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
Quick Premise: A family comedy in which a father (Anthony Anderson) raises his children with a sense of black culture.
Timeslot: Wednesdays at 930/830c
Lead in: Modern Family
Competition: The 100, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, Red Band Society
Analysis: For the past few seasons, ABC has attempted a number of comedies in the post-Modern Family timeslot, all of which have bombed. Perhaps that is because ABC attempted to try young, hip comedies, instead of another family one. This time around, they are finally programming another family comedy with Modern Family in Black*ish. ABC is mixing it up a bit; however, centering on an African American family, which has been lacking on broadcast television the past few years. With some well known actors, specifically Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne, a funny trailer, and the fact this is a family comedy out of the one of the highest rated family comedies on television, it leads me to believe Black*ish will be a success. Should the series premiere strong enough, and at least out-rate the former timeslot occupants, ABC will score a big win with Black*ish.
Prediction: HIT (4)
Quick Premise: A Mexican-American family comedy that focuses on Cristela and her family, consisting of her sister, brother-in-law, and mother.
Timeslot: Fridays at 830/730c
Lead in: Last Man Standing
Competition: The Amazing Race, Dateline NBC, Utopia, CW encores
Analysis: No series pickup was more surprising than Cristela, which was filmed on the set of Last Man Standing in April, costing ABC next to nothing to shoot. Cristela is one of three minority comedies on ABC this season, the other two being Black*ish and Fresh off the Boat (due at midseason). Broadcast television is currently lacking a Mexican-led comedy, and this could tap into a fresh audience. Friday nights lower the standards a bit for what is considered a success. If Cristela can hold a majority of its Last Man Standing audience, and outperform the last timeslot occupant, The Neighbors, a renewal seems like a no-brainer. Cristela won’t do anything special on the night, but it will likely be successful.
Prediction: SOLID (3)
Analysis: From the moment it was announced, many television pundits predicted Manhattan Love Story would be one of the first cancellations of the season, and there is every reason to believe that will be the case. The premise may be one of the most annoying of the season (and I say may because, well, see the show below). Does anyone really want to hear what a couple is thinking about one another? Is that really a fresh element? There are no well known actors or actresses in the series, and the lead in is unproven. The competition is fairly stiff, with The Voice likely drawing away the female audience this comedy seems to be targeting. Essentially, Manhattan Love Story is going to have to kick it into high gear in the ads to draw an audience and self start, and that will certainly not happen.
Prediction: BOMB (1)
Quick Premise: A girl who uses social media non-stop suddenly realizes she needs to make friends in the physical world.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 8/7c
Lead in: Local programming
Competition: The Flash, NCIS, Utopia, The Voice
Analysis: As I mentioned above, this is the most annoying new show of the season. The entire premise is irritating and I find the lead actress, or at least her character, completely unlikable. Apparently ABC hasn’t learned a thing about bad titles for their sitcoms either. Just hearing the word Selfie probably eliminates an entire audience. Women in their 30’s, like the lead in, are unlikely to use the term “selfie”, which is reserved for teenage girls, and even those in middle school. Not only is the whole premise and title off-putting, but so is the timeslot. Selfie has to self-start, and face stiff competition from a series targeting the same audience (The Voice). I’m not quite sure what ABC saw in Seflie, but it is bound to be one of the first series cancelled this season.
Prediction: BOMB (1)