Predicting the 2016-17 Ratings: ABC Veterans

ABC has announced their new fall 2016 schedule, and it's time for me to make my predictions about
how the returning shows will do:

Once Upon a Time
Thanks to being boosted by a Frozen storyline in Season 4A, Once Upon a Time was +/- 0% in the 2014-15 season, being one of ABC's bright spots. This season, it was down 37% year-to-year to a 1.37, and throughout the spring settled in the low 1s in the A18-49 L+SD demographic. Though ABC's #8 scripted show this season, it was a very wide margin away from the #7 scripted show (that being Blackish at a 1.78). What's to stop it from going even lower this season? As far as we know there won't be a breakout storyline a la Frozen.

Prediction: -21% to a 1.08

Though at first Quantico looked to be defying the odds to become a breakout hit in the Sunday at 10pm time slot, it ended up in the 0.9-1.1 ratings range, which is definitely nothing to write home about. On the bright side, it grew from its (very weak) lead-in for all episodes. Hard to tell if Secrets & Lies will be any improvement over Blood & Oil and The Family, but will Quantico even be able to take advantage of it should it be a time slot improvement?

Prediction: -18% to a 1.00

Dancing with the Stars (Fall)
This spring, Dancing with the Stars was mostly steady in the 1.6-1.8 range, though it is a big worrisome that the finale was down three tenths from the penultimate show. Its fall season was stronger. I do think that being the higher-viewed fall, Dancing with the Stars should be able to still do very respectably.

Prediction: -12% to a 1.67

The Middle
I was one of the strongest advocates against The Middle moving to Tuesday. Per the FutonCritic listings, it will be rerun in its Wednesday at 8 time slot throughout the summer, but only Tuesday at 8 through July until Bachelor in Paradise takes over. If they premiere it the same week of The Voice, they risk it getting crushed and a failed two-hour Tuesday block. If they wait a week, the same argument could apply. And it's more likely than any other comedy to have a strong overlapping audience with NCIS. It's been remarkably steady throughout the years, but that was in the same time slot. Shows aren't just pieces on a puzzle, where you can take a show's ratings in one time slot and apply them to any other.

Prediction: -14% to a 1.63

Fresh Off The Boat
Oh, Fresh Off The Boat, Wednesday's step-cousin. With American Housewife getting no hype, Fresh Off The Boat looks to have a third straight season without a solid lead-in. Considering 20th Century Fox threw it in with a Last Man Standing renewal a couple seasons ago (probably to compensate for a lower licensing fee on the latter), it's understandably that ABC will pick the similarly-themed-but-owned Blackish over Fresh Off The Boat. I'm torn on if the days of 2.5 seasons and done are still a thing or if they'll drag this one out until syndication, but other than airing in a higher viewed hour, there aren't too many positive aspects going for this one.

Prediction: -12% to a 1.16

The Real O'Neals
If lead-in Fresh Off The Boat can't do well (which all rides on how American Housewife does, though the lack of hype isn't too promising), what is to say The Real O'Neals will magically grow? Even given a weekly Wednesday rerun, it's stuffed away at 10:30pm. The renewal was a surprise to me, and the fact it didn't get a time slot improvement given that renewal is perplexing, quite frankly. We're talking a show that does a 0.8 by itself.

Prediction: -17% to a 0.92.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Throwing Marvel's Agents of SHIELD away to 10pm instead of a new show was something most people predicted. Not for the benefit of SHIELD, but for the benefit of a prospective newbie that would have the misfortune of airing after this fractional, quickly-fizzled-out show. Could see a renewal for corporate synergy, but will probably be canceled. New management.

Prediction: -33% to a 0.78

The Goldbergs
My argument for The Middle pretty much applies to The Goldbergs as well. The Middle definitely introduced new fans to this show, and just because a show grows out of its lead-in doesn't mean it doesn't benefit from it. The Goldbergs should be fine in raw ratings, though its move to the lower-viewed, older-skewing 8pm half hour will waste a little bit of its potential (specifically, to catch up to Modern Family and maybe even take over its time slot to anchor Wednesday night).

Prediction: -13% to a 1.77

Modern Family
Some have complained of Modern Family going a little bit stale for a couple seasons now. Though still being ABC's highest-rated show, the network keeps introducing more and more alternatives as they double, triple, even quadruple down on family comedies. It's almost like they really do want people to start shifting their viewing over to other shows. After all, contracts will become an issue and its expenses have left it behind even Fresh Off The Boat in Season 7's episode count. I see another above-average decline coming, followed by some contract negotiations and a ninth and final season renewal to try to go out on top.

