|Timeslot Occupants||Chicago Fire|
In a Nutshell: After two modest weeks to begin its run in fall 2012, Chicago Fire grew to a 1.8 in week three and has never looked back. It saw solid ratings improvement in season two as it got some exposure after The Voice, and it held onto that 108 Plus last season despite airing after a bunch of weak comedy lead-ins.
Best Case: This show is getting a lead-in from another Chicago series, which is very likely to do better than the low-rated comedies that Fire had to build from last year, and a lock to be much more compatible. It's never really benefited from the Dick Wolf universe crossovers in the past, but since it will be the second show chronologically it will get more heat from those this time. It's usually broken a 2 when it airs after The Voice, and it will do that much more consistently now that Med is in town. 2.09, up 15%.
Worst Case: CBS really did ChiFi a solid by leaving Person of Interest in the hour last season. The breezier Limitless has turned the casual viewership momentum back in CBS' favor, and Med ends up being no better than the comedy lead-ins that Chicago Fire had last year. Down just over 20% to a 1.46.
Likeliest: I was actually thinking this could grow in raw numbers before the season, but I'm more hesitant to do that now that Limitless is looking above my expectations. I'm not really sure how I feel about Med yet, but it's hard for me to see it not improving ChiFi's situation overall. Added crossover heat and a month of Voice lead-ins to start the season will help too... though thanks to Med, it may actually not get quite as many direct Voice lead-ins overall. -5% to a 1.73.