2014-2015 Network Series Grades

These “ratings” pertain only to series that a) I had programmed into my TiVo’s OnePass at some point this past season and b) aired on one of the five “basic” networks.

The Blacklist How to Get Away with Murder Person of Interest
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Arrow Backstrom
The Big Bang Theory Castle CSI
Elementary Forever The Goldbergs
Gotham Grey’s Anatomy Grimm
iZombie Last Man Standing Madam Secretary
The Mentalist The Middle Mike & Molly
Mom New Girl Parks and Recreation
Revenge  Scandal State of Affairs
The 100 A to Z Bad Judge
Bob’s Burgers Brooklyn Nine-Nine Family Guy
The Flash The Following The Mindy Project
Modern Family Once Upon a Time The Originals
Selfie Sleepy Hollow The Vampire Diaries
2 Broke Girls Agent Carter Bones
Gracepoint The Last Man on Earth The McCarthys
Marry Me NCIS One Big Happy
Constantine The Millers Scorpion

Some notes:

  • ABC‘s quality was very top-heavy, with 2/3 of its series rating better than Average.
  • CBS… was strange this year. They had 0 Average shows. Its series were either very impressive (8 upstairs, second only to ABC) or… the opposite (6 downstairs, doubleany other network’s total there).
  • The CW laid claim to the second-best score overall behind ABC thanks to no series rating less than Average.
  • Fox ruled the middle-ground, with a completely average average: 3 Above Average, 6 Average, and 3 Below Average. It was the only one of the “Big 4″ not to have a show earn an “-est” ending.
  • NBC was the only network to have a series in each category. It may have had 3 rather bad shows, but it also had 4 pretty good ones.

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Fall 2014 Viewing Schedule

Check out the pdf below for my fall viewing schedule for the basic networks. New Girl and The Mindy Project start tonight (Tuesday the 16th), but the official opening week of the new season starts next Monday the 22nd. The rest of the shows seen roll out between then and October 24th.

Italicized shows on the pdf grid indicate that I’m not sure if I’ll be watching them yet. Asterisked shows are not currently in their indicated time slots (2 Broke Girls returns on October 27th, the same week CBS Thursdays returns–October 30th–once football ends. State of Affairs takes over Monday nights on November 17th, at which time The Blacklist will go …to sleep until the Super Bowl.

TV Fall 2014.pdf

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New Shows I’ll Be Watching This Fall

I’m obviously psyched for @Gotham, and @CW_TheFlash, @HowToGetAwayABC, @GracepointFOX, and @NBCStateAffairs all look to be top-notch. Check out my complete analysis of the 23 scripted shows new to the basic networks in the pdf file below:


New Shows 2014 Viewing.pdf

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Network Series Awards for 2013-2014

Here I vote for the best shows on the networks during the span of time from September, 2013, through May, 2014.

Glossary of terms for individual awards:

  • MVP (Most Valuable Player) for best show
  • ROY (Rookie of the Year) for best first-year show
  • 6th (6th Man Award) for best show that started at midseason
  • OGDY (Only the Good Die Young) for the dumbest cancellation
  • HR (Honorable Mention) for the best shows that I couldn’t fit above


  • MVP: Scandal
  • ROY: The Goldbergs
  • 6th: Resurrection
  • OGDY: Trophy Wife
  • HR: Last Man Standing, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy


  • MVP: Person of Interest
  • ROY: The Crazy Ones*
  • 6th: Friends with Better Lives**
  • OGDY: The Crazy Ones*
  • HR: Elementary

The CW

  • MVP: Arrow
  • ROY: The 100
  • 6th: The 100
  • OGDY: The Tomorrow People
  • HR: The Vampire Diaries***


  • MVP: New Girl
  • ROY: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • 6th: Almost Human
  • OGDY: Raising Hope
  • HR: The Mindy Project, Sleepy Hollow


  • MVP: The Blacklist
  • ROY: The Blacklist
  • 6th: About a Boy
  • OGDY: Community
  • HR: Parks and Recreation, The Michael J. Fox Show


* There weren’t many options to choose from. TCOwas the “best” of the mediocre lot for both categories.

** The only midseason show I actually watched was Intelligence, which was so awful from a writing standpoint that I refuse to give it any awards, so I had to give this one to a show I didn’t watch but which I’d TiVo’d in anticipation of watching if it was picked up by CBS. Which is was not.

*** It wasn’t as good as previous years (the writers/producers seemed to change three times during the season as to which direction it wanted to point the series), but it was good enough to be the best from what was left to choose.

