Friday, May 3, 2013

Fox True Power Rankings, May 2013

It's time for this season's final 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. 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 (and excluding some inflationary season/series finales that aren't that relevant). The number of episodes in the average is listed under "Counted Eps." These numbers are all through April 28.

The best way to describe the two-week upfront preview is that these Power Rankings are the "SHOW-centric" portion. The Power Rankings are largely about discussing the merits of renewing and/or moving marginal and just-above-marginal shows. Next week's Upfront Questions will be more the SCHEDULE-centric portion. These things do overlap sometimes, but that's a general guideline.

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

Fox ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Anchors
1New Girl2.302.30822
2Family Guy2.252.53719
3The Simpsons1.932.08618

Hope you enjoyed the three Power Rankings over the last two days, because the two today are going to be super-short... thanks early renewals.

Fox ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Renewed
4American Dad!1.701.93617
5Bob's Burgers1.551.70721
6Raising Hope1.551.49721
7The Mindy Project1.521.51721

Last time, I advocated keeping The Mindy Project after New Girl because it seemed the show had a minor amount of momentum. It's squandered some of that momentum since then, so now I think it's more of a "comes down to development" situation. If there's a really solid pairing out of the new crop, they could go that route. But I wouldn't throw a new show there just to do it, partly because Mindy would probably be hopeless in any other slot. (Maybe that's what everyone means when they say it never should've been renewed...)

I'd be more willing to give Raising Hope a somewhere like a Friday. That may be Fox's most likely scripted show to end up on the night.

Fox ComediesTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo?
8The Cleveland Show1.491.41719
9Ben and Kate1.211.20513

Fox DramasTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Renewals
1The Following2.412.24514

I'd leave both The Following and Bones alone next year. They were well-scheduled on a night that's drama-light but competition-heavy overall.

The two-season renewal for Glee was rather surprising to me. While it might now be a bit of a pipe dream, I still think the best thing Fox can do with the show is have it share the Monday 9/8c hour with The Following. If it must have a full-season order, it could run repeat-free for 18 weeks or so, breaking only for two weeks at the end of December, and maybe some two-hour editions could mix in to get to a full 22-episode season. Rinse and repeat in 2014-15 if it's still strong enough, or move it to Friday if not. This seems the best way to avoid getting badly burdened by the show.

While I'm not sure that post-X Factor is all that desirable a slot for a new show anymore, what I am fairly sure of is that going against Grey's is really bad for Glee. If all things are about equal for a new show, stick Glee in the slot that's better for Glee.

There is still a groundswell for returning Glee to Tuesday at 8. I believe Glee is pretty much all downside from here and I wouldn't want it to bring New Girl with it. But it can't do as poorly as Ben and Kate did.

Fox DramasTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
The Dunzo
6The Mob Doctor0.890.64513

Fox UnscriptedTrue2A18-49Counted EpsEps
1American Idol Wed3.533.30616
2American Idol Thu3.592.94515
3The X Factor Wed2.692.70514
4The X Factor Thu2.662.60412
5Hell's Kitchen2.312.0038
6Kitchen Nightmares1.431.14514


Spot said...

I'd reduce X Factor to 2hrs, move Glee to 8 on Thursday and have another fall drama at-bat.

Spot said...

Fox Comedies (I ignore cartoons):
1. Raising Hope: 1.44
2. New Girl: 1.23
3. The Mindy Project: 0.73
4. Ben and Kate: 0.59

I really think the mindy project is the hardest renewal to justify so far this season, especially considering that it was such an early renewal. The only reasons I can come up with are: 1) It must do mind blowingly well in 18-34; 2) They need some filler to pair with RH in its friday burnoff and don't want to waste promotion on a new comedy to be sent there.
Also, don't know if you've read, but Deadline's most recent update says Fox is likely to pick up 5 new comedies. Do you believe this? I don't know what this would mean. I can only think they would premiere 3 new comedies around New Girl, one for midseason and one after the X-Factor on Wednesdays? I think this would be a terrible idea though, as I think comedies are terrible to stabilize the schedule, which FOX badly needs (as does NBC) - they must develop hit dramas, like, yesterday, not keep going after comedies, as they are in no position for that.

Spot said...

