2015-16 Sitcom Scorecard -- Are These The Last Sitcