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Grimm WAS NBC’s Solution for their Tuesday Struggles

Let’s take a look at NBC schedule, shall we?

This past couple days, NBC announced it was moving Smash to Saturday. It’s been quite dreadful in the ratings, and we’ll probably no longer see it after this year (unless they turn around and try to do a spring Sunday Night lineup with Smash going into it). With Parenthood ended for the season and Ready for Love (NBC’s version of The Bachelor times THREE) taking over Tuesdays for two hours following The Voice from 9 to 11pm, I think NBC missed a golden opportunity. The main opportunity involves Grimm; but before I get to that, there’s another missed opportunity here:

Yes, moving Go On to Thursday was a great idea. Too bad it was three months too late! 30 Rock is ending, and The Office coming to an end in the next couple of months. When 30 Rock ended-BOOM-Go On should have been put right in their spot. Right after The Office. Go On is liked by those who watch it. But let’s go back to the Tuesday issue.

NBC has royally messed up Tuesdays. Let’s be straight up here. NBC used to be great on Tuesdays. I mean, sure Idol had it for a while, with ABC’s Dancing with the Stars not really helping. But that used to be Law and Order night. That was NBC’s crime night. And now? It’s the former slot of The Biggest Loser for two hours before going into moderately-rated Parenthood. Which was fine. It got decent ratings. Until that changed too.

Ratings at NBC has fallen so hard since The Voice ended, they’d rather people get completely sick of music competitions and compete with American Idol. Yes, it’s daring. I like daring. I like guts. I like that NBC is trying to take the viewers that Idol lost over the past weeks. Fine. Let’s say The Voice averages 8 million per episode.

And you’re gonna have it be followed by The Bachelor, NBC-style? No.

No, No, No, No, No.

First off, Ready for Love should be a summer show. Pump it up with America’s Got Talent and give Ready for Love have a trial run following it. Because let’s be honest, putting the 1st original Apprentice winner (Bill Rancic) as the host and have Bill precede The Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays wasn’t really a great idea anyways (1) because it should have been after Trump in the first place; and (2) who the heck remembers Bill anyways? I had to look him up and go…oooooohhh, that guy who was on the ONE great season of The Apprentice. But I digress. This is not Bill’s fault. He has his own show. Great for him. I digress again.

Secondly, while putting it after The Voice is smart, it’s also a waste of time. The show will get cancelled in 2 years, max. Plus, doing this for two hours for the rest of the TV year is…a really bad idea.

NBC has one hour of The Voice, with two hours of nothing. That 9pm slot should have been another show that’s proven to NBC that even on a night that shows are sent to die, it can still deliver the goods. And that show has  a name. And it’s Grimm.

Last week (since this week was a ton of repeats), Grimm was the #1 drama in the key demographics ratings (1.5), and was tied for 3rd for all programming, behind only ABC’s Shark Tank (same timeslot; 2.0) and 20/20 (1.6), and tied with 8pm slot ABC comedy (and also sophomore) Last Man Standing. Now, that sounds slightly unimpressive…until you consider that fact Grimm beat Touch, Blue Bloods, Kitchen Nightmares, Undercover Boss, and freshmen CBS drama Golden Boy. Again, the #1 drama on Fridays on a night. This week, Blue Bloods and 20/20 swapped places, leaving Grimm as the #2 drama of the night, but overall still #1 in key demos ratings.

Still not impressed? Let’s evaluate the help. What show precedes Blue Bloods? In the fall: CSI: New York (over 9 million viewers on average). This spring, Hawaii Five-O repeats (which teeters between 8-11 million viewers). Which show precedes Shark Tank? As the usual #1 show of the night in demos, Shark Tank is helped out in the viewership number by Last Man Standing, which do have slightly more viewers. So these shows get help from programs that come on right before them.

So what show precedes Grimm? Encore programming of rookies Go On and Guys with Kids (both shows have never touched 1.0 in the ratings on this night…ever) in the fall, and this spring is preceded by Fashion Star, which failed to touch 3 million viewers or a 1.0 key rating. What did Grimm do without the help other shows have? Stays the #1 drama on Fridays for an entire half year.

Props, anyone?

So without help, Grimm reaches a minimum near 5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating.

So what happens if you have it follow The Voice?

Now, I understand some issues here. Most viewers of Grimm aren’t watching The Voice, and vice versa. But at the very least, for the first time, NBC may have something that not many networks have: a show they could plug in anywhere. 

Ask CBS. You always think Rules of Engagement (ROE) will go away eventually. Yet, there’s always at least one failed comedy on the eye network, and who’s there to fill the void? ROE.

Don’t believe me? This year (2013): Partners. Last year (2012): How To Be A Gentleman. 2011: S*** My Dad Says. 2010: Gary Unmarried (well, ROE actually took over the Accidentally on Purpose‘s Monday timeslot so that Accidentally could move to Wednesdays to fill in for the cancellation of Gary Unmarried…but I’m still counting it). 2009: Worst Week. 2008: The New Adventures of Old Christine (it wasn’t cancelled that year, but it only had 10 episodes due to the writer’s strike. Guess who took over when Christine ran out?)

And ROE have done a masterful job. It can get plugged anywhere at anytime.

Grimm should be treated as such.

Now, I’m not saying it should be moved and treated like crap as CBS has with its plugger. Let’s be frank here, Rules of Engagement‘s highest rated episode is STILL the pilot, and the show itself is way less stellar than How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang, Two and a Half Men, Two Broke Girls, and so on. CBS has a ton of comedies, so ROE, while very helpful, isn’t necessarily….necessary.

