The Future of the Night: ABC Tuesday

Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
Tuesday is arguably ABC's worst night. It starts off with Fresh Off Th eBoat, a marginal player that is way below the ratings of its Wednesday siblings, yet is still the highest-rated show of the night. The Real O'Neals is barely struggling to not go fractional, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has gone fractional, and nothing can EVER break a 1.0 demo rating at 10pm. ABC has a real problem on the night, and several ways to potentially fix it.

Option 1: Grow Fresh Off The Boat, Push SHIELD to 10pm
Why It Will Work: SHIELD and its low ratings are probably on their way out anyways, so why not just push it to 10pm and let it take the hit instead of a new show? Also, FOTB getting renewed probably means ABC has plans for it other than leading off the night with low 1s. Shifting it to 8:30 and moving a Wednesday comedy to 8pm could create a strong(er) Tuesday hour. Stay tuned for tomorrow's edition, where there will be a more complete analysis on the pros and cons of moving each comedy (if any).

Why It Won't: Disney owns both ABC and Marvel; will they really allow one of their shows to be shifted to the 10pm death slot? Also, a Wednesday comedy could crumble on Tuesday, leaving nothing for FOTB to gain and a lost Wednesday dynamic.

Bottom Line: This is probably the most plausible option for ABC, making necessary changes while also opening up a spot at 9pm for a new show. It's a safe choice, but not the safest.

Option 2: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: Statistically, half of the network's shows have to be below average. Not every night has to include high-rated comedies or be called TGIT. Leave Tuesday alone for now (including Beyond the Tank at 10pm) and work out Sunday and Monday first.

Why It Won't: Really? Does ABC really want Fractional Tuesday? I don't think so, and advertisers don't as well. Something has to be done, whether that's a complete overhaul or just an improvement in one hour.

Bottom Line: ABC is known for stability, but this is one night where stability may not be the best option. The safest? Yes. But not the best.

Option 3: New Drama(s)
Why It Will Work: Once again, if you schedule a show that intrigue people and promote it right, viewers will at the very least sample it. We saw that with The Muppets. But just because Tuesday hasn't had success as of late doesn't mean they never will. Put one or two promising drama pilots on Tuesdays, and chances are at least one will stick.

Why It Won't: Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is not a good lead-in for a drama. The other options aren't the greatest either; a comedy isn't bound to help a drama all that much, and the last thing you want is to make a promising pilot self-start and crumble. Also, ABC tried this strategy with Sunday this season, and one of them was DOA.

Bottom Line: Whatever happens, ABC should try to do some shifting on Tuesday. Maybe two new dramas back-to-back isn't the best, but it will at least be a chance to get something working.

Option 4: Move a Veteran Drama
Why It Will Work: Of all the dramas ABC has tried on Tuesday in the past 4 seasons, only 1 has been renewed. Time to try a show with a solid following instead of throwing another newbie to the wolves.

Why It Won't: What veteran is strong enough to move to Tuesday, but not strong enough to be more needed somewhere else?

Bottom Line: The drama that comes to mind here is How to Get Away with Murder. It's strong enough as to that it'll improve the time slot, but not strong enough that Thursday is guaranteed to crumble without it. Still a big risk though.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

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