New Show Hit/Miss Fall 2016 - The Good Place

Last summer, everyone thought that The Muppets and Scream Queens would be huge hits, while Dr. Ken would flop. That's not how it turned out, as The Muppets ended up canceled, and Scream Queens was low-rated, while Dr. Ken did surprisingly well for Friday. Any show can do well or do poorly, so this feature will identify what factors may cause a show to succeed or to fail.

What May Cause The Good Place to be a Hit?

Premiering after the season premiere of The Voice
Not only does it get to premiere after The Voice, but it premieres after what will likely be the highest rated episode of The Voice this season. Superstore likely benefited from this sort of exposure last season, and it didn't even get the premiere.

Similar comedic style to Superstore
In Superstore, everyone is a little bit odd and messed-up. The Good Place is an odd place, and Kristen Bell's character is definitely messed-up, so these two shows could share a similar audience. I know that in my family, the same people who enjoy Superstore are looking forward to The Good Place, and those who don't like Superstore don't think that The Good Place looks good.

The viewers Superstore could gain
The better a lead-in it has, the better that The Good Place could do. There are possibly many people who hadn't heard of or decided to wait on Superstore, as it aired for only eight weeks on Mondays at 8:00. A lot of promotion, especially during the Olympics, and an Olympics episode could result in Superstore getting higher ratings than expected, and The Good Place doing better as a result.

Positive reception to the trailer
At the time of this late-May article, The Good Place has the highest like/dislike ratio of the new NBC shows, 91, and the third highest among all of the fall's half-hour sitcoms, only behind Speechless and Son of Zorn.

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson
We all know that well-known stars can't make a series a hit. But, they can draw attention to the show that wouldn't otherwise be there, and the people that the attention draws may stick around, so who knows, this could help.

What May Cause The Good Place to be a Miss for NBC?

Since The Office ended, NBC comedy on Thursday hasn't worked
All five of the new comedies tried in-season on NBC Thursday since The Office ended were canceled after one season (Welcome to the Family, The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World, A to Z, Bad Judge). Most of those aired in the 9:00 hour, which has been better to NBC comedy than the 8:00 hour, thanks to The Big Bang Theory. In 2013-14, Community and Parks and Recreation aired there. The former was canceled, while the latter got a short final season, which got sort of burned off between The Voice cycles on Tuesday. Superstore and The Good Place only get five weeks to air before CBS comedy comes to Thursday.

It's not a workplace comedy
Comedy has really not worked recently on NBC, and that is because they have mostly stayed away from what their viewers obviously want, workplace comedies. What was their most recent big hit? The Office. What one comedy is returning to their fall schedule? Superstore. As this recent article points out, NBC's comedy comfort zone is workplace comedy, which The Good Place is not.

The premise is odd
This is a show about a woman who goes to a heaven-like place even though she doesn't belong there. While this show may seem interesting to you, the premise is odd. And odd often translates to shows with low ratings. What recent comedies have been odd? Angel from Hell, Galavant, You, Me and the Apocalypse. All three of those shows were odd, and all ended up low rated and/or canceled.

Not many people have seen the trailer
Despite the fact that the trailer received positive reception, it has been much less viewed than the trailers for Timeless or This is Us. Looking at the same article from before, those other two shows have three to four times the number of views that The Good Place has. People need to know a show exists to watch it.

What to Expect for The Good Place?

I think that the biggest factors will be that it is airing on Thursday and that the premise is odd, though positive reception to the trailer will keep it from being a total flop. My prediction is that its run on Thursday will be in the low 1s at first, and then dip lower when up against The Great Indoors. I think that NBC will then dump it in favor of one of their midseason comedies, as they do have many of them.

Which factors do you think with be in play the most in causing The Good Place to be a hit or a miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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