CW Renew/Cancel: The Falling Ratings Conundrum

This week, starting with this CW Renew/Cancel installment, the Watching category no longer exists. Two new categories have replaced the Watching category: Leans Cancelation and Leans Renewal.

These two new categories help give us a better understanding on what a bubble show's fate would be.

And now, the table.

Riverdale has been downgraded to Leans Renewal for the moment. The reason being that studio ownership is in play. CBS shows get renewed at lower relative ratings levels than WB shows. Yet, the CW's falling ratings makes it relatively better.

Again, I do not think that the network would cancel all three of their freshman shows. This gives another positive factor for Riverdale.

It also depends on the relative performance of The 100, The Originals, and iZombie. This is why a slight downgrade is warranted.

TV Ratings 1/30/17: The Odd Couple Ends Fractional, The CW Dips (UPDATED)

Monday night was a relatively normal night for the networks, with just CBS taking the night off. Despite most of CBS' shows being off, The Odd Couple aired two original episodes (including its season finale) last night, and the first episode held steady, while the second went fractional. The Bachelor once again lead the night quite easily, and was down from last week. Quantico, fresh off its return from hiatus, was even with its 0.8 last week. Timeless was also even with last week, while its lead-in, the Celebrity Apprentice, was down. Fox's Monday lineup took their last bow for awhile (they will return after newbies 24:Legacy and APB finish) and Gotham was down. Supergirl on the CW was down, as was Jane the Virgin.

Finals Update: Quantico (-0.1) adjusted down.

18-49 Rating/Share
Viewers (mil)
8 PM
The Bachelor

The Big Bang Theory (R)


The New Celebrity Apprentice

0.7/32.33The CW
8:30 PM
Kevin Can Wait (R)
9 PM

The Odd Couple

Jane the Virgin
0.3/10.94The CW
9:30 PM
The Odd Couple (F)
10 PM

Scorpion (R)


TV Ratings 1/29/17: Conviction Ends Low, Miss Universe Down (UPDATED)

Sunday night saw the end of Conviction, Miss Universe, and a regular night for CBS. Conviction, which aired its (likely series) finale, was up from its latest episode. To Tell the Truth, Conviction's lead-in, was also up. Fox's usual programs took a week off for the Miss Universe pageant, which was down from late 2015's 1.6. CBS aired its usual lineup, and they all rose. NBC aired a repeat of the Celebrity Apprentice, which lead into a special Sunday episode of Dateline NBC, which was even with Friday's episode.

Update: To Tell the Truth (+0.1) and NCIS: Los Angeles (+0.1) adjusted up.

18-49 Rating/Share
Viewers (mil)
7 PM
Miss Universe Pageant

60 Minutes

America’s Funniest Home Videos (R)

The New Celebrity Apprentice (R)
8 PM
NCIS: Los Angeles

To Tell the Truth
9 PM
To Tell The Truth

Dateline NBC

Madam Secretary
10 PM

Conviction (F)

The Sitcom Explained Part III: What Happens If Modern Family Ends?

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Sitcom Explained Part III: What Happens If Modern Family Ends?

Written by Bridger Cunningham

The inevitable shows its age, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.  Like our faces, time marches across our shows and we face the question of how long will our shows last.  Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory are both in their 8th-10th seasons, and all could run for at least two more seasons given the current writing and plotting.  Last Man Standing and 2 Broke Girls are our next set of junior veterans, yet only Last Man Standing appears to have a plan to get to its 8th season.  If these shows defect or are cut by the networks, how much collateral damage will form?  The Big Bang ending would cause surefire damage, as CBS' 2nd and 3rd place sitcoms added together do not add up to The Big Bang's current average.  Over at ABC, Modern Family leaving Wednesdays would cause an initial blow, yet ABC seems to be shopping around for a survival plan.  Recently, Fresh Off The Boat aired in a plum 8pm showing.  It's 1.5 rating did not hold a candle to The Goldberg's 1.84 average.  Whilst this shows Fresh Off The Boat deserves a new home, it also shows the network will march on if Modern Family ends this season.

