Monday, February 27, 2017

Best Case/Worst Case: Taken, The Voice

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

Mondays at 10:00 on NBC

Lead-in: The Voice Spring (2.50 A18-49 172 A18-49+ last year)

This Year's Timeslot Occupants:
Timeless (1.11 A18-49, including 1.28 for post-Voice eps)

In a Nutshell: Ordered straight-to-series almost 18 months ago, Taken the TV series will get NBC's best timeslot after Monday editions of The Voice. It acts as a prequel to the popular Liam Neeson film franchise.

Best Case: After taking a flier on a lightweight genre series in the fall, NBC is going back to the kind of action thriller that has always popped the biggest in this timeslot. The film franchise is only a couple years removed from being in theaters, and the immediate name recognition will really help. It starts as well as The Good Place did on Premiere Monday and its Plus ends up somewhere between the first seasons of Blindspot and The Blacklist. 1.75.

Worst Case: It is a critically-trashed co-production that has no chance of stacking up with the bigger-budget series that have gotten this slot in the past. Its closest comparison is the spring 2015 run of The Night Shift, a summer series that really had no business getting this big a stage. It averaged a 75 Plus that season; for Taken, the result will be the same or worse. 0.80.

Likeliest: I'm a little torn on this one; on the one hand, it does seem like the right "kind" of show for this slot. But the promos are uninspiring, certainly a few ticks below shows like Blacklist and Blindspot in terms of splash factor. I have a feeling that NBC will kinda get what they pay for in putting a straight-to-series co-production here. It starts about where Timeless did but drops even more rapidly post-premiere, ending up with Night Shift-esque ratings (0.9-1.0 in today's environment) by the second half of the season. 1.15. Deserves a cancel, but maybe there's some chance it is cheap enough to follow the Night Shift comparison and get a whirl as a summer series?

The Voice Spring (2.50 A18-49, 172 A18-49+ on Mondays last year): NBC's signature reality franchise had rough year-to-year comparisons late in the fall season, when it was being compared against the fall 2015 season that held up much better than Voice usually does down the stretch. But it was actually very healthy for the first six weeks or so of the fall, and also had a nice bump for the finale. Now that it's being compared against a more normal season, I think the show will hold up fairly well this spring. Small uptick in Plus to 2.20.

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