New Show Hit/Miss Spring 2017 - Trial & Error
What May Cause Trial & Error to be a Hit?
For its first episodes, Trial & Error gets the lead-in of the season finale of NBC's highest rated show. Following that, Trial & Error continues to get strong lead-in support with The Voice's Tuesday episodes. It is getting a platform on which it can succeed without trying too hard, compared to shows such as The Good Place and Powerless.
Trial & Error will be up against low-rated unscripted series People Icons and decently rated crime drama NCIS: New Orleans in its premiere. After that, it will be competing against ABC comedies, which will be in reruns for its first two weeks, and then will be original, but with decently rated Fresh Off the Boat and the new Imaginary Mary, new legal drama Bull, which is decently rated, and low-rated crime drama Bones (and later a revival of drama Prison Break, which ended on a rather low note). This competition will be easy to top.
Of the people who chose thumbs up or thumbs down on the official trailer for Trial & Error (at the time of the writing of this article), 96% chose thumbs up. By comparison, the official trailer for Great News has 90% thumbs up. If the show is, like the trailer, positively received by the audience, it is likely to drop very little over the course of its season.
What May Cause Trial & Error to be a Miss for NBC?
Comedy success on NBC is rare
Not counting summer, NBC renewed one new comedy in 2015-16 and 2013-14, and none in either 2014-15 or 2012-13. NBC has already renewed The Good Place, so Trial & Error succeeding and getting a renewal would make 2016-17 the first season where two or more new comedies were renewed by NBC since 2011-12, when Up All Night and Whitney were renewed. And both of those shows failed in their second seasons!
Not as workplace-centered as The Office, Superstore, and others
Yes, The Good Place worked, despite being heavily serialized and not a workplace comedy. However, that very well could have been due to it starring Kisten Bell, or due to it being created by Michael Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation and writer on The Office. The creators of Trial & Error have not worked on any recent NBC comedies, and they don't have a Kristen Bell, so what will save them?
This is Us viewers too emotional to sample
NBC's new big hit, This is Us, is known for being an emotional show, and since Tuesday's episode is the season finale, a highly emotional ending is to be expected. Will viewers be able to go from that to a comedy? Chicago Justice faced massive rejection in its Tuesday airing, with a lower rating than it had on Sunday with a lower lead-in. Trial & Error could face even more.
Low views on trailer
While it wins in reception, Trial & Error is losing to Great News in trailer views. One would think that the show premiering sooner would have an advantage here, but Great News has about 4 times the number of views (at the time of writing this article), with approximately 149,000, compared to around 37,000 for Trial & Error. People can't watch the show if they are unaware that it exists, and it seems way more people are aware of the existence of Great News than Trial & Error.
What to Expect for Trial & Error?
The low number of trailer views is highly concerning to me, and the emotion of This is Us and not being totally a workplace comedy could hurt Trial & Error as well. However, I think that the weakness of the competition will be able to do a lot. The question is: will it be able to do enough?
Which factors do you think will be the mos tin play in causing Trial & Error to be a hit or a miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments!