Ratings History: 2014-15

Written Heralding the Power of Shonda and Sitcoms by Bridger Cunningham

Call it the power of a decade's 4th year.  ABC again experienced a creative renaissance at the start of the 2014-15 season.  After the previous seasons' failures took their Revenge on the ratings, most of ABC's freshman class catapulted the troubled network back into 3rd place.  Impressive, as the network failed to capture few successful seasons after relinquishing football in 2006.  Their success was ode to a successfully-scheduled Wednesday comedy block, as well as Shonda Rhimes taking over Thursdays with the uber-successful TGIT block featuring new sensation How to Get Away With Murder.  Elsewhere, scripted scarcities and American Idol's abysmal plunge pushed FOX back to 4th place for the first time in 11 years.  NBC fared well 1st place with sports, despite a dreadful scripted lineup shooting red cancellation bullet holes in the season roster.  Elsewhere, 5th Place CW experienced massive improvements in lieu of The Flash teleporting higher ratings to the neglected network.

Trending Hot -- ABC and CW experienced creative comebacks in lieu of 1st season success stories Black-ish, How to Get Away With Murder and The Flash.  Sports consumed the lineup as CBS took a punt at Thursday Night football, as well as NBC, FOX and CBS enjoying healthy Sunday night NFL Ratings.  FOX freshman Empire set trendsetting records with nearly every week growing on the previous showing.  ABC Wednesdays succeeded with an all-star comedy block, and ABC Thursdays enjoyed competitive ratings as TGIT delivered successful trifecta Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and HTGAWM.  Once Upon a Time froze its best ratings in recent seasons via story arc Frozen.  Fostering 2nd season sitcoms proved lucrative as CBS' Mom, ABC's The Goldbergs and FOX's Brooklyn 99 experienced healthy growth via plum timeslots.

Trending Tepid -- The Big Bang Theory continued to drive success on CBS' sitcom block, and that is where the good fortunes stopped.  CBS broke its 28-year trend of 4 sitcoms on Monday by trimming the roster to 2 helpings, and continued rotation of its laughers delivered tepid results to the Tiffany Network who delivered the highest sitcom ratings for the networks since the early 2000's.  Reality TV experienced declines as NBC's The Voice cooled and FOX's American Idol continued its decline.  ABC's The Bachelor(ette), Dancing With the Stars and Shark Tank all experienced moderate success, and other longstanding fares experienced mixed results.  Superheroes popped up everywhere on the roster, only one of which barely cracked the top 30.

Trending Cold -- NBC's scripted plate presented a disastrous State of Affairs, proving a post-Voice timeslot did not guarantee a hit.  The Peacock took a bold risk moving its winning Blacklist to Thursdays hoping to repair the damaged evening, only to Slap its viewers and get punished with poor ratings.  CBS' CSI franchise met the coroner after a disgraceful move to Sundays, and procedural dramas in general went code blue.

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