|2 Broke Girls|
|Premieres October 27|
|2.53||-25%||hit||2.38||+6%||M 9:00, M 8:30, M 8:00|
|Timeslot Occupants||How I Met Your Mother||2 Broke Girls|
Best Case: 2 Broke Girls didn't collapse nearly as hard as it could have when it lost its How I Met Your Mother lead-in late last spring. If it could do low-2's in that spot, it can surely clear that bar (maybe and then some) in more favorable parts of the year. It's about even in Plus at 2.28.
Worst Case: It dropped 25% last year with a better lead-in from HIMYM! This show is just plain hemorrhaging. It's headed for the same kind of meltdown that Two and a Half Men had away from Big Bang last year. Down a full point (or 39%) to 1.53.
Likeliest: I will admit that I was a bit pleasantly surprised by 2BG's late-season deliveries. Unfortunately, with the way this show has been trending, all that probably really means is that 2BG can get back to those low-2's when the circumstances are most favorable. Those will mix in with a pretty steady diet of high-1's for a 1.89 average, down another 25%.
|Premiered October 20|
|Timeslot Occupants||We Are Men||2 Broke Girls||Friends with Better Lives|
Best Case: The only real spin you can put on this show is that we still don't actually have much hard data about what will happen without a Big Bang lead-in. It's possible it will hold up nearly as well as 2 Broke Girls did without HIMYM late last season, and that its BBT retention looks far worse than it really is due to the massive same-day DVRing of Big Bang. That episode it aired after a Big Bang repeat last fall really didn't do that badly considering it was also Halloween. And it might get some momentum from returning to Thursday in January, when the CBS sitcoms usually peak. It's close to even in Plus at 2.35.
Worst Case: This is a fraud of the Go On variety, if not even moreso. It's already well below 50% retention of Big Bang originals, which suggests it will be remarkably weak by CBS sitcom standards when it doesn't get those Big Bang originals. 1.55.
Likeliest: All of these numbers, including the official Likeliest (1.93) were published before The Millers premiered last week and assumed CBS would go with its rather silly current plan of moving The Millers back to Thursday in January. I figured half the season after Big Bang originals, a fourth after Big Bang repeats and a fourth after 2 Broke Girls. I might re-do it (or just not count it) if that plan changes substantially.
But anyway, I thought the show would average about a 2.1-2.2 after Big Bang originals and a 1.7 for the other eps. I haven't given up completely, but that seems pretty optimistic now, as I was expecting about a 2.4 for its return last Monday and it got a 2.1. So I'd probably adjust it down 10%ish if I could.
|Premieres October 30|
|Timeslot Occupants||The Millers|
Note: Out of laziness/inertia, and because I expect I will have to redo/not count these numbers anyway, I will stick with my preseason pick for Mom. It's probably a bit optimistic now since it's premiering later on the calendar, but it might get one or two more eps than I was expecting after BBT even if CBS sticks to the current plan. So I don't think the situation is that different and, again, it's so subject to change that it's not really worth overthinking.
|Two and a Half Men|
|Premieres October 30|
|2.27||-40%||solid||2.24||+2%||Thu 9:30, Thu 9:00|
|Timeslot Occupants||The Crazy Ones||Two and a Half Men|
Best Case: Based on what Men did after its return to 9/8c in the spring, there's really no denying that the show was a serious victim of scheduling for the first two thirds of the season. It's back in the 9/8c saddle now, and there's a real chance Mom is a better lead-in than what Men had last year. And finally, it could benefit from the final season announcement. Dare I dream Charlie Sheen re-appears down the stretch run? Up double digits to a 2.65.
Worst Case: Barring something major like the return of Sheen, people won't really care how this kind of show comes to an end. CBS follows through on returning The Millers to Thursday, where it's a lot weaker than last season, and Men isn't strong enough to stem the general collapse of the night. Down over 20% to a 1.80.
Likeliest: As with all of the CBS comedies, there's some scheduling uncertainty here. We don't really know what will be at 8:30 over the long term. But it's hard to imagine almost any scenario in which a final season of Two and a Half Men gets even more of a shaft than the 9:30 after The Crazy Ones treatment last year. If it could break 2.5 deep into April last year, I think low-2's should be a reasonable expectation for most of the season, and it might go higher at the end. 2.27, dead even.
|The McCarthys (NEW!)|
|Premieres October 30|
|Timeslot Occupants||Two and a Half Men||The Crazy Ones|
Best Case: Laurie Metcalf is pretty much a perfect fit on a CBS sitcom, and the network should have gotten this kind of role for her years ago. It's certainly not a flashy concept, but it's a much more logical fit into the lineup than The Crazy Ones ever was. Metcalf almost single-handedly makes this show a very solid retainer of the Two and a Half Men audience. 2.10.
