Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Tuesday 10:00 8.2 15 -11% 15 33.4 10 25% 15

Like most of Tuesday night, the 10:00 hour was filled with disappointment. First, CBS' Vegas was arguably the biggest underachiever of the season. Then came NBC's spectacular flop with season two of Smash. And ABC toiled away all season with low to mid-1's from Private Practice and Body of Proof. This season, two strong returnees in Person of Interest and Chicago Fire move into the hour looking to clean things up.

The Shows:

Image Lucky 7 (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres September 24 1.53
Best Case: The SHIELD halo is so potent that it extends all the way into the 10:00 hour, where some people sample an under-the-radar gem that serves as great counter-programming in a procedural-logged hour. It's able to become ABC's version of Parenthood, a marginal but well-reviewed hanger-on. 1.80.

Worst Case:
The hour may be procedural-logged, but it's also strong-programs-logged. There's no room for an ABC alternative, especially a particularly niche one with a no-name cast. Premieres at 0.9, drops to 0.7 in week two and is pulled. 0.80.

I try to sample almost all scripted shows, out of interest in the industry and because I like at least something in almost every scripted genre. But generally there's a show every season that don't interest me in the least, and I have found those shows almost always turn out to be massive flops. I have no real interest in Lucky 7, so I'm gonna trust that instinct and say nobody else will either. I'm seeing some good reviews which may get me to try it, but getting sampled will still be a major problem. 0.95 and in a battle with We Are Men for first cancellation of the season.
Private Practice
1.36 1.41
Body of Proof
1.38 1.37

Image Person of Interest Slot Average
Premieres September 24 1.63
Best Case: The repeats have held well enough out of NCIS: LA, and its more serialized nature means it brings even more people back in first run. It's more compatible with a procedural than it was with the comedies. It had a better True than LA, so it builds from a higher-end LA at a 2.80, down 3% from last year.

Worst Case:
This show had a much better timeslot than the True metrics gave it credit for. It had a huge lead-in, faced no real procedural competition, and still couldn't do better than even year-to-year. Now it's got a lead-in over a point worse, a lower-viewed 10:00 slot, and an NBC procedural plus Sons of Anarchy as competition. Down 31% to a really underwhelming 2.00.

Most of the rating benefits from CBS' comedy expansion will be reaped in this hour, not in the actual hour where the expansion takes place. I thought POI was stronger than LA and that gap only widened with the 2013 True tweaks (as POI got a bonus for being less compatible with the comedies). LA still has the benefit of its ultra-compatible NCIS lead-in, but I see POI fully retaining the Voice-depressed NCIS: LA demo. 2.45.
Slot Orig Avg
y2y Label
+1% hit1.73 1.42
True SitchGolden Boy
2.75 +5%
Last Pick Miss1.45 1.27
3.20 -10%
2012-13 Slot
Thursday 9:00

Image Chicago Fire Slot Average
Premieres September 24 1.76
Best Case: Chicago Fire's spiked to a 2.2 after The Voice, and that was a special Wednesday episode that did worse than usual. Regularly entrenched with the lead-in, CF absolutely takes off to a slot-winning 2.55.

Worst Case:
This will be just the latest in a very long line of shows to disappoint when it gets a big lead-in upgrade. It's much less compatible here than with SVU. Grimm could only get into the upper 1's after The Voice, and CF won't do any better. Ties Grimm's 1.78, down 3%.

As I said, there are so many examples of lead-in "boosts" providing no help that I hesitate to go really big here. That said, reality shows and procedurals often mix fairly well, and I could see this pairing working better than a less compatible union like Two and a Half Men/Person of Interest. If nothing else, it should at least improve big on some of the bad early fall numbers from last season. I'll give it +15% to a solid 2.10.
Slot Orig Avg
y2y Label
marginal1.83 1.69
True SitchSmash
1.77 +3%
Last Pick Miss0.87 1.02
1.40 +30%Grimm
2012-13 Slot
Wednesday 10:001.78 1.39

The Cable:

ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
Sons of AnarchyFX9/102.31+14%

The Network to Watch: This is a pretty interesting hour for all three networks, but I think I'll take NBC since I believe Chicago Fire has the biggest upside.

The Picks: I've liked what few eps I've seen of Person of Interest but never gotten into it regularly because I've always had a DVR logjam at Thursday 9/8c. If CBS really wanted me to get into it, this was the exact place to put it. I'll give it a shot.


Spot said...

