Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Best Case/Worst Case: Shots Fired

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

Shots Fired
Wednesdays at 8:00 on Fox

Lead-in: local programming

This Year's Timeslot Occupants:
Lethal Weapon (1.57 A18-49)

In a Nutshell: Alongside the spring half of Empire's season comes a new drama, the limited series Shots Fired. To quote the release, the show will be "examining the dangerous aftermath of two racially charged shootings in a small Southern town."

Best Case: Empire is more aware of social issues than most broadcast TV series, and the promos suggest this show seems to be making at least a bit more of an attempt at providing entertainment value than something like American Crime. It's not really that far from where Lethal Weapon was at the time of its premiere, in terms of Facebook interest. It starts close to a 2.0 and settles with pretty much the same ratings Lethal Weapon was doing late in its season. 1.45.

Worst Case: This is absolutely a rehash of the time that ABC paired American Crime with TGIT. It's nice that Fox is trying, but TV viewers do not want to eat their vegetables. It will be pretty poorly sampled to begin with and then get hugely rejected in the next couple weeks. It's consistently down year-to-year in the timeslot by even more than Empire itself, hitting half or less of the year-ago Rosewood numbers. 0.60.

Likeliest: It doesn't feel like quite as much of a tonal whiplash as the Scandal / American Crime pairing, but it will probably still be a struggle to get a major portion of the Empire audience on board with this. It starts somewhere in the bottom half of the ones, so its comparisons with the year-ago Rosewood will look decent in the first week or two, but it'll fall pretty fast and end up at roughly the same one-third year-to-year decline as Empire. 0.86. It will be just another one to throw into the large bucket of shows that seem weak but may still have a chance because of LOL Fox.

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