Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Question, Thursday 9/26/13: Who Wins a Ratings Race Between a Fox and a Robin?


Premiere Thursday features the week's second huge newbie premiere clash between NBC and CBS. This one's even higher-profile than the first as industry legends Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams make their returns to TV. The Michael J. Fox Show and The Crazy Ones won't normally be going head-to-head, but a special one-hour MJF premiere pits them against each other tonight. NBC scored an absolute knockout punch in the first of these two big duels with Monday's The Blacklist, and Fox's show has the critical advantage, but CBS should bring considerably more lead-in weaponry to the table this time with the one-hour season premiere of The Big Bang Theory. Who wins a race between a Fox and a Robin? That's The Question for Thursday, September 26, 2013.


The Big Bang Theory Last Season Parks and Recreation Last Season
5.0 (premiere, 9/27/12)
5.25 (average)
4.8 (finale, 5/16/13)
1.7 (premiere, 9/20/12, 2.2 The Office)
1.62 (average)
1.6 (finale, 5/2/13, 1.9 The Office)

If both these shows had the same situation, I would favor Michael J. Fox, whose health struggles add an additional layer of interest in his corner. But the massive lead-in discrepancy between The Big Bang Theory and MJF's Parks and Recreation lead-in (could be up to four points!) ultimately has to count for something.

Spread: The Crazy Ones beats The Michael J. Fox Show by 0.55 points.

(Reply with "The Crazy Ones" if you think The Crazy Ones BEATS The Michael J. Fox Show by 0.6 points or more, or with "The Michael J. Fox Show" if you think The Crazy Ones BEATS The Michael J. Fox Show by 0.5 points or less OR The Michael J. Fox Show TIES/BEATS The Crazy Ones. Results based on finals to one decimal point.)

(Additional note: If MJF is counted as two separate episodes, I'll just use the 9:00 episode for this comparison. If the whole hour is counted once, I'll consult the half-hour breakdowns to just get the 9:00 portion. Either way, we're just talking about the half-hour where they're head-to-head here.)

No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

38 comments:

Spot said...

As much as I'm rooting for the underdog here, I will be genuinely stunned if MJF even comes within half a point in this match-up.


The Crazy Ones.

Spot said...

The lead-in difference for an half hour show should be brutal. It has to be the crazy ones! if not, I will definitely declare this the season of NBC!

Spot said...

Crazy Ones, even though it must be terrible if Fox's show has the critical advantage.

Spot said...

Definitely Crazy Ones due to that lead-in advantage, unless MJF pleasantly surprises. This one would be hard to predict but let me try my hand at it:


TBBT = 4.7

Crazy Ones = 3.9

2.5 Men = 3.4

Elementary = 2.1



Parks = 1.5

MJF = 3.2

Parenthood = 2.2

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones should easily win. Both had major promotional pushes, but the lead in will probably be the determining factor.

THE CRAZY ONES

Spot said...

The problem w/ your theorem on quality, Mr. Igwell, is that people are overrating MJ Fox cause of him overcoming Parkinson's in Real Life to work on a show where he gets to play Inspirationally Disadvantaged in the exact same vein. Meanwhile, people are assigning the correct rating to (or perhaps underrating, although I highly doubt that) The Crazy Ones because it's just Robin Williams acting like a dingbat like he usually does. (oh and also cause Sarah Michelle Gellar's being underserved again, and that's a trigger for any member of the Buffy Cult)

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones.


If it wasn't for the Big Bang direct lead-in tonight, maybe both would be closer. But MJF is probably going to get healthy numbers for NBC Thursdays, anyway, so I'm happy.

Spot said...

THE CRAZY ONES


Full predictions:


TBBT: 4.9
TBBT 5.3
Crazy Ones: 4.0
2.5 Men: 3.4
Elementary: 1.9


Parks & Rec: 1.3
Parks & Rec: 1.5
MJF: 3.3
MJF: 3.2
Parenthood: 1.7


SHIELD (R): 0.9
Grey's Anatomy: 3.5


The X Factor: 2.3
Glee: 2.3

Spot said...