If any hour is going to go positive on a year-to-year basis, I feel like it's going to be this one. And that's a really odd statement to make considering this is a 10:00 pm hour and ABC will probably do worse with Lucky 7 (which should feel lucky if the show gets to air 7 episodes) than PP and BoP.

While I think PoI should have moved to Mondays, a Tuesday move makes sense for two reasons: it was weaker than Mondays and new shows haven't worked the past two years. Putting PoI here is one way CBS is trying not to repeat past follies, the other being not putting new shows on Fridays.

What I'll be more interested in is how Chicago Fire's bump will (spoiler alert to my opinion tomorrow) influence its spin-off Chicago PD, which I'm betting will replace Ironside on Wednesdays.

Spot said...

Chicano, er Chicago Fire is certainly of the most importance to its net, since they're searching for that big procedural that can sustain a lengthy run, and they seem to believe this is it.

POI is also important, though, since this is CBS moving to finally break the Tuesdays @ 10 "mini-curse".

Lucky 7's got "failure" written all over. The ads make it look kinda lurid.

My picks:
POI live, SOA On Demand

Spot said...

This is yet another very interesting hour of broadcast. So much to look forward to this season! I go back and forth a lot on my predictions for POI and CF but here we go:

Person of Interest: I too think it will retain a large chunck LA's audience but I truly believe that LA's audience will have a collapse a la H50 last year as it is tasked with facing the voice. So, because I don't see POI regularly beating its lead-in or fully retaining 100% its audience, I am going with a 2.27. That would be down 22% but I am predicting an overall bad year for CBS dramas, so it wouldn't look as bad as it sounds now.

Chicago Fire: If the question with POI was how much it would fall, here is more how much it can grow. A note that I think might be relevant and that you didn't mention is that, at least for now, the plan is that Chicago Fire won't have the voice support for at least half of the season. NBC being NBC there is a good chance the comedies before it are huge flops so it could bring it down with it. So I am affraid of being too optimistic. This being said, I also think that if that happens, even NBC will figure out that they have to save the show somehow. I think it will have excellent year to year comparisons in the fall and be even or slighly down in spring. My guess is a 2.03. That would be up 11% in raw numbers!

Lucky 7: I think it will flop but I don't think it will bomb as hard as you are expecting it to right out of the gate. Besides, I don't see ABC rushing to replace it. It is a low profile hour and the year to year comparisons won't be that ugly after all. I say it airs all 13, averages a 1.32 and is out.

Network to watch: For your reasoning only, NBC, but I have to say that I am also extremely curious about CBS

My picks: Person of Interest. I did watch the first 8 or so episodes of Chicago Fire and I liked it but I ended up never catching up beyond that so I don't think I will be there this year. Maybe next year

Spot said...

I agree, this is a safe bet to go for when it comes to positive year to year comparisons.

Spot said...

Yes, I didn't think of that with Chicago Fire. I'd probably take 0.1 or so off of the average, though there's still a pretty decent chance that the midseason plan changes if the pairing works well.

I think most of our discrepancy on Lucky 7 can be explained by our even bigger discrepancy on Trophy Wife. If it actually does that well, I could see L7 hitting your number.

Spot said...

Person of Interest is in a bad position. Between its fairly serialized nature, a significantly weaker (though more compatible) lead-in, complete lack of buzz, and no awards love, I do not foresee any growth or even a decent hold. I will stick with the prediction I made after the (ratings-wise) weak season finale and say it goes down 15% to mid-2s, and it can't take another hit like that. Unfortunately, I think it will, and will go four-and-out. That sucks, because it is my favorite show.

Lucky 7 seems like the most interesting case to me, as I don't think it will instatank like many do. It could work as a short-run series of 9 episodes: the win and the immediate aftermath, one on each main character, and the finale. Give a good amount of characterization, and a good selection of rootable heroes and clever villains

Chicago Fire has the highest expectations of the three, having a lead-in that will likely be at least a full point (possibly a point-and-a-half) stronger than its competitors'. I don't think it can afford a soft start. That means a high-2s debut, and I don't

Spot said...

The Syndicate, the UK show that is the basis of Lucky 7, actually *does* work exactly like that, only without the premiere/finale episodes you suggest - it's just one episode per main character. (British series are typically that short anyway. We don't do the US network 22-a-year model.) I've thought all along that Lucky 7 should have been done like that, held on the bench, and used as a quickfire filler for a slot that needs it. It's actually a show where you can easily do the "limited series" promotion for. If it does well enough for renewal? Do a season two with an all-new syndicate! Repeat until cancellation!

Now it looks as though *it* will be the show that needs filling in for.

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