It’s been a few weeks now since the TV Fall schedule started, and it’s time to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the new shows’ ratings. By analyzing the numbers, we were able to tell which new shows are safe and which may be in trouble.
We wanted our analysis to be as thorough as possible, so we waited until the shows had four episodes under their belt. (New shows that premiered later, such as No Tomorrow, American Housewife and Man with a Plan will be looked at in Part Two of our story.)
Let’s take a look at how your new favorite show is doing.
This Is Us: The clear winner of the 2016 Fall TV season is NBC’s heartwarming dramedy, This Is Us. Its premiere episode drew in 10.1 million viewers and a great demo rating of 2.8, doubling its closest time slot competitor. It was also NBC’s highest-rated scripted program in the time slot in more than six years. The show, which is one of our favorites, resonated with audiences so much that, in the last two weeks (when it changed its schedule to 9/8c, following ratings-hit The Voice), it built on its lead-in’s demo ratings. According to NBC, this is the first time ever a scripted show has outperformed its The Voice lead-in. This Is Us managed to pull that off not once but twice. The show was the first one to be picked up for a full season, and chances for a second season are a sure thing if it continues to perform as well as it’s doing right now. This Is Us had great numbers on its first four episodes, maintaining its demo average during the four weeks.
Kevin Can Wait: Even if the show is not what we like to watch on TV, we were sure that it would be a hit because it’s a show especially designed for CBS viewers. The show, which is the No. 2 new show and the top new comedy, is losing a little bit of steam lately -- its audience has dropped from 11.1 million (1st episode) to 8.7 million (4th episode), demo ratings have also dropped from 2.6 to 2.1. However, these numbers are still very good, and the show already got a full season order from CBS, so a Season 2 is a certainty.
Designated Survivor: The Kiefer Sutherland vehicle has also been picked up for a full season, and a second season is highly probable if it keeps up what it’s doing right now ratings-wise. The show saw a big drop after its first episode, which is something that usually happens, but, after that, it has been pretty steady for the following three episodes.
Bull: The show has seen steady drops on its numbers, but they are still great numbers. It is the most-watched new show at the moment, with an average of 13.6 million viewers. CBS has also picked up Bull for a full season, and we are pretty confident it will get a second season.
Lethal Weapon, Speechless and MacGyver are all doing well, too. All of them have been picked up for full seasons. Lethal Weapon has been a hit for FOX and is the best performer of the network’s new shows. It’s the No. 2 drama, behind This Is Us, and the No. 3 FOX show, behind juggernaut Empire and the long-standing The Simpsons. Speechless has held steady, having the same 1.8 demo rating for its last three episodes. And MacGyver, although it had a pretty big drop after its 1.7-rated first episode (it fell to 1.3 on its second week, and has been steady at 1.1 on its third and fourth week), is doing pretty well for a Friday night time slot.
The Good Place: The Ted Danson and Kristen Bell-led comedy is fun to watch, but maybe its type of comedy doesn’t appeal to many viewers. (See Kevin Can Wait for what the average viewer seems to like.) After a very high-rated first episode, which got 9.1 million pairs of eyeballs and an impressive 2.6 demo, it crashed. The numbers for its fourth episode were half of what it got on its premiere: 4.5 million viewers and a 1.3 demo. We should say, however, that its average demo is not that bad and that NBC is in dire need of comedies, so there’s still hope for it.
Son of Zorn: As with The Good Place, Son of Zorn had a great premiere with a 2.4 rating and 6.1 million people watching live. But, also alike the NBC comedy, it has seen its numbers drop greatly. Its numbers on its 4th week were about 40% lower, with a 1.5 demo and 3.8 million viewers. The good thing is that its third and fourth weeks have been pretty steady, and it hasn’t continued to drop. It’s a toss-up whether it might get a renewal.
Notorious: ABC’s Scandal time slot replacement debuted to a poor 1.1 demo, losing half of its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in. Its numbers were also very much below any numbers Scandal ever made. Worst of all, ever since its premiere, things have kept going south. During its fourth week on air, it had already lost three tenths and was down to a stingy 0.8. We are pretty sure Notorious won’t live to see another season.
Pitch: The very buzzy show was one of our favorites after watching the pilots, and, even though it sometimes gets a bit slow and we are not sure we love it as much as we first did, it’s still pretty solid. Also, Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar are both stars in our book. The thing is: apparently the show about the first female MLB player is not alluring enough to many viewers since it is barely clinging to a 1.0 demo average. Its fourth week was the most difficult one, as it lost 0.6 million viewers and two tenths of the demo of its previous week. A cancellation after Season One seems in its future.
The Exorcist: We love The Exorcist. It gets better and better: the story, the performances, the direction -- we are loving everything about it. The viewers, however, seemingly don’t agree with us. The show is averaging 2.2 million viewers and a 0.8 demo rating -- numbers similar to what The CW (a much smaller network) gets, which, let’s be honest, is pretty bad. The show’s saving grace is that it airs on a Friday night, and Friday night shows get usually around 30% lower numbers than shows which air other nights. If we do the math, that would put The Exorcist above a 1.0 rating. Something else to consider is that, after a first drop, it has been pretty steady throughout Episodes 2 to 4 and even increased a little bit on its last episode. Hopefully FOX takes this into consideration and doesn’t cancel the show, but it’s not looking good.
You can also check out our charts for the new shows' average demo ratings and average audience below. We even separated the one-hour dramas from the comedies because, as we all know, they are two different beasts, so you can have all relevant information on hand. How do you feel about your favorite new show’s ratings and chances for a second season?