Thursday, November 5, 2015

Best Case/Worst Case: Mom, 2 Broke Girls, Elementary


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




Mom
2.28 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
136 2.06 Th 8:30, 9:30, 9:00
y2y:+9% +23%

Timeslot OccupantsTwo and a Half Men Mom
Avg Orig Avg
2.62 2.12 2.26 2.03 2.03 1.99

In a Nutshell: A Chuck Lorre sitcom with uncommonly strong critical buzz, Mom was one of many OK-performing rookie comedies in the 2013-14 season to ride an improved timeslot to a significant sophomore bounce. It aired the first two thirds of the season after megahit The Big Bang Theory, then was shuffled to 9:30 and later 9:00 as The Odd Couple came in and Two and a Half Men went out.

Best Case: This show got a lot stronger last year, as seen when it was up in raw numbers year-to-year even as an anchor late in the season, and people are continuing to catch on to this creatively strong program. It won't get hurt nearly as much on Thanksgiving since CBS has the late afternoon game. It actually manages to grow in Plus even without a Big Bang lead-in with a 2.22.

Worst Case: Mom had an average lead-in of over 2.9 last season, and this year it may be barely half that; both Big Bang and Life in Pieces will dip a lot in the move to Thursday, plus LiP's gonna air several episodes with repeat lead-ins. This is a show that almost never built from its lead-in last year, and it will struggle doing that even out of a much lesser one. Down just over a third to 1.50.

Likeliest: Dropping less than league average is probably too much to ask with such a worsened lead-in situation, but Big Bang looked fairly healthy late in its Monday run (even before the spike on Supergirl premiere night), and I feel like this show has enough juice to build on its Life in Pieces lead-in. It's down a healthy 16% to 1.92, staying above 2.0 in the favorable winter months and down no more than league average down the stretch.




2 Broke Girls
2.02 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
120 2.15 Monday 8:00
y2y:-20% -10%

Timeslot OccupantsThe McCarthys Mom The Big Bang Theory (R)
Avg Orig Avg
2.38 1.76 1.50 1.44 2.13 2.09 1.76 1.73

Didn't realize till late last night that 2 Broke Girls actually premieres next Thursday (November 12). I'm just gonna leave it here since it was already ready to go.

In a Nutshell: At the height of CBS' sitcom strength in 2011-12, 2 Broke Girls became arguably the most successful new sitcom of this generation. But holding onto that success proved difficult, as the show was put in an anchor role very early and then returned to 8:30 as viewers fled in seasons two and three. Last season brought some redemption as the show became a very solid Monday lead-off comedy, but it was still left on the shelf at the CBS upfront announcement. Its return wasn't announced until a few weeks ago, going on Thursday at 9:30 while previously planned newbie Angel From Hell waits for later.

Best Case: After years of disappointment, 2 Broke Girls finally steadied the ship last year, and airing after Mom and on the same night as The Big Bang Theory is a significantly better situation. Up against a bunch of dramas, raw numbers growth is possible. It averages a 2.15.

Worst Case: 2 Broke Girls is the afterthought in this block, tacked on at the last minute and bound to see less promotion than the megahit Big Bang or the younger Life in Pieces and Mom. Mom isn't strong enough to recoup any of the Big Bang audience that will bleed away at 8:30, and those viewers will continue to depart at 9:30. Down almost a third to 1.38.

Likeliest: As the True averages indicate, I thought this show was a touch stronger than Mom last year, and this timeslot should be easier than Monday was. Can it actually grow from its Mom lead-in at 9:30?! I think it'll be pretty close, but not quite; if anyone is going to trend better in True next season, it'd be the younger Mom. 2BG had some fairly bad results late last season and is 30 minutes farther away from the Big Bang halo. So I give it a 1.82. But that's still a league average decline or less compared to last year!




Elementary
1.28 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
76 1.50 Tuesday 10:00
y2y:-26% -17%

Timeslot OccupantsElementary
Avg Orig Avg
2.06 1.35 1.28 1.50

In a Nutshell: Elementary was CBS' new drama darling in 2012-13, placed in an important Thursday slot after Person of Interest and given a post-Super Bowl berth. But it hasn't been able to hold its initial audience like the elite CBS procedurals, dropping double digits in Plus in seasons two and three. Though it was one of CBS' weakest weeknight offerings last year, it returns yet again to a rocky, football-interrupted Thursday night.

Best Case: This show actually had a pretty back-loaded average last year, with most of its worst points coming in the fall when The McCarthys was its 9:30 lead-in and How to Get Away with Murder was on the air. Now, Murder is a lot weaker, NBC is a lot weaker and 2 Broke Girls is bound to be a significant lead-in upgrade. Vastly improved conditions can drag this seemingly crumbling show to a surprisingly steady season (like Nashville last year and Agents of SHIELD to some degree this year). 1.28, dead even with last year.

Worst Case: Many CBS procedurals are struggling this fall, and this is the one that was actually tanking before this season. It's dropped 23% and 26% the last two years, and -26% came last year as it was facing the likes of American Crime and Allegiance. The bleeding will only continue to accelerate as ABC (and maybe NBC?!) actually program legit competition in the second half of the season. Down another third to a ridiculously weak 0.86, and maybe gets a final season in Sunday 10/9c Siberia if it's lucky.

Likeliest: It's dangerous to be a buyer on this show, but it really did seem stronger after The McCarthys left town, and the situation will be a lot better now. I think it drops league average or less in the fall simply because last fall was such a huge disaster, but it will not have quite the same winter surge it did last year and head for the zeroes in the spring. That adds up to a 1.06 (down 17%).

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