Friday, September 26, 2014

The Question, Thursday 9/25/14: Can ABC Get Away With a Third Straight Shonda Drama?


ABC's biggest night of the fall has finally arrived. Scandal is coming off of its first season as broadcast TV's top drama, and this Thursday lineup featuring three Shonda Rhimes dramas has been the network's biggest promotional focus all summer. Expectations will be high, as Scandal finished last season well and has surprisingly little competition. Tonight, we'll also get to see Scandal as a lead-in to another drama for the first time, and the Viola Davis drama How To Get Away With Murder seems like a good fit. Can ABC Get Away With a third straight Shonda drama? That's The Question for Thursday, September 25, 2014.

Scandal Last Season
3.6/3.05/3.4 (premiere/avg/finale)

It's another Question that is not just about interest in the show but also about interest in the lead-in. Murder is not technically a spin-off, but it looks like such a good companion that it could attain the same kind of 85%ish retention as a spin-off would get (at least for tonight). And interest in the Scandal lead-in could well be very near or even at series high levels. Scandal showed little sign of a slowdown last season, and the promotion for this "TGIT" lineup has been pretty crazy. I'm not sure Murder has quite enough to match the biggest new drama premieres of the week (Gotham and Scorpion at 3.2), but it may be very close.

How To Get Away With Murder Over/Under: 3.05.

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

43 comments:

Spot said...

Just barely under with a 2.9.

Spot said...

Over at 3.3

Spot said...

Under. Probably not by much, but I expect that Scandal will be just a touch off of last season's premiere and that some will watch Greys/Scandal, rather than Scandal/HTGAWM. I'd guess the 2.7 - 3.0 range for HTGAWM. It will be strong, although I'd think it could be even stronger since it has almost no competition given its expected female audience. Very interested to see Grey's numbers.

Spot said...

I had Murder at 3.1 (out of a 3.6 Scandal), so great line. Over

Spot said...

The girlfriend hasn't watched Grey's Anatomy since like season 4 and never seen Scandal, but is very interested in watching How To Get Away With Murder. I think it might attract some non Scandal audience. OVER

Spot said...

I had it at around 3.0, so I would say under,but Scandal could really overperform, given how much hype is surrounding online, so I'll go with a cautious over.

Spot said...

Under. Greys (2.7), Scandal (3.5), and H2GAWM (2.8)

Spot said...

Under. But barely, I think the show will premiere to a 3.0 out of a 4.0 for Scandal (maybe I am too optimisc about the time change?) and Grey's will premiere low to a 2.5 (but that's good considering the awful ratings for the last 8pm shows of the last years)

Spot said...

under. Grey's 2.4-2.7, Scandal 3.2-3.6, HTGAWM 2.5-2.8

Spot said...

I was thinking it could at least start at a 3.0, so that's a tough line but an optimistic OVER

Spot said...

Under
I'm generally optimistic about new ABC Thursday, and I think How To Get Away With Murder will be top 3 new drama (and lock for renewal). The onl thing is I'm not as optimistic as Spot is.
Then under, but I'm not completely sure because Scandal should be very strong tonight - it goes against strong, but maximum possible not-crossovering football, fast falling TBL, and repeats.

Spot said...

Over. ABC pushed this night to the moon and back, and there's no competition.

Spot said...

I wasn't sure which way you were going to go with today's Question, Spot. I thought you might ask for ABC's overall average for the night to wrap in the expectations of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal moving up an hour.

If ABC's other new drama (Forever) can beat the low expectations in its Monday preview and Tuesday debut, I don't know how I can go against How to Get Away with Murder since this is the one the brass has been high on since development season last year.

Over.

P.S.: Since I brought it up, what does the room think about ABC's overall average tonight? The only entertainment competition tonight is The Biggest Loser, Parenthood, and Bones. Given that TBL is hitting new lows, Parenthood is on its last legs, and Bones is on a sinking-ship network, ABC will run over all of them. By far the biggest question mark is on Grey's Anatomy: it's moving to a "cursed" hour and did not get an Oh-bump for its finale, but it has Scandal back and doesn't have to worry about The Big Bang Theory yet. And Scandal, in particular, has been in the news thanks to the NYT's angry black woman article about Shonda and original cast member Columbus Short's extracurricular problems. Good press or bad, it's just added fuel to ABC's promotional fire so I think a new series high is in play.

