Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: Heartbeat

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

Heartbeat (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsThe Mysteries of Laura
Avg Orig Avg
1.11 1.19 1.11 1.19

In a Nutshell: Tonight, NBC uses still another The Voice preview on the medical drama Heartbeat, which will then move to Wednesdays at 8/7c starting tomorrow. That timeslot will invite a direct comparison point with bubble drama The Mysteries of Laura, which has aired there all season. Heartbeat was initially slated to air in this Tuesday 9/8c preview slot long-term, starting in the fall, but it was bumped in favor of Chicago Med due to Melissa George's pregnancy.

Best Case: There's a reason why NBC originally chose this show over Chicago Med, and also a reason why NBC gave The Mysteries of Laura less than a full season so it could squeeze Heartbeat into the regular season mix. It turns out that it actually fits like a glove into NBC's ass-kickin' "Woman Crush Wednesday" branding. It won't get to Chicago Med's 2.2 number after The Voice, but it may get enough sampling that it can hold onto Med's winter numbers on Wednesday. 1.63, and it easily takes Laura's place on the renewal totem pole.

Worst Case: This show seems very much in the Laura mold, but Melissa George lacks Debra Messing's name recognition and personality. Laura actually held up pretty well in the slot this season, and it could've gone much worse. This will be a textbook example of just how much worse: it essentially follows the You, Me and the Apocalypse track to a megabomb 0.63 average. It's clearly dunzo, of course, but an added impact is that it makes Laura's numbers in the hour look more attractive by comparison.

Likeliest: Everyone thought NBC had caught a big break when they had to trade this out for Chicago Med, and I think it will play out that way. I can't see it getting close to Med's 2.2 post-Voice premiere. With the benefit of that preview, it might be able to hang onto typical Laura numbers for a week or so on Wednesday, but I don't think it'll be as strong as Laura long-term, and being post-DST will soon drive its raw numbers well below that show's usual range. 0.88 and a cancel.

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