Chances of New Series: Late March 2014

There are four new series debuting in late March, with every major broadcast network (excluding ABC) debuting a new series.

Here is the scale that will be used (numbers are % chance of becoming a success):

Very Likely (100-80) – An outstanding performer, renewal inevitable
Likely (79-60) – A strong performer, renewal likely
Okay (59-40) – A middle-of-the-road performer, but still renewed
Poor (39-20) – A weak performer, cancellation likely
Very Poor (19-0) – A terrible performer, cancellation inevitable

Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: Arrow
Competition: American Idol, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, Modern Family, and Mixology

Analysis: If any midseason show has a chance of making it to a second season, it is The 100.  Reviews have been pretty positive, with both Maureen Ryan (Huff Post) and The Washington Post giving the pilot a thumbs up.  In addition, The 100 has been given the lead in of Arrow, one of the CW’s highest rated series.  The Tomorrow People was unable to stay afloat in the hour, but if anything, The 100 is much more compatible with Arrow than The Tomorrow People.  Competition is certainly not light in the hour, but I think the show can carve out its own audience.  If The 100 can do at least an 0.5 or 0.6 A18-49 demo, and I think it will be able to, it is a done deal on a second season.
Chance of Success: Very Likely

Timeslot: Sundays at 8/7c
Lead in: Dateline NBC
Competition: The Amazing Race, Family GuyThe Simpsons, and Once Upon a Time

Analysis: American’s love home renovation shows (just see Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Trading Spaces, or HGTV).  American Dream Builders is a twist on those shows, in that two architects renovate a clients house, and two judges pick which one is better, based off what the homeowner wanted.  It is a pretty cool concept, but I do not see it working.  Sunday nights are already hard to get the foot in the door with, especially with a “feel good” reality series.  Had this aired in the summer, and with some lead in support (America’s Got Talent) I would say it could do okay.  We saw how both Believe and Crisis performed on the night and they had a much larger promotional push. On such a busy night (one that NBC has had trouble with post-NFL), and with a weak lead in, I do not see American Dream Builders doing all well.
Chance of Success: Very poor

Timeslot: Mondays at 830/730c
Lead in: How I Met Your Mother (premiere only) / 2 Broke Girls (effective 4/7)
Competition: Bones, Dancing with the Stars, Star-Crossed, The Voice

Analysis: CBS has promoted Friends with Better Lives non-stop since they announced its premiere date a few months back.  In addition, CBS is giving it the best lead in possible not named The Big Bang Theory: the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.  Those two factors are working in favor of Friends with Better Lives, but there are a number of factors working against it as well.  Perhaps the most noticeable is the loss of lead-in after How I Met Your Mother finishes its run.  We saw how 2 Broke Girls did in the 9 o’clock lead off spot, so a similar result, if not worse, should be expected at 8 o’clock.  Then there is a little thing I like to call the CBS midseason comedy curse, referring to the trouble the network has had launching a new comedy after the fall season.  The last time CBS renewed a midseason comedy was way back in 2007, when Rules of Engagement debuted.  On that fact alone, I feel obligated to call this a cancellation, but then again, I do not remember the last time CBS pushed a mid-season comedy this much.  In the end, I think Friends with Better Lives will have a pretty big debut, fall hard in week two (especially having to air at odd times because of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship) and then eventually level off.
Chance of Success: Okay

Timeslot: Thursdays at 930/730c
Lead in: American Idol (results show)
Competition: The Crazy OnesGrey’s Anatomy, Hollywood Game Night, and Reign

Analysis: The post-American Idol timeslot has rarely helped a series flourish, with House probably the most successful of the many (many) attempts.  That was when American Idol was huge; now it’s just a shell of its former self.  American Idol has done okay airing in the 9 o’clock half-hour, with its most recent episode doing a 2.1 A18-49.  The most recent series to air in the post-American Idol slot, Rake, was banished to Fridays after only a few episodes.  History is working against Surviving Jack, which does not bode well for the new series.  FOX is also notorious for low rated comedies, with season one of New Girl the closest thing they’ve had to a hit in years.  Then again, being low-rated may not be the worst thing for Surviving Jack, especially if it hits in the young demos (similar to Brooklyn 99).  There is, of course, the recognizable face of Chris Meloni, who starred on Law and Order: SVU for years, but as we have seen a number of times, that does not translate into success.  The competition is fairly light in the hour, with nearly-decade-old Grey’s Anatomy its stiffest competition.  In the end though, I do not see Surviving Jack becoming a success.  FOX has renewed enough low-rated comedies, and they do not need another one dragging down their schedule.

