Broadcast’s Mid-Season Is Mostly Mediocre

by Paige Albiniak  |  03.17.2017

Since Jan. 1, the broadcast networks have launched 17 new scripted shows and none of them appear to have taken hold, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Moreover, one of them — CBS’ Doubt, starring Katherine Heigl — was pulled after just two episodes.

CBS also had to move Training Day, a TV version of the Oscar-winning movie starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, to Saturdays when star Bill Paxton died unexpectedly.

In better news, CBS’ new Monday night sitcom Superior Donuts is likely to return. The sitcom, starring Judd Hirsch and Katey Sagal, premiered on Feb. 6, averaged a 1.2 live-plus-same-day rating among adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers on Monday, March 6.

One of mid-season’s best bets for success — Fox’s 24: Legacy, which launched out of Super Bowl LI — started strong out of the gate but hasn’t been able to rise above a 1.0 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic since it premiered on Feb. 5.

Comedies and time travel and the two combined also seem to be struggling. ABC’s Time After Time and Fox’s Making History both are having a hard time finding an audience on Sundays. ABC’s drama from Kevin Williamson opened on March 6 to an anemic 0.6 live-plus-same-day rating among adults 18-49, while Making History debuted that same night to a 0.9 in the demo.

Another show featuring time travel, NBC’s Timeless, wrapped its 16-episode first season with a 2.2 live-plus-seven-day average rating among adults 18-49 and a 50-50 shot renewal.

Still, it’s not all a bummer for the broadcasters: NBC’s This Is Us wrapped its first season with an episodes that critics roundly felt “meh” about but that viewers tuned into watch: the episode, “Moonshadow,” scored a series high 3.3 live-plus-same-day rating among adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers, reports TV Guide. Those numbers will certainly climb when the live-plus-seven numbers come in. Moreover, This Is Us beat AMC’s fading cable juggernaut The Walking Dead, which grabbed 10.6 million viewers on Sunday, and is the first broadcast series since Fox’s Empire to grow its audience from first episode to finale. 

Things are faring a little better for debuts on cable networks and streaming services. This week, three new entries were renewed for second seasons: FX’s trippy Legion, HBO’s Crashing and CBS All Access’ The Good Fight.

RELATED: Three Series Score Second-Season Renewals

READ MORE: The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide

[Cube image of Doubt courtesy of CBS/Sonja Flemming]

← Back

New from Daily Brief

HOT SPOT: PromaxGames: The Summit 2017 Open
Petrol takes attendees through a conceptual journey promoting creativity, celebration and success to kick off this year’s inaugural conference.
Square Enix, Liquid Advertising Lead 2017 PromaxGAMES Awards
Square Enix named marketing team of the year, Liquid Advertising named out-of-house advertising team of the year.
Grow Your Content Strategy With Lessons From YouTube Creators
YouTube Gamer-in-Chief Ryan Wyatt and creator TypicalGamer share tips and strategies for building an engaged online audience of millions at PromaxGAMES.
BET Announces New Series From Kevin Hart, Chris Rock and Steve Harvey
Will rebrand Centric as BET Her in October.
Putting Your Stamp on Leadership in the Digital Age
“We live in exponential times,” says PromaxGAMES speaker Erik Qualman as he coaches people through leaving a digital stamp.
FX’s ‘Snowfall’ Shows How Crack Began
“The game is rigged” in series chronicling the crack cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles.
Jun 5
The Conference 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design North America Awards 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Global Excellence Awards 2017
Jun 19
Station Summit 2017
Jun 22
The PromaxBDA Awards at Station Summit
SMP AdvertisementPower Your Career Advertisement