TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), a global leader in the advanced television entertainment market, announced the results of its 2014 Fall TV Survey. CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans is the new drama series viewers are most looking forward to, with FOX’s Batman prequel Gotham coming in second. Of these two dramas, Gotham’s base is in the 18-34 demographic coveted by ad buyers while NCIS: New Orleans is preferred by those in the 55-84 range. The most highly anticipated Fall TV sitcoms are Bad Judge on NBC, with 17 percent of the vote, and The McCarthys on CBS with 15 percent.
Awareness remains low for many of the new fall series, with the exception of the familiar NCIS franchise’s adding NCIS: New Orleans, a title 47 percent of respondents already know well. Twenty-six percent of the respondents report they are not familiar with any of the new broadcast series, while 31 percent are familiar with Gotham, 26 percent with ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder and 24 percent with CBS’s Madam Secretary. CW’s new superhero entry, The Flash, had only an 18 percent awareness overall, but 25 percent among men and among persons ages 18-34.
“Television series premiere all year round now, but there is still something exciting about the Fall Season,” said TiVo Chief Research Officer Jonathan Steuer. “As viewers begin to set their DVRs for these new offerings, what they’re most interested in watching provides invaluable insight into a specific show’s likelihood to be a ratings success or failure before the season even starts. The unique combination of survey data and data showing what viewers are already selecting to record offers a unique predictor of future success rates for individual programs, and reveals what shows are likely to resonate with viewers before the first episodes even air.”
The Big Screen Effect
An impressive 53 percent of those surveyed are looking forward to seeing Téa Leoni in her television series debut as Madame Secretary. No other actor comes close to that score. Debra Messing ranks second, with 22 percent of respondents anticipating her return to series TV in NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura.
Worth Every Penny…and Sheldon and Leonard
Thirty-five percent of all respondents report having missed CBS’s The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper more than any other television character over the summer. Not surprisingly, for the second year in a row The Big Bang Theory ranked as the number one cast that viewers are most excited to reconnect with, garnering a 29 percent score. It appears that CBS made a sound investment when they secured the cast of the sitcom for an additional three years.
The stars and producers of “NCIS: New Orleans” are betting that the crime drama’s setting, in one of America’s most distinctive cities, will exert its own magic with viewers.
“It’s really about the DNA of the city and the whole Gulf Coast,” said executive producer Jeffrey Lieber.
“The mysteries are sort of infused with a kind of culture and soul — which is not to say anything about ‘NCIS’ — but you feel the city in every beat and starting to inform the characters as well,” Lieber said during a panel discussion with TV critics.
“NCIS: New Orleans” is taped, both on location and at a studio, in the Big Easy and its surroundings. CBS offered viewers a taste last season, using a two-episode arc on “NCIS” to test its potential and then greenlighting the new series with star Scott Bakula.
It may have been months in production, but the final product was worth the wait as the invite-only crowd at the National World War II Museum on Wednesday (Sept. 17) gathered for the red-carpet premiere of “NCIS: New Orleans.”
Making an appearance on the red carpet were stars Scott Bakula (Dwayne Pride), Zoe McLellan (Meredith “Merri” Brody), Lucas Black (Christopher LaSalle), CCH Pounder (Dr. Loretta Wade), Rob Kerkovich (Sebastian Lund), and producers Gary Glasberg, James Hayman and Jeffrey Lieber. Other red carpet denizens were actor Steven Weber, who portrays City Councilman Douglas Hamilton in the premiere episode, and D’Wayne Swear, the retired veteran of the New Orleans NCIS office that Bakula’s character was based on. Swear is also a a consultant on the new show.
Rob Kerkovich, added to the “NCIS: New Orleans” cast in July, may have aced his audition because the idea of actually getting the part seemed like such a long shot. The “NCIS” spinoff is due to premiere at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 on WWL-TV. Kerkovich plays Sebastian Lund, a forensic scientist with the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office, and office-mate of Dr. Loretta Wade, played by CCH Pounder.
“At the time I got the audition, my wife had given birth to a baby like five weeks prior, so everything was very about-the-baby,” he said. “This was one of the first auditions I got right after that. It was hilarious. It’s frustrating how stereotypical the story is, because people always say, ‘Oh, if you don’t want the part, you get it.'”