But NBC doesn’t have that luxury. NBC doesn’t have dramas to just be throwing all over the place. The only drama working for them is Revolution (good for now; but honestly, how long will that premise last with audiences?) and Chicago Fire (with great key demo ratings and higher viewers than SVU). Law and Order: SVU will eventually come to an end at some point, Parenthood’s future is always on the bubble, and Deception will end (even Deception has lower ratings & viewers than Grimm). And this doesn’t include the already canceled Do No Harm and soon-to-be perished Smash.

Not seeing a lot of drama real estate here. So Grimm should be treated with a bit more of respect than Rules of Engagement.

So moving Grimm to Tuesdays at 9pm, the timeslot right after The Voice would be…amazing. And it would fit if they made some adjustment. Move Save Me (the rookie series which looks slated to be a summer show) to the Thursday night slot that was going to Hannibal in April, and move Hannibal to Tuesday 10pm following Grimm. The two shows would fit perfectly with each other! Move Ready for Love right back to Sundays (and put them AFTER The Celebrity Apprentice) and NBC’s schedule is a lot stronger.

But I understand why it could go wrong:

(1) I understand that Grimm (at 9pm) would be competing directly with the new season of Dancing with the Stars (ABC) and NCIS: LA (CBS), both viewing and rating powerhouses.

(2) Hannibal is a more promising series than Save Me, and moving it away from NBC’s power night lineup (aka get the most money during this night) wouldn’t be the best business strategy.

(3) And ultimately, I get it: Grimm has only performed on Fridays. Not really the best benchmark to evaluate major decisions.

But Grimm will get higher ratings than the FOX 9pm comedies New Girl and The Mindy Project (FOX). Plus, newbie Hannibal would have to duke out on Tuesday at 10pm with…oh yeah, ailing Body of Proof (ABC) and the failing rookie Golden Boy (CBS), less pressuring than the Thursday 10pm competition of sophomore hit Scandal (ABC) and freshmen slow-riser Elementary (CBS). 

With The Voice‘s help, the shows would be fine. I can only see an upside here. 

And if it all fails, you can move Grimm right back to Fridays, Hannibal right with it, and see what happens than. I still think Grimm and Hannibal would be a great match-up together, no matter the night.

I truly believe this would be an improved schedule. Grimm (with The Voice) will improve, and the Hannibal/Grimm match-up would work so well! But mainly, the Grimm move saves NBC from the horribleness of giving their Tuesdays a two-hour “bachelor” treatment every week.

That’d be a very grim look, if I was to be honest.

 

UPDATE: So I was right! NBC decided to move Grimm to Tuesday finally! Let’s see how well it goes!

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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Chicago Fire Won’t Be Taken Out

[Originally concluded: February 8th]

6.61 million viewers.

Not too bad if you’re a comedy in this gig not on CBS.

Not so good if you’re a drama.

Terrible if it’s your first episode.

Usually, after a show’s pilot, its next episodes has some runoff. So when Chicago Fire posted a 6.61 million viewership in October, there was some worry. NBC had just been leading the year in viewership with The Voice and its new hit comedy Go On and drama RevolutionChicago Fire was supposed to be the next big drama by Dick Wolf, doing something different. It was a big deal. Well, a big deal to NBC.

Most of us thought that it was going to be the same thing we’d seen from Wolf before. We’d seen how Wolf does things. He likes lawyers. He likes cops. He likes cops who pass the criminal over to lawyers halfway through an episode. He likes cops who find sexual predictors. That’s his thing. And now firefighters?

Or even worse, we’d see another firefighters series. Oh sure, the guy at the beginning dies, beginning a turf war, or an “ownership of responsibility” cold war. Eh. Okay, and some hot women. But I mean, they don’t do that much of anything in fires.

Right?

Wrong.

So. So wrong.

4 episodes in, the ratings fell. But not by very much. And then, the ratings went through a rollar-coaster ride throughout the season. One week would be a ratings season-high; and then the next week would be a season low. Then high again. Viewers couldn’t really make a decision. But then January came. And for the last 3 weeks, Fire has been 8.54, 8.04, and 7.31 million in viewership: three of their best ratings to date.

But it doesn’t even stop there.

NBC may be losing a lot of comedies this year. And I mean a lot. Two comedies will be gone next year (The Office and 30 Rock), and there are a few comedies that are either really teetering on the fence (Animal Practice was cancelled, but Whitney, 1600 Penn, Up All Night, Guys with Kids, Community, The New Normal are all subject to be gone by next year).  So NBC may be already replacing a ton of shows come May. Do you know how many pilots NBC ordered last month? 17. ABC? CBS? FOX? 12, 9, & 7.

So NBC probably doesn’t want their schedule to be completely unfamiliar. So the dramas will probably have a higher chance to stay on. But no guarantees.

New drama Do No Harm is in no way, shape, or form coming back for a second season, and Deception, while there’s still a chance it could rebound, doesn’t look like it. So two rookie shows are more than likely to be gone. Smash premiered to dreadful numbers last night (more people watched Raising Hope (FOX)), so chances are they won’t recover. This leaves, veterans Law & Order: SVU and Parenthood behind, and there’s no reason any of them will be gone. So this leaves rookie dramas Revolution and Chicago Fire to wrap up the dramas. In addition, Chicago Fire has been performing better than its timeslot rival and rookie show Nashville (ABC). So that has to be factored in as well.

I’m not saying that there’s absolutely no way Chicago Fire will be cancelled this spring. But I’d be hard-pressed to see a reason why it should. But if we learned one thing from this:

You never doubt Dick Wolf.

Ever.

Update: Do No Harm got cancelled after two episodes, breaking records for the lowest network ratings of all-time. Let’s just say that really helps Chicago Fire’s case in staying.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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