Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter 2014 Best Case/Worst Case, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday

The new year means many new premieres, which also means the return of Best Case/Worst Case! This round covers only the premieres before the end of the Winter Olympics on February 24. Here are the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday premieres, and Thursday/Friday were covered last week.

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

Image The Bachelor Slot Average
Premieres January 6 1.97
Best Case: With CBS' Monday comedy block struggling, the competitive situation on Monday is not really that bad - as we saw with Dancing with the Stars' relatively steady season. Stays even at 2.75, marking one of the show's best seasons in Plus since moving to Monday.

Worst Case:
The Bachelorette took a big drop last summer following a steady season the year before. The Bachelor continues that negative momentum to an even greater extent (since it had an even better season last year). Down 29% to a 1.95, back below DWTS' average.

It is probably due to even out somewhat after last year's major overachievement, and the Olympics and an earlier return from The Voice will make the landscape tougher than last year in the second half of the season. -18% to a 2.25, edging the DWTS Monday average once again.
Slot Orig Avg
Dancing with the Stars
y2y Label
+7% hit2.14 2.21
True Sitch
2.56 +7%
Last Pick Miss
2.26 +22%
2012-13 Slot
Monday 8:00

Image Intelligence (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 7 (Tuesday Preview) 1.20
Best Case: Lost alums have done pretty well moving on to CBS procedurals, and Josh Holloway is the biggest draw to make that leap yet. Unlike Hostages, this show is very on-brand for the eye. Borderline hit: 2.40.

Worst Case:
It has a lot of the same disadvantages Hostages had to deal with: mediocre/incompatible lead-in, strong competition from The Blacklist and Castle. So it's Hostages part two, plus it goes a bit lower since viewing is lower in the spring. 1.15.

Even before the season, I thought Intelligence would do better than Hostages. I was relatively down on Hostages, but not nearly as down as the reality. So obviously it's easier now to say this will do better than Hostages. I'm tempering my expectations somewhat because the lead-in is worse and the competition is fiercer than I'd have thought in the fall, but I still give this a pretty decent shot at success. 1.90.
1.22 1.31

Image Killer Women (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 7 1.30
Best Case: The strongly female-skewing procedurals rarely bomb outright on ABC, even in bad situations; Castle's been a big success, and shows like Women's Murder Club and Body of Proof at least showed a real pulse at the beginning. Builds big from Trophy Wife and gets renewed. 1.65.

Worst Case:
The "executive producer Sofia Vergara" promo angle reeks of desperation; it worked so well for Eva Longoria-produced Ready for Love last year. Ultimately, the competition is tough and the lead-in is terrible and not remotely compatible. Don't overthink it. It pulls WWYD? numbers. 0.87.

Ugh. This would have a real shot as a Dancing with the Stars lead-out, but as a Trophy Wife lead-out? I could see this being another Women's Murder Club that attracts some interest even in a tough spot, but most of that will be 50+ interest. We might end up saying it didn't do that badly given how terrible its slot is, but it will just be a little too far below marginal to make the renewal reach. 1.18.
Lucky 7
1.00 0.94
Primetime: What Would You Do?
0.87 1.01

Image Chicago PD (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres January 8 1.29
Best Case: When it comes to procedurals, In Dick Wolf We Trust. If firefighters could build out of SVU, then surely cops can. Ties Chicago Fire's winter/spring average at a 1.90 and adds another solid piece to the NBC drama stable.

Worst Case:
Chicago Fire worked because the hot firefighters and the soapy angles meshed well with the scandalous appeal of SVU. This is more of a meat-and-potatoes cop show, and those have regularly disappointed in recent years. Mimics Ironside's numbers, but the average drops lower because it has to be left on the air longer. 0.98.

In the middle on this one. It won't pick up quite the same kind of 18-49 heat as ChiFi, but the connections to that show and the Wolf empire will keep it from becoming an Ironside-level disaster. After a decent start, it'll settle a bit behind SVU, which may be enough to stick around. 1.43.
1.05 1.02
Dateline Wed
1.10 1.18

Image Suburgatory Slot Average
Premieres January 15 1.93
Best Case: Welcome home, Suburgatory. Airing here from the start of its season, Suburgs is able to get back to its season one glory days, fully retaining The Middle. And with Idol even less of a factor on Wednesday, The Middle holds up better in the winter/spring. 1.99.

Worst Case:
This show was one of my biggest misses last year. Why? The show is just losing momentum fast. Budget cuts and being held for midseason won't help. Struggles to hold even 75% of The Middle and is canned. 1.33.

The Middle is tracking -12% y2y for the season right now. Keep that up in the winter/spring and it'll average a 1.84 as a Suburgatory lead-in. Suburgs held 90% of The Middle in its late-season tryouts last year, so I'll give it close to that retention again, putting it at about a 1.64. On the bubble!
Slot Orig Avg
Back in the Game
y2y Label
-18% solid1.75 1.50
True Sitch
1.75 +22%
Last Pick Miss
3.25 -34%
2012-13 Slot
Wednesday 9:30

Image American Idol Slot Average
Premieres January 15 (Wednesday Edition) 2.33
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 3.70.

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 2.40.

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. 2.82, down almost 30% more.
Slot Orig Avg
The X Factor Wed
y2y Label
-27% big hit1.79 1.79
True Sitch
3.86 +1%
Last Pick Miss
4.20 -7%
2012-13 Slot
Wednesday 8:00

Image The Following Slot Average
Premieres January 19 (Sunday Preview) 2.49
Best Case: Not only will the post-NFC Championship slot help the show start off better than last year, but the fact that it's getting that slot at all is a good sign for season two creatively. It's up over 10% to a 2.95 and in the mix for top broadcast drama.

Worst Case:
Before a good last couple weeks, this show was really limping to the finish last year. Its Almost Human lead-in will be less reliable, and who knows what will be the lead-in in the second half of the season. And it's got the Olympics and an earlier-returning Voice to muck up the Monday landscape. A one-hit wonder that drops over 30% to a front-loaded 1.75, and Kevin Bacon has had enough.

When the dust settles and the Olympics arrive, this will probably be in the 2.0 range, where it was headed late last season. Inflated a bit by the early weeks, it'll average a 2.25. That's still more than good enough for a third season.
Slot Orig Avg
Sleepy Hollow
y2y Label
hit2.71 2.77
True Sitch
2.54 +4%
Last Pick Miss
2.30 +14%
2012-13 Slot
Monday 9:00

Image Star-Crossed (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres February 17 0.41
Best Case: The CW has an increasingly cohesive brand, and this fits in quite nicely, mixing genre elements with young adult lit romance. The network shores up its fourth night a few months ahead of schedule with a very nice 0.88 from Star-Crossed.

Worst Case:
It may be "on-brand," but so was Cult. CW shows still need some way of attracting attention to get started, and this doesn't really have that in a lead-off role on a tough night. Cult part two at a pathetic 0.25, and Hart of Dixie ends up back on Monday before season's end.

Star-Crossed is the only show on broadcast that premieres against the Olympics, and I doubt that's a good sign. It'll probably get a lot of promotion, so it'll start off a little better than Hart of Dixie's normal mediocre 0.4. But it won't do much/any better by the time it settles. 0.45, which ties last year's The Carrie Diaries average in this slot, and it'll be in the same kind of position as Carrie last year. The CW's increased depth may be its undoing.
Hart of Dixie
0.40 0.43


Spot said...

The only reason I can think of for The CW to debut Star-Crossed during the Olympics would be to air its entire episode order before the end of May sweeps. But it's such a poor argument; The CW must be hoping for Olympics fatigue or think that The Voice will be the bigger draw for the 18-49 women.

I'm a little surprised that ABC didn't schedule a special Tuesday edition of The Bachelor for tomorrow night to give Killer Women a better shot at debuting higher. Those outlier Tuesday eps of last season rated surprisingly well, and even though Body of Proof infamously bombed I think a new show would stand a better chance utilizing that audience.

