May 22, 2013

THE SKED’s Fall TV Ratings Predictions – Wednesday


Our journey through the fall primetime schedule–and by “our,” I mean former head of NBC Scheduling Mitch Metcalf, former head of NBC Current Programming Ted Frank and myself–takes us to what may be the most competitive night of the new season:  Wednesdays.  (You can find our predictions here for Monday and Tuesday.)   Our estimates of the new series are based, for now, on the trailers released by the networks, which can be counted upon to put their new shows in the best possible light.

Fall 2013 Ratings Estimates WED


8PM:  The only new series here is ABC’s sitcom BACK IN THE GAME, a grumpy-old-ballplayer comedy with James Caan and Maggie Lawson that seems like a good fit for the offbeat family hammock between THE MIDDLE and MODERN FAMILY.  (This may be where The Goldbergs should have launched.)  The higher-profile 8PM arrival, though, is REVOLUTION, which has to cope not just with the loss of its giant lead-in from The Voice, but also the shift from airing at 10PM to 8PM.  (And the show will also face direct competition for the first time, from CW’s hit superhero adventure ARROW.)  We think, not to be too flip about it, that the lights are about to go out for Revolution, and while it will stay ahead of the disastrous Animal Practice/Guys With Kids pair that NBC gave us in this hour last fall… it won’t be by much.  The Peacock will be a dismal last place for the hour, while ABC’s sitcoms fight it out with the returning SURVIVOR on CBS and THE X FACTOR on FOX, all of which should be very tightly packed.  The choices of new judges on X Factor and the latest wrinkle in concept for Survivor could determine the winner.

9PM:  MODERN FAMILY should continue as the easy winner in the 9-9:30PM half hour, experiencing only normal erosion.  But ABC isn’t making it easy for itself with the introduction of SUPER FUN NIGHT at 9:30.  The network is hoping that hot comic actress Rebel Wilson will make Super Fun a hit, but based on its trailer, it’s neither very good nor particularly compatible with Modern Family. Super Fun is one of those shows that could improve after its pilot, if Wilson and the other producers get a handle on its tone, but for now we’re not expecting ABC’s hour to be super fun.  That leaves the door open for CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS and the second hour of X Factor to fight it out, with LAW & ORDER: SVU staking a claim only to the night’s oldest viewers.

10PM:  NBC’s decision to reboot the venerable cop show IRONSIDE with Blair Underwood at 10PM should be great news for ABC, which will sit alone with the well-regarded but softly-rated NASHVILLE while, we think, CSI trounces Ironside for the older male procedural audience. Nashville may not build in its second season, but it shouldn’t slip much either, and these days that’s good enough.

Predictions for other nights:





About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.