Thursday, March 24, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: The Catch


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



The Catch (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsHow to Get Away with Murder
Avg Orig Avg
1.54 1.66 1.87 1.72

In a Nutshell: Another short season for How to Get Away with Murder means the Thursday 10/9c timeslot has opened up in the spring once again. After struggling with American Crime in the hour last year, the network is playing it much closer to the TGIT vest this time with the new Shondaland drama The Catch, starring Mireille Enos and Peter Krause. One inherent difference/advantage this show has is that it allows ABC to keep the TGIT brand name across all three nights (something they did not do with the more somber Crime last spring).

Best Case: Turns out that what TGIT really needed all along was some fresh blood to reignite its fickle audience! Not only does this sustain a higher level than late-season Murder episodes, but it actually seems to bring a few people back to its lead-in Scandal as well. 1.85, and ABC may even consider giving it the fall TGIT slot ahead of Murder...

Worst Case: This show ends up being a really lightweight version of the TGIT faves, and it could easily be just as soundly rejected as the less compatible American Crime was last year. Given Scandal's major struggles of late, the numbers could get very ugly if it has the same kind of retention that Crime did. It's another shockingly big bomb like The Family has been on Sunday, averaging a 0.70.

Likeliest: How to Get Away with Murder has taken a lot of flack for its late-season ratings, and a lot of it is deserved. But looking at the overall landscape, even those winter numbers were pretty stout stuff for a 10/9c drama, and The Catch would be really happy to sustain that level. The reviews have been surprisingly positive, so I wouldn't rule it out completely. But I just don't see the concept launching much better than the usual Murder deliveries, and it soon finds itself a good bit lower. If it can settle in the very low 1's, that would be a sizable improvement vs. American Crime, especially given how much weaker the Scandal lead-in is. Might be enough on a struggling ABC? 1.15.

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