Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Best Case/Worst Case: Imaginary Mary

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

Imaginary Mary
Tuesdays at 9:30 on ABC

Lead-in: Fresh Off the Boat (1.22 A18-49)

This Year's Timeslot Occupants:
The Real O'Neals (0.92 A18-49)

In a Nutshell: After rolling with the same five-hour comedy lineup for the last five months, ABC will finally shake it up a bit by installing newbie Imaginary Mary on Tuesday at 9:30. Before that, it gets a tryout as part of the Wednesday lineup, at 8:30 between The Goldbergs and Modern Family tonight.

Best Case: ABC is being rather cunning in waiting to premiere this show till after megahit This Is Us cleared out of the timeslot; it's now actually a rather easy hour by 9:00 standards. This concept is unique enough to attract some attention, but still not a bad fit within the ABC family comedy tradition. Fresh Off the Boat benefits a bit from the TIU absence and Mary holds all of that demo or even builds by a bit. 1.35.

Worst Case: The reviews are not good. If ABC wanted this to work, they would've found a way to get it on the air before the end of March and not reduced its order to nine episodes. It will sample a lot worse than Speechless tonight and then get rejected far worse than The Real O'Neals on Tuesday, keeping only about half of the Fresh audience when it settles. 0.63.

Likeliest: It will do a typical Speechless rating or a teeny bit below that tonight, a typical Real O'Neals rating at the beginning of its Tuesday run, and settle a little worse than O'Neals on Tuesday. That is not going to be good enough for a show that ABC hasn't showed much faith in to begin with. 0.82.

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