Friday, October 24, 2014

The Question, Friday 10/24/14: Will Constantine Fire Up Friday Ratings?


For the last three years, NBC has launched its regular Friday lineup late in October. It's been a scheduling success story, tapping into the Halloween vibe at this time of the year. The biggest surprise of all was the first one, Grimm's launch to a 2.1 in 2011 (also against Game 7 of the World Series). But the network also got solid samplings for the one-off Mockingbird Lane busted pilot and for last year's co-production Dracula. In year four, all eyes will be on the new series Constantine, the latest cog in DC Comics' TV takeover. Since the production costs are heftier, this feels like a higher-stakes situation than either Mockingbird Lane or Dracula. Will Constantine fire up Friday ratings? That's The Question for Friday, October 24, 2014.

NBC Late October Friday Launches
2.1 (Grimm season 1, 10/28/11)
1.5 (Mockingbird Lane special, 10/26/12)
2.0 (Grimm season 2, 10/26/12)
1.8 (Grimm season 3, 10/25/13)
1.8 (Dracula, 10/25/13)

It may be a pricier series, and it may be DC Comics. But I'm not sold that John Constantine has enough name recognition to produce a truly breakthrough kind of premiere on a Friday, especially with the World Series in the mix. (It wasn't for the 2012 and 2013 premieres.) I expect it to hold up better post-premiere than the horrible Dracula, but I think it will be a challenge to reproduce that show's 1.8 debut rating from a year ago.

Constantine Over/Under: 1.55.

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...

Under with 1.4.

Spot said...

Over, 1.6

Spot said...

Under. I'm going under, but just barely and it's a tough line. I'd be more comfortable at a 1.7, 1.8 and this is one I feel like I could totally be wrong about. I just feel like there is no buzz about the show - and what there is isn't very good - and the comic book to t.v. show market is saturated at the moment. And it's worrisome they retooled the concept almost immediately. And it's up against the World Series, with the teams currently tied. Erm. I still think 1.5 might be too low, but I gotta go with my gut and go under, despite the fact that often these genre shows bow big and slide from there.

Spot said...

One consideration for players to remember is that Mockingbird Lane aired in the pre-Grimm 8:00 hour and not the 10:00 hour. Just keep that in mind...


Grimm ended the season on a pretty weak note, so I don't know how much of its audience is going to re-find the show against the World Series. And while the other networks are surprisingly weaker this season at 10:00, adding Fox into the mix because of baseball is going to siphon off the potential viewers. When the only buzz I've heard about it from people I know are my out-of-demo parents, it doesn't inspire confidence.


Under.

Spot said...

Under. 1.1

It would need to improve on Grimm, which I expect to be at 1.5, based on where it was last Spring.

Spot said...

Under

Spot said...

Over (1.6)

Spot said...

I feel that it would need to retain 100% of Grimm minimum.. which Dracula did manage, but I don't feel confident that this will. Under.

Spot said...

Grimm always rides a Halloween bounce. Last year Grimm/Dracula went 1.8/1.8, 1.6/1.3, 1.3/.9 for the first three episodes. Anyways, Grimm's "Friday before Halloween" episode's plus has been 89, 95, and 96. This makes me think Grimm will get around a 1.6. I doubt Constantine can get 100% retention of Grimm. I'd say maybe if it was only against 20/20 and Blue Bloods, but I think it will the World Series kills that idea. I say a 1.5
Under

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Going down under.

Spot said...

Under because of the world series

Spot said...

Constantine has received mixed reviews, its title doesn't draw as much as Dracula did and, of course, the World Series as competition all may quell interest a bit. And because this show will cater to the time-shifting crowd, I suspect there won't be as many to check it out on this Friday night -- they'd rather catch it this weekend.

Under

Spot said...

Over.

Not confident. Over - because before season I was optimistic about Constantine and expected good-for-Friday numbers from it. Not confident - because now I see I had no arguments for that optimism, all of that was speculation from my side.

Spot said...

I can see this actually doing pretty solid, but I don't think Grimm is still the Friday miracle it once was. Under at 1.5 from Grimm's 1.6.

Spot said...

Under

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Under

Spot said...

Under.

Spot said...

The numbers point to under but this one has the variability to surprise.

Under

Spot said...

Comparing to Grimm's series premiere, I'd say there are more things going for Constantine than against. It is Game 3 vs Game 7, more or less established franchise vs almost complete unknown, and NBC of 2014 vs NBC of 2011. As for buzz, Constantine's facebook page has over 2 million likes, which is something I have never seen for a new show (both The Flash and Gotham had something around 1 million immediately before premieres and those were way above average). Against the show would be only airing at 10 vs airing at 9. The overall decline would put Grimm's 2.1 at about 1.5 today. I bet the positives outweigh the negatives and go with OVER

Spot said...

Under

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

over

Spot said...

just over at 1.6

Spot said...

Over! America loooooooves comic book shows! And the image of Constantine is animated on NBC's website! That's gotta add a few extra million viewers.

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Over

Spot said...

Well, if Shield is any indicator, they love them for the first two weeks, like them for a half a season, tolerate them for a while, and abandon them in season 2.

Spot said...

SHIELD's only marginally lower than at the end of season one. So I think your time frame is a little off, although the overall trajectory is good.

Spot said...

Spot pretty much said it all. You can't really hype Constantine the way you can The Flash, and I think the Keanu Reeves movie was probably an Ink Stain Adaptation in the eyes of the general public.

Under.

Spot said...

I'm looking more at share these days. Shield had a 6 or 7 share last Spring, and last Tuesday it had a 4 share.

Spot said...

Noted. Hadn't really thought about paying attention to that aspect of it, especially since I rarely see shares at all due to rarely reading TVBTN anymore.

Spot said...

That feels an awfully low line for a premiere with any kind of demo hype. If it falls below this then NBC should absolutely put Dateline here and throw their hands in the air.

Over.

Spot said...

Over. The line might be suckers bait, but I've long felt this will do well.

Spot said...

Over. 1.8 like dracula.

Spot said...

Actually, all the shares are in the Spot Vault. That's also how I pegged Grimm at 1.5 last night.

Spot said...

Well, I kinda don't look at the SpotVault either unless I want to pull up specific ratings histories. And I certainly don't pay attention to the shares when I do. Probably not all that wise on my part.

Spot said...

I did. What really hurts is when a bad adaptation is the only adaptation for years. Wonder Woman is still campy '70s Lynda Carter. Batman needed big movie stars to make a serious reboot in '89.

Spot said...

Yeah, that can kinda be an issue. Although it's not exactly like the David E. Kelley attempt was setting up to be any better.[*] And I have a feeling Amazon was problematic, too, hence why they kept shutting it down.



[*he said, having never watched the leaked pilot]

Spot said...

All I remember about Wonder Woman is Lynda Carter constantly lasso-ing people, and the cartoon where she was sitting in midair piloting an invisible plane.

Spot said...

I mostly just remember the time she punched a TV screen in Justice League.[*]

[*ok, so we all know me too well to know that's not true, but that scene's still funny anyway]

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