theratingsjunkie's Mock Schedules for Fall 2017

I think I was the only one last winter to not participate in this segment, but this season I am. I'll be ratings pages. To see those pages and follow along, click on the networks listed below.
using the data present in the relative

The CW


7-America's Funniest Home Videos
8-American Housewife
9-How to Get Away with Murder
10-Once Upon a Time

With ABC struggling on Saturday, it should be time to move on from Once Upon a Time leading off a block of dramas. While it looks like a huge hit compared to the shows airing later in the night, its performance in relation to the rest of the network is just OK, at just an 83 in A18-49. With America's Funniest Home Videos trailing slightly behind it but on a better year-to-year trend, comedies at 8pm may be the way to go at 8pm. Sunday in general is a male-skewing night, with The Simpsons, football, and CBS's football-boosted lineup all skewing considerably male at the beginning. Therefore, I would shy away from putting something like Blackish there, but instead lead it off with American Housewife. It's ABC's only comedy that grows in relative ratings from M18-49 to W18-49, and given that its gender skews don't completely match with The Middle indicates that it has an audience. How to Get Away with Murder is a show that has a heavy female skew, so I wouldn't worry about it being hurt too much by the male-skewing competition, and moving it here would open up a spot to a new Shondaland show on Thursdays. Closing out the night in the death slot is Once Upon a Time, which will be compatible with How to Get Away with Murder and likely an improvement over struggling shows in recent history such as Betrayal, Revenge, Quantico, and evidently now Conviction.

8-Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars had to launch its first show since 2009 this season, and it did not go well. At all. But I still think they're better off trying again instead of just plugging in a middling veteran. Dancing with the Stars still provides a 134 lead-in in A18-49, with that increasing to 153 when only women are counted, as well as a massive 161 amongst those 18-34 women. When looking at only Live numbers and not Live + Same Day, as well as taking into account competition, Dancing with the Stars is perhaps the best show to launch a new female-skewing drama out of for ABC, and they should take advantage of that next fall.

8-The Middle
9:30-Fresh Off The Boat
10-Marvel's The Inhumans

With American Housewife migrating to Sundays to get those women comedy lovers loving comedy on another night, The Middle will be asked to launch a new show. At the 9pm hour is Black-ish and Fresh Off The Boat. I chose to move Black-ish here because looking at its demos, it seemingly has a stronger male ratio than Speechless, and thus would be hit less by This is Us (also, because it's simply a stronger show), while Fresh Off The Boat has in content looked most compatible with it than any other show since the two began. At 10pm, we'll start off the year with Marvel's The Inhumans, which ABC greenlit for a 10-episode run, in the current time slot of SHIELD. Whether or not SHIELD comes back, I think this is the best fit for it. Designated Survivor may not be strong enough to launch it, and even if it is, where on the schedule would you pair them up without having something else completely out of place?

8-The Goldbergs
9-Modern Family
10-Designated Survivor

We'll have to see how Designated Survivor does in the spring, but I don't think it's time to worry about this time slot yet considering how long Nashville stayed there. There's always the chance that ABC tries to save it midseason like they're doing now with Quantico, but I really don't see a better place on the schedule for it, given that pretty much everything else skews female in the drama department. I don't think it's time to move Speechless just yet, it's doing great so far but looks like it could be dependent on The Goldbergs given how often the two go up and down together. Therefore, launching a new comedy out of Modern Family may be the best idea, trying to get one more comedy staple before Modern has to leave the schedule.

8-Grey's Anatomy

With Shondaland having a new legal drama in development, I think it only makes sense to put it in their "TGIT" lineup. I'm projecting that by the end of the season, Scandal will be too weak to warrant keeping the post-Grey's Anatomy time slot, so sandwiching it in between their #1 drama and Shonda's legal/political thriller drama seems like the best fit.

