Broadcast Rat Race Week 5: “The Player”, “Blood and Oil”, “Truth Be Told” Catch Episode Cut Epidemic; “Limitless” Given Back-Nine Inoculation – As Has “The Grinder”?!

We’ve had a veritable spate of episode-order cuts this year; Fox started it by cutting “Minority Report” to ten episodes, and every show listed as “cancelled” on the chart below has had their episode order cut. This is the latest evolution in how networks deal with flops. Once upon a time, flops would simply be yanked off the schedule and replaced with something else coming out of the bullpen, but new shows were doomed to failure if they were plugged in to a random flop’s time-slot at a random point in the season rather than being given significant advance promotion and debuting at a point where audiences were ready for new shows, readying veteran shows with established audiences wasn’t much better and posed additional risks, and putting veteran shows in interim spots on the schedule like Fridays, to be plugged in when a new show flopped, didn’t fool anyone for long and cost the networks upfront money contingent on the originally advertised time slot. In recent years, then, networks have taken to letting shows finish out their initial 13-episode order, no matter how horribly rated (so long as reruns wouldn’t do any better), and then finding something else to fill the time-slot at midseason.

Last year, the first thing resembling a cancellation came in mid-October, and was similar to what we’ve seen this year: Fox cut “Mulaney”‘s episode order from an unusually-high 16 to 13. ABC yanked “Manhattan Love Story” at about this time last year, replacing it with double-runs of “Selfie” (which wasn’t that much higher rated), and in mid-November pulled “Selfie” in favor of repeats and “Dancing with the Stars” clip shows. NBC gave a Halloween spook to “A to Z” and “Bad Judge”, announcing on October 31 that those two shows would not receive more than their original 13-episode orders, but that all the episodes ordered would air. CBS announced it wouldn’t go forward with sophomore “The Millers” in mid-November, something of a surprise considering the support CBS had seemed to show it by renewing it in the first place and their evident desire to get one of their own sitcoms to syndication. NBC’s “Constantine” and Fox’s “Red Band Society” were the only other shows to be announced not to get back nines by the end of November, with Fox pulling “RBS” off the schedule after ten episodes, taking it a week into December. Only “Manhattan Love Story”, “Selfie”, and “The Millers” failed to hold on to their spots until holiday specials and repeats took over the schedule.

This year networks seem to be adopting the tack Fox took with “Mulaney” and “Minority Report” by cutting episode orders. Several shows in the past week have effectively had production shut down after the current episode, pointing to what may be behind the latest strategy tweak: regardless of the opportunity cost of pulling a new show, networks may not want to incur the cost of producing more episodes of shows that will deliver miniscule ratings, which may mean they may prefer to run repeats once the produced episodes have finished airing even if the repeats would deliver smaller ratings, since repeats don’t incur production costs. Shows that have been produced will air in their originally scheduled time slot, because they might as well if repeats won’t do any better, and they’d collect better numbers there than if they were burned off on Saturday or in summer.

Rookies “Supergirl” and “Wicked City” and veteran “Grimm” make their bows this week.

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 25; write-ups do not take into account Monday’s or Tuesday’s ratings. Weekly averages used: ABC 1.71, FOX 1.64, CBS 1.61, NBC 1.23, CW .58. Network averages used: ABC 1.83, CBS 1.70, FOX 1.68, NBC 1.43, CW .66.

