Friday, October 9, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Undateable, Reign, America's Funniest Home Videos

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

1.41 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
84 1.39 Tuesday 9:00
y2y:+57% +75%

Timeslot OccupantsDateline Fri Constantine Grimm
Avg Orig Avg
0.94 1.06 1.34 1.58 0.82 1.09 1.02 1.44

In a Nutshell: Undateable was supposed to be a burn-off in the summer of 2014, but it exceeded expectations and got a second shot. Then that second shot was upgraded to first-class, when NBC decided to use it in the long-troubled Tuesday slot after The Voice. It didn't do too awful there, but not well enough to hold the slot; instead, it's headed to Friday. The whole season will be produced live, a continuation of an experiment tried once last season.

Best Case: The whole live thing got a bigger bounce than it was generally given credit for; just looking at the 9:00 hour, it was up two tenths week-to-week despite having the worst lead-in of the season. That promise will carry over to Friday, where a surprisingly decent audience is attracted to the event feel of these episodes. It's down just 22% to a 1.10, one of the best Friday holds on record.

Worst Case: The live gimmick didn't move the needle that much the first time. As far as timeslot downgrades, it does not get much worse than going from after The Voice on Tuesday to leading off Friday. It actually somehow found a timeslot in 2015 in which it has multi-cam comedy competition!! It's never breaking 1.0, and it's never getting that close. Down over 50% to a 0.69.

Likeliest: NBC's aired far worse things on Friday, but I have a tough time seeing this put up a good Friday hold considering how favorable the original timeslot was. The live thing may help just a bit but it's still down almost 40% to a 0.86... though that's still better Plus-wise than the first season in the summer!

0.38 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
23 0.47 Thursday 9:00
y2y:-34% -26%

Timeslot OccupantsWhose Line Is It Anyway? (Fall) Hart of Dixie Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Spr)
Avg Orig Avg
0.37 0.41 0.54 0.63 0.41 0.52 0.40 0.61

In a Nutshell: Though it was never compatible skew-wise with lead-out The Vampire Diaries, historical drama Reign showed occasional flashes of OK performance during its first season. But it tumbled in the closing months of the year, and never it got out of the funk during a very weak second season that saw it drop even more year-to-year than TVD. It still got early-renewed and now seems to be on the CBS Studios back-end revenues gravy train, even beating out The 100 for a fall Friday spot.

Best Case: Hart of Dixie was up in raw numbers when it moved to Friday 8/7c, one of the great ratings oddities of this generation (even if it didn't get that much attention since the show was seemingly pre-cancelled). I kinda feel like this doing it would be an even greater miracle... but hey, why not? No drama competition, and it had a lot of it on Thursday! 0.39.

Worst Case: It takes some pretty crazy weakness to drop even more year-to-year than The Vampire Diaries. If it wasn't a good fit with TVD, why would it be a good fit with local syndication comedies? The CDub finally sniffs at Cult territory again: down 60% to a 0.15.

Likeliest: I saw somebody compare this to the Beauty and the Beast summer move, and that seems like a pretty good comparison here. It will hit 0.2 most of the time, and maybe eke out some 0.3's just because the Friday CW local programming lead-in seems pretty good. 0.24.

America's Funniest Home Videos
1.33 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
79 1.68 Sunday 7:00
y2y:-5% +6%

Timeslot OccupantsAmerica's Funniest Home Videos
Avg Orig Avg
1.28 1.31 1.33 1.68

America's Funniest Home Videos premieres on Sunday (October 11).

In a Nutshell: Like many of the newsmagazines that occupy similar roles for their networks, America's Funniest Home Videos has been picking up steam relative to the entertainment programming league average in recent years. AFV's -5% raw and +6% Plus were the series' best trends since the mid-aughts. This year sees the show change hosts for the first time in over a decade, from Tom Bergeron to Alfonso Ribiero.

Best Case: This show continues to do well in the ratings with just about zero buzz or fanfare. So how high could it go when it undergoes a host change, which actually gives it a little bit of buzz/fanfare? Ribiero seems like a good fit for this kind of show/audience. Let's say +5% to a 1.40.

Worst Case: AFV and the newsmagazines keep chugging along by not messing with the formula. A host change, by definition, is messing with the formula. Bergeron was a bigger part of the appeal than anyone ever realized, and Ribiero is no Bergeron. It doesn't get as much pre-tune from the diminished Once Upon a Time. 1.00, down 25%.

Likeliest: Haven't watched this show in ages, but Ribiero seems fine and I see that transition mostly being a wash. This show tends to look much better in the second half of the season, when it probably gets some help from afternoon NBA audiences. But it was actually down more for those late-spring eps this year, and it may not get as much NBA help since some of those games are moving to Saturday primetime. So I'll give it just the league average decline this time: -10% to 1.20.

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