Fox Continues the Slide
I’ve written before of the pattern the networks have been following (first Friday collapses, then Sunday, then 10pm, then the rest of the schedule) as their piece of the entertainment pie continues to shrink. Fox continues to slide down that curve, as their M-F scripted average this week fell below a 1.0(!), as nearly all those scripted shows hit or tied series lows. While Fox could (and should) argue that 40% of their M-F schedule is much better rated reality programming, coming in at twice that scripted average – American Idol, even at series lows, rated 50% higher than their highest rated scripted show this week–American Idol likely also costs far more to produce.
The far more disturbing takeaway is… it may not be Fox’s fault. Low 1s have gone from an outlier to a frequent occurrence this season. Beyond Fox, you have Parks & Rec, Community, Revolution, Parenthood, Hannibal, Trophy Wife, (this week’s lead-in-less) Mixology, Last Man Standing, and Intelligence (and the CBS Friday and Sunday dramas aren’t far off). Those low 1s may no longer be the sign of an instantly DOA show, but rather the shape of things to come for a merely borderline show without a strong lead-in. Whether show budgets can survive the ad rates that come from mere low 1s is a much more interesting question.
NBC Gets Back In the Early Renewal Game
Breaking from their recent history (or perhaps just wanting to point out their successes this season), this week NBC jumped into the bulk early renewal game, renewing Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Grimm, and making the renewals of Parks and Recreation and Celebrity Apprentice “official”.
One show that didn’t get an early renewal was Law & Order: SVU. Greying veterans are tough to predict, as costs eventually get out of hand. SVU has aggressively shed veteran cast members though over the last couple years, helping to keep it viable, and I still expect a renewal. One possibility that springs to mind is…
Revolution had an upcoming repeat and two new episodes replaced by Law & Order: SVU repeats. While I’ve been predicting Revolution’s cancellation this May since literally last season, this isn’t necessarily the death knell for the show – barring more preemptions, it could still air its remaining five episodes and end as planned on May 14th.
However, my ears always perk up when I hear about episode tryouts in Spring – more often than not, they are the sign of a network trying out a show in a new timeslot, or wanting comparison data to decide the fate of the existing show in the timeslot.
So, is NBC actually considering moving SVU to 8pm? CBS aired a Criminal Minds repeat at 8 earlier in the year with little backlash, and there seem to be few (if any) taboos about what can air in the hour anymore. If I were NBC, and actively trying to restock my roster, I’d try a schedule along the lines of:
M: The Voice – The Voice – New Drama
T: The Voice – New Comedy – About a Boy – New Drama
W: Law & Order: SVU – Chicago Fire – Chicago P.D.
R: The Biggest Loser – The Blacklist – New Drama
F: Dateline –Grimm – International Co-Production
Believe and Crisis premiered to mid-1 ratings on Sunday. On one hand, both shows rated better than the just-renewed Chicago P.D. did this week; on the other hand, it is tough to imagine either show keeps all of that audience going forward. (I’m keeping both “On the Bubble” until I see how they hold up tonight.) Not coincidentally, I did mention Celebrity Apprentice getting a formal renewal this week; I expect NBC to give serious thought to converting their post-NFL Sundays to all-reality programming again.
The CW Continues a Solid Year
NBC isn’t the only network on an upswing (again, relative to the market as a whole), as The CW continues their solid season.
The Tomorrow People, in its new Monday timeslot, did not fare so well, recording a 0.4 rating. One on hand, that’s exactly what Hart of Dixie averaged in the timeslot; on the other hand, that also tied The Tomorrow People‘s season low. Barring Total Pilot Failure, the best it can hope for is a spackle order, which may be difficult when its main competition…
The 100 premiered to a 0.9, improving on its lead-in. On one hand, that’s the same number The Tomorrow People premiered to in the timeslot; on the other hand, that’s nearly double what The Tomorrow People has been doing in the timeslot in 2014. Given The Tomorrow Project‘s drop over the season though, I’m going to wait at least a week to see how The 100 settles.
The Originals dropped to another series low this week. While fan chatter on the internet seems to revolve around departed cast members, the truth is likely much simpler: The Originals is now airing opposite The Voice every week, unlike in Fall.
Hart of Dixie, returned to the same 0.4 it averaged in Fall, even in the Friday timeslot. That 0.4 rating is better than nearly every The Carrie Diaries airing, and in-line with the regular season ANTM ratings as well. I still expect a full 22 episode renewal.
The CW has been playing scheduling chicken against their oppositions’ singing competitions for so long, that it will be interesting to see how the network responds when those behemoths start exiting the field (The X-Factor is already gone, and American Idol looks increasingly dubious). Could The CW continue to be aggressive (and complete the Supernatural quinfecta) by scheduling something along the lines of:
M: Supernatural – New Drama (likely Supernatural: Bloodlines)
T: Reign – The Originals
W: Arrow - New Drama (almost certainly The Flash)
R: The Vampire Diaries – New Drama
F: America’s Next Top Model – Hart of Dixie
Tom Shaw is a computer programmer from Milwaukee, WI. Bereft of Lost theories to argue about, he's spent too much time attempting to figure out the TV industry.
Save yourself from hibernating bears! Direct your criticisms to @tvtomshaw instead!
Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.
|Back In The Game||ABC||Canceled|
|How I Met Your Mother||CBS||Final Season|
|We Are Men||CBS||Canceled|
|Nikita||CW||Final Season Finished|
|American Dad||Fox||Moving to TBS|
|The Michael J. Fox Show||NBC||Canceled|
|Sean Saves The World||NBC||Canceled|
|Welcome To The Family||NBC||Canceled|
|Killer Women||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Mind Games||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Neighbors||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Super Fun Night||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|Trophy Wife||ABC||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Crazy Ones||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Mentalist||CBS||Cancellation Predicted|
|Beauty & The Beast||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Carrie Diaries||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|The Tomorrow People||CW||Cancellation Predicted|
|Almost Human||Fox||Cancellation Predicted|
|The 100||CW||On The Bubble|
|Believe||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Crisis||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Growing Up Fisher||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Hannibal||NBC||On The Bubble|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Goldbergs||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Grey's Anatomy||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Last Man Standing||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Middle||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Modern Family||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Once Upon a Time||ABC||Renewal Predicted|
|Hart of Dixie||CW||Renewal Predicted|
|Family Guy||Fox||Renewal Predicted|
|About a Boy||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|Law & Order: SVU||NBC||Renewal Predicted|
|The Big Bang Theory||CBS||Renewed|
|The Good Wife||CBS||Renewed|
|Mike & Molly||CBS||Renewed|
|Person of Interest||CBS||Renewed|
|Two and a Half Men||CBS||Renewed|
|2 Broke Girls||CBS||Renewed|
|The Vampire Diaries||CW||Renewed|
|The Mindy Project||Fox||Renewed|
|Parks and Recreation||NBC||Renewed|