With ratings slipping, ABC’s new genre drama “No Ordinary Family” could see a new ray of hope late next month when the network shuffles its schedule a little bit, and gives the Michael Chiklis series a strong lead-in boost.
ABC will move “Family” back an hour to 9 p.m. ET, filling a time slot, taking over the space currently held by the “Dancing With the Stars” results show, which so far has been doubling “Family’s” ratings. That will shift “Dancing” to the 8 p.m. timeslot, allowing ABC’s Tuesday to be “Dancing,” “Family” and the new drama “Detroit 1-8-7.”
There are no expectations that “Family” will get too much of a boost, but having a strong lead-in with twice its average audience could help introduce the show to more viewers, and potentially start kicking up its audience base.
So far, ABC has been giving “Family” a chance, ordering a few additional scripts. In the 8 p.m. hour, “Family” has been up against “NCIS” on CBS, television’s highest-rated scripted drama, as well as “Glee,” which has been Fox’s No. 1 program so far this season. By shifting the schedule around a bit, “Family” would instead go head-to-head with “NCIS: Los Angeles,” which while dominates scripted programming as well, typically gets 17 percent fewer viewers than NCIS.
Fox also loses quite a bit of viewers into the 9 p.m. hour, falling 67 percent to a pair of comedies — with at least one of them on the verge of cancellation.
The only other real competition in the hour is from NBC with its second hour of “Biggest Loser,” which on average grows about 10 percent from the hour before.
Such a shift could be good for ABC overall if they were to make the change permanent. “Dancing” on Tuesdays is averaging a 10.7 rating/17 share at 9 p.m., and would really give “NCIS” a run for its money in terms of viewership. “Dancing” did appear in the 8 p.m. timeslot once this year, earning a 7.8/12 on Sept. 21, before leading into an 11.5/18 in the second hour.
Then again, it might allow CBS to draw more viewers to “NCIS: LA,” since competition could potentially be 50 percent weaker from ABC if “Family” were not to improve its numbers.
Either way, ABC says the shuffling will be temporary for late November and early December. In fact, it’s not even clear if “Family” will air new episodes during that time, so if it doesn’t, there may never be a clear picture on whether “Family” could be helped by a scheduling change, or if it’s on its way to being a one-season wonder for the network.
For now, and for the next few weeks, “Family” continues to air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.