Hypothetically, ABC sits in a nice position in the sitcom department.  8 of its 10 showings are a success, and they have three anchor evenings to showcase these sitcoms.  It would appear if MF exited, The Goldbergs would slide into the 9pm hour, moving the successful Speechless back 30 minutes and rebuilding their schedule.  The pre-9pm hour appears to be a golden opportunity to build a show's viewing, as people eagerly anticipate the 9pm victory showing.  Contenders for the 8:30 show could be an existing, neglected veteran such as Fresh Off The Boat or a new helping of shows.  blackish may remain on this evening, but also has potential to rebuild another evening.  Another possibility would be to sample Dr. Ken on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.  The lowest-rated among the 28 sitcoms on the air, it would be an ample opportunity to see if this show has staying power.  Wednesday would be a wasted opportunity, as Dr. Ken would likely score around a 1.2-1.3.  However, one must question if they would improve the back end of Tuesdays, with The Real O'Neals weighing down the 9:30 timeslot.

So what happens to ABC's scripted average if MF deflects?  As broken down in article one, ABC averages a 1.49 for its 10 sitcoms.  Minus Modern Family, that is a 1.4, which is a minor loss.  Beyond that, ABC needs to question which of its shows are its strongest.  The Goldberg's is currently the next contender, and is also a mainstay on Wednesdays.  Speechless follows as the network's next success that evening, and The Middle and American Housewife faithfully deliver viewers on Tuesdays.  Last Man Standing manages to anchor Fridays, so there are ABC's five big players in rebuilding a post-Modern Family schedule.  So where does that leave the remainder of its shows?  blackish is topical and garnering heavy press for its heavy materials and appears to hold its own with ratings.  Over on Tuesdays, The Middle and American Housewife are bolstering this middling night.  Fresh Off The Boat scores, well okay.  And The Real O'Neals does not appear to be enriching the ratings.  Over on Fridays, Dr. Ken always rests a shadow under Last Man Standing.  

Tuesdays start high at 8pm, then plunge into the abyss by 10pm.  Wednesdays range up and down like a rich landscape, and Friday has a pothole in the shape of 9:30.  The landscape needs more terrain in viewing habits.  The Middle and American Housewife have conquered part of Tuesdays, so American Housewife deserves a plum timeslot at 9pm.  Fresh Off The Boat may do okay at 9:30, but has shown it has greater potential off of Tuesdays.  Perhaps ABC would be wise to build a new sitcom at 8:30, and allow Dr. Ken to take on a timeslot which it would pull in a 1.1-1.3 at 9:30.  As mentioned above, Wednesdays could upgrade Speechless to 8pm and launch a new fare at 8:30, nestled between Speechless and Goldbergs.  And perhaps give Fresh Off The Boat some exposure at 9:30.  So what about blackish?  The show has enjoyed three seasons nestled behind Modern Family and has enough press to follow it.  Why not move it to Fridays at 8:30?  Even if the show dips to the 1.1-1.3 range, it could help ABC plan for when Last Man Standing Bows out.  Two strong sitcoms will get people caring about Fridays again, and perhaps pave the way for the planned blackish spinoff centered on Zoe.

Odds are in ABC's favor to have Modern Family return, and viewers would welcome it.  The show averages a 2.29 rating and is still a welcome staple.  And if the show goes, ABC still has several venerable players to keep the franchise going.  Whether MF stays or goes, ABC needs another shakeup to allow the neglected to gain exposure (FOTB), the fortunate to lift their weight and try out a new space (blackish),  the less sought shows to try out a new home (Dr. Ken) and the dead weight to be shed (O'Neal's).  Whether MF is here in 2018, ABC is going to be okay.  With its sitcoms, that is.

Jane the Virgin S3E9 Review

This week, Michael prepares to get into law school, Rogelio and Darci try to figure things out, and we figure out what Petra's plans are.

S3E9 "Chapter Fifty-Three"

As Michael has decided he wants to be a lawyer, Jane becomes stressed out with his seeming lack of preparation. Jane also is worried about her novel. She is worried about showing it to Alba, but when Alba reads it, she loves it, and it is a very sweet scene. As Jane tries to re-work her novel, Michael stresses out about getting into law school, and there is a great scene as Jane tries to fall asleep. Jane and Michael talk about their worries, and they talk out the worst case scenario.

