Posted in:

Ranking the Freshman Broadcast Network Shows of Winter/Spring 2019

For the past several weeks, the Programming Insider readership chimed in on their favorite (and least favorite) new broadcast network shows that debuted this winter and spring.

Some notes before we start our countdown:

* 100 participants took part voting in our survey.
* Each participant was not required to vote for every freshman show. With that stated, “Whiskey Cavalier” (ABC) received the most amount of votes (64), followed by “The Village” (NBC) (56). The bottom two shows in amount of votes both air on The CW: “Roswell, New Mexico” (43) and “In the Dark” (43).
* We tallied up the final results for each show, with a score of 3 being assigned to “Excellent! Don’t miss!”, 2 to “Good. Worth seeing.”, 1 to “Okay if desperate to watch something” and zero to “Avoid at all costs.”
* To mimic the 4.0 grading system dolled out at schools and universities, each show’s poll rating was multiplied by 1.58 and received a corresponding grade.
* By using the adjusted numbered poll ratings (labeling them as Grade Point Averages or GPAs), the grades were as follows: A+ (4.363 or more), A (4.00-4.363), A- (3.64-3.99), B+ (3.28-3.63), B (2.91-3.27), B- (2.55-2.90), C+ (2.19-2.54), C (1.82-2.18), C- (1.46-1.81), D+ (1.10-1.45), D (0.73-1.09), D- (0.36-0.72), F (0.00-0.35)

Let’s begin the countdown:

13. Abby’s (NBC)
Season thus far: 0.96 GPA (Grade: D)
Series Premiere: N/A

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (55.6% of the vote)

Analysis:
NBC spent another season attempting to get some positive traction for their Thursday comedy block. But this effort, trying to emulate the classic sitcom “Cheers” and being unique in filming in an outdoor studio, fell way short. As for our survey, it not only ranked last in “Excellent” vote percentage (1.8 percent) but also first in “Avoid at all costs” vote percentage (55.6 percent) and next-to-last in “Good-Worth seeing” vote percentage (13.0 percent)

12. In The Dark (CW)
Season thus far: 1.06 GPA (Grade: D)
Series Premiere: N/A

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (53.5% of the vote)

Analysis:
The CW drama about a young blind female being “witness” to the murder of her friend didn’t impress our surveyors, ranking last of the new midseason dramas, receiving with the most “Avoid at all costs” votes of the genre. But the good news for the show was it earned a second season.

11. The Fix (ABC)
Season thus far: 1.37 GPA (Grade: D+)
Series Premiere: 2.49 GPA [#8] (Grade: C+)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (41.5% of the vote)

Analysis:
With former O.J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark behind the project and Sarah Paulson supporting the show — the actress who portrayed Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”, there was good reason to believe the series would live up to ABC’s promotion of it as a thrilling, gritty drama. But it turned out to be all hype but no bite. “The Fix” ranked in the midseason top four of “Okay” (39.4 percent; third place) and “Avoid” votes (41.5 percent; fourth place) and last among “Good” votes (9.4 percent).

FAM stars Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell in a comedy about a woman, Clem (Nina Dobrev (middle), whose vision of a perfect life with her adoring fiancé, Nick (Bell, left) and his wonderful family is radically altered when her 16-year old, out-of-control half-sister, Shannon (Odessa Adlon, right) unexpectedly comes to live with her. FAM will premiere on the CBS Television Network during the 2018-19 season. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

10. Fam (CBS)
Season thus far: 1.52 GPA (Grade: C-)
Series Premiere: 2.90 GPA [#1] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (43.6% of the vote)

Analysis:
Nina Dobrev is a favorite of the online and social media community since her days on “The Vampire Diaries”. Her presence on the new family sitcom was a significant impetus for earning the survey’s best series premiere grade. But as the series progressed, it unfortunately didn’t translate into a ratings favorite. And according to our survey, neither a critical favorite, ranking last in “Okay” votes (25.5 percent) and second-most among midseason comedies for “Avoid” votes (43.6 percent).

9. Proven Innocent (Fox)
Season thus far: 1.54 GPA (Grade: C-)
Series Premiere: N/A

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (41.2% of the vote)

Analysis:
With the arrival of former ABC sitcom “Last Man Standing”, Fridays became decently rated for Fox. The network tried to capitalize on its success with this law procedural that starred Kelsey Grammer of “Frasier” fame. But it was one of the least-watched series on a Big-4 network this season and for those who did watch and voted here, it unfortunately received a 40+ percent vote for “Avoid at all costs.”

8. Bless This Mess (ABC)
Season thus far: 1.55 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: 2.54 GPA [#7] (Grade: C+)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (38.5% of the vote)

Analysis:
This unofficial comedic update of “Green Acres” debuted to decent ratings and scored a renewal shortly thereafter. Our survey wasn’t as impressed as most voted it as just an “Okay” program.

Maggie’s Drawers”– of THE CODE on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Mark Schafer/CBS
©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

7. The Code (CBS)
Season thus far: 1.66 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: 2.32 GPA [#9] (Grade: C+)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (34.0% of the vote)

Analysis:
NFL Network host Rich Eisen may have put it succinctly back in April, after seeing an ad for this program: “Almost every CBS show is the same. CSI is NCIS is JAG is The Code.” To mimic that sentiment, it seems fitting this “JAG”-wannabe ranks smack-dab in the middle of this midseason list.

