Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NBC True Power Rankings, November 2014


After an unfortunate delay for some maintenance, the True Power Rankings have finally returned! As always, these rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

These rankings include results through Sunday, November 9.
 
More November True Power Rankings: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW



NBC ComediesTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
Oh, Come On.
1Marry Me1.181.4039%34%
2Bad Judge1.120.9030%34%
3About a Boy1.091.05-41%36%35%
4A to Z1.000.7535%34%

At least last year, NBC had a huge drama bomb so they could say it was possible to do worse than their comedy department. This time, every single NBC drama ranks pretty decisively ahead of every single NBC comedy, which is pretty embarrassing. I'm a bit surprised at how quickly NBC has bailed on these shows, with the Thursday pair gone after 13 and Marry Me getting only a small extension that will probably be used to get the network through The Voice's hiatus. Even Sean Saves the World was extended last year! But it's hard to argue from a ratings perspective. Time to start all over again.



NBC DramasTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
The Elites
1The Blacklist2.192.43-14%34%42%
2Chicago Fire1.971.80-11%33%35%
3Law and Order: SVU1.771.60-10%29%32%

The Blacklist has been fine but unspectacular as it prepares for a huge move to Thursday. Chicago Fire has done pretty well leading out of a comedy mess at 9/8c. And that Law and Order: SVU just won't go away. Right now, this could very well be another year of SVU being just too strong to cancel, in spite of the considerable expense.

NBC DramasTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
The Rest
4Chicago PD1.601.45-12%29%36%
5Parenthood1.571.20-5%39%32%
6Grimm1.531.30-17%33%41%
7The Mysteries of Laura1.421.2721%32%
8Constantine1.421.0040%50%

Been a bit disappointed with Chicago PD thus far, especially considering how CBS and ABC aren't doing much in the hour either. Chicago Fire started really gaining momentum in the second half of season one a couple years ago, and that's effectively about where we are now with PD (since season one was only 15 eps). Maybe being another Fire-sized player just isn't in the cards, but it still seems renewal-worthy. Let's see if this week's cross-over gets it going.

For all of the "Women Crush Wednesday" branding, The Mysteries of Laura has been close to a Revolution-sized show in the demo. It probably deserved the back nine, but normally NBC would do what they did with Revolution: thank it for its services and politely cancel at season's end. This year, that may not happen, because NBC's had a pretty terrible start to the season with new series. So far, there are no Blacklist/Chicago PD slam dunks like last year. So while Laura's renewal may end up being motivated by face-saving, it's still in the mix at this early juncture.

If Laura can't be counted out, then Constantine probably shouldn't be either, as its third episode finally put it ahead of the Dracula pace. NBC couldn't have done better by this show compatibility-wise than Grimm, but Constantine still skews markedly younger and more male than its lead-in. I don't think its chances are good, but it has a demographic profile that may work in its favor if it can actually find a way to stabilize in the very low 1's.



NBC UnscriptedTrueA18-49y2ySkew%Male
1The Voice Mon Fall3.393.53-15%38%37%
2The Voice Tue Fall2.862.83-14%36%38%
3Dateline Fri1.591.27-1%24%37%
4The Biggest Loser1.371.17-34%36%35%

Just as the Dancing with the Stars comeback has slowed a bit this fall, so too has the downfall of The Voice. It's probably going to be down more than average, but it's not looking like the catastrophic drop that seemed possible when it premiered at 3.9. (Though it is worth noting that number adjusted up to 4.1 after the Nielsen glitch was corrected, so even that rating wasn't as bad as it seemed.)

We still don't know what The Blacklist's Thursday lead-in will be. As rough as it's been for The Biggest Loser, it's still doing about as well as anything the network could reasonably put in the hour, but there's no indication of a second cycle this season. With Laura seemingly locking down the slot where I thought Parks and Recreation would end up (Wednesday 8/7c), will NBC really force Blacklist to self-start out of a Parks-led comedy hour?

36 comments:

Spot said...

If they knew what Once U

Spot said...

NBC doesn't have much of a bubble. The comedies are all dead. Only two new dramas and they both look to be done by seasons end. NBC will probably looks more interesting in spring. Launching a ton of Sunday shows, Alliegence post Blacklist, and the new comedies

Spot said...