Rogelio tries to get over Darci, but is unable to. Then, they decide to try things out (and there is a great Donald Trump joke). Meanwhile, Rogelio can't decide how to end his telenovela, which is very funny. A conversation that Rogelio and Darci have causes him to realize the ending of his telenovela, which is entertaining.

Petra and Catalina begin working together, which is an interesting combo. When Catalina takes Rafael away for a day, he ends up sharing with her his family situation. Rafael realizes that Petra is spying on him, and she has a great scene when he confronts her. This scene really lets Yael Grobglas shine. At the end, Scott finds the part of the will that Petra got rid of, and the narrator tells us that this is going to cause some bad things in the future.

Jane and Michael's parts of the episode this week were great, and Yael Grobglas did a great job in the scenes where Petra worked things out with Rafael.

Score: 9/10

What did you think of "Chapter Fifty-Three"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Good Place Renewed by NBC

The Ratings Junkie Monday, January 30, 2017
NBC has just renewed its new comedy The Good Place for a second season, relatively shortly after it finished its 13-episode first season. This is the network's second renewal handed out so far this season, the other being This is Us.

Though The Good Place is one of NBC's lower-rated shows, it definitely gets a lot of buzz and holds its Superstore lead-in well, and is arguably their second-most successful comedy in the post-Office era. It finished the season on a 1.1 A18-49 in Live + Same Day, and averaged a 1.29 A18-49 rating in Live + Same Day for the season. As of now, that's about 90% of NBC's non-sports average, which is very respectable even though it's somewhat frontloaded.

What do you think of this news? Will you be watching a second season? Let us know in the comments below!

The Sitcom Explained Part II: The Dawn of Crass-Com

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, January 29, 2017
The Sitcom Explained Part II: The Dawn of Crass-Com

Written by Bridger Cunningham

Do you notice several sitcoms are taking on the grimy elements of life? Taking on unsavory characters, higher reference to sexual innuendo and substance use. And topped with crude, coarse language and dialogue as the icing. It is the dawn of the "Crass-Com", or Crass Situational Comedy. We are beginning to see this rising trend, and not all in this genre aim to offend or push the "appropriate" line accepted on television with toilet humor. Since 2011, 2 Broke Girls has been crudely offending CBS viewers so shamelessly with an overdose of sexual references, ethnic jokes and blunt awareness of poverty. Two years later, CBS released "Mom", a topical sitcom aimed to tackle social issues stemming from substance abuse, from rehab following a reality-TV bender/addiction. It contains just as much sexual innuendo, yet avoids mocking ethnic groups and showcasing gritty addicts attempting to assimilate into society.

Enter 2017, and FOX is delivering its signature tacky helping of dysfunctionality with "The Mick", showcasing a dysfunctional family with no holds bar to substance use, discipline, irresponsible sex and bodily functions, save for sexual innuendo. It may seem as though our sitcoms are turning to trash, but they are merely showcasing people exhibiting trashy behavior so shamelessly. FOX was ahead of its time when it used "Married With Children" to launch its network, aimed at being "Not the Cosbys". After a few racy and suggestive episodes in 1989, Michigan housewife/activist Terry Rakolta launched a campaign to end the crude show from airing. Her efforts created a counter effect, as the show's ratings soared, and the fledgling FOX gained attention, press coverage and additional affiliates. Sorry to say for Rakolta, but she unleashed the audience's guilty desire to live vicariously through vile characters and premises.

MWC would enjoy a decently rated 11-season run and would pave the way for other "crude" shows across genres such as The Simpsons, In-Living Color (a sketch show famously ethnic-heavy), and Melrose Place (which pushed the scandal and sexuality bar albeit a soap opera). After MWC parted in 1997, other crude shows thrived. That 70's Show openly profiled drug use after being launched in 1998. Malcolm in the Middle debuted in 2000, showcasing a less than upstanding family and displaying realistic, coarse and superb dialogue from its younger cast members. And most offensively, Family Guy launched in 1999 and met an untimely cancellation in 2003. However, a subculture resurrected the series, and it has been belching out filth happily since 2005 as a mainstay. And the short-lived Raising Hope endured 4 seasons from 2010-14 showcasing a lower-middle-class dysfunctional family living well below the poverty level. And as a throughline, the Simpsons prevails, albeit it is no longer the racy, edgy black sheep of TV during its early notoriety. FOX pioneered the elements necessary for crass sitcoms and seems invested to take the risk at offending its audience 30 years later.

