Monday, October 7, 2019

Renewology Week 2: Stumptown and Prodigal Son Become Renewal Favorites

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

The Drama Contenders
Prodigal Son53%0.810.650.64232%38%

Of the four drama contenders we discussed last week, there were two clear winners and two clear losers in week two. ABC's Stumptown was exactly even in the un-rounded while Prodigal Son actually picked up three hundredths, and they both got substantial boosts in R% to become the first two new drama episodes of the season to score over 50%. It was an impressive move for Prodigal Son considering Fox dramas were the only department whose targets went up in week two (though that may not continue with apparent bomb Almost Family joining the Fox averages going forward).

As for Stumptown, the real story with this show has not been the Live+SD steadiness but its rather incredible week one DVR numbers, exactly doubling in Live+3 and growing 140%ish in Live+7. We've seen numbers like that before, but at least in my records, we've never seen anything close for a broadcast series premiere. The previous big four record-holders were The Good Doctor, which was up 70%/101%, and Whiskey Cavalier which was up 74%/104%. Most shows improve their percentage bumps beyond the series premiere, so let's see if Stumptown can pull it off.

The "losers," Emergence and Evil, dropped more than expected but were still roughly even in R% because their respective networks' targets went down. I would still give Evil the edge over fellow CBS newbie All Rise (even more clear looking at DVR numbers), but Evil is not impressive and it's not that wide of a margin. If Evil keeps dropping and All Rise stabilizes, we may have to change which show is on the list here.

ABC Comedies
Single Parents68%0.630.600.54233%38%
American Housewife62%0.610.570.54224%36%
Bless This Mess57%0.590.560.54226%34%
Fresh Off the Boat40%0.530.510.54226%36%

As I said last week, most of the broadcast scripted offerings had some wind at their backs in terms of R% because (most of) the targets were going down. Shows like Mixed-ish, Bless This Mess and Fresh Off the Boat had fairly unsurprising week two drops, but went up in R% largely because they had to hit a target that was 0.03 points lower.

But three of these six had more unexpected moves in week two. On the plus side were the Wednesday returnees Schooled and Single Parents, both of which actually grew by multiple hundredths in week two. Couple that with the target move and they got enormous R% boosts, putting them more in line with where they were scoring R%-wise late last season. And the clear loser was American Housewife, which managed to lose two full tenths from its surprisingly strong Premiere Friday return, a drop so large that it fell double digits in R% even with the help from the targets. So it seems the ABC sophomores are not as dire as they looked in premiere week, and American Housewife is not as comfortable as it looked, but we need more data to tell where the "real" show is in all three cases.

CBS Comedies
Carol's Second Act51%0.660.580.58216%36%
The Unicorn48%0.650.570.58218%41%
Bob Hearts Abishola33%0.600.520.58218%40%

The CBS comedy newbies can also be split pretty cleanly between winners and losers. The Unicorn and Carol's Second Act were down just 0.02 and 0.01 respectively in week two, while the CBS comedy targets had by far the biggest collapse of any department in dropping an enormous 0.05 points. That helped them get from very weak premieres all the way back to the bubble.

Meanwhile, Monday newbie Bob Hearts Abishola had a very rough drop, losing nearly two full tenths. I find it almost unbelievable that this fairly standard Chuck Lorre fare would fall this hard, so maybe it will overachieve from this point, but with the data we have now I feel pretty confident in saying it deserves to be ranked behind the other two. It had clearly less DVR interest than Carol or Unicorn in the premiere week ratings.

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