Empire Last: 4.8 Raw: 5.36 Adj.: 4.98 WklIdx: 2.93 RawIdx: 3.20 Index: 2.97 Fox #1
The Big Bang Theory Last: 3.9 Raw: 4.04 Adj.: 3.94 WklIdx: 2.43 RawIdx: 2.38 Index: 2.32 CBS #1
The Flash Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.4 Adj.: 1.4 WklIdx: 2.42 RawIdx: 2.13 Index: 2.13 CW #1
Blindspot Last: 2.1 Raw: 2.54 Adj.: 2.33 WklIdx: 1.70 RawIdx: 1.77 Index: 1.63 NBC #1
Modern Family Last: 2.7 Raw: 2.86 Adj.: 2.75 WklIdx: 1.58 RawIdx: 1.57 Index: 1.51 ABC #1
Arrow Last: .9 Raw: 1.0 Adj.: .98 WklIdx: 1.56 RawIdx: 1.52 Index: 1.49 CW #2
Scandal Last: 2.5 Raw: 2.72 Adj.: 2.56 WklIdx: 1.46 RawIdx: 1.49 Index: 1.40 ABC #2
The Simpsons Last: 2.8 Raw: 2.04 Adj.: 2.28 WklIdx: 1.71 RawIdx: 1.22 Index: 1.36 Fox #2
Grey’s Anatomy Last: 2.4 Raw: 2.4 Adj.: 2.37 WklIdx: 1.41 RawIdx: 1.31 Index: 1.30 ABC #3
NCIS Last: 2.2 Raw: 2.24 Adj.: 2.19 WklIdx: 1.37 RawIdx: 1.32 Index: 1.29 CBS #2
Life in Pieces CBS #3 Cert. Renew
Mon 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 5/13? Last: 2.1 Raw: 2.06 Adj.: 2.02 WklIdx: 1.31 RawIdx: 1.21 Index: 1.19 Prod: Fox
“Life in Pieces” unexpectedly shot up three-tenths this week, but CBS may still want to see how it does on Thursday before giving it a back nine [of course, CBS has since given it a back nine]. Until then however, the shows below it will have to be uncondensed. Just wait until next week when I have to deal with “Supergirl”‘s sky-high premiere that will inevitably fall down to earth the following week… what fun that’ll be.
Chicago Fire NBC #2 Cert. Renew
Tue 10:00 Season 4 Eps: 71/91 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.7 WklIdx: 1.30 RawIdx: 1.19 Index: 1.19 Prod: NBCU
“Chicago Fire” slid a full eight-tenths from last year’s premiere, but the two-tenths drop to the second episode is a tenth better than last year, and it’s still good enough to be NBC’s highest-rated returning scripted show. These numbers are in the mid-to-low end of the range “Chicago Fire” was doing late last year.
How to Get Away with Murder ABC #4 Cert. Renew
Thu 10:00 Season 2 Eps: 20/30 Last: 2.1 Raw: 2.24 Adj.: 2.13 WklIdx: 1.23 RawIdx: 1.23 Index: 1.17 Prod: ABC
“How to Get Away with Murder” slid two-tenths last week but rebounded a tenth this week.
The Goldbergs ABC #5 Cert. Renew
Wed 8:30 Season 3 Eps: 52 Last: 2.1 Raw: 2.22 Adj.: 2.11 WklIdx: 1.23 RawIdx: 1.20 Index: 1.16 Prod: Sony
“The Goldbergs” slipped a tenth last week and regained it this week.
Supernatural CW #3 Cert. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 11 Eps: 221/241 Last: .6 Raw: .77 Adj.: .73 WklIdx: 1.04 RawIdx: 1.17 Index: 1.11 Prod: WB
Whoops! I tabbed “Supernatural” to be condensed last week, but this week it fell two-tenths and fell dangerously close to the certain-renewal cutline. It’s still the CW’s highest-rated non-superhero show, and on most networks its veteran status would mean its renewal would remain a lock, but there is still the uncertainty over the network’s future hanging over its head.
The Middle ABC #6 Prob. Renew
Wed 8:00 Season 7 Eps: 148 Last: 1.9 Raw: 2.04 Adj.: 1.97 WklIdx: 1.11 RawIdx: 1.12 Index: 1.08 Prod: WB
“The Middle” failed to justify any hypothetical bump up to certain renewal, falling down a tenth this week and behind the pace compared to the ABC network average.
Law and Order: SVU NBC #3 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 17 Eps: 372 Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.62 Adj.: 1.54 WklIdx: 1.22 RawIdx: 1.13 Index: 1.08 Prod: NBCU
“SVU” stemmed its tenth-point declines, but isn’t quite there yet to be bumped up to certain renewal.
Scorpion CBS #4 Prob. Renew
Mon 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 27/46 Last: 1.8 Raw: 1.84 Adj.: 1.79 WklIdx: 1.12 RawIdx: 1.08 Index: 1.05 Prod: CBS
“Scorpion” seems to have settled into a groove, bouncing up and down for the past few weeks, and this range should be good enough for a renewal and a fast-track to syndication.
