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Fall TV Preview - Wednesdays

Hey guys!

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who has been participating so far, both through comments and by submitting their own predictions! I am finding it really enjoyable to compare our predictions, so I encourage everyone who is reading and commenting to submit their own predictions as well! Also, I am doing my best to answer everyone that cares enough to leave a comment and I will eventually get there, I apologize if it's taking longer than expected!

Anyway, back to business! For those of you that are new to the drill, I welcome you to the Fall TV Preview initiative, in which we try to see which one of us is best with the crystal ball in previewing the rating for our favorite shows in the fall! I share my predictions with some analysis and then I invite you to submit your own! Hopefully, at the end of the season, we can all have fun comparing the results!

Previous posts (The prediction forms will be open until the week before the start of the official season which is when some of the stuff starts to premiere, so feel free to go back and submit your predictions):
- Monday Shows
- Tuesday Shows



    Arrow (0.92 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 8,CW

    Lead-in: Local Programming

    Lead-out: The 100

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: The Middle & The Goldbergs, Hell's Kitchen/American Idol, Survivor, The Mysteries of Laura

    The Pros
    • Competition probably gets easier for Arrow with Revolution out of the slot since this show shared more audience with it than with The Mysteries of Laura
    • The Flash might bring enough attention do the CW and the DC Comics shows in general that it gives Arrow a boost of its own in the process, particularly through crossovers.
    • The 100 should be a more competent lead-out to have than The Tomorrow People was a year ago.
    • Despite a worrisome spring, Arrow did manage to end up even year to year. That’s very promising!

    The Cons
    • Like fellow CW-hit shows The Originals and The Vampire Diaries, Arrow had some very concerning spring drops going on, despite the show firing up in all cylinders creatively speaking. Will it really be able to come back from that?
    • Despite what I thought was a mind blowing Season 2, the show is considerably more serialized nowadays than it was back in Season 1, so potential for casual viewing is more limited now.

    The Verdict: As concerning as those spring drops were, the finale was even year to year, which is promising, so I am not ready to read that much into them, especially since they affected basically the entire CW. I also genuinely think all the attention that Flash is getting might end up being positive for Arrow as well, so I am cautiously optimistic about this season simply taking a drop on par with overall broadcast.

    The Guess: 0.85 (-7%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Low

    The 100 (0.61 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9, CW

    Lead-in: Arrow

    Lead-out: Local Programming

    Episode Order: 16 episodes

    Competition:Modern Family & Black-ish, Law and Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, Red Band Society/American Idol

    The Pros
    • Getting to air in the fall/winter (aka the highest viewed portion of the season) instead of late spring/ summer (aka the lowest viewed portion of the season) is already a major advantage.
    • The 100 only has 13 episodes in the can and those were pretty well received critically wise so it make it the perfect candidate for a “catch up during summer” type of show that receives a boost in early season 2.
    • Unlike Season 1, Season 2 should get to air the entire order out of Arrow originals, which by the way, should also be significantly higher during fall than it was during spring.

    The Cons
    • The 100 will miss out the opening weeks of the CW’s fall which would be when it had the most potential to pull the higher ratings. That may not do its momentum any favors.
    • Season 1 premiered and aired at a time in which The 100 had the entire CW’s promotional machine behind it, even during the summer episodes in which it was basically the only thing left for the CW to promote. No such luck this time as The Flash gets all the CW’s attention.
    • Premiering so close to the World Series baseball on FOX, which for the last two years has showed to be very much able to put a serious dent on CW’s male leaning Wednesday, will do The 100’s no favors.

    The Verdict: I would feel much better about this if The 100 was premiering right after Arrow’s premiere and if it could be spared from the World Series massacre. This being said, changing the airing portion of the season in such a positive way like it’s doing is simply too much of a big advantage for it not to work. Besides, it’s not like the Season 1 results had any worrisome trend. I give it a very good shot at improving its average and the slot for the CW, which should be enough for another round.

