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The 2015-16 Freshmen Class and Bleeding Audiences: A Look At The Trends

The 2015-16 broadcast TV freshmen class was widely seen as underwhelming. Shows that started with promise lost their buzz, and those which started modest didn't grow. So, it's time now to take a look into each show's audience loss from its premiere to its finale. I will not be counting Containment, as its season hasn't concluded. I will include shows that were pulled from the schedule, even if they will be burned off at a later date.

ABC
Blood & Oil
Premiere: 1.4
Finale: 0.8
Trend: -43%

Quantico
Premiere: 1.9
Finale: 1.0
Trend: -47%

The Muppets
Premiere: 2.9
Finale: 0.9
Trend: -69%

Dr Ken
Premiere: 1.5
Finale: 0.9
Trend: -40%

Wicked City
Premiere: 0.9
Finale: 0.4 (pulled from the schedule)
Trend: -56%

The Real O'Neals
Premiere: 1.8
Finale: 1.1
Trend: -39%

Of Kings and Prophets
Premiere: 0.8
Finale: 0.5 (also known as the 2nd episode)
Trend: -37%

The Family
Premiere: 1.5
Finale: 0.8
Trend: -47%

The Catch
Premiere: 1.2
Finale: 0.8
Trend: -33%

CBS
Supergirl
Premiere: 3.1
Finale: 1.3
Trend: -58%

Limitless
Premiere: 1.9
Finale: 1.1
Trend: -42%

Code Black
Premiere: 1.5
Finale: 1.2
Trend: -20%

Life in Pieces
Premiere: 2.6
Finale: 1.7
Trend: -35%

Angel from Hell
Premiere: 1.6
Finale: 1.4 (pulled from the schedule)
Trend: -12%

Rush Hour
Premiere: 1.1
Finale: 0.9
Trend: -18%

Criminal Minds; Beyond Borders
Premiere: 1.6
Finale: 1.0
Trend: -37%

The CW
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Premiere: 0.3
Finale: 0.3
Trend: +/- 0%

DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Premiere: 1.2
Finale: 0.7
Trend: -42%

FOX
Minority Report
Premiere: 1.1
Finale: 0.7
Trend: -36%

Grandfathered
Premiere: 1.5
Finale: 0.6
Trend: -60%

The Grinder
Premiere: 1.5
Finale: 0.6
Trend: -60%

Scream Queens
Premiere: 1.7
Finale: 0.9
Trend: -47%

Rosewood
Premiere: 2.4
Finale: 0.8
Trend: -66%

Lucifer
Premiere: 2.4
Finale: 1.3
Trend: -46%

Second Chance
Premiere: 1.2
Finale: 0.5
Trend: -58%

Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life
Premiere: 1.2
Latest: 0.3
Trend: -75%

Bordertown
Premiere: 1.1
Finale: 0.4
Trend: -64%

NBC
Blindspot
Premiere: 3.1
Finale: 1.3
Trend: -58%

Chicago Med
Premiere: 2.2
Finale: 1.6
Trend: -27%

The Player
Premiere: 1.2
Finale: 0.8
Trend: -33%

Truth Be Told
Premiere: 0.7
Finale: 0.4 (Christmas burnoff; time slot finale was a 0.6)
Trend: -43%

Crowded
Premiere: 1.7
Finale: 0.4
Trend: -76%

Heartbeat
Premiere: 1.4
Finale: 0.7
Trend: -50%

Game of Silence
Premiere: 1.4
Finale: 0.6
Trend: -57%

Shades of Blue
Premiere: 1.8
Finale: 1.1
Trend: -39%

You, Me, and the Apocalypse
Premiere: 1.2
Finale: 0.6
Trend: -50%

Superstore
Premiere: 2.0
Finale: 1.4
Trend: -30%

Telenovela
Premiere: 1.4
Finale: 0.9
Trend: -36%

Thoughts
Most shows lose a significant portion of their audience after their premiere, it's just natural in television viewing experiences. Viewers will sample a show, but that is more a product of good advertising and time slot exposure than the quality of the show itself. Viewer fatigue was very evident
this season, though. I would argue that losing less than 30% of an audience is very respectable, but losing more than 40% from the premiere to the finale is a cause of concern.

Supergirl went from a 3.1 to a 1.3 in a season
The real question is if any show out of this class has long-term potential to grow, even in raw ratings. If you look at the biggest hits on television right now, most peaked in a season other than the first. That goes for the power shows Empire, The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, NCIS, Modern Family, even smaller hits like The Goldbergs and The Middle. Do we have anything out of this class? To me, Superstore and Chicago Med are the two most promising shows of the freshmen class, though unfortunately for them they definitely have their work cut out for them next season. Are the days of a show growing in raw ratings more or less over? We'll have to wait and find out next season.

Do you see any potential breakout hits out of this season's freshmen class? Because let's face it, a lot of these shows renewed had mediocre ratings. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!