Chicago PD NBC #4 Cert. Renew
Wed 10:00 Season 3 Eps: 42/60 Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.53 Adj.: 1.48 WklIdx: 1.14 RawIdx: 1.06 Index: 1.03 Prod: NBCU
After holding on to its audience in its third week, “Chicago P.D.” slipped a tenth in its fourth.
The Blacklist NBC #5 Cert. Renew
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 47/66 Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.53 Adj.: 1.46 WklIdx: 1.14 RawIdx: 1.06 Index: 1.02 P: Sony/Unv.
“The Blacklist” stopped declining this week, at least for now.
Black-ish ABC #7 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:30 Season 2 Eps: 28/46 Last: 1.8 Raw: 1.94 Adj.: 1.85 WklIdx: 1.05 RawIdx: 1.06 Index: 1.01 Prod: ABC
“black-ish” held on to its audience this week, pulling 1.8s in three out of the past four weeks and bumping up to 1.9 the remaining week, putting it just over the network average and in good shape for a renewal to put it on the fast-track.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine FOX #3 Cert. Renew
Sun 8:30 Season 3 Eps: 49 Last: 2.0 Raw: 1.58 Adj.: 1.68 WklIdx: 1.22 RawIdx: .94 Index: 1.00 Prod: NBCU
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, already on the fast-track, vindicated my reluctance to move it down to probable-renewal last week, riding the NFL and “Treehouse of Horror” to the third-highest Fox number of the week and a similar position on the index number.
Criminal Minds CBS #5 Prob. Renew
Wed 9:00 Season 11 Eps: 237/255 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.75 Adj.: 1.69 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: 1.03 Index: .99 P: ABC/CBS
“Criminal Minds” held on to all of its second-episode demo audience in the third episode, but declined a tenth in the fourth and sits just about on the network average.
Rosewood FOX #4 Prob. Renew
Wed 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/22? Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.84 Adj.: 1.65 WklIdx: .98 RawIdx: 1.10 Index: .98 Prod: Fox
“Rosewood” celebrated its full-season order by gaining back half of the four-tenths decline it suffered the previous week. But with the Sunday shows inflated by the NFL doubleheader for only the second time this season and “The Simpsons” pushed to its season high (and into the shows condensed at the top of the post) by “Treehouse of Horror”, it actually fell behind the Fox network average for the week.
Family Guy FOX #4 Prob. Renew
Sun 9:00 Season 14 Eps: 253 Last: 1.8 Raw: 1.6 Adj.: 1.65 WklIdx: 1.10 RawIdx: .95 Index: .98 Prod: Fox
Inflated by the NFL and “Treehouse of Horror”, “Family Guy” built up a sizeable buffer this week and surged to a tie with “Rosewood” for the fourth-highest Fox index number.
NCIS: New Orleans CBS #6 Prob. Renew
Tue 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 28/49 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.64 Adj.: 1.6 WklIdx: 1.00 RawIdx: .97 Index: .94 Prod: CBS
“NCIS: New Orleans” rebounded a tenth after taking its first slip of the season last week.
The Muppets ABC #8 Bubble
Tue 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 4/13? Last: N/A Raw: 1.98 Adj.: 1.69 WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: 1.08 Index: .92 Prod: ABC
“The Muppets” took the week off for the holiday specials “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Toy Story of Terror”, but the shadow of last week’s 1.3 continues to loom over it.
Once Upon a Time ABC #9 Prob. Renew
Sun 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 93/111 Last: 1.6 Raw: 1.68 Adj.: 1.63 WklIdx: .94 RawIdx: .92 Index: .89 Prod: ABC
“Once Upon a Time” holds at 1.6 for the third straight week.
Limitless CBS #7 Prob. Renew
Tue 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/22? Last: 1.4 Raw: 1.66 Adj.: 1.5 WklIdx: .87 RawIdx: .98 Index: .88 Prod: CBS
“Limitless” picked up a full-season order this week and proceeded to halt its decline after falling three-tenths last week. But while these numbers are good enough for renewal, “Limitless” can’t afford to decline any faster than the CBS network average from here on.
Fresh Off the Boat ABC #10 Prob. Renew
Tue 8:30 Season 2 Eps: 16/35 Last: N/A Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.6 WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: .93 Index: .88 Prod: Fox
“Fresh off the Boat” takes a week off for Halloween specials, which means it didn’t pull down its index further into the danger zone.
