The Blacklist and …
The Blacklist. That’s it for NBC’s new fall show success stories. And that’s not to take anything away from The Blacklist — it’s doing swell. The James Spader drama’s ratings held steady this week with a fat 3.0 in the adult demo at 10 p.m. on Monday, and it ranks as TV’s most-watched new fall drama. The Voice lead-in — it almost goes without saying at this point — is a big part of its success. How big we’ll never know (we presume pretty big).
NBC also has Chicago Fire perking up its sophomore season. Chicago Fire — a firefighter soap nobody thought was going to work last year has been doing really well on Tuesday nights. But it’s probably not a coincidence that show also has a Voice lead-in.
Now a win is a win, even with a big lead-in. And NBC is the only network this fall that’s actually up in the adult demo — by 3 percent at this point– while everybody else is steady or down.
The other four shows NBC launched this fall — you know, the ones without The Voice throwing millions of viewers at them — have performed terribly. Bad-bad-bad-bad. Ironside tanked (canceled). Welcome to the Family imploded (canceled). The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World are running around with their hair on fire (both should be canceled, but probably won’t be). NBC’s Thursday should be used for compost.
So while NBC doesn’t desperately NEED another hit right-this-very-second like they have at this time in some previous years … it’s not a “NBC must save it’s fall!” situation … it would still be awfully nice to have. Especially if that mythical hit was successful without leaning on a Voice lead-in.
Now you clicked on this post because Dracula was in the headline so maybe I should actually get to that before you get annoyed (if you’re not annoyed already): Dracula! It premieres tonight after Grimm, and it’s the network’s last new show this fall.
Network polling normally gives insiders some sense of how a freshman show will open, but this is tricky with Dracula. Just imagine a pollster asking you: “Have you heard of Dracula?” Well, yes, that name does indeed sound familiar. So with a title like that, tracking “awareness” doesn’t tell you much. So its performance tonight is truly a mystery.
If Dracula flops, it will be a tad embarrassing for NBC since there really hasn’t been an unsuccessful vampire drama in years — HBO’s True Blood, The CW’s Vampire Diaries, Syfy’s Being Human, they’ve all worked. Even CBS’ Moonlight might have been a hit if the network had left it on another season (CBS cancelled it in 2008 riiiiiight before the film version of Twilight was released, whoops). NBC doesn’t want to be the network that managed to kill the vampire trend.
Yet if Dracula works — and it could; it’s pretty fun — NBC would be able to say to critics: “See? We’re maintaining our big reality show (The Voice), we launched a new hit drama (The Blacklist) AND we even launched a successful new show on the toughest night of the week — Friday, without a Voice crutch. So THERE. Sure, we still can’t make a successful new comedy if you put a gun to our heads, but who’s perfect?”
What do you think? Will Dracula work? Here’s all the trailers and a behind-the-scenes: