Friday, October 11, 2013
Robin Williams' return to TV went rather nicely as The Crazy Ones premiered on premiere Thursday to a 3.9 demo, easily the highest-rated comedy premiere of the season. It won a tough 9:00 half hour against Grey's Anatomy, The Michael J. Fox Show and Glee. But it owed a lot of credit to its absolutely enormous lead-in from the second half of a one-hour The Big Bang Theory premiere (6.1 at 8:30).
The Crazy Ones took a steep one-point or 26% week two drop to a 2.9. But if lead-in was a factor on premiere night, it was also a big factor in the week two drop; CBS replaced The Big Bang Theory with The Millers, which premiered at a 3.3 demo. That means The Crazy Ones' lead-in was down by a whooping 2.8 points week-to-week! While CBS Thursday has the same kind of momentum it's always had (Big Bang starts big and everything else declines from there), The Crazy Ones actually bled the least from show to show of anything on the network.
The True metric, which can be useful in these situations, says The Crazy Ones dropped 17% in week two. And True likely underestimates the importance of lead-ins in the very early weeks of a new show's run. In other words: the week two drop was arguably no worse than should've been expected. I also think this show has a lot of external stuff going for it; namely, it stars a very big name, and CBS badly wants to get into the single-cam comedy business. This looks like it might be their best bet in quite some time at actually establishing something there. It skews surprisingly old by comedy standards, meaning its audience may be less fickle going forward. The big drop makes this a deferrable type of situation, but I think that (like with SHIELD) it's just a little too far above marginal for me to reasonably expect to lean in the cancel direction after just one more week. I may regret it, but Renew.
"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.