Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: The Flash, iZombie


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



The Flash
1.44 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
86 1.51 Tuesday 8:00

Timeslot OccupantsThe Flash
Avg Orig Avg
1.09 1.45 1.44 1.51

In a Nutshell: The CW's second stab at a DC Comics superhero series opened with nearly five million viewers and a 1.9 demo, the biggest premiere (in Plus) in network history. And it actually held onto a solid portion of that audience, holding in the low-to-mid 1's throughout the season and becoming easily the biggest CW series ever.

Best Case: The Flash had big ratings even on a network that still has a bit of a general awareness problem. The network is casting an even wider net promotionally this time; I've seen a lot of promos on the ESPN networks, for example. It bounces back to the series premiere number on opening night and holds that audience even better in the post-premiere weeks, especially when Legends of Tomorrow rolls around for some midseason crossovers. A double-digit bounce to 1.64, making it the first above-league-average netlet show on record.

Worst Case: The only stronger netlet series on record is season two of Smallville, and that show dropped thirty-seven percent the next year. It's just really tough to sustain this stratospheric level of heat, and after a few low-end season one numbers The Flash soon dips fractional pretty much for good. Just over 30% down to an even 1.00.

Likeliest: This show did an amazing job of holding on across the year; it had very nearly the same demo rating from about week three through the end of the season. So there's a decent chance it can actually be close to even year-to-year in raw numbers for some of the early season. But the first couple weeks will be tough to replicate, and I'm thinking it takes a bit more of a DST hit this time. Ultimately, last year was so huge that going even in Plus seems really tough. But I don't think it will be too far off. -14% to a 1.24.



iZombie
0.65 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
39 0.63 Tuesday 9:00

Timeslot OccupantsSupernatural iZombie
Avg Orig Avg
0.66 0.81 0.89 0.71 0.68 0.60

In a Nutshell: At midseason, the CW tried its first new series with the huge Flash lead-in, another comic book-to-TV series effort. The show did decently even though it didn't seem that compatible with The Flash (regularly skewing much more female, and dropping barely/not at all even when Flash was in repeats).

Best Case: iZombie arguably looked most promising in the summer run, after The Flash was gone and it held at 0.6 for a few weeks. Maybe the return of Flash can boost it back up into the territory it was occupying in the first half of its run. 0.77, and it gets not only a back nine but holds onto one of the prime post-DC lead-ins, beating out Supernatural.

Worst Case: You know what else held up very well in the summer airings and ended on a series low? Last year's The 100. That show didn't bring any heat to the next fall, and this lighter, more procedural effort will bring even less core audience back. It's way down to a 0.44 and doesn't even get a back nine or tryout elsewhere.

Likeliest: Feels a lot like The 100 here. It continues to get mostly 0.6's with The Flash lead-in and continues to hold up well in some random episodes with repeat lead-ins. 0.59 (for only Tuesday 9/8c eps). I doubt this level would be enough to hold onto a "prime" slot with Legends of Tomorrow in the hopper, but it will be a pretty interesting decision for the CW here that probably hinges to some degree on how Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does. Could it get a back nine and move to Monday? A back nine and move to Friday? Limited to 13 and renewed anyway? Cancelled? No idea.

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