Given that tonight marks the season 1 finale of “The Good Place” on NBC, isn’t now as good a time as ever to assess the future of one of NBC’s funniest shows — and one of the best new shows of the season in general? It’s smart, it’s innovative, and above all, we love having a comedy this serialized on the air. The last thing that we want to see is it not on the schedule for another 13 or so episodes in the fall.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee at the moment that the show will be coming back. For the sake of this Ratings Bubble Report article, the goal is to do our best to make a case that resonates with both viewers and the network alike.
Let’s talk averages – So far, the first season is averaging a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic, and that is just in terms of live+same day figures. It’s doing far better when you factor in live+same day data, and it will continue to accumulate people in the weeks and months to come. Even though the average is somewhat front-loaded due to big premiere numbers, we do think that the performance since is still strong enough to justify a renewal. NBC is a network that has shown support previously to critically-acclaimed comedies pulling in solid ratings; they should do the same here.
Streaming potential – Given the heavily serialized nature of this show, it’s very well possible that prior to season 2 airing, there will be a lot of people who sit down and watch the entire first season in a day. Look at how heavily-serialized dramas like “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad” generated huge ratings bumps over time; it’s easy to see scenarios in which “The Good Place” does as well. It’s extremely funny, and it has enough drama underneath the comedy to keep you hooked on the story.
Marketable leads – Kristen Bell is a force of nature on her own, and someone who’s pretty incredible in any promotional environment you give her. Meanwhile, Ted Danson is a comedy icon. Having these two at the front of your series will draw people in from all over the world.
Further story potential – If you think back to some other shows executive-produced by Mike Schur, we’d argue that both “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Parks and Recreation” were even better in their second season than they were the first. Schur was also a co-producer on the first couple of seasons of “The Office” (he became a producer and co-executive producer later); season 2 of that show is one of our favorite seasons of any comedy series ever. (Go and watch “The Dundies,” “The Fire,” “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” “Christmas Party,” “Booze Cruise,” “The Injury,” and “Casino Night.”) Schur could make magic in season 2, and even surpass what he did this time now that everyone is more familiar with these characters.
While you can argue that there are some comedies out there with stronger live ratings, we’re not sure that any of them on network TV are bringing as much creativity to the table as “The Good Place” — or have as much potential moving forward. Here’s to hoping for a season 2 renewal.
Do you want to see a second season of “The Good Place”? Vote below, and click here for some further news on the series! (Photo: NBC.)