Prediction: -17% to a 2.11

Blackish will be spending a third straight season after Modern Family, and will continue to go up against similarly-skewing Empire. In fact, I think that at this point a show with untapped potential could do as good as Blackish in this time slot, while Blackish would be fine on its own, getting away from Empire. Until then, it'll probably drop along with Modern Family, just as it did this season. No signs of that changing with unchanged competition.

Prediction: -18% to a 1.46

Grey's Anatomy
Here's a somewhat bold prediction. While most shows continue to bleed in the ratings, Grey's Anatomy's finale was actually UP year-to-year. While its fellow TGIT members crashed, Grey's held up remarkably well, and is actually one of the most popular shows with younger viewers despite being 12 seasons in. I predict it will have another great season in 2016-17.

Prediction: +1% to a 2.24

Scandal averaged over a 2.0 this season in the A18-49 demo, but that number is a bit deceiving as in the spring it settled in the mid 1s, below a couple ABC shows that technically it beat this season. It will be held until midseason due to Kerry Washington's pregnancy, and if Notorious hits, it may be to 10pm. Already with lower numbers, it's bound to see a steep decline this season. My prediction may even be optimistic, depending on the time slot.

Prediction: -28% to a 1.48

How to Get Away with Murder
Just like Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder crashed this spring, thanks in part to the "limited series curse" (which has affected many FOX dramas over the last couple seasons). There's a legitimate change it goes fractional at some point next season, unless Notorious is a breakout hit. But even then, the serialized nature of Murder may mean it doesn't see a ratings rise regardless of the lead-in. Thankfully, it gets to stay away from spring, so that should be in its favor.

Prediction: -32% to a 1.28

Last Man Standing
ABC's move of Last Man Standing from Tuesday to Friday really gave this show more seasons, whose demographics are a great match for Friday nights. Being an unowned, solidly rated show, there's a large chance this is Last Man Standing's final season, but that won't mean it will crash.

Prediction: -7% to a 1.12

Dr, Ken
Dr. Ken's audience remained pretty loyal to the show this season, and with lessened comedy competition (even the woefully-rated Truth be Told could be seen as legitimate competition, being a multi-cam sitcom just like Dr. Ken), I think it'll be very successful this season. It may even warrant a renewal in a post-Last Man Standing world.

Prediction: -3% to a 1.11

Shark Tank
Shark Tank was another ABC veteran show that really lost steam this season. This could be because of overexposure, or simply viewer fatigue. Whatever the reason, I think Shark Tank will continue its decline in the 2016-17 season and it'll be clear it won't return to hit status again. Should still be respectable though, especially for Friday standards, and will be ABC's highest-rated show of the night.

Prediction: -11% to a 1.26

I think 20/20 will more or less drop with Shark Tank. Can't really think of much to say here.

Prediction: -10% to a 1.00

American Crime
As I've been predicting, critically acclaimed anthology American Crime was renewed for a third season. That's not to say it's a ratings hit, and I don't think it's about to be. It should have somewhat of an audience base by now though.

Prediction: -13% to a 0.82

The Bachelor
The Bachelor managed to actually rise a little bit this season, to ABC's #2 show overall behind only Modern Family. I don't see another rise coming, but it should still be one of the bright spots on ABC's schedule.

Prediction: -6% to a 2.22

America's Funniest Home Videos
AFHV took a hit with its new host, but if YouTube didn't kill this show then what will? It's actually not trailing the other ABC Sunday shows by that much, and in a much lower-viewed time slot. It should stay that way.

Prediction: -7% to a 0.96

The Catch
The Catch was seen to be a very confusing renewal to some. Maybe Channing Dungey had a big hand in developing it, but most likely its because they didn't want to cancel a Shonda Rhimes show. In fact, it could only muster a 0.8 for the first part of its season finale. And that was after a 2.3 for Grey's Anatomy! Plus, there's no indication that it will get a big promotional push between now and its season two premiere. Here are a few potential time slots and predictions for each of them:

Prediction: -19% to a 0.79

For all intents and purposes, I'm considering Secrets & Lies as a new show as its an anthology that only aired for 10 episodes and took a season off.

What do you think of these ratings competitions? Let me know and leave your own in the comments below!

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »