Friday, March 7, 2014

Best Case/Worst Case, Mid-March 2014: Resurrection, Believe, The 100 and More!


Best Case/Worst Case returns today to preview the next nine shows premiering on broadcast, spanning from this Sunday (March 9) through two weeks from this Sunday (March 23). BC/WC will be back in roughly three weeks to hit the very end of March (Surviving Jack, Friends with Better Lives) and into April.

Image Resurrection (NEW!) Slot Average
2.09
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 9 1.63
Best Case: This show has one of those simple, universal concepts (what if someone you lost returned?) that has real potential to open big. And unlike the scores of new shows ABC has thrown under the bus this season, they're actually kind of trying with Resurrection. It got a ton of Academy Awards promotion. Throw in the fact that it's a good show, and ABC Sunday is resurrected. 2.65.

Worst Case:
Nope. Sunday at 9/8c opposite The Walking Dead is just way too tough for a broadcast drama. It's gotta do a bit better than some of the shows that ABC badly sabotaged, but not by much. A Betrayal-esque 0.90.

Likeliest:
The concept and promos feel like a potential big win to me, but Sunday against TWD may just be a difficult to impossible frontier at this point. I'm also worried about this concept being sustainable. In the end... my gut says to be optimistic. So after a strong start, it ends up settling with roughly full retention of Once. That'd be good enough for a season two, but low enough to be worried about it sustaining the success in season two. 1.85.
Occupants
Revenge
1.62 1.59

Image Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (NEW!) Slot Average
4.29
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 9 2.23
Best Case: This is like nothing on broadcast TV in a very good way. But it's not like Fox is taking a total shot in the dark here; previous lavish documentary efforts in the same vein have brought sizable audiences to cable networks. And this is an even bigger stage, so something huge is possible. 2.70.

Worst Case:
This is like nothing on broadcast TV, and there's a reason for that. It's a niche effort that should've been relegated to one of Fox's many middling cable networks. On Fox, it's a huge disaster that strongly suggests the network is giving Seth MacFarlane too much leeway. And the pairing with raunchy animated comedies is completely senseless. 0.70.

Likeliest:
Man, we are really starting this off with a couple of tough shows to read. As with Resurrection, almost nothing would surprise me here. There's some relatively recent precedent for this kind of show having commercial success, and the reviews are great, but it's still a gamble. I'm going to say a 1.61 average, retaining nearly 80% of what Family Guy does at 8:30, but that's a totally wild guess.
Occupants
Family Guy
2.53 2.43
American Dad!
2.01 1.86

Image Believe (NEW!) Slot Average
6.14
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 10 (Monday Preview) n/a
Best Case: It's the same kind of show as the competing Resurrection, except it has one key advantage; a preview with a The Voice lead-in. The concept and heavy Alfonso Cuaron name-droppin' scores it a high-end Blacklist rating on Monday, and it brings about two thirds of that to Sunday. 2.20 and a lock for the fall 2014 sked.

Worst Case:
Biggest difference between Resurrection and Believe? At least from the promos, I get Resurrection's premise and I can't really figure out what Believe is about. A disappointing showing after The Voice will hint at similar confusion among the audience, but it'll be totally confirmed when it's DOA on Sunday. 0.80.

Likeliest:
The fact that it's getting the Voice preview suggests it's probably a better bet than Crisis, but I don't see either half of this Sunday pairing doing much. The Voice sampling may get it off to a not-awful start on Sunday, but it won't settle meaningfully above a 1. Something's gotta be a loser in the Sunday 9/8c newbie battle, and I'm least excited for this one. 1.25 and dunzo.
Occupants
Sunday Night Football
7.85 7.52

Image Hell's Kitchen Slot Average
Premieres March 13 1.91
Best Case: Last season, Hell's was asked to duel with The Voice and lead into relatively incompatible comedies. This time, there's no reality competition, and it may benefit somewhat from the pairing with American Idol (even if it's airing before it rather than after). Sign me up. 2.15.

Worst Case:
It was down 21% last year, and a big chunk of that was because it's just a better summer show. The viewers will continue to flee in the regular season portion of the season. Another -21% to 1.62.

Likeliest:
The show premiered in the exact same week last year, so almost an identical percentage will fall in the regular season. That part is a wash. I expect about a league average decline. The competition is a bit more favorable, but Thursday is a bit lower-viewed than Tuesday. Down 10% to a 1.84.
Slot Orig Avg
2.16
2.05Occupants
The X Factor Thu
y2y Label
-21% marginal1.68 1.80
True SitchAmerican Idol Thu
2.33 -12%
Last Pick Miss3.16 3.33
2.20 -7%
2012-13 Slot
Tue 8:00, Thu 8:00

Image Crisis (NEW!) Slot Average
6.15
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 16 2.00
Best Case: There was a long period across which these basic action shows just couldn't work on NBC because there was no base audience. Now that the network has some respectable dramas, that has changed. This kind of thing can post decent retention out of an overachieving Believe. Averages a 1.50, but NBC is so stocked with drama options that even with these numbers it's not an easy renewal.

