likely actually.

Do No Harm: I agree with you that being lead-in by 1600 Penn sucks and facing a growing scandal and a post superbowl boosted elementary won't help either. A 1.1 and done.

Community: Oh, how I miss community. With the collapse of the tuesday comedies and the wednesday comedies not doing any better, the thursday comedies suddenly don't look so bad. Add to that syndication and community might have a shot after all. A 1.2 and a bubble show.

Zero Hour: One and done. I wanted to watch this show but I have decided, after last resort, that no matter how good they are and look, no more watching shows on ABC's deathslot unless they warrant a miracle renewal.

Also, although I don't go for unscripted most of the time, I would argue that I would be shocked if American Idol beats the big bang theory (and maybe even the walking dead) this year.

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