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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Here we are at a new month which means a new Freshman Scorecard. As always, these are ranked based on best to worst chance for survival. Also, if interested Check out the Freshman Scorecard from last November!

Suburgatory - ABC is having a strong fall with its new shows after last year's lost season and Suburgatory is leading the pack in terms of consistency. It has been the perfect 8:30pm show, building on the 8pm hit (The Middle) while keeping an audience ready for a 9pm hit (Modern Family). It was remarkably stable for weeks and then hit a series high in the demo this past week with the Halloween episode. Creatively, I think it's up and down but it fits in so well in the ABC Wednesday lineup.

Revenge - In another sign of a strong fall, ABC has broken its Wednesday 10pm curse with the engrossing Revenge. The drama has gotten lots of buzz and the ratings have been very stable and far better than anything in that timeslot in years. The show has been addicting so far but I still question the long term viability with the concept. This also could be a show that could be hurt by holiday preemptions, but who knows. It has defied expectations so far, maybe that will continue. Let's hope it does.

Last Man Standing - The Tim Allen sitcom got off to a really hot start a few weeks back and though it has dropped some each week, it has shown to be a self starter in a difficult timeslot. The sitcom is a throwback for sure but it seems like audiences are finding that refreshing. It's not as sharp or witty as some sitcoms but it's enjoyable nonetheless. A full season order should be coming soon and it could even drop a little further and still be very safe.

Once Upon a Time - ABC's newest show has stunned all observers with the best drama debut to date and then a tremendous hold for Week 2. Many thought it might be DOA or have a major Week 2 drop but neither thing has happened so I wouldn't bet against this show. Maybe it found a niche that Sunday audiences need. It has strengthened the entire night as well. The only reason it's fourth on this list is that its only two episodes in and it could still drop, but the early signs are promising.

Pan Am - There would be a big gap between Once Upon a Time and Pan Am if this was being graphed. The first four are part of ABC's successful fall but these last three aren't doing as well. Pan Am started out really strong but had some of the biggest drops of any season and its audience is not even half of what it was at the premiere. Though it has finally stabilized, it isn't doing well enough to survive especially with GCB in the wings. They might give it a full season but it's going to be grounded at some point. Creatively, this has been a huge disappointment to me. I was really looking forward to it but have found it boring and disjointed.

Man Up! - The only ABC sitcom not off to a good start, Man Up! premiered dropping a bunch of lead-in Last Man Standing's audience. Then it got worse in Week 2 when it dropped four tenths in the demo, which is fairly sizable for a comedy. This show is not going to be around for the long haul especially if it continues to bleed its lead-in's audience and brings the numbers down for Dancing with the Stars Results.

Charlie's Angels - Cancelled already. The only outright flop of ABC's fall season, which is good news. It still has a few unaired episodes that will likely get burned off in the next two months.


2 Broke Girls - After a stunning debut, 2 Broke Girls has proven itself to be a bonafide hit for CBS. Like Suburgatory on ABC, it builds in the demo from its hit lead-in (How I Met Your Mother) and is getting demo numbers that no new sitcom has seen in a couple years. This is the year of the sitcom and this new show is leading the pack of the newbies. Creatively though, I think this show isn't going in the right direction, it's actually getting kinda annoying.

Unforgettable - Unforgettable is solid but not spectacular on Tuesday nights. It's doing about what The Good Wife was doing a year ago but above what it was doing in the spring (and is currently doing on Sunday night). That's good enough to get a full season, which it did last week. But is it good enough to get a second season? Time will tell. It's a very generic CBS procedural so it might depend on where there are with their other procedurals. I haven't watched an episode since the first one. It was obvious what kind of show this would be.