Quantico ABC #11 Prob. Renew
Sun 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/20 Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.7 Adj.: 1.59 WklIdx: .88 RawIdx: .93 Index: .87 Prod: ABC
“Quantico” slid a tenth after holding on to all its audience last week, and now the prospect of it falling into the danger zone, after being one of the network’s success stories and picking up a near-full season order, is starting to look plausible.
Gotham FOX #5 Bubble
Mon 8:00 Season 2 Eps: 27 Last: 1.3 Raw: 1.5 Adj.: 1.41 WklIdx: .79 RawIdx: .89 Index: .84 Prod: WB
Heh, remember when I thought fearing “Gotham” slipping into the danger zone was an overreaction to a one-tenth drop before seeing the rest of Fox’s ratings for the week or whether it could hold on to that in future weeks? Yeah, forget about that. “Gotham” slipped two-tenths this week in a week where Fox’s network averages were propped up by the NFL and “Treehouse of Horror” inflating the Sunday shows’ ratings, and that pushed its index number right into the danger zone – and gave it a standing for the week that should make it feel very much endangered.
The Vampire Diaries CW #4 Prob. Renew
Thu 8:00 Season 7 Eps: 136/155 Last: .5 Raw: .57 Adj.: .55 WklIdx: .87 RawIdx: .86 Index: .84 Prod: WB*
“The Vampire Diaries” started out with a .6 that looked shockingly low, then held on to that audience in the second week and it looked much better, but now it slips down a tenth and is back on the edge of the danger zone. I’m not moving it down because it’s a veteran show and its weekly number is out of the danger zone.
iZombie CW #4 Bubble
Tue 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 16/26 Last: .5 Raw: .57 Adj.: .55 WklIdx: .87 RawIdx: .86 Index: .84 Prod: WB
“iZombie” held on to its post-premiere audience in its second episode, which makes it look a lot better but, for a sophomore show that started as a midseason replacement, doesn’t quite get it off the bubble.
Heroes Reborn NBC #6 Miniseries
Thu 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 5/13 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.4 Adj.: 1.2 WklIdx: .89 RawIdx: .98 Index: .84 Prod: NBCU
“Heroes Reborn” has managed to stop the bleeding, holding at 1.1 this week.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC #12 Prob. Renew
Tue 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 47/66 Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.55 Adj.: 1.51 WklIdx: .88 RawIdx: .85 Index: .83 Prod: ABC
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” rebounded a tenth with Halloween specials as its lead-in instead of the stumbling “The Muppets” and “Fresh Off the Boat”.
The Last Man on Earth FOX #7 Bubble
Sun 9:30 Season 2 Eps: 17 Last: 1.5 Raw: 1.32 Adj.: 1.33 WklIdx: .92 RawIdx: .79 Index: .79 Prod: Fox
“The Last Man on Earth” pulled the same rating as its first NFL-inflated week and, as with “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, vindicated my decision to hold off on changing its status, as it now looks to be slightly on the good side of the bubble. But it’ll be way too early to make any real pronouncements until NFL season ends.
Madam Secretary CBS #8 Bubble
Sun ≥8p Season 2 Eps: 26/44 Last: 1.3 Raw: 1.35 Adj.: 1.31 WklIdx: .81 RawIdx: .79 Index: .77 Prod: CBS
Despite losing the NFL as an indirect lead-in, “Madam Secretary” actually rebounded a tenth this week, making its prospects look much better, though still bubblicious. Perhaps for CBS, the inability to properly program a DVR and unpredictability of start times for Sunday shows trumps the NFL effect and captive audience stuck when a show ends at a bad time to switch to something else. Perhaps CBS should take note of the much bigger impact the NFL has on Fox’s Sunday shows and bite the bullet and schedule “60 Minutes” for 8 or pre-empt it entirely in NFL doubleheader weeks. Just a thought. (Then again, to be fair, last week’s overrun pushed the primetime shows to 59 minutes past the hour, all but negating the captive-audience effect.)
The Mysteries of Laura NBC #7 Bubble
Wed 8:00 Season 2 Eps: 27/35 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.12 Adj.: 1.09 WklIdx: .89 RawIdx: .78 Index: .76 Prod: WB
When “The Mysteries of Laura” premiered to a 1.2 it seemed a sure ticket to cancellation for a show that had already escaped cancellation by the skin of its teeth last year. But since then, “The Mysteries of Laura” has mostly held on to that audience, slipping to a 1.1 in its third week, another tenth to 1.0 the following week, and gaining that tenth back this week. With other NBC shows inevitably declining, “Laura” now looks to have a significantly better shot at renewal. NBC will still be reticent to give a fast-track season to a show it doesn’t own, but things still look a lot brighter for the show than they did a month ago.
