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 commissioner rises to prominence in pre-Batman Gotham City.
Timeslot: Mondays at 8/7c
Lead in: Local programming
Competition: The Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, Mom, The Originals, The Voice
Analysis: Gotham is one of the more-anticipated new dramas to premiere this season, so expectations are high. Gotham probably has the toughest competition of any new freshman series. The Big Bang Theory is broadcast televisions number one scripted series, The Voice is still putting up strong numbers, and Dancing with the Stars dominates viewership. Gotham only has to face The Big Bang Theory for a few weeks, and then much-weaker 2 Broke Girls joins the CBS lineup. Despite the rough competition, and lead off timeslot, Gotham has the built-in Batman fan-base, or so FOX is hoping. No series has received more promotion this summer than Gotham (teasers started airing on FOX as soon as the series was ordered). Similar to last seasons Agents of SHIELD, I think Gotham will have a strong premiere, due to high viewer interest, and then slowly begin to fade. If
Gotham can at least remain above a 2.0 A18-49 demo, especially on FOX, its safe.
Prediction: SOLID (3)
Quick Premise: A group of teenagers live together in a hospital.
Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: Hell’s Kitchen
Competition: The 100 (late October), Black-ish, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Modern Family
Analysis: Similar to Gotham, FOX is placing Red Band Society against stiff competition. Modern Family and Criminal Minds, while down from previous seasons, continue to put up strong numbers. There is; however, still room for Red Band Society. The lead in for Red Band Society, Hell’s Kitchen, had its lowest season yet this past summer, so there will be some concern that Red Band Society will have to self-start. FOX released the pilot for three days in late August, hoping to drum up interest in the dark dramedy. I watched the pilot, and really enjoyed it. Red Band Society is a bit different from what else is on broadcast television, and I think that will help it pull in some audience. My only concern is that viewers won’t want to deal with the problems of teenage characters. If they do, will it be for a few seasons and quickly fade away as the characters age? On top of that, how long do people want to watch kids deal with life-threatening diseases? I guess what I’m trying to say is, is there a sustainable format here? I’m hoping for a good series; I just don’t know how many others are willing to watch.
Prediction: WEAK (2)
Quick Premise: A police investigation begins in a quiet town when a small boy is found dead.
Timeslot: Thursdays at 9/8c
Lead in: Bones
Competition: A to Z, Bad Judge, Reign, Scandal, Thursday Night Football
Analysis: Somehow, I missed Gracepoint when doing these predictions. How that happened, I’m not sure, but it’s here now! FOX is billing Gracepoint as a ten part mini-series. Whether or not it stays that way remains to be seen. Broadchurch, the series Gracepoint is based of, was renewed for a second season, so it is possible here too. Gracepoint will likely have a tough time launching in the 9 o’clock hour, due to heavy weights Scandal and Thursday Night Football. Lead in Bones is just an average performer, and the audience does not seem like it would mix between the two dramas (one is lighter, one is much darker). The worse case scenario here is that FOX airs all 10 episodes, as expected, and the show never sees the light of day again. Or the show could surprise and pull an Under the Dome and return to due high ratings. Despite being excited for the series, I can’t see a big audience tuning in.
Prediction: WEAK (2)