The new season is still kicking off, but already many new TV shows are pretty much doomed. Broadcast networks fill their schedules with the knowledge that some of the shows won’t make it past a few episodes, and even fewer will make it to a second year. Cancellation decisions are based not just on the overall number of viewers and the viewership of the prime 18-49 demographic, but also in comparison to the ratings of the network’s other programs. The flood of numbers from Nielsen ratings can be overwhelming, so here’s a quick look at how all of the new sitcoms on network TV are doing, and which ones are likely to last.
It’s only fair to start with CBS, the overwhelming ratings champ. With ratings hits like Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory already on the network, new CBS sitcoms have a lot to live up to. So far, Will Arnett-led The Millers and Robin Williams’ The Crazy Ones are both doing quite well, and are sure to make it at last until the end of this year. The Millers’ premiere last Thursday pulled in 13.09 million viewers, while 15.61 million viewers watched The Crazy Ones premiere the week before. Though those numbers are bound to drop (The Crazy Ones has already begun slipping), numbers like that mean they are likely remain hits. Meanwhile, CBS’s other new shows, We Are Men and Mom, are faltering, pulling in 5.42 and 6.65 million viewers last night, respectively. While those numbers would count as surefire successes on other networks, they’re unlikely to cut it on CBS.
ABC is next, ratings-wise. Hoping to build on the mega hit that is Modern Family, ABC’s new family sitcom The Goldbergs premiered a couple weeks ago with 8.94 million viewers, making it the top new comedy for the network. But it had already lost a couple million viewers when Rebel Wilson’s new show Super Fun Night premiered last week to 8.23 million viewers. The network’s other new sitcom, the baseball-centric Back in the Game debuted a few weeks ago with 8.01 million viewers but had also lost a couple by last week as well. It’s a too early to really tell whether these shows will be back, but ABC’s final new comedy, Trophy Wife, almost surely won’t last long. It debuted a couple weeks ago to 6.69 million viewers and lost a couple in the week after, making it the weakest new sitcom on the network’s lineup.
NBC only had three new sitcoms this season, which it used to fill out its long-running Thursday night block now that 30 Rock and The Office are gone. So far, The Michael J. Fox Show is its best bet, premiering to 7.5 million viewers a couple weeks ago, though losing some ground in the intervening week. Meanwhile, Sean Hayes-led Sean Saves the World pulled in 4.43 million at its debut last week, while Welcome to the Family only managed 2.99 million for its premiere. Given that NBC has Community set to return midseason, it looks like Welcome to the Family will probably get dumped before the year’s out.
And at over Fox, the network’s only two new sitcoms – the already-beloved Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the much-despised Dads – are doing almost exactly the same. The Andy Samberg-led Brooklyn pulled in 6.17 million at its premiere a few weeks ago, and has pulled in 4.03 and 3.43 in the two weeks since. Dads, on the other hand, premiered to 5.76 million, then fell to 3.65 and 3.40 in the weeks since. Neither are great ratings for the network, so it’s possible neither will last long.