Surburgatory feels like it's in a race against The Goldbergs for the Wednesday at 8:30 slot for 2014-2015. And Warner Brothers' isn't going to wheel-and-deal for a marginal single-cam sitcom that'll only have 57 episodes by season's end. It needs to relaunch better in season 3, or hope that ABC wants to give it a full season on Fridays after Last Man Standing (even though we're seeing how mixing multi-cam & single-cam comedies isn't working) next season.

Why Intelligence is debuting before the Olympics is a head-scratcher. CBS should have skedded the remaining Unforgettable episodes there so Intelligence would at least have weeks without facing original eps of Castle and The Blacklist. But the Eye won't be less than full-throated in its promotion of the show; if's their The Following of the season.

Spot said...

Star-Crossed is dead before arrival. Thrown to wolves: self-starter on a Monday vs The Voice and whatever ABC Family has on their traditionally strong night. Now, from that tough timeslot for renewal it should:
- either beat BOTH The 100 and The Tomorrow People in ratings
- either beat one of those two + CW airs only 2 hours of new program in fall

Plus, in both cases Hart Of Dixie (probably renewed for syndication reasons) to take Friday 9PM slot in November from summer-premiering ANTM.
Mission impossible. Count Star-Crossed cancelled.

Spot said...

Last year The Middle averaged around 2.1 in the spring after a 2.5 in the Fall. I think The Middle is simply leveling out this year. It is always stronger in the fall. I think now it is leveling out for the spring in the fall.

Spot said...

This midseason entries are terrible to predict, I feel like I could be so much off base. Your ranges aren't actually that big. Anyway, love reading these as always! Thank you so much. Here are my guesses:
- Intelligence: I think you are being way too generous here. Yes, it's Josh Holloway and yes, it's on brand for CBS but those are the only two pluses it will have. It will face terrible competition (from the blacklist to castle to the olympics), a 10pm slot and an incompatible and low rated (especially when HIMYM leaves, when I expect the whole block to feel its absence) lead-in. However, if there was ever a case of me badly wanting to be wrong, this would be it. I hope you are right and I am wrong. I am just not very optimistic. I already thought my numbers were optimistic anyway. Hawaii Five-0 did around a 2.0 last year in the spring here. I say Intelligence is not quite as strong, but not much weaker, I give it a 7.5% disadvantage. Add to that the year to year decline and we get to a 1.65, bearable, but a no brainer out by season's end, very unfortunately. [Side note: I am surprised you haven't even remotely considered the possibility of CBS keeping it permanently on Tuesdays and sending LA to patch up the horrible Monday timeslot]

- Killer Women: Hm... Could it really be that I turned into the pessimistic here? Lucky 7 pulled a 1.0 average with just 2 episodes in the highest viewed weeks of the season with a still high rated lead-in with no Olympics as competition. I do agree that that one was a major flop, bigger than Killer Women will be, but I don't think it will look that much different in raw numbers. This is Olympics filler and it should be judged as so... ABC had plenty of holes to patch if they really wanted to not throw this to the wolves. I say that not being pulled+competition+lead-in+limited appeal to begin with=0.9 and yet another ABC drama flop, bringing us one step closer to firing Paul Lee!
- Chicago PD: I also agree that it will be a somehow middle result, even though I am bit more optimistic here. Chicago Fire had about a 1.9 on the slot a year ago in the comparable winter/spring episodes. I say this one has a slightly harder job because as a cop show, it will be hurt more by CSI than Chicago Fire was; besides, Chicago Fire had what one of the most brilliant pieces of scheduling I've seen a network pulling with NBC avoiding CSI for nearly two months allowing it to grow an audience. On the other hand, Chicago Fire is stronger than it was a year ago (even accounting for the voice inflation), which will mean more people should give this a chance. Ultimately, a 7.5% fall from Fire's year ago numbers, plus year to year decline, all leading up to a 1.56 - fate is up in the air, depending on whether this is front loaded or not.