    The Guess: 0.73 (+20%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Red Band Society (New Show)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 8, FOX

    Lead-in: Hell's Kitchen

    Lead-out: Local Programming

    Episode Order: 13 (potentially 22-24) episodes

    Competition: Modern Family & Black-ish, Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, The 100

    The Pros
    • Red Band Society may be the first legitimate teen show to air on a big four network ever since Glee back in the day and it actually brings in something new to the genre with the medical aspect of it all.
    • Octavia Spencer is a pretty big household name!
    • FOX seems invested enough in this show for it not to sound like a timeslot filler type of player.
    • The drama competition on the slot, although competent, has a very different tone and likely appeals much more to the A35-49 audience than to the A18-34 audience that FOX is going for here.

    The Cons
    • Criminal Minds and SVU may not be that big of a problem as a competition, but the same cannot be said about a little show called Modern Family which is also known for its strength in A18-34.
    • Although the show has big names attached to it, plenty of recent examples have shown that big names don’t necessarily translate into success.
    • Hell’s Kitchen didn’t have a particularly healthy summer run and the fact that it will be asked to come back so soon and has to go up against Survivor could mean that its lead-in potential is severely limited, which in turn could harm Red Band Society.

    The Verdict: I do know what to think here. At all. I think the lead-in will be quite “meh” and the competition will be intense to some degree but not something that couldn’t be worked around. It’s also pretty tough to actually come with a number because I have no idea if this thing will actually air the entire year or just for the fall, which would obviously inflate its numbers. It could flop right out of the gate as easily as it could be a big hit – no big surprises in either direction for me, even though if I had to guess I would say it has more downside than upside potential. I am going middle direction and say that the show gets a decent pre-season sampling and hangs in there during fall with enough of a loyal loving audience with plenty of those A18-34 that FOX loves so much. It likely doesn’t get an episode extension because Idol takes over at midseason and it doesn’t do enough to warrant a timeslot change but could still be in legitimate conversation at season’s end.

    The Guess: 1.50

    Potential for Major Deviation: High, like through the roof High! In case I haven’t said it enough… A LOT!

    The Middle (2.06 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 8, ABC

    Lead-in: Local Programming

    Lead-out: The Goldbergs

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: Survivor, Hell's Kitchen/American Idol, The Mysteries of Laura, Arrow

    The Pros
    • The Goldbergs may be the best pairing The Middle has ever had since Suburgatory’s first season, so The Middle can pick up some extra steam from the positive pairing!
    • The Middle’s continued syndication exposure may help a bit more this year. After all, even though the show was down to some degree during fall, its spring trend was much better and could mean that syndication is starting to kick in.
    • ABC’s comedy repeats this summer have been some of the best they’ve had, which could help out the entire block come fall!
    • The hour continues to be an easy one competition wise, perhaps even easier than last year!

    The Cons
    • I’ve got nothing

    The Verdict: As you can probably guess by my pros and cons sections, I find it pretty hard to come up with reasons why The Middle shouldn’t have a great season, unless something strange happens and NBC suddenly gets its act together here with some spectacular midseason replacement comedies or something like that. I think ABC Wednesdays could be headed for their best year in a while and The Middle should be all in on it.

    The Guess: Practically even year to year at a 1.95 (-5%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Low

    The Goldbergs (1.68 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 8h30, ABC

    Lead-in: The Middle

    Lead-out: Modern Family

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: Survivor, Hell's Kitchen/American Idol, The Mysteries of Laura, Arrow

    The Pros
    • Shield really wasn’t a good lead-in for this show, seeing how it would practically not fluctuate regardless of whether or not Shield was in originals last season. The Middle, on the other hand, could very well be the perfect companion show for this family comedy.
    • One thing that went a bit undocumented last year was how much New Girl and The Goldbergs were hurting each other at the end of last season, seeing how they would each spike when not facing one another. Now the only comedy in the half hour (instead of facing both New Girl and About a Boy), The Goldbergs faces much more favorable competition.
    • Having Modern Family, aka’s broadcast number two show, as a lead-out has never hurt anyone.
    • The repeats this summer have performed quite admirably, with the show regularly tying or even bating it’s The Middle lead-in. That shows promise!

    The Cons
    • Again, nothing really comes to mind.

    The Verdict: With the risk of repeating myself, again I find it hard not to be optimistic here. I know some people disagree but I am absolutely convinced that this is a clear timeslot upgrade so everything points towards the show improving. Compatibility, lead-in, competition and rerun dynamics are all on the show’s side and one may argue that even critical backing grew throughout the season. I say it manages to go up.

