Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Chicago Med

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

Chicago Med (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsMarry Me About a Boy Undateable
Avg Orig Avg
1.87 1.94 1.19 1.14 1.04 1.14 1.41 1.39

In a Nutshell: NBC has usually used its Tuesday The Voice lead-in to try to launch new comedies. But with almost nothing to show for that pursuit over the last few years, they're switching to the drama direction with Chicago Med. It rounds out a trilogy of Dick Wolf Chicago-set dramas, joining the already successful Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.

Best Case: This can be another Chicago Fire; it consistently gets about a 2.0 when airing after The Voice and holds a remarkable amount of that audience even once The Voice is off the air. It's going to get a much larger dose of Voice lead-ins than ChiFi ever has, so it'll have the best Plus of any Chicago series to date. 1.95.

Worst Case: This is premiering at about the same time as last year's debacle State of Affairs, and the story will go down about the same way. If anything, it could be worse, because NBC still hasn't announced what its lead-in will be at 8/7c during The Voice's hiatus. Odds are it won't be as strong as the resurgent Celebrity Apprentice that State of Affairs got in the winter. Med falls to low-1's during Voice's fall season, never breaks 1.0 without The Voice and one of the other drama newbies gets the slot when The Voice's spring season premieres. 0.85.

Likeliest: The third show of a franchise tends to be a safe but relatively low-upside proposition, from Law & Order: CI to CSI: NY to NCIS: NO. And I don't see anything in the casting or reviews to expect different here. I think it'll look like a nice improvement when stacked up against NBC's awful comedy history here, but the uncertainty at 8/7c during the winter months will cancel out much of the Voice juice and keep this from doing much better than the opening seasons of Chicago Fire (87 A18-49+) and Chicago PD (88). After high-1's through the brief post-Voice run at the end of the fall, it'll plummet to low-1's in the winter, then The Voice props it back up to mid-1's for the spring. (Fire will look much stronger by comparison, growing from it in the winter and matching it in the spring.) It adds up to a 1.44. Likely a renewal at this level, but one of the weaker NBC drama renews.

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