Predictions for New Comedies: NBC

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

a-to-zQuick Premise: Two polar-opposites are matched on an online dating website, and begin falling for each other.
Timeslot: Thursdays at 930/830c
Lead in: Bad Judge
Competition: GracepointReignScandal,
Thursday Night Football

Analysis: Hey, it’s that girl who played ‘The Mother’ on How I Met Your Mother!  Yes, other than that, not much else separates this sitcom from past romantic sitcoms on television.  The lead in, Bad Judge, is unproven and the competition is tough.  Scandal is one of the biggest series on television right now, and that will likely continue.  Given the huge draw of Scandal in the women demographics, it will take a lot of potential audience away from A to Z.  Thursday Night Football is unlikely to have any crossover with A to Z, but more females are watching football these days, so its possible more audience is drawn away.  There is simply too much working against A to Z for it to move forward.
Prediction: WEAK (2)

bad judgeQuick Premise: A partying judge tries to change her ways when she sends the parents of an 8 year old boy to prison.
Timeslot: Thursdays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Biggest Loser
Competition: GracepointReignScandal
Thursday Night Football

Analysis: The plot is pretty blah, but star Kate Walsh is a bit of a draw (at least to some viewers).  She actually has some pretty solid comedic chops, especially after spending a lot of television time on Grey’s Anatomy and spinoff Private Practice.  The Biggest Loser is a shell of its former self, yet still puts up 1.7-2.0 in the A18-49 demo.  Whether or not The Biggest Loser can perform that well remains to be seen; however, it’ll be a good lead in for Bad Judge.  Like A to Z, competition for Bad Judge is rough.  Scandal will drain a majority of the female audience, and males will be watching Thursday Night Football.
Prediction: WEAK (2)

marry meQuick Premise: After a number of marriage proposals gone wrong, a couple decides to wait on marriage.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Voice
Competition: Agents of SHIELDNCIS: New Orleans, New GirlSupernatural

Analysis: Created by David Caspe, and starring Casey Wilson, Marry Me contains two pieces of ABC’s former comedy, Happy Endings (which, despite some love, was low-rated and not all that great).  Comparisons will likely be made between the two for at least the first few weeks of the television season.  Marry Me has a big advantage in The Voice.  No lead in on NBC is stronger than The Voice, so NBC has a lot of confidence in Marry Me to give it this launch pad.  The competition for Marry Me is fairly light.  New Girl is the biggest option for younger females in the timeslot, and its way (way) down from previous seasons.  Agents of SHIELD is targeted at males, and NCIS: New Orleans for older audiences.  Marry Me can, essentially, carve out its own audience in the half hour.  In any other timeslot, chances would be slim, but NBC programmed Marry Me in the perfect timeslot for success.
Prediction: SOLID (3)

* For what its worth, I would have ranked A to Z as “solid” if NBC placed it following Marry Me.

Coming Friday: Returning Comedies

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