Outside of FOX, other networks have attempted to offer up Crass-Coms through the years. NBC's lone foray, My Name Is Earl, had a brief run from 2005-09, yet gained critical acclaim for shamelessly displaying the poor behaviors of the lower class, roach motel/trailer park inhabitants. ABC let out its belt from 1988-97 with heavy-hitter Roseanne from 1988-97, depicting the struggles of a working class family. CBS displayed the same shameless behavior with an upper-middle-class sitcom, Two and a Half Men, in 2003. Usually wholesome and topical, CBS drew ire for this show's display of sex lives through the point of view of the male. Having lasted 12 years, viewers spoke that they enjoyed the premise through the ratings soaring through the roof. Come the 2010's, CBS took bolder risks with new sitcoms, allowing crass references to percolate through censors. Mike and Molly had its share of sexual and stereotypical humor while guarding its approach showcasing two plus-sized leads. The following year, 2 Broke Girls took a modern approach to Laverne and Shirley in the guise of displaying anti-hero characters exploring poverty and sexual shamelessness. The trend continued in 2013 with a detox of addiction on Mom. And of course, cable has too many honorable (more appropriately, unhonorable) mentions.

The characteristics of "Crass-Coms", as defined below, meet several of these criteria:

1. Brash, offensive, obscene, coarse and crude dialogue.
2. Often depicting classes, more so of the lower reaches.
3. An open and adept exploration of sexuality. Does not have to include sex scenes, but suggestive dialogue, situations and references.
4. Substance use and abuse are a normal mainstay in this genre.
5. Topical issues often are explored. Whether skewed toward awareness or keeping up with current affairs, these shows explore issues of major and trivial issues such as sexuality, substance use, disciplining children, illness, etc...
6. Youthful characters associated with these productions often exhibit poor and gritty behavior.
7. Characters who are often "not the beauties" can enjoy a front and center part of the story.
8. Frequently pushing the envelope with censors, mainly through explicit words and expressions.
9. Escapism is rarely explored in favor of realism. Sets are often bleak, dirty and undesirable places for the audience to imagine existing.
10. In general, these shows are shameless in their approach to entertainment.

The shows mentioned up to this point can register a fit to more than half of the categories, if not all. Are we experiencing a new trend and surge with "Crass-Coms"? Only a foolish audience member would rue this concept. A viewer offended by overt sexual dialogue and situations would never accuse My Name is Earl, Raising Hope or Malcolm in the Middle of offending this category. Viewers who wish not to sit through a preachy "Public Service Announcement" will never feel this burn from Married with Children, 2 Broke Girls, The Mick, Raising Hope, My Name is Earl, or The Family Guy. The promise, this new sub-genre of sitcoms demonstrates sitcoms are still durable and able to reinvent the premise. We already have family shows, work comedies and hangout premises. Now, we have shows which allow us to let our hair down and embrace crass behaviors in favor of restricted social graces.

New eras form and create sub-genres. The 50's were about enjoying a simpler life following the tragedies of World War II and the great Depression. The 60's moved the action from urban to rural-themed shows with zany leads. The 70's painted the black and white silliness with surreal color in an effort to explore social issues. The late 70's/early 80's reverted back to escapism and allow people to forget their troubles against the economic troubles. The mid-80's to early 90's invested heavily in The Family Era, targeting younger viewers and their parents who fit the demographics. The mid-90's-mid 2000's introduced a level of sophistication known to cater to upscale professionals in said demographics. And the remainder of the 2000's created an "Independent Era" of comedy, attempting to break the generic mold and complete with a proliferation of reality TV. This era would continue well into the 2010's, until 2013 gave birth to multiple eras.

