Broadcast Rat Race Week 2: “Limitless”, “Quantico”, “Blindspot” Gleaming, “Hollow” Sleeping, “Queens” Screaming

Two weeks after all the other broadcast networks, the CW finally kicked off its 2015-16 season last night. It may be the most pivotal season in the network’s history for reasons that have nothing to do with how its shows do in the ratings, because it may be the CW’s last season in its current form. Here are the facts the CW faces:

  • In recent years, the number of shows the CW has aired has skewed heavily towards Warner Bros. productions over CBS productions – 7-to-3 in this year’s fall lineup. As a result, more marginally rated CBS shows have been renewed, sparking speculation that those renewals were a way to keep CBS happy and meet certain obligations inherent in the structure of the network. It’s easy to see why such a skew has developed – CBS has its own broadcast network to focus on and develop for, and the CW is a lower priority.
  • 2016 marks the CW’s 10-year anniversary, and more importantly, it marks the expiration of most if not all of its original affiliation agreements. That’s especially important because of a number of other factors surrounding those affiliates.
  • Many CW affiliates in large to mid-size markets, including the CW affiliates in the Big Three markets of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, are owned by Tribune, the legacy of those same stations previously being WB affiliates. Although Tribune was a partner in the old WB network, it does not have a stake in the CW, and that has been the subject of some tension between Tribune and the network, as Tribune has complained about how the network has not lived up to their expectations. Some years ago Tribune de-emphasized CW branding on many of its CW affiliates in favor of more locally-oriented branding; although some stations have since re-emphasized the CW, many, including WPIX, KTLA, and WGN in the Big Three markets, have not. Tribune has also begun venturing into producing its own shows, including “Salem” and “Manhattan” for WGN America, and may feel it has less reason for a network like the CW to fill time on its stations, or may even decide to start a network, or at least MyNet-esque “syndication service”, of its own.
  • In late 2016, the FCC will hold incentive auctions allowing stations to surrender some or all of their spectrum in exchange for cash payouts, and many CW and MyNet stations in smaller markets may opt to take the FCC’s offer. Already many CW and MyNet “affiliates” in smaller markets are digital subchannels of larger stations, and because FCC rules only prohibit common ownership of two of the top four stations in a market, effectively meaning the Big Four affiliates, many CW and MyNet affiliates in mid-size markets are co-owned with Big Four affiliates, including almost all the CW stations owned by CBS itself, who may opt to surrender the junior station and consolidate both affiliations onto a single signal. Some partnerships that use sharing agreements to circumvent FCC rules have already done this in anticipation of the FCC cracking down on such circumvention (and Sinclair Broadcast Group, the most infamous user of such agreements, may be preparing for a CW/MyNet-less future with its American Sports Network). The fewer separate stations the CW and MyNet have, the less reason either of them has to exist, especially depending on how happy the owners of the remaining stations are with the network. The CW must give standalone stations a good reason to stay on the air and sign up for another term with them.
  • The CW has long emphasized that it does not see the ratings of its shows on linear television as the whole story, that its shows make much of their money through streaming, DVD/Blu-Ray sales, syndication, and international deals. None of those, however, directly benefit the local stations that carry the CW, for which ratings are the only stake they have in the network. If linear ratings aren’t where you’re making your money, why are you a linear network, certainly one on broadcast?
  • The CW has long ordered fewer new shows than the other networks because they don’t program weekends, 10 PM, or scripted comedies (or any half-hours outside of summer). This year, however, takes it to an extreme with a grand total of one new show in the fall, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” – a show that was originally developed for Showtime before being revived and retooled for broadcast at the CW. Worth noting that “Supergirl”, which comes from the same people behind “Arrow” and “The Flash” and might otherwise have crossed over with those shows, is debuting on CBS, not the CW. One may surmise that the CW is preparing for the possibility that it may not exist by this time next year and so isn’t starting any new shows that might be shut down for reasons outside their control, or moved to another channel, after one season.

