The black hole that had been ABC’s Tuesday 10 PM time slot is getting ready to swallow another casualty, period thriller Wicked City. For the second time in the last few years, the network opted to replace a procedural about a medical examiner that was doing an OK business in the challenging time period with a serialized drama that crashed upon arrival.
In 2013, ABC canceled Body Of Proof after 3 seasons. Its successor, lottery drama Lucky 7, premiered to a 1.3 rating in 18-49 (Live+same day), then the lowest-rated fall drama premiere in ABC history. The show was quickly pulled from the schedule after dropping to a 0.7 in Week 2.
Two years later, ABC canceled Forever after one season. Its replacement, serial killer drama Wicked City, last night opened with a 0.9 in 18-49, and 3.3 million viewers, again the lowest ever fall drama premiere on ABC. (Breakout Quantico had been originally slated for the Tuesday 10 PM slot but was moved to Sundays when ABC pulled Of Kings And Prophets from the fall schedule, with Wicked City, which had undergone a major casting overhaul after the pilot, getting the Tuesday assignment).
Wicked City‘s premiere was down 47% from Forever‘s time slot premiere last fall and tied the all-time low L+SD rating for the supernatural procedural. Yes, last night was tough with big ratings for Game 1 of the World series on Fox and NBA opener on TNT. On the same night last year, airing opposite World Series Game 1, Forever pulled in a 1.2 in 18-49 and 5 million viewers.
The only upside for Wicked City, whose debut was the lowest-rated on the Big 4 this fall out outside of Friday, is that it held steady from the first to the second half-hour. Still, the mostly poorly reviewed series’ outlook is pretty grim. In addition to Lucky 7, the list of ABC casualties in the time slot that lasted just a few weeks each during the 2013-14 season include Killer Women and Mind Games.
Wicked City dropped 43% from its lead-in, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.4), which was down 7% from last week. ABC’s comedies were not affected by the sports competition. The Muppets (1.4) actually ticked up a tenth from its last original, as did Fresh Off The Boat (1.5) with an upward adjustment in the finals.
Also posting a gain was NBC drama Chicago Fire (1.9), which is settling in after a late launch, up 19% in its third airing to post season highs in 18-49 and total viewers (7.8 million) and take control of the Tuesday 10 PM hour. The Voice (2.5) and Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (1.1) were both down a tenth from last week. (The Voice was adjusted up a tenth to stay within a tenth from last week’s finals.)
Also slipping a tenth from last week was CBS veteran NCIS (2.0 in fast nationals, 2.1 in finals), while NCIS: New Orleans (1.6) and Limitless (1.4) were even. At the CW, The Flash (1.3) was down by a tenth in the fast nationals but climbed tenth to match its recent deliveries; iZombie (0.6) up by a tenth.