Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall 2014 Best Case/Worst Case, Tuesday 10/9c

Best Case/Worst Case moves to the Tuesday 10/9c hour. CBS and NBC both made significant improvements in the hour by importing returning dramas last year; can the badly troubled ABC make inroads with a newbie in 2014-15?

Forever (NEW!)
Mon Preview September 22; Premieres September 23

Timeslot OccupantsLucky 7 Killer Women Mind Games
Avg Orig Avg
1.07 0.97 1.00 0.94 0.72 0.96 0.78 0.92

Best Case: It appeals to Agents of SHIELD's genre audience and holds a surprising amount of that lead-in. The competitors are in the same general space but they're not exactly straight procedurals, so this show can eke out an audience there. 1.70.

Worst Case: This is another of those pairings that is far worse than it appears on paper. ABC tried crime procedurals after Lost and it never worked, including ones with a light supernatural tinge, and that's basically what ABC has here. ABC isn't really even bothering to try to appeal to SHIELD fans in the promos; it looks much more like the "sexy" Dancing with the Stars lead-out that it should've been all along. It's actually below Lucky 7's Plus at 0.85 (though it doesn't look quite as bad since it should air more than two episodes).

Likeliest: I believe this show could have a shot, but it's unlikely with this scheduling. The procedural audience is utterly spoken for by CBS/NBC, and it's not got enough genre credibility for the SHIELD audience. I hope it can stay enough above water to get some sort of further sampling after its "correct" lead-in, but that usually doesn't happen. It averages 1.13, settling at roughly half of its SHIELD lead-in. There's a noticeable skew discrepancy between SHIELD and Forever. Might not be the first or even second ABC Tuesday cancellation, but it will get something less than a full season.

Person of Interest
Premieres September 23
y2y Label True Sitch 2013-14 Slot
1.97 -32% solid 1.85 +6% Tuesday 10:00

Timeslot OccupantsPerson of Interest
Avg Orig Avg
1.70 1.96 1.97 1.85

Best Case: The quality is on the rise with this show. NCIS: New Orleans overachieves, and PoI also gets something of a de facto lead-in from Agents of SHIELD, as its male audience will switch the channel after that show is over. It's down just 1% to 1.95.

Worst Case: This show was a disappointment in its move to Tuesday, and it's become much more serialized lately, which will make it almost impossible to reverse the decline. An underwhelming NCIS: New Orleans lead-in only accelerates it. Down nearly 25% to 1.50.

Likeliest: If I predicted each of the first two hours of Tuesday to be down slightly more than average, that's where I shall go with PoI as well. Part of it is the slightly weaker lead-in, part of it is the timeslot power shifting a bit toward NBC and FX. Down 14% to 1.70.

Chicago Fire
Premieres September 23
y2y Label True Sitch 2013-14 Slot
2.03 +11% solid 1.90 +7% Tuesday 10:00

Timeslot OccupantsChicago Fire
Avg Orig Avg
2.28 2.26 2.03 1.90

Best Case: The Chicago franchise is only behind The Blacklist on NBC's "promotional darling" list, and this is the budding procedural empire of this generation. It's up year-to-year when it airs three eps after The Voice early in the fall, up year-to-year in the winter/spring, and only a touch below even in the mid/late fall comparisons (when it aired after The Voice last year and About a Boy this year). Up to a dominant 2.25.

Worst Case: This series is getting a lot less time after a Voice lead-in this year, and NBC's efforts to launch comedy in the 9/8c hour will only get more and more incompetent. Eventually that's going to sting. Down almost 25% to a 1.55.

Likeliest: I was a bit underwhelmed with some of the low-2's this show hit with a Voice lead-in last fall, but I was legitimately impressed with how it finished the season, growing significantly on its Growing Up Fisher lead-in and even beating Person of Interest a few times. This series has the momentum in this hour right now. It's going to be down in the fall because I don't think it can quite match what it did in the late fall with The Voice, but it'll still be a less-than-average drop overall. 1.90, down just 6%.

The Basics:

bc Rank y2y Rank TPUT Rank bc/TPUT Rank
Tuesday 10:00 7.6 14 +1% 6 31.1 12 24% 14

The Cable:

ShowNetworkPremieres Avg y2y
Sons of AnarchyAMC9/92.49+8%
Awkward FallMTV9/230.58

The Network to Watch: ABC with the newbie.

The Picks: Person of Interest, one of several 10/9c shows I frequently fell behind on last year. But I'm probably more likely to catch up with this one than The Blacklist or Nashville.


Spot said...