Ultimately, the future of the network may well hinge on Warner Bros., and whether or not they still feel it’s worth it to own and run a broadcast network in this day and age (which is especially doubtful considering the CW merger itself may have been a stepping stone to getting out of the business). If not, they may elect to shut down the network and move their shows to networks like corporate sibling TNT, and CBS can move whatever shows they don’t decide to just end to their main broadcast network, Showtime, or Pop, or try and start their own MyNet-alike to air on their own owned stations (including independents WLNY New York and KCAL Los Angeles) and subchannels in other markets. If they do, they may want to buy out CBS’ half of the network, perhaps in conjunction with Tribune, and effectively resurrect the WB. Warners would still need to find a way to work with Tribune in order to have stations for the network to air on, especially without CBS, which could mean letting Tribune have part of CBS’ stake or even trying to buy out Tribune’s CW (and, potentially, MyNet) stations entirely. If Warners does want to keep the CW on the air as at least a nominal “fifth network”, they will want to change the network’s strategy in order to provide enough value for stations at markets of all sizes to avoid losing them to the incentive auction or any other forces that might make them reticent – and that means that keeping CBS involved, which probably doesn’t really allow the CW to fix its “underperforming CBS shows that get renewed anyway” problem, really isn’t an option, since CBS has no interest in fostering its own competition. (Unfortunately, sports is the most obvious way to do that, and there’s basically nothing they can acquire until next decade.)

With that context, perhaps the two most important shows for divining the CW’s future are “The Originals” and “Reign”, two shows that enter this season on the syndication fast-track, and so, under normal circumstances, would be a sure bet for another season – if the CW still exists next season. “The Originals” is a Warner Bros. show, but “Reign” is a CBS show, and so CBS has incentive to have some sort of platform next season to air “Reign” if nothing else. That means CBS wants to prevent either of the above scenarios from happening, or at least make sure “Reign” is taken care of if they do.

Frankly I think the CW shutting down or converting to a MyNet-esque service is more likely than Warners trying to run it on their own, though I do hope for the latter. Even the latter scenario would likely mean the CBS shows get kicked off the schedule and the standards for Warners shows might be lower. However, I’m going to look at CW shows as though it’s going to essentially be business as usual next season. Besides the shows mentioned above, based on the scheme I introduced last week, “The Flash”, “iZombie”, and “Jane the Virgin” are sophomores; “Arrow”, “Supernatural”, and “The Vampire Diaries” are veterans. As for NBC’s “Undateable”, see its entry at the bottom.

How to read the chart: First box shows current time slot, second box current season number. Eps: Total number of episodes aired / total number of episodes ordered (if known). Last: 18-49 rating of the most recent episode. Raw: Average of first-run 18-49 ratings. Adj.: Average of the most recent episode and the previous Adj. rating. WklIdx: Last divided by the network scripted show average for the week. RawIdx: Raw divided by the network scripted show average for the season. Index: Adj. divided by the network scripted show average for the season. In general, >1.1=certain renewal, .85-1.1=probable renewal, .7-.85=on the bubble, .6-.7=probably cancelled. Anything substantially less than .6 for rookie shows indicates a dead show walking. Prod: Production company that produces the show (ABC=ABC Studios, CBS=CBS Television, Fox=20th Television, NBCU=Universal Television, Sony=Sony Pictures Television, WB=Warner Bros. Television). Incorporates ratings through Sunday, October 4; write-ups do not take into account Tuesday’s ratings. Weekly averages used: ABC 1.89, FOX 1.89, CBS 1.71, NBC 1.66. Network averages used: ABC 2.01, FOX 1.97, CBS 1.87, NBC 1.74.

Empire FOX #1 Cert. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 14/30 Last: 5.5 Raw: 6.1 Adj.: 6.1 WklIdx: 2.91 RawIdx: 3.10 Index: 3.10 Prod: Fox
“Empire” came back to Earth a little bit this week, but it still clocked in at nearly three times the Fox network average for the week, and while the NFL doubleheader inflated “The Simpsons” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” above the network average, it’s still going to be difficult to accurately assess Fox’s non-Wednesday non-weekend shows.
