CBS is fast tracking BAKE OFF, an American version of the huge UK hit, to air sometime this season. CBS is unusually (for them) not having an incredibly strong fall. None of their new shows can be called big hits. Bake Off feels like it could be that game changing big hit. There doesn’t seem to be anything like it on TV. That’s why I am expecting them to schedule the premiere out of the Super Bowl, which they are fortunate enough to have again this year. Some people are suggesting 2 Broke Girls or Person Of Interest for that coveted slot, but I don’t think it will ultimately help either show to big enough bumps to justify that. (Plus I’m sure the family audience watching the Super Bowl isn’t the right place for 2BG which loves to have excessive Vagina mentions each ep).
The biggest beneficiaries in the last 10 years of the post SB slot (aside from an already surging Grey’s Anatomy in ’06) have been reality shows: Survivor, The Voice last year… In fact, the last time CBS had the Super bowl, 3 years ago, they launched Undercover Boss to almost 40 million viewers and smartly aired it on Sun for the rest of the season. I think CBS will follow the same strategy this year. Even with football overruns, their Sun lineup is their weakest night of the week. with both dramas barely even able to get a 2.0. I think CBS will schedule Bake Off for Sunday at 9 and put The Good Wife on hiatus. Bake Off is the kind of family show that everyone can enjoy and I think CBS will use the Superbowl to premiere it and then strengthen their Sun lineup with a 9p slot for it on their sked. The Good Wife could air 14 eps thru Jan. It can return in Spring in its regular slot (if Bake off gets an 8 ep order) or somewhere else on the schedule to air its remaining 8 eps (possibly its old Tue 10 slot). They could also do something special like air 4 eps over consecutive nights in April when their 10p dramas would be in reruns. Whatever they do, I think Bake Off is destined and could ultimately help CBS big time on Sunday.
Last Resort had another unfortunate ratings drop this week, with what was their strongest ep since the pilot. At this point I don’t think it can hurt ABC to flip it with Private Practice, which is ending and basically got the same numbers Tue at 10 in a very uncompetitive time slot. It can certainly duplicate those numbers Thu at 8 and will lead perfectly into Grey’s. It can be an all Shonda night from 8-11 til PP ends in late Jan. Last Resort can’t do any worse Tue at 10 and has the potential to attract a bigger audience as neither CBS or NBC are currently even getting a 2.0. (Vegas dropped more than a full point from its NCIS:LA lead this week and it’s not crazy to see some of those NCIS fans flipping over to LR). It’s far less competition than The Big Bang Theory (TVs #1 show), X Factor and Football. My only reservation is that another male skewing show, Sons Of Anarchy, is getting a 2.2 at that hour. But again, it seems like lesser competition than what Thu at 8 is offering. I’d even feel better if DWTS was still on at 9, since it would garner at least 11 million viewers unlike the 4 and change Apt 23 is currently bringing in to the 10p hour. Even still, I think ABC should at least try the switch for a week.
They clearly want to give LR a back 9, and likely won’t do that if it’s regualrly getting a 1.3, like this past Thu. They really have little to lose at this point. Maybe they should try the one week experiment next week. LR is preempted this week for the CMAs and when it’s set to return on November 8th, The Voice will be airing Thu at 8 that night, to give it another headache. After getting a 1.3 this week, followed by a preemption and then returning opposite the 2 biggest shows on TV and football, yeah that seems like a recipe for disaster. Maybe that night (11/8) ABC airs a Greys rerun at 8 or even a new PP and then on Tue (11/15) at 10 ABC can try Last Resort at 10 and promote the next new ep, 2 days later in its regular slot on Thu (no Voice that night). The following Thu is Thanksgiving and LR would be preempted anyway. These 2 airings in two days would test the true potential of LR without really upending the schedule and will give ABC a better idea of what they have on a show they clearly want to work. If it manages to do well, or better on Tue, ABC can move it there.