Chance of Success: Poor
Note: An earlier version incorrectly displayed Surviving Jack as airing at 830/730c, not at 930/830c.  Corrections have been made.  Thank you to commenter Liv for noticing the error.

Chances of New Series: Early and Mid-March 2014

There are four new series debuting in the coming weeks, all of which happen to air on Sunday nights.  NBC will debut two new dramas, with ABC and FOX each premiering one new drama.


Here is the scale that will be used (numbers are % chance of becoming a success):

Very Likely (100-80) – An outstanding performer, renewal inevitable
Likely (79-60) – A strong performer
Okay (59-40) – A middle-of-the-road performer, renewal 50/50
Poor (39-20) – A weak performer
Very Poor (19-0) – A terrible performer, cancellation inevitable

Timeslot: Sundays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Voice (Monday special premiere only) / Dateline NBC / American Dream Builders (effective 3/23)
Competition: Cosmos: A Space-Time OdysseyThe Good Wife, and Resurrection

Analysis: Believe has two things working in its favor for the debut episode.  The first is director Alfonso Curaón, who just won an Academy Award for Best Director (Gravity) and the second is its lead in: The Voice.  Without a doubt, I think Believe will have a pretty good debut.  After its debut, however, things will likely go downhill for Believe…and fast.  For its second episode, the series moves to Sunday nights, which NBC typically struggles with post-Sunday Night Football.  Perhaps the toughest part about airing on the night is airing in the same timeslot as televisions number one scripted series, The Walking Dead.  In addition, there is absolutely no lead-in support on the night (as seen above).  Had NBC left Believe on Monday nights, I think it could have had a 75 percent chance of moving toward a second season.  On Sundays though, it will get ugly.
Chance of Success: Poor

Timeslot: Sundays at 9/8c
Lead in: Family Guy
Competition: Believe, The Good Wife, and Resurrection

Analysis: No mid-season series is getting a bigger debut than FOX’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.  The series will premiere on a number of networks, including FOX, FX, FXX, Fox Sports, National Geographic, and a number of other FOX-owned networks.  Reviews for the first episode have been positive as well, with an average score of 84 on Metacritic.  Similar to Believe, I think Cosmos will have a solid debut, especially given the advertising push.  Unlike Believe, however, there is a solid lead in for Cosmos with Family Guy.  How similar are the audiences though?  I cannot imagine too similar, but still, some lead in is better than no lead in.  Airing at 9 o’clock will be a challenge for Cosmos as there is simply so much competition.  If it can find its own audience though, it should be fine.
Chance of Success: Okay

Timeslot: Sundays at 10/9c
Lead in: Believe
Competition: The Mentalist, and Revenge

Analysis: Yet another new series on Sundays!  Crisis will air immediately after NBC’s other new scripted drama, Believe.  If Believe does as bad as I think it will on Sundays, Crisis is going to have to self-start, and I simply do not see that happening.  The premise, while interesting, does not seem like it could go on for more than one season.  In a way, it almost feels like CBS’ Hostages or NBC’s failure from a few seasons back, The Event.  One item working in favor of Crisis is that it is at least out of the tough 9 o’clock hour.  The Mentalist and Revenge are both slowly marching toward cancellation, so there is an opening for Crisis.  Then again, airing on NBC Sunday nights, behind a new series, with a possible-limited premise, does not spell out good news.  I could see an okay debut for Crisis, but as the weeks go on, fewer and fewer viewers will be sticking around.
Chance of Success: Very poor

Timeslot: Sundays at 9/8c
Lead in: Once Upon a Time
Competition: BelieveCosmos: A Space-Time OdysseyThe Good Wife

Analysis: If there is one new series I have been most excited for this season, it is ABC’s Resurrection.  The premise is intriguing (loved-ones return from the dead).  Reviews for the pilot of Resurrection have been average, with a 63 on Metacritic.  The advertising push for the series has also been strong as well (I saw many during the Academy Awards).  And unlike many new ABC series (Mind Games, for example), at least Resurrection will receive a solid lead in from Once Upon a Time.  There are a number of factors working against Resurrection though as well.  As much as I love the premise, how long can it go on?  Will viewers get bored and simply move on?  Then there is the competition, which has been discussed many times above (three new shows at 9 o’clock, wow!).  Similar to the shows above, I think viewers will be intrigued for the series premiere, and then disappear fairly quick.
Chance of Success: Poor

Chances of New Series: February 2014

There are five new series premiering this month, with two on ABC, two on NBC, and one on The CW.  NBC will debut two comedies, ABC will debut one comedy and one drama, and The CW will debut a new drama.

