Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: Beyond the Tank, Hollywood Game Night, New Girl

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

Beyond the Tank
1.50 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
89 1.82 Friday 9:00

Timeslot OccupantsHow to Get Away with Murder
Avg Orig Avg
1.73 2.12 2.12 1.88

In a Nutshell: Beyond the Tank is a spin-off of Friday sensation Shark Tank, showing what happens with companies after they close deals on Shark Tank. It was introduced in May 2015 with three Friday episodes, all airing after original episodes of Shark Tank and posting near-full retention. This year, it gets a post-Shark Tank preview tonight before leading off the next five Thursdays to fill the TGIT hiatus.

Best Case: Beyond the Tank was close to matching Shark Tank's ratings on Friday, and it will continue to do that in weeknight airings with higher overall viewing. It averages a 1.58, on par with what Shark Tank has been doing lately.

Worst Case: Shark Tank has never really done better than its Friday ratings when tried out on weeknights, and this show will actually do much worse since it was extremely dependent on the lead-in. It gets a very low-1 for the preview after Shark Tank and barely beats its 0.6 holiday repeats when moved to the tough Thursday lead-off role. 0.83.

Likeliest: The Thursday airings will not go as well as its Friday run in May, making it much clearer that this is not as strong as the Shark Tank mothership. But very low-1's will still make for a credible piece of TGIT filler. (I mean, The Taste never even broke a 1.0 last year!) 1.15.

Hollywood Game Night
1.28 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
76 1.53 Tuesday 10:00
y2y:+12% +25%

Timeslot OccupantsBest Time Ever The Voice Tue Fall
Avg Orig Avg
2.22 2.26 1.23 1.24 2.86 2.49

In a Nutshell: NBC's veteran reality series sees Jane Lynch host six celebrities and two "normal people" competing in a variety of party games. It's mostly been a summer fixture, but in a variety of timeslots (getting a ratings bump last year when it aired after America's Got Talent). It was last seen in the regular season as The Voice filler on Monday in 2014; this year, it fills the Voice slot on Tuesday.

Best Case: This is a pretty easy timeslot where Parks and Recreation did great last year. It'll be even easier in the early weeks when a lot of the networks will be in repeats (or in Fox's case, pulling repeat-esque numbers with originals). Plus, it'll bring in some pre-tune from the hot Chicago crossover. The raw numbers growth continues for Game Night as it nearly matches its 1.42 raw average on Monday in 2014. 1.34.

Worst Case: The improved raw numbers masked the fact that Game Night was leading out of a really, really strong America's Got Talent last summer and often had pretty weak retention. It went into the zeroes sometimes in its Thursday run in 2014, and with no lead-in support it'll be back in that area again. 0.87, just barely better than its holiday repeats.

Likeliest: The competition sets up pretty favorably here, and that matters with a show that probably gets quite a bit of casual tune-in. I think it holds onto very low-1's through most of the eight-week run, which will be a respectable enough lead-in to hand to some crucial weeks for Chicago Med. 1.10.

New Girl
1.32 A18-49+True2014-15 Slot
78 1.51 Tuesday 9:00
y2y:-21% -12%

Timeslot OccupantsGrandfathered
Avg Orig Avg
1.33 1.10 1.06 1.16

In a Nutshell: New Girl had one of the generation's most impressive comedy premieres back in fall 2012 and remained a strong player for at least two seasons. In recent years, it's become more of a modest-rated but very young-skewing player, and the new Fox regime held it off the fall sked in 2015-16. It returns as a key player in yet another two-hour Tuesday comedy lineup, something that has not gone particularly well in previous attempts.

Best Case: New Girl actually had its smallest year-to-year decline in series history last season, and that was while it had some really bad results due to weird lead-ins at the beginning (Utopia) and end (Hell's Kitchen) of the season. It may actually be more compatible with comedy local programming than with most of what it got last year. The slowed declines continue as New Girl takes just a league average drop to 1.17.

Worst Case: New Girl suddenly collapsed to 1.0ish late last season when placed between Hell's Kitchen and Weird Loners, and frankly local programming/Grandfathered may be an even worse sandwich. It never breaks 1.0 beyond maybe the premiere and averages a 0.80, down well over a third.

Likeliest: A lower-viewed hour and general LOL Fox problems will do this show no favors. I think it continues to hover around where it was at the end of last season, then goes fractional after DST. 0.98.

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