With all of these early renewals, I feel like the only way Glee has a spot on the fall schedule is to shrink X-Factor on Wednesdays and move it there. The two-season pickup is a shock to me; I'm almost expecting an Upfront Surprise that the show is changing to a 30 minute format or something.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't be surprised to see Raising Hope & The Mindy Project on Fridays in the fall with Kitchen Nightmares.

Spot said...

As for dramas:
1.Glee: 1.59
2. The Following: 1.31
3. Bones: 1.28
4. Fringe: 0.83
5. Touch: 0.51
6. The Mob Doctor: 0.48

Can we all just agree that Touch was the worst renewal decision from the last few seasons? Its collapse, although expected, is of such epic proportions. And the thing is that we all saw it coming miles and miles away, except Fox. I mean, why even do it? It is inconceivable. Other than that, nothing to see here. The Glee renewal for 2 years shocked me a lot and again, I must feel that we don't give enough importance to 18-34 when looking at ratings, it is the most logical reason. I now believe the show should stay put as there is no other viable solution for it (I don't buy that they will only have it around for half of the year, they clearly intend to have it as a long term player for at least 2 more years).

Spot said...


My schedule tries to maximize the number of spots in the monday-thursday schedule to premiere new shows, as they badly need them. One idea I had to achieve this was to: bring the following to the fall (it would be actually better for fox to not have their best drama and the best reality air at the same time because it means in the fall they have less platforms to promote their shows) and reduce the number of hours from the 2. This way, the following can timeshare with the third hour from idol and it actually solves the problem of premiering a DOA placeholder drama in the fall too. Also, I would cut down the last half hour of Idol to premiere a new comedy as I feel they need space to do it too. So it would look like this:


New Girl
New Comedy

The X-Factor/ American Idol
The Following/ American Idol
The Following/ New Comedy

The X-Factor/ American Idol

Raising Hope
The Mindy Project
Kitchen Nightmares

So, 2 new dramas and 1 new comedy during fall, in addition to new girl, the following, bones and glee. Of course they won't do any of this and they will stick 4 hours of comedy somewhere in there and keep loosing ground on the drama slate...

Spot said...

Yeah, I just don't know how they're going to fit new product on the schedule without shrinking X-Factor. Kevin Reilly already admitted that last year's schedule (with only two new dramas) was a mistake, so hopefully they're looking to rectify that.

Moving Glee to Wednesdays is certainly an option, but I actually think there's a nice opportunity for either Fox or NBC to put a big,splashy drama on Wednesdays at 8. Survivor and ABC's comedies have peaked, and there's no drama competition in the hour. I know it might seem more logical to have The X-Factor lead into something, but Wednesdays at 8 is the best possible spot for a drama self-starter.

Spot said...

Unless Fox wants to do even more scheduling jujitsu, I'd save debuting whatever show(s) they are highest on until after the World Series. And a self-starting drama Wednesdays at 8 is a good idea; it's gets the new show away from Modern Family and Criminal Minds.

Spot said...

It was another example of the now-typical face-saving pity renewal. Terra Nova and Alcatraz were both in the low-2s and weren't going anywhere. The Finder did nothing with Idol's (still potent) lead-in, and Touch was falling to the same level that got TF kicked to Fridays with the same support. There was no reason to expect the show to do any better on Fridays, and the money and time spent on the show would have been better spent on a new show with more upside.

Spot said...

I think the Seth MacFarlane sitcom might go on Sunday somehow, although that would probably mean extending the block to 7:00 which doesn't seem like the best option given Cleveland's recent numbers at 7:30. Unless FOX goes with no new animation again.

Aside from that, I really don't know what they're going to do. They seem to be testing comedies on Thursdays at 9:00, which isn't a terrible idea but it didn't seem to work out amazingly well. Still, comedies might work better there than Glee, especially if CBS doesn't expand their block.

I don't really see how they can go back to a 2-hour block on Tuesdays. How would it not work out exactly the same as it did this year? New Girl and Raising Hope aren't going to be any stronger or any more capable of launching new shows next year, so unless their new comedies are REALLY strong I can't see it working for them...yet at the same time I could see them going for it again.

I could also totally see The Mindy Project either on Fridays or held for mid-season if their development is strong (which it seems to be, according to Deadline). Seems like a waste of a renewal, but it was pretty obviously a save-face renewal anyway.

Spot said...

I think that's going to be something they consider after seeing what happened to New Girl when it debuted in the 4s, took off a month, and came back in the mid-3s. This show does not do breaks well.

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