|Avg. User Score||7.0|
|Ratings Rank *||3rd (tie)|
For the second consecutive season, ABC placed second among all broadcast networks in average Metascore for its new primetime programs. The network actually had the highest percentage (38%) of shows with generally positive critic reviews, however, and it led all competitors in average user score, helped by the fact that Metacritic site users, as a group, liked almost 77% of ABC's new shows.
ABC launched more new shows during the 2009-10 season than any other network, and five of those shows scored big with critics. (It may not sound like a lot, but it is.) One of those shows was the single-camera sitcom Modern Family 86 -- the best-reviewed new series on any network -- which has also proved to be a ratings hit in its first year. Most of the other new shows that you see below with yellow or red Metascores are unlikely to return next season, with the exception of Cougar Town 49, which has been renewed.
Overall ratings for the network, however, have been poor for the 2009-10 season. With four weeks officially remaining in the season, ABC is tied with NBC for third place in total viewers, and ranks 4th out of the five networks in viewership among adults aged 18-49. The alphabet network is also the only one of the four biggest networks to experience an overall ratings drop this season, with ratings down 4% so far.
|3||Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution||Reality (Non-Competitive)||71||9.5|
|6||Shark Tank||Reality Competition||55||6.9|
|12||The Deep End||Drama||40||7.4|
|Avg. User Score||6.5|
CBS (which, like Metacritic, is owned by CBS Corporation), didn't exactly wow critics with its slim slate of new shows during the 2009-10 season. The network's solitary freshman critical hit was the Julianna Margulies drama The Good Wife 76, which also rated highly with Metacritic users. Overall, CBS placed in the middle of the five networks for average Metascore of new programs, after finishing in first place (with a 58.5 average) in 2008-09. The network also finished in third place when ranked by average user score of new programs.
While they didn't receive uniformly positive reviews, two other first-year programs -- the reality series Undercover Boss 60 and the procedural NCIS: Los Angeles 59 -- were ratings hits for the network. Thanks to these solid newcomers, a stable of returning hits, and the Super Bowl, CBS had no problem repeating as the overall ratings champion during 2009-10. (The season still has four weeks remaining, but it is virtually impossible for another network to pass CBS at this point.)
|1||The Good Wife||Drama||76||8.1|
|2||Undercover Boss||Reality (Non-Competitive)||60||6.4|
|3||NCIS: Los Angeles||Drama||59||4.1|
|4||Accidentally on Purpose||Comedy||49||6.3|
|5||Three Rivers *||Drama||48||7.4|
|Avg. User Score||5.1|
The CW managed to pull off a hat trick during 2009-10, finishing a distant last in average Metascore, average user score, and total viewership among all five networks. Before you start thinking that the CW does this every year, keep in mind that the network's new shows during the previous season boasted an average Metascore of 51.3, which, while not stellar, was good enough for third place among the networks.
Like sister network CBS, the CW did manage to launch one new critically-praised series during the past year: the family drama Life Unexpected 69, which is on the bubble for renewal after receiving somewhat disappointing ratings during its short debut season. Critics didn't care for any of the CW's other new programs, although The Vampire Diaries 50 proved to be a hit, attracting the highest ratings for any series in the network's short history.
|3||The Vampire Diaries||Drama||50||5.7|
|4||The Beautiful Life: TBL *||Drama||41||5.1|
|5||Fly Girls||Reality (Non-Competitive)||39||4.5|
|6||High Society||Reality (Non-Competitive)||34||1.0|
|Avg. User Score||6.6|
Thanks to a pair of critically-praised series, Fox finished in first place among the five networks when ranked by average Metascore of new programs. Those two series -- the musical-comedy sensation Glee 77 and the graphic novel adaptation Human Target 70 -- also earned praise from Metacritic users, although fellow freshman program The Cleveland Show 57 apparently was the target of some Seth MacFarlane backlash among users, who voted their dislike of the animated series.
Fox canceled its other three freshman series after they performed poorly in the ratings (and the network may do the same to Human Target, whose fate is still to be determined). Overall, however, the network has seen its viewership rise this season when compared to 2008-09, and Fox currently finds itself in second place in total ratings and well ahead in first place among viewers aged 18-49.
|3||The Cleveland Show||Animation/Comedy||57||3.5|
|5||Sons of Tucson *||Comedy||53||6.8|
|6||Past Life *||Drama||43||7.2|
|Avg. User Score||6.1|
|Ratings Rank||3rd (tie)|
NBC's average Metascore of 52.3 (for its first-year programs) placed it fourth among all networks during 2009-10, which actually is an improvement: the network finished dead last the previous year, with an average score of 46.3.
Critics had generally positive comments about just two of the peacock network's freshman series: the sitcom Community 69 and the movie adaptation Parenthood 61, both of which have been renewed for a second season. Metacritic users also preferred Community to NBC's other first-year programs.
The network's ratings, dragged down by the failed Jay Leno at 10pm experiment, were also disappointing; NBC is currently tied with ABC for third place for the 2009-10 season, which has four weeks remaining. Subtract the Winter Olympics from the mix, and NBC drops to a distant fourth place.
|4||Who Do You Think You Are?||Reality (Non-Competitive)||53||8.0|
|5||The Jay Leno Show *||Talk||48||4.1|
|7||The Marriage Ref||Reality (Non-Competitive)||41||3.6|
|--||Minute to Win It||Game Show||n/a||n/a|
What are your favorites?
What are your picks for the best new shows of the 2009-10 season? What did the critics get right and wrong when first assessing these new programs? Let us know in the comments section below.