6. Roswell, New Mexico (CW)
Season thus far: 1.69 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: 2.85 GPA [#2] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Avoid at all costs” (39.5% of the vote)

Analysis:
This update to the late 90’s teen alien drama that addresses modern concerns about illegal immigration polarized our poll to both opposite extremes. Most of its votes were cast for “Avoid at all costs” but it also had the second-largest percentage of all midseason programs in “Excellent” votes (14 percent) as well the second best grade for a series premiere.

THE PASSAGE: L-R: Saniyya Sidney and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in THE PASSAGE premiering midseason on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Steve Dietl/FOX

5. The Passage (Fox)
Season thus far: 1.73 GPA (Grade: C-)
Series Premiere: 2.66 GPA [#5] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (37.3% of the vote)

Analysis:
Fox was disappointed that more didn’t check in to this government conspiracy/vampire thriller based on the popular book trilogy as it failed to earn a renewal. But on its way out, it earned the survey’s third-largest percentage of “Excellent” votes (13.7 percent).

4. Schooled (ABC)
Season thus far: 1.83 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: N/A

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (56.4% of the vote)

Analysis:
Rated this poll as midseason’s best new half-hour comedy, the 1990-something spinoff of “The Goldbergs” earned the third-most percentage of “Good” votes (21.8 percent) and the lowest percentage of “Avoid at all costs” votes (16.4 percent).

3. The Enemy Within (NBC)
Season thus far: 1.85 GPA (Grade: C+)
Series Premiere: 2.52 GPA [#6] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (42.2% of the vote)

Analysis:
An NBC drama about an FBI agent having to consult with an alleged criminal certainly drew comparisons to NBC’s “The Blacklist” and “Blindspot.” While most voted with a mere “Okay” (42.2 percent; largest percentage for a midseason freshmen drama), it ranked fourth in “Excellent” votes (13.3 percent) and near the bottom in the “Avoid” option (26.7 percent; 11th out of 13).

2. The Village (NBC)
Season thus far: 1.86 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: 2.80 GPA [#3] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (32.1% of the vote)

Analysis:
This inter-connected character drama set in a Brooklyn apartment building entered the 2018-19 season with high expectations as NBC attempted to capitalize on its “This Is Us” success. Although it won’t see a second season, it received the largest percentage of “Excellent” votes for a midseason series (14.3 percent).

1. Whiskey Cavalier (ABC)
Season thus far: 2.14 GPA (Grade: C)
Series Premiere: 2.77 GPA [#4] (Grade: B-)

Most Popular Voter Choice: “Okay if desperate to watch something” (39.1% of the vote)

Analysis:
ABC had much faith in this hour-long action-packed espionage comedy with hints of “Moonlighting” and “Alias” by slating its series debut on Oscar night. It became a hit in Canada and amassed a significant following on social media. Its subpar ratings on Wednesday nights were the main cause of its cancellation but the news was nonetheless disheartening for its many fervent fans; some of which took part in having “Whiskey Cavalier” lead the survey in “Good” votes (29.7 percent), ranking in the top five of “Excellent” (12.5 percent; fifth place) and “Okay” (39.1 percent; fourth place) votes and being the lowest-ranking drama in “Avoid at all costs” votes (18.8 percent).

Combining the survey ratings and grades from the fall, here are the complete freshman series rankings for the 2018-19 season:

1. ”The Rookie” (ABC) Grade: B+ / Grade Point Average: 3.42
2. ”Manifest” (NBC) Grade: B / GPA: 2.97
3. ”New Amsterdam” (NBC) Grade: B- / GPA: 2.69
4. ”The Conners” (ABC) Grade: B- / GPA: 2.65
5. ”The Cool Kids” (Fox) Grade: B- / GPA: 2.58
6. ”FBI” (CBS) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.48
7. ”God Friended Me” (CBS) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.40
8. ”All American” (CW) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.38
9. ”Last Man Standing (2018)” (Fox) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.28
10. ”A Million Little Things” (ABC) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.26
11. ”The Kids Are Alright” (ABC) Grade: C+ / GPA: 2.23
12. ”Whiskey Cavalier” (ABC) Grade: C / GPA: 2.14
13. ”Murphy Brown (2018)” (CBS) Grade: C / GPA: 2.08
14. ”The Neighborhood” (CBS) Grade: C / GPA: 2.07
15. ”Single Parents” (ABC) Grade: C / GPA: 1.95
16. ”The Village” (NBC) Grade: C / GPA: 1.86
17. ”The Enemy Within” (NBC) Grade: C / GPA: 1.85
18. ”Legacies” (CW) Grade: C / GPA: 1.83
18. ”Schooled” (ABC) Grade: C / GPA: 1.83
20. ”Proven Innocent” (Fox) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.73
21. ”Roswell, New Mexico (2018)” (CW) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.69
22. ”The Code” (CBS) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.66
23. ”Bless This Mess” (ABC) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.55
24. ”Proven Innocent” (Fox) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.54
25. ”Fam” (CBS) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.52
26. ”Magnum P.I, (2018)” (CBS) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.49
27. ”Charmed (2018)” (CW) Grade: C- / GPA: 1.48
28. ”Happy Together” (CBS) Grade: D+ / GPA: 1.43
29. ”The Fix” (ABC) Grade: D+ / GPA: 1.37
30. ”In The Dark” (CW) Grade: D / GPA: 1.06
31. ”Abby’s” (NBC) Grade: D / GPA: 0.96
32. ”I Feel Bad” (NBC) Grade: D / GPA: 0.85
33. ”Rel” (Fox) Grade: D / GPA: 0.83

Leave a Reply (You may login using your social media account to comment)