There are hundreds and hundreds of factors that no doubt contribute to whether a show makes it or not. When i say makes it, I’m talking about for one making it all the way through it’s first season and then into the second season. Let’s be honest, despite everything one factor that can’t be quantified or explained is how much luck goes into it all. It is certainly an element, especially when it comes to hits.
We’ll start with the shows that don’t make it through their first season. Every year there are inevitably shows that end up bombing within the first season. In fact, it’s usually a race to try to guess which show will be canceled first. It is interesting to analyze the various factors that lead to a show failing that quick. Generally with a show canceled early in the season, it has at least two of these factors: the premise doesn’t grab audiences, the trailer execution is not good, or the title is terrible. One of those things may not kill a show early if at all (except for execution). Those factors all contribute to getting people to watch that first episode. Aside from Empire, shows ratings decrease after their premiere. Thus a show that can’t pull in a solid audience night one is going to struggle because they are now fighting a battle with retention.
Once a show is watched, the initial batch of winners and losers are weeded out. The shows that don’t draw in the audience are out of the running and from then on it’s about how good the show is. This can range from how well it’s holding up to the promise that it offered audiences, but also how well it is improving. That’s the thing with pilots, they are always rough. There is just so much information to cram in that it can be difficult to introduce all the new elements of a world. That said a good pilot will be competent at that and most importantly leave a sign of hope for future episodes. It’s the following weeks that then become crucial. If a show had a slow start it, really needs solid episodes to keep the audience returning. While a show that premieres higher is capable of having a little bit of a falter before it stabilizes. Good episodes are key.
If a show is solid enough to make it through being canceled and can go through the first season it needs to make it to the second season. While the actual specifics as to what brings a show back are shielded behind walls we have an idea. The biggest thing is ratings because without ratings the networks don’t make money. That said, critical reception can sway a tettering show to the side of returning. There are a whole bunch of other factors, but truly ratings are the biggest thing.
What new shows have you enjoyed this season so far?