|Premieres September 24|
Best Case: ABC's going to have a good comedy year, and that success will trickle into Nashville, especially since 9:30 will see some of the most pronounced growth. Nashville might just grow a bit in Plus: -7% to 1.37.
Worst Case: Maybe Black-ish has a higher viewership volume than stuff like Super Fun Night and Mixology, but it's not any better as a fit, so the lead-in change is thus irrelevant. Another thing to keep in mind is that ABC didn't want to renew this series for 22 episodes or air it in the fall. Since it's fallen out of favor with the ABC brass, it's a much lower promotional priority. Nashville's sharp decline accelerates: it's -30% to 1.03.
Likeliest: I think the comedy success will help, but only to a small extent. There's really no reversing course with this kind of show. Better lead-ins will just reduce the decline to 20% rather than the 25%+ it may have been with another year after hangout comedies. 1.18. This is going to be a particularly interesting test of the "three years ensures a full fourth" theory, since ABC didn't even want the full third.
|Premieres October 1|
Best Case: It would be tough to hand-pick two better 10/9c opponents than Nashville and Chicago PD. (OK, maybe you could give NBC Parenthood.) The fit with Criminal Minds is perfect. And the twisted concept draws something of a crowd as well, just like Kevin Williamson's previous series The Following. 2.42, actually improving a bit on its Criminal Minds lead-in.
Worst Case: It may have twisted Criminal Minds-like themes, but Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q just don't have the entertainment value of the CM gang, and that's a big part of that show's appeal. American Horror Story gobbles up much of this show's potential audience, and Chicago PD is stronger than expected as well. It's a significant disappointment, retaining just 60% of Minds at a 1.30, and it's over after just 13 eps.
Likeliest: The critics hate it, but that's almost irrelevant with this kind of show. This is a pure "I really like the timeslot" play. Even if Chicago PD trends up, it's still not that formidable, and the fit with Criminal Minds seems really perfect. It has stellar retention of Criminal Minds at 1.96 and gets renewed.
|Premieres September 24|
|Timeslot Occupants||Ironside||Chicago PD|
Best Case: To repeat what I said about Chicago Fire: "The Chicago franchise is only behind The Blacklist on NBC's "promotional darling" list, and this is the budding procedural empire of this generation." And what people eventually learn from the cross-overs between ChiFi and ChiPD is that PD is actually the better show. It matches Chicago Fire's 11% sophomore bounce, plus a few extra hundredths for good measure. 1.92.
Worst Case: Last year this whole night was one of NBC's most respectable Wednesdays in years, but a huge misfire at 8/7c with The Mysteries of Laura means we're back to the usual NBC incompetence. Laura is way down, Law and Order: SVU is way down, and thus Chicago PD can't pick up any heat. It's -20% to 1.32.
Likeliest: Without a The Voice lead-in, matching Fire's 11% bounce for Chicago PD seems unlikely. However, it will become a slightly stronger player in its sophomore year, and that'll be most evident in the changed dynamic with SVU. It will be even with SVU early in the season and ahead by a couple ticks by the second half . It's down just 5% to a 1.57.
|American Horror Story||FX||10/8||2.16||+50%|
The Network to Watch: CBS with the newbie.
The Picks: Nashville was another show I fell behind on and caught up with in chunks. That often means I'm close to giving it up, but we'll see. I don't see Stalker being up my alley.