As we get closer to New Amsterdam premiering on NBC Tuesday night, we come bearing many different questions at the moment. One of the simplest ones is this: Are we going to see this show get off to a great start?
It’s pretty clear on the surface here that NBC has a lot of faith in New Amsterdam as a series, and for good reason. This is a medical drama that is coming on at a time when a lot of medical dramas are being rather successful. Beyond that, it’s also got a familiar face in Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) as the lead. It’s also got the best lead-in that the network has at the moment in This Is Us — this was a lead-in that was able to help out Chicago Med when it aired here last year. For some evidence, consider this: The first episode posted a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic, and the season as a whole posted a 1.2 on average. That’s not bad for a show airing at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, especially one that didn’t premiere in September as the typical fall network series does.
With all of this in mind, plus New Amsterdam being a new show (which tends to lift premiere ratings), NBC is probably hoping for a premiere in the 1.4 to 1.6 range. This gives the series a little bit of wiggle room in the event that there are some viewers who decide to bail on the series after the week or tow. This is no indictment on the quality of New Amsterdam (it’s very much an engaging premiere), but rather what tends to happen with new series in general.
If New Amsterdam averages around the same thing that Chicago Med did last year, it’s fair to expect that it will be renewed for a second season. We want to have hope that it will, but come episode 4 or 5 this coming season, we’ll probably get a clearer picture of this very thing. The best-case scenario we foresee is the show getting about a 1.8 in the premiere; if that happens, executives will be off somewhere popping champagne and dancing around their offices.
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