I think you're too high on both the crazy ones and MJF. If Mom premiered at just a 2.5, I don't see those two breaking the trend in such an obvious way. I also think the x-factor should go lower than that.

Spot said...

I like your reasoning. However, I think critics like really counts for very little. I remember when Grimm was assumed as the worst of the season and counted as DOA even before it premiered.

Spot said...

Mom also had a 2.8 lead-in, while The Crazy Ones should have close to double that.

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones

Spot said...

I'm new to this site, are we talkin' 18-49 ratings or all ratings? If 18-49, I'll go MICHAEL J FOX SHOW, thinkin' crazy one's'll beat it but it'll be within the spread. However if it's total viewers I'll go CRAZY ONES because cbs always does particularly well with the less-than-young.

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones

Spot said...

18-49, and welcome!

Spot said...

OK, here goes.
I reckon MJF out-Trues The Crazy Ones. Spot implies a similar thought. But how do we get a handle on such a different lead-in sitch? Easily! We go back to Tuesday, where Chicago Fire got a 2.7 out of a 4.7 Voice, and New Girl got 2.1 out of a 1.8 Nine-Nine... and out-Trued CF by a tick (2.1-2.0). Similarly, I know it's an older version of True, but I looked at the equivalent numbers for Thursdays when Men was coming off a 5-handle TBBT and Grey's was coming out of ABC's zero hour. October 18 struck me as a good one - Men got a 4.0 out of a 4.8 for a True 3.44, Grey's got a 3.4 out of a 1.7 for a True 3.40. (Those 4.0/3.4 numbers are more in line with what I'd expect out of these much-hyped September launches than the 2.7/2.1 from Tuesday's comparator.)

If TBBT and Parks perform to their finale numbers, this situation is almost exactly the same, barring a tiny bit of unpredictability with skew, and Crazy Ones would probably have to out-True MJF to cover the spread. In practice, though, I think TBBT is going to be carrying a 5-handle this time, because that 4.8 finale was up against the first hour of an Idol finale, and this faces an XF trainwreck round instead. Plus, the CDub competition (which is scarcely less than the NBC/ABC competition in this hour most of the time) is gone, because TVD isn't back yet. That means Crazy Ones can cover the spread even if MJF out-Trues it by a tick or maybe two.

For some reason, though, I think MJF out-Trues Crazy Ones by more than that, especially because it sounds like CBS have ironically decided to promote a comedy set in an advertising agency with a very confused advertising campaign.

So, here goes. The Michael J Fox Show.

I'm almost as terrified of this one as I was of my Survivor and SHIELD picks...

Spot said...

OK, great! I'll go with the riskier choice of J FOX then, despite the general consensus the other way. Gotta be the devil's advocate! I got turned on to the website by a Todd Vanderwerff tweet; and read through a few weeks of archives. It seems really great! Look forward to reading it.

Spot said...

I wholeheartedly agree that what critics think means very little, or else The Following wouldn'tve held its audience like it did.


Which brings me to why I've yet to post an actual guess. Cause I can't get a bead on whether or not either of these is going to be enough of a self-starter to be able to overwhelm the other. After all, if the name value actually works for Williams, it's possible we'll see above 85% retention of the Big Bang rating on premiere night (although I doubt that holds down the season, but that's for another time). Even if it doesn't, Fox needs to translate his own name value into self-starter status just to come anywhere close to the spread laid down by Mr. Spot, and considering that his appearances don't seem to have done much for The Good Wife even in the immediate term, I'm not 100% certain he actually has that cache.

Spot said...

Exactly, I think Mom did good job holding 90% of its lead-in, the fact that the lead-in was rather weak is the other thing.

If The Millers bombs, Mom should get the post TBBT spot - if sampled by more people, it might turn out to be a hit!

Spot said...

I'm going to say The Crazy Ones.


Crazy: 3.5
MJF: 2.7

Spot said...