    The Guess: 1.85 (+10%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Modern Family (3.54 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9, ABC

    Lead-in: The Goldbergs

    Lead-out: Black-ish

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, Red Band Society/American Idol, The 100

    The Pros
    • Like fellow Wednesday comedy The Middle, Modern Family had a much better trend during the second half of the season than it had during fall. That means that syndication exposure may had just started to kick in and that could continue in the fall!
    • This is a repeat of The Middle, but it’s still true: ABC’s comedy repeats this summer have been some of the best they’ve had, which could help out the entire block come fall!
    • Modern Family peaked in the year in which it had the best 8h30 occupant yet, which was Suburgatory Season 1. Coincidence? If The Goldbergs can live up to its potential and improve that 8h30 half hour, Modern Family may be helped out in the process as well!
    • There is no formidable competition in the hour for Modern Family to go against, as Criminal Minds and Idol continue to trend downwards and Red Band Society really shouldn’t be considerably stronger than X-Factor, especially in opening weeks.

    The Cons
    • Modern Family certainly has the looks of a show that has peaked already. Even if the spring trend was better than the fall one, it still went -16% for the season as a whole, after a season of another -16%! It’s tough to revert that.
    • Modern Family has had so many eyeballs already during its first run that it’s not like syndication can meaningfully get new viewers to sample it. Those who wanted to try it out have already done so.

    The Verdict: Maybe I am just biased by the performance of summer repeats and the positive momentum that seemed to exist towards the end of the season but I really believe ABC Wednesdays will have a (majorly) positive year. Still, I do think there is something to be said about Modern Family having peaked already. I think the positive momentum of the block and the better lead-in will help, but not exactly to the same extent as The Middle.

    The Guess: It’s even year to year after accounting for the general decline. A 3.18 (-10%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Black-ish (New Show)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9h30, ABC

    Lead-in: Modern Family

    Lead-out: Nashville

    Episode Order: 13 (potentially 22-24) episodes

    Competition: Criminal Minds, Law and Order: SVU, Red Band Society/American Idol, The 100

    The Pros
    • Modern Family as a lead-in aka, the best gift ABC can give a comedy.
    • No comedy competition and no major competition anyway.
    • It’s finally a family comedy being placed after Modern Family in the fall like people were asking for all along, so maybe it’s the best MF lead-out poised to take advantage of the lead-in.
    • ABC’s promotional muscle seems invested in this show.

    The Cons
    • Sure being after Modern Family seems to be a gift but it hasn’t really helped out Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Mr. Sunshine, Apartment 23, Suburgatory, How to Live with Your Parents, Super Fun Night and Mixology… Jeez, isn’t that a long enough list to be a coincidence?
    • The content of the show seems to be the type that requires a flawless execution for it to work or it runs the risk of being a parody of itself easily.
    • Critics and reviewers aren’t easily in love with this show.

    The Verdict: I am very conflicted here. On the one hand, in theory, this seems to be the perfect fit with Modern Family that we were asking ABC for so long now. On the other hand, there is something about this show that seems fishy to me. Like I was saying, it is the type of show that really requires a flawless execution for it to work or it will soon turn into a parody of itself. The fact that people that have watched it don’t seem quite impressed with it leads me to believe that the parody thing could be happening. So does an exceptional timeslot (including compatibility) wins out over a poorly executed show?

    The Guess: I am sorry ABC, but I don’t think it does. I think you have the right idea for once, but the wrong show. Almost all of post MF lead outs have hanged around the 55% retention mark. I haven’t looked it exhaustively but I think How to Live was the best one at 61% (yep, a family comedy). I give this one a fair shot at having the same retention but it’s still not what we would call a success. A 1.94

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Nashville (1.47 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 10, ABC

    Lead-in: Black-ish

    Lead-out: Local Programming

    Episode Order: 22 episodes

    Competition: Chicago PD, Stalker, American Horror Story/The Americans
    The Pros
    • Nashville really deserved more credit than it got last year for the horrible lead-ins it had to endure. Both Super Fun Night and Mixology were not only low rated but also extremely incompatible. That means whatever audience it had was its own. With Blackish helping out, it could bring additional eyeballs to check out the show.

