|Premieres September 28|
Best Case: Like Once Upon a Time, Revenge saw its ratings declines lessen considerably in the second half of the season. If Resurrection hangs in there, the 10/9c upgrade may actually be something of an upgrade for Revenge, which will have much less drama competition than the Walking Dead/Good Wife/Boardwalk/Homeland drama gauntlet. Down just 5% to 1.48.
Worst Case: The declines may have lessened, but that was largely fueled by some strong heat for Resurrection that isn't going to be nearly the same in season two. It matches last season's drop and then some, dipping below 1.0 when ABC gets weaker at 9/8c in the spring. 1.10.
Likeliest: This is another of those serialized shows for which reversing the downslide is very unlikely. I expect the drops will not be too bad with ABC doing pretty good business earlier on the Sunday sked in the fall (and it will be a huge timeslot improvement vs. Betrayal). Its situation in the second half could be rough, but it won't be hurt too terribly. Down 20% to 1.24.
|Premieres September 28|
|Timeslot Occupants||The Mentalist|
Best Case: CSI has proven to be one of the most situationally resilient shows on television. Its smallest drop in recent years came when it got moved (to Wednesday 10/9c in 2011-12), and it's always virtually unfazed in its Thanksgiving Eve airings. It might actually improve noticeably on the sagging The Mentalist's numbers. 1.71, down just 10% from last season.
Worst Case: CSI: Miami dropped 33% when it moved to Sunday 10/9c. The Mentalist dropped 34%. That's a pretty consistent history, and both of those shows came from worse situations; Miami led out of a comedy block, while Mentalist out of merely solid Person of Interest. CSI had a hit lead-in with Criminal Minds, and it's trading it for borderline flop The Good Wife. Down almost 40% to a 1.15, matching or maybe even a touch below TGW.
Likeliest: I think this will drop a bit less than the last two Sunday 10/9c sacrifices, but that's mostly because of the CSI: Cyber plan. They may move CSI to 9/8c and use it as a Cyber lead-in, but even if they just end CSI early, that would also be helpful to the average. However, like Miami and Mentalist before it, it will have a rough time digging too far out of the hole its Good Wife lead-in creates. 1.35, down 29%.
|Sunday Night Football|
|Premieres September 4|
|Timeslot Occupants||Sunday Night Football||Crisis|
Best Case: The franchise has been down in raw numbers for the last two years, and by NFL standards that's "underachievement." It will even out from that and return to its 8.36 raw numbers zenith from two years ago, marking a +6% season.
Worst Case: The NFL has simply reached a point where it can't really grow anymore. And in fact, a rather discouraging preseason suggests it may be on a cultural downturn. A third major primetime package on Thursday oversaturates the NFL market. Sunday Night Football drops about in line with entertainment programming, if not a bit more, down over 10% to 7.00.
Likeliest: Preseason returns are not exactly encouraging, but they're probably not all that meaningful either. Still, factor in that and the added Thursday games and I think the year-to-year trend will continue to ever-so-slightly worsen. But I can't see it getting down into entertainment programming decline territory. Down about 4.5% to a 7.55.
The Network to Watch: CBS with the show new to the timeslot.
The Picks: Maybe football, maybe Talking Dead, maybe nothing.