ABC will move its second-year drama “Quantico” to Monday nights starting in late January. It’s replacing the low-rated and likely-to-be-canceled “Conviction” — but whether that Monday timeslot will get an upgrade as a result is very much an open question.
The move, which takes effect Jan. 23, probably can’t hurt “Quantico,” which has struggled in its second season. The show is averaging just a 0.8 same-day rating in adults 18-49 (excluding Sunday’s fall finale, whose final numbers won’t be in till Wednesday) this season after just keeping above the 1.0 mark last spring.
The show is still a solid DVR/on-demand performer, more than doubling its 18-49 rating (to 1.7) and nearly doubling its total audience (2.95 million to 5.67 million) with a week of playback. But it should probably be considered a bubble show at this point.
The move to Mondays will certainly give “Quantico” a better lead-in. “The Bachelor” averaged a 2.4 in adults 18-49 last season, three times the 0.8 “Secrets and Lies” is currently pulling down. “Dancing with the Stars” and its mid- to high 1s will be back in the spring. The network hasn’t announced a full Sunday schedule for the back half of the season yet.
If ABC is looking for a big upgrade over “Conviction” in the 10 p.m. Monday spot, however, “Quantico” probably isn’t the show to supply it.
“Conviction” and “Quantico” have virtually identical 18-49 ratings — they’re separated by just a hundredth of a point (0.76 vs. 0.77) at the moment. Their profiles among adults 18-34 and 25-54 are also pretty similar; “Conviction,” by virtue of having “DWTS” as a lead-in, holds the edge in total viewers.
ABC Studios produces both shows, but the network and studio obviously have more invested in “Quantico” at this point. It will live at least through this season, bringing its total to 44 episodes, while “Conviction” is finishing its run after 13 episodes and is very, very unlikely to get a second season.
The change in nights may give some marginal help to “Quantico” in the ratings, but it doesn’t feel like a long-term fix for the spot “Castle” held for eight seasons. There’s always fall 2017.