You are *spot* on about Chicago Fire. It got like a a 2.1 out of a 4.0 once, but then mananaged a 1.9 out of a freakin' 1.2 lead in! I see that as genuine growth as it hit like a 1.4 when it had a comparable "Take It All" lead in in season 1. It will be very stalwart.
This show is on a bad trajectory. It's low 2 seasons ago was a 2.4, and last year the high was a 2.3. The show keeps on getting more serial and less compatible with its lead in. I could see it ending this year to be honest as it has no syndi value to the Eye.
Poor Forever. It will fail. Sorry. But there really isn't a bettter slot for it. Mondays has NCIS: LA and The Blacklist soaking up proceral love. Wednesday also has two procedurals and it would have an unknown as a lead in. I guess Friday after Shark Tank might work, but why waste the good vibes the 20/20 pairing already has with it?

Spot said...

Even with how badly ABC was in this hour last season, this hour was up a y2y basis? Amazing. I don't think Forever can do as badly as Lucky 7, Killer Women, and Mind Games just because it'll have something resembling a lead-in as opposed to Trophy Wife. But I wonder if ABC considered swapping Forever with Resurrection once Monday was ruled out. While both are female-leaning shows that aren't great fits with SHIELD, at least the latter has a ratings history (incredibly swing-y, but a history nonetheless) and more of an out-there element with less of a procedural vibe. Plus it would have made Tuesdays less of a wildcard overall since ABC would just be all-new in the first hour. And if Forever showed promise after Once Upon a Time, it too could just get the split season treatment and make it easier to deal with the January/February gap.

Either way, CBS and NBC will continue to duel for top broadcast drama in the hour. As the slow-and-steady network, Person of Interest will fall behind Chicago Fire but should get some help when Sons of Anarchy leaves the air later this season. Fire, though, has the crossovers with Chicago PD to help goose its numbers once The Voice is replaced by the comedy hour.

My pick: Tosh.0 and Brickleberry on Comedy Central. I may sample an ep or two of Forever if it isn't an immediate dumpster fire.

Spot said...

I think that the fact that the hour is up is one of the shortfalls of not including all airings and just originals. If you think about it, ABC's contribution to the hour were two Lucky 7 episodes, 3 or 4 Mind Games episodes and 5 or 6 Killer Women episodes. I am not even sure if it amounts to 13 originals, hardly representative of everything that happened in the slot.

Spot said...

Mondays would still be better for Forever since yes, the procedural competition is still there but not only should it be less female skewing than the Tuesday one, at least it would have its natural lead-in helping it out. IMO, it should have been Forever+The Whispers+Castle on ABC 10pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Nashville should have gone to summer.

This being said, I understand why they didn't do it 100% (the Monday slot is a bitch and there was a lot of potential downside involving it) and they also wanted to focus their attention on other big areas which are more worthy of attention (Shonda night, Shark Tank, Wednesday comedy block), with which I also agree (moving another show and premiering an additional drama would take away a lot of promotional time).

Spot said...

Well, if they had gone DWTS on Sunday, my pet idea for Mondays was DWTS Results, New Drama (Forever), bookended by Castle.

Spot said...

Well it was up y2y because 2012-13 was awful. The the fall they had awfully rated final season of Private Practice, bubble at best Vegas, and a solid but not spectacular Parenthood. Then if completely changed in the spring. They had the awfully rated final season of Body of Proof, No better than Vegas Golden Boy, and the epic meltdown of Smash. Last year even though ABC failed massively (Lucky 7, Scandal (R), Shark Tank (R), Primetime: What Would You Do?, Killer Women, Mind Games, Ressurection (R), and Celebrity Wife Swap all aired for at least 2 weeks), NBC had its best occupant since SVU left and CBS its best plus player in the era.

Spot said...

My picks: I have seen a couple episodes of Person of Interest and about 5 of Chicago Fire, so I'm unsure. I'm going to be watching Shield anyways, so I might try Forever. Person of Interet probably blends better with my earlier show choices of The Flash and Agents of Shield.

Spot said...

The only meaningful contribution ABC gave to the hour were the one-offs: David Blaine's magic special and the Dancing with the Stars finales. I just didn't think they'd outweigh the marathon of duds cycled through.

Spot said...

There's some really good news about this hour... for FX, Discovery, Comedy Central, History and whatever cable channels. Broadcast remains very weak here.

Forever : Likely 1.00 with best/worse 1.20/0.80. Doesn't really matter, considering no one believes this will air 13 episodes, let alone forever.
Anyway, here's my "scientific" method: First season of Harry's Law had 1.79 in A18-49. In today's money, that's 1.20, and that is my best case. In the next step, I set my likely/worse as nearby, smaller, and round numbers.

Person of Interest : With no significant change in show's environment, I think it will have average league drop to around 1.80/b>. Boring. Next.

Chicago Fire : NBC punishes it with no The Voice lead-in again. Surprisingly, didn't drop much after losing direct The Voice lead in, it averaged 1.85 for 12 episodes in 2014, after 2.25 in fall. Then just a bit lower than those 1.85, likely around 1.75.

