Fall TV: What's a hit, what's not
Here's how all the new broadcast shows -- and their networks -- are doing
With the quasi-cancelation of ABC’s Notorious, let’s check the ratings for the rest of broadcast’s fall freshman class. Who’s doing the best? Who’s performing the worst? The answer isn’t always obvious as a number — the night a show airs, its lead-in and competition are factors that networks consider too. But first: Here’s how the networks themselves are faring overall compared to this point last year in the adult demo:
NET ..THEN .. NOW
So, yes, everybody is down. The decline reflects a broader audience trend shifting away from The Big 5 as original programs proliferate on cable and streaming networks. Another factor: This year’s intensely dramatic presidential election has been fascinating is possibly drawing attention away from entertainment products, especially since even prime-time NFL games — which are usually bulletproof in the ratings — have also dropped notably compared to last year.
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Now for the new shows. Here are the top performers ranked by their adult 18-49 rating, including DVR playback when available. Shows in bold have already been picked up for a full season:
— This Is Us (NBC): 3.6 rating; 12 million viewers
— Designated Survivor (ABC): 3.4 rating; 13.7 million
— Kevin Can Wait (CBS): 2.8 rating; 11.1 million
— Speechless (ABC): 2.4 rating; 8.1 million
— Lethal Weapon (Fox): 2.4 rating; 8.7 million
— Bull (CBS): 2.3 rating; 16 million
— Timeless (NBC): 2.0 rating; 8.1 million
— The Good Place (NBC): 1.8 rating; 5.8 million
— American Housewife (ABC): 1.8 rating; 6.2 million
— MacGyver (CBS): 1.7 rating; 10.4 million
— Man with a Plan (CBS): 1.6 rating; 7.3 million (just premiered)
— Son of Zorn (Fox): 1.5 rating; 3.4 million
— Notorious (ABC): 1.4 rating; 5.8 million
— Pitch (Fox): 1.4 rating; 5.1 million
— Disreputable (ABC): 1.2 rating; 5.6 million
— Exorcist (Fox): 1.1 rating; 3 million
— Conviction (ABC): 1.0 rating; 5.6 million
— Frequency (The CW): 0.4 rating; 1.4 million
— No Tomorrow (The CW): 0.4 rating; 1.1 million
The good news for broadcasters is the Big 4 networks all have one show they can point to as doing at least solidly well. The downside is that only This Is Us has, week-to-week, looked like a legitimate breakout. Everything else is faring somewhere between solid and tire fire. The CW is having a particularly rough fall, with its two new shows, Frequency and No Tomorrow, both struggling.
For CBS, there’s still a couple new fall shows still to come — comedies The Great Outdoors and Pure Genius launch Thursday. Perhaps once the election finally ends, and broadcast launches its midseason shows, some of these numbers will climb?
Note: Disreputable is not a real ABC show. But you were’t entirely certain, were you?