Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall 2013 Best Case/Worst Case, Monday 10/9c

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Monday 10:00 9.4 9 -3% 2 34.1 9 28% 11

Monday 10:00 was the second-healthiest hour of the week even as CBS' Hawaii Five-0 took a significant year-to-year dip in season three. ABC held up well in the hour (at least compared to 8:00 and 9:00) thanks to a good year from Castle, but most of the hour's #2 ranking can be attributed to the significant growth over on NBC. Revolution made massive improvements on shows like The Playboy Club and Rock Center in the fall, and even when it fell off big in the spring, it was still doing at least the same numbers as last year's Smash.

The Shows:

Image Castle Slot Average
Premieres September 23 1.98
Best Case: Most season averages are frontloaded, but Castle actually had better numbers in the winter/spring once the Revolution dust settled. And to go -12% while Dancing with the Stars was down 25%+ indicates it's not mooching off that audience as much. Maintains the 2.04.

Worst Case:
Its numbers held up a little better last season because of additional exposure on TNT, but now it's going back into lock-step with DWTS. And that's not a good thing as that franchise continues fading by 20%+ per season. Down 24% to a 1.55.

Normally this would be a candidate to even out after overachieving last year. (-12% is usually not "overachieving," but for Castle it was in the face of DWTS' collapses.) But I see the departure of Hawaii Five-0 making this show a little better positioned as a light procedural alternative. Its lead-in's struggles make it unlikely to truly "hold up," but I've got it at another -12% to 1.79.
Slot Orig Avg
y2y Label
-12% marginal2.04 1.99
True Sitch
1.99 +3%
Last Pick Miss
2.08 -2%
2012-13 Slot
Monday 10:00

Image Hostages (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 23 2.09
Best Case: Under the Dome "warmed up the timeslot," as they say, for limited series or event series or whatever they're calling them these days. If Under the Dome could average around a 2.7 in the summer, why not Hostages in the regular season with a higher-profile cast? 2.70.

Worst Case:
Last year, CBS greenlit just one comedy, which meant its comedy development suuucked. Same situation here with drama. And there's a lot to dislike about the timeslot. This darker option is incompatible with the comedies, and it goes head-to-head with a better-reviewed newbie that has a better lead-in. Averages a 1.50 and is never seen again after its 15-episode fall run.

I have a bad feeling about this one. I doubt it's going to have as much appeal out of the box as Under the Dome, it's off-brand for CBS, the reviews are uninspiring, the lead-in (while perhaps potent) won't help much, the competition is unfavorable, and I have questions about the sustainability for 15 episodes. That's a lot of negatives. I'm giving it a 1.72, basically taking the same trajectory as last year's Vegas, and it's cancelled after midseason occupant Intelligence does a little better.
Hawaii Five-0
2.09 2.02

Image The Blacklist (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 23 2.04
Best Case: It's the white-hot, best-testing drama pilot in the last six centuries! It premieres close to Revolution and holds up much better over the course of the season, as NBC finally reaps the benefits of putting a largely procedural show after The Voice. 3.03 and the top 10:00 show on broadcast.

Worst Case:
As a lead-out of The Voice, The Blacklist lacks the built-in appeal of a Revolution or the compatibility of a Smash. It only manages about a mid-2's premiere and quickly unravels creatively, settling at mere mid-1's. 1.70 and out of the hour at midseason.

If you're expecting this show to strut in and blow away Revolution's numbers, you might be underestimating what Revolution actually accomplished last fall. I doubt The Blacklist has Revolution numbers at the start. But I'll show at least a little faith in the testing/reviews and say it holds up better across the season than Revolution. It averages a 2.48, a bit below Revolution, but we feel better about it at the end of the season than we did about Revolution.
2.64 2.07
1.29 1.15

The Cable:

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

The Network to Watch: NBC. The Blacklist is a more important part of NBC's fall slate than Hostages is of CBS' fall slate.

The Picks: Trying both of the new dramas.


Spot said...

Well, sure it's more important when CBS has like the majority of the successful scripted shows, and NBC has none.

Spot said...

I thought Hostages had good reviews as well, even though not as great as The Blacklist.

I also think TB won't premiere as huge as Revolution did, but I suppose it will hold up better. I guess it might have a similar trajectory to The Following (without rising in week two, of course).

CBS promoted the hell out of Hostages and managed to create a buzz around it. I think it cant do worse than H5O did last season - it had no buzz, had a (probably) weaker lead-in, it faced Revolution which certainly was stronger than TB will be in the early fall and it didn't make Castle fans dislike it ;)

Thats a lot of positives, I'd go with 2.1-2.3 average for Hostages and about 2.5 for TB.

Spot said...

