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 new series within the Marvel franchise.
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: Encore programming
Competition: About a Boy, Marry Me, The Mindy Project, NCIS: New Orleans, New Girl, Supernatural
Analysis: Agents of Shield certainly has not been a huge hit, but it has done solid numbers in its two season run. In either event, I doubt Agent Carter will have as big of a debut as Agents of Shield, and in the long run, ratings will likely be a tick or two lower for Agent Carter. ABC only order eight episodes, so Agent Carter doesn’t have much time to make a name for itself. Still, it should be a positive run, prompting ABC to order another season.
Prediction: Solid (3)
Quick Premise: A comedy-drama focusing on an odd detective (Rainn Wilson).
Timeslot: Thursdays at 9/8c
Lead in: American Idol
Competition: A to Z and Bad Judge (for two weeks), The Blacklist (starting 2/5), The McCarthys, Reign, Scandal (starting 1/29), Two and a Half Men
Analysis: It’s been a long run for Backstrom to make it to television. CBS ordered a pilot in 2012, only to pass on it shortly after. 20th Century FOX shopped the series around, and it landed at FOX with a 13 episode order. Two and a half years after shooting its first pilot, Backstrom is finally debuting. Unfortunately for the series, it will air in the most competitive timeslot on television, against The Blacklist, Scandal, and the final five episodes of Two and a Half Men. Trying to carve out its own audience against the stiff competition is not going to be easy. Years ago, airing behind American Idol would have been enough to give Backstrom a boost, but not anymore. If you recall, Rake debuted behind American Idol last season and struggled mightily. Despite a promotional push, FOX does not have a hit on its hands here, just another Rake.
Prediction: Bomb (1)
Quick Premise: A powerful family owns a hip hop empire.
Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9/8c
Lead in: American Idol
Competition: The 100, Black-ish, Criminal Minds, Modern Family, Law and Order: SVU
Analysis: A lot seems to be riding on the latest music series from FOX, with it being given the lead in of American Idol and a huge promotional push. Unfortunately, American Idol is no longer a beast and the promotions for Empire have been pretty awful. I do, however, believe Empire will have a solid debut, just because of people will want to see what this show is all about. The debut will be the only redeeming piece of ratings data for Empire, however, as people will quickly flee for other offerings in the hour. Since FOX is having a miserable season, I’m sure all 13 episodes will air, although nothing past those initial episodes. Sorry FOX, but you’re bad luck isn’t going to end with Empire, it’ll only continue.
Prediction: Weak (2)
Quick Premise: A fairy-tale comedy following Galavant, a man set out to seek revenge on a King who stole his true love.
Timeslot: Sundays at 8/7c (back-to-back episodes)
Lead in: America’s Funniest Home Videos
Competition: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Dateline NBC, Madam Secretary, The Simpsons
Analysis: I have to give it to ABC, Galavant is probably the most original new offering of the season. The way ABC is airing Galavant, however, makes me wonder how much faith they have in the series. Back-to-back episodes for only a few weeks screams burn-off. Once Upon a Time was able to flourish in the timeslot, so perhaps ABC is hoping to make magic strike twice. Galavant may be able to carve out its own audience in the hour, simply because competition is so light (other than football-fueled Simpsons – at least for the debut episode). Then again, could the series be way too quirky for the average viewer? I think Galavant is an interesting series to watch ratings wise, and if it does well enough, ABC may order a series similar to it for next season. The only problem? I expect the series to fall flat, prompting ABC to cancel Galavant after its initial eight episodes.
Prediction: Bomb (1)