    The Cons
    • This show was pretty much a bubble renewal until the very last end for ABC and there is a reason for it, which was the fact that the numbers it finished the season with were downright scary. It could likely continue this year. Besides, how many serialized shows really pick up more viewers as they age?
    • Last year, Nashville at least the benefit of a non existent NBC when Ironside was quickly pulled. No such luck this year as Chicago PD is a strong player from the get go.
    • Stalker may very well also prove to be a stronger option than CSI was.

    The Verdict: I happen to strongly support the idea that Nashville was more hurt last year by the lead-in than we give it credit for. However, that can only explain part of what was a pretty terrible season for this show. Even if it lucks out and Blackish is indeed a strong lead-in, the stronger competition should cancel that out. I am not a buyer here.

    The Guess: 1.15 (-22%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Low

    The Mysteries of Laura (New Show)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 8, NBC

    Lead-in: Local Programming

    Lead-out: Law and Order: SVU

    Episode Order: 13 (potentially 22-24) episodes

    Competition: The Middle & The Goldbergs, Hell's Kitchen/American Idol, Survivor, Arrow

    The Pros
    • This show could have some very broad appeal and attract a bunch of very different audiences since it is a procedural with strong character driven storylines as well.
    • The hour is not very competitive, especially for a drama which faces literally no competition from the other big 3, which means there is potential for this type of counter programming.
    • A procedural like this should actually be more compatible with the Dick Wolf shows than something like Revolution so chances are it fits better on NBC’s Wednesday lineup.
    • The pilot airing after America’s Got Talent should guarantee some amount of initial sampling!

    The Cons
    • Critics and reviewers are universally detesting this show. Sure, some shows break those odds and go on to live many years, but it’s never a good sign.
    • A show that attempts to have a lot of broad appeal may also simply not appeal to anyone in the end due to the different genres it mixes up.
    • Self-starting a night usually requires a fair amount of buzz for a new show and Laura is not exactly bathing in buzz..

    The Verdict: Not a buyer at all. I know plenty of shows have beaten up these kind of odds and critical rejection in the past but I don’t think Laura will be one of those cases. I think it’s as simple as it looks and it will just perform badly and be a prime candidate for one of the first cancellations of the season. I see an Ironside type of disaster waiting to happen and it will probably be pulled as fast as that show was.

    The Guess: 1.07

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Law and Order: SVU (1.80 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 9,NBC

    Lead-in:The Mysteries of Laura

    Lead-out: Chicago P.D.

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: Criminal Minds, Modern Family & Black-ish, Red Band Society, The 100

    The Pros
    • After 8 straight years of declines, out of the blue SVU was up in raw numbers by 4% last year. That’s an astonishing feat and it could continue this year shooting up SVU’s numbers!
    • Chicago PD as a lead-out is a better situation for SVU than Ironside/repeats that it had last fall before Chicago PD came along at midseason.

    The Cons
    • SVU did have an amazing season and based on its own merits but a large part of that was because it could create a particular storyline that attracted a lot of eyeballs for those particular episodes. Those hid some pretty bad results along the way, including some 1.4s. With that storyline out of the way, SVU could easily give back last year’s gains and then som.
    • Last year, it was the first time that NBC got its act together to some extent during the 8pm hour. Even if Revolution did dip a bit too much in the Spring, it was still the best occupant they’ve had in there for quite some time and the best lead-in SVU has had in recent years. No such luck with Laura, which is yet another bomb in the making.

    The Verdict: Like I was saying, I think last year the show grew on its own merits so it deserves a lot of credit for that. However, I thought the trend was too unstable and didn’t show any promise in terms of long term sustainability. I also think that indeed Revolution helped quite a bit and having a flop as a lead-in will be a considerable downgrade. So I think SVU kind of gives back last year’s gains to end up where it would have been if it wasn’t for last year’s overachievement.

    The Guess: 1.54 (-14%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Chicago P.D. (1.66 Last Year)

    Timeslot: Wednesdays at 10, NBC

    Lead-in: Law and Order SVU

    Lead-out: Local Programming

    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition:Stalker, Nashville and American Horror Story/The Americans

    The Pros
    • Getting to air in the fall, when viewing levels are its peak, is already a big advantage for this show which was banned to winter/spring last year.
    • The show didn’t really fall much from its premiere and was pretty stable around the same level for the remainder of the season, including the lower viewed Spring, which is a good sign.
    • Crossovers really seemed to have the power to prop up this show last year. As they continue this year, the show is able to continue to build its audience.