- Suburgatory: I am so bummed that this show burned out so quickly from the smashing success it was on Season 1. I was on its vault page the other day and seeing how it was regularly beating or trying the Middle was really something. And the sad part is how much I adore this show and feel it's underrated. Anyway, I fear I have excess of optimism here so I actually brought it down a notch from my initial prediction which was 1.75 (equaling Back in the Game's numbers in the lower viewed Spring). I say it doesn't equal them, but it does just a tiny worse. A 1.71 and is probably Friday bound.

Spot said...

To be honest, I don't think it's that big of a deal for the CW to air Star Crossed against the Olympics. I am not sure if the Olympics, even with its huge numbers, will be a bigger problem for the W18-34 this show so badly seeks than the Voice is.Another reason is that they have little else to put there in the meantime. I think they are sort of serious about Hart of Dixie working on Fridays since they are bringing up Whose Line to help it rather than using it in the summer again where it worked so well so they probably want to save enough episodes of it (unless SC really bombs in which case HoD will be needed on Mondays a bit longer). So the alternative would be to burn off Beauty and the Beast episodes which with no lead in and against the olympics feels like 0.2s in the making. Even if it ends up being cancelled, Star Crossed will probably be doing a bit better.

As for Killer Women, I think that what you've just mentioned just shows that ABC thinks of this show as Olympics filler and nothing else. It's just slighly higher on their totem pole than something like The Assets imo...

I have to feel that Suburgatory will still get renewed even if it looses the race against The Goldbergs. Even if it does fall a lot, they need something for that 8h30 Friday slot and this one is perfectly positioned for it (unless The Goldbergs itself grabs the slot).

Spot said...

While I agree that Star Crossed will probably be cancelled, I don't think it's safe to assume that Reign will be renewed just yet without seeing winter and Spring numbers. I think it has done much better than most of us expecting which is causing us to artificially believe it's doing better than it is. If The 100 works, I can definetely see the CW launching new shows out of the vampires empire and using the flash and supernatural to patch up Mondays. In that case, Reign could only be renewed if America's Next Top Model airs entirely in the summer (which is feasible) and if it goes to Fridays. Even then, the CW may decide it's better of simply airing Whose Line for the entire season particularly considering how well it repeated.

Spot said...

But CW will renew 1 or 2 out of Reign, The 100, The Tomorrow People (and technically Star-Crossed too). Because they'll have maximum 3 hours of new program in fall schedule, not more. Not after they got two new players in Arrow and The Originals after long drought.

If it's 2 renewals, Reign is already safe, because it already had beaten The Tomorrow People: after 6 episodes it had huge advantage in W18-34, 0.83 to 0.43 (source: guy that goes under nick "dumont"). With Reign still getting best possible lead-in and TPP lousy one, that gap should only increase.
If fight is for only 1 spot, then for Reign not to be renewed it's spring ratings should collapse in spring The Secret Circle style, plus The 100 to beat it H2H (if Reign collapses, but still beats The 100, it gets pity renewal like TCD and BatB did, but that's still renewal).

All in all, it's so unlikely that it's practically renewed, I give it 99% chances.

Spot said...

I think that if there are 2 renewals, Reign will probably get it (unless it collapses like TSC I agree), but if there is one renewal only all is fair game, depending on how The 100 does. I am not ready to bet on that just yet because I can see the well promoted, Arrow compatible The 100 posting 0.8s late in Spring while Reign is stuck in the 0.5/0.6 area. Then again, I thought TTP would do far better than it ended up doing... My point is that it's too early to make that kind of call.

However, I disagree with the notion that they will need one pitty renewal this year! Last year they needed something to place on Fridays and Mondays but this year they don't need to do that. Unless both Reign and The 100 bomb, I don't see why they would need a pitty renewal for either. The 8pm Friday slot can be given to Top Model in the fall and Whose Line in Spring and is much cheaper that way.

If they do:
Monday: The Flash/Supernatural
Tuesday: The Originals/ New Drama
Wednesday: Arrow/The 100
Thursday: The Vampire Diaries/ New Drama
Friday: America's Next Top Model and Whose Line / Hart of Dixie

Where would the spackle go to? If The 100 works, then Reign really needs to be worth a renewal for more than spackle to be worth it, otherwise they are better served with cheap reality. Same goes for The 100 (as in, I doubt it is renewed AND moved, I think it's either cancelled or renewed and paired with Arrow again.. unless it's a smashing success and is used to relaunch Mondays, which I am not seeing either)

Spot said...

