New Show Hit/Miss Fall 2017 - CBS Drama

Welcome back to new show hit/miss. This time, we are taking on the three new dramas set to air on CBS this fall. SEAL Team premieres on Wednesday, September 27th at 9:00 following Survivor, Wisdom of the Crowd premieres on Sunday, October 1st at 8:00 (which will really be more like 8:30 in the Eastern/Central time zones on this and some other weeks when CBS has the late NFL game) following 60 Minutes, and S.W.A.T. premieres on Thursday, November 2nd at 10:00 following Life in Pieces.


What May Cause SEAL Team to be a Hit?

For years, CBS has used Survivor, one of the network's strongest shows (number two on the network in 2016-17), as a lead-in to Criminal Minds. This year, they moved Minds to 10:00, to allow this show to benefit from that lead-in. Survivor will most likely be the highest-rated lead-in that a CBS drama will get this year, so SEAL Team has the opportunity to benefit from that.

In addition, the show is tracking well on social media. On Facebook, its 61K likes puts it much closer to the 87K for S.W.A.T. than the 12K for Wisdom. On Twitter, SEAL Team actually leads S.W.A.T. (3,728 followers to 3,311 followers). This Twitter lead suggests a potentially younger skew for SEAL (for a CBS drama), which would make it a good fit after Survivor, which is the second youngest-skewing program returning to CBS this fall (behind The Big Bang Theory). The social media presence is strong for a CBS drama, so if that can turn into actual viewers, SEAL Team should perform well.

What May Cause SEAL Team to be a Miss for CBS?

With the Survivor lead-in being used on Criminal Minds for so long, we don't actually know how much of a help it will be. Recently, The Bachelor/ette and Big Brother have proven that they don't really give much of a benefit to their lead-outs, despite high numbers. The audiences for those shows have no interest in watching their respective networks' scripted programming. Survivor's audience could behave similarly, making the show actually an unhelpful lead-in. Without this support, Law & Order: SVU could steal much of SEAL Team's potential audience.

Unlike social media, the official trailer for SEAL Team has some unimpressive statistics. Like with Facebook likes, the show ranks in second place in YouTube views out of the three new CBS dramas, but unlike on Facebook, SEAL's 267K views falls much closer to third-place Wisdom (124K) than first-place S.W.A.T. (852K). While the views are unimpressive, what's even more unimpressive is that 89% of people who reacted to the trailer did so with a like, compared to 91% and 93% from Wisdom and S.W.A.T. respectively.

Wisdom of the Crowd

What May Cause Wisdom of the Crowd to be a Hit?

The concept of a smart, rich guy who develops new technology for catching criminals following the death of someone close to him has been done before. Do you remember APB on FOX, which aired earlier this year? The show ultimately became a flop, but we cannot forget how well it premiered. It started out at a 1.5, even with the 1.5 it got from its lead-in of 24: Legacy. That start, which surprised most, shows that people were interested in the concept.

It's also important to note the differences between APB and Wisdom of the CrowdWisdom takes a similar concept, but it airs on CBS, where a procedural is on-brand, unlike on FOX, where the only successful police procedural in recent years was Bones, and it will get a lead-in of football-inflated 60 Minutes for its premiere.

APB showed signs of being very disliked by its audience. It dropped to 1.0 in week two, losing a third of its audience. This kind of drop also indicates that there were probably many people interested in the concept that never tuned in because they didn't think the show looked good, or started the episode, but then stopped watching it. Had it been a better show, it could have potentially premiered higher and sustained a higher percentage of its audience. It shouldn't be harder to be better received by audiences than APB was, and the official trailer for Wisdom was liked by 91% of people who watched it, a solid amount.

What May Cause Wisdom of the Crowd to be a Miss for CBS?

Just because Wisdom of the Crowd should work doesn't mean that it will. People don't seem to be very aware of the show yet, it ranks last place in all of YouTube trailer views (124K), Facebook likes (12K), and Twitter followers (740) out of the three new dramas coming to CBS this fall. These aren't perfect indicators, but still, numbers this low are a bad sign.

Additionally, while the timeslot for the show seems great, it might not actually be. First of all, it will face tough competition when it comes to male viewers, which may be important for this concept, if APB is a proper indication (it skewed male, which is fairly rare). Wisdom will be going up against heavily male-skewing football, as well as the male-skewing FOX comedies. In addition, on nights where CBS doesn't have the late NFL game to boost their line-up, 60 Minutes is a league average level performer in the fall, and below that in the spring. So, on those nights, Wisdom of the Crowd will have a not very compatible lead-in that just gets decent ratings.


What May Cause S.W.A.T. to be a Hit?

The biggest thing that S.W.A.T. has going for it is its lead, Shemar Moore. He is a former cast member of Criminal Minds, and a popular one, as evidenced by how the show ended its most recent season with a 1.6, an episode in which he guest starred, after it had been doing 1.3s for most of the spring. Now it's his chance to carry a show, and the network seems to have faith that he can do it, as they are putting the show in a timeslot where they haven't been so successful recently. This timeslot is not without a positive though, as it will only have to share a promotional push with Young Sheldon, with the other new shows premiering about a month earlier.

So far, there definitely seems to be interest. The official trailer has 852K views, far more than the trailers for CBS's other two new fall dramas. The show is also in first out of the group when it comes to Facebook likes (of which it has 87K) and a close second in Twitter followers (3,311). In addition to this amount of attention, people seem to be liking what they are seeing, with 93% of people who reacted to the official trailer giving it a like, higher than 89% and 91% for SEAL and Wisdom.

What May Cause S.W.A.T. to be a Miss for CBS?

The timeslot really isn't a good one. First of all, there is the timeslot history. Since Elementary's weak run here, Rush Hour, Pure Genius, and Training Day all failed. Second, the lead-in is completely incompatible, with the night going from comedies to a serious drama. Third, the competition could hurt it, with the procedural audience choosing Chicago Fire (or the male audience choosing Thursday Night Football during the weeks where NBC has that instead), and African-American audience members choosing Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder over Shemar Moore.

What to Expect from CBS's Fall Dramas

With returning dramas Code Black and Elementary, new drama Instinct, and unscripted shows The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss looking for one-hour timeslots it would seem that CBS will have to cut at least one of these new dramas early. However, that may not be the case. In 2014, CBS gave three of their four new dramas full seasons (and all three of Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, and Madam Secretary are still airing), and the fourth one a partial backorder, despite the fact that Madam and Stalker had mediocre ratings. Then, in 2015, they did something similar with Supergirl, Limitless, and Code Black.

CBS shows a willingness to let new dramas that aren't flops have time to prove themselves. I feel fairly good about all three of these dramas, so CBS may let them all air full seasons if they perform at least decently. It's a good thing the network is skilled at somehow managing to squeeze mid-season shows into the schedule.

What do you expect from SEAL Team, Wisdom of the Crowd, and S.W.A.T? And what factors do you think will contribute most in making them a hit or a miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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