Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Best Case/Worst Case: Of Kings and Prophets, Little Big Shots

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

Of Kings and Prophets (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsWicked City What Would You Do?
Avg Orig Avg
0.88 0.95 0.67 0.78 0.67 0.80

In a Nutshell: ABC returns to scripted programming tonight in its always treacherous Tuesday 10/9c timeslot, where Wicked City lasted for just three episodes earlier this season. This time, it's the biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets, which focuses on the Old Testament story of Saul, Samuel and David. This series was slated for the fall schedule at the upfront but later pulled off for midseason.

Best Case: History's miniseries The Bible demonstrated middle America's thirst for this kind of programming, and even ill-fated follow-up A.D. The Bible Continues started well within hit territory. A.D. was undone because it moved into unfamiliar territory beyond the first couple weeks, but OKaP's stories make for more interesting content. It's over a 2.0 on premiere night and stays pretty close afterward. 1.80.

Worst Case: A.D. failed even with the backing of the Mark Burnett machine behind it, so what hope does this have? I mean, this show couldn't even beat out Wicked freakin' City for a spot on the fall schedule. It fails to match Wicked City's 0.9 premiere rating and gets pulled after it hits Wicked's 0.4 low in just the second week. 0.50.

Likeliest: Even if there is a crowd looking for Bible-themed programming, it's probably not looking for a scandalous, viewer-discretion-advised spin on it, and that could add up to nobody being interested whatsoever. It's possible the Christian audience could keep this show from flailing as badly as Wicked City on premiere night, but that's about it. Even if it does better than Wicked City, I don't see it being much better, and that would just mean it stays on the schedule long enough to depress its average into WC territory. So either way, I see it ending up in the same area as the previous occupants this season. 0.70.

Little Big Shots (NEW!)

Timeslot OccupantsSunday Night Football Dateline Sun
Avg Orig Avg
4.25 1.20 7.72 6.52 1.00 0.94

In a Nutshell: NBC will take a swing at the increasingly difficult spring Sunday terrain with new reality series Little Big Shots, a kids talent competition. For host Steve Harvey, it marks a return to the same Sunday 8/7c timeslot (though different network) where his Celebrity Family Feud was the biggest new hit last summer. Before its Sunday premiere, it'll preview tonight following two hours of The Voice.

Best Case: Steve Harvey is a big get for this show, as the man who has single-handedly reinvigorated Family Feud in syndication, then brought it to primetime in a big way last summer. And this concept will prove utterly family-friendly; after all, MasterChef Junior is now an even stronger property than the original recipe. It retains almost all of its Voice lead-in tonight, then closely mimics Celebrity Family Feud or even America's Got Talent numbers on Sunday. 2.20.

Worst Case: Sunday is just too tough for the broadcasters right now. And as ABC can attest with the likes of Duets and Rising Star, it's quite possible for a new talent show property to fail badly. Even counting the Voice preview, it gets about the same Plus as those failed series. 0.75.

Likeliest: Tonight, I expect this show to do at least as well as the 2.0ish that Best Time Ever pulled after The Voice. Moving to Sunday won't be easy, but the other broadcasters aren't exactly doing intimidating things on the night. Even winning the timeslot may be possible. I don't think it quite does Family Feud numbers but it's still a success by current Sunday standards. 1.49.

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