TV Long View: Midterm Grades for Freshman Scripted Shows

With the 2018-19 season halfway over, The Hollywood Reporter checks in on which first-year shows are at the top of the class.
Peter Kramer/NBC/Warner Brothers; Michael Parmelee/CBS; ABC/Eric McCandless
'Manifest' (left), 'FBI,' 'The Conners'

The 2018-19 TV season is more than half-over. It's time to hand out some midterm report cards for the season's crop of new scripted shows.

Everything below comes with an asterisk, as the top-rated first-year show isn't a scripted one: That honor belongs to The Masked Singer. There haven't been any breakouts on the order of This Is Us (or even The Good Doctor or Young Sheldon), but a number of series have established themselves as potentially solid players for their networks.

Here are some of the top performers so far.

Head of the Class

Manifest: The NBC drama has cooled considerably since its hot start to the season. But by virtue of that strong early run and continued big gains in delayed viewing, it's the top-rated new scripted series of 2018-19 in both adults 18-49 (3.0 rating) and total viewers (13.45 million). (All ratings figures are live plus seven-day ratings through Jan. 20, the last full week available.)

Honor Roll

A Million Little Things: The show has gotten a lift from its move to Thursday nights, and it has quietly become ABC's No. 3 drama in adults 18-49 (behind Grey's Anatomy and The Good Doctor), which landed it a renewal for 2019-20.

Charmed: The CW's reboot is the network's top-rated fall newcomer with a 0.7 in the 18-49 demographic and a shade under 2 million viewers. It's been steady as part of the network's relaunched Sunday lineup.

The Conners: The Roseanne spinoff is not the ratings breakout its parent show's revival was last season. It is, however, the top-rated new comedy of the season and close to earning a pickup for next year.

The Cool Kids: Fox's companion to Last Man Standing has held up quite well over the course of the season. Its 1.4 demo rating ties for the second spot Friday nights, and it's also averaging a healthy 6.35 million viewers.

FBI: The CBS drama has already given rise to a potential spinoff, and it's one of four rookies on the network that have earned second seasons. It ranks second among new shows in viewers and sixth in adults 18-49.

God Friended Me: Another of the CBS renewals, God Friended Me has improved its Sunday spot by 17 percent in viewers (it's drawing just under 10 million) and 8 percent in the 18-49 demo.

The Neighborhood: CBS' top Monday show (1.6 in 18-94, 7.97 million viewers) has also been renewed (the fourth rookie pickup is Magnum P.I.) and has been a very steady performer thus far, matching the numbers for Kevin Can Wait in its time slot last season.

New Amsterdam: NBC's hospital show is the No. 2 drama in the freshman class in adults 18-49 (2.5) and No. 3 in viewers (11.81 million). It will be back next season.

Here are the season averages for every new scripted series thus far in Nielsen's live plus seven-day ratings, including early returns on a handful of shows that premiered in the first half of January.

Show Network Episodes 18-49 rating Viewers in millions
Manifest NBC 11 3.0 13.45
New Amsterdam NBC 11 2.5 11.81
The Conners ABC 10 2.3 9.95
The Passage FOX 1 2.2 8.7
A Million Little Things ABC 11 1.9 7.32
FBI CBS 11 1.7 12.86
Schooled ABC 2 1.7 5.91
The Rookie ABC 10 1.6 8.43
The Neighborhood CBS 12 1.6 7.97
Single Parents ABC 12 1.5 5.17
Fam CBS 2 1.5 8.29
The Cool Kids FOX 11 1.4 6.35
Murphy Brown CBS 12 1.3 8.47
Magnum P.I. CBS 11 1.3 8.49
The Kids Are Alright ABC 10 1.3 5.9
God Friended Me CBS 13 1.3 9.96
Happy Together CBS 13 1.0 5.26
I Fell Bad NBC 9 0.8 2.85
Rel FOX 11 0.8 2.13
Charmed CW 10 0.7 1.98
Legacies CW 7 0.6 1.78
Roswell, New Mexico CW 1 0.6 2.43
All American CW 9 0.4 1.09

Source: Nielsen.