Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winter 2014 Best Case/Worst Case, Thursday/Friday


The new year means many new premieres, which also means the return of Best Case/Worst Case! This year, the Winter Olympics somewhat complicates winter scheduling for the broadcasters, and a lot of premiere dates are still TBD. I'm assuming the still TBD stuff won't show up till after the Olympics (though I may have to do an emergency post if not). For now, we'll just visit the premieres through the end of the Winter Olympics, hitting the Thursday/Friday premieres today and the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday ones on Monday. There will be another Best Case/Worst Case round for the late February/March period starting the day after the Olympics (Feb. 25).

If you're new to Best Case/Worst Case, here's what all the numbers mean.


Image The Taste Slot Average
Premieres January 2 1.93
Best Case: The Taste was a surprisingly appealing concept when it first aired last year, and it gets a couple weeks to air against basically no unscripted competition. Two-hour episodes mean more time for the audience to growth through the telecast. Premieres very close to last year's 2.1 and holds up better, averaging a 1.70.

Worst Case:
It dropped from that 2.1 all the way to a 1.2 for its last couple weeks. That's rejection, and it'll be lucky to get back to that 1.2 again for the premiere. 0.92.

Likeliest:
ABC's winter Thursday lineup feels like something that would normally air in the summer, and it'll probably post ABC summer-esque ratings. It'll be passable as winter filler, but that's about it. 1.20, and might eke out another surprising renewal for a low-priority period.
Slot Orig Avg
2.04
1.61Occupants
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
y2y Label
marginal1.05 1.14
True SitchGrey's Anatomy
1.44 +12%
Last Pick Miss2.81 2.96
1.35 +19%
2012-13 Slot
Tuesday 8:00

Image The Assets (NEW!) Slot Average
2.90
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 2 3.09
Best Case: The Scandal audience wants something to watch, I guess? That's really the only positive angle I can come up with. Premieres surprisingly well and on average holds all of The Taste at 1.20.

Worst Case:
It's hard to see it getting down to NBC's Crossing Lines numbers since it should have a somewhat OK lead-in, but it could be close; ABC just picked this co-production up a couple months ago and really doesn't seem interested in promoting it. 0.57.

Likeliest:
Maybe I'm missing out on a real diamond in the rough here, but this seems like it'll have a real uphill battle. Should post the same kind of number we usually see from cheap co-productions in the summer. 0.73.
Occupants
Scandal
3.06 3.12

Image Community Slot Average
Premieres January 2 1.70
Best Case: This show has made a habit of premiering somewhat unbelievably well. Given it has a really good reason to do so this time (creator Dan Harmon's return), this could happen again. And all indications are that this has improved the show creatively, which could help it hold up better. Give it a 1.54, returning to its season four average, making #sixseasonsandamovie a reality without much of a sweat.

Worst Case:
With The Office gone, there's a large subset of this audience that isn't even aware NBC is airing comedies anymore. If Parks and Rec can be down about 30% year-to-year, it could get almost as bad for Community. 0.92 and finally dunzo.

Likeliest:
"Zombie Community" took the smallest year-to-year drop of any NBC comedy last year. Maybe that means it'll do much better this year. But my guess is it just means the showrunner changes don't make nearly as much of a difference Nielsen-wise as they do in the TV media. It'll drop a little less, but not much. -12% to a 1.09.
Slot Orig Avg
1.34
1.24Occupants
Parks and Recreation
y2y Label
-19% flop1.17 1.30
True Sitch
1.48 -16%
Last Pick Miss
1.24 -0%
2012-13 Slot
Thursday 8:00

Image Enlisted (NEW!) Slot Average
0.64
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 10 0.68
Best Case: It holds all of Raising Hope or maybe even builds a bit in the early weeks, prompting Fox to try... something. Maybe, it just flips with Hope to get the direct Bones lead-in, or maybe it's tried out on Sunday/Tuesday somehow. 1.00.

Worst Case:
It's like Raising Hope except that nobody knows it exists. So it drops substantially from that show's already pathetic audience. 0.47 and pulled after three episodes.

Likeliest:
Man, this scheduling sucks. Even if it can stay within a tick or so of Raising Hope, that still makes it a huge flop. I think it will manage to do that, simply because it would be pretty hard not to, but it will be tough to justify giving it another shot at this level. 0.60.
Occupants
Raising Hope
0.68 0.93

Image American Idol Slot Average
Premieres January 16 (Thursday Edition) 1.61
Best Case: The show has been diluted by Fox airing The X Factor in the fall. The good news is that nobody's really watching X anymore, hence no chance to get fatigued. Combine that with the return of some old reliable judges, and Idol manages a stabilization reminiscent of what Dancing with the Stars pulled off this fall. -5% to 3.50.

Worst Case:
The bleeding only accelerated down the stretch of Idol's last season, including a -44% finale. And the slippage got truly ridiculous on The X Factor this season. That'll continue on Idol. An empire is crumbling, and no amount of tweakage is gonna change that at this point. Down nearly 40% to a 2.25.

Likeliest:
This franchise is a bit more robust than The X Factor, so perhaps it won't drop to quite the same extreme extent. But there's very little reason for optimism in Fox music land, and dealing with the Winter Olympics will be tough. 2.60, down almost 30% more.
Slot Orig Avg
1.53
3.68Occupants
The X Factor
y2y Label
-25% big hit1.68 1.80
True Sitch
3.87 -5%
Last Pick Miss
3.86 -5%
2012-13 Slot
Thursday 8:00

Image Rake (NEW!) Slot Average
1.68
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 23 1.61
Best Case: Fox has found the show to recapture that magical American Idol/House dynamic. Unfortunately, it finds an Idol that is wayyyyy past its prime, but it pretty much holds its whole lead-in in a great slot for drama counter-programming. 2.60 and yet another new drama success for Fox.

Worst Case:
Back in the day, it was hard to know what to make of a show that would hold 40% of Idol, since that show's ratings towered so far over everything else. These days, the verdict for that kind of retention will be more obvious. 1.15 in this slot, and Fox finds something new for the hour in the spring.

Likeliest:
Like Fox's last newbie Almost Human, I just don't have much of a read here. Greg Kinnear seems like a potentially legit TV star, but I dunno if this concept will hook the Idol audience of 2014. I'll say a 1.70, marking a slight improvement on what Glee would've done, and another marginal show.
Occupants
Glee
1.60 1.70

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