Code Black CBS #9 Bubble
Wed 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 4/13? Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.28 Adj.: 1.24 WklIdx: .75 RawIdx: .75 Index: .73 P: ABC/CBS
“Code Black” has pulled three straight 1.2s. If that turns out to be its level, and the CBS average doesn’t fall much further (and “Supergirl” is likely to inflate it this week), it’s going to be a long season.
Bones FOX #8 Bubble
Thu 8:00 Season 11 Eps: 216 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.25 Adj.: 1.21 WklIdx: .73 RawIdx: .75 Index: .72 Prod: Fox
“Bones” rebounded a tenth this week, but it’s still in a range that would put a non-veteran show squarely on the bubble.
Blue Bloods CBS #10 Prob. Renew
Fri 10:00 Season 6 Eps: 115/133 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.26 Adj.: 1.23 WklIdx: .75 RawIdx: .74 Index: .72 Prod: CBS
“Blue Bloods” follows three weeks of 1.3s with two weeks of 1.2s.
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS #10 Bubble
Mon 10:00 Season 7 Eps: 149/168 Last: 1.3 Raw: 1.2 Adj.: 1.23 WklIdx: .81 RawIdx: .71 Index: .72 Prod: CBS
We finally have some separation among the shows getting beat up by “Blindspot” Mondays at 10! And it’s the show that was already in better position owing to a weaker network. I don’t know if “NCIS: LA” had some sort of stunt to pump up its flagging ratings, but it surged two-tenths this week to its best rating of the season and pulled index numbers that put it on the bubble, if only barely.
Dr. Ken ABC #13 Prob. Renew
Fri 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 4/22? Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.33 Adj.: 1.28 WklIdx: .70 RawIdx: .73 Index: .70 Prod: Sony*
“Dr. Ken” falls a tenth this week but remains as strong as CBS’ stalwart “Blue Bloods” on Friday. One wonders if ABC may try to find a spot for it elsewhere on its schedule next season, possibly on Tuesday, but these numbers would put it on the low end of the bubble elsewhere in the week.
Last Man Standing ABC #14 Prob. Renew
Fri 8:00 Season 5 Eps: 91 Last: 1.2 Raw: 1.22 Adj.: 1.23 WklIdx: .70 RawIdx: .67 Index: .67 Prod: Fox
“Last Man Standing” fell a tenth this week, pulling even with “Dr. Ken”.
Scream Queens FOX #9 Prob. Cancel
Tue 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/13? Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.26 Adj.: 1.09 WklIdx: .61 RawIdx: .75 Index: .65 Prod: Fox
Fox and their defenders can say all they want about good demos and good DVR numbers. The fact of the matter is, these numbers have to be considered a massive disappointment considering how much Fox staked on “Scream Queens”. Fox hoped Ryan Murphy would produce another monster hit on the scale of what “Glee” was once upon a time; instead, even with Fox’s weekly network average inflated by the Sunday shows being boosted by the NFL and “Treehouse of Horror” (and its overall network average inflated by “Empire”), these numbers don’t look good enough to be renewed at all, maybe not even to receive a back nine.
Grandfathered FOX #10 Prob. Cancel
Tue 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 4/13? Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.18 Adj.: 1.09 WklIdx: .61 RawIdx: .70 Index: .65 Prod: ABC*
Despite what I anticipated, “Grandfathered” actually did stop the bleeding before heading into fractional territory. Too bad Fox’s network average was inflated by the Sunday shows getting a boost from the NFL and “Treehouse of Horror”, or that the 1.0 the show received last week wasn’t good enough to score a renewal anyway, or that the index numbers still needed to catch up with the previous weeks’ declines.
The Good Wife CBS #12 Prob. Cancel
Sun ≥9p Season 7 Eps: 138/156 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.15 Adj.: 1.13 WklIdx: .68 RawIdx: .68 Index: .66 Prod: CBS
As with “Madam Secretary”, losing the indirect NFL lead-in didn’t hurt “The Good Wife” as much as I thought, but these are still cancel-worthy numbers for a non-veteran.
