Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Brooklyn Nine-Nine got off to a pretty good start, with a 2.6 demo that outrated both of Fox's New Girl-fueled premieres from last season (Ben and Kate (2.1) and The Mindy Project (2.4)) even though it had a much lesser lead-in from the Dads premiere (2.2). It comfortably outrated both Dads and The Mindy Project (1.9) within the block. The bad news was that like Dads, it faced virtually nothing: a rebroadcast of Iron Man 2 on ABC (1.0 in the 8:00 hour), CBS' NCIS repeat (1.4) and NBC's The Million Second Quiz (1.1).
In week two, (I'm copying and pasting from the Dads post, in case you can't tell) the competition onslaught came. CBS got over two points stronger with the premiere of NCIS, and ABC/NBC each added over three points with their respective premieres of Agents of SHIELD and The Voice. And Brooklyn Nine-Nine took a huge tumble, dropping 31% to a 1.8. The good news: it remained a few ticks ahead of its Dads lead-in (1.5) as well as the 9:30 comedy The Mindy Project (1.5).
You can argue that a 1.8 demo after Dads and against that onslaught is a much better performance than last year's week two of Mindy, which had a post-New Girl 1.9. And I said renew for that one (though I nearly deferred). I'd agree that this looks better right now. That said, even if it's largely competition-fueled, a 31% drop is still a 31% drop, and with it comes a lot of uncertainty about the future trajectory. Plus, Fox has a lot more comedy backup this year than last, and Sleepy Hollow's success means Fox won't keep this around just to save face. So while I'm leaning renewal here, I want to give myself another week. If it dropped multiple tenths again last night, I could see myself going the other way, but I'll hope for something steadier. Defer.
Even with the SHIELD hype machine dying down considerably on October 1, week three of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a disaster. It dropped a whooping four tenths more to just a 1.4 demo, now just a single tenth ahead of its Dads lead-in (1.3) and actually behind 9:30's The Mindy Project (1.5). There was no reason to defer if I was going to say "renew" after this kind of showing. So: Cancel. That said, despite all the data I still don't count out this show completely. The week three drop was almost too big to be believed, so I could see it bouncing back somewhat when The Voice leaves the hour and SHIELD drops even more. It's not like its Tuesday companions are doing meaningfully better, and I could see Fox liking the show enough to try to give it a better situation. But after the 1.4, I can't honestly say I think that survival is a 50/50 proposition.
"First Two Weeks" is an ongoing experiment to see how often a new scripted show's fate can be predicted by the very earliest data. Here are the picks and lineups for every show this season.