Friday, October 2, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Dr. Ken

Best Case/Worst Case lays out possible scenarios for broadcast primetime TV seasons yet to premiere. Here's what's premiering tonight!

Dr. Ken (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsCristela
Avg Orig Avg
1.13 1.19 1.01 1.32

In a Nutshell: ABC has had a different comedy on Friday at 8:30 every year since Last Man Standing came to the night, and in fall 2015 it will be The Hangover and Community star Ken Jeong's family comedy Dr. Ken. An interesting wrinkle in this premise is that Jeong was a doctor in real life many years ago.

Best Case: Ken Jeong is by far the biggest name that's occupied this timeslot since Reba's Malibu Country three years ago, and that show opened extremely well. And this one has an even more legit supporting cast, including Trophy Wife scene-stealer Albert Tsai and sitcom vets Dave Foley and Tisha Campbell-Martin. Jeong's manic energy is actually a better fit on a multi-cam sitcom than it ever was on Community. ABC finally gets a ratings level they find acceptable out of this timeslot, which is full retention of or growth from Last Man. 1.25.

Worst Case: The projects that have made Ken Jeong famous skew toward the FXX crowd, but he's literally in Hallmark Channel territory here. (Last Man Standing will be syndicated there, after all.) It's just a horrible fit, and the reviews suggest it's a horrible show. Welcome back to The Neighbors territory Plus-wise at 0.75, and ABC puts a rush job on more Beyond the Tank.

Likeliest: Love this supporting cast, but it's hard to get past the awful reviews (even if a show in a Last Man Standing block could succeed without critical acclaim). Though this will presumably be a kinder and gentler version than his other characters, I'm just not sold that Jeong is family sitcom leading man material. I'm generically giving it Cristela's Plus from last season, but kind of riding the fence here... it might do even worse and just match Cristela by virtue of not getting the full 22. If it gets the back nine, it'll be in the same situation as Cristela: hoping for yet another Last Man renewal and no feasible companion out of development, and I'm not going down that road. 0.91.

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