The Originals CW #6 Prob. Renew
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 47 Last: .4 Raw: .43 Adj.: .43 WklIdx: .69 RawIdx: .66 Index: .65 Prod: WB*
“The Originals” picked up a tenth last week, but lost it back this week. Still, the way things are looking now it wouldn’t be a *complete* disaster to swallow a fourth season for syndication.
Castle ABC #15 Prob. Canned
Mon 10:00 Season 8 Eps: 156/173 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.16 Adj.: 1.13 WklIdx: .64 RawIdx: .64 Index: .62 Prod: ABC
“Castle” continues to be consistent, but right now it needs to be more than consistent.
Hawaii Five-O CBS #13 Bubble
Fri 9:00 Season 6 Eps: 123/143 Last: 1.0 Raw: 1.06 Adj.: 1.04 WklIdx: .62 RawIdx: .62 Index: .61 Prod: CBS
After three straight weeks at 1.1, “Hawaii Five-O” slipped back down to a 1.0, continuing to give the CBS bean-counters heartburn.
Bob’s Burgers FOX #12 Renewed
Sun 7:30 Season 6 Eps: 92/110 Last: N/A Raw: 1.03 Adj.: 1.03 WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: .62 Index: .61 Prod: Fox
“Bob’s Burgers” was pre-empted by football this week.
Jane the Virgin CW #7 Prob. Cancel
Mon 9:00 Season 2 Eps: 24/44 Last: .4 Raw: .4 Adj.: .4 WklIdx: .69 RawIdx: .61 Index: .61 Prod: CBS*
Another .4 makes a “Jane the Virgin” syndication fast-track renewal a bit more palatable, but not nearly enough.
Nashville ABC #16 Prob. Canned
Wed 10:00 Season 4 Eps: 69 Last: 1.1 Raw: 1.1 Adj.: 1.09 WklIdx: .64 RawIdx: .60 Index: .60 Prod: ABC
Like “Castle”, “Nashville” needs more than just consistency. It’s still too young for ABC to have any investment in it beyond simply getting it to syndication.
The Grinder FOX #11 Prob. Cancel
Tue 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 4/22 Last: .9 Raw: 1.08 Adj.: .99 WklIdx: .55 RawIdx: .64 Index: .59 Prod: Fox
“The Grinder” managed to hold on to all of its audience, but its numbers look especially bad with Fox’s network average inflated by strong Sunday numbers you’re probably sick of me talking about by now. That Fox gave it a full season Tuesday does not bode well for how it feels about its bullpen of midseason shows, but doesn’t change what’ll happen by the end of the season.
The Player NBC #8 Cancelled
Thu 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/9 Last: .8 Raw: .92 Adj.: .83 WklIdx: .65 RawIdx: .64 Index: .58 Prod: Sony
“The Player” rebounded a tenth this week but it was too little, too late, as NBC cut its episode order all the way back to nine, ending production after the current episode and meaning it’s already more than halfway through its run.
Undateable NBC #9 Bubble
Fri 8:00 Season 3 Eps: 25 Last: .7 Raw: .8 Adj.: .78 WklIdx: .57 RawIdx: .56 Index: .54 Prod: WB
Whoops. “Undateable” slipped two-tenths in its third week of live shows. There’s still quite a bit of tension going on right now.
Blood and Oil ABC #17 Cancelled
Sun 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 4/10 Last: .9 Raw: 1.08 Adj.: .96 WklIdx: .53 RawIdx: .59 Index: .52 Prod: ABC
It will be ten-and-out for “Blood and Oil” as ABC mercifully cut the show’s episode order this week. It’s stopped the bleeding with .9’s each of the past three weeks, but only because it’s already been dead.
Sleepy Hollow FOX #13 Prob. Canned
Thu 9:00 Season 3 Eps: 35/49 Last: .8 Raw: .9 Adj.: .85 WklIdx: .49 RawIdx: .54 Index: .51 Prod: Fox
I saw an ad during football Sunday for a “Bones”/”Sleepy Hollow” crossover. I honestly think that facilitating that may be the only reason Fox hasn’t moved “Sleepy Hollow” off Thursdays, where the ratings have gotten downright ugly, even with Fox’s numbers inflated by the Sunday shows this week. Again, the question is whether “Sleepy Hollow” would help Mondays more than “Minority Report” would kill Thursdays, especially during November sweeps, but I thought Fox had mostly shaken its reputation for trying to kill promising young shows.
