We're more than a month into the new broadcast TV season and we've already got two big hits, one successful comeback and one early Season 2 renewal. With the fractured live viewing landscape and greater import on time-shifted numbers, the TV graveyard doesn't populate with new members in the fall at the same rate as it used to anymore. But there are two from the new crop that are currently in purgatory (sorry, Ten Days in the Valley and Me, Myself & I).
But how's everyone doing otherwise? With the exception of CBS' remake of S.W.A.T., which just premiered Nov. 2, and The Big Bang Theory prequel spin-off Young Sheldon, which aired its second episode that same night, all of the other new series have had a few weeks to (try to) settle in and prove themselves and gain fans. So what's working, what's doing OK and what's not so far?
Airs: Mondays at 8:30/7:30c; moves to Mondays at 9:30/830 on Nov. 13
The Good: The sitcom, created by and starring everyone's favorite good guy Mark Feuerstein, and based on his life, is CBS' second-best performing new show behind Young Sheldon, averaging 6.8 million viewers and a 1.27 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic — a benefit of airing after The Big Bang Theory for its first four episodes.
The Bad: Crass and ridden with cheap, dated jokes, it's one of the most panned shows of the season and CBS seems to be phasing it out: It will shift to Me, Myself & I's vacated 9:30 slot on Nov. 13 to make way for the return of Man with a Plan, which is shaping up to be the network's new Rules of Engagement/Mike & Molly benchwarmer it taps when new comedies fail. 9JKL's numbers are all about context too, because its retention from Big Bang, which pulled 14.2 million and a 3.15 on Mondays, was poor. With the Big Bang halo gone now with its move to Thursdays (Kevin Can Wait is its new lead-in), those numbers will fall at an accelerated rate; in its first post-Big Bang outing, 9JKL dipped below 1.0 for the first time.
Prognosis: CBS will probably let it finish out its initial 13-episode order, but don't expect a full-season order. The network also has a new sitcom from Johnny Galecki, By the Book, waiting in the wings for midseason.
The Brave (NBC)
Airs: Mondays at 10/9c
The Good: One of the season's three new military entries, the Anne Heche-led series is a serviceable drama that's not doing the worst, but it's not doing the best either.
The Bad: With an average of 5.1 million and a 1.05, The Brave is NBC's worst-performing new show and the worst post-Voice lead-out since the network starting using the singing-competition show to launch new dramas in 2011 (all have received second seasons except State of Affairs). The Brave's numbers increase by about 64 percent with weeklong DVR ratings added, but you can't ignore the fact that it's getting demolished by The Good Doctor both in live and delayed viewing. Plus, does anyone care about this show? That's kind of apt for the generic blandness of even its action sequences. The buzzometer is at a zero compared to previous Voice boostees The Blacklist, Blindspot and Timeless, which accrued a devoted fan base even if the ratings weren't always there.
Prognosis: Unless The Brave starts to improve, it's not going to be long for this world. NBC also has a lot of shows on tap for midseason, including Jason Katims' Rise, which might get this cushy post-Voice slot.
Dynasty (The CW)
Airs: Wednesdays at 9/8c
The Good: The CW's reboot of the '80s soap for the Gossip Girl generation has all the ingredients for a hit on paper: sexcapades, sordid affairs, backstabbing and trashy fun.
The Bad: It hasn't quite been able to put it together and often carries a whiff of "trying too hard." Dynasty's also in a battle with fellow newbie Valor for the season's worst-performing new show (average: 965,000, 0.27). Dynasty's doing better than Friday night buddies Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but those two carry the cachet of being critical darlings and are also, you know, delightful.
Prognosis: It's gonna come eight seasons shy of matching the original's nine-season run.
Airs: Sundays at 8:30/7:30c
The good: Adam Scott and Craig Robinson have great chemistry and the show has a fun array of guest stars. The paranormal comedy is holding its own opposite Sunday Night Football, averaging 3.07 million and a 1.2. It trails The Orville as Fox's second highest-rated new show and seems to finally be the answer to Fox's problematic Sunday-at-8:30 slot.
