Monday, March 4, 2019

Renewology Week 23: The Enemy Within and Whiskey Cavalier Begin

Here's a look at the big Renewology developments in week 23.

The Enemy Within51%1.040.780.77127%

NBC's latest in a long line of post-Voice Monday dramas started off in almost the toss-uppiest possible way. I actually thought it was gonna be a little lower than this, since Good Girls did a bit better True Plus-wise and had almost this exact same R% after its premiere last year. It turns out this is one of those spots where the changes to the formula in the off-season made the difference; after a 2017-18 season in which NBC renewed many shows in the light red territory, I made the formula just a bit kinder to NBC shows.

Running this year's formula on last year's Good Girls premiere results in a 60 R%, rather than the 52% posted in the SpotVault using last year's formula. It's not as easy for me to run it the other way, but it stands to reason that would equate to The Enemy Within going somewhere in the low- to mid-40's using last year's formula. That's all a bunch of different ways to say it's not quite as strong as where Good Girls started last year, but it could very easily go either way from here.

Whiskey Cavalier36%0.830.620.69122%

ABC's new Wednesday 10/9c drama had a less-than-promising start, but at least according to Renewology it hasn't put itself totally out of the mix. That's mainly because while it seems bad compared to the dramas they've aired this year, from a historical perspective a 0.7 drama premiere at 10/9c on ABC (especially one that has a weak and incompatible lead-in) is not really that DOA. It's basically the same Plus where For the People started a year ago. To continue the thread from the previous section, FTP started at 44% last year. But the formula is a little harsher with ABC now; that would only be a 39% using the current formula. In other words, they look pretty similar for now. It's going to have to hold up well from here to get above a 50% in Renewology, but For the People didn't even hold up all that well and it still got renewed (even hitting a couple 0.5's before the decision came).

There are quite a few other things going on with Whiskey Cavalier. It wasn't technically a first run; it was previewed a half hour after the Oscars ended and then made available online. That might get you to think it could hold up better than the average new show. But it also got a surprising amount of promotion, and most of that promotion (at least from what I saw) was pointing at the Wednesday timeslot, not the Oscar preview. Maybe that means even the 0.7 was inflated, and it will be completely rejected going forward. On top of all that, it should get a significant timeslot upgrade with an American Idol lead-in for week two, so maybe that will create some new samplers that could stick around. For now, I'm just gonna assume all of that cancels out and stick with the formula's take, but I won't be too shocked no matter what happens in the coming weeks.

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