Week 24 Sitcom Scorecard -- Can Our Sitcom Ratings Claw Their Way Back After This Icy Sweeps Period?

As predicted, the ratings are trending downward for the sitcom pack's majority, with 18 of the 28 active shows seeing drops in ratings averages.  The preliminary rating for this Tuesday's The Mick went fractional, though the show received welcome news as FOX altruistically announced renewals this week with the The Mick returning next season.  This brings the total renewed sitcoms to six -- three for FOX, two for NBC and one to ABC. Changes to status were due this week.  However, Superior Donuts made a troubling two-tenth drop this week and will be called next week.  Powerless plunged into frigid waters, downgrading its classification to Likely Cancellation. This icy February Sweeps period left ratings road accidents in its wake, so lets take a moment of silence and mourn the loss of demos, NOT!  Instead, let's take a laugh at how low is acceptable to keep our comedy machines on the air.

This week's compilation added ratings from 2/15-2/24, leaving WednesdayThursday and Friday showings with the most impact.  However, the sitcoms are showing their ratings weight minus inflation and promotion.  Aside from The Great Indoors, which has yet to display its performance outside of The Big Bang Theory, every show is in true form.  The Mick took a beating in recent scorecards as it experienced massive hemorrhages and continues on its downward freefall now tied in 17th Place among the 30 sitcoms.  It delivered a fractional showing on 2/21, and FOX rewarded it with a renewal.  This may have appeared presumptuous, but the Mick has matched and/or improved the performance of veterans Brooklyn 99 and New Girl.  The Mick deserved its renewal, as well as an additional five episode order it received this season as it has outperformed several in Fox's freshman class.  Even if the Mick drops to a 0.7 in some odd showings, it will fit right in with the rest of the pack and appears to be self-performing vs. lead-in dependent.

The same praises may not be belted for Powerless, which dropped to a 0.7 on Thursdays, earning a downgrade to Likely Cancellation.  So why would The Mick charm their way out of a 0.7 rating on FOX and Powerless is on trial for misuse of a Timeslot?  NBC has an embarrassment of riches in successful shows, with their bare minimal poor performance bar set at 0.9.  Non-comedy offenders here are The Blacklist and Blindspot, which shall hold longer track records and take on difficult spaces in the schedule.  Powerless faces competition from powerful Grey's Anatomy on ABC, not-so-powerful sitcom competition from The Great Indoors, reality TV on FOX and the usual CW fares.  This timeslot is ideal for growth and is being underutilized, much like CBS in this timeslot with the Great Indoors.  And falling into last place behind perennial tail end Dr. Ken sealed this show's fate.

The only growth our sitcoms will experience for the remainder of the season is to remain stable and watch the competition fall.  4th Place Goldbergs stands on promising ground to overtake the Simpsons, which is now .20 above and showing massive hemorrhages.  American Housewife was briefly knocked out of the top 10 after Superior Donuts' inflated premiere, yet returned to its deserved position after Superior Donuts fell below the Winners' Classification by failing to meet the minimum 1.50 demo requirement.  CBS' Mom also stands to gain ground as Family Guy and 2 Broke Girls trail, and Superior Donuts may sink lower in upcoming weeks.  As mentioned above, even Dr. Ken enjoyed a mild victory and is next to last place.  Though Superior Donuts is slipping into middling territory, it is performing just as well as a 6-year old sitcom next door.  If it ticks up to the 1.3-1.5 range for the season's remainder, it is a surefire renewal.

Unless the few remaining mid-season entries are movers and shakers, the ratings have spoken for who will be back and who will not on ABC and NBC.  Dr. Ken is perennially anemic, yet it has a stable (albeit low) performance on Fridays.  It has shown more growth potential than The Real O'Neals, who languishes its Tuesday timeslot.  This has increased the odds for Dr. Ken's survival.  ABC's remaining slate is solid and is likely to return.  NBC renewed its critically acclaimed two darlings, and will likely dispense of the last joke.  CBS' schedule is a hard read, yet has likely renewals in order for most of its Monday lineup, as well as the majority of its Thursday roster.  FOX is a tougher read, as most of its shows have delivered at 1.1 or lower as of late.  Given the permanent number of rerun timeslots on Sundays, low-rated fares like Son of Zorn and Last Man on Earth may experience a reprieve.  The upcoming weeks will feature more repeats, so less movement may be in order for weekly Scorecards.

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