Fall TV by the Numbers: A Statistical Breakdown of This Season’s New Network TV Shows

It’s that time of year again: time to break out the TV Guide and get ready for a weekly battle with your DVR, because there’s just not enough room to record an entire marathon of The Vampire Diaries, and Last Resort, and the premiere of 30 Rock all at the same time. If you’re like me (addicted to TV, living vicariously through fictional characters, convinced that cake is a breakfast food, etc.), this is pretty much the most exciting time of the year, because you never know which new show could be your next obsession. Although, in my case, this excitement tends to transition into heartbreak pretty quickly, as I often fall in love with shows that inevitably get canceled. (RIP Lone Star, The Unusuals, Terriers, Better Off Ted…)

So how can you decide which new shows are worth watching and which ones are The Neighbors a waste of time? This year I’ve decided to take my evaluation of the season’s new crop of TV shows one step further with a statistical analysis based on a wide variety of factors, including genre, average character age, number of cumulative awards from the cast and creators, and whether or not anyone appears shirtless in the promo. (I think we all know what the most important factors are in choosing which shows to watch.) Here are the stats for the new network shows of the season calculated based on their previews and/or pilot episodes…

Comedies: 9

Dramas: 12

New Shows by Network:
• NBC: 6
• ABC: 5
• CBS: 4
• FOX: 3
• The CW: 3

Shows Created by Men: 15 ½
666 Park Avenue
• Partners
• Go On
• Revolution
• The Mob Doctor
• Vegas
• Animal Practice
• Guys with Kids
• Chicago Fire
• The Neighbors
• Arrow
• Elementary
• Last Resort
• Beauty and the Beast
• Malibu Country
• The New Normal
(created by Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler)

Shows Created by Women: 5 ½
The Mindy Project
• Emily Owens, M.D.
• Made in Jersey
• Ben and Kate
• Nashville
• The New Normal
(created by Ali Adler and Ryan Murphy)

Shows Featuring Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Characters: 5
The New Normal
• Partners
• Go On
• Chicago Fire
• Malibu Country

Shows Based on Books/Comic Books/Fairy Tales: 3
Beauty and the Beast
• Arrow
• Elementary

Shows Featuring Friday Night Lights Alumni: 2
Nashville (Connie Britton)
Mob Doctor (Zach Gilford)

Shows Featuring Partners: 4
• Ben and Kate
• Elementary
• Beauty and the Beast

Crime-Solving/Police Shows: 2
• Beauty and the Beast

Legal Dramas: 1
Made in Jersey

Shows Featuring Doctors as Main Characters: 5
The Mob Doctor
• The Mindy Project
• Emily Owens, M.D.
• Animal Practice
• Elementary

Shows Featuring Female Doctors as Main Characters: 4
The Mob Doctor
• The Mindy Project
• Emily Owens, M.D.
• Elementary

Shows Featuring the Mob: 2
The Mob Doctor
• Vegas

Shows with Previews Featuring Shirtless Men: 6
• Chicago Fire
• The New Normal
• The Mindy Project
• 666 Park Avenue
• Elementary

Shows with Previews Featuring Shirtless Women: 3
Ben and Kate
• 666 Park Avenue
• Made in Jersey

Shows Featuring Bow and Arrows: 2
• Revolution

Shows Featuring Precocious Young Girls Who Might Be More Mature Than Their Caretakers: 2
The New Normal
• Ben and Kate

Shows with Supernatural or Sci-Fi Elements: 4
666 Park Avenue–takes place in a haunted hotel
Beauty and the Beast–the “beast” is a victim of some Hulk-like government experiment
Revolution–may not qualify as “sci-fi,” but we’re not sure what caused the blackout yet, so who knows?
The Neighbors–aliens!

Shows Featuring Babies and/or Pregnancy: 2
Guys with Kids
• The New Normal

Shows Featuring Country Music: 2
• Malibu Country

Shows with Titles That Include the Name of a Place: 5
Chicago Fire
• Nashville
• Malibu Country
• Vegas
• Made in Jersey

Shows with Underlying Social Commentary: 4
Revolution–Watching a show that takes place in a world without electricity makes us realize just how much we depend on it.
The Neighbors (?)–This sitcom about a family who moves into a neighborhood of space aliens could be making a statement about learning to coexist with people of different cultures or lifestyles…or it might just be a ridiculous sitcom about aliens with no deeper meaning.
Last Resort–This new military drama doesn’t shy away from political themes and tough ethical issues.
The New Normal–Ryan Murphy’s latest show represents America’s evolving definition of family, which has grown to include same-sex parents, surrogate mothers, and bigoted grandmothers.

Shows That Take Place in Another Era: 1
Vegas–The new CBS drama takes place in the 1960s.

Shows with Premises That Sound Like They’re from Another Era: 5
Guys With Kids–They should just call it Three Men and Three Babies.
Partners–This laugh-track heavy sitcom about a pair of best friends–one of whom is gay–looks like it’s straight out of the 90s.
The Neighbors–A little bit Mork & Mindy, a little bit Coneheads, and a lot of outdated family dynamics, as seen in the promo, when Papa Weaver tells his wife, “I am the man of this house, and you’re the woman. And what I say goes.” Of course, he immediately backpedals when he sees his wife giving him the death glare. Note to ABC: This was barely funny when Home Improvement did it.
Malibu Country–This is the same general concept as Reba, the country singer’s other sitcom that aired from 2001-2007.
Beauty and the Beast–This one is a remake of the 1987 series starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman, but the premise still sounds like the freshest of these 5 shows.

