Monday, October 26, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Supergirl

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

Supergirl (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsThe Big Bang Theory 2 Broke Girls Mike and Molly
Avg Orig Avg
2.19 2.27 4.80 4.76 2.02 2.15 1.95 1.93

In a Nutshell: The Flash and Arrow have been two of the biggest successes in the history of the CW, but the big four's recent comic book-based series have not been wins on that level (at least when the dust settles). CBS is the latest into the DC Comics game with Supergirl, which gets launched after a new The Big Bang Theory.

Best Case: This has Agents of SHIELD-level initial interest, a huge opening night lead-in, several weeks of promo blitz, and a mediocre Monday Night Football game as competition, so it gets a 4.0+ tonight. It has good reviews, and without the constraints from a movie universe, it's also going to deliver what the audience expects much better than SHIELD did early on. It nails that lighter tone that has worked wonders for The Flash, so maybe it can hold that early rating almost as well as The Flash did on the CW. 3.00.

Worst Case: This is a show on the wrong network, and it's tough to succeed on CBS if you can't appeal to the older CBS base audience. It's also ill-conceived from a gender perspective; the CW's DC Comics empire and even relatively modest big four efforts like SHIELD and Gotham are all among the most male-skewing shows on TV, and this show really flaunts its feminine side. Ultimately, this show is just a bad idea, looking for an audience that simply doesn't exist. It barely breaks 2.0 on premiere night and instantly sheds half of it when TBBT leaves in week two. 0.91, and comedies return to the hour in 2016.

Likeliest: I would be surprised by very little with this one. I can come up with a lot of reasons to feel strongly in both directions. I'm thinking it does well tonight, but a SHIELD-esque opening (which would be a high-3 even in today's ratings) is too much to ask. Still, I really enjoyed the pilot and have some (irrational?) faith that it will hold up pretty well long-term. So I've got it at a 1.91, basically in line with the SHIELD and Gotham season one Pluses but perhaps a little less front-loaded. It may be tough to escape the disappointment narrative since the post-TBBT premiere will be inflated, but it's still a renewal. And the age/gender skews will be almost as interesting as the raw numbers with this one.

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