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Network Grades 2013-14

Grades for the Big 4 networks (ABCCBSFoxNBC) as well as The CW during the 2013-2014 television season

Scoring system (based on shows I watched at least once this past season; How I Met Your Mother and Nikita are not counted because they had already been told that this was their final season):

Network renewed a show that it should have: +10

Network renewed a show that it shouldn’t have: -5

Network didn’t renew a show that it should have: -15

Network didn’t renew a show that it shouldn’t have: +10

NBC (0.9 – 5th place; 3.1/4th last year)

Screen Shot 2014 05 12 at 3 47 33 PM


  • In what may be the dumbest decision in a slew of dumb decisions over the past few years, NBC cancelled Community three episodes shy of the magical 100-episode-count for syndication. They stick with it all this time… and cut it off just before that number’s hit. Morons.
  • The biggest out-of-the-box hit on any network last season—the one that helped get NBC off the mat in the first place—is now toast. Revolution was moved off of Mondays (after The Voice) and shuttled off to Wednesday, where it proceeded to shed viewers. This year’s breakout hit—The Blacklist—also aired on Mondays. NBC will be moving it to Thursdays starting in November. You’ve been warned, Mr. Reddington.
  • Last season’s comedy massacre continued this year with only one new comedy making it out alive: About a Boy. I’ll reiterate for those at NBC who are slow (i.e. the executives): comedies don’t burst onto the scene as megabits. You have to let them develop! Yanking a sitcom after one season does no one any good. Sure, there were some disasters in your crops the past two years. But your scythe-like mentality is killing your network. When Parks and Recreation ends next year, the oldest sitcom on the network would be the aforementioned Boy, which started in late February this year.

The CW (4.3, 4th place; 7.0/1st last year)

Screen Shot 2014 05 12 at 3 47 43 PM


  • It’s not listed here, because I stopped watching it two episodes into its first season, but… how is Beauty and the Beast still on the air?? Do the executives at The CW think that its an animated continuation of the hit movie? Though The Tomorrow People didn’t live up to its potential, it was still a better show than the one that stuck around. TTP is likely an expensive show to produce, what with all those special effects, and that was probably what prevented it from being given more airtime. [A few days after I typed this, The CW let it be known that BatB was renewed rather than TPP because of BatB’s strong online support. Despite fewer viewers, the fans were more fanatical for Beauty.]

ABC (5.0 – 2nd place; 1.8/5th last year)

Screen Shot 2014 05 12 at 5 52 00 PM


  • In its freshman season Suburgatory was a phenomenal show. They’d tried to switch things up a bit last season with the characters and which ones became regulars and which had reduced roles, and they were never able to recover, even though this season was better than last.
  • Both Trophy Wife and The Neighbors were great sitcoms. The latter was incredibly insightful and brilliantly satirical with consistently excellent tongue-in-cheek jokes regarding the show’s moves to different nights and being consistently on the cancellation bubble. The former had great character chemistry and should have received a second year. Big mistakes on both counts. At least the network kept The Goldbergs, although that’s probably in the same position as Neighbors was at the end of last year: get higher ratings in season 2 or get out.
  • The low-in-comparison-to-the-original quality of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland makes you wonder if they’ll even attempt another spin-off in the future. Probably best to stick with the mother ship and ensure it produces the highest quality possible throughout its run.

Fox (4.7 – 3rd place; 5.8/2nd last year)

Screen Shot 2014 05 12 at 3 49 00 PM


  • American Dad! isn’t completely cancelled. It will continue to air new episodes on TBS (starting in 2015, I believe).
  • Raising Hope was the one mistake the network made with cancellation. At least we got four mostly-strong years out of it. Oddly enough, all of the other true cancellations were first year shows. Which were pretty bad. And questionable decisions to even air in the first place.
  • Network executives must be kicking themselves for signing Glee on for a sixth season a while ago. The quality’s been low and all over the place since the main characters graduated from high school. It’s not that the new kids are bad, it’s more that the New York scenes necessarily took time away from developing the new characters. The good news for season six is that it’ll be all New York, all the time, which should help focus the writers and story lines for a solid conclusion to a once-dynamite series. …And have you noticed that the lip-synching has become truly horrendous in terms of its, you know, synching.

CBS (6.5, 1st place; 5.0/3rd last year)

Screen Shot 2014 05 12 at 3 48 49 PM



  • The network for the old people has so many shows that are getting long in the tooth. And they’re getting spin-offs. Both NCIS and CSI will have another member joining the family next season. The Los Angeles version of the former has never been anything special. If the New Orleans one ends up being stronger, I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS cuts LA to keep the franchise from getting watered down.
  • The sitcom situation is dire: Two and a Half Men will start its final season, The Millers and Mom are nothing special (although the latter improved substantially during the course of the season), their mid-to-late season replacements (Friends with Better Lives and Bad Teacher) never really had a chance, 2 Broke Girls has a horrible studio audience (and their writers aren’t great, either), and Mike & Molly is being held until midseason again. CBS has already cut an hour off their comedy total. With The Big Bang Theory standing as their only season-long perpetual laugh-fest, they’d better hope their new shows are winners.

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What Dave's Thinking