Shows Including at Least One Non-White Cast Member: 21 out of 21–Way to go, everyone! Except not really, because you shouldn’t be congratulated on meeting the bare minimum of what’s acceptable. Still, no egregious oversights this season, but it’s a little early to tell.

Average Ages of Main Cast: (*includes one or more characters under 18)
666 Park Avenue: 39.3
Partners: 32
Revolution: 39.4*
Ben and Kate: 26*
The Mob Doctor: 40.8
Vegas: 48
The Mindy Project: 33.5
The New Normal: 34.3*
Go On: 35.4
Emily Owens, M.D.: 31.7
Animal Practice: 38
Guys with Kids: 35.3
Chicago Fire: 33
The Neighbors: 32*
Nashville: 39.6
Arrow: 29.2
Elementary: 45
Last Resort: 36
Beauty and the Beast: 28
Made in Jersey: 38.7
Malibu Country: 42*
For a visual representation, check out this graph I created.

Cumulative Awards:
Ben and Kate:
1 Oscar–Nat Faxon (Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants)

666 Park Avenue:
1 Emmy–Terry O’Quinn (Lost)
5 Emmy nominations–2 more for O’Quinn, 3 for Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)

1 Emmy each for creators David Kohan and Matt Mutchnick, who won for their previous show Will & Grace

2 Emmys–executive producer J.J. Abrams (Lost)
2 Emmy nominations–1 for Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), and 1 for Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost)

The Mob Doctor:
2 Emmys–1 for actor Zeljko Ivanek (Damages), 1 for director/producer Michael Dinner (The Wonder Years)
2 Emmy nominations–executive producer Josh Berman (CSI)

Go On:
1 Emmy–executive producer Scott Silveri (Friends)
7 Emmy nominations–3 more for Silveri, 4 for Matthew Perry (Friends)

The New Normal:
2 Emmys–1 for Ryan Murphy (for directing Glee), and 1 for Ellen Barkin (Before Women Had Wings)
1 Grammy–Andrew Rannells (Book of Mormon)
1 Tony nomination–Rannells

The Mindy Project:
6 Emmy nominations–Mindy Kaling (The Office)

Emily Owens, M.D.:
2 Teen Choice Award Nominations–Michael Rady (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)
2 Soap Opera Digest Award Nominations–Justin Hartley (Passions)

Animal Practice:
1 Emmy nomination–Justin Kirk (Angels in America)
1 Golden Globe nomination–Justin Kirk (Weeds)

Guys with Kids:
14 Emmys–1 for creator/exec producer Jimmy Fallon (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), and a whopping 13 for executive producer Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live)

Chicago Fire:
2 Emmys–executive producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order)
1 Grammy each for Wolf and fellow executive producer Peter Jankowski for American Masters

The Neighbors: 0

1 Oscar–Callie Khouri (Best Screenplay, Thelma & Louise)
1 Golden Globe–Khouri
1 Emmy–Powers Boothe (Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones)
3 Emmy nominations–Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story)
5 Daytime Emmys–Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital)
3 Teen Choice Awards–Hayden Panettiere

Arrow: 0

4 Emmy nominations–1 for Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal), 2 nominations for Aidan Quinn (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and An Early Frost), and 1 for Michael Cuesta (for directing Homeland)

Last Resort:
2 Emmys–Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street, Thief)
6 Emmy nominations–5 more for Braugher, plus 1 for Shawn Ryan (for writing on The Shield)

Beauty and the Beast:
3 Emmy nominations–producer Ron Koslow earned 3 nominations for the original 1987 Beauty and the Beast

Made in Jersey:
4 Emmys–producer Kevin Falls (The West Wing)

Malibu Country:
4 Emmys–Lily Tomlin
3 Grammys–2 for Reba, and 1 for Tomlin (Best Comedy Album: This Is a Recording)
1 Tony–Tomlin (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe)
1 Oscar nomination–Lily Tomlin (Nashville)

1 Oscar nomination–writer/executive producer Nicholas Pileggi got a screenplay nod for adapting his book Goodfellas with Martin Scorsese
1 Golden Globe–Michael Chiklis (The Shield)
1 Emmy–Chiklis (The Shield)
2 Emmy nominations–1 for Chiklis, and 1 for Dennis Quaid (The Special Relationship)

Strangely enough, some of the shows with the most awards to their names look the least promising. Reba’s Malibu Country has the power of Grammy winner Reba and Emmy-winning comedian Lily Tomlin, while the Jimmy Fallon-produced Guys with Kids has executive producer Lorne Michael’s 13 SNL Emmys behind it. And no one can say they’re not impressed by Nashville star Hayden Panettiere’s three Teen Choice Awards. But as we’ve seen in the past, awards and acclaim won’t keep a show on the air unless people actually watch it. What factors will most affect your decision of what to watch this season?


All facts and figures taken from Wikipedia and IMDb

*Originally published on HuffingtonPost.com


Posted on September 20, 2012, in Television, TV Premiere and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I also get frustrated on TV shows that were cut or ended so quickly.Very good idea.I like your post.In my opinion the most common factor that can affect my decision of what to watch this season is the story of the show.

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