The questions to your friendly TV critic keep coming:
What happened to that ABC series about lottery winners?
Why isn’t “The Michael J. Fox Show” funnier?
OK, I can’t answer the last one.
But “Ironside” and that lottery show “Lucky 7” had as much chance of succeeding as the Republicans had of stopping Obamacare. Both were quickly canceled.
The cancellation of “Ironside” may have surprised local viewers since the remake of the Raymond Burr series that starred Blair Underwood this time around did better on Channel 2 here than it did nationally. That is partly because the series appealed to older viewers who remember Burr and don’t count as much to advertisers. And those viewers are plentiful in Western New York.
On the other hand, “Lucky 7” was pretty much as ignored here as it was everywhere.
The local ratings are in for the season’s first four weeks, which is about as long as networks give them to succeed.
So it is time for an early Western New York scorecard of the new shows, a reminder of what I wrote about them in my daily blog before they premiered, and a look at their long-term viability.
The Top 5 new shows live and up to seven days later with Western New Yorkers are NBC’s “The Blacklist,” CBS’ “The Millers,” “The Crazy Ones” and “Hostages” and Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow.”
Starring James Spader, “The Blacklist” has impressed local viewers the most despite its increasing violence. Like most critics, I was a fan of the pilot, so I’m not surprised by its success here or nationally. It is the No. 4 show in Western New York, behind only established hits “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” The news is even better when you look at its ratings consistency over the four weeks and note that its live audience is enhanced by 54 percent by DVR and On Demand viewing.
I was not a fan of “The Millers.” I called the pilot of the Will Arnett series crass, loud and painfully unfunny but thought it could be saved by better writing. So far, it has been saved by its “Big Bang” lead-in. It is the No. 7 series here, but it is just a time slot hit. It loses a significant portion of its lead-in and gets a low DVR and On Demand bump, which is a good measurement of word of mouth.
Robin Williams’ new comedy with Sarah Michelle Gellar, “The Crazy Ones,” is No. 10 here. I called the pilot a cute show without many laughs. Local viewership has dropped almost by half since the premiere. But it gets a 30 percent secondary viewing bump, which is a good sign.
“Sleepy Hollow,” which I referred to as the “coolest new show,” is Fox’s top-rated show locally in 24th place overall, one spot behind NBC’s big hit last season, “Revolution.” The good news is its ratings have been pretty consistent and it gets a huge 56 percent secondary viewing bump from live airings. It already has been renewed for a second season.
CBS’ “Hostages” is in 30th place here. Despite going head-to-head with “The Blacklist” and having a premise that is more suitable for a movie, it has consistent viewership here and an impressive 54 percent bump from secondary viewing (undoubtedly many of whom are “Blacklist” fans). It ends after 15 episodes.
The new show that many critics were raving about – I didn’t see the pilot – before the season, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” is No. 37 here and has seen a significant decline since the pilot. That is no surprise since it appeals more to younger viewers. It gets a promising 30 percent bump from secondary viewership.
The top-rated new ABC comedy locally, “Super Fun Night,” is one spot behind “S.H.I.E.L.D” but is a top slot success following “Modern Family.” I wasn’t a fan of “Back in the Game,” which has a baseball backdrop. It is two spots behind “Super” here. It has been sliding weekly and doesn’t get much secondary viewership. “The Goldbergs,” which I wrote has its heart in the right place, some laughs and potential, is one spot behind “Game.” It gets a decent 20 percent bump from secondary viewing.
“Ironside” is in 44th place, but its rating slipped for three straight weeks and it had a small secondary viewership and older audience before it was canceled.
Michael J. Fox’s new series, which I called likable but not very funny, is No. 47. It has declined sharply since its premiere, but gets a 32 percent secondary viewership bump.
“Mom,” the CBS comedy that has Buffalo native Nick Bakay as its show-runner, is No. 48 here and seems to have inspired little enthusiasm. It gets a small secondary viewership bump here.
I wasn’t a fan of ABC’s “Trophy Wife,” NBC’s “Sean Saves the World” or the ABC drama “Betrayal” and Western New York hasn’t been amused, either. However, they are all getting significant secondary viewing bumps.
Fox’s police comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” starring Andy Samberg was a critical darling. I liked the pilot but thought it might have given away too much. WNY is not amused. It is No. 68 out of 91 shows here and there is no evidence of any upswing. Once again, it is no surprise since it appeals to younger viewers.
NBC’s “Welcome to the Family,” which I called “as much fun as a forced marriage,” is one spot behind “Brooklyn” here and has already been canceled.
“Dads,” the Fox comedy about obnoxious dad that was universally slammed, is No. 74 here and has consistent low ratings.
The new CW series “The Tomorrow People,” “The Originals” and the series that puts a modern span on Mary, Queen of Scots, “Reign,” all are in the bottom 10 here. That is no surprise. They appeal to younger viewers in a market that has many viewers like me who almost remember when Mary was around.