Worst Case: Two years ago, CBS picked up a ton of dramas and ultimately only one comedy, and the one comedy (Partners) was a huge dud. Last year, it was a ton of comedies and very few dramas, and the dramas (Hostages/Intelligence/Reckless) bombed big. This year, there's yet another imbalance in favor of drama, which doesn't make me feel good about The McCarthys. And it kinda feels like another The Millers, except with a lesser-known cast. It's a big step down from even what CBS was getting from The Crazy Ones late last season. 1.40.
Likeliest: Beyond the comedy/drama imbalance, this show didn't even seem that high on CBS' comedy list until How I Met Your Dad blew up and The Odd Couple underwhelmed. And CBS won't even let it get a sniff at the post-Big Bang slot. It just feels like a "last resort" kind of show, so I don't really see it working. I expect it to settle at the same kind of sub-70% retention seen from shows like Partners, We Are Men and Bad Teacher. 1.61, and it will be the casualty whenever CBS makes its seemingly inevitable comedy scheduling audible.
|Premieres October 30|
Best Case: How to Get Away with Murder looks like fierce competition, but thanks to the late premiere, Elementary will only have to deal with it for half of the season at most. After Murder ends, this slot could really open up. Down 5% to 1.65, including even to up in the second half of the season.
Worst Case: Early in the year, it's facing a series that is somehow even stronger than Scandal was last year, plus the NFL. It also has a lead-in from The McCarthys that is actually a major step down from Two and a Half Men last year. Both of those aspects of the timeslot will probably improve when Murder ends and CBS shakes up its comedies, but they'll dig Elementary into a hole that it can't get out of. Down 30% to a paltry 1.20, and it's a painful rest of the road to syndication.
Likeliest: Despite the 23% drop last year, I thought the show did OK given the tough competition and bad lead-in. Sadly, those things are not getting any better for Elementary in season three, at least early on, and they may get worse. I could see the drops lessening in the second half of the season, but CBS is struggling at 10/9c and this will probably again be on the low end of CBS' 10/9c offerings. Down 19% to a 1.40.
|Premieres November 4|
|Timeslot Occupants||Utopia Tue|
Best Case: MasterChef is the stronger property compared to Hell's Kitchen right now. And this series' 1.40 average last season came on a Friday night and was one of the strongest Fox Friday series in recent history. It could do a little better on a higher-viewed evening. 1.55.
Worst Case: Fox is in meltdown mode. 'Nuff said. Hell's Kitchen is scraping out low-1's right now and another Ramsay series is just too much. 0.95.
Likeliest: One thing I didn't realize about this show last year is that it is labeled just "MasterChef" on program guides, meaning viewers with a DVR season pass for the mothership pick this one up. I'm just throwing that out there as some consolation for my huge underestimation of this series last year. Still, it's facing The Voice for a large portion of the season, so I don't think the upgrade in overall viewing will help much. I see it taking the same kind of upper teens drop that the Ramsay summer shows did, resulting in a 1.17 (still a big improvement on Utopia).
|State of Affairs (NEW!)|
|Premieres November 17|
|Timeslot Occupants||The Blacklist|
Best Case: This is a solid piece of timeslot continuity by NBC: a show that should be right in The Blacklist viewers' wheelhouse. It may not have James Spader, but the surrounding show is actually better, and it basically picks up with at least the same ratings Blacklist would've gotten in the slot. 2.55.
Worst Case: It's kind of like The Blacklist, except that James Spader is pretty much the only reason why anyone likes that show. It will struggle to premiere at the level of a typical Blacklist episode and get completely derailed when NBC foolishly tries airing it after whatever middling reality show is at 9/8c in January. NBC comes up with something else to air after The Voice when it returns in February. 1.35.
Likeliest: This is yet another situation where the current scheduling plan doesn't make a lot of sense. Will NBC air this series in January? Will they put it on a significant hiatus after just a month following The Voice? No option seems that good. Anyway, I don't see this being another Blacklist, but I actually think it could be a season one Revolution-sized player with Revolution-style scheduling. Sadly, this is well worse than that. For these purposes, I'll say it airs in January. It premieres at roughly typical Blacklist numbers, drops some over the next month, hits mid-1's at best in January, and it can't get more than a high-1's audience back when The Voice returns. 1.85. Smash and Revolution got renewed, so this should too, but it may get the lower-priority treatment. If it is kept off the air completely during the Voice hiatus, I'd go a tenth higher, but that situation is also less than ideal.