Spot said...

I think the David Blaine magic special should be made a recurring thing. Maybe make it a three week event or so. ABC could use it to bridge stuff like Thursdays in January or even Tuesdays at 8.

Spot said...

It's definitely a tough timeslot with a ton of procedural competition, but I'm not comploetely writing off Forever. It's a strong pilot that nails its light procedural tone and adds just enough fantasy elements to make it fresh. Many shows get stuck between sets of viewers in trying to appeal to everybody, but Forever has a deft enough touch that it should attract both people who like light procedurals and fantasy shows.

And, for the record, I was going to post this before I saw this TV Guide article, which indicates low awareness but high intent to view. Does someone have the magazine they can scan, which has the full awareness/intent to view chart? I'm not in the US, so can't just buy it.

Spot said...

Which would have taken, at *best*, some pretty major logistical difficulties making that work in tandem with the British mothership.

Spot said...

Those Damn Brits. Messing with American TV!
Kidding aside, I do believe Strictly Come Dancing (US) would do best on Sunday

Spot said...

I like the idea of ABC just doing one-off specials, especially in January/February, to bridge the Fall-Spring gap. Things like a David Blaine special, a Nik Wallenda tightrope walk, a quick revival of something like Battle of the Network Stars, etc. A rotating wheel of reality specials that could be branded as part of a very unique package is something I think they should look into.

Spot said...

Forever: 1.10 - it would be a better fit to Mondays at 10, but ABC still wants to pair Castle and DWTS.

Person of Interest: 1.72 - unlike last season, no major changes, it will be steady.

Chicago Fire: 1.77 - It didn't drop that much without Voice, but the reasons explained on the worst case scenario will make me pick an interemmediate scenario between it and the likeliest one (but more inclined to the likeliest pick).

Spot said...

Very much in agreement about the veterans, although I am less pessimistic about Forever:
- Chicago Fire: 1.88 and I agree 100% with everything you've said. The post voice numbers in the late fall were underwhelming but the stability this show showed was incredible. It was basically posting the same numbers after The Voice, The Biggest Looser, About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher, in the fall, winter and spring, which is crazy. I am positive about it.
- Person of Interest: 1.77. Last year, I was more negative about this one than you were and even I wasn't negative enough. You are slightly more pessimistic now than I am. I don't see any big reason why this show should have a bad year because for all the disappointment talk about its move to Tuesday, it did hold up well during the season once it settled there. However, and that is my biggest fear, the show is no longer a procedural and has turned into a full fledged, complicated serialized show. I love it possibly more than ever now but I am not sure if that's a blessing ratings wise especially in the CBS environment, so I can definitely see the downside potential there.
- Forever: 1.33. I actually watched this pilot yesterday and I was very pleasantly surprised. For the genre it is, the show is very well done and it is one of those shows that might just have enough of every elements to appeal to a wide range of people. I thought it was very competent and that the lead was spot on on the role and by far the show's biggest asset. But I had done my prediction before so it doesn't matter anyway. My guess for this show is 13 and out if only because I think ABC would rather launch The Whispers after Shield than before it and I don't see them moving Shield back up an hour again (and yes, I 100% believe The Whispers will come to this night). However, I see this show more like a Back in the Game type of player, that gets no extension not because it has horrible ratings but simply because it has unimpressive ratings and ABC has replacements in the can. This being said, and especially after having seen the pilot, I think there is more upside there than we are giving it credit for.

Network to watch: ABC with the newbie

My picks: Person of Interest all the way. I didn't even plan on watching the Forever pilot but since it was available early I checked it out and I surprisingly liked it. If by chance it happens to work, I could see myself watching it next summer as a replacement for Castle.

Spot said...

Yes, I agree with that 100%. They need to find good stuff to bridge their serialized shows seasons and those one-off specials would work perfectly.

Spot said...

I disagree with the overall notion that this is a weak slot for broadcasters. Sure, ABC was pure fire last year but CBS had their highest rated 10pm drama there (and 4th overall) and NBC their 2nd highest rated 10pm drama (and 2nd overall). That's some considerable strength IMO.

Also, in regards to chicago fire, I don't think NBC should give it a permanent voice lead-in, I think they have the right play by keep giving it exposure but not using it permanently on it. The show had virtually the same ratings after the voice (excluding first two episodes), the biggest looser, growing up fisher and about a boy. Therefore, it seems like all the benefit it would get from the voice was already there. Why continue to waste it then?

Spot said...

I agree about Forever. I didn't even plan on watching it but since it was available soon I gave it a try and I thought it was much much better than I thought. The lead was particularly good and carried the entire hour rather nicely.

If the show manages to get sampled by the right audience, which is probably its biggest challenge, I could see it maybe doing better than my initial expectations.

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