Week Five (October 19-25)

how the new shows didAs far as new shows go, no network had a better week than CBS.  They have four new series on the air, and all were up or even week-to-week.  NCIS: New Orleans was up two tenths from last week for its second best performance yet (despite a declining NCIS lead in), Madam Secretary inched up without the NFL, and Scorpion held strong, even with The Millers as its new lead in.  Stalker was also even with last week, but its retention was a tad worse.  As per usual, the top three most watched new shows, NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, and Scorpion, belonged to CBS.

With declines on the week, the CW still rewarded its two freshman series with a full season order.  The Flash fell for the second straight week, but the CW is not turning away a show doing a 1.5 demo.  After an OK premiere, Jane the Virgin also slipped.  The year-to-year timeslot increases, however, have been significant.

As has been the case most of the time this season, ABC had some shows do well, and others fall.  Breakout drama How to Get Away with Murder increased for the first time this season, giving the network a sigh of relief.  If ABC needed evidence Murder was a big show, it lies in the fact it was only one of two 10 o’clock shows on broadcast for the entire week to do better than a 2.0 demo (it did a 3.0!).  Black-ish had an odd week, growing in total viewers but shedding a tenth in the demo.  ABC’s Tuesday comedy block is one step closer to extinction.  ABC pulled the plug on Manhattan Love Story after four low rated episodes.  Selfie will replace it (at least for a week), but its not doing well either.  Come on ABC, nobody cares if you cancel it either.

NBC’s comedy troubles continued this week.  After a promising debut from Marry Me, it fell five tenths and demonstrated horrible retention in both total viewers and the demo.  Over on Thursday nights, both Bad Judge (1.0) and A to Z (0.9) fell to new lows too.  Perhaps NBC just isn’t cut out for comedy anymore.  On the drama side of things, Constantine started OK on Friday, and The Mysteries of Laura dipped a tenth.

The network with the most trouble this season has been FOX.  Luckily for them, the World Series has begun, pre-empting a number of shows that had been struggling (including Red Band Society and Utopia).  The shows that weren’t pre-empted, however, fell from the previous week.  Gotham remains a glimmer of hope on the FOX lineup, declining only a tenth from last week.  Gracepoint held from its series, even with Bones airing an encore for a lead in.

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“Constantine” Debuts OK

Constantine_TV_show_logoThe series premiere of Constantine debuted to 4.30 million viewers and 1.4 A18-49, an okay start for a Friday night.  The show was down four tenths from last seasons premiere of Dracula, which was canned after ratings free-fell in the following weeks.  As for Constantine, it held onto 81% of the overall audience of Grimm and 93% in the demo.  Also a positive for the new Friday night drama: it held throughout the hour.  NBC will have to wait for more ratings data, but this is definitely an OK start.

ustv-cristela-stillOver at ABC, week three of Cristela dipped again this week to 5.18 million viewers and 1.0 A18-49, down two tenths week-to-week.  If ABC needs some positive news,  Cristela did once again hold onto a solid chunk of Last Man Standing’s audience (83% in total viewers and 91% in the demo).  The show will have to start rising soon or this will be the end of the line.

ABC Cancels “Manhattan Love Story”

manhattan-love-story-abcAfter four low rated episodes, ABC has cancelled freshman comedy Manhattan Love Story.  The ABC comedy now has the distinction of being the first cancellation of the 2014-15 television season.

Manhattan Love Story debuted slow out of the gate with 4.7 million viewers and 1.5 A18-49.  By week four, its most recent episodeManhattan Love Story had fallen to 2.62 million viewers and 0.7 A18-49 – ouch!

The demise of Manhattan Love Story is not all that unexpected.  In August, Tonight on TV predicted Manhattan Love Story would be a bomb.  While it wasn’t a bomb from the start, its most recent performance could be described as such.

In place of the cancelled series, ABC will air back-to-back originals of Selfie.

NBC’s “Bad Judge” Falls

bad judgeNo new show took a bigger fall this week than Bad Judge.  Episode four garnered 4.39 million viewers and 1.0 A18-49, down two more tenths from last week (and it’s biggest week-to-week drop yet).  Retention from The Biggest Loser was a solid 93 percent among total viewers and 83 percent in the demo.  As I have said numerous times already though, Bad Judge is simply a timeslot holder until The Blacklist comes to the night.  Same goes for A to Z.

Speaking of which, A to Z dipped another tenth from last week to 3.13 million viewers and 0.9 A18-49.  Nothing more really can be said here.

FOX is breathing a small sigh of relief this morning.  Major dud Gracepoint failed to drop to a new low, despite its Bones lead in being a repeat.  The latest episode notched 3.52 million viewers and 0.8 A18-49, completely even with last week.  Six episodes left FOX.  Just keep telling yourself!

how-to-get-awayThen there was FINALLY some good news for a new show on the night.  ABC’s breakout drama, How to Get Away with Murder jumped from last weeks low to 9.97 million viewers and 3.0 A18-49.  Compared to last week, Murder was up two tenths – pretty impressive.  As has been the case for most of the season, How to Get Away with Murder held 100 percent of Scandal‘s demographic performance, and impressive 99.89 percent of the total audience.  Sorry you only get 15 episodes, ABC.

Updated with finals 10/24

Chances of New Dramas: The CW

Edit: This post was originally typed in August, and never posted.

Here is the NEW scale that will be used this season:
Breakout (5) – Strong out of the gate; one of the highest rated new series
Hit (4) – Ratings are high, but not one of the highest rated new series
Solid (3) – Neither strong nor weak, simply puts up average numbers
Weak (2) – Not a bomb, but puts up consistently low numbers
Bomb (1) – Fails to catch on; one of the lowest rated new series
Keep in mind, The CW scale is in relative terms to other CW series, i.e. “Breakout” would mean higher than most other shows on the network, while “Weak” would simply mean its below average for the network.  Comparisons to the other four broadcast networks are basically meaningless.

flash-logoQuick Premise: Based on The Flash comic book, a man wakes up from a coma with superhuman speed.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 8/7c
Lead in: Local programming
Competition: Manhattan Love StoryNCIS, SelfieUtopiaThe Voice

Analysis: The CW had big success with Arrow, and two years later they are hoping from more of the same with The Flash.  The Originals successfully launched in the hour last season, so there is every reason to believe The Flash can do the same.  The 8 o’clock hour is typically higher rated on The CW, since local programming gives the network a big push (more so than other networks, it appears).  The competition, while tough with NCIS and The Voice, shouldn’t really put a dent in The Flash.  The CW rarely seems to be effected by other networks programming, other than American Idol and The Voice.  The difference here is The Flash will likely skew more male, taking away the sting from The Voice.  With a built-in name and fan-base, The Flash should have no trouble breaking out for The CW.  It is one of the safest bets of the season.
Prediction: BREAKOUT (5)

jane-the-virgin-key-artQuick Premise: A doctor accidentally artificially inseminates a young virgin.
Timeslot: Mondays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Originals
Competition: Dancing with the StarsScorpionSleepy Hollow, The Voice

Analysis: Once you get past the wacky concept, Jane the Virgin is essentially a family drama.  Set in Miami, and focusing on a Latino family, The CW could tap into an audience that is forgotten on broadcast television.  In fact, I think this show could be a surprise and be the next Ugly Betty, although chances are slim.  Competition for a similar audience in the hour is going to be tough.  The Voice has the young females, and Dancing with the Stars has the older females.  That doesn’t leave much for Jane the Virgin, unless it can tap into the Latino audience.  The lead in, while strong, appears to be very incompatible.  From vampires on The Originals to a family dramedy in Jane the Virgin, the pairing lacks any similarities.  If The CW were in better position, and had another show similar to Jane the Virgin, chances could be higher for success.  I’m not holding out much hope for Jane, although for some reason, I’ll be rooting for this show all season.
Prediction: WEAK (2)