There’s something so nostalgic about fall – back to school, hayrides, excessive pumpkin flavoring and the return of Kevin James to television.
I find fall pilot season as engaging as any league finals or Olympic competition. In the age of peak TV, it takes only a few weeks for a show to swing from promising to canceled. There’s potential for upsets, dark horses and those who left us too soon.
Pilot season can be finicky to predict, so we asked viewers what network drama and comedies they’ll make a point to tune into this fall.
Let’s start with comedy:
To get a better look at the data, we removed those who said they wouldn’t be watching any of the shows and broke shows down by the general population and by gender.
First things first, Kevin James can breathe a sigh of relief. Looks like significantly more viewers are planning on watching his new show “Kevin Can Wait” compared to other premieres.
With so much television and so little time to be exposed to it, it makes sense that people will trend towards watching shows with already well-known TV stars in them.
That same idea might apply to “The Good Place” on NBC, from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Parks and Recreation” creator Michael Schur. The show also stars TV veteran Ted Danson and Kristen Bell.
When broken down by gender, women are planning to watch more comedy across almost all networks. Men have the very slightest of an edge when it comes to intent to view FOX’s “Son of Zorn.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the show’s premise which stars an animated warrior (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) living in real life Orange Country trying to win back the love of his divorced wife.
It did come as a surprise to me how much more women are watching TV, especially comedies. In the fall lineup, only 3 of the new network comedies prominently feature a woman in the lead role, and a cursory glance at the marketing gives me reason to believe they’re being marketed more towards men.
Let’s see what’s going on with fall dramas:
At first glance, you can see people have responded with more interest in TV dramas. Once again, CBS comes out on top, with viewers planning on watching both “MacGyver” and “Bull.” Except “Bull,” the top 3 ranked shows are all remakes or reboots of TV or movie properties. Given how much new television will premiere this fall, it’s no surprise people indicate interest in franchises they already know.
Dramas are less divided by gender. For example, men and women have nearly identical interest levels in watching “Pitch,” FOX’s drama about a woman playing in the MLB.
Comparing these numbers to last fall’s reported viewing is interesting as well. Last year, NBC started out very strong with “Blindspot,” with CBS’s “Limitless” coming in second on a week to week basis. It looks like there’s interest in CBS’s new content, but not as much NBC’s “Timeless” or “This is Us.”
We’ll have to check back and see how these shows do in the ratings, especially the programming that’s a remake. This spring/summer alone, networks canceled “Rush Hour,” “Uncle Buck” and “Limitless,” all remakes.
I wonder if this season’s remakes like “MacGyver” and “Lethal Weapon” move on. I’m interested but far too scared to see how “The Exorcist” sustains demonic possession over an entire season.
In an era when the best programming is coming from TV, not movies, networks are making the right choice investing in high production dramas. Based on our data, viewers are more interested in watching these shows, as compared to half-hour comedies.
Remember, a trailer can look great, but interest in TV can drop off week to week. While this can predict premiere ratings, it’ll be interesting to follow up in the coming weeks.