1994-95 Sitcom Scorecard -- ABC Claims 1st Place a 3rd Year, The Biggest Laugh UPN and WB Deliver Is Their Ratings

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Written With Proof Sitcoms Lead to Network Victories by Bridger Cunningham

Contrary to previous discussions by media outlets, NBC did not lead the networks from 1990-95.  It held 2nd place from 1990-91 and 1994-95, and rested in 3rd place from 1991-94.  In that absence, CBS ruled 1991-92, and ABC reigned the other years.  NBC certainly had the most viable sitcoms launched in the last two seasons, yet ABC rode high on Home Improvement's exhaust.  NBC came in 2nd, followed by a tarnished Tiffany standard landing CBS in 3rd place.  And of course, FOX....  Usually they ended this sentence in last place, yet two new networks emerged in the race called UPN and WB.  Both delivered ratings paltry to 1995, yet would be right at home in 2017.

Seinfeld joined the league of slow-burning sleepers who achieved ratings success after multiple seasons of earned success.  It joined The Facts of Life, Cheers and Family ties in a treasured place in NBC's crown, finally reaching 1st place during its 6th season.  Joining it was newly debuted Friends, who housed the other leading timeslot in Must See TV.  Frasier moved to an uncharted Tuesday, which sank the previous seasons with clunkers like Saved by the Bell: The College Years.  Add Mad About You, Wings and NewsRadio into the mix, and NBC wisely invested in its future.

ABC may have led the season, but it had less shows to carry it through the decade.  Home Improvement and Grace Under Fire burned hot, while Ellen and aging Roseanne registered lowe than the two irons in the fire.  Full House ended its 8th season at 24th place.  Lower than the last three seasons, yet far greater than its shaky 1st season in 71st.  TGIF delivered another stable delivery, while Coach experienced a massive drop due to an ill-fated move to Mondays in a 4th night of comedies.  6 casualties befell the 16 entries, though Sister, Sister was salvaged and shipped off to the fledgling WB.

CBS experienced the largest drop of 23% as its Monday comedies cooled compared to the last three successful seasons.  In a questionable move, the network axed Hearts Affire and Lova and War after three seasons.  9 casualties sliced down the 13 entries.  FOX experienced its showpieces dropping in prominence in age.  Martin and Living Single performed respectively and were salvaged, a fate 8 other shows were not afforded the same luxury.  Further down, UPN axed its two clunkers which shall not be named.  And WB launched three shows which carried the network 5 seasons.

Source: http://fbibler.chez.com/tvstats/recent_data/1994-95.html

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