The Future of the Night: ABC Wednesday

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!
There is just so much that ABC could potentially do to Tuesday that I had to extend it to another edition, in counterpart to coverage of ABC Wednesday. If you recall, Option 1 presented for ABC Tuesday was to move a comedy from Wednesday to Tuesday to help out Fresh Off The Boat. Which one, if any, should move? Check out the options. This time, in no particular order.

Option 1: Move The Middle to Tuesday, The Goldbergs to 8pm
Why It Will Work: The Middle is about to enter its 8th season, and ABC needs to prepare for a future without it. Fresh Off The Boat could highly benefit from its compatibility.

Why It Won't: Though it airs in a tougher time slot, The Middle still has been the lowest-rated Wednesday comedy as of late. Apply declines for both the league average and for moving to Tuesday,
and will it really help out Fresh Off The Boat? It would also require an overhaul that sees The Goldbergs moving to Wednesday at 8pm to launch an unknown player, which could flop.

Bottom Line: ABC may need to go outside of the box and try a Wednesday comedy on Tuesday. But is The Middle actually it? I tend to think not, especially considering off all comedies to move, moving The Middle would cause the most disruption to the schedule.

Option 2: Move The Goldbergs to Tuesday, New Comedy After The Middle
Why It Will Work: The Goldbergs is a stronger show now than in its 1st season and is perhaps the most compatible of them all with Fresh Off The Boat. It will also be less moves for veteran shows if The Goldbergs moves instead of The Middle.

Why It Won't: The Goldbergs could very well be a time slot hit (I don't count the Wednesday at 8 highly-promoted special as an indicator) and could crumble on Tuesdays. That doesn't help FOTB, leaves a hole on the Wednesday schedule, and makes it less desirable to cable channels interested in picking it up for syndication.

Bottom Line: The Goldbergs may be an integral part in the future of Wednesdays without The Middle or Modern Family. It might be a solid idea for it to stay put for now.

Option 3: Switch Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat, New Comedy After Modern Family
Why It Will Work: Modern Family is perhaps the least compatible of all the ABC Wednesday comedies + FOTB. FOTB is very compatible with a Goldbergs lead-in (80s/90s family comedies, respectively) and just as much with Blackish (assimilation family comedy). It would be able to grow with a Goldbergs lead-in, yet Goldbergs wouldn't have to change time slots to provide it. Modern Family and a new comedy can lead off a revamped Tuesday night.

Why It Won't: Will ABC really be willing to move their #1 show? It's a risk that may not be worth
taking when it could crumble. It'll make it too expensive to even continue to a ninth season, and no favors would have been given to the show it was supposed to launch.

Bottom Line: Switching Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat will actually be less schedule overhaul than moving The Middle, while Blackish gets to stay steady at 9:30pm to lead into what is most likely to be a new show at 10pm. The Wednesday average will drop, but the median probably won't, and Tuesday will most likely have a much stronger hour. Finally, ABC would have found 3 of 4 shows needed in a future on Wednesday without its two oldies-but-goodies.

Option 4: Move Blackish to Tuesday, New Comedy After Modern Family
Why It Will Work: Blackish and Fresh Off The Boat, being family assimilation comedies, would fit well together. It would allow for a slightly stronger comedy hour on Tuesday, while allowing Modern Family to launch another show before it's too late.

Why It Won't: Blackish will be the first ABC Studios sitcom to make it to syndication in like forever. The last thing ABC wants is its prized possession to stumble along to syndication and not get as good a deal as it could have. Plus, the new post-Modern Family comedy is not a surefire success and could be a poor lead-in to a potential new show at 10pm. At the end of the year you're left with two aging sitcoms, one or two holes, and The Goldbergs.

Bottom Line: This is the option I have advocated the most throughout the season. After all, ABC repeated Blackish on Tuesday for the entirety of last summer and it did decently.

Option 5: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: Wednesday is one of ABC's best nights right now, if not the best night. Let's keep The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Blackish together for another season, and while we're at it let's also renew Nashville. For the comedy block, why fix what isn't broken, and for Nashville, if given a 5th season then schedule stability could make its ratings at least predictable.

Why It Won't: Nashville is already fractional, and if they renew it then why would they keep it on what's otherwise most definitely their best day? Also, Tuesday will continue to struggling without some outside help.

Bottom Line: I'm a little hesitant about breaking up Wednesday at all, especially the comedy block. ABC has bigger problems, and it's not clear whether or not ABC should move anything to help solve them.

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

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »