The 2016-17 TV season is less than two months away. As fall approaches, TV by the Numbers will be looking at each night of the broadcast networks’ schedule to identify competitive timeslots, see which newcomers have a real shot at success and which veteran shows will keep their ratings up.
So let’s start at the beginning of the week. Monday night’s schedule is fairly stable compared to last season, but there are some chances for growth (and a couple moderate risks) with the new shows.
(All times ET/PT. New shows in italics.)
|Network||8 p.m.||8:30 p.m.||9 p.m.||9:30 p.m.||10 p.m.||10:30 p.m.|
|ABC||Dancing With the Stars (Sept. 12)||Conviction (Oct. 3)|
|CBS||The Big Bang Theory (Sept. 19)/Kevin Can Wait (Oct. 24)||Kevin Can Wait (Sept. 19)/Man with a Plan (Oct. 24)||2 Broke Girls (Oct. 10)||The Odd Couple (Oct. 17)||Scorpion (Oct. 3)|
|The CW||Supergirl (Oct. 10)||Jane the Virgin (Oct. 17)|
|FOX||Gotham (Sept. 19)||Lucifer (Sept. 19)|
|NBC||The Voice (Sept. 19)||Timeless (Oct. 3)|
“The Big Bang Theory” will give Kevin James’ new CBS comedy “Kevin Can Wait” a launchpad for the first month or so of the season before moving to its regular Thursday spot. It averaged a 4.1 same-day 18-49 rating in its Monday airings last fall, its best stretch of the season.
Next in line is “The Voice,” which may not match its 3.1 average on Mondays last fall but also doesn’t seem likely to fall behind anything else airing on the night.
CBS is giving “Kevin Can Wait” the best launchpad it can at the start of the season; it certainly helped “Life in Pieces” last year. “Kevin” will move back a half-hour to 8 p.m. in late October — the same place where “The King of Queens” aired for several seasons. It probably has the best chance of success of any new show on the night.
In October, “Kevin” will be joined by fellow freshman “Man with a Plan,” starring Matt LeBlanc, to complete a block of shows fronted by late-’90s/early ’00s stars.
The 10 p.m. spot features two new dramas, ABC’s “Conviction” and NBC’s “Timeless.”
At 10 p.m. “Scorpion,” CBS’ No. 3 drama last season, moves back an hour to face “Conviction” and “Timeless.” The ABC and NBC shows will have better lead-ins, but “Scorpion” is obviously the only established show in the bunch. To start at least, “Scorpion” and “Timeless” will likely be close, with “Conviction” probably lagging behind.
“Supergirl” is airing in the same timeslot as last season, but on a different network after jumping from CBS to The CW. It would be a miracle for the show to match its 1.7 rating from Season 1, but it should at least shore up The CW’s weakest night outside of Friday: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Reign” averaged a paltry-even-for-The-CW 0.3 at 8 on Mondays last season.
The CW says it expects “Supergirl” to be among its Top 3 shows, which would put it between the 0.8 for “Legends of Tomorrow” (last season’s No. 3) and the 1.4 for “The Flash,” the network’s top show. It’s not a high bar to clear, even with the inevitable decline in moving to The CW.
CBS going for two hours of comedies — none of them a front-line player last season — represents some risk. But the new shows at 8 should be able to match or at least come close to “Supergirl’s” 1.7 average last season, and any declines at 9 can likely be made up when “Scorpion” (likely) outperforms what “NCIS: Los Angeles” did at 10 last season.
If “Conviction” can match “Castle’s” modest numbers and “Timeless” doesn’t suffer the second-half fade “Blindspot” did in 2015-16, ABC and NBC will be happy. FOX isn’t changing anything from its spring “Gotham”-“Lucifer” lineup, which performed in line with the network’s average.
Finally, there’s almost no way The CW won’t get a bump from subbing in “Supergirl” for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”