May 21, 2013

THE SKED’s Fall TV Ratings Predictions – Tuesday


Our soothsaying group of former NBC head of Scheduling Mitch Metcalf, longtime head of NBC Current Programming Ted Frank and myself is continuing to set out instant, perhaps foolhardy predictions of what next fall’s primetime ratings will be.  Yesterday we covered Monday, and appropriately enough, it’s now time for a look at a Tuesday that will be hugely different from the same night last fall.  Note that our predictions as to new shows are based on the trailers released by the networks–we’ll revisit those numbers later in the summer, once we’ve had a chance to see the full pilots.

Fall 2013 Ratings Estimates TUE


8PM:   The only oasis of stability in this hour will be CBS’s eternal NCIS, and we expect it to hold onto the lead, despite new competition from every direction–aided, in part, by the move of The Voice to 9PM.  The biggest gun is ABC’s The Avengers spin-off AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., which will at least match last fall’s performance of the Dancing With the Stars results show.  (I’ll take the prerogative of being the one writing this text to say that one of us believes it has a chance of doing even better that we’re predicting as a group.)  FOX will undertake the difficult task of starting its night with two new sitcoms, the Seth MacFarlane-produced DADS and Andy Samberg-starrer BROOKLYN NINE-NINE.  We think Dads will do roughly as well as last fall’s Raising Hope, but we see Brooklyn is a step up from the flop Ben & Kate. The Biggest Loser should keep NBC in the mix as well, although certainly not where it was with The Voice in the hour last fall.  Also, although we’re not predicting a number for CW’s Vampire Diaries spin-off THE ORIGINALS (which isn’t aimed at or sold to the same 18-49 demographic as the other networks’ s wares), it should do a strong number for CW, perhaps the 1.0 that Vampire does on Thursdays.  The bottom line is that if NCIS, entering its 11th season, were to begin faltering, this could become a very interesting hour.

9PM:  There’s very little suspense about which series will win this hour:  spoiler alert, it’s THE VOICE.  2d place will probably go to NCIS LOS ANGELES, although that show dipped enough in the last few weeks to make it less than an absolute certainty.   The real battle will be between the competing sitcoms on ABC and FOX.   ABC is hoping that momentum from S.H.I.E.L.D. will push viewers to the new comedies THE GOLDBERGS and TROPHY WIFE, but we don’t see that happening to the extent the network would need.  Goldbergs is likely to get critical support, but it has a soft concept, and based on its trailer it’s not at a Modern Family level of quality.  It’s also a tough marketing sell with its 1990s setting, not to mention an odd match with the modern-day, female-skewing Trophy Wife.   The pair should do better than last fall’s disastrous duo of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B___, but not enough to make them hits.  FOX’s NEW GIRL and THE MINDY PROJECT should only suffer the normal erosion of holdover shows.  Mindy will remain a bubble series, but that was enough to keep it on the air last time around.

10PM:  All three networks have changed their offerings in this hour.  CHICAGO FIRE will benefit from its The Voice lead-in, as it did whenever Voice aired a Wednesday episode last season.  But it’s facing stronger competition from PERSON OF INTEREST than it ever had on Wednesdays, a show that was neck and neck with Grey’s Anatomy for most of the season in a very competitive timeslot. Person is also beautifully compatible with the NCIS shows that precede it.  We give CBS the edge here (it will make CBS the only network to gain viewers on Tuesdays), although Chicago will still do well enough to hold its place.  The odd network out is going to be ABC, which has the new LUCKY 7 at 10PM.  Apart from having no presold fans and no lead stars, it’s got a tough concept:  lottery shows have been tried before and failed, partly because all the fun, by definition, is in the pilot–once the heroes have won, the show is hard-pressed to be more than an ordinary soap.  The Lucky 7 trailer doesn’t suggest that ABC has cracked the code.

Predictions for other nights:



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."