8-Last Man Standing
8:30-Dr Ken
9-Shark Tank

My schedule already has ABC launching three new comedies in the fall, why bother to launch a fourth? I don't think the upcoming Carol Burnett project will be enough to upend the cheap Dr. Ken, especially given that Last Man Standing probably won't be around to help it for more than a year or two. I also toyed with Shark Tank going everywhere from Sunday at 8 to Tuesday at 9, but decided it would be best to keep things stable here. They have a Friday night that's working decently, and with shows hypothethically premiering on every other night, it would be good to keep something the same.


7-60 Minutes
9-Code Black
10-Madam Secretary

Not everybody thinks that Code Black will be renewed, but it is hard to believe they will give up on the show now after renewing it last season. It's closer to syndication than ever, too. On the surface, it's not doing that great, rating at 68% of CBS's non-sport A18-49 rating. However, this is because it's lagging behind in the male demographic; it's at 80% of the average demo rating amongst Women 18-49, which is much more respectable. Giving Code Black the NCIS: LA lead-in will allow it to air after a show that pulls solid female numbers, but more importantly will give it that male demo push that could help push its ratings up some more, probably even improving the time slot from Madam Secretary. As for the latter, it's mostly around for syndication now, so giving it the 10pm slot should be worth looking into, while it should be compatible enough.

8-Kevin Can Wait
8:30-Man with a Plan
9-Life in Pieces

Man with a Plan is doing better than some give it credit for, hovering around 90% of both the male and female 18-49 demographics, proving to be a solid player amongst both genders, just like lead-in Kevin Can Wait. These shows were seemingly made to be paired, and I think they should keep it that way. Adding in Life in Pieces at 9pm would allow for a third family-based comedy on the night. Its 18-49 demo ratings are nearly identical to Man with a Plan, and the shows would be able to fit as best together as a single can and multi-cam will. Additionally, it will bring some young life into Mondays,   given that right now it's at 94% of the average in A18-49 (87 amongst men, 94 amongst women, a relatively even distribution). Premiering a new single-cam out of it could be worthwhile. Another option would be Superior Donuts at 9pm and Life in Pieces at 9:30.


There's no reason to tamper with this night, Bull is doing remarkably well in all demos, and with no new NCIS spin-off in development, it's the best companion to NCIS they can offer. NCIS: NO, while not a great retainer, fits in well in terms of gender skew and for a 10pm show is doing fine. Given ABC is having trouble in the time slot and NBC will likely air either Chicago Fire or a new female-skewing show, there's no reason for CBS to have to worry about NCIS: NO. It's a solid lineup, and it flows.

9-Criminal Minds

Survivor is simply not given enough credit, it's at 133% of CBS's average in A18-49, putting it below just The Big Bang Theory on the scripted side, and does even higher than that in A18-34. It's one of CBS's unsung heroes and possibly isn't even halfway through its run despite starting a decade and a half ago. I don't think anybody is trying to move it, but I want to enforce that despite Survivor would appear to be a great launchpad, Criminal Minds should stay where it is. It faces insane competition from Empire, Modern Family, and Law & Order: SVU and does well there. Also, if you look at Big Brother's failure to launch something, launching something out of a known reality entity may not work on CBS. However, I do think that 10pm slot should be freed up. Designated Survivor is above average competition now, but probably won't be next season (though there's always the possibility it moves). Also, Chicago PD is a strong performer, but nothing that can't be counter-programmed.  Ideally this new 10pm show would be more female-skewing given that Criminal Minds pulls in 118% of the average in W18-49, 122% in W18-34, and below average in the male demographics.