I still think Shield has enough going for it to warrant making a night around it. For years, ABC developed dramas like V, Flashforward and Last Resort that despite all the other issues that these individual shows could have had, just didn't fit on their schedule. Right now, they have a safe haven for these types of shows which are Tuesdays. I believe there is still an audience for these types of shows on televisions, they just have to be really good to make sure they retain the audience post early sampling and that they need good scheduling, which ABC never actually gave any of these shows. I could see The Whispers also fitting this bill but of course I don't know if it's good enough or not.

Honestly, I prefer this idea much more than I prefer the idea of comedies on Tuesday (comedies are simply declining right now and I don't think post voice is a good slot for comedies) or yet another night of female skewing dramas (Sundays and Thursdays are enough for that).

Spot said...

Is anything filling in for the Tuesday results show during The Voice hiatus? They could double up Parks and Recreation there possibly. Apparantly it may not be ready yet, but if I were NBC, I would plug Heroes Reborn in the Thursday at 8 slot. With superbowl promotion, I think enough people would show up to give The Blacklist a boost. Even if its a bunch of hate watchers

Spot said...

Oh, I absolutely agree that keeping Resurrection there made a lot of sense, I wasn't arguing about that. I was talking midseason/ next season. Especially now that Wednesdays and Thursdays are fixed, Fridays are still doing wonderfully and Mondays are still not a problem, there really is no reason for ABC not to fix the post OUAT and the surrounding Shield slots.


Long term, I don't think launching a procedure should be that complicated. If they really want one to replace Castle one, I think they should just try again next year, probably with better scheduling and probably using one that they actually own, which is certainly one of Castle's biggest advantages.


I guess the difference is that I don't truly believe that Forever would achieve renewable numbers out of the blue if placed post OUAT (see Resurrection also getting nowhere near them in the same slot) and I think there would be a big opportunity cost in there because they should try something new in the slot.

Spot said...

NBC's comedy situation is really a mess. I'm sure they'll stick two new shows after The Voice in March again and get a renewal out of that, but they're going to be going into next year with no comedy anchors whatsoever, which is rough.

About a Boy apparently has a 22 episode order, so I'm guessing it will be burned off with Parks wherever it goes.

Spot said...

Regarding NBC, and looking back, I must say I regret my lack of dislike in their fall schedule back in the upfronts. I still don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the schedule, but what I also don't see is anything great either. I am for year round programming and spreading the big launches and all that but fall tv should still be when you have some of your biggest stuff being tried. All the other nets had big new stuff they were behind (Gotham on FOX, TGIT and new Wednesday block on ABC, Scorpion and New Orleans with TNF on CBS, The Flash on the CW), but NBC was too stale and let inertia stick around. Maybe that just means they are actually very smart and simply reacted to some horrible development season that didn't produce anything more worthier of promotion than their veterans, but when you look at how much was ordered at midseason, it is hard to believe that. They seemed relatively serious about Marry Me (though I would still say that my feeling is that they were less high on it than on previous efforts like About a Boy, Go On, New Normal, Michael J Fox or Sean Saves the World), but a fall season in which the biggest freshman focus is freaking mysteris of laura is simply lacking. Their veterans are doing okay, yes, but I don't think they are doing okay enough to justify the extra promotion they have received at the expense of new freshman shows.

I don't have any particularly other insight comment to add. SVU is still looking very healthy and Chicago Fire is a big success story for them and a big case study for ratings resilience and lead-in independence (it reminds me a bit of GA in that sense). The Blacklist has underperformed in my opinion though I wouldn't necessarily read too much into that in terms of what it means for its Thursday move. PD is also under performing as you've mentioned. Grimm is too early to tell since it's had two irregular weeks so far and Constantine is probably a very low end bubble show right now. Laura is... just there. Beating expectations, but not doing anything to write home about.

Spot said...

I would love for them to do Heroes Reborn on Thursdays, I've been arguing for that for a while now.

Spot said...