Here is the scale that will be used (numbers are % chance of becoming a success):

Very Likely (100-80) – An outstanding performer, renewal inevitable
Likely (79-60) – A strong performer
Okay (59-40) – A middle-of-the-road performer, renewal 50/50
Poor (39-20) – A weak performer
Very Poor (19-0) – A terrible performer, cancellation inevitable

Timeslot: Tuesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: The Voice
Competition: The Goldbergs, NCIS: Los Angeles, New Girl, and Supernatural

Analysis: NBC is hoping to finally find a hit comedy this season in About a Boy.  The series, based off the novel of the same name, has been getting solid reviews.  Entertainment Weekly and The Wall Street Journal both gave the pilot episode (which airs Saturday, February 22nd at 11, following the Olympics) solid reviews.  Unfortunately for NBC, I doubt much of anything comes from the series.  As with most of their comedy selections, About a Boy seems too quirky for the average viewer.  Jason Katims, who developed the series, has given NBC two other shows will positive acclaim, yet small viewership (Friday Night Lights and Parenthood).  About a Boy does have one major thing working it its favor: the lead in of The Voice.  I do see NBC giving the series another season, but it will be nothing more than the next Parks and Recreation.
Chance of Success: Okay

GrowingUpFisher_PTimeslot: Tuesdays at 930/830c
Lead in: About a Boy
Competition: Brooklyn Nine-NineNCIS: LASupernatural, and Trophy Wife

Analysis: Similar to About a Boy, Growing Up Fisher is receiving early positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly and People for its pilot episode (which airs Sunday, February 23rd at 1030, following the Olympics).  The comedy follows a family (the Fishers) who get divorced and buy a guide-dog for the blind father (a bit “out-there”, huh?).  Should the show follow in line with most family comedies, it may have a chance.  In addition, the timeslot is rather cushy in between About a Boy and Chicago Fire.  Any chance Growing Up Fisher has at success will depend on how well About a Boy holds onto the audience from The Voice.  Still, I think its chances of becoming a success are pretty good.
Chance of Success: Okay

Timeslot: Tuesdays at 10/9c
Lead in: Trophy Wife
Competition: Chicago Fire, and Person of Interest

Analysis: Despite the somewhat-unique premise and solid reviews, Mind Games has way too many factors working against it to survive.  The first, and perhaps biggest challenge, will be the timeslot.  Tuesdays at 10 have been a real struggle for ABC, which hasn’t occupied a hit series since Boston Legal in 2007-08 season.  Since that point, the following dramas have come and gone: Eli Stone, The Forgotten, Detroit 187, Body of Proof (it never performed all that well), Lucky 7, and Killer Women.  The second challenge, which goes along with the timeslot, is its lead in.  Trophy Wife has not done well all season, and has recently been putting up low 1.0’s, as well as an 0.9 for its most recent airing.  The third challenge is the “show killers” who are a part of Mind Games.  Christian Slater starred in My Own Worst Enemy, The Forgotten, and Breaking In, which all were done after one or two seasons.  Creator Kyle Killen has gained acclaim in the business, but those shows were both short-lived: Lone Star and Awake.  I am hoping for a surprise from Mind Games, but I do not see it happening.
Chance of Success: Very poor

Timeslot: Wednesdays at 930/830c
Lead in: Modern Family
Competition: American IdolCriminal Minds, Law and Order: Special Victims UnitThe Tomorrow People (until March) / The 100 (beginning March 19th)

Analysis: Mixology is a unique concept, with the entire season taking place in one bar, in one night. Reviews have not been downright terrible, but they have not been all that good either.  The biggest problem with Mixology, besides its concept, is the the timeslot.  When will ABC learn to program the post-Modern Family timeslot?  Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings, Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, and Super Fun Night have all been in the timeslot, and all have struggled. Of all the shows that have aired after Modern Family,  Mixology will do the worst.
Chance of Success: Very poor

Timeslot: Mondays at 8/7c
Lead in: Local programming
Competition: 2 Broke Girls, Almost HumanThe Bachelor, How I Met Your Mother, and The Voice

Analysis: I am going to completely honest, I had no idea Star-Crossed was premiering on February 17th (tomorrow!).  Reviews have been average (53 on Metacritic), with some loving the show (New York Daily News), and others hating it (San Francisco Chronicle).  The show is debuting right in the middle of the Olympics, which will be the biggest disadvantage for Star-Crossed.  After the Olympics, there is no relief in sight.  The Voice returns the following week and CBS begins airing the last few episodes of How I Met Your Mother.  Mondays have been a dead zone for the CW for a few years now, and Star-Crossed will not change anything.
Chance of Success: Very poor

Chances of New Midseason Series: Pre-Olympics

There are five new series that will premiere int he weeks leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, four of which are in this article (Enlisted was mentioned in the fall article).  The feature will return on a weekly basis after the Olympics finish .

