Monday, September 22, 2014

The Question, Monday 9/22/14: Will Gotham Fly Much Higher than Scorpion?


Opening night for the 2014-15 TV season is probably one of the highest-stakes evenings for broadcast TV drama in quite some time. There's a new drama premiering in each hour (including ABC's Forever at 10/9c), plus the returns of two very important sophomores (Fox's Sleepy Hollow at 9/8c and NBC's The Blacklist at 10/9c). But for Question purposes, I'm boiling it down to the two most interesting. Fox's Batman prequel Gotham takes on more importance almost daily as the rest of the once-proud Fox schedule crumbles around it. And CBS has blown up decades of two-hour Monday comedy tradition for the action procedural Scorpion, which is getting a huge promotional push and a The Big Bang Theory lead-in tonight. Will Gotham fly much higher than Scorpion? That's The Question for Monday, September 22, 2014.


Notable Fall 2013 Drama Premieres
4.7 (Agents of SHIELD, 9/24/13)
3.8 (The Blacklist, 9/23/13) (5.6 Voice 9:30 lead-in)
3.5 (Sleepy Hollow, 9/16/13) (2.4 Bones 8:30 lead-in)
1.8 (Hostages, 9/23/13) (2.5 Mom lead-in)

NOTE: THERE IS A SPREAD. IT IS NOT JUST WHICH SHOW WILL WIN. PLEASE KEEP READING.

Historically, the smart money in these early-season spreads has been on the show with the better timeslot. I've usually expected the show with the better slot to win by a solid margin, and it ends up winning in a huge rout. In this case, Scorpion has the better slot; it gets to lead immediately out of The Big Bang Theory, while Gotham must face it head-to-head. However, this one's different because the worse-timeslot show has a massive edge in awareness. I think that's enough to make Gotham a pretty strong favorite on premiere night.

Spread: Gotham beats Scorpion by 0.75 points.

TO CLARIFY: Respond with "Gotham" if you think Gotham beats Scorpion by 0.8 points or more. Respond with "Scorpion" if you think Gotham beats Scorpion by 0.7 points or less, or if you think Scorpion ties or beats Gotham.

No entries accepted after 6:00am ET the morning after the date in the headline. If editing your pick, please leave a separate comment.

42 comments:

Spot said...

This was hard but I'm going with Scorpion.

Spot said...

Scorpion.

3.2 < 2.8 + 0.75.

Sometimes I'm prepared, and I'm always crazy. Today I'm crazy-prepared, 'cause it was impossible to guess which question Spot would have today.

CBS 3.5
The Big Bang Theory 5.2 (5.0 / 5.4 episodes).
Competition will be insane, but I simply cannot imagine TBBT premiering bellow 5.0. Goes against everything I believe in.

Scorpion 2.8
With Mom lead-in, I'd peg it as bellow 2.5. But very strong lead-in gotta count for something, right? For around half a rating point, right?

Under the Dome 1.6
Who cares? But let's say it's steady - much stronger lead-in, and much stronger competition to cancel each other.

Fox 2.9
Gotham 3.2
Sleepy Hollow premiered at 3.5 against 3.2 premiere of DWTS, but with CBS in repeats, and NBC in lousy rated summer shows. Gotham premiere will face not only The Voice premiere, but also one-hour TBBT. All in all, I see Gotham premiering bellow that 3.5, but not by much. Reason: it has infinitely more buzz than Sleepy Hollow had.

Sleepy Hollow 2.6
Should lose some viewers to Scorpion, but not already on the premiere night. Not with first week's big lead-in.
Fun fact: co-creators of both Sleepy Hollow and Scorpion are Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (also Hawaii Five-0).

ABC 1.6
Dancing with the Stars 1.7
had lackluster premiere against little competition. I think it means bad result against full competition. The Voice premiere taking a big chunk of viewers, and, compared to that, Fox/CBS smaller ones.

Forever 1.6
With rather weak lead-in, it should rate bad (1.5 to 1.7), or even awful (1.4 or less). I'm predicting very good retention, simply because some Sleepy Hollow/Scorpion viewers might choose to check this one.

NBC 3.5
The Voice 4.1
I expect more than usual y2y drop. For premiere only, not for the entire season. Because there's hell of a competition, especially in the first hour where both CBS/Fox should be at least a rating point stronger than they were on previous season's first Monday. But 2nd hour should rate usually strong.

The Blacklist 2.9
At first I thought something like 1st season finale, 2.5-2.6. But now I see Blacklist got a break with both Castle and NCIS: Los Angeles not premiering today. Then a bit higher.

Spot said...

Gotham and Scorpion will tie with a 3.2....

Spot said...

Scorpion. Can't see them being that far apart at all with the situational factors in play (discounting the buzz).

Spot said...

Mmm, that spread is a little too wide to give Gotham the edge, I think.

Scorpion.

Spot said...

SCORPION.

Gotham will do well, but not by 0.75 points.

Spot said...

Scorpion's had a heck of an NFL promo push, and the emphasis on "it's a bunch of geeks!" has got to have some sort of compatibility aid with TBBT, right?

