Fall means leaves changing colors, a crisp in the air and new TV shows. Some installments of that final seasonal trait will become long-running hits, while others won’t even last their episode orders.
As an early examination, TheWrap ranked the 17 highest and lowest-rated new fall broadcast series to-date, finding that CBS is sitting pretty, even if you don’t count its foray into primetime pigskin. Meanwhile, save “Gotham,” Fox finds itself in need of a Nielsen hero.
Focusing only on new scripted and reality broadcast TV series — meaning no “Thursday Night Football,” sorry CBS — the clear-cut individual winner a few weeks into the fall season is new Shonda Rhimes series, “How to Get Away With Murder,” which joins her other established hits “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” on ABC Thursdays.
The mouthful “HTGAWM” is averaging a 4.4 rating in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic per Nielsen’s most current metric, which counts Live + 7 Day numbers where available.
Fox’s Batman-prequel “Gotham” is the runner-up new broadcast series, averaging a 3.9 rating in the key demo thus far. CBS’s “Scorpion” is third with a 3.6.
The top new comedy, ABC’s “Black-ish,” is averaging a 3.4, finishing fourth to this point. In fifth place, another CBS drama, “NCIS: New Orleans,” has a 2.8.
On the wrong end of the Nielsen sheets is Fox’s “Utopia,” the Friday version — now the reality experiment’s regular timeslot — averaging a 0.9. The series premiere of “Utopia,” which occurred on a Sunday, is counted in the non-Friday line. (Note: The actual chart below will have 18 slots, reflecting the two different “Utopia” timeslots, as the show also regularly aired on Tuesdays before Fox pulled it from that day and relegated it to a lower-rated Friday timeslot ahead of schedule.)
Up two-tenths of a ratings point from that reality show is Fox’s “Mulaney” and ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story,” tied with a 1.1 each. Fox’s miniseries “Gracepoint” and NBC’s “A to Z” were also tied (1.2), rounding out the bottom five.
TheWrap elected to not chart four series, as their premiere episodes have yet to see a seven-day lift in available numbers. Those are: NBC’s “Marry Me” (2.3 Live + Same Day), ABC’s “Cristela” (1.2 L+SD), and CW’s “The Flash” (1.8 L+SD) and “Jane the Virgin” (0.6 L+SD).”
Live + 7 numbers were only available for those episodes that aired on or before Oct. 5. Any airing from the following two weeks is not yet timezone adjusted by Nielsen, to the detriment of the shows that ran later. Premieres that occurred before the technical start to the season, Sept. 22, are still counted in the rating.
Here’s the complete rankings of the 17 new fall series that have debuted on network TV to-date: