Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall 2013 Best Case/Worst Case, Monday 9/8c

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Monday 9:00 10.9 5 -14% 17 36.8 3 30% 6

Like the Monday 8:00 hour, 9:00 had a ton of viewing and a ton of broadcast viewing, but it was one of primetime's most eroded hours on a year-to-year basis. 2 Broke Girls was not able to live up to Two and a Half Men's year-ago Kutcher-inflated numbers, Dancing with the Stars completely collapsed, and Fox was totally off the map in the fall with The Mob Doctor. Things brightened somewhat at midseason when Fox introduced The Following.

The Shows:

Image Dancing with the Stars Slot Average
Premieres September 16 2.32
Best Case: Having results shows on Monday gets more viewers to stay. The cast is actually kind of splashy for once. And it gets a head start on The Voice, which helped to a small extent in the spring season. Let's say it breaks even: 2.26.

Worst Case:
Trimming to one night did basically nothing for So You Think You Can Dance. CBS' competing comedy block rebounds. And four straight DWTS seasons have dropped by 20% or more. Why stop now? Drops nearly 30% more to a 1.60, but probably still gets a spring season because of ABC's problems elsewhere.

I said I might modify this if the cast announcement on Wednesday was a really big deal, but I'm not. I actually think it's one of their better recent casts, but not a huge difference-maker. This show continues to erode. The spring 2013 season did a little better, so I think the bleeding is slowing, but it still loses 16% to a 1.90 and becomes a sub-league average show for the first time.
Slot Orig Avg
Dancing with the Stars Fall
y2y Label
-31% solid2.26 2.16
True SitchThe Bachelor
2.16 +5%
Last Pick Miss2.71 2.54
2.90 -22%Dancing with the Stars Spring
2012-13 Slot
Monday 8:002.29 2.33

Image 2 Broke Girls Slot Average
Premieres September 23 2.84
Best Case: A surging How I Met Your Mother at 8:00 lifts all Monday comedy boats, and 2 Broke Girls also gets some help on the other side from promising lead-out Mom. Up a tick to a 3.47.

Worst Case:
2 Broke Girls took another alarming drop late last season. CBS just threw this show to the wolves as a 9:00 anchor far too early, and having We Are Men as a lead-in is the biggest wolf of all. CBS eventually pulls WAM, but it lets it hang around enough to seriously damage 2BG, which is down another 23% to a 2.60. Its future as the Monday 9:00 anchor is in serious doubt.

Terrible as this show is, last year's overly severe drop was just the show coming back to earth after pulling such huge ratings in season one. With HIMYM holding up nicely at 8:00, 2 Broke Girls will just about settle in, down 10% to a 3.05.
Slot Orig Avg
2 Broke Girls
y2y Label
-21% big hit3.35 2.91
True Sitch
2.92 +15%
Last Pick Miss
4.25 -21%
2012-13 Slot
Monday 9:00

Image Mom (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 23 2.93
Best Case: A Chuck Lorre sitcom with some actual critical backing? Sign me the hell up. Anna Faris is a perfect sitcom star, and Mom regularly builds from 2 Broke Girls at a whooping 3.20. It anchors a Monday hour next season.

Worst Case:
Most of the Lorre shows have some kind of twist or hook, but this one turns out to be just as generic as its title. It attracts little interest out of the gate and is replaced by previous occupant Mike and Molly early in 2014. 2.10.

While this show has less upside than the newbies on Thursday, I also see it as the most likely success. It should be another solid Mike and Molly-esque Chuck Lorre entry, and quite possibly a little better. I'm giving it M&M's 2012-13 average of 2.90, which will make it a beyond comfortable season two renewal, and it may even get that anchor role as HIMYM departs.
Mike and Molly
2.90 2.50

Image The Voice Slot Average
Premieres September 23 3.62
Best Case: With DWTS increasingly irrelevant and NBC's lineup more stable as a whole, The Voice is able to nearly replicate last year's fall ratings. 4.35.

Worst Case:
Did you see how far The Voice fell off in the summer months? That was actual damage to the franchise. (Summer eps not included in the spring average on the right, BTW.) It can't even get back to a 4.0 for the premiere, and low 3's become the norm once blind auditions are done. Down 21% to a 3.48.

I don't put a ton of stock in what happened during the summer, because I think the downward momentum in overall viewing snowballed it a little bit. Still, I don't see yet another surge in this show at this point. It posts a healthy, league-average drop kind of season at 3.96.
Slot Orig Avg
The Voice Fall
y2y Label
megahit4.38 3.99
True SitchThe Biggest Loser
3.99 +10%
Last Pick Miss2.25 2.14
3.66 +20%The Voice Spr
2012-13 Slot
Monday 8:004.48 4.31

Fox note: I'm not Best Case/Worst Case-ing Fox's "late fall" shows, because I have so little confidence in that plan actually coming to pass. I may do another post in late October or early November once that (plus the other inevitable schedule moves) comes to pass.

Image Sleepy Hollow (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 16 1.94
Best Case: Some of the biggest pleasant surprises in recent years have been shows based on folk/fairy tales, and this one (promoted a ton during the NFL on Sunday) will continue the trend. It opens at Fox's rather typical low-3's drama premiere level and settles in the mid-2's. 2.60.

