How’d They Do? Finding The Few Bright Spots In NBC’s Biggest New Flops

Part of the TV business is dealing with flops. A show may have well-known names behind it, its pilot might test high with focus groups, and it might get a ton of promotion. Despite all of this, it’s natural that viewers will simply reject some shows from the beginning. Instead of simply giving all of these shows F grades and moving on, let’s take a look at any redeeming qualities these shows may have. And then give them that F.

Perfect Harmony (2019-20)

One redeeming quality Perfect Harmony can be found by comparing some of its earlier numbers to its seasonal average. In Live + Same Day A18-49, it averaged the same rating it received in its third episode. Whereas many shows take longer to hit their average rating, Perfect Harmony only needed three episodes. Other highlights include the 0.2 premiere and average in A18-34 and the 0.2 premiere and average in M18-34. Subsequent episodes tied or outperformed their premiere ratings in M18-49, A18-34, M18-34, W18-34, A25-54, M25-54, and W25-54. In other words, everything except W18-49 and Households. The finale rose or stayed steady in all demos and same-day viewers, and came close to the previous episode in L+3 and L+7 viewers. 

Grade: F

Indebted (2020-2020)

Not too many shows have finale ratings in any shade of green, but Indebted is an exception. The finale rose or stayed steady in every measure except for M25-54 from the previous week. Even then, it had hit that low of 0.3 multiple times before.

Its seventh episode was a bright spot in all demographics. While one would think the premiere episode would be the highest-rated episode in a one-and-done, Indebted hit or tied series highs that would not be unmatched for the rest of the season. 

With a 0.1 premiere in M18-34, it was almost sure to sink down to the dreaded 0.0, but it didn’t. In fact, its high in that demo was triple the premiere rating. 

Grade: F

Sunnyside (2019-2019)

This limited series, which would go on to be saved by NBC’s website, showed great stability in some demographics. In Households, 75% of episodes hit the same rating. The same can be said for M18-49, A18-34, W18-34, and M25-54, showcasing stability across different age groups and genders. In every subdemo, Sunnyside had the same rating two weeks in a row at a given time. It was also able to dominate The CW’s Legacies, which aired in the same hour and only went above Sunnyside’s broadcast finale rating twice. 

Sunnyside’s Live + 7 viewership was up 43% from its same-day viewership. In the A18-49 demo, its L+7 was up 50% from L+SD. 

Grade: F

Bluff City Law (2019-2019)

Bluff City Law was extremely stable in many demographics. This is especially true for the W18-34 demo, where the rating stayed the same for 50% of the episodes. While new shows often have a tough time holding onto its premiere audience, Bluff City Law still performed the same as its average in M18-49 and M18-34 for its finale. 

Bluff City Law also saw a couple impressive week two holds. Younger viewers were patient with the show, with the ratings steady from its premiere in A18-34 and M18-34. Also, most of its series lows were not outliers; rather, it hit that rating multiple times, perhaps signaling a loyal audience. 

While NBC ended up canceling Bluff City Law, it was still their highest-rated new show in Live + Same Day A18-49, and edged out two scripted veterans: Good Girls and The Blacklist. It also ended up with more same day viewers than fellow NBC drama Law & Order: SVU, which has recently been renewed through its 24th season. 

Grade: F

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