With CBS picking up so many comedies for this year, we attributed that to preparing for HIMYM leaving, trying to find a new Big Bang lead-out, and expanding to a fourth comedy hour. Lost in that shuffle was how bad drama development went at CBS in that cycle. If sure-fire properties like NCIS: Red and Beverly Hills Cop couldn't get a pick up, then I'm betting they were worse than the buzz suggested. Executives had to have gotten a hint of that when The Mentalist was renewed so early. Under the Dome at least shows that CBS can attract an audience that likes serialized dramas, but how much of that was attributed to high-profile names in writing and producing (Stephen King & Steven Spielberg) backing it?
I'm sticking with Castle for the hour as my pick.

Spot said...

I'm slightly colder on The Blacklist. I agree that it will premiere lower than Revolution's monster early numbers but do solidly in fall, but I'm just not totally convinced the premise is sustainable without it seeming completely silly.

I'm not sure what to make of Hostages. It's the Mob Doctor, only with actual non-inane stakes, a non-ridiculous name, a good marketing campaign and on a stronger network. It's also the type of serialised show that will fall apart and it's off-brand (although not insanely so), all of which make it quite appealing. I could see it surprising but I could also see it premiering low and completely falling apart both ratings-wise and creatively, like a lot of other high-concept serialised shows.

Spot said...

I don't really see how Hostages is anything but wretched and a failure. Under The Dome at least had the advantage of "It's Stephen King, b__ch!" All the ads keep making me go, "Why is this a TV show? It would work so much better as a movie!"

I wouldn't be wrong in saying The Blacklist has been hyped to heaven and back, right? Given that, and my own excitement for it, I say it at least starts well, w/in 25% of Revolution's year-ago. Where it goes from there depends on if it's really as awesome as NBC is saying it is.

I get the feeling that Likeliest is a very doable number for Castle, if only because of anecdotal evidence like my roommates finding it this summer due to its kudzu-like spread across TNT's weekday schedule. Course, a lot of that depends on how many of those new eyeballs are aged 18-49.

Spot said...

Castle: I don't see why it would derail all of the sudden after having such a solid season numbers wise. Not facing a fellow procedural can only help too and I think we might be underestimating that effect. I think it will drop less than the league average, but it still drops a bit in raw numbers. 1.89, -7%, with more upside than downside potential

The Blacklist: We have almost the same number. I have it at 2.49. I do believe it will be a stronger show than Revolution was in A18-49 terms and also that it will be less impressive in the fall but more impressive in the spring. This assumes all the critics in the world are right and the show is actually very good.

Hostages: This is the hardest one to call out of the three imo, but I just don't see it ending well. Under the Dome is the only factor that makes me undecided, and also to a smaller extent the fact that CBS has been promoting the show like crazy. Still, I don't think it will match H50's A18-49 numbers, but it shouldn't be that much lower either. With the average league decline on top of that, my guess is an underwhelming 1.89, with stronger numbers on opening weeks than ending weeks.

Network to watch: NBC, for the exact same reason as you
My picks: The Blacklist and Castle later on (probably summer). A very loose maybe on Hostages, but most likely no.

Spot said...

Yeah it is still puzzling how much the bar probably was in terms of CBS dramas. However, I am still somehow annoyed that they let Intelligence for midseason, even if not facing the initially likely inflated blacklist might be good.

Spot said...

That is all true but H50 also had a built-in fanbase. Returning shows' audience is much less volatile than new shows, which is why the networks will trust an older show more to keep its numbers than a new one.

Spot said...

I want to be a bit more optimistic about Hostages. Good lead cast, seen it promoted a lot during Big Brother and it looks good to me, anticipating this one slightly more than The Blacklist but will be giving both a shot.

Spot said...

I pretty much agree with you for the two new shows; not so much Castle. I think it'll only be down 7 or 8%—it has a few factors in its favor.

Network to watch: Definitely NBC.

My picks: I'll be watching Castle & The Blacklist

Spot said...

The Blacklist is the most exciting show of the three, to me. Spader's won multiple Emmys. It looks to have a lot of action. If people get into the concept, it could be a big success. I say it debuts in the high-3s, and settles into the low-3s in the fall. It would definitely help if

I'm not a big fan of dramas coming after a bunch of comedies, but Hostages feels like an especially odd duck to me, a high-concept, very serialized short-run show coming after CBS's broad comedies. Beverly Hills Cop would have fit perfectly here. I'm not expecting much, critical acclaim or no. Debuts in the mid-2s. Ends in the mid-1s. Basically Vegas's trajectory.

Castle isn't going to grow, but with it doing better in syndication I expect it to only drop 2% year-to-year to the high-1s. I don't know if it will get renewed or not. It must be getting expensive now.

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