Person of Interest - CBS's new thriller got off to a ho-hum start and has been finishing fourth in the demo for the 9pm half hour in the plum Thursday 9pm slot that CBS used to dominate with CSI. That's the bad news. The good news is that it has been very stable for several weeks. I think CBS will continue to be patient with this show but it's going to have to pick it up at some point or get moved. Creatively, it has been getting better and better. It's really worth checking out if you haven't and you don't need to watch them in order which is nice for a show with a high concept flavor to its procedural style.

A Gifted Man - CBS's only show not cancelled or with a full season order is Friday's A Gifted Man. It is skewing very old in a sleepy timeslot but the total viewer numbers have been an improvement over last fall (the cancelled Medium). While the numbers aren't great, what could CBS put here that would do better? I can't think of anything at the moment and I think we'll at least see more scripts ordered. It helped its cause that a repeat was not much worse in the demo on Friday than a new episode.

How to Be a Gentleman - Cancelled and then yanked from Saturday burnoff after one episode. This might be the biggest CBS sitcom flop in a long time.

Up All Night - NBC is having a miserable fall but Up All Night isn't doing that bad. Though the overall numbers look measly, it has been a self starter on Wednesday night and has also been very steady in its performance. On another network, this would be in danger of cancellation. On NBC, it's a success story. Some think NBC should move it to Thursday, but why? It's doing surprising numbers in a disastrous lineup. It's been consistently funny too and is worth checking out.

Grimm - Shockingly, Grimm had the best drama debut for NBC this fall in a seemingly unwinnable Friday night slot against Game 7 of the World Series. The jury is still out of course after just one week but it says something about the state of NBC that this can be second on this list with just one Friday night airing. If it has a good week two hold, NBC will be elated but it could start to skew older and the total viewer number is nothing to write home about.

Whitney - NBC's only multicam sitcom was given a full season order but it is floundering on Thursday nights. The good news for it though is that all of NBC's comedies are suffering and this is not doing any worse than most other NBC comedies. If they're committed to bringing back live action sitcoms, this might last longer than it should. Repeats didn't do terrible on Wednesday night after Up All Night. Maybe it should move there permanently? I gave it a couple chances but it's just a tired, bad sitcom.

Rock Center with Brian Williams - The jury is still out until Monday's ratings come out. But regardless, I still think it has a better chance than Prime Suspect for survival. It's a good filler but it will probably skew old. We'll know more later today.

Prime Suspect - NBC's new cop drama got off to a disappointing start and despite NBC's best efforts, it's not going anywhere. NBC decided to rerun the crap out of the first four episodes in multiple slots but the fifth episode came back to another series low and disastrous demo. Whether soon or later, this show is going to be gone. It might survive for a little while longer thought just because of the state of NBC.

The Playboy Club/Free Agents - Already cancelled, though they didn't do any worse than Prime Suspect.


New Girl - We haven't seen this FOX hit since October 11 but it got off to a rocking start, building off of lead-in Glee in a big way. New Girl seemed to be the "it" sitcom in the first couple weeks and if it can get the momentum back after a few weeks off, it may be an early candidate for a second season renewal. Creatively, I wasn't in love with the pilot but it's growing on me. We'll see where it goes.

The X-Factor - The newest reality show didn't shine in its debut but its numbers have been remarkably steady and last week showed signs of improvement with the live shows. Since it hasn't collapsed, it's probably all but assured a second season. It just will never be the hit that Simon Cowell thought it would be.

Terra Nova - FOX's high profile new drama had an underwhelming debut but then displayed a good hold in Week 2. Conventional wisdom though is that it is too expensive to continue with the modest numbers it is getting and that may be true. With only 13 episodes this season, it may air out its run and then slip away into the night. This will certainly be true if it drops more but FOX may have a tough call if it doesn't.

Allen Gregory - FOX's newest animated sitcom got off to a slow start on Sunday night and with several animated projects in the works, it might not see anything more than its 7 episode order. This show didn't quite fit between The Simpsons and Family Guy and it's likely going to drop from here. It's pretty much a goner for FOX unless it pulls a Bob's Burgers and unjustifiably comes back.

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