Variety recently took a snapshot of the top new shows that have debuted in the US Fall season and how they have fared.
TEN has an extraordinary 6 of its top 7 choices, but 2 of which haven’t generated much buzz in Australia.
Here’s an analytical ranking of the 2009-10 season’s most impressive newcomers:
10. Community (NBC) and The Middle (ABC)
The most critically acclaimed new half-hours found a core aud despite no lead-in help (Community kicked off Thursday and The Middle followed the quickly yanked Hank or repeats on Wednesday). Community fared better in DVR playback, so its seasonal 18-49 average (2.5 rating) is higher than The Middle (2.2), although the latter — which is providing ABC with year-to-year growth in its time period — appeared to be gaining more steam down the stretch.
9. Cougar Town (ABC)
The Courteney Cox laffer with a provocative name opened very strong before settling into a pretty good ratings range in the fall. It then fell off down the stretch, but it’s unclear how much of that was due to facing the envelope-opening portion of Fox’s American Idol results show. For the season, it averages a 3.1 rating in adults 18-49, retaining more than 80% of its Modern Family demo lead-in and also performing well among upscale auds.
8. Parenthood (NBC)
This comedic family drama has held up well following its post-Olympics launch in early March. Its total viewer numbers aren’t great, but the aud is mostly made up of the kind of upscale 18-49ers that NBC had traditionally attracted with its 10 p.m. dramas. Show averages a 3.3 rating in 18-49 and has been a strong gainer in same-week DVR playback.
7. The Good Wife (CBS)
The best-reviewed drama of the season helped CBS become more competitive in an hour where it had typically struggled. Though not a great fit with the NCIS shows that precede it on Tuesday, Good Wife performed well enough to warrant a second season. It has averaged a 2.7 in 18-49 (and a 3.8 in 25-54), but cooled late opposite stronger competition from Parenthood.
5. and 6. The Cleveland Show (Fox) and NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
These are paired because they performed comparably and did just what their nets had hoped: extend the brand. Both spinoffs were scheduled alongside their progenitors, with the Fox entry preceding Family Guy on Sunday the Eye show following NCIS on Tuesday.
NCIS: Los Angeles is the only crime hour from last year to make the list but it’s more of a buddy-cop drama with comical elements. In one of TV’s toughest timeslots, it averages a 3.5 rating in 18-49 (holding 85% of its lead-in) and is the season’s top scripted newbie in adults 25-54.
Cleveland has provided Fox with growth in the half-hour between The Simpsons and Family Guy, ranking as the season’s top new scripted show in teens and men 18-34.
Both shows are expected to stay put in the fall.
4. The Vampire Diaries (CW)
Just when you thought auds had enough of vampires, the CW tapped into the vein with its hottest original series to date. Vampire‘s mix of teen angst and the supernatural struck a chord with young auds: While it averages a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49, it pulls a 1.7 in adults 18-34 and a 2.6 in female teens — and has recently led its Thursday 8 p.m. hour among femmes under 35.
3. Undercover Boss (CBS)
It came and went quickly, but the Eye’s strongest reality newcomer in about a decade certainly made an impact. After bowing to the largest aud on record for a premiere following the Super Bowl, Boss — smartly paired with The Amazing Race on Sunday — averaged a 6.2 rating in 18-49 for its nine episodes (including its preem), a score topped only by American Idol and Sunday Night Football. Some have doubted whether Boss can be a long-term player, but it would be a surprise if it didn’t land on the net’s fall sked — and perform well.
1. and 2. Glee (Fox) and Modern Family (ABC)
You can toss a coin here as these shows will finish as the top scripted rookies in 18-49, despite opposing each other during the first half of the season. Both skewed young and very upscale, two great selling points for advertisers.
Glee (3.8 average in 18-49) should finish with the slightly higher average due to its plum post-American Idol spring timeslot and fewer repeats, but Modern Family (3.7 rating) will be close behind — impressive since it has opposed Idol since mid-January.
Both of these shows also made a big winner out of critics, who back in August labeled Modern Family and Glee as the season’s best newcomers. Sometimes, the cream really does rise to the top.