CSI: Cyber CBS #14 Dead Walking
Sun ≥10p Season 2 Eps: 18/35 Last: .8 Raw: .83 Adj.: .8 WklIdx: .50 RawIdx: .49 Index: .47 Prod: CBS
Well, “CSI: Cyber” rebounded by a tenth this week airing at 10 instead of 11, but it’s hardly even worth noting at this point as the show just works through the episode order CBS gave it that looks rather foolish in retrospect.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend CW #8 Dead Walking
Mon 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 2/13? Last: .3 Raw: .3 Adj.: .3 WklIdx: .52 RawIdx: .46 Index: .46 Prod: CBS
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” managed to hang on to its miniscule audience in its second week, which is more than can be said for another low-rated-even-by-CW-standards show.
Truth Be Told NBC #9 Cancelled
Fri 8:30 Season 1 Eps: 2/10 Last: .6 Raw: .65 Adj.: .65 WklIdx: .49 RawIdx: .45 Index: .45 Prod: NBCU
As if things weren’t bad enough for “Truth be Told”, it actually managed to lose a tenth off its historically low debut this week. With numbers that bad NBC has cut its episode order to 10, without even waiting to see if “Grimm” could pull the ratings up.
Minority Report FOX #14 Cancelled
Mon 9:00 Season 1 Eps: 5/10 Last: .6 Raw: .8 Adj.: .69 WklIdx: .37 RawIdx: .48 Index: .41 Prod: Fox
Turns out “Minority Report” only slowed its decline enough for it not to make a tenth-point difference in the demo ratings last week, not stopped it. Those are just embarrassing numbers. Fox must be tempted to move shows pre-empted by the World Series to the Monday 9 PM timeslot.
Reign CW #9 Prob. Renew
Fri 8:00 Season 3 Eps: 47/62 Last: .2 Raw: .27 Adj.: .25 WklIdx: .35 RawIdx: .41 Index: .38 Prod: CBS*
I’ve been trying to hold to my rule established at the start, where in-house shows on the syndication fast-track never fall below “probable renewal”… but “Reign” isn’t making it easy. I have to remind myself that it’s a Friday show and so it’s only barely in the range where I start thinking of declaring it a dead show walking if it’s a rookie. If, for whatever reason, CBS isn’t involved in the CW next year, it’s not going to have a lot of options for what to do to try to get it to syndication.
Supergirl CBS #? Prem: 10/26
Mon 8:00 Season 1 Eps: 0/13? Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: WB
Not really surprising that a heavily-hyped show based on an existing property with “The Big Bang Theory” as a lead-in would get out to a hot start. The main obstacle for “Supergirl” going forward is leading off the night without a lead-in, but that seems more like a vote of confidence than a burial.
Wicked City ABC #? Prem: 10/27
Tue 10:00 Season 1 Eps: 0/10 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: ABC
The late start for “Wicked City” is mostly attributable to being a 10-episode limited series, which isn’t necessarily a bad omen in itself. The real problem is that this is the night where “The Muppets” started out hot and proceeded to collapse, taking “Fresh off the Boat” with it and only sparing “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” because that’s a fast-track show. “Wicked City” pretty much needs to actually build on its lead-in to escape the bubble, so the questionable reviews it’s been getting are not a good sign.
Grimm NBC #? Prem: 10/30
Fri 9:00 Season 5 Eps: 88/110 Last: N/A Raw: N/A Adj.: N/A WklIdx: N/A RawIdx: N/A Index: N/A Prod: NBCU
It’s hard to handicap what “Grimm” will do this year. At 9 PM it pulled mostly 1.2s and 1.3s, but its last episode in the time slot pulled a 1.1, and it proceeded to pull mostly 1.1s and 1.0s at 8, at one point even falling to a .9 late in the year – though NBC as a whole did poorly enough that it was only slightly below the network average in the new year. With how poorly the comedies in the 8 PM hour are doing (with what will be “Grimm”‘s direct lead-in already cancelled), expect it to pull closer to the latter range (which should still be fairly close to the network average) and for NBC to hope it pulls up the comedies.

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