Unforgettable: How Will It Do?

CBS’ Unforgettable, which was cancelled and later revived, returns to the airwaves over a year after its last new episode aired.

The following information regarding Unforgettable is for the premiere only.  My prediction for how the series will premiere, among total viewers and in the 18-49 demographic, is after the information presented below.

History: Unforgettable premiered back on September 20, 2011 to a strong 14.09 million viewers and a 2.9 A18-49, retention of a respectable 84% (viewers) and 81% (demo) from NCIS: Los Angeles.  The show shed only 14% of its A18-49 audience in week two, but retention fell to only 69%.  The numbers continued to fall and eventually rebounded by the time the finale rolled around, nabbing 10.84 million viewers and 2.0 A18-49.  A few days after the finale aired, CBS cancelled the series after only one season.  Reports swirled that TNT and Lifetime were both interested in the series, but nothing ever came to fruition.  A little over two months after CBS cancelled Unforgettable, the network announced they were reviving the series and bringing it back as a summer option.  A few cast changes and a year and two months later, Unforgettable finally returns to the airwaves.

Timeslot: Sundays at 9/8c
New Competition: Bar Rescue (Spike), Dexter (Showtime), Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime), Food Network Star (Food Network), Hollywood Exes (VH1), Keeping up with the Kardashians(E!), The Killing (AMC), MLB Baseball: Cardinals at Braves (ESPN), Princesses: Long Island (Bravo), Sister Wives (TLC), Snapped: Killer Couples (Oxygen), True Blood (HBO), and Whodunnit? (ABC)
Analysis: Busy, busy, busy timeslot!  A whopping thirteen series air in the Sunday timeslot, including HBO’s number one series, True Blood, Showtime’s number one series, Dexter, Spike’s number one series, Bar Rescue, and E!’s number one series, Keeping up with the Kardashians.  Overall, that is a lot of number one series to face, especially since they all attract a different audience.  Unforgettable has a tough timeslot ahead, but if it can find yet another unique audience in the timeslot (and with it’s older skew, it should be able to) the show will succeed against the competition.

Lead In: Big Brother
Analysis: Aside from newbie Under the Dome, Big Brother is CBS’ number one summer series.  Giving Unforgettable the strong lead in should no doubt help the series more than it helped short-lived 3 last summer.  The most recent Sunday episode of Big Brother was watched by 6.91 million viewers and 2.5 A18-49, the largest rating of the season.  It remains to be seen if the show can put up those same strong ratings this Sunday, but no doubt it should be able to do over a 2.0 A18-49.

What does all of this mean?
How will Unforgettable do?
Unforgettable presents yet another unique situation: a series that was cancelled, revived, and then scheduled to air on new new night, time, and season.  If anything is going to work against Unforgettable, I would say its the switch from airing in the fall  to summer season.  CBS’ advertising has been noticeable thus far, with a lot of their ad’s focusing on Poppy Montgomery and a drama airing in the repeat-filled season.  I think the series will get off to a good start, especially with its lead in.  With all of the information above, I believe Unforgettable will premiere to 8.00 million viewers and 1.5 A18-49.  To arrive at those numbers, I took the retention from the season one finale (67%) and gave Big Brother a 2.2 A18-49 for its upcoming episode, giving retention of 68%.  With an older skew on most CBS dramas, I suspect Unforgettable will grow in total viewers from Big Brother.  Considering how low most dramas have been this summer, a 1.5 A18-49 would be a solid return for Unforgettable.

How do you think Unforgettable will premiere? Sound off below!

Next show to be featured: Capture (CW; series premiere)

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