Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Wicked City

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

Wicked City (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsForever
Avg Orig Avg
1.12 1.25 1.10 1.38

In a Nutshell: Wicked City is ABC's latest effort at an anthology series, with the plan being for the show to jump across the history of crime in Los Angeles if it gets multiple seasons. The 10-episode first season stars Ed Westwick and Erika Christensen as a "killer couple" in 1982.

Best Case: An anthology crime drama is actually a better fit with Agents of SHIELD than it ever was with TGIT when ABC tried American Crime there. And this one makes more of an effort at actual entertainment value than the pretentious American Crime. Like Forever, it attracts some of its own (older) audience but it also holds the SHIELD demo a lot better. (Remember the stories about how well it supposedly tested with millennials?!) 1.50 and a renew.

Worst Case: Period dramas don't work. Anthology crime drama American Crime had a much better timeslot and much, much better reviews and didn't do much. The Agents of SHIELD crowd doesn't want a generic serial killer drama, and it's too dark to get to the more conventional crime drama crowd as Forever kinda did. A big black hole in the timeslot at 0.57, maybe barely retaining 50% of SHIELD on premiere night and below that threshold very soon after.

Likeliest: Admittedly, I thought this summer's Aquarius would mega-bomb from day one and it premiered better than I was expecting (though it didn't stay there), and that's probably the closest recent example I can think of. So maybe it can surprise... but this has drama competition, and I don't see the Limitless and Chicago Fire audiences giving up on those shows for this. It'll be no more compatible with SHIELD than Forever was and have even less conventional appeal. It gets a very low 1 tonight and goes fractional in week two to average a 0.81, and it clearly doesn't have the critical acclaim to survive as awards bait schedule filler the way American Crime did.

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