I said there could be one pity renewal, but only in the worst case scenario for The CW. Perhaps it's not clear from my erratic writing style. In this (and only this) scenario they'll need pity renewal: Reign ratings collapses during the spring, while The 100 does no better, or does even worse.

BTW, I think they'll initially put Flash at Wednesday behind Arrow, but with plan to later move it to Monday, perhaps in midseason. First they nurture it a bit behind good, compatible lead-in, and sample ratings a bit. Then, no matter what, they move it to Monday. If Flash ratings are good, it gives them a shot to improve only remaining Mon-Thu weak day. And if they're bad, it opens spot for midseason premiere that might improve Wed 9 PM.

Spot said...

I don't see the CW doing a fall schedule with the intention of later being changed. Besides, they did essentially what I was suggesting with TVD/TO this year. Everyone thought it would go to Thursdays and they had it on its own aided by Supernatural. The plan obviously worked perfectly so why wouldn't they repeat it again? If The 100 is working I don't see why they wold move it (unless, as I've said, it's a smashing success, beating Arrow or something close to it). If it's not working, then maybe they place The Flash there but it will be a considerable tougher job for Supernatural to revamp Mondays all by itself without the support of a strong with a pre-existing fanbase. I guess they could pair it with its own spin-off but I don't really see the spin off being picked up for some reason, I dunno.

As for Reign, I agree then. It only gets a pity renewal if both it and The 100 collapse during Spring. And to be honest, I think there is even an outside chance (albeit small) that if it's a spackle renewal they need they go with TCD or even... Beauty and the Beast. At least Beauty would be closer to syndication so the renewal would have a purpose. I think all is fair game as far as pity renewals go. I don't think the CW will be in such a bad shape though that they will need a pity renewal. I think Reign is likely to be renewed on its own merits and placed on Fridays at 8pm paired with HoD leaving reality to shore up summer. But it all depends on the Spring ratings. I kind of also think they should air it once sans TVD to see what they could count on... I mean, we all knew Beauty would fall a lot but most of us didn't anticipate the extent of the collapse.

Spot said...

No chances for TVD. And absolutely no chances for Beauty and the Beast.

Carrie lost third of its W18-34 viewers, thus losing its sole appeal to a network. From near 0.8 in 2012-13 (which was on par with Supernatural, and not far from Arrow or HoD W18-34) it's barely over 0.5 now.

BatB is even worse, from 0.8 first season's W18-34 it's down to 0.4. Plus, The CW is burning off last 9 episodes in the summer, instead testing if Whose Line It's Anyway is good enough player for airing outside summer. With that (smart, I must admit) move they're acknowledging BatB is dead show walking.

Spot said...

I agree that Beauty and Carrie are likely to be cancelled but I don't see how the CW would be better off sticking with a one year show on Friday instead. With Beauty they would at least get syndication (even if a 4th season is to air on Fridays). I do think this is a long shot though because I don't think both Reign and The 100 will bomb which is what would take for one of Beauty and Carrie to be renewed.

Spot said...

Likely to be cancelled are the shows that still stand some fighting chance for survival. Like The Tomorrow People, The Goldbergs, Nashville, Community, Parks & Recreation, Parenthood, Revolution.

BatB is de facto cancelled, summer burn off means exactly that.

The Carrie Diaries is sure to be cancelled. With its 26 episodes produced it's in no real advantage over one year shows. And what about no backorder and season finale in January, while all 3 rookies got 22 episodes? Which is not coincidence, both Reign and TPP are beating TCD by more than 100% in A18-49, Reign in W18-34 too. Not even Andrew Luck could come back from such a deficit. I mean, if Reign would somehow rate 0.0 (zero) for each episode over the rest of the season, it still would finish with higher than TCD averages.

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