ABC's 8-11 PM average: 3.35

Spot said...

Damn your good lines, I wanted to guess a 2.9-3.1 and you didn't allow me with this line. I probably should go under but I was burned by going against my first instinct with Orleans, so I will say OVER!


I can't wait for this Shondaland night (viewer wise and ratings wise)

Spot said...

Under 3.0 = 2.5 / 3.6 / 2.9

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over. This show has been trending on Twitter all day and if Black-ish could premiere with a 3.3, then HTGAWM can do the same.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

I've been predicting a Scandal premiere in the 4s all summer long, even when I expected some entertainment competition tonight. What have we got? A crumbling TBL, a Sleepy Hollow repeat, and a TNF game involving a team whose name is problematic to most of the people who might watch Scandal.

I said last night I'd check what the black feminists I follow on Twitter said about Black-ish; I can't see much comment, certainly nothing to suggest deterrence for Shonda Thursday. There's a couple who are turning their backs on Scandal but are going to be sampling Murder tonight, too. I can totally buy 85% retention, and if Scandal meets my expectations it will only need about 75%. So I'm thinking mid-3s here.

Spot said...

However, since every single one of my guesses has been wrong so far, I am going to try and capture that deliberately and say UNDER!

Spot said...

I am sticking with Over, but I think this might be decided in the finals. On Monday both Dancing and Forever adjusted up 2. On Tuesday Dancing and Forver adjusted up 1 and Shield 2. On Wednesday we have The Middle and Goldbergs adjusted up 1 and Moderm Family 2. I can't see one of the three shows not adjusting

Spot said...

There's so much hype for this show, and indeed the whole block. I can't see it doing less than 3.0. Over at 3.4.

Spot said...

Over.


I expect retention out of Scandal to be much higher than 85%.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over in the finals but not necessarily in the prelims.. Finals: Greys - 2.4, Scandal -3.4, Murder -3.1. I can't imagine the NFL matchup of the Giants and Redskins igniting too many passions outside of NYC and DC (cue the crickets on the west coast), Certainly L3 and L7 ratings will add significantly to ABC's serialized dramas which all tend to land in the top 5 or so of shows with the biggest DVR demo increase and the largest live + post air date demo ratings overall..

Spot said...

I feel like the interest is very high on this one.

OVER - 3.7.

Spot said...

You get a gold star (with spots, of course) for effort since you regularly stick your neck out and make predictions :) Black feminist research--wow, I'm genuinely impressed. Even though I am generally anti-social media, I did check out the Black-ish thread on Twitter last evening and read some interesting comments from African Americans.

Spot said...

HTGAWM is the best new show of this fall and Viola Davis is a tour-de-force. Going with the Over.

Spot said...

Under at 2.9. So much hype around this show but I still don't see it dropping less than half a point from Scandal.

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

I'll say Over. I think most of Scandal's audience should stick around for it, and maybe some non-Scandal fans will show up.

Spot said...

Over at a 3.3

Spot said...

Check out Janice Picconi's mention on AfterBuzz TV for her work on the new ABC Premiere Forever with Ioan Gruffudd! http://youtu.be/d4QaSAhsS14

Spot said...

Over.

Spot said...

Thanks, I already followed a lot of the most active black feminists on Twitter (and learned *so* much about what was happening in Ferguson, which was far more worthwhile than getting a gauge on what might happen with Shonda Thursday ratings) but nice to have a hat-tip ;)

I'm at least gaining 0.1 at a time...

Spot said...

Can definitely see both ends of the block getting a big DVR boost - one of the tweets I read just now from black feminist Twitter said they were going to DVR Grey's rather than watch the whole block live as three Shonda hours was too much. I think that might be a common phenomenon, especially once TBBT enters the hour again (assuming it does, which I'm not sure is a given with all the scheduling audibles the eye is suddenly calling).

Spot said...

Over. It's leading out of last season's #1 drama, and it's the most hyped premiere of the season, easily. It won't beat Scandal, but it will probably be beating Blackish.

Spot said...

The very early markets indicate over, but early numbers are notoriously flawed

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