Ever since the May upfronts, I felt like NBC's fall schedule was a placeholder for the line-up they really wanted post-Super Bowl. And that's how it's played out in the ratings: Bad Judge & A to Z were thrown to the wolves of Scandal and Thursday Night Football so The Blacklist could stay relatively sheltered post-The Voice. I'd argue that holding off until week 4 of the season to debut Marry Me and About a Boy was just as much about continuing to help ChiFi as not thinking the sitcoms were that great. Meanwhile, their midseason offerings are much higher profile (A.D., Heroes: Reborn, Untitled Bill Cosby sitcom) and/or will have much stronger support (Allegiance).

The silver lining for NBC is that at least this Voice hiatus won't be as painful as 2012-2013's since they have pieces like The Blacklist and ChiFi. But Mondays and Tuesdays are still going to be painful with newbie State of Affairs getting a weaker lead-in from mothballed Celebrity Apprentice and Marry Me/AaB going into a complete meltdown, likely with a Hollywood Game Night lead-in.

Spot said...

Cosby is for next season only I believe, not the current season.

Spot said...

I think Parks & Recreation is only doing 13 episodes this season, so a double-pump would only cover 6 to 7 weeks. My best guess for Tuesdays midseason is Hollywood Game Night. Those type of procedural reality shows, where watching the previous episode is not necessary to jump into the newest one, are the kind of thing NBC should continue to develop for its Voice hiatuses.

As for Thursdays at 8:00, I get putting Heroes: Reborn there. It'd be the splashiest way to go. I'd only be concerned about a geek-leaning show having to face The Big Bang Theory. If it's not Heroes, maybe Aquarius.

Spot said...

I've read/heard reports about either Summer 2015 or 2015-2016. However I don't think NBC is above really pushing production and getting it on the air now if they needed to. And given the state of their comedy slate they may need to.

Spot said...

Allegedly, they are also high on Kimmy Smith so they could push that one come midseason and leave Cosby for next year. I dunno.

Spot said...

Does anyone know the cost of SVU these days? I feel like they've dumped many of the older cast, so that has to alleviate some of the cost. The only thing I can see making it expensive anymore is Mariska.

Spot said...

I can see the argument for thinking that way but the delay in getting it renewed last year would probably indicate it's still very expensive.

Spot said...

I would like them to double pump it in January Thursdays at 8 when the biggest looser is over and the blacklist centered night is not yet in place. But the order doesn't fit as there would be room for 10 episodes only. Even if they do a huge two hour season finale for a comedy (which would be pretty rare) that would only leave it at 13.


This is not what I want to happen at all but what I think will happen is that they will air About a Boy with Marry Me on Tuesday up until episode 14 of that show. Marry Me then double pumps 15+16 and 17+18 for two weeks. Meanwhile, About a Boy pairs with Parks Thursdays at 8 with Parks eventually having a one hour season finale. I really hate the idea of blacklist leading out of that but I think it will happen.

Spot said...

Keep in mind it's not just the cast. The long-time producers and writers are going to command a higher salary than newer ones. Same with other behind-the-scenes personnel. And let's not forget that Ice-T has been around for 15 seasons now...

Spot said...

You would think that the cancellation of Community would diminish my enjoyment at seeing NBC's new comedies fail... but it doesn't! Abandoning their "niche" brand has been a complete disaster. Their comedies are skewing broader (older and more female, much like the rest of the network) but the raw numbers are way too low. What a mess.

Spot said...

This could come off as cold but the thing is that all those behind the scenes personnel can be replaced by new ones that are just as cheap as when joining a freshman show.

Spot said...

But what was the alternative? Another year of Community and Parks fumbling about at basically the same level? Neither show was going to get new viewers, so if NBC wanted growth in the time slot, they had to go new and broad.

Spot said...

The AD launch basically timed itself with the subject matter and its length, I'm almost treating that as like a special that happens to be scripted and over several weeks.

NBC probably felt that staying largely out of the fall promotional mess was zigging while others zagged. Not sure it worked, but they've got lots of spring pieces that might have a clean run. Using pre-premiere week might have been a better approach, especially with two NFL primetime games in the first week of September to provide a promotional push for the male-leaning stuff in particular. (Though Constantine invited the usual late-October launch given the Grimm fit.) But no, the only pre-premiere launch was TBL - the angle for which basically meant it was the only show on the network facing tough and compatible competition. Well done, NBC! (That's actually not sarcastic in terms of damaging TBL...)

