Through Monday night, the five main English-language broadcast networks have launched a whopping 125 new dramas since 2011. The premieres have been a mixed bag. Remember when "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" bowed to a massive 4.7 rating? We didn't think so.
Last night, two new dramas debuted with very different results: NBC's "Blindspot" scored a 3.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 10.6 million total viewers, while Fox's "Minority Report" managed a mere 1.1 rating and 3.1 million viewers.
Based purely on instant numbers, one can be considered a hit and the other, a flop. But there are various reasons for each -- we bet Steven Spielberg would have wanted the small-screen adaptation of his 2002 film to follow "The Voice" (3.5/12.1 million viewers) instead of "Gotham" (1.6/4.5 million).
There is also a sliding scale to judge performance here. Based solely on their respective lead-ins, responsible industry estimates for "Minority Report" couldn't have been half of those for "Blindspot." And the audience for both should grow with time-delayed viewing.
"Blindspot's" debut ranked as the 18th biggest series premiere since 2011, and 20th highest in terms of total viewers. That places the Jaimie Alexander-starrer in the 84th percentile in total viewers.
That's a solid "B" debut -- but remember, ratings points are much harder to come by now than they were even four years ago. In 2015, judging an episode's performance solely by its first-run airing is not a good barometer.
While "Blindspot" had a legitimately excellent start, bolstered by strong reviews, NBC also spared no expense on marketing and smartly positioned the show to debut after the eyeball machine known as "The Voice."
But a strong first week doesn't guarantee longevity. Here are some of the series that started higher in the main demo: "Revolution," "Smash," "Resurrection," "Under the Dome," "Touch," "Alcatraz" and "Revenge." Not one of those shows is still on the air.
Greg Berlanti's show tied with "Pan Am," "Terra Nova" and "Almost Human," which are also all dead.
A switch over to total viewers shows that "Blindspot" snagged fewer eyeballs than defunct series "Intelligence," "Vegas," "Unforgettable," "Under the Dome," "Resurrection," "Touch," "Revolution," "Smash" and "Pan Am."
We won't even bother listing the shows that outpaced "Minority Report," for obvious reasons.
To be fair, give both shows a few weeks to see where they settle. We've got a long season ahead of us -- don't be tempted to crown champions or cancel series just out of the gate.
Tonight, CBS' "Limitless" begins its run; Wednesday the brand new "Rosewood" leads into "Empire" over on Fox, which may help inflate the Morris Chestnut drama's score.
On Thursday, NBC's other big freshman drama "Heroes Reborn" is matched with newcomer "The Player." And that's just Week 1.