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.
|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.
Likeliest: 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|
|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.
Likeliest: 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.
|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.
Likeliest: 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.
|Monday Night Football||ESPN||9/9||5.38||-8%|
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.