    The Cons
    • Last year, the show benefited from an overachieving SVU. As that show falls back to earth this year, so does Chicago PD.
    • The fact that NBC hasn’t found a spot in its summer schedule to rerun this still very new and procedural-like show is not a good sign for it. Could be an out of sight out of mind type of attitude for this show's audience.
    • Stalker likely ends up being tougher competition than CSI was.

    The Verdict: I think this show will be okay. Unlike SVU’s ratings which were a bit all over the place last season, this one was stable enough for most of its run. It probably already shared a lot of audience with CSI so even if Stalker does a bit better, I don’t think that will be a major concern for Chicago PD. I don’t see it exploding in the ratings, but I don’t see it falling either, especially since airing in the fall really is a big advantage.

    The Guess: 1.57 (-5%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Low

    Criminal Minds (2.49 Last Year)

    Timeslot:Wednesdays at 9,CBS



    Episode Order: 22-24 episodes

    Competition: Law and Order SVU, Modern Family & Black-ish, Red Band Society/American Idol, The 100

    The Pros
    • Stalker reinvigorates the night and Criminal Minds is able to benefit from the pairing with this potentially high rated and extremely compatible show!
    • Jennifer Love Hewitt is a HUGE name for CBS households. With her joining the show, Criminal Minds can gain some extra momentum from people that don’t normally tune in into show!

    The Cons
    • Criminal Minds went from 4 seasons of being practically even to have ~15% downturns two seasons in a row! That’a worrisome trend and a tough one to come back from.

    The Verdict: I don’t really have much to say here. I think the show is bound for some evening out after two consecutive fast declining years and having a big CBS star joining the cast at the same time that it’s paired up with a hot lead-out may be the time for that. I think it’s able to considerably slow down the decline and manages to do a bit better than the overall decline.

    The Guess: 2.29 (-8%)

    Potential for Major Deviation: Low

    Stalker (New Show)

    Timeslot:Wednesdays at 10, CBS

    Lead-in: Criminal Minds

    Lead-out: Local Programming

    Episode Order: 13 (potentially 22-24) episodes

    Competition: Chicago PD, Nashville and American Horror Story/The Americans

    The Pros
    • Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q are big stars that can attract a crowd!
    • Kevin Williamson really hasn’t done any wrong yet with his shows, at least not in their first seasons, so why should Stalker be any different?
    • Criminal Minds is not only a very competent lead-in, but also creates one of the most compatible and natural pairings in broadcast television! Stalker should be able to benefit a ton from the lead-in.
    • The timeslot has no prohibitive competition at all, as Nashville is a low rated soap and Chicago PD is only a modest player for NBC.

    The Cons
    • The show’s stars may be big names but their last projects weren’t exactly rating hits (cough Nikita cough Hostages).
    • The show has one of the darkest subject matters and tone I remember seeing since, well, Criminal Minds. That’s a natural limitation to a lot of people and it may be that a number of others end up finding a procedural like this too much to stomach on a weekly basis.

    The Verdict: Like NCIS: New Orleans, this also appears to be one of those shows that has everything going for it from the get go so it’s obviously pretty hard to imagine it not working. I think it starts out big and I don’t even put it past it closing in on Criminal Minds for the premiere and then falls from there once initial curiosity dies down but still settles at a pretty decent level to be a win for CBS and probably a better option than what CSI would have done here one more year.

    The Guess: 1.89

    Potential for Major Deviation: Average

    Now it's time for you to make your predictions Click HERE to submit your predictions!

    What did you think of these predictions? Do you agree with my thoughts? Share your predictions and thoughts below on the comment sections!

    Also, what are your viewing plans for Wednesdays during this fall? Personally it's all about the CW duo to me since both Arrow and The 100 are among my top favorite shows. Additionally, I will also be sampling Red Band Society in which I am very interested and I will continue watching Modern Family! On the cable reigns, which we don't cover here, I will also try out the new season of American Horror Story. What about you? What will you be watching?

    Thank you for reading and participating ;) I will be back tomorrow with the Thursday ones, at the end of the day!

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