Worst Case:
Maybe NBC has a better base audience nowadays, but none of it's gonna have any reason to be watching the network on Sunday nights. With these shows leading out of Dateline, huge disaster is on the way. 0.65.

Likeliest:
This looks kind of like The Blacklist, except minus the two things that actually made it work: James Spader and help from The Voice. Unless Believe does well, I don't see this igniting enough interest to get out of the gate respectably. And it may not even happen if Believe does all right. 0.86.
Occupants
Sunday Night Football
7.85 7.52

Image Dancing with the Stars Slot Average
Premieres March 17 2.01
Best Case: The year-to-year bleeding slowed almost to a halt in the fall season. This season will be even better creatively, and many a DWTS spring season has actually outrated the corresponding fall season. So let's give it an even 2.29.

Worst Case:
The fall season overachieved largely because it got a head start on The Voice's return, a benefit this season won't have. And the fall cast had a lot more people that I've heard of than this one does. Back to the 20%+ declines for Dancing. 1.77.

Likeliest:
The fall season was a bit of a pleasant surprise. Keeping up that pace will be difficult in the spring, especially without that all-important head start on The Voice. Still, I can buy that this franchise may have gotten past its days of really alarming bleeding, at least for now. It goes -11% to a 2.05.
Slot Orig Avg
2.13
2.29Occupants
Dancing with the Stars Fall
y2y Label
-23% solid2.14 2.21
True SitchThe Bachelor
2.33 -2%
Last Pick Miss2.41 2.34
2.30 -0%
2012-13 Slot
Monday 8:00

Image The 100 (NEW!) Slot Average
0.50
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 19 0.58
Best Case: The Tomorrow People struggled here because it was nothing more than a watered-down version of its lead-in. (The Secret Circle problem, if you will.) This is something different, maybe even different enough to attract some attention on its own, but not different enough to be a bad fit. It could work. 0.77.

Worst Case:
If it were so much better than TTP, it would've been on the fall schedule. And did you see that 0.7 Arrow posted on Wednesday? If that's all it can do, The 100 won't start any better than 0.5. And they're already planning on running its episodes into the summer? 0.3's (0.2's, even?) are on the way. Forget about it. 0.36.

Likeliest:
I thought TTP would work, so what do I know? And yet, I'm more intrigued by this show. It will be tough to beat TTP's Wednesday average since it's got a noticeably tougher placement on the calendar, but it could out-grade it in True and throw its hat into the renewal ring. 0.58. (For these purposes, I'm not counting the summer episodes, assuming they end up airing there.)
Occupants
The Tomorrow People
0.61 0.55

Image Whose Line Is It Anyway? Slot Average
Premieres March 21 0.31
Best Case: Whose Line? was a big success in the summer, where the viewing levels and the competition are relatively low. That sounds a lot like Friday! And the recent repeats on Friday have impressed. It can bring back pretty much all of that 0.9ish from the late summer. 0.85.

Worst Case:
Don't overreact to those repeat ratings, as this is a show that repeats extremely well. I still remember last season's Betty White's Off Their Rockers, when a New Year's repeat marathon actually outrated its eventual original average. Throw in Daylight Saving and it'll do no better than those recent repeats. 0.44.

Likeliest:
The Off Their Rockers example is actually a pretty good one, but a bit extreme. I expect these episodes to do better than the recent repeats, but only by a little bit. 0.57, still stellar by CW Friday standards, but a far cry from the potential we saw last summer.
Slot Orig Avg
0.31
0.93Occupants
The Carrie Diaries
y2y Label
solid(CW)0.31 0.36
True Sitch
1.10 -15%
Last Pick Miss
n/a n/a
2012-13 Slot
Tuesday 8:00

Image American Dream Builders (NEW!) Slot Average
4.87
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres March 23 1.55
Best Case: Now this is the kind of cheap family-friendly stuff that broadcast TV should be turning to on cable-ridden Sunday night! And it's the exact timeslot where Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was a quiet success on ABC for nearly a decade. It began its run at midseason as a league average show, and Dream Builders can pull that off too. 1.90.

Worst Case:
Just another reality flop. The Amazing Race quashes any family viewing potential. 0.69.

Likeliest:
I actually wouldn't be that surprised if this ends up being NBC's strongest Sunday show when the dust settles. It just seems kind of well-positioned in the old EM: HE slot. But asking it to do those numbers out of the gate is too ambitious; that show had some built-in audience from the Makeover mothership. It averages a 1.20, and since NBC may feel like they ought to renew something out of this Sunday lineup, it could very well get another whirl in a low priority slot... maybe even Sunday 8/7c next spring.
Occupants
Football Night in America p3
4.15 3.87
Sunday Night Football
7.85 7.52

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