Yet, to go along with this, sometimes there can be a nomadic quality to being a part of a show itself. There are some trials and tribulations that stem from having cast changes, timeslot changes, or varying expectations in a story. Preserving your audience in the midst of great change can prove challenging. It’s a windstorm that blows over a number of quality programs … but it may not be blowing over the two series at the heart of this story in The Blacklist season 6 and MacGyver season 3.
Within this piece, let’s pull out our magnifying glass and discuss why.
The story of The Blacklist – The first episode of Friday’s two-hour event drew a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic (tying its best Friday rating of the season), and then also a season-high total of 4.3 million viewers. That’s a larger total number than the special season premiere, which came your way on a Thursday. The impressive nature of this stems from consistency — moving to Friday nights is a daunting task. This used to be a graveyard, lined with headstones of shows that, for one reason or another, were not quite able to make it.
The Blacklist has emerged from that rubble, still standing and still hopeful for the future. While its numbers may be down on Fridays, the first episode last night was a nice improvement on the recent performance of Blindspot in that timeslot. A season 7 is still in the cards; it mostly comes down to whether NBC and studio Sony want to fight to make it happen.
(If you missed it last night, we discuss the big reveals of The Blacklist over here — there is also a video at the bottom of this article worth watching. Enjoy that, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube, and remember to visit our official series playlist.)
The stability of MacGyver – When George Eads departed the CBS series, there was admittedly a cause for concern. The show was losing arguably one of its most well-known actors — or, at the very least, the veteran with the most scripted TV experience. Would viewers accept the new version, one where Levy Tran is now in the role of partner/bodyguard? To date, they seem to be doing just that. Last night’s new episode generated a 0.8 rating, even with the best total of the season, and over 6.5 million viewers. There are only three episodes this season that have performed better in the latter measurement, and those were the final episodes featuring Eads as a regular.
Are these shows underdog stories?
If you think back to their pilots, their star power, or, in the case of the latter, its television prestige, you would answer this question with a resounding “no.” Yet, these are Friday shows, and any show that can withstand the absence of viewers or attention from the mainstream is a beautiful underdog story worth getting behind. We want to rally behind these shows and have hope for something beautiful on the other side of the horizon for them. Even if we do not learn the future fate for weeks, they should be commended for their commitment to storytelling and understanding precisely what it is that viewers do want.
Are these two shows underdog stories to you, and do you like how they’ve been able to withstand the difficult quagmire that is Friday-night television viewing? Be sure to share in the comments at the bottom of this article. (Photo: NBC.)