But Gotham is a legitimate "the fate of the network depends on this" show. And that TV Guide chart had Gotham way ahead of anything else on both awareness and intent to view (with the exception of Forever, which was right up there in the latter department but utterly lacked the former). The last time a series premiere was that high-stakes for anyone was The Following; it was huge out of the gate. Before that, Arrow; ditto (as CW numbers go). In between, Agents of SHIELD produced that 4.7 in a timeslot almost as brutal as this one.

I'd be a bit more comfortable with a narrower spread, but I am not comfortable betting against a massive known quantity premiering huge. GOTHAM.

Spot said...

Scorpion.

I don't remember CBS promoting this much out of any show in recent memory and I don't think the show will have less than 60% retention out of a >5 TBBT so it should have a 3 comfortably.
Gotham should also hit the 3 but FOX in in worse shape than I thought three week ago so upside is limited, I don't think it breaks a 4

Spot said...

It is interesting because they both indirectly affect one another. For example, Gotham could plow down The Big Bang Theory's audience, thus boosting Sleepy Hollow and giving Scorpion a smaller lead in. On the other hand, I can see The Big Bang Theory plowing over Gotham, hitting a series high in high viewed 8:30 slot, and giving Scorpion a huge lead in that hurts Sleepy Hollow.
.
I am going to see SCORPION here. Because it has more favorable timeslot and lead in. Gotham will win, but not by enough

Spot said...

Scorpion. if both shows were on the same network it would be no contest, but the Fox effect is enough to bring Gotham down to close to Scorpion's level.

Spot said...

I think the Blacklist will easily do a 3.0+. It has a lot of return hype and I cannot envision a scenario where the Voice at 9:30 isn't bigger than Scorpion and Dancing in that slot. Under the Dome and Forever are weaker not straight up procedurals like Castle and NCIS: LA.

Spot said...

FOX's best hope is a LOST or Desperate Housewives scenario where it self starts and launches big from a network completely devoid of hits

Spot said...

Scorpion. Pretty confident on this one.

Spot said...

I Love Lucy set the 9:00 half hour comedy precedent starting in 1951. It's lead out was a panel game show. So Scorpion needs to do well to break 63 years of traditon

Spot said...

Scorpion. With all the promo and the BBT lead-in, I just don't see Gotham beating it, much less by such a wide margin.

Spot said...

Scorpion

Spot said...

I'll choose SCORPION. Its premiere is fun and escapist. Unsure about the series' long-term future but it'll at least grab a sizable audience tonight especially out of its huge lead-in. Gotham looks to draw well tonight too but it will be more of a DVR-winner with Big Bang Theory perhaps suppressing its live premiere viewership.

Spot said...

Gotham

Scorpion ≡ Person of Interest; Gotham ≡ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Spot said...

Gotham's only real plus, besides the high level of awareness due to it being a pre-existing brand, is that other than The Big Bang Theory it has weaker competition: the lesser-halves of The Voice and Dancing with the Stars and Monday Night Football's pre-game & kickoff. Conversely, Scorpion's only real plus is that Big Bang lead-in thanks to the aforementioned reality shows & sportsball game being in their stronger hour. I consider the relentless promotion CBS and Fox have been giving their respective shows a wash, so the better timeslot should "win" out (even if the other show will probably do better).

Scorpion.

Spot said...

Hmm, general Fox malaise or a direct Big Bang lead in? I don't live in the US, so I don't know anything about how much they've been advertised, and I'm not sure I buy Gotham as the Next Big Thing.

Scorpion.

Spot said...

Scorpion.

Spot said...

I legitimately think CBS went through with the Monday shuffle for TBBT precisely to damage Gotham - there has to be an audience overlap, and they had to know Gotham was heading here. Of course, it could backfire and leave Scorpion in trouble.

Spot said...

Scorpion. I think Gotham has the win, but BBT + The Voice + DWTS means it will be a very narrow one.

Spot said...

Gotham. People actually want to see it. Scorpion looks like it was created by committee.

Spot said...

Scorpion


If you asked me this question a month ago, I probably would have said Gotham. However, this has truly been CBS's promotional centerpiece and it really doesn't look THAT bad. I think the way CBS is promo-ing it as the sort-of drama version of TBBT might be a pretty big help. Person of Interest got 60% retention out of 5.1 TBBT at 8:30 in 2011. Gotham will beat it, but I think it's in a good enough situation to close the gap

Spot said...

Scorpion
I just dont see Gotham exploding out of the gate, so better timeslot wins.

Spot said...

Scorpion

Spot said...

Gotham

Spot said...

Scorpion.

Spot said...

Scorpion.

Spot said...

Scorpion

Spot said...

Scorpion

Spot said...

Scorpion. Gotham still beats it tho.

Spot said...

Scorpion.

Spot said...

Gotham

Spot said...

Gotham. Awareness beats Big Bang lead-in - tonight.

Spot said...

Scorpion

Spot said...

Scorpion. The difference between the two should be no higher than about 0.5 points.

Spot said...

Scorpion. Always bet against FOX

Spot said...

Um...Scorpion. I guess. I'm not watching either.

Spot said...

Lol, early #s have Scorpion actually winning, let alone losing by 0.75 points.

Spot said...

I had Gotham 3.5 vs. Scorpion 2.7/2.8. Didn't expect that to be such an extreme opinion, but oh well.


Sadly, being off by 0.8 is probably still one of my better spreads historically. Glad we're done with these for awhile.

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