8-The Big Bang Theory
9-The Great Indoors

For the purposes of this mock schedule, let's assume The Big Bang Theory is coming back, which I'm thinking it will, at least for one more season. One thing to note about the current Thursday schedule is that Mom doesn't fit all that well compatibility-wise; as it doesn't it that same male demo that the other three shows do. Thus, not only is it a poor retainer amongst women from The Great Indoors (90 vs 112 in M18-49), but it also is beaten by Life in Pieces in M18-34. However, that female skew could provide a solid launchpad to a new drama, at least better than a male-skewing comedy would provide. By airing at 9:30, Mom would no longer be disrupting the compatibility flow, but would also provide a solid lead-in to a drama instead of putting something like The Great Indoors there. And The Great Indoors can slide over to 9pm so that it still feels a little bit of that Big Bang Theory effect without CBS using the massive lead-in on it for two seasons in a row. As for the 8:30 sitcom, they should aim for something that would at least appeal to males, or else this whole moving Mom to 9:30 thing for the sake of compatibility wouldn't even mean that much.

9-Hawaii 5-0
10-Blue Bloods

This lineup is simply working perfectly, averaging 83% of CBS's A18-49 demo average despite it being a Friday. Though MacGyver is the sole show that does better in male 18-49 relative ratings, they all have a similar gender skew in 18-34, and MacGyver has been boosting Hawaii 5-0's ratings drastically. No reason to mess with Friday when they have the all-around strongest one on all five networks.

8-Drama Reruns
10-48 Hours

Yes, there is a Saturday on this schedule. Thing is, I'm not entirely convinced CBS is done making money off of this one, which is a giant flop in L+SD ratings but was sold into syndication for $3 million per episode. It's probably making money, yet only has 70% retention from Madam Secretary. CBS doesn't seem to mind airing shows on Saturday now, so why not Eleementary? In order to give it something of a chance, give it drama reruns as a lead-in.



Supergirl and its slightly-male skew should stay on Mondays, as it's doing well related to the rest of the shows on the network, currently at 150% of their average in the A18-49 demo. But not only is Jane the Virgin arguably incompatible, it's also low rated. It has a decent hold from Supergirl in W18-34, where it thrives (113 vs 137), but when you look at M18-34 (146 vs 64) it's just embarrassing. Supergirl deserves the chance to launch something, and the beauty is since it doesn't skew overly for one gender, they don't need to be too specific about what that show is.

8-The Flash

Speaking of embarrassing retention, No Tomorrow does that in every demographic from The Flash. A show shouldn't have to hold onto that lead-in, which is at over double the network's average, but it should hold better than a 55 relative ratings percentage. The Flash has a noticeable male skew (230 in M18-49 vs 168 in W18-49, and 244 vs 176 in those 18-34 demos), and as such should be paired up with a show that not only has broad enough appeal, but also is expected to appeal to males. Especially because you're dealing with counterprogramming the female-skewing monster that is This Is Us.

9-DC's Legends of Tomorrow

DC's Legends of Tomorrow could be one of those shows where it's asked to self-start at the beginning, underwhelms, gets nurtured, and then self-start again as a brand new show in the ratings. With the reliable Supernatural taking over Thursday at 8, I think Legends of Tomorrow should get the post-Arrow time slot next season, freeing something else up to get the post-Flash spot. This should lead to a compatible and above-average night for The CW.


Supernatural seems to move constantly, as if they spin a wheel with all the possible time slots on it, schedule Supernatural there, and do the rest of the schedule accordingly. Though in all seriousness, it's probably because of its stability and ability to appeal to both genders in the masses, but also balanced. If Riverdale becomes a moderate success or more, I say keep it behind Supernatural, though launching a new show out of it shouldn't be a big problem if they pick up one that's broad enough.

8-Jane the Virgin
9-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Looks like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is probably coming back again due to continued critical love. Who cares if its total viewer percentage relative to the Big 4 average is in the single digits. I would rather have low-rated Jane and Crazy Ex time share, but we need to remember that this is The CW and not The W, so CBS Studios will get some shows on there (at least one of the two new shows will also have to be distributed by them). This is more of a "ratings be damned, we get awards" night that will last through the fall, but the night will likely be rebooted midseason.


