Thursday, April 24, 2014

Best Case/Worst Case, End of Season 2014: 24: Live Another Day, Bad Teacher, Black Box

It's the season finale of Best Case/Worst Case! As in the previous edition, these Black Box and Bad Teacher predictions will only cover the regular season episodes (four apiece) so I don't have to think about multiple timeslot situations. The 24 prediction will cover the whole season since it's probably less timeslot-dependent than the other two.

Image Black Box (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres April 24 2.83
Best Case: There's no way this hangs Scandal numbers, but it has an interesting concept, and being a medical procedural makes it inherently compatible with Grey's Anatomy. It can settle at the same two-thirds kind of retention that Private Practice did for years, leading to a 1.90 average.

Worst Case:
It's a co-production intended for summer and only called into the regular season because of Scandal's truncated season. We will quickly see why, as the initial interest will be minimal. It barely holds half the Grey's audience on premiere night and gets worse from there. 1.08.

The real key for this show is going to be the summer numbers, and what the "acceptable" level is there is a mystery. The opening month is really just a bonus opportunity to try to get some sampling, but I doubt it'll get much. In the vein of Rake, it will have the same kind of retention % as shows that aired out of its lead-in many years ago when it was much more substantial. 1.30, and significantly lower than that in the summer.
3.05 3.21
The Assets
0.65 0.86

Image Bad Teacher (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres April 24 2.03
Best Case: We really don't know how badly CBS wants/needs to make a seventh comedy renewal. But let's say they really, really want/need to. If Bad Teacher can just settle a tick or two above The Crazy Ones' usual 1.7, which isn't a totally ludicrous proposition, it can put itself at the front of the line for that honor. The cast is surprisingly recognizable and strong, and this is actually a little more compatible with Two and a Half Men than TCO was. 2.05 and a surprise renewal.

Worst Case:
The scheduling says it all. And it's gotten much less of a promotional push than Friends with Better Lives, so CBS isn't counting on this working. It does no better than a normal The Crazy Ones episode on premiere night and drops massively from there. 1.25.

The show's not a great fit on CBS, but I happen to think it'd be difficult to actually do much worse than The Crazy Ones here. I mean, by CBS comedy standards, that was a pretty bad performer. So this starts off multiple ticks better than TCO's late-season level and settles at or just a bit below TCO's late-season level. This won't be enough to change the trajectory that the scheduling has put it on. If CBS really needs a seventh comedy, they'll choose Friends with Better Lives. 1.68.
Two and a Half Men
2.21 2.11
The Crazy Ones
1.67 1.63

Image 24: Live Another Day (NEW!) Slot Average
Slot Orig Avg
Premieres May 5 2.05
Best Case: It would be easy to think 24 had some huge, Heroes-esque collapse before going off the air, but it was actually still above the league average in season eight. This is the kind of "event" that can really draw people to the TV on a Live+SD basis, and cutting the season size in half really tightens the storytelling. It averages a 2.90, holding almost the whole raw average from season eight and becoming a bigger relative hit than the original series.

Worst Case:
Based on how people talk about it, it would also be easy to think 24 was some overwhelming megahit back in the day. But it never even had a big hit season, and all the social media anticipation is a small segment of the population that won't correlate with Nielsen ratings. It's basically another The Following when the dust settles. 1.41 and probably not worth the investment for another season.

Maybe I'm in for a rude awakening, but the anticipation for this show seems pretty legit. If nothing else, it'll be a great test of that whole theory about absence making the heart grow fonder. I think it ends up settling as a success of close to the same magnitude as Under the Dome last year. 2.30.
Sleepy Hollow
2.64 2.67
The Following
1.57 1.72


Spot said...

I know I should be looking at the numbers here, but holy crap, that key art for "Black Box" is awful. What is that? If I didn't know better, I'd guess the show was about modern dance or something.

Spot said...

Agreed. I've seen a few ads for Black Box as well, and I still had no idea what the show was about until I read a synopsis online. Not good.

Spot said...

Black Box: This year's Hannibal, and will do just the same; decent premiere, then down from there, and either gets a second season for spackle purposes, or the coproduction's days are over.

Bad Teacher: This year's Family Tools, and will probably not even finish its run, as it is only having 4 chances before the season ends, no buzz, based on a movie that no one remembers, and is a singlecam on CBS. Canceled.

24: Live Another Day: This one I expect some good things. The series is still well-known and loved, and surely some new people would be interested.

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