Thursday, March 3, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: The Family

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

The Family (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsBlood and Oil
Avg Orig Avg
1.37 1.03 0.96 0.99

In a Nutshell: New drama The Family looks at a family dealing with the return of its son, who had been missing for 12 years and presumed dead. It gets a Thursday preview tonight after Grey's Anatomy, then moves to its regular Sunday timeslot to continue ABC's tradition of launching a new drama the Sunday after the Oscars. The last two Sunday-after-Oscar efforts both got renewed for season two, but the stories played out very differently: Resurrection started huge and bled fast, while Secrets and Lies started low but held on extremely well post-premiere.

Best Case: Resurrection proved two years ago that there's a huge W25-54 audience out there for the picking in this hour, and it isn't completely served by the biggest competitors like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The family tragedy angle will really connect, and this show is hammocked between two decent performers in Once Upon a Time and Quantico. Can't see this starting as well as Resurrection or holding as well as Secrets, but it builds from Grey's for the preview episode and then breaks 2.0 through its early Sunday weeks. 2.15 and a lock to return in the fall.

Worst Case: The last two Oscar launches succeeded (at least in season one), but ABC has had some real duds on Sunday as well, and this older-skewing concept is headed in the same direction. Anyone who might have been interested in a slow-burning family exploration is watching The Good Wife. This show rates far closer to Betrayal or Red Widow territory in Plus, and even lower than the dud fall occupant Blood and Oil. 0.83.

Likeliest: I think this concept will resonate better than Secrets and Lies did out of the gate, and the post-Grey's exposure can only help with initial sampling. It won't hold onto the premiere audience nearly as well as S&L (because almost nothing does), but it will end up settling in about the same area Plus-wise, and a much weaker ABC will pull the trigger on another spring Sunday drama renewal. 1.45.

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