7-Football Overrun/The OT/Comedy reruns
7:30-Football Overrun/The OT/Bob's Burgers
8-The Simpsons
9-Family Guy
9:30-Son of Zorn

Sunday in recent years has been one of FOX's best nights, even without football overruns, with The Simpsons and Family Guy being long-running animated staples for the network. Additionally, second-tier animated show Bob's Burgers has really come into its own as of late, up in raw numbers and now at a 92 in A18-49, and a 120 in M18-34, despite not having aired with the football halo once this season. To capitalize on the success of their animated trio, I think opening up the spot in between The Simpsons and Family Guy for a new animated show would be the smart thing to do. Son of Zorn can close out the night for another 13 episode run, the ratings aren't the best when aired without the football effect but they're not terrible either, and at the very least it fits in with the night's skew.


My FOX mock schedule took quite some time to make and is bound to change too. Decisions such as whether to put Hell's Kitchen or MasterChef Junior in the fall, or to try to get something that holds more of Gotham's male demo, thus moving Lucifer to another night, etc. FOX has a new DC project titled Black Lightning that could very well see itself in the Monday at 9 time slot, as it would be very compatible with Gotham and bound to be male-skewing. While Lucifer gets an 86 out of a 90 in A18-49, it only has an 84 out of a 102 in M18-49 and contrarily rises 7 points out of Gotham in W18-49. So while both are DC shows and are probably best together than with any other show currently airing on the network, they're not quite as compatible as first meets the eye. Then I decided that FOX should probably keep something the same, and Lethal Weapon also does well amongst men so a hypothetical Black Lightning pickup could fit there (or later on in the season on Mondays).

8-The Mick
9-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:30-The Last Man On Earth

Originally I wanted to try MasterChef Junior at 8pm, a new comedy at 9 or 9:30, and The Mick at the other half hour. But then I realized the former would probably be hurt significantly by casual viewings like The Voice and The Middle, while female-skewing shows should stay away from This is Us. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with this two-hour block. I'm really not high on the chances of New Girl, so I stuck The Mick at 8pm, though as of this writing (the day before The Mick's time slot premiere ratings are released), I don't know which one will be stronger. But FOX has a new comedy from Lee Daniels called Ms. Pat (you can find a description on FutonCritic) that on paper seems like it could fit well with The Mick, plus it's Lee Daniels. As for the 9pm hour, we're going for the male demographic. Last Man On Earth simply does terrible with women; a 60 in W18-49 compared to a 90 in M18-49. I don't see a whole lot of its audience fleeing for This is Us. Additionally, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has proven to be a solid self-starter this season, and also skews more male than female. Won't hurt to have two former Saturday Night Live stars air sitcoms back-to-back, especially two that are past their prime ratings-wise but still potent enough for a renewal. This won't last forever though; midseason, this block will be condensed to an hour, with Seth MacFarlane's Orville taking over one of the hours.


I think this Wednesday schedule is the most obvious one, assuming Empire stays at 9pm. FOX is already trying to see how Lethal Weapon will do without Empire (remember, I'm living in a world where Star hasn't had its time slot premiere yet, if you're from the future). I think a more urban, female-skewing drama would work best paired with Empire. As for Star, if it succeeds I've thought since it was first scheduled that it was meant to be a bridge show to simply keep the time slot warm to promote Empire's return, and I would keep it that way unless it turns out to be something huge.

8-Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon is bound to fall considerably without Empire by its side, even if this show appears to be a bazillion times stronger than Rosewood. I still see it being an above average show tn the ratings though, and figure that it could make for a decent launchpad. Black Lightning is a possibility here, and I wouldn't rule out Lucifer to Thursdays either. But FOX may be aiming for something better than that.

8-Hell's Kitchen

So...what can hold on well to Hell's Kitchen's decent-even-if-it-wasn't-on-Friday female demographics, while also not stumble due to the kitchen show lagging behind with those male viewers. I know, Pitch. Pitch is subsidized by the MLB and essentially is an advertisement for the MLB World Series, which not coincidentally also airs on FOX. Perhaps giving it a low priority time slot, but paired with something that skews very similar to it, can help this Dan Fogelman drama not named This is Us find new life. The problem here is my most recent FOX Renew/Cancel Watch put Pitch as leans cancellation and The Exorcist as leans renewal, based on the correlations to how much FOX reportedly charged for an ad. Might have to sort this all out later.


