Ratings Premiere Predictions: Madam Secretary and The Good Wife

Madam Secretary

Network: CBS
Time slotSunday at 8
Competition: NFL Football, Once Upon A Time, The Simpsons, Brooklyn 9-9
Lead-in: 60 Minutes
Lead-out: The Good Wife
2014 Premiere: 2.0 A18-49 (and 14.75 million viewers!)
2015 Finale: 1.0 A18-49

Madam Secretary was issued an early renewal at the January TCAs along with NCIS: NO and Scorpion. It was usually in the mid to high 1s, and an amazingly disproportionate number of total viewers (#2 most-watched new show of the season next to Empire). However, it was also benefitting from a large 60 Minutes lead-in, which in turn was benefitting from football. After the renewal, ratings fell hard, going fractional a few times and hitting a mere 1.0 rating for its finale.

On fellow ratings blog SpottedRatings, they play a game where the commenters have to guess which shows will be renewed and cancelled after just seeing the first two ratings points. Out of the 33 votes, 31 of the users were confident the show would be cancelled, with another user leaning cancellation as well. Against the thoughts of 97% of the commenters, the show was renewed. And to think they were looking at its highest numbers! Either CBS realizes these low numbers and takes it off the schedule before the season ends, or they actually try to get it to syndication (but who would want to buy it?). I'm going to go incredibly optimistic on this one because of football, but I also expect its ratings to be half of this by spring. The rating also depends on when football ends (and thus how much of its rating 60 Minutes holds).

Range: 0.8-1.6
Prediction: 1.6

The Good Wife

Network: CBS
Time SlotSunday at 9
Competition: NFL Football, Blood & Oil, The Last Man on Earth, Family Guy, various major cable
Lead-in: Madam Secretary
Lead-out: CSI: Cyber
2013 Premiere: 1.5 A18-49
2014 Premiere: 1.4 A18-49
2015 Finale: 1.2 A18-49

The Good Wife must be a great maker of syndication money, as it has not seen good numbers in years in terms of raw ratings. Some also suggest that it being an awards contender and going relatively well in upscale homes is another factor. Regardless, don't expect much in the ratings from this show, which has gone fractional before, especially giving the shows surrounding it. Cases have been made to cancel all three of the Sunday shows, and CBS is definitely in for a tough night throughout the year unless they make some changes. I'm going to predict that it stays in the range of its previous two premieres and most recent finale, while also continuing the trend of falling one tenth in raw numbers for each premiere.

Range: 0.9-1.5 
Prediction: 1.3

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