The broadcast networks have been remarkably patient this fall, trimming orders for underperforming new series but keeping them on the air until their episodes run out. That may change after freshman ABC drama Wicked City crashed and burned in its third outing last night, diving -43% from last week’s cancellation-level 0.7 adults 18-49 Live+same day rating to hit a 0.4. That is the lowest number for a Big 4 original telecast this fall. It also is believed to be a Big 4 low for a scripted original, tying NBC’s American Odyssey & A To Z and Fox’s Mulaney, who hit that low mark last season before getting yanked. It is doubtful that ABC would keep the dark thriller around at these levels either — last night Wicked City finished dead last among all English-language broadcast programs, getting beaten in the demo by both the CW series. It would be the latest casualty in ABC’s Tuesdays 10 PM time slot.
The rest of ABC Wednesday lineup also was down last night, with The Muppets (1.2, -14%), Fresh Off The Boat (1.3, -19%) and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.3, -7%) all tying L+SD series lows .
There was some good news last night too — a nice post-early renewal boost for NBC’s Chicago Fire. With a new two-hour Voice (2.7) as a lead-in vs. an hourlong clip show last week (2.0), the firefighter drama (2.1) grew +17% from last week to hit a season high and equal its best 18-49 L+SD result in a year. In total viewers (8.2 million), Chicago Fire has grown every week since the October 13 season premiere.
The CBS, Fox and the CW lineups were relatively steady. CBS’ NCIS (2.2) was off by a tenth from last week but may be adjusted up in the finals to end up even, NCIS: New Orleans (1.7) was down two tenths while Limitless (1.5) was flat. Fox’s Grandfathered (1.0) and The Grinder (0.8) were even, while Scream Queens (0.9) was off by a tenth. The CW’s The Flash (1.5) matched its season high, and iZombie (0.6) also was on par with last week while hitting a season high in adults 18-34 (0.7).
NBC won the night in 18-49 (2.5) , CBS was tops in viewers (11.9 million).