1993-94 Sitcom Scorecard -- ABC Claims 1st Place in Overall Ranks and Sitcoms, NBC Again in 3rd Place

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Written Preaching the Importance of Sitcoms by Bridger Cunningham

ABC again took the 1st Place gold standard of not only the overall Nielsens, but also in sitcom ranks.  CBS took 2nd overall, fitting for the Tiffany Network after suffering in 3rd place from 1987-90.  And surprisingly, NBC rested in a narrow 3rd.  However, Must See TV built momentum, having launched successful spinoff Frasier coupled with the increasingly-popular Seinfeld.  CBS sitcoms took 3rd, and FOX saw a down season.  Overall, the 1993-94 season was a sitcom heavy market with 14 sitcoms landing in the top 20 (three were tied for 20th, expanding the girth to 22 places).

The divide between renewed and cancelled is defined more prominently this season with a few outlying instances.  So what gives with the cancellations surrounding the Middle of the Pack?  Phenom, Joe's Life and Thea wasted the lucrative lead-ups to MVP's Roseanne and Home Improvement on ABC.  Evening Shade hit the syndication mark and cost heavily in salaries, and Nurses remains a mystery cancellation as it built on not only its fading lead-in Empty nest, but also freshman sitcom The Mommies by a full two-points.  With the "4-year syndication" standard often cited, this remains a mystery as it would have had one more season to clear the finish line.

Nurses was not the only series at the approx. 66 episode benchmark.  On ABC, Dinosaurs (which was burned off starting in April 1994) died off in July with 65 episodes.  Hard to think a show which inspired "SMOO" wasn't given another season, yet it managed to wrangle some syndication.  The other two mentions rest on FOX with Herman's Head and Roc, both of which reached the 66 episode mark.  It is understood both were low-rated, but what could have been had both been given another season?

All three of ABC's primary comedy blocks anchored successes.  Tuesdays held steady, minus Phenom, with the remaining three shows placing 16th or above.  8pm on Wednesdays placed anemic, yet 9pm scored gold with Home Improvement and freshman Grace Under Fire placing in the top 5.  Fridays boasted success with all four shows placing between 28th-38th Places, including freshman Boy Meets World.  Must See TV on NBC made fireworks, yet Saturdays failed to ignite a spark.  Monday entries fared respectable, while an ill-fated Tuesday block featuring Saved by the Bell spinoff The College years crashed and burned against ABC.

CBS Mondays held steady, and that was where the good fortunes stopped.  Random placement of sitcoms elsewhere faded fast, leading efforts to focus on Mondays the following season.  And FOX experienced mixed merits this season.  Its two heavy-hitters edged down slightly.

Source: http://dictionary.sensagent.com/1993%E2%80%9394%20United%20States%20network%20television%20schedule/en-en/

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