Ratings Bubble Report: Are there sunny skies ahead for Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Shades of Blue’?

NBC has had a few problems across their schedule over the years, but few have been anywhere close to as brutal as trying to find a show that actually functions Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. “ER” is probably their last series to fully work there, and whether it be “Do No Harm,” “The Player,” or a dozen or so other shows, they’ve all failed to get a big audience.

This is why the network has some hopes in “Shades of Blue.” This is a chance for them to have something close to a hit, and they have serious star power courtesy of Jennifer Lopez, coming to TV for a scripted role for the first time in a long time. While the show delivered some very-solid ratings in its premiere, is there something in the numbers right now to make us think a season 2 is possible? We’re looking forward to diving into this further as a part of our latest Ratings Bubble Report story now!

The good news – That 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic that the series drew in the premiere is the best NBC has done in this timeslot all season, and it was easily enough to allow them to be #1 in the timeslot. They’ll probably be unchallenged here for at least a couple of weeks, at least until “How to Get Away with Murder” returns. The show is also killing it in the DVR ratings data so far, and while we’re only three episodes in, so far we’re seeing some signs that there is a ton of public interest out there.

Here’s the real question: Is “Shades of Blue” really meant to be a limited series? We feel like it’s going to have a definite end to season 1, but at the same time we also feel like the network would be open to making more if the ratings are solid and Lopez is interested. (We’ve seen her schedule for her Las Vegas residence, and right now it only runs until June.)

The bad news – While the show gained some of it back, “Shades of Blue” lost over 25% of its audience in week 2 and its most-recent rating is a 1.4. While that’s probably enough to at least have it in the conversation for a renewal, it cannot afford to drop more than another tenth or two to have what we’d consider to be a series chance. If the season ends around a 1.0, it will be easy for NBC to just not order any more with the “it was meant to be self-contained” argument.

Renewal odds – Could go either way. It’s too early to tell, but for now we can envision scenarios both where the show comes back and also where it ends. Its ratings are not great enough for it to be a smash hit, but it is also not a disaster.

Do you think that “Shades of Blue” should return for another year?

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