Friday, November 8, 2013

First Two Weeks, Dracula

Ever since NBC started going genre on Friday, the week before Halloween has been a consistent high point. And it happened again in 2013, as Grimm returned at a solid 1.8 demo and the new series Dracula fully retained its demo rating with its own 1.8 demo. That won the 10:00 hour against 20/20 (1.5) and Blue Bloods (1.3). Even the established Grimm has only gotten this high on Friday a handful of times, so this was a very good start.

But with the Halloween halo out of the way, NBC's lineup came way back to earth in week two. Grimm was down three ticks to a 1.5, and Dracula dropped a severe 28% to a 1.3. The shows might have been able to partly blame the disastrous vampire-themed NBC News special at 8/7c (0.7).

The 1.8 premiere created high expectations, and the 1.3 week two means that it might already be falling short of some of those expectations. However, let's take a breath: in a world where the league average for 2013-14 may end up around 1.9, a 1.3 on Friday is still a decent number. Throw in the fact that it's NBC and it's a cheap co-production and we can probably upgrade that to "good." I thought before the season that it would stabilize around a 1.1 and quite possibly still get renewed, and that's by no means out of the question. If that's the level, it may come down to how Crossbones does in the same slot later in the season, but I would think NBC would have some interest in continuing this cheap genre drama theme on Friday. But while the 1.3 might be an "underrated" performance, it is still down 28%, so by no means is 1.3 necessarily where it'll be two months from now. It may have some cushion, but it could easily use it all up next week. I will Defer and see what happens next week.

A couple weeks late to the party here, though my comments after week three should make it pretty clear which way I was leaning. It might have been a bit of an overreaction, because it's pretty hard to gauge what the deal is with international co-productions, as evidenced in recent renewals for seemingly clear cancels like Hannibal and Motive. But it's not like no co-production ever has been cancelled. I think at this point it has to rely on Crossbones (and maybe even Hannibal?) doing worse and NBC finding nothing in development that it likes for this slot, and that seems like a less than 50/50 proposition. Cancel.

"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.

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