Here is the updated scale that will be used (numbers are percentage of becoming a success):

Very Likely (100-80) – An outstanding performer, renewal inevitable
Likely (79-60) – A strong performer
Okay (59-40) – A middle-of-the-road performer, renewal 50/50
Poor (39-20) – A weak performer
Very Poor (19-0) – A terrible performer, cancellation inevitable

Timeslot: Mondays at 10/9

Lead in: Mom
Competition: The Blacklist, and Castle
Analysis: CBS hasn’t had much luck with its drama or midseason slate over the past few seasons.  Intelligence will have an uphill battle, but CBS is doing everything in its power to make sure this hits big.  The official premiere is tonight, Tuesday, January 7th, behind mega-hit, NCIS.  With the big lead in, ample promotion, and solid reviews, Intelligence should premiere well.  Whether or not that audience transfers to its original timeslot will be the big question.  I do not believe Intelligence will do as poorly as Hostages, so even a 1.7 would be an improvement.  In addition, I do not see Intelligence setting the ratings world on fire, but it will do well enough to make it to a second season.
Chance of Success: Okay
 
 
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 10/9
Lead in: Trophy Wife
Competition: Chicago Fire, and Person of Interest
Analysis: Despite many troubles on the night, ABC is hoping Killer Women can get off to a strong start.   That hope will dwindle quickly when the first ratings come in.  The timeslot alone will be a lot of trouble for the new drama.  ABC hasn’t had much success in the timeslot for as long as I can remember.  With the minuscule lead in from Trophy Wife, Killer Women is going to have to self start.  Nothing in the preview makes me think audiences will go out of their way to watch Killer Women.  As if ABC didn’t have enough troubles on their schedule, Killer Women will only add another problem to the list of problems.
Chance of Success: Very Poor
 
 
Chicago_PD_Promotional_Logo-source-wikiTimeslot: Wednesdays at 10/9
Lead in: Law and Order: SVU
Competition: CSI, and Nashville
 
Analysis: There is no doubt NBC wants to find a new hit in possible-franchise extension, Chicago PD.  Last season, it’s mother series, Chicago Fire, was predicted to be one of the first cancellations of the season, yet here we are a year and a half later.  When NBC first ordered Chicago PD, I thought it would be more accessible than Chicago Fire.  After watching numerous clips and previews, I am beginning to think the exact opposite.  If a viewer has never watched Chicago Fire, the back story for some of the characters on Chicago PD will be unknown.  Law and Order: SVU isn’t the show it used to be, so the lead in is nearly non-existent.  Previous timeslot occupant, Ironside, was canned after a few episodes.  Will Chicago PD bomb out of the gate like Ironside?  No, but anything past a first season seems a bit unlikely to me.
Chance of Success: Poor

Timeslot: Thursdays at 9/8c
Lead in: American Idol
Competition: The Crazy Ones, The Michael J. Fox Show, Reign, Sean Saves the World, The Taste, and Two and a Half Men

Analysis: FOX is launching Rake in the post-American Idol timeslot, the first new drama to get the timeslot since The Finder in 2012.  For the first few weeks of its run, Rake will have it quite easy with its toughest competition coming from long-running Two and a Half Men and freshman The Crazy Ones (which isn’t saying much).  Should it stay in the timeslot long enough, it will eventually have to face Grey’s Anatomy, which I believe will be the hardest for Rake to defeat, since the two seem to be attracting the same audience (females).  It’s lead in, American Idol, is undoubtedly a shell of its former self, with last season sinking to all time lows.  It remains to be seen how the new season will do, and if it has more declines to come.  If those declines continue, Rake will have a tough time getting its own audience.  To me, Rake seems way too quirky for a broadcast network breakout hit.  Reviews have been fairly positive, but critics have been wrong many times before.  Surprisingly, FOX has had a lot of success with its drama slate this season (Sleepy Hollow has already been renewed and Almost Human looks on track for renewal), which bodes well for Rake.  In the end, however, Rake will come up short.
Chances of Success: Poor