Predicting the 2016-17 Ratings: FOX Veterans

The Ratings Junkie Wednesday, June 15, 2016
After some wait, here are my predictions for the ratings of the upcoming season for all of FOX's returning shows.

Bob's Burgers
Bob's Burgers was down 14% this season, about the same as the league average drop. It had nearly full retention out of The Simpsons this spring, but will go back to the 7:30 preemption city in the fall. Its average will heavily rely on its time slot and competition (i.e. if it has to come into prime time to save the day again). I think it should hold fairly steady in the 7:30 time slot though.

Prediction: -4% to a 1.01

The Simpsons
The Simpsons was down 19% this season, and spent the spring in the low 1s. With no Family Guy crossovers in the works, I can only assume it will continue to decline. It will see a huge spike in the fall due to its awesome time slot 28 seasons in, but will fall in the spring, just like every other season. On the surface level its average will look good, but the trajectory will remind us its true strength isn't much better than the rest of FOX's offerings.

Prediction: -10% to a 1.57

Family Guy
There have been many on-again-off-again relationships on television, but that also perfectly describes FOX's scheduling of Family Guy. Due to an erratic production cycle, it seemed like this animated show was on about every other week, then took a bunch of time off, then a bunch of time on again. I think viewers got confused, because it lost almost a third of its 18-49 audience this season. That is by far its largest drop ever. Just like with Bob's Burgers, its average will largely depend on its scheduling. I'll assume the scheduling isn't much different this upcoming season, and it could hurt that it probably won't have much of a compatible lead-in next season either. I'm going to still go optimistic and say that its drop will be more in line with previous drops, perhaps a little worse.

Prediction: -14% to a 1.27

The Last Man On Earth
The Last Man On Earth is now a season and a half into its run and is heavily serialized. Critics have applauded Will Forte's performance, but it appears that it does not appeal well to the masses, at least not a live audience. It wasn't the breakout sophomore hit I predicted it would be, and I don't see a reason why it won't continue to fall.

Prediction: -23% to a 0.89

Speaking of shows down a ton year-to-year, Gotham was down 36%. In fact, five of the ten returning scripted series on FOX from the 2014-15 season ended up down at least 30%. Now that it has Lucifer as a companion, it should be able to do solid. I'm not so sold on its chances of being steady in the ratings, but the bleeding should stop some.

Prediction: -16% to a 1.17

Lucifer got the benefit of airing after The X-Files at first, but still ended up with respectable ratings when paired with Gotham in the spring. I think FOX found a great match in these two, and though the average will definitely go down due to the front-loaded high ratings this season, it should still be respectable and a good companion for Gotham. The percent decline below looks high, though its pretty inevitable.

Prediction: -26% to a 1.09

Brooklyn 9-9
Brooklyn 9-9 really collapsed with its move to Tuesday. Now, it gets no lead-in support unless you count local programming, and the Andy Samberg vehicle probably didn't pick up any new fans after his summer theatrical film flopped. In fact, its average this season is very much above what it did in its Tuesday return. I'm thinking things get ugly for what's most likely the final season of this NBC-produced workplace comedy. Maybe it could have fared better on NBC (for an article on that, click here.

Prediction: -33% to a 0.81

New Girl
New Girl surprised when it came back in January, but lost most of that momentum by the end of the season. Now that its season will be dragged out longer, I think it will lost more audience than it did this season. It may see some more fractional numbers, though in W18-34 it should look fine.

Prediction: -17% to a 0.93

Scream Queens
FOX renewed Scream Queens because of its jump in the C3 and C7 ratings as well as streaming. I wouldn't even be surprised to see it come back for a third season. Now that doesn't mean the ratings will be good. Quite frankly I'm expecting bad ratings, at least live. But SVOD deals and extraneous factors could still push this one over the edge. But we're talking ratings here.

Prediction: -27% to a 0.80

Despite average A18-49 L+SD rating being around a 1.5 this season, Empire is a bright spot on television, averaging a 4.42. Sure, it stopped the growth of its first season, but it's still huge. However, the finale was down almost three full ratings points. I don't think Empire will ever return to being the phenomenon it was last season, though it should still do very well by current standards.

Prediction: -25% to a 3.31

Rosewood will be moving to Thursday this season, with no Empire pre-tune. It's a show that goes fractional without Empire airing after it, and Thursday has been a struggle for all scripted shows on FOX in recent seasons. Why should Rosewood fare better than Bones?

Prediction: -36% to a 0.86

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow's renewal was truly a shocker to me, even though a possible correlation to ad rates may have indicated that a renewal was coming. However, it was down 47% this season, and 41% the season before that. That's just a terrible trajectory. Plus, they recently killed off a well-liked lead. They're clearly looking for some sort of streaming deal here, because live ratings definitely aren't keeping this one around. It can't fall much more; in fact, it did worse than Grandfathered this season!

Prediction: -23% to a 0.64

Bones is supposed to take over for Pitch in the Thursday at 9 time slot midseason, while it's probably just as likely it replaces Rosewood. For its final shortened season, I think most of the few remaining fans will tune in. It deserves it.

Prediction: -2% to a 1.00

MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior should be easy fare for Friday, even if some people argue it belongs on another night. Though since it was down 26% this season, it definitely is on a downward trajectory, and I'm predicting it will do numbers OK for Friday this upcoming season, but not enough to be considered the king of the night.

Prediction: -22% to a 0.97

Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen got to air a bunch of episodes behind American Idol and didn't make much of it. This is definitely a Ramsey show way past its prime. That doesn't mean it's a flop though; in fact, I predict that it will hold its numbers decently to levels a little bit above MasterChef Junior.

Prediction: -7% to a 1.04

What do you think of these predictions? Leave your own and let me know in the comments below!

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