They really were impressively non-committal in pushing A to Z, mentioning it seemingly only in text at the bottom of Bad Judge spots. You'd think someone who moved the ratings needle so much on HIMYM could've drawn a few star-centric ad spots...

Spot said...

Yeah, I definitely think that indicates high cost. If just makes me wonder how expensive this show was at its peak.

Spot said...

Though last year's shot at brewing broad went so badly that Community actually looked renew-worthy once accounting for skew. Which is terrifying, but it's basically where the show had been for four seasons. They could legitimately have used it, probably for a final shortened season (with two-hour "movie" finale?) burning up placeholder Thursday real estate prior to the Blacklist transition. Actually, Community/Parks there would have plain worked, and the sellable concept of Bad Judge could have been held for midseason and possibly have sorted itself out creatively in that time.

Spot said...

I agree Laura has some chances for face saving renewal. Constantine not, though. To some extent, Marry Me has chances to (in case it would have The Voice lead-in in spring too). Because, whose to say NBC midseason entries won't do as bad in ratings as fall ones.

In fact, it's to expect NBC midseason rookies to fail. They're 0-for-5 this fall (0-for-6 if we count About a Boy). They're 0-for-zillion in comedies since Greenblatt is in charge. And, in 2 1/2 seasons under him, NBC manufactured only The Blacklist and Chicago Fire (the jury is still out on Chicago PD). Pity renewals are nowadays trademark of NBC, they're now way ahead The CW in that category.

All in all, sad. NBC gave away all they gained last year, and then some. Sad, but predictable ever since they announced one of the worst schedules in recent memory.

Spot said...

Heroes: Reborn is said to be for summer. As far as I know, they even didn't finish casting, let alone started shooting actual episodes. In midseason? I suppose by then they will have some scripts finished, so if they can get someone like William Shatner to read those scripts like they're poems, that's the best they can produce. I'm joking, but I bet it would have more viewers than their comedies.

On a more serious note, they need to burn off some comedies between two cycles of The Voice. Most obvious candidates are About a Boy and Parks&rec, as both are ending this season. I really have no idea if it will be at Tue 9 PM, or Tue 8 PM, or Thu 8 PM, or some combination of it.

Spot said...

NBC programmed for its veterans because they had the youngest lineup when it comes to shows (way younger than CBS) and wanted them (mostly the Chicago franchise and Blacklist, Boy to a lesser extent) to not go to the "two-and done" route.


Too bad they sacrificed every rookie and gave everything away, it's all about pity renewals now, State of Affairs will be one if it gets 70% retention out of Voice, Allegiance will get a high 1s Blacklist leading to it, Scandal will beat TB by something close to a full point, the sundays in the spring lineup will be everything self-starting.


I didn't mention the comedies, does NBC actually have them?

Spot said...

I understand and I don't think that's a bad strategy in some cases. For instance, in 2012/2013, I think ABC should have done something similar to support its formidable class of Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal, Last Man Standing and Suburgatory instead of trying to make the likes of The Neighbors or Last Resort work when it was clear for all of us it was a very long shot (note that I adore both shows but ratings wise it's the truth). So I would get it if NBC had a terrible development class. But a terrible development class doesn't really go with ordering an insane amount of midseason shows. It shows goes with spreading the shows throughout the year in a poor manner IMO.

Spot said...

I think Constantine is a very low end bubble show and I expect it to be cancelled but I still think it has a better chance than Marry Me, I really cannot imagine that one being renewed.

Spot said...

The Thursdays at 8 slot is weird because it's only for a month (the blackist starts on the first week of february there so I assume they will want the regular 8pm occupant to be there by then as well instead of burnoff). It's not even enough time to double pump Parks.

Spot said...

Still on the Forever front, I was looking at the episode counts and the truth is that if ABC runs it straight through (while still stopping in 23/12 and 30/12 that is), the show could be at 21 episodes by 24/02, which is the night that Carter ends and the week before Shield returns. They would just have to burn off the remaining episode somewhere such as 8pm in one of those January or February nights before being able to clear the night before Shield's return.

They would then be able to fit the Beyond the Tank | Shield | The Whispers pairing for the remaining 11 weeks of the season (with a repeat or a Marvel special somewhere in there since Beyond is only 10 episodes). The last week would be the DWTS finale as usual.

