Mar 31, 2020
First Impressions: How the Season’s New Shows Are Faring One Week In
Blindspot scored eye-opening numbers, thanks in part to a massive The Voice lead-in, although 0% of us at HNTP predict it’s going to be a hit. More than 10 million people watched, but did anyone actually like what they saw? Reviews have not been kind. “One’s feelings about Blindspot will depend largely upon one’s appetite for heightened action-thriller silliness. And once the show actually begins, Blindspot does not disappoint on that front — though it disappoints in just about every other way,” says Entertainment Weekly.
Life in Pieces inspired nearly 7 million people to change the channel after its Big Bang Theory lead-in. That’s almost 40% of the audience! Even with 11.3 million people sticking around to watch a show The Los Angeles Times calls “airless and artificial,” CBS has to be near panic mode already. HNTP predicted a 50% chance of success.
Minority Report (recap) very accurately describes the audience for this expensive sci-fi cop show, with only 3% of TVs in the demo tuned in for the premiere. FOX may have lower expectations than other networks, but 3.1 million people ain’t gonna cut it. HNTP gave it a 50% chance of success, but we’re already considering replacing it on the recap list. Deadline calls it “predictable and surprisingly plodding” with “no chemistry…and no spark overall.”
The Muppets rocked the demo and captured a solid 8.9 million viewers, earning the title of “most watched new comedy since black-ish.” The New York Times calls it “disappointing… [but] not hopeless.” If the audience sticks around long enough for the show to find just the right voice, ABC has a hit on its hands. HNTP predicted a 75% chance of success.
Scream Queens (recap) didn’t exactly kill it on opening night, but 4.0 million live viewers is decent for FOX… and another 2.2 million watched on DVR/In-Demand/etc. over the next 72 hours (more than 50% gain!) Reviews are outstanding, including Den of Geek calling it a “dizzying sensory overload of meanness” and “intensely entertaining to watch.” HNTP’s 75% optimism seems justified so far.
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris got an early jump on premiere week and actually grew its audience in week 2, although 6.2 million viewers isn’t a strong showing for a 10/9 p.m. series. Hollywood Reporter says it “did not come close to fulfilling its promise of being the ‘best time ever,’” mostly for being overwrought and self-congratulatory, but some critics seem to hold out hope that NPH will find his rhythm before long. The show can’t cost much to make, which means NBC is likely to be patient with it, but HNTP still only gives it a 25% chance of earning a second season.
Limitless was very much a CBS procedural, ratings-wise, scoring meh in the demo but solid in total viewers (i.e., old people were watching). Reviews are as lackluster as the audience, with Variety saying it “isn’t bad.” Sarcasm aside, that’s what most networks hope for. HNTP was perhaps overly pessimistic with a 0% chance of success.
Rosewood (review) didn’t do half as well as Empire’s juggernaut premiere the following hour, but that’s an impossible standard. FOX has to be thrilled with its 6.4 million viewers and rock solid demo performance. Sadly, everyone seems to agree it’s boring as hell, with The Wrap saying, “There’s nothing offensively terrible here, just a lot of insulting banal details.” HNTP was more hopeful with 75% odds of a hit.
Heroes Reborn can blame Thursday Night Football all it wants for its pitiful numbers, but not the abysmal reviews. Contrary to HNTP’s expectations (75% odds of success), the creators apparently learned nothing from driving their series into the dirt last time around. Per Vox, “This show makes some very basic, very telling mistakes.”
The Player bombed. Horribly. Hollywood Reporter sums it up as, “basically absurd with a dollop of stupid on top and a whole bunch of empty.” HNTP gave it a 50% chance of being the fun kind of crazy, which turns out to be just as big of a mistake in TV predictions as dating.
Blood & Oil had a messy debut, scoring no better than Family Guy or Last Man on Earth in the demo and attracting only 6.3 million viewers, although scheduling its first episode opposite the last CSI ever was kind of a dick move on the network’s part. In the end, there’s not much to learn here other than ABC should have waited a week. TV.com calls it “not a great show,” “mediocre,” and “kind of fun.” HNTP’s prediction is 0% chance of a hit.
Quantico expanded its Blood & Oil lead-in audience, especially in the demo, despite the CSI‘s two-hour finale on another network. ABC is calling that a win. The A.V. Club calls it the “most exciting and most promising” pilot of the season. HNTP is all-in on this one, predicting a hit 100%.
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