I understand your reasoning and I agree with you that it is a lot about name power on the battle tonight. The good wife argument is a good one. I am not to confident on it being a long term thing though, go on proved that last year.

Spot said...

While Mom certainly would have done better had 2 Broke Girls done better, just last week B99 built on Dads. It is possible to happen and it should happen especially on premiere night if people really are anticipating a show. I think Mom, and even 2 Broke Girls, show that CBS comedies are now on a softer level (it is a matter of climate). I could be eating crow tomorrow big time but I think a 3.3 or something like that would be a HUGE win for the crazy ones!

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones

Spot said...

Rob! wasn't truly a flop, though, especially compared to HTBAG (which also had the TBBT lead-in, don't forget). It was actually bigger than practically any CBS drama! It's just that, with the lead-in it had, it needed to be bigger than *that*.

Spot said...

Good point... I think Crazy One'sll bascially be Rob! but worse; because rob at least had lots of ads, most of which were good. With Rob you had to tune in to see it was bad, with Crazy Ones I don't think many'll tune in to begin with

Spot said...

I think that a new show, especially a high profile one, can get a 4.0 out of TBBT, which could be in the mid-5's for the 8:30 1/2 hour. Look at The Goldbergs, which got a 3.1 out of a much less compatible 4.7 lead-in. TBBT should be higher than SHIELD, is more compatible with The Crazy Ones than SHIELD was with The Goldbergs, and The Crazy Ones has a little more hype than The Goldbergs.

Spot said...

That's a tough one... I'll go with The MJ Fox Show. I think Crazy Ones will beat it, but will be closer than what everybody is thinking.

Spot said...

The Crazy Ones.

Spot said...

All fair points. Yeah it could happen, you have convinced me of that. But I still don't think it will happen. Let's see! So exciting this week!

Spot said...

Definitely Crazy Ones, although I agree that MJF might look more impressive considering Big Bang will be huge and Parks will probably be pretty weak.

I'd say over a 3.0 would be a good start for Crazy Ones, and over a 2.5 would be good for MJF.

Spot said...

History is on CBS's side, but... I dunno. I'm gonna say The Crazy Ones, BUT it will be close.

Spot said...

Yeah, I think anything below a 3.5 would have to be considered a mild disappointment for The Crazy Ones, given the lead-in and the Robin Williams hype. Anything below a 3.0 would be a near-disaster.

Spot said...

I'll go with The Michael J. Fox Show.
Yes, TBBT is a giant lead-in, but MJF is one of the most anticipated premieres of the year.

Spot said...

After several hours of contemplation, and the realization of just how execrable The Crazy Ones is after just five minutes, I think enough of the post-Big Bang audience is gonna exit stage left, while enough people are gonna delude themselves about just how actual inspirational Michael J. Fox's comeback is that they'll stick out at least the first half an hour and at least beat the spread, if not the actual Crazy Ones rating.


Michael J. Fox Show.

Spot said...

Mork and Buffy....


...er, I mean The Crazy Ones.

Spot said...

The True formula for lead-in says it's a 5-to-1 ratio, which you seem to have roughly arrived at, but I think in a series premiere situation a lead-in has more impact than that. My guess was that the lead-in difference was worth about a point to Crazy Ones. Might be a little more than that, but probably not much. And I gave Fox about a 0.5 "True" advantage, which could well have been a reach, but I just felt like: 1) Fox's promos/Parkinson's angle were more appealing; 2) I could see the promos working better on NBC than Crazy Ones' on CBS; The Voice audience may eat up that heartwarming stuff; and 3) NBC's general momentum this week.

Spot said...

It's going to be *very* interesting to see the True numbers after finals later, that's for sure!

Fair point on the lead-in mattering more for a series premiere, though I'm not sure how much that applies when both of these shows are as presold as these two. We might get an answer in a couple of hours!

Spot said...

I watched The Crazy Ones. I found it abominable. In fact, it was probably about the reaction you had to MJ Fox, except I didn't quit after five minutes. (but I'm most definitely taking that flyer on Thursdays)

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