Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Directly leading out of ABC's massive Agents of SHIELD premiere was new comedy The Goldbergs, which posted a very respectable 3.1 demo in its premiere. That was down about a third from SHIELD's 4.7 rating in the 8:30 half-hour. It had about as much competition as SHIELD, facing off against NBC's The Voice (5.1 in the half hour) as well as NCIS: Los Angeles (3.1 at 9:00) and New Girl (2.1).
SHIELD's 30% drop caused reverberations throughout the rest of ABC's all-newbie Tuesday, but The Goldbergs actually didn't drop any more steeply than did SHIELD; its 2.2 demo in week two was down 29%, which was again about two thirds of what SHIELD delivered.
A 2.2 out of a 3.3 is really not that bad; last season's NBC comedy Go On was in this general vicinity with a lead-in north of 4.0 in the second half of last fall, and it got its full season. Suburgatory got renewed after hanging low 2's post-Modern Family for most of the season. So I expect The Goldbergs will get a full season along those same lines unless something really crazy happens in the next week or two. But not even Go On got a season two, and SHIELD is much more of a wild card in the coming weeks than was The Voice. So I'm going to Defer this one and see if SHIELD leveled off somewhat last night.
In week three, SHIELD dropped another 12% to a 2.9, and The Goldbergs dropped another 14% to a 1.9. This was almost exactly what I thought was going to happen; I was hoping for purposes of this prediction that SHIELD would either stay at 3.0+ or be a bit more alarming. So I think I have to default to the direction I was slightly leaning after week two, which was Renew. I think the Go On comparison is fairly apt here, and the tiebreaker for me here is that unlike Go On, the lead-out for The Goldbergs won't have to go on a months-long hiatus. So there may not be any real opportunity for this show to get "exposed"; it could easily air pretty much the whole season after original SHIELD. And I think SHIELD is close enough to leveling off that it keeps The Goldbergs from getting really ugly.
"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.