Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A18-49+ Update: The New Shows in 2016-17


Here's a look at the new scripted series on the big four in 2016-17:

YearTotFlopRenewSolidHitBig Hit
2016-173713181241

YearFlopRenewSolidHitBig Hit
2016-1735%49%32%11%3%
AVERAGES:48%36%19%8%3%

Renews By NetABCCBSNBCFox
2016-173564

Big Hits: This Is Us (219)
Hits: Kevin Can Wait (131), Lethal Weapon (128), Speechless (127)
Solids: American Housewife (117), Bull (116), The Great Indoors (114), The Good Place (111), Star (110), Son of Zorn (104), Designated Survivor (102), Man with a Plan (101)
Sub-solid renewals: Superior Donuts (97), The Mick (91), Timeless (90), MacGyver (88), Taken (82), Trial and Error (75), Great News (64), The Exorcist (55)

The class of 2016-17 certainly had a signature breakout in the NBC drama This Is Us, but it was also particularly noticeable for its depth. 12 out of 37 shows broke the league average, easily breaking the previous record for the A18-49+ era even on a percentage basis. There were also relatively few shows to drop below the 70 flop threshold: 13 out of 37. That 35% flop count puts it in line with the two lowest flop-percentage seasons in the past, 2004-05 and 2011-12.

It was also a banner year for new series renewals. 49% of the big four newbies (18 of 37) got renewed, which is easily a new A18-49+ era record, and it marks the third consecutive season that this percentage has fallen in the 40's after the usual standard used to be about one-third. For 2016-17, there is certainly some network generosity in getting to this number; for example, I still don't really understand why NBC needs Timeless and Taken and Trial and Error and Great News. But a lot of it should be credited to the strength of the class in general. After all, there were even a couple above-average cancellations in Indoors and Zorn, after none of those occurred in the previous two seasons.



Career A18-49+ Update:

Another way of assessing new show classes is to grade them based on how they pan out in Career A18-49+. Here's the update to that pursuit with 2016-17 numbers. The changes based on 2016-17 numbers are included in parentheses.

YearTotUtilityStapleTentpoleStarIcon
2001-023685310
2002-033632210
2003-043343222
2004-0534108751
2005-064083330
2006-073454100
2007-082932111
2008-092543200
2009-102695310
2010-113444 (+2)100
2011-124085 (+1)2 (+1)00
2012-132831 (+1)000
2013-14397 (+3)1 (+1)000
2014-15387 (+5)11 (+1)00
2015-163700000
2016-173700000

2001-02: Still extinct.

2002-03: Still extinct.

2003-04: NCIS keeps rolling well past the icon threshold, but the career labeling is resolved now for this class.

2004-05: American Dad! has had a nice season on cable, so maybe it can get to icon someday. For now, it remains a long way off.

2005-06: Criminal Minds didn't do enough to make icon this season, but it did get a renewal, which ensures it will get there next season. Prison Break's revival counts toward its total, but it will need another season at some point (and at least a 59 Plus) to get to staple. I guess I will un-red those categories for now and see if there's a prospect for another season next year.

2006-07: Still extinct.

2007-08: The Big Bang Theory is still rolling well past the icon threshold, and could pass CSI to post the second-highest career A18-49+ in the era next season. But labeling is resolved.

2008-09: Still extinct.

2009-10: Nothing happened this year, but next year will be busy for the class of 2009-10 as Modern Family becomes an icon (needs just 53 points) and NCIS: Los Angeles becomes a star (also needs 53). The only one with any drama will be The Middle's bid for star, as it will need to uptick a bit in Plus (to a 127) to make it next year.

2010-11: Bob's Burgers and Blue Bloods became the third and fourth staples of the class, rounding out that label, and both could become tentpoles in a couple years. After an amazing season, Hawaii Five-0 will easily become a tentpole next year and actually has a shot to pass Mike & Molly to have the highest career total of the class next season.

2011-12: New Girl became staple #5, but the Last Man Standing cancellation leaves it a heartbreaking four points shy and resolves that label for this class. New Girl looks very unlikely (needing 135 points) to get to tentpole. Scandal became a tentpole but with an announced final season, will need to somehow find megahit levels to get to star. Once Upon a Time survived into its reboot phase, meaning it will become the third and probably final tentpole of the class next season.

2012-13: Chicago Fire is a staple, saving 2012-13 from the embarrassment of becoming the only staple-free class. It'll need a big bounce to 153 to get to tentpole next season. After garnering just 52 points this season, it's possible Elementary could not even make it to staple with two more seasons. (It needs 108 more.) Nashville continues to survive on cable, but it would be quite the accomplishment if it can actually put together 171 more points on CMT to get to staple.

2013-14: Chicago PD, Sleepy Hollow and Brooklyn Nine-Nine all made it to utility, rounding out the class at seven utilities total. The Goldbergs did exactly what it had to do, which was break even in Plus, and barely eked out the staple label in four seasons. Next year, Mom, The Blacklist and likely Chicago PD will join it, while Agents of SHIELD and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will need two really good seasons (or three not so good ones) to get there.

2014-15: Empire became a tentpole in three years, and will need a 170 to become a star in four years next season. The best bet to become a staple next season is How to Get Away with Murder (90 points away). Black-ish (119 away) will need an exceptional hold in its move to Tuesday. A host of utility players were crowned in Black-ish, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, Gotham and cancelled The Odd Couple. Hope is still very much alive for a record-tying 10 utility players; Fresh Off the Boat and The Last Man on Earth should make it nine next season, while Madam Secretary needs just 61 points but is moving to 10/9c. The demises of American Crime and Secrets and Lies mean 11 utilities will not be in the cards. (Maybe the class of 2016-17 has a shot?!)

2015-16: Life in Pieces and Chicago Med held up well enough in their timeslot downgrades that they should be good bets for utility next season.

2016-17: This Is Us will become a utility player in its second season. Barring some absurd sophomore bounce, everybody else will need at least two more years.

Here's the now updated A18-49+ New Shows post.

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