Fall TV is just starting now, and it is easy to see the clear winners and the clear losers in the new shows that debuted this year. We are only about 10% of the way into the 2016-2017 season, but the broadcast networks are looking at their shows that have rolled out. Less than half of them have been released so far, but you can still spot trends.
The clear winners are "This is Us," "Kevin Can Wait," and "Designated Survivor." "This is Us" in particular is the highest rated new show of the season and held onto a staggering 90% of its premiere audience for episode two. It was the first show to get a backend order this season. Starting this week, it moved to an hour earlier, so time will tell how that affects the ratings. Still, it will follow "The Voice," which should help.
The second-highest rated new show, "Kevin Can Wait" is the top new comedy and it is running ahead of last year's pick, "Life in Pieces." There may be some problem when "The Big Bang Theory" moves later this month, but it should still be okay. Some may be worried that there has already been a decline in viewership, but it is far better than what was in that spot last year.
Some other shows that had solid starts include "Bull," "Speechless," "Lethal Weapon," and "MacGyver."
"Bull" is the top new show in viewership, drawing 14.6 million viewers in its first two episodes, mirroring the 18-49 ratings of "NCIS." The problem might be that the third episode was pre-empted for the VP debate, so we don't know how it will fare after that. "Speechless," which could be one of the most important shows of the season, shows almost no dropoff from its lead-in "The Goldbergs."
"Lethal Weapon," is stable, but it hasn't grown with delayed viewing. "MacGyver," which wasn't given the most hope due to its Friday night time slot, averaged fairly well in its first three episodes, though it did decline from week to week.
Some shows aren't averaging so great like "Timeless" and "The Good Place."
"The Good Place" did well when it was after "The Voice," but it has lost some viewers. Still, with a well-known cast and average views, it will probably survive. "Timeless" has only aired once, but it was a good number. The delay might take away quite a few viewers.
Shows like "Conviction," "The Exorcist," "Pitch," "No Tomorrow," "Notorious," and "Frequency" aren't really doing all that well. None of those shows had higher than a 1.1 rating, and only two, "Pitch" and "Notorious" have managed to stay above 1.0 in subsequent shows. Two CW shows, "No Tomorrow" and "Frequency" both performed well under shows in their respective time slots - which is a bad sign for them and a good sign for some of the CW shows that aren't doing as well but still have more viewers, like "Jane the Virgin" and the critically acclaimed "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
Given the nature of television today, it won't be surprising to see almost all of these shows play out their first season. Many of them probably won't be back next season.
Some shows still to come include “American Housewife” (ABC), “The Great Indoors” (CBS), “Man with a Plan” (CBS), “Pure Genius” (CBS).
To stay up to date on whether your favorite shows have been renewed or canceled, check out our guide.