The Big Bang Theory CBS #1 Renewed
Mon 8:00 Season 9 Eps: 185 Last: 3.8 Raw: 4.25 Adj.: 4.25 WklIdx: 2.23 RawIdx: 2.27 Index: 2.27 Prod: WB
“The Big Bang Theory” looks to be picking up where it left off at the end of last season, with its second episode clocking in the high 3s, down a full point from last year’s second episode. [It picked up a tenth in the third episode.]
Blindspot NBC #1 Cert. Renew
Mon 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 2.6 Raw: 2.85 Adj.: 2.85 WklIdx: 1.57 RawIdx: 1.64 Index: 1.64 Prod: WB
“Blindspot” continued to be the highest-rated scripted show on NBC in its second week. [It lost only two tenths in its third week, remaining well ahead of the rest of the pack.]
Modern Family ABC #1 Cert. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 7 Eps: 146/168 Last: 3.0 Raw: 3.1 Adj.: 3.1 WklIdx: 1.58 RawIdx: 1.54 Index: 1.54 Prod: Fox
“Modern Family” repeated the same seven-tenths drop from the year-ago episode from the premiere, but that means only a two-tenths drop from the previous week, and most of ABC’s other shows dropped harder.
Scandal ABC #2 Cert. Renew
Thu 9:00 Season 5 Eps: 71 Last: 2.8 Raw: 3.05 Adj.: 3.05 WklIdx: 1.48 RawIdx: 1.52 Index: 1.52 Prod: ABC
“Scandal”‘s second episode repeated the half-point drop from the year-ago episode the premiere pulled.
Grey’s Anatomy ABC #3 Cert. Renew
Thu 8:00 Season 12 Eps: 246/268 Last: 2.3 Raw: 2.55 Adj.: 2.55 WklIdx: 1.21 RawIdx: 1.27 Index: 1.27 Prod: ABC
“Grey’s Anatomy” repeated the three-tenths drop from the year-ago episode the premiere pulled.
NCIS CBS #2 Cert. Renew
Tue 8:00 Season 13 Eps: 284 Last: 2.2 Raw: 2.35 Adj.: 2.35 WklIdx: 1.29 RawIdx: 1.26 Index: 1.26 Prod: CBS
As predicted, “NCIS” fell almost to the level it finished last season with, repeating the four-tenths year-ago drop the premiere pulled, and dragging the rest of the night down with it. Its index number went up so much because of the Tuesday and Sunday shows premiering.
How to Get Away with Murder ABC #4 Cert. Renew
Thu 10:00 Season 2 Eps: 17/30 Last: 2.3 Raw: 2.45 Adj.: 2.45 WklIdx: 1.21 RawIdx: 1.22 Index: 1.22 Prod: ABC
The three-tenths slippage from the premiere to the second episode is only one-tenth better than last year’s comparable slip. But “HtGAwM” is still well ahead of the rest of the ABC pack.
The Muppets ABC #5 Prob. Renew
Tue 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 2.0 Raw: 2.45 Adj.: 2.45 WklIdx: 1.06 RawIdx: 1.22 Index: 1.22 Prod: ABC
“The Muppets” lost nearly a third of its 18-49 audience in its second week. These numbers would still be good enough for renewal, but only if the remaining viewers are going to keep watching.
Life in Pieces CBS #3 Prob. Renew
Mon 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 1.9 Raw: 2.25 Adj.: 2.25 WklIdx: 1.11 RawIdx: 1.20 Index: 1.20 Prod: Fox
“Life in Pieces” slipped seven-tenths in its second episode, and its weekly index number is only barely above the certain-renewal line, so I’m marking it as only probable renewal in anticipation of future slippage. [Its third episode finished even with the second, so it may well have stopped the bleeding and remain in the certain-renewal zone.]
