Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Wednesday 10:00 8.6 13 -11% 14 33.0 12 26% 13

Wednesday 10:00, like the Wednesday 9:00 hour that preceded it, was one of those rare hours in which every network was on the map. Though Nashville was a ratings disappointment, failing to live up to the previous season's occupant Revenge, it still did well enough to score a reasonably comfortable season two renewal. And NBC had one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the season as Chicago Fire proved a great match with Law and Order: SVU and heated up in the second half of the season.

The Shows:

Image Nashville Slot Average
Premieres September 25 1.60
Best Case: Nashville ended the season with a couple nice upticks in a row, priming it for a sophomore bounce. It's the Scandal of 2013-14, pulling upper 1's in the fall before growing into the mid-2's late. 2.30, up by 23%.

Worst Case:
It had its chance for some heat early in 2013 and blew it, dropping back into the 1.6-1.7 range. That's all that shows up early in the season, then it takes another big drop into the low 1's in the second half. 1.40, down by 25%, and done after two seasons.

One area of concern here is the 9:30 lead-in, which looks like a potential disaster. One positive area is the competition, which I see being weaker on both the CBS and the NBC fronts. Combining those, I don't see it falling apart, and I don't see it being quite distinctive enough to pull a Scandal. Give it -11% to a 1.66 and a probable season three renewal.
Slot Orig Avg
y2y Label
marginal1.87 1.74
True Sitch
1.74 +8%
Last Pick Miss
2.46 -24%
2012-13 Slot
Wednesday 10:00

Image CSI Slot Average
Premieres September 25 2.07
Best Case: Nashville weakens and, most importantly, the NBC competition is much less potent. ChiFi took a big chunk of CSI last year, and CSI gets some of that back this year (at least in Plus) dropping 4% to a 2.21.

Worst Case:
This CBS lineup, now in its third year, is just getting stale, and the drops from Criminal Minds and CSI last year were proof of it. CSI loses another 22% to a 1.79 and gets moved to Friday or Sunday next season.

As I said with Criminal Minds, I see this lineup "evening out" a bit from last year's underachievement. A projected weaker NBC is a big part of that, especially in this hour. 2.07, down 10%, and it generally has an easier time beating the other broadcasters this year. I'm guessing it gets one more season on Wednesday if only because I see the 10:00 hour becoming a bit of a mess on CBS outside of Tuesday/Wednesday.
Slot Orig Avg
y2y Label
-16% solid2.30 2.06
True Sitch
2.06 +12%
Last Pick Miss
2.43 -6%
2012-13 Slot
Wednesday 10:00

Image Ironside (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres October 2 1.85
Best Case: With Chicago Fire, NBC finally re-discovered how to approach procedurals. Now that they're no longer going after the "next great cop show," they have something viewers can connect with, and Ironside is another perfect example. And Blair Underwood has a stronger presence than anyone on ChiFi. Actually matches Chicago Fire's average at a 1.83 and cruises to renewal.

Worst Case:
The soapy elements of Chicago Fire made it a great combo with SVU, but this is just a bland crime-solver that will skew much older. (SVU is a relatively young-skewing show compared to most procedurals.) 1.01 and replaced pretty early in the fall.

This seems like something that might have worked in the Blue Bloods slot after CSI: NY a few years ago, but I see it skewing too old here to get a ton of help from SVU. It may match the SVU overall viewership, but it'll be several tenths weaker in the demos by the time the dust settles. Averages a 1.15 and is out at midseason.
Chicago Fire
1.83 1.77

The Cable:

ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
Duck DynastyA&Eongoing4.48+56%
American Horror StoryFX10/21.44-10%
South ParkComedy9/251.13-26%
The LeagueFXXongoing0.48-9%
It's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaFXXongoing0.46-32%

The Network to Watch: Torn between ABC's sophomore and NBC's lower-priority newbie, but I think I'm gonna take NBC in a close one. As I said, I don't see Nashville doing anything too exciting in either direction.

The Picks: Sunny on FXX, and likely to stick with Nashville.


Spot said...

Looking at all of NBC's new Fall shows, Ironside feels the most like a placeholder (a la The Mob Doctor) for the show NBC really wants to put here, in this case Chicago PD. But when exactly it happens is the question. Can Ironside, or any new show, bomb out hard enough this fall to force NBC's hand on yanking a show for a midseason newbie? The Winter Olympics essentially give NBC a reset button so does the acceptability level fall for the Fall?

I think there was more overlap between Nashville and Chicago Fire than we think, so Nashville will probably even out to its later-season numbers. And the split season scheduling may help here.

I'm eschewing from broadcast for this hour and picking South Park & American Horror Story: Coven.

Spot said...

I don't see what the real point of Ironside is, especially since the critical mass is saying it's idea of "affirmative action storytelling" is to say, "this guy can abuse prisoners every bit as easily as Jack Bauer even though he's in a wheelchair!".

I think the bud is off the rose as far as Nashville goes. People know that Paul Lee wants to drain any "next-level" elements in favor of the same generic soap on the rest of ABC's lineup. And they're already not buying the rest of it.

CSI may well be the benefactor of the other nets' bungling. Or maybe it'll just keep tumbling too. I really can't tell.

My pick:

Spot said...

I feel like this is probably the safest Monday-Thursday 10pm hour to predict!

CSI: I agree that not facing Chicago Fire will help but I think there was some real decline towards the end of last season. Then again, those declines typically don't matter as much to procedural as they do for serial dramas. I say it is down in raw numbers, but falls less than the league average. A 2.10, pretty much in line with yours

Ironside: I will be so surprised if this one is still around spring. I thought there was a somehow chance for Chicago Fire a year ago. A small, pessimistic chance but there was one. This year, I feel like even though there is obviously a chance, it is sooo small. Still, I don't see any upside in pulling it before the olympics unless it bombs do no harm style and I doubt it happen with svu there, becaus there still should be some compatibility. 1.18, thirteen and out

Nashville: I am actually surprised you did a raw numbers growth in the best case scenario. I see very little potential for a Scandal here. I think Scandal really was one of a kind because it only aired 7 episodes in its first year. In many ways, last year it was its first season. Nashville is in a different situation. Any buzz it might have had last year due to the critics bashing all over it is gone (not that they dislike it, but they are more busy hypying this year's shows) and I expect the lead-in to be way worse than it was last year. Plus league average decline. Plus sophomore decline. I do however believe that Chicago Fire was hurting it way more than we thought, so for that I will give it some room and give it a still worse than yours 1.46.

Network to watch: Because I think Ironside is such a clear thing in terms of what will happen with it (and yeah I could be 100% wrong but that's how i feel right now), I will go with Nashville.

My picks: American Horror Story! Later, The Americans! No broadcast for me at this hour

Spot said...

Agree with both points! I think Nashville was hurt more by Chicago Fire than we thought but I still say it has too much going against it this year for that to make that much of a meaningful difference. As for NBC, I don't see the upside of pulling Ironside unless it bombs a la do no harm and honestly I doubt that happens, because it is still a procedural so it should get a decent number out svu that can ensure the 13 somehow. I mean, the chance of putting an unpromoted drama there come november and it working are so slim. Hannibal would be a possibility but it won't be ready by then I think.

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