The bad: Ghosted is still finding its footing, which has manifested in some uneven tone and material that is only elevated by Scott's and Robinson's performances. Its pretty on par with The Gifted in live ratings, but it doesn't enjoy as big of a DVR lift as its fellow newbie.
Prognosis: Fox is patient with some of its comedies (The Last Man on Earth, The Mick) and not so much with others (please observe a moment of silence for The Grinder), but Ghosted will probably fall in the former category.
The Gifted (Fox)
Airs: Mondays at 9/8c
The good: In the Marvel-off with Inhumans, The Gifted is the clear winner. Its grounded, topical storytelling is a departure from the usual effects-heavy superhero fare and it hasn't leaned too heavily into the X-Men of it all. The show's live numbers aren't fantastic (average: 3.78 million, 1.18), but it out-performs lead-in Lucifer and makes huge gains in time-shifted viewing every week, routinely doubling each measure. It's also proving to be a worthy alternative to all the reality TV (Dancing with the Stars, The Voice) and comedy (CBS) dominating Mondays.
The bad: The Gifted has thus far primarily focused on the leads, rendering the other mutants as set dressing. The show might also want to invest in a new medical consultant to make some of its medical procedures remotely plausible. And though it's given Fox a much-needed jolt on Mondays, The Gifted hasn't quite become the breakout hit the network had hoped it would be.
Prognosis: Totally safe. Fox renewed The Exorcist; it's won't be dumb enough to let The Gifted go.
The Good Doctor (ABC)
Airs: Mondays at 10/9c
The good: The new hit medical drama of the season, which wouldn't work without Freddie Highmore's excellent performance, is hitting the same sweet spot This Is Us did last year. It has been strong out of the gate and has barely lost eyeballs, averaging 10.7 million and a 2.0. With DVR numbers added, it's the most-watched drama of the season, with 17.4 million, eclipsing This Is Us and NCIS. It also trumped The Big Bang Theory in its third week to become the most-watched show of the week with DVR figures added. It might be doing even better if it aired earlier, but ABC's pre-10 p.m. slots are basically all locked up during the week with its comedy block and TGIT stalwarts (and there's no way ABC would ever shift this to Fridays).
The bad: The biggest gripe among The Good Doctor's detractors is that it's too sentimental. The show is not as interesting when Highmore isn't onscreen, but it has started shading in the other characters more, which will go a long way in building it out beyond The Freddie Highmore Show (even though that's what it is).
Prognosis: It received a full-season order the day after its second episode aired. Early second-season renewal coming in 3... 2...
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (ABC)
Airs: Tuesdays at 10/9c
The good: The quirky, breezy drama, which pulls in 3.3 million and a 0.78, is certainly not the worst performer ABC has had in its cursed Tuesdays-at-10 slot — not yet anyway. Plus, we're always here for Jason Ritter on our screens.
The bad: For someone who's supposed to be guiding Kevin toward spiritual enlightenment, Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) treats him like crap, as does everyone else in town. Yeah, Kevin was an ass before the show, but it's a tired cycle that just makes it look like the writers don't know where they're going with this. And while its rivals NCIS: New Orleans and Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders have been holding steady, Kevin has been dropping each week and is only a modest DVR performer. It's not doing as poorly as Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did in the slot by last season's end, but Kevin doesn't have the benefit of being a corporate baby.
Prognosis: It'll likely be another casualty of ABC's Tuesday death slot.
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC)
Airs: Tuesdays at 10/9c
The good: After suffering a big drop in its second week, the series has stabilized around 4.9 million and a 1.1. And since it's an anthology series, no matter how low it might go, it'll get to finish its run (it wraps Nov. 14). Oh, and Edie Falco is just as phenomenal as you'd expect.
The bad: Dick Wolf's foray into non-fiction is hardly the second coming of American Crime Story. True Crime is not as deep or as well made. A second season has not yet been ordered and Wolf hasn't settled on a new old case yet. But the good thing about an anthology series is you get to start fresh every time — perhaps with a new timeslot too. It makes sense on paper for NBC to want to launch this behind its biggest show, This Is Us, but the programs are so tonally different. It's quite an adjustment to go from crying about Jack's possible death in a house fire to two kids murdering their parents.
Prognosis: A new season with a new case will probably happen, even if it's not on next fall season.
Marvel's Inhumans (ABC)
Airs: Fridays at 9/8c
The good: Uh... it's in the Marvel family.
The bad: Um, everything. Inhumans, which follows the titular species that were first introduced in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, has been an abomination since the beginning. #neverforget that this was originally supposed to be a movie before it was scrapped and reimagined as a series. Marvel poured a bunch of money into this big-budget catastrophe that got an IMAX launch, where it earned a measly $3 million, ahead of its TV debut — something the IMAX CEO later regretted. It hasn't even cracked a 1.0 rating in its Friday slot, where you have more leeway, and ABC has been promoting it as a limited series, which means they can forget this ever happened after its eighth and final episode airs next week. Somewhere Tim Allen is seething.
Prognosis: Think of it this way, you can totally commit to The Gifted.
The Mayor (ABC)
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c
The good: The topical comedy — celebrity runs for office for sh--s and giggles, actually wins — is a charmer with a lot of laughs and heart, like all good ABC comedies. And it's made Lea Michele likable.
The bad: It's basically the best new show no one is watching. The Daveed Diggs-produced series has averaged 3.16 million and a 0.91 in the lead-out spot on ABC's Tuesday comedy lineup. It's the apple in the bag of oranges that is ABC's slate of family comedies, which might hurt it, but it's good, guys! And it has one thing we definitely need more of: original music.
Prognosis: Sadly, not good if its ratings keep dropping. ABC also has two midseason comedies on deck it can easily swap in.
Me, Myself & I (CBS)
Airs: pulled from schedule on Nov. 1; aired Mondays at 9:30/8:30c
The good: The multi-generational comedy is loaded with talent — John Larroquette, Bobby Moynihan, It star Jack Dylan Grazer — and an ambitious concept — following one man through three points in his life (played by the aforementioned stars) — that has, er, had potential.
The bad: CBS has shelved it for the time being with the intention to air its remaining episodes, unofficially making Me, Myself & I the first cancellation of the season that's not a limited series. Other networks might not mind Me, Myself & I's 4.9 million and 1.01 average, but it's low by CBS standards and the show doesn't get much of a DVR lift. It's also produced by an outside studio (Warner Bros.) rather than in-house like 9JKL, which makes it that much easier for CBS to cut the cord.
Prognosis: More like Me, Myself & Bye.
The Orville (Fox)
Airs: Thursdays at 9/8c
The good: Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi dramedy adds big numbers in time-shifted viewing and it beat Scandal live in the demo last week. Its 4.8 million and 1.45 season average makes it Fox's top-rated and most-watched new show. It's also refreshing to see MacFarlane in earnest throwback mode.
The bad: The show needs to do a better job of having its delightful cast interact. Its ratings have also fluctuated wildly since premiering big on a Sunday (after football) before moving to its regular Thursday slot. It might finally start to be settling into a groove, but it has new rivals to contend with now that CBS' Thursday comedies have returned.
Prognosis: You can breathe a sigh of relief for a whole year. Not counting Will & Grace, which was renewed for next year before the season started, The Orville was the first new show to snag an early Season 2 pick-up.
Airs: Thursdays at 10/9c
The good: Shemar Moore is a charismatic star who can be both the action hero and the romantic lead. The show bowed to a respectable 7.5 million and a 1.3 on Nov. 2, making it the most-watched drama of the night.
The bad: S.W.A.T. is not as complex as it thinks it is. For every hot-button issue it touches — Black Lives Matter, police brutality — there's an over-the-top action set piece that immediately interrupts it; there's room for both, but the show hasn't found the balance yet. CBS has had issues filling its Thursday-at-10 berth the past few years, but its premiere numbers bode well.
Prognosis: Since it just premiered, there's not enough data yet on S.W.A.T., but if it keeps its premiere numbers up, it'll be sticking around.
SEAL Team (CBS)
Airs: Wednesdays at 9/8c
The good: SEAL Team is a low-key hit for CBS, averaging 8.06 million and a 1.2 to be its top new drama. It also confirms David Boreanaz TV's most reliable star. The man has had 20 straight years and counting of regular series work!
The bad: It's still very much a competent, by-the-books procedural in CBS' wheelhouse, which is fine for the network but still sorta meh. You can almost picture this as the start of another dependable CBS franchise.
Prognosis: It got a full-season order after two episodes and at this point is looking good for a second season.
Ten Days in the Valley (ABC)
Airs: moving to Saturdays with on Dec. 16 with two episodes starting at 9/8c; previously aired Sundays at 10/9c
The good: Ten Days, which follows a TV producer whose daughter goes missing, isn't a revolutionary mystery series by any means, but it's solid enough, and Kyra Sedgwick is predictably fantastic. It's also a limited series that will get to finish its run and, well, that's about it.
The bad: Sedgwick knew this was coming. Between the shoddy promotion, lack of awareness and tough timeslot, Ten Days was doomed to fail. It never cracked a 1.0 in the demo and was only trending downward. The final nail came when ABC announced it'll burn off the remaining episodes on Saturdays starting in December.
Will & Grace (NBC)
Airs: Thursdays at 9/8c
The good: OK, Will & Grace is technically not a "new" show, but there was no guarantee that people would tune in again 11 years after it went off the air (see: Heroes Reborn) or that it'd even be as good. But it's surprised on both fronts, meticulously updated to address current issues with the same snappy humor, and after a huge turnout for its premiere that has since come back down to earth, it's NBC's top comedy (7.5 million, 2.06) and No. 2 show behind This Is Us, and the No. 2 "new" comedy behind Young Sheldon.
The bad news: In a larger sense for NBC, how long will this reboot go on for? It's doing great right now, but will viewers get fatigued? The original lasted eight seasons and it's hard to imagine the quartet of stars having another long run like that in them.
Prognosis: The show was renewed for a 10th season in August, before the reboot even premiered. NBC will want to stay in the Will & Grace game as long as it can.
Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS)
Airs: Sundays at 8/7c
The good: Of the recent slate of "rich guy trying to reform the system with high-tech gadgetry," Wisdom has been doing OK numbers (7.8 million, 1.04) opposite football and after it (sometimes with delays). It's also on par with lead-out NCIS: Los Angeles.
The bad: It's the poor man's version of Person of Interest without the nuance. Wisdom rests on the ridiculous, irresponsible premise that crime-solving on the internet and social media mob justice are terrific ideas. Plus, with the recent sexual harassment allegations — and possibly more to come — against Jeremy Piven, CBS might want to distance itself from him; The Late Show with Stephen Colbert already dropped him as a guest.
Prognosis: Before those allegations, there was a 50-50 chance of survival. Now? You're likely looking at a one-and-done.
Valor (The CW)
Airs: Mondays at 9/8c
The good: It has pretty people in suspiciously well-tailored military uniforms? With 1 million and a 0.22, it's not the worst-performing of The CW's shows.
The bad: But it's getting there. Give The CW credit for trying something different with a serialized (but still sexy!) conspiracy thriller, but it's clear the military soap is not a good fit for the home of superheroes and supernatural beings.
Prognosis: Bad. The CW's probably already focusing on launching Black Lightning.
Young Sheldon (CBS)
Airs: Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c
The good: The Big Bang Theory prequel enjoyed a gigantic sampling — 17.2 million, 3.8 — with its one-episode sneak peek on Sept. 25. Its timeslot premiere kicked off Nov. 2 to 13.3 million and a 2.4, which means CBS has finally found its Big Bang lead-out. Iain Armitage, as precocious as his alter ego, is perfectly cast. Zoe Perry, as Sheldon's mom Mary, brings the same warm toughness as her real-life mom Laurie Metcalf does on Big Bang, and Raegan Revord, as his twin sister Missy, is the show's secret weapon.
The bad: Ratings-wise, not much so far. But it would behoove the show itself to focus more on the Coopers than Sheldon, who we know hasn't changed much almost 30 years later.
Prognosis: The series got a full-season order after its boffo series premiere. Young Sheldon will live long and prosper like his idol Spock.