The Goldbergs ABC #6 Cert. Renew
Wed 8:30 Season 3 Eps: 49 Last: 2.4 Raw: 2.4 Adj.: 2.4 RawIdx: 1.27 RawIdx: 1.19 Index: 1.19 Prod: Sony
Like last year, the premiere of “The Goldbergs” pulled a 2.4 in the demo. Unlike last year, the second episode held at that level rather than slip a tenth. The show may actually be gaining in popularity, something exceedingly rare in this day and age, and just in time for its next renewal to put it over the syndication threshold. Already more popular in the demo than “The Middle”, the day may one day come where “The Goldbergs” is anchoring a comedy night on its own.
Rosewood FOX #2 Cert. Renew
Wed 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 2.0 Raw: 2.2 Adj.: 2.2 WklIdx: 1.06 RawIdx: 1.12 Index: 1.12 Prod: Fox
A four-tenths drop is pretty modest for “Rosewood” all things considered.
Criminal Minds CBS #4 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 11 Eps: 234/255 Last: 2.0 Raw: 2.0 Adj.: 2.0 WklIdx: 1.17 RawIdx: 1.07 Index: 1.07 P: ABC/CBS
“Criminal Minds” slipped seven tenths from last year’s premiere with numbers that were only up two tenths from last year’s finale,one of only two episodes to do worse than this. That still managed to be good enough to beat CBS’ network average, but it certainly didn’t help the show that followed it.
The Simpsons FOX #3 Renewed
Sun 8:00 Season 27 Eps: 576/625 Last: 2.7 Raw: 2.1 Adj.: 2.1 WklIdx: 1.43 RawIdx: 1.07 Index: 1.07 Prod: Fox
“The Simpsons” lost six tenths of a point from last year’s first non-premiere episode with an NFL lead-in, but an NFL-powered “Simpsons” is still the best thing Fox has in fall outside “Empire” night.
The Middle ABC #7 Prob. Renew
Wed 8:00 Season 7 Eps: 146 Last: 2.2 Raw: 2.15 Adj.: 2.15 WklIdx: 1.16 RawIdx: 1.07 Index: 1.07 Prod: WB
“The Middle” slipped by two tenths from the first episode to the second last year, but it gained a tenth this year.
Scorpion CBS #5 Prob. Renew
Mon 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 24/46 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.95 Adj.: 1.95 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: 1.04 Index: 1.04 Prod: CBS
Last year “Scorpion” slipped only a tenth from the first episode to the second, so a six-tenths drop this year is a bit concerning. But it was down only two-tenths from last year’s penultimate episode. [“Scorpion” gained a tenth back in its third episode.]
Black-ish ABC #8 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:30 Season 2 Eps: 26/46 Last: 1.8 Raw: 2.1 Adj.: 2.1 WklIdx: .95 RawIdx: 1.04 Index: 1.04 Prod: ABC
The six-tenths “black-ish” slipped from its first episode to its second is only one-tenth better than the slip it endured last year, which was its premiere year and so saw higher sampling for its first episode than would be the case in later seasons. Remember, ABC would effectively be renewing “black-ish” for two seasons, so it really can’t afford to drop further, especially with “Modern Family” as the lead-in. It does have the advantage of being produced in-house on its side, though.
The Blacklist NBC #3 Cert. Renew
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 45/66 Last: 1.8 Raw: 1.8 Adj.: 1.8 WklIdx: 1.08 RawIdx: 1.03 Index: 1.03 P: Sony/NBCU
“The Blacklist” returned in the range it pulled in its post-Super Bowl run, but on the high end of it, more than good enough to finagle a renewal even without the syndication fast-track being a factor.
Heroes Reborn NBC #4 Miniseries
Thu 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 3/13 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.8 Adj.: 1.8 WklIdx: .97 RawIdx: 1.03 Index: 1.03 Prod: NBCU
“Heroes Reborn” slid four tenths in its second week.
Limitless CBS #6 Prob. Renew
Tue 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 1.9 Raw: 1.9 Adj.: 1.9 WklIdx: 1.11 RawIdx: 1.02 Index: 1.02 Prod: CBS
I had good things to say about “Limitless”‘ chances last week, saying it could probably slip two or three tenths and still be in good shape, and it did even better than that, holding on to every last ratings point. Its weekly index number would be good enough for certain renewal, though only very barely.
Chicago PD NBC #5 Cert. Renew
Wed 10:00 Season 3 Eps: 39/60 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.7 WklIdx: 1.03 RawIdx: .98 Index: .98 Prod: NBCU
The premiere of “Chicago PD” was down two tenths from last year’s premiere, but still put up numbers good enough for renewal in its own right even without the fast-track factor.
Law and Order: SVU NBC #6 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 17 Eps: 369 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.75 Adj.: 1.75 WklIdx: 1.03 RawIdx: .97 Index: .97 Prod: NBCU
SVU slipped by only a tenth in its second episode, gaining some ground on the rest of the pack.
Quantico ABC #9 Prob. Renew
Sun 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13 Last: 1.9 Raw: 1.9 Adj.: 1.9 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: .94 Index: .94 Prod: ABC
“Quantico” held on to all of its premiere audience for its second episode.
NCIS: New Orleans CBS #7 Prob. Renew
Tue 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 25/49 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.7 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: .91 Index: .91 Prod: CBS
“NCIS: New Orleans” can exhale for now, as its second episode was even with its first, but it’s still only a point off the young show’s series low.
Once Upon a Time ABC #10 Prob. Renew
Sun 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 91/111 Last: 1.8 Raw: 1.8 Adj.: 1.8 WklIdx: .95 RawIdx: .89 Index: .89 Prod: ABC
There was real cause for concern when “Once Upon a Time” premiered to the same numbers it ended last season with, but after pulling the same rating its second week it can exhale a little now, with a bit more chance at picking up where it left off, just without a premiere bounce.
Fresh Off the Boat ABC #11 Prob. Renew
Tue 8:30 Season 2 Eps: 15 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.8 Adj.: 1.8 WklIdx: .90 RawIdx: .89 Index: .89 Prod: Fox
“Fresh Off the Boat” slipped two tenths in its second week, which is pretty good considering how much “The Muppets” fell but far from ideal considering it didn’t lose anything from its first to its second episode last year – this is the same number its third episode pulled.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine FOX #4 Cert. Renew
Sun 8:30 Season 3 Eps: 47 Last: 1.9 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.7 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: .87 Index: .87 Prod: NBCU
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” lost three-tenths from last year’s first non-premiere episode in an NFL doubleheader week, but it’s still in very good shape for its fast-track season.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC #12 Cert. Renew
Tue 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 45/66 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.7 WklIdx: .90 RawIdx: .84 Index: .84 Prod: ABC
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” premiered down four-tenths from last year’s premiere, on par with the high end of the range it settled into last year. If it can keep its declines minimal, there will be less hemming and hawing when ABC inevitably renews it for a fourth season to get it over the syndication hump.
Family Guy FOX #5 Bubble
Sun 9:00 Season 14 Eps: 251 Last: 1.7 Raw: 1.6 Adj.: 1.6 WklIdx: .90 RawIdx: .81 Index: .81 Prod: Fox
If you notice, “Gotham” below has the exact same overall index number but a worse weekly index, but I have it set for probable renewal while “Family Guy” remains on the bubble. That’s because the 1.7 it pulled this week is NFL-inflated, and I don’t know if it means anything for how the show will do once NFL season ends. Last year’s first NFL-inflated episode outside the “Simpsons” crossover pulled a 2.5, so this is a pretty massive and worrying drop.
Gotham FOX #6 Prob. Renew
Mon 8:00 Season 2 Eps: 24 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.6 Adj.: 1.6 WklIdx: .85 RawIdx: .81 Index: .81 Prod: WB
I might be giving “Gotham”‘s chances too much credit, but it did manage to hold onto all of last week’s demo audience, which is a decent sign it can continue running at this level from here on, and if it does the “Empire” effect would mitigate in favor of probable-renewal status. [“Gotham” slipped another tenth of a point in its third week, putting it in a bit more jeopardy.]
Code Black CBS #8 Bubble
Wed 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 1/13? Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.5 Adj.: 1.5 WklIdx: .88 RawIdx: .80 Index: .80 P: ABC/CBS
“Criminal Minds” proved strong enough a lead-in that despite taking off half a point, “Code Black” still debuted to respectable numbers, good enough for renewal when compared just against CBS’s week… but even then it would have no margin for error before slipping to the danger zone. It wouldn’t take much of a slip at all for this show to be in line for cancellation.
Scream Queens FOX #7 Bubble
Tue 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.55 Adj.: 1.55 WklIdx: .74 RawIdx: .79 Index: .79 Prod: Fox
It wasn’t time to panic for “Scream Queens” last week, given the expectations were over-inflated to begin with, it didn’t have a lead-in, and Fox was counting on strong time-shifting numbers. Now? It’s time to panic. “Scream Queens”‘ numbers were already bubble-worthy, and it lost a good six-tenths in its second week, making it look decidedly on the wrong side of the bubble, even with “Empire” pulling up the network average.
Grandfathered FOX #8 Bubble
Tue 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 1/13? Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.5 Adj.: 1.5 WklIdx: .79 RawIdx: .76 Index: .76 Prod: ABC*
The good news is that “The Muppets”‘ strong premiere-week ratings turned out to be a mirage, but “Grandfathered” still premiered to ratings that put it very much in the danger zone. I would probably bet on it being renewed if ratings hold, but that’s a very, VERY big if.
The Grinder FOX #8 Bubble
Tue 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 1/13? Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.5 Adj.: 1.5 WklIdx: .79 RawIdx: .76 Index: .76 Prod: Fox
Since “The Grinder” premiered to the same numbers as “Grandfathered”, everything I said about “Grandfathered” applies here as well, even though “The Grinder” wasn’t directly facing “The Muppets”.
Madam Secretary CBS #9 Bubble
Sun ≥8p Season 2 Eps: 23/44 Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.4 Adj.: 1.4 WklIdx: .82 RawIdx: .75 Index: .75 Prod: CBS
“Madam Secretary” slipped six tenths from last year’s premiere, landing right at the mark separating what it did in the early part of the season and the lower-rated late part. All things considered, that’s not a good sign, but we’ll see how it does with the NFL inflating its numbers.
Dr. Ken ABC #13 Too Early
Fri 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 1/13? Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.5 Adj.: 1.5 WklIdx: .79 RawIdx: .75 Index: .75 Prod: Sony*
Boosted by the brand power of Ken Jeong, “Dr. Ken” premiered to strong numbers improving by four-tenths over its “Last Man Standing” lead-in. Now comes the hard part: holding on to that.
The Last Man on Earth FOX #10 Bubble
Sun 9:30 Season 2 Eps: 15 Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.45 Adj.: 1.45 WklIdx: .79 RawIdx: .74 Index: .74 Prod: Fox
“The Last Man on Earth” only gained a tenth from the NFL effect. Time will tell if it stops bleeding in non-NFL doubleheader weeks.
Bones FOX #11 Bubble
Thu 8:00 Season 11 Eps: 213 Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.4 Adj.: 1.4 WklIdx: .74 RawIdx: .71 Index: .71 Prod: Fox
The premiere of “Bones” was down two-tenths from last year’s premiere, and with the state of the rest of Fox’s lineup that’s, just barely, good enough to place it on the bubble – which might as well mean “it’s renewed if the cast and crew want another season” given what happened last year.
Blue Bloods CBS #10 Prob. Renew
Fri 10:00 Season 6 Eps: 113/133 Last: 1.3 Raw: 1.3 Adj.: 1.3 WklIdx: .76 RawIdx: .70 Index: .70 Prod: CBS
Last year “Blue Bloods” was mostly steady throughout the season, though slowly improving as it progressed. This year it held steady at 1.3 in its second week, about in the middle of the range it pulled throughout the season, and pulling numbers some networks would kill for on Friday.
