1995-96 Sitcom Scorecard -- NBC Returns to 1st Place After 5-Year Absence

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Written Marveling The Peacock Colors by Bridger Cunningham

After 5 years of enduring downturn and sinking as low as 3rd Place, NBC reclaimed its home in 1st Place, where it would ride out the next 4 seasons leading the now-6 networks.  Seinfeld, Friends, Caroline in the City and Frasier became the network's big-ticket items in sitcoms.  Where one peacock spread its colors, the liveliness of the ABC sitcom brand began to lose its luster and hues.  Experiencing a massive erision coinciding with the January 1996 merger with Capital Cities and Disney, the alphabet network repeatedly fought off attacks on 2nd place from resurgent CBS, whose sitcoms overtook the network' deliveries.  FOX also experienced massive hemorrhages, while UPN and WB inched upward in their anemic deliveries.

Must See TV and NBC Tuesdays were where it was at this season.  Both evenings bolstered top-20 hits.  Mondays cooled down faster than the Yukon in November as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air bowed out.  Sundays delivered softer deliveries, and Saturdays failed to ignite a spark.  Over at ABC, their rock-solid franchises experienced landslides.  Coach rebounded after a disastrous move to Mondays the previous season, and that was where the fortunes stopped.  Home Improvement was still top-10 worthy and returned to Tuesdays after 3 seasons on Wednesday.  An aging Roseanne fell out of the top 10 after moving to 8pm in what was then declared the final season (it returned for an ill-advised 9th season).

Wednesdays experienced a downtrend similar to the 1991-92 season as Grace Under Fire delivered modest success in 13th place without Home Improvement as its lead-in.  Ellen dropped as well, and Drew Carey barely made the top-50 cut.  TGIF experienced declines as its 3-year old lineup dropped, leading to an overhaul the next season.  CBS Mondays experienced buckling with Nancy McKeon vehicle Can't Hurry Love and Murphy Brown aging, yet The Nanny's ratings registered higher than Fran Drescher's hair.  ABC's weakened state on Wednesdays and Fridays could not afford an opportunity for CBS to try comedies on these evenings, again.  FOX could not dominate any of the evenings it housed sitcoms as Married... With Children and The Simpsons aged.  Saturday sitcoms of course failed, and feeble attempts to enter the Monday and Thursday games could not generate electricity.

Source: http://fbibler.chez.com/tvstats/recent_data/1995-96.html

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