Monday, March 11, 2019

Renewology Week 24 (Part 2): Station 19, For the People, A.P. Bio


Here's a look at some more big Renewology developments in week 24. If you missed the bonus post on Friday, I covered Good Girls and week two of The Enemy Within and Whiskey Cavalier there.

NameR%TrueProjTargetAiredSkewMale
Station 1993%0.930.930.69825%29%
How to Get Away with Murder38%0.660.660.691530%29%
For the People28%0.670.600.69121%36%

ABC entered its final phase of Thursday programming this season with the returns of Station 19 and For the People. A downward adjustment to Station 19 made the show look more clearly weaker than the previous occupant, A Million Little Things. Weaker enough that it should be cancelled? I don't really think so, at least not in ABC's current state. Its R% is a little inflated by the fact that it still has a crossover episode as part of its rolling average, but it would still be close to 90% even without that episode. It's still pretty comparable to what Scandal did in its final season, and blows away flop occupants of the past like Notorious.

You can argue that crossover spikes should be part of the rolling average, because that upside is part of the strength of the show. But that invites a larger question with S19, and perhaps even with How to Get Away with Murder and For the People as well. The Murder sales pitch is basically that it's good at leeching off of the TGIT brand name, and was derailed this winter when airing after A Million Little Things. But that may not be a strong case based on where ABC is headed. A Million Little Things is here to stay, probably on Thursday at 9/8c, and reportedly will get even more episodes next season. If you're gonna look a lot worse with the AMLT lead-in, that's not really a good excuse; it may in fact a strike against you, because AMLT is gonna be there either way. That logic may have to be applied to some theoretical Thursday 10/9c version of Station 19 as well.

Quickly on For the People: when it had a 0.6 in prelims, I was ready with my "if you think Murder is safe, you can't discount FTP" hot take. Now that it's adjusted down to a 0.5 (and will assuredly look worse in DVR numbers than Murder), it looks pretty unlikely that there will be much of a case for For the People over Murder.

NameR%TrueProjTargetAiredSkewMale
A.P. Bio9%0.550.490.69134%45%

I believe I said at some point last year that the A.P. Bio renewal, already a bit of a reach, seemed a lot more unnecessary after NBC picked up Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's hard not to stand by that after it opened season two with a 0.5 and helped derail Nine-Nine to a 0.6 at 9/8c.

The only reason I would tend to go higher than 9% is that A.P. Bio showed significantly more life when Young Sheldon went off the air during the March Madness hiatus last year. This time, it gets an even longer break from CBS competition, since The Big Bang Theory is a repeat and Fam is airing at 8:30 in the week before March Madness. Maybe it can get to a little more reasonable number over those three weeks and then hang onto a little of it on the other side, which is basically how season one played out.

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