The Mysteries of Laura NBC #7 Prob. Canned
Wed 8:00 Season 2 Eps: 24/35 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: .72 RawIdx: .69 Index: .69 Prod: WB
“The Mysteries of Laura” holding at 1.2 in its second week is huge, but it probably isn’t enough to stave off cancellation.
Blood and Oil ABC #14 Prob. Canned
Sun 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 1.3 Raw: 1.35 Adj.: 1.35 WklIdx: .69 RawIdx: .67 Index: .67 Prod: ABC
Only dropping a single tenth from the premiere would be better news for “Blood and Oil” if it had pulled up stronger premiere numbers to begin with. It especially looks bad when the higher-rated “Once Upon a Time” and “Quantico” held steady from their opening weeks.
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS #11 Prob. Canned
Mon 10:00 Season 7 Eps: 146/168 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: .70 RawIdx: .64 Index: .64 Prod: CBS
“Blindspot” continues to punish its time-slot competition. “NCIS: Los Angeles” remained at 1.2 in its second week, which is good, but it’s still two-tenths off of last season’s low, which is bad. If it continues to hold steady while other shows decline it might be able to claw its way onto the bubble, but that’s hardly something you want to count on. CBS really needs to consider a time-slot move. [Another 1.2 in Week 3.]
The Good Wife CBS #11 Prob. Cancel
Sun ≥9p Season 7 Eps: 135/156 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: .70 RawIdx: .64 Index: .64 Prod: CBS
To be honest, the way CBS treats its veterans in general and “The Good Wife” in particular I’m probably overstating the show’s jeopardy. This does, after all, represent only a slight decline from what the show was doing last NFL season, and this was a singleheader week.
The Player NBC #8 Prob. Canned
Thu 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.1 Adj.: 1.1 WklIdx: .60 RawIdx: .63 Index: .63 Prod: Sony
In its first week with “The Blacklist” as a lead-in, “The Player” slipped two-tenths from an already worrying premiere. The question really isn’t whether it’ll be cancelled, but when.
Bob’s Burgers FOX #12 Prob. Canned
Sun 7:30 Season 6 Eps: 89/110 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: .61 Index: .61 Prod: Fox
This week “Bob’s Burgers” was pre-empted by football, so it only gets to nudge up a little as “Empire” falls back to earth and other shows decline. [I understand that “Bob’s Burgers” was renewed today, which really illustrates how syndication can disassociate renewal decisions from ratings, not to mention the realities of the timeslot.]
Castle ABC #15 Prob. Canned
Mon 10:00 Season 8 Eps: 153/173 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: .63 RawIdx: .60 Index: .60 Prod: ABC
“Castle” is in worse shape than “NCIS: LA” because of ABC’s higher network average. It’s old enough that its fortunes depend more on actor contracts and syndication sales than anything else, but if it comes back next season it will definitely need to move. [Another 1.2 in Week 3.]
Last Man Standing ABC #16 Bubble
Fri 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 88 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.15 Adj.: 1.15 WklIdx: .63 RawIdx: .57 Index: .57 Prod: Fox
“Last Man Standing” rebounded by a tenth in its second week, giving it a little room to exhale, but it’s still far from out of the woods yet.
Nashville ABC #17 Prob. Canned
Wed 10:00 Season 4 Eps: 67 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.15 Adj.: 1.15 RawIdx: .58 RawIdx: .57 Index: .57 Prod: ABC
The syndication fast-track helped “Nashville” overcome iffy ratings last year, but that can’t save it this year, and “Nashville” premiered to ratings that were low even for last year and has slipped another point in its second week. Hope everyone is prepared for this to be the last hurrah.
Hawaii Five-O CBS #13 Bubble
Fri 9:00 Season 6 Eps: 120/143 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.05 Adj.: 1.05 WklIdx: .64 RawIdx: .56 Index: .56 Prod: CBS
“Hawaii Five-O” rebounded a tenth to only match last season’s low in its second week. If this proves indicative of how it does for the season, it could be in pretty good shape for a renewal, considering the circumstances under which it was renewed last year.
