|Premieres September 29|
Best Case: Though Castle had rough ratings for much of the spring, it ended on a good note (even year-to-year finale), and NBC will probably not be as strong in this hour as they were last year. Its reality lead-ins continue to trend very well. It will be down some in the fall but gain it back in the spring, breaking even at 1.93.
Worst Case: This show had a bad second half of the season, and it's all the worse because Dancing with the Stars had such good ratings in the spring. NCIS: Los Angeles is going to be a massive step up from what CBS aired last season, and NBC stays solid when State of Affairs steps in. Castle is the big loser in a crowded timeslot, dropping 25% to 1.45.
Likeliest: While I don't see State of Affairs being another Blacklist, the timeslot is still getting tougher on balance because NCIS: Los Angeles should be more up for CBS than SoA is down for NBC. And that's ignoring the early weeks of the fall, which will be even rougher. Still, its lead-ins will be strong enough to keep it from really cratering. Down 14% to 1.66 and in a tight race for second with LA all season (much like its battle with Hawaii Five-0 in 2012-13).
|NCIS: Los Angeles|
|Premieres September 29|
Best Case: As we saw on that one night it aired after Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, NCIS: LA has its own audience. It's also a very good match with Scorpion, which just so happens to be a big hit. Down just 9% to 2.22.
Worst Case: I really got burned by predicting big things for the Person of Interest move last year. That show dropped 32% even in what seemed like a better timeslot. This isn't a better timeslot, and this show was much more lead-in dependent than PoI. Also, NCIS: Los Angeles has gone for years with very little drama competition, and that's changing. If Scorpion actually bombs, this could completely crumble by over 40% to 1.40.
Likeliest: This is pretty dependent on what happens with Scorpion, as I could see the two being a good match. Since I've got Scorpion being a decent-rated but ultimately borderline kind of show, I'll say this drops 30% to a league average 1.71. It will go behind Scorpion in the fall, pull even by about December, then maybe ahead later on, much like the dynamic between The Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men last year. Maybe CBS flips the two series late in the season as they did with those two, but I'm assuming not for these numbers.
|Premieres September 22|
|2.89||big hit||2.55||+13%||Monday 10:00|
|Timeslot Occupants||The Blacklist|
Best Case: This is one of the heaviest-promoted sophomore series in the history television. It seems to be a far higher priority than any of the NBC newbies, and it will reward NBC for its efforts. It starts just a bit behind the series premiere level from last year and settles at a fair amount higher than the fall 2014 level. 3.30.
Worst Case: For all the hype, this show did cool off a bit late in the spring. A new series low for the season finale is never a good sign. Even with blind audition lead-ins, the show can't do better than upper-2's, and when it dips to mid-2's or even low-2's in early November, NBC starts seriously reconsidering the move. 2.50.
Likeliest: I'm only predicting the eight Monday episodes here, and will do a separate post when it returns on Thursday in February. Because of this, the actual apples-to-apples number is 3.14 (the fall average after The Voice) rather than the 2.89 above. But I think it has about the same ratings it had in the spring, with a start in the low 3's and then mostly high-2's. 2.83.
|Monday Night Football||ESPN||9/8||5.18||+2%|
The Network to Watch: I'll take CBS with the only show new to the timeslot. The Blacklist's Thursday ratings may be the most "to watch" numbers of the whole TV season, but I don't expect anything too shocking in its familiar Monday home.
The Picks: The Blacklist. I frequently fell behind and caught up in chunks last season and may do that again.