New Show Hit/Miss Spring 2017 - Great News

The final new series of the regular season, NBC's Great News, will premiere on Tuesday. It could do well, or it could do poorly, and this feature identifies why it could go either way.

What May Cause Great News to be a Hit?

Many trailer views
Back before Trial & Error premiered, I looked at how its trailer was performing, and compared that to Great News. Even back then, many weeks before Great News's premiere, but shortly before Trial & Error's, Great News was much ahead in views, approximately 149,000 versus 37,000. While four times the views doesn't mean Great News will get four times the ratings, it is certainly a strong sign that Great News was so far ahead of Trial & Error so much closer to Trial & Error's premiere. It seems there is much more awareness out there about Great News.

Much promotion
And if that awareness wasn't enough, NBC's comedy viewers must be aware of Great News's existence, as it received multiple promos during each of Trial & Error's final two half-hours, as well as during the most recent episode of Superstore. It is unlikely that many of Great News's potential viewers would not watch simply because they had no idea that the show existed or where and when it was to air.

More traditional workplace comedy
While Powerless is a workplace comedy, and Trial & Error could be considered one, but they both failed, being a workplace comedy could still be a pro for Great News. It is more traditional than Powerless, which is set in the superhero world, not in the world we live in, and Trial & Error, which was heavily serialized and very bizarre. Like Superstore, the world of Great News is much like our own world, so it fits in to NBC's workplace comedy brand that they are trying to re-establish.

Tina Fey and Robert Carlock
30 Rock never brought big audiences to NBC, but it did well enough to last seven seasons, and NBC is in a more desperate comedy situation today than they were then, so 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey and her partner on projects such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Robert Carlock having a creative hand in Great News could bring fans of 30 Rock, as well as fans of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, to NBC.

In addition to all of the awareness mentioned above, Great News gets a strong lead-in from The Voice. NBC is giving it all of the opportunity to succeed, so it just needs to make the most, or at least enough, of that.

What May Cause Great News to be a Miss for NBC?

Trial & Error failed in better conditions
The Voice still rates very well late into the spring, but its ratings decline over the course of its season. Trial & Error failed with a larger lead-in from The Voice, so why would Great News succeed in worse conditions? Also, the better slot for Trial & Error likely means that NBC had more faith in it than Great News, and, again, we know how Trial & Error went.

Fey and Carlock are too niche
Yes, people love their work. The people giving their projects awards sure do. But do the masses? 30 Rock was always very niche, and that was with Tina Fey starring in it, who had been on Saturday Night Live for some years before that. Great News doesn't have that sort of draw, so it could end up being worse off in the ratings than 30 Rock.

Too late in the season
In late April, do viewers really want to add a new show to their schedule, as most of their shows are likely in a string of new episodes leading towards the season finale in May? Premieres this late in the spring have a very unimpressive track record, so if Great News were to succeed, it would certainly be bucking the trend.

What to Expect for Great News?

This is a difficult one to predict. The awareness is certainly there, but will a project produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock be able to appeal to a wide audience, and will this be the show to actually succeed despite a late-April premiere?

Which factors do you think will be the most in play in causing Great News to be a hit or a miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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