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
Analysis: There is no better place on the ABC schedule for American Crime than airing behind Scandal. A 2.8-3.2 lead in each week will do wonders for the show and give it ample support (at least for a premiere). ABC is stressing the fact the series from John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and stars Felicity Huffman and to an extent, Timothy Hutton. Gracepoint, which debuted earlier this season, also featured a murder of a young boy and cancelled after its low-rated run. That makes this a real toss-up in terms of how American Crime will perform. There is no chance it touches the heights of How to Get Away with Murder, but I do not see a big bomb here either.
Prediction: SOLID (3) – but cancelled after one season
Analysis: From David Shore (House) and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), CBS is hoping for a stronger Sunday night lineup with Battle Creek. There certainly won’t be an immense amount of lead in support with The Good Wife, but its higher-income (and older) viewers will certainly be of help. CBS viewers tend to reject the cookie-cutter cop shows, and CBS has been stressing this is not the average cop show. It will be interesting to see if the average CBS viewer watches this series, or the average CBS Sunday night viewer tunes in. In the end, airing on Sundays at 10 makes this feel like a burn-off.
Prediction: WEAK (2)
Analysis: Reviews for The Last Man on Earth have been surprisingly positive, with a solid score of 77 on Metacritic. The debut for the new single-camera comedy is one hour, following a new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, before shifting to 930, following Family Guy, next week. As of late, the Sunday night lineup on FOX has struggled, so it has me a bit concerned as to how well The Last Man on Earth can perform. In addition, the entire premise of the entire series has me worried. Can this really be sustainable as a weekly comedic series or is it better off as a movie? I think The Last Man on Earth will be sampled, but long term success seems doubtful.
Prediction: WEAK (2)
Analysis: Just a few weeks ago, CBS aired what could be the final episode of the CSI mothership, and now we get a new series in the franchise! CSI: Cyber mixes up the basic CSI formula in that the cases begin on the internet and are then solved in the real world. The built-in name should at least give CSI: Cyber an initial boost, but whether that boost is large enough remains to be seen. The timeslot competition is certainly not difficult, although Chicago P.D. could take away some of the audience. Stalker really struggled in this timeslot in the fall, so the bar for CSI: Cyber is not too high. I think CSI: Cyber should do at least three to four tenths better and any timeslot improvement is a positive. CSI: Cyber won’t be a huge hit, but it’ll be enough to come back for another season in the fall.
Prediction: SOLID (3) – renewed for second season