Worst Case:
This is just another one of those place-holder fall dramas that doesn't stand much chance. It premieres about at The Mob Doctor levels and settles in the same vicinity. It's never seen again after Almost Human shows up in November. 1.00.

I'm giving this a huge best/worst range because I'm reasonably confident this is gonna premiere better than The Mob Doctor, but I'm much less confident about it not being a trainwreck of a show. I'm saying it premieres in the 2's, drops big in the subsequent weeks, and Fox has a tough decision about the "late fall." Worried about the downward trajectory, they leave more stable Bones on Monday, premiere Almost Human as planned, while Sleepy Hollow goes to Friday and dies. 1.20.
The Mob Doctor
0.96 0.95
The Following
2.63 2.54

Image Beauty and the Beast Slot Average
Premieres October 7 0.32
Best Case: The thing about BatB is that it actually skewed a lot older than its The Vampire Diaries lead-in. That means they had different audiences, and BatB will hold up well elsewhere. Delivers its late-season 0.5 level most weeks and averages a 0.50.

Worst Case:
What that skew discrepancy means is that TVD was actually aging down the BatB audience. Without that lead-in, there's no real demo interest, and it's way incompatible with its new lead-in Hart of Dixie. Dive-bombs by more than half to a measly 0.28.

I don't see this going so beautifully, though it will at least clear the very low 0.34 bar that the net averaged in the slot last year. It will drop by a tick from Hart of Dixie most weeks, be even with Hart of Dixie some weeks, and that means a 0.38 average. It's back on the bubble and likely done because it doesn't bring enough 18-34s.
Slot Orig Avg
Gossip Girl
y2y Label
marginal(CW)0.44 0.46
True Sitch90210
0.58 +5%
Last Pick Miss0.29 0.34
0.72 -15%
2012-13 Slot
Thursday 9:00

The Cable:

ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
Monday Night FootballESPN9/95.38-8%
WWE RawUSAongoing1.46-13%

The Network to Watch: I'll go with CBS. 2 Broke Girls needs to steady the ship after some major erosion last year, and Mom needs to stay above water at minimum, or it could derail the new show at 10:00 as well. If not, CBS could have several trouble spots to deal with.

The Picks: I'll watch Sleepy Hollow, at least initially. I'll also check out Mom... at least initially. If neither of those pan out, then football it is.


Spot said...

I see Sleepy Hollow premiering high. It seems easy to market and it's counter-programming to the female-skewing shows airing on the other broadcast networks.

The big question with high-concept serialised dramas is whether they can sustain their ratings. I'd lean towards no, based purely on the track record of other shows in the genre, but it ultimately comes down to whether the show is any good.

Spot said...

CBS is clearly hoping Mom's positive halo works for both 2 Broke Girls and Hostages. In that way, it's being asked to already be an anchor show but in a :30 slot. It makes We Are Men's hammocking earlier in the evening look worse. (Why that show wasn't paired with 2.5 Men confuses me a little.)

I think Stars casting is also one of its better ones; I may actually tune in this season. Too bad ABC no longer has MNF because it'd probably help the network solve Mondays: Football in the Fall, The Bachelor for the Winter, and Stars in the Spring. Plus that kind of scheduling would be perfect for a serialized drama (Nashville, Revenge) to run straight through January-May.

Getting a one-week jump on The Voice helps Sleepy Hollow clear the low Mob Doctor bar, but between MNF and The Voice, how much audience is left? Bones is no Idol, so it's not getting the same level of help that Fringe got several seasons ago.

My pick: balancing between Stars and Mom.

Spot said...

Thanks for the bucket of cold water, Mr. Spot. I think I've been a little too presumptive that Sleepy Hollow will actually be batshit crazy in a good way (i.e. every thing Zero Hour should have been) vs. in a bad way (i.e. everything Zero Hour was). There's also the frankly rather generous presupposition that the viewing public actually wants undisguised insanity.

That said, I think we'll know whether or not this show has a future on premiere night. It's either gonna soar or bomb. I see no room for "low 2s" in this situation.

As for my picks:
Sampling Sleepy Hollow. If it sucks, fill out another flyer on the hour.

Spot said...

DWTS doesn't have any OMGStarz. I'm only interested in seeing if Brant Dougherty gets skanky outfits, and kinda worried about Valerie Harper's helath. As for CBS, I'm hoping Buffy's new comedy outshines the rest of their lineup (aside from, like, BBT), thanks to overperforming while the others underperform.

Spot said...

I agree with you that Sleepy Hollow should be very easy to call on premiere night.

Spot said...

Mom is probably the safest bet out of the 4 CBS new sitcoms to come back next year. But whether it becomes a powerful hit or a utility player will be the interesting thing to watch (It could also bomb, I just think it is less likely).

Spot said...

I think the show will have a strong procedural element (a la Fringe or Grimm) that should help to reduce the serialized effect. However, I think ultimately FOX will prefer the stability of Bones over the downards trajectory of Sleepy Hollow, especially if both are on the same level of ratings by then already.

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