Similarly, they could end Nashville on a two hour season finale on 04/03 (leading out of The Middle and The Goldbergs and thus evening out the episode orders of the comedy block), making way for a straight 11 episode order of a show like American Crime.

Spot said...

While it fits, ABC is unlikely to do that to Forever just to fit Beyond the Tank onto Tuesdays. Besides, I don't think ABC would move the show down 2 hours just to fit the DWTS finale (unless the network makes it tangle directly with The Voice's finale again from 8:00 to 10:00). As much as I think the reality spinoff should be on a different night, I'm resigned to seeing it on Fridays.


As for Wednesdays, again I think that's unlikely. I think it's more probable we see The Goldbergs preempt Modern Family and black-ish for the 9:00 hour just because ABC will want to see if the post-Middle improvements could mean Goldbergs should be an anchor for 2015-2016.

Spot said...

Regarding Tuesdays, the thing is that not doing this to Forever would mean airing ~10 repeats of this already very low rated show during winter and Spring. Will ABC really do such a thing when it has so many backsups in reserve that it can use? Even if it isn't Beyond the Tank, they also have Members Only, which has been heating up from a casting standpoint, so I really doubt we will see Forever repeat 10 times. Even CBS is making an effort to reduce repeats and their repeats still often pull higher ratings than Forever originals. I didn't get your point about ABC moving the show to fit with the DWTS finale. It would air at 10 as usual, no? I missed your point there.

Regarding Wednesdays, I am really having trouble believing they will waste the slot for the entire year when they have enough room to try something new. On top of that, they actually need slots to launch their dramas. Out of all the 4 networks, ABC is the one that bothers the least with summer (only cheap reality and low rated imports, excluding Mistresses but I am convinced that one has some sort of deal to make it terribly cheap) so it feels unlikely they would leave not one, but two expensive dramas to air in the summer just like that. And again, not stopping Nashville in midseason would mean 11 hours of Nashville repeats in the winter/ spring. Will ABC really do such a thing? We are talking probably barely 0.5 levels...

Spot said...

Mistresses is about to become much cheaper since their most expensive cast member, Alyssa Milano, quit the show because she didn't want to move to Vancouver (another way the drama is saving money for season 3). I didn't mention it in my comment, but I'd much rather have ABC just push the second half of Nashville's season into the summer for something like Members Only or The Astronaut Wives Club to take over at midseason. The lack of a Motive pick-up could mean ABC is considering that option.

Or it may mean that ABC is actually going to try harder over the summer with higher-profile scripted fare (Sundays? Thursdays?).

As for Forever, ABC could easily treat it like Castle, which as a procedural it essentially is but just lower-rated. And if ABC throws repeats of Castle on in the Winter/Spring following The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars, then they can just as easily do it with Forever.

Dancing with the Stars' finale is typically 9:00 to 11:00. Either they move Forever up to 8:00 and keep DWTS as is, or bump DWTS from 8:00 to 10:00 and have it lead into Forever. That's what I was trying to say.

Spot said...

Agreed about Mistresses.

Regarding Nashville, my point was that there is no need to push either Nashville or a second drama to summer since there is room Wednesdays at 10 to air both. American Crime is only 11 episodes so assuming Nashville can do a two hour season finale sometime, it would fit and they could air everything during the season. Why push it for the summer instead, when ABC clearly has never preferred to air repeats in season over summer originals?

The lack of a motive pickup, to me, means that indeed something like Members Only (or AWC, I dunno) will indeed air in the summer, but two of them seem unlikely to me.

Regarding Forever, I get your point now about the hour of the DWTS finale but I still think it wouldn't be a big deal. If not, we are only taking about one extra episode anyway, so that could be cut from the order if needed (it has happened before), I don't think it would prevent the plan from working. At the end of the day, I think you are probably going to be right and that ABC won't do this, but I think there is at least a shot that they go for it since they seem genuinely invested in cutting down repeat time, so I don't know why they would be interested

Spot said...

I think Spot's table says it all.
Constantine - 8th out of 8 dramas in raw A18-49, tied 7th in True,
Marry Me - 1st out of 4 comedies, by low margin in True. But significant in raw numbers, and we're talking about face renewal here :wink:

Spot said...

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