During this 2013 renaissance, each of the four networks funneled their own eras. CBS launched the "I Cannot Believe That!" era, featuring racier, envelope-pushing concepts which honed the Crass-Coms, as well as allowing less family-friendly fares to cover their schedule. NBC, once the sitcom maven for 20 years, faded quiet during this time and is finding a new footing with "The Reinvention Era". ABC successfully cemented their place as the next "Family Friendly" era, thanks to Modern Family, The Middle and The Goldbergs launching entertaining three-dimensional families. And FOX, once proudly boasting the 2000's Animation Domination Sundays, has reverted to its mixture of tacky, thrifty sitcoms which it built its network. This has become FOX's "Eclectic Era." They fave families, raunchy, workplace, hangout and fantasy/animation, all of which are sleepers at best. Having a complex, divisive group of four networks sounds messy, yet has given the mid-2010's the "Scripted Renaissance" title to encompass these four offerings.

The mid-2010's has it all, as networks realize scripted fares had to justify their value against an aggressive trend of cheaper sitcoms. Adding to the obstacles are the prominence of cable and internet platforms. So where will Crass-Coms fit best? The cards are stacked in favor of CBS, FOX, cable and alternative platforms. All possess a potential space for Crass-Coms, but would have to mold with ABC and NBC to survive. In order to be viable in the large ABC ranch, a Crass-Com would need to rely heavily on a family with children. On NBC, the crassness would have to be met with equal doses of sophistication in crisp writing to relive the mild success of My Name is Earl. Crass-Coms have lay dormant for 30 years throughout the landscape and appear to be the next trend.

The Mick has flaunted a teenage girl's sexual escapades throughout the house, smoking cigarettes like a 50's cocktail lounge singer, and slapping the referenced tart repeatedly in another episode which bordered on child abuse. This is a departure from gentle discipline and exploring youth issues with sensitivity from wholesome fares like Full House or The Cosbys. This speaks to the legions of demo-appropriate parents who have likely had their patience tested by unruly children coming of age. CBS mainstay 'Mom' handled teenage pregnancy thrice over, as well as a 12-year old principle smoking and drinking. And at least one episode featured the principles from 2 Broke Girls needing to make a run to the free clinic after an STD scare. These demonstrations from Crass-Coms speak to viewers who had setbacks in their wild heydays before they held full-time jobs and drove SUVS and minivans.

Thankfully, Crass-Coms will never proliferate our TV landscape. Too many would protest and call for said shows to be removed. They are to be handled in responsible doses, and 2017 seems to be the ideal time to shine a spotlight on such poor behavior. The last 10 years have been a bummer, and no political party held complete responsibility as it was the era which our country was in the dumps. After years of reality, recessions and deplorable politicians consumed our existence, we need a laugh! And who better to be the butt of these jokes than the despicable? Let's embrace these Crass-Com's, as society needs to lighten up in 2017. So what shows are foreseen as being the next Crass-Coms? Let's not speculate or jump the shark, but rather enjoy the vile ride. Instead of mourning the Tire Fire that was 2016, let's celebrate it with marshmallows and graham crackers and let these vile characters absorb life's unpleasantness for us and watch with glee.

TV Ratings 1/28/17: 48 Hours Up, Ransom Stable + NBA Numbers

Saturday Ratings

18-49 Rating
Total Viewers (In Millions)
Dateline NBC (R) (NBC)

UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs. Pena (FOX)

NBA Countdown (ABC)

Ransom (CBS)

NBA Basketball: Clippers at Warriors

NCIS: New Orleans (R) (CBS)

Saturday Night Live (R) (NBC)

48 Hours (CBS)

(R) = repeat

NBC had the upper-hand on a typical Saturday night with repeats of Dateline (0.8) and SNL (0.8) tying for the top program of the night.

ABC had Clippers at Warriors (0.8) do two-tenths worse than last week's game leading out of a low-rated Countdown special (0.5).

FOX had UFC Fight Night (0.7) and it did significantly better than last week's repeats.

CBS had the only two originals of the night wth Ransom (0.4) staying stable, but it was still the lowest-rated program of the night. After Ransom, came a repeat of NCIS: New Orleans (0.4) leading into an original 48 Hours (0.7) which went two-tenths above its last outing.