Watchlist is a helpful utility for TVGuide.com visitors, but we think of it as something more: a sort of massive "wisdom of the crowds" focus group of informed TV fans (more than 3 million registered users).
A caveat we repeat every time: Watchlist users are, essentially, publicly expressing hope that these shows will live up to hype. Series that exhibit early promise and score full-season orders can and do, of course, still end up getting canceled later on (as hype gives way to reality, storylines run out of steam, networks stick good shows in bad time slots, etc.).
To add some context to this chart, TVGuide.com Editor-in-Chief Mickey O'Connor offered Ad Age a few thoughts on the fall's most-wanted dramas:
• "People who watch superhero shows are loyal. They add shows to their Watchlists early. And they love familiar franchises. Hence, NBC's Heroes reboot" -- "Heroes Reborn," the No 1. show on our list -- "and CBS's feminist retelling of the Supergirl mythology" -- "Supergirl," at No. 2 -- "have occupied the top two spots pretty consistently since May."
• "Chicago Med," at No. 8: "Our readers jumped on board this Dick Wolf spin-off when it was announced as a midseason show in May, when it came in at No. 3 in the drama rankings. NBC moved it to November a few weeks later, and its ranking has fallen in subsequent months. Why? Well, the schedule switcheroo can't have helped. Plus, CBS has turned some heads by boasting that its new medical drama" -- "Code Black," the No. 7 drama on our chart -- "is 'the next ER.'"
Since our list is heavy on drama (9 out 10 of the shows), tomorrow we'll take a look at the most-wanted sitcoms of the new season.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.