CSI: Cyber CBS #14 Prob. Cancel
Sun ≥10p Season 2 Eps: 14/35 Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.0 Adj.: 1.0 WklIdx: .59 RawIdx: .53 Index: .53 Prod: CBS
The decision to renew “CSI: Cyber” was head-scratching for a midseason show that had been pulling iffy ratings at the same time the original “CSI” was cancelled to leave “Cyber” as the last CSI show. That now looks even more head-scratching after the premiere lost two-tenths from last year’s last five episodes, which might have gotten the show cancelled if they had come earlier. “CSI: Cyber” definitely needs to improve when it gets inflated by an NFL doubleheader or it will be the last nail in the coffin for the franchise.
Sleepy Hollow FOX #13 Prob. Canned
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 32/49 Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.0 Adj.: 1.0 WklIdx: .53 RawIdx: .51 Index: .51 Prod: Fox
Oof. I don’t think “Sleepy Hollow” ever did worse than a 1.5 all of last year, so for it to stumble out of the gate to a 1.0 should be very, VERY concerning to Fox. If that was a new show the suits would already be getting ready to cancel it. Turns out the timeslot move to Thursdays at 9 may have been disastrous, and Fox will want to consider moving it back to Monday, either to cover for the failure of “Minority Report” or at midseason.
Minority Report FOX #14 Dead Walking
Mon 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: .9 Raw: 1.0 Adj.: 1.0 WklIdx: .48 RawIdx: .51 Index: .51 Prod: Fox
“Minority Report” premiered to the worst ratings of any show on Fox in its first week, and in its second week it slipped two-tenths from that mark, falling into the sub-1 range. As noted last week, it may not be possible for it to fall low enough to be pulled before airing its entire initial order, but it’s certainly not going to air anything after that. [“Minority Report” lost another two tenths this week, falling to a .7. The axe awaits.]
The Flash CW #? Prem: 10/6
Tue 8:00 Season 2 Eps: 23 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
Last year “The Flash” managed to outdo even the show that spawned it, “Arrow”, to become the CW’s highest-rated show. What comes next?
iZombie CW #? Prem: 10/6
Tue 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 13/26 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
Last season “iZombie” started out pulling .8s and .7s before settling into the .6 range later on. What will it do with a full season to work with?
Arrow CW #? Prem: 10/7
Wed 8:00 Season 4 Eps: 69/92 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
“Arrow” will fill out this season reaching the syndication threshold and preparing for whatever comes next for the CW.
Supernatural CW #? Prem: 10/7
Wed 9:00 Season 11 Eps: 218/241 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
“Supernatural” became the CW’s highest-rated non-superhero show last year with “Arrow” as a lead-in. What will it do with an entire season there?
The Vampire Diaries CW #? Prem: 10/8
Thu 8:00 Season 7 Eps: 133/155 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB*
Given how much less impressive “The Vampire Diaries” has looked since the advent of “Arrow” and “The Flash”, how much of a future does it have given the uncertainty about the network’s future?
The Originals CW #? Prem: 10/8
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 44 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB*
This season is pretty much a holding pattern for “The Originals” as it counts down to next season.
Reign CW #? Prem: 10/9
Fri 8:00 Season 3 Eps: 44/62 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: CBS*
As explained in the intro, “Reign” is possibly CBS’ most important CW show, managing to get renewed despite rather poor ratings even by the CW’s standards, and now a show CBS will get to a fourth season by any means necessary.
Undateable NBC #? Prem: 10/9
Fri 8:00 Season 3 Eps: 23 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
“Undateable” premiered in the summer of 2014 for a 13-episode first season, then returned the following spring for another 10 episodes, so despite technically entering its third season it has only one season’s worth of episodes and is considered a sophomore show for my purposes. Although it did rather well by the standards of NBC’s spring lineup, this season it’s not only airing on Friday but is slated to do all its episodes live, which is the sort of gimmick you’d expect to be applied to a show on the brink of cancellation. This can be chalked up to a live episode the show did last year that was well-received among the cast and producers. Certainly Friday is a place where they can get away with a little more experimentation, having very wide leeway for the ratings.

One Comment