2005-06 Sitcom Scorecard -- The Hills Run Red for Comedy As Reality TV and Network Closures Clean House

Written Scoffing at the Rudeness of the 2000's by Bridger Cunningham

Image result for UPN WB 2006Behold the last Sitcom Scorecard UPN and WB will grace on TV Ratings Guide, as this season marked the tragic end for two promising networks.  May 19, 2018 marks an ominous moment for their predecessor, CW, as they have officially outlived their parent networks.  In parting, the highest-rated shows were salvaged, leaving many to decline and end unceremoniously within the next 1-3 years.  As harrowing as this mega-cancellation was, the sorrows were felt in the higher regions of the chart.  Only one show cracked into the top 20, and ABC's highest-rated sitcom posted a disappointing 60th Place.

Notice this chart runs red-dominant?  That is because a record 63% of the sitcoms offered this season either ended or were dispensed on all 6 broadcast networks.  UPN and WB dissolving contributed to 8 of those 31 cancellations, yet ABC culled more than any of the 6 networks, dispensing of 8 of its own sitcoms, followed by FOX butchering 7 of its sitcoms including 3 longstanding veterans.  And CBS and NBC each contributed 4 casualties, bringing the networks with these renewals -- ABC (2), CBS (4), CW (4), FOX (6) and NBC (3).

So how did sitcoms wind up awash in one of the greatest bloodbaths in their genre's history?  Let's break it down by the 6 networks --

ABC -- Dancing With the Stars became the next sensation to sweep the network, leading to the dissolution of TGIF for a second time in late 2015.  That left Tuesdays and Wednesdays to piecemeal afterthought timeslots for its sitcoms.  Less Than Perfect narrowly skated to the syndication finish line, yet 3-season "veteran" Hope and Faith collapsed to appalling levels and was given the hook, and sophomores Rodney and Jake in Progress suffered the same fate.  All Freshman sitcoms were hazed with low ratings, including Crumbs, which was juxtaposed to powerhouse DTWS and only wrangled 60th Place.  That left George Lopez and According to Jim to return to Wednesdays mid-season the following year.

CBS -- Mondays remained steadfast with Two and a Half Men anchoring the evening and taking the lead from a defecting Everybody Loves Raymond.  How I Met Your Mother made a modest debut while The King of Queens aged.  Wdnesdays dispensed of weaker veterans Still Standing and Yes, Dear, both which fell flat and said no way Jose.  And two forgettable Freshman were given a wedgie by CBS scheduling.

FOX -- All good things come to an end.  Veterans The Simpsons, Family Guy and King of the Hill rated gracefully for Sunday standards, along with sophomore American Dad.  Critically-acclaimed Arrested Development, however, struck out after 3 seasons.  Fan outcries over the years led to a 4th season debuting on alternative platform Netflix in 2013, and an upcoming 5th season slated for 2018.  Veterans That 70's Show (8 seasons), Malcolm in the Middle (7 seasons) and Bernie Mac (5 seasons) all got going before their ratings disintegrated father than the ruin they experienced in 2006.

NBC -- Will and Grace bowed out after 8 proud season, yet modestly rated crass-com My Name is Earl (seemed) to have the torch power to carry the network for years.  That honor, however, rested with The Office, which would carry NBC through its ugliest seasons till its conclusion in 2013.  Scrubs delivered modestly, and that is where the graces stopped for the declining peacock, who dispensed of their remains.

UPN -- Between the two networks, UPN had the stronger sitcom roster in the 2000's, so three of its laughers were spared bloodshed.  Everybody Hates Chris was their last landmark hit, while Girlfriends reigned strong after 6 seasons and All of Us delivered a strong 3.  Half and Half reached syndication, and Eve struck out after batting modestly the last three seasons.

WB -- Only Reba and What I Like About you were deemed salvage worthy, and both had reached syndication.  Reba outranked and enjoyed one more season, leaving the last WB legacy sitcom to end in 2007.

Source -- http://criminalmaster.proboards.com/thread/1988

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