7-Football Night in America
8:30-Sunday Night Football


8-The Voice

This is pretty self-explanatory too. Timeless simply is not doing good behind The Voice, especially in the younger demographics, and looks to be NBC's weakest scripted show on the fall schedule. Considering every other veteran is either a Dick Wolf show that doesn't need more exposure, a comedy, or a show that has already aired in the coveted Monday time slot, a new show is what belongs at 10pm. Preferably one that does better on capitalizing on The Voice's younger demographics than Timeless is doing.

8-The Voice
9-This is Us

OK, whether they go through with this kind of schedule or not, it's pretty easy to predict what they could do up to this point. Chicago Fire is a strong show, no doubt about it, but it's time for This is Us to get its chance to launch something. At this point it's a better launchpad than The Voice, as it's higher-rated, especially if we're talking about a female-skewing show. A 200% relative rating in W18-34 out of a 154 for The Voice is simply amazing.

8-Chicago Fire
9-Law & Order: SVU
10-Chicago PD

Assuming it moves for the sake of a new show, there's really only three places Chicago Fire could go: Wednesday at 8, Thursday at 9, or Thursday at 10. Its gender skew, which may be impacted a bit by This is Us, is currently very similar to that of the shows airing later in the night, not to mention they're all Dick Wolf shows. Wednesday at 8 has been a problem slot for NBC lately, and they can do better than Blindspot here. As for Law & Order: SVU, it's an average performer for NBC despite having to face Empire, Modern Family, and Criminal Minds. As long as they don't have some massively huge show airing at 8pm, they're not going to do better than that given this competition, and Chicago PD performs best with SVU by its side. No reason to mess with this pair.

8:30-Returning Comedy
9-New Comedy
9:30-The Good Place
10-Chicago Med

I can't even begin to think about which comedies NBC will air next season considering they still have three that are yet to air, two of which have the honor of getting to air after The Voice. I wouldn't be surprised to see all three succeed, actually, leaving Superstore (82% of NBC's scripted average in A18-49) towards the bottom of the sitcom pack. But I think Superstore is getting renewed and will start off the night with solid ratings, though nothing special. 8:30 and 9pm shows will simply depend on what succeeds and what doesn't. If by some chance all three new midseason comedies succeed, I see The Good Place getting benched. If not, I think it airs at 9:30 so that Chicago Med can get its same lead-in as this season, as that seems to be working out OK. It's better than if, say, Superstore closed out the block given its noticeable male skew that wouldn't mesh well with Chicago Med.

8-Chicago Justice
9-Shades of Blue
10-Dateline NBC

NBC can definitely do better than two hours of Dateline ratings-wise, though it's unclear whether this would translate into more money given how cheap the newsmagazine program is to produce. And they can definitely do better than Caught on Camera, let's leave that one to summer or late December or Saturdays, it's just not doing good enough. None of its demos go past 50% of the average in relative ratings, with most in the low 40s, a very distant last place in NBC's fall 2016 ratings. I'm not all that high on the chances of Emerald City or Mightnight, Texas. What makes things complicated is that neither Blackspot nor The Blacklist are rating well enough to endure a move to Friday and not get embarrassingly low ratings unless they somehow manage to hold up super-well,  while neither are warranting a Monday-Thursday slot at the moment either. The same applies to Timeless. So I'm just going to give 8pm to Chicago Justice given that it's a Dick Wolf show that I predict will be old-skewing enough to warrant this, and should do decently on a Friday, especially with the help of some crossovers. As for 9pm, let's tentatively pencil in Shades of Blue, which did mediocre in its first season but at least will be compatible with Chicago Justice and fit for Friday.

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »