Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Premiere Monday Renewology: Uncertain Starts for Me, Myself & I and The Brave

Here are a few quick thoughts on what Premiere Monday says about the renewal/cancellation landscape. Gonna try to get back into doing these "columns" on a somewhat regular basis this season.

Young Sheldon100%2.722.090.91128%
The Good Doctor97%1.991.420.76125%

These shows were the stories of Premiere Monday and great news for their respective networks and broadcast TV in general. However, they don't look like they're gonna be too exciting from a Renewology standpoint. The Good Doctor will need pretty close to a The Muppets-esque collapse to put itself in trouble, while Young Sheldon will need a collapse that is even beyond that.

When I first started working on Renewology I hoped to offer something that could push back against arrogance/overconfidence, but it has ended up being more confident than a lot of people would be in spots like this. I understand the urge to say, "We have to see where it settles!" but collapsing from levels this huge all the way into cancellation territory pretty much never happens. "Disappointment" territory, maybe, but not cancellation. If a big collapse gets under way, we'll have to revisit, but these shows have to feel extremely encouraged.

Me, Myself and I55%1.210.930.91128%
The Brave22%0.980.710.88128%

On the other hand, these two newbies are likely in for more renew/cancel intrigue. The formula opens CBS' 9:30 comedy Me, Myself and I as a small favorite. I might go a touch lower than this, but considering it's basically the afterthought of the CBS comedy department, it is not too bad of a start... basically the same Plus as where The Great Indoors started with a much weaker lead-in, or the same raw as Man with a Plan with a much stronger lead-in. If CBS goes through with the plan to shelve Young Sheldon, this whole lineup will probably get clobbered in the coming weeks, but it's still got a long way to fall to get to where the last comedy renewals were last year.

Meanwhile, The Brave opens as a pretty heavy underdog for renewal, with a decidedly weaker start than even Timeless had in week three last year. Not totally DOA, but it's going to have to hold up really well. You can make the argument this could happen; there were likely people who flipped from The Voice to The Good Doctor last night, but long-term Brave does have the lead-in advantage. Maybe if some of those people fall away from TGD, they will be more inclined to simply leave the TV on NBC after The Voice. But if Brave takes a remotely conventional post-premiere path, NBC is gonna want to do better with this cushy timeslot by midseason.


Premiere Monday's biggest returnee note is that it was a surprisingly rough return for Scorpion in the 10/9c hour. It may have some trouble dealing with The Good Doctor after cleaning up last year against dregs like Conviction, Quantico, Timeless and Taken. We've seen many a CBS procedural have a soft return and then have it turn out to be one of the weakest points of the whole season; they just don't seem to be "events" that get people right back in line for premiere week. Even if it just holds at 1.0 for awhile, it will probably improve in True because it's unlikely to get close to a 1.7 lead-in going forward. So if you set the over-under at 48%, I'd take the over. But it was not the kind of performance that should make Scorpion feel completely safe either.

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