The new fall TV season is only a few weeks old, but already the major networks are beginning to lay the groundwork for what shows will succeed and/or fail.
Case in point: NBC has already announced their first pick-ups in both the comedy and drama genres with the new much-buzzed-about drama Revolution getting a full season order as well as the two new comedies Go On and The New Normal getting picked up for a full season.
It should also be noted that NBC was the top-rated network for premiere week actually landing in first place for the first time in nine years and was the only network to gain in both ratings and total viewers since last year. The network can thank Sunday Night Football and the reality competition series The Voice for that feat more so than its new programming, though. When compared to last season, this is a remarkable standing considering NBC was in fourth place last season during premiere week.
The downside for the network, though, is that its various comedy blocks are not performing well with the new comedies Animal Practice and Guys With Kids rating poorly while returning sitcoms The Office, Parks and Recreation and Up All Night are struggling as well.
As for what FOX has offered to TV viewers so far, the new drama The Mob Doctor got off to a rocky start with many critics believing it will be the first new drama to be pulled from the primetime line-up; and while that hasn’t happened yet, if the show doesn’t improve in the ratings soon, it could still be on the cancellation block.
The surprising piece of news from FOX that just broke in the last couple of days is that the network has decided to hold back the return of the Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch, which was scheduled for October 26, pushing it to January. When the news was announced, TV critics and bloggers alike were shocked thinking that the network would surely pull The Mob Doctor. It should also be noted that the move of the musicomedy Glee to a new night and time did not bring forth solid ratings and even having Britney Spears on The X-Factor did not live up to expectations.
Once again, comedies are not performing that well with the new FOX sitcoms Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project under-performing while returning comedy New Girl earned respective ratings (more via DVR ratings than live-airing ratings); but still not enough against its competition.
Moving over to ABC, it is clear the network is having a good run with solid ratings for returning dramas Castle, Once Upon a Time and Revenge, which is on its new night and time and Grey’s Anatomy even had a big opening. But the new drama Last Resort, sadly, has under-performed on Thursday nights and the new thriller-laced drama 666 Park Avenue didn’t hold up ratings like its lead-in shows on Sunday night.
As for the network’s sitcoms, no one can be surprised that Modern Family continues to perform well in the ratings; but the bigger surprise is that the much-maligned comedy The Neighbors (which has easily been deemed one of the worst comedies of the new fall season) has performed far beyond expectations.
CBS, on the other hand, continues to thrive as the most watched network for premiere week even though its total viewership was down. As to be expected, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles were at the top of the charts while the new dramas Vegas and Elementary both rated solidly. The same cannot be said for the new Friday night drama Made in Jersey, which didn’t perform as well.
Where comedies are concerned, The Big Bang Theory was the number one comedy for the network while the new sitcom Partners lagged behind even though it was actually given some praise by the critics.
Meanwhile, The CW will roll out the bulk of its programming – both new and returning – over the next two weeks with its dramas Hart of Dixie and Supernatural making their returns last week to fairly decent ratings. It will be interesting to see how ratings for the new dramas Arrow, Beauty and the Beast and Emily Owens, M.D. pan out and if the returning series 90210, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries maintain their previous ratings or not.
It should also be noted that one of the most-talked-about new dramas – Nashville – will debut on ABC tomorrow night at 10 PM; while the new Dick Wolf drama Chicago Fire will also debut on NBC at the same time. It will prove interesting how the ratings work out for that timeslot.
What returning shows have you enjoyed the most so far from the major networks? Have you liked any of the new sitcoms that have been introduced? What about the new dramas that have debuted? Are there any that stick out the most? Please share your thoughts on the fall TV season in our comments section below.
REMINDER: The much-beloved Joss Whedon online series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog will make its network TV debut tonight on The CW at 9 PM. Make sure to tune in for this unique gem of a series that was created during the now infamous 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike, starring fan favorites Nathan Fillion (Castle and Firefly), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Felicia Day (the long-running online series The Guild).