May 19, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Fearless Fall Ratings Predictions – Tuesday


We’re continuing with our 18-49 ratings predictions for the fall 2014 TV season.  As before, these predictions cover September 22 (the official start of the new season ) through December 7, and our views on the new series are based on looks at the trailers released last week.  We’ve already surveyed the fall’s Big Bang Theory-bifurcated Monday, and that makes it time for Tuesday:

Tuesday Fall 2014 Estimates and 2013 Actuals

ABC:  We understand the move of AGENTS OF SHIELD to 9PM.  That underperforming series has struggled to maintain a moderate level of success, and has only recently started to figure itself out creatively, so it might benefit from not having to face The Voice.  (ABC tried SHIELD at 9PM once this spring and had a positive result.)  What we don’t get is opening the night up with the unpromising sitcoms SELFIE and MANHATTAN LOVE STORY.  Neither seems particularly marketable, and both look like gimmicks (My Fair Lady without songs but with endless social media references; a rom-com with the characters’ thoughts heard in voice-over) in search of laughs.  Those seeking death pool bets on the first network series to go belly-up in the fall could do worse than this pair.  The fantasy-tinged procedural FOREVER (murders solved by an immortal medical examiner) should help ABC at 10PM, but that’s saying very little, since the comparison is to the trio of flops Lucky 7, Killer Women and Mind Games.  The network is still likely to be a weak 3rd place in the hour.  (Note:  the year-to-year comparison for ABC looks particularly ugly on Tuesday because last fall included the huge premiere of Agents of SHIELD, which then started dropping with virtually every successive new episode.)

CBS:  NCIS and PERSON OF INTEREST should hold their viewership minus the usual erosion of age.  There’s no reason to think that NCIS: NEW ORLEANS won’t succeed at 9PM just as its LA counterpart did, whatever one thinks of CBS’s franchise strategy in the long term.  The result should be an extremely stable night.

NBC:  THE VOICE will give 8PM an uptick from last fall’s The Biggest Loser, however just as on Monday, The Voice isn’t as strong as it was just a year ago.  The network clearly believes in its new sitcom MARRY ME, which is getting its best comedy slot, and the show has strong creative credentials (it’s from the creator of the late, lamented Happy Endings) and a fun backstory (the series is about an engaged couple, and in real life, the series creator and his star are themselves an engaged couple).  But it runs the risk of disrupting the family-friendly segue from The Voice to About A Boy, and not putting the night in its strongest possible position.  If Marry Me starts to struggle, it and About A Boy may quickly swap timeslots.  Without last fall’s lead-in from The Voice, CHICAGO FIRE will suffer a bit.  As a whole, the night won’t be as strong as last fall, mostly due to the declines in The Voice.

FOX:  Look, we could be completely off-base on UTOPIA.  Since the show doesn’t exist yet, the trailer consists only of an explanation of the format and subtltled clips from the Dutch version of the series.  But what we’ve heard so far sounds like little more than Survivor and Big Brother in a blender, and to the extent it has loftier socio-philosophical goals, we’re not sure that’s a good thing.  We’ll stand corrected if Utopia becomes the next big reality-show craze, but we’re not feeling it.  That will do no good at all for NEW GIRL and THE MINDY PROJECT, although we should note that those shows were pummeled (especially New Girl) last spring, so what we’re forecasting is roughly on par with where their seasons ended.  Of the two, Mindy is the one with more momentum, so another timeslot swap is possible here.

CW:  Last fall CW used the 8PM Tuesday slot to successfully introduce the well-regarded spin-off The Originals, and the same plan should work for THE FLASH.  The sturdy SUPERNATURAL should suffer only standard audience erosion.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."