One of the more intriguing timeslot battles of the new season kicks off Monday, as ABC, CBS and NBC all bring their 10 p.m. shows on line.

In the long term, CBS’ “Scorpion” probably sets up as the healthiest of the three. It’s already an established show, and by the midpoint of the season (if not sooner) it would be no surprise to see it at the top of the 10 o’clock heap.

The face-off between two new shows — one of which will feel very familiar and the other of which is part of a big trend this season — will be pretty interesting to watch.

The more familiar show is ABC’s “Conviction,” about a former first daughter (Hayley Atwell, back on ABC after “Agent Carter”) who’s put in charge of a “conviction integrity unit” — i.e., checking whether people in prison should really be there — at the Manhattan D.A.’s office. It’s a procedural with a charismatic lead, just like the show it’s replacing, “Castle,” was, and the dynamics between Atwell’s cynical character and her more idealistic colleagues will be familiar to anyone who’s ever watched “House.”

NBC’s “Timeless,” meanwhile, sends its three leads (Abigail Spencer, Malcolm Barrett and Matt Lanter) traveling through time (the pilot sends them to the date of the Hindenburg blimp explosion) to chase a criminal (Goran Visnjic) who’s stolen another time machine with the intent of changing history to destroy the current present. It’s one of four new shows with a time-travel element this season (“Frequency,” “Time After Time” and “Making History” are the others), and it gets to be first out of the gate.

Since it has “The Voice” as a lead-in, “Timeless” will likely put up a better premiere number than “Conviction” on Monday night. But it will be interesting to see how the two shows play out in the ratings over the course of the fall. Will novelty and a strong lead-in keep “Timeless” up, or will viewers go more for the tried-and-true formula of “Conviction”?

Predict each new show’s premiere rating below and discuss their longer-term prospects in the comments.



Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

  • TV Ratings Monday: ‘Timeless’ has decent premiere, ‘Conviction’ doesn’t | TV By The Numbers by

    […] NBC’s “Timeless” put up decent, but not great, premiere numbers following “The Voice” Monday night. The show drew a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49, down from both “The Good Place” premiere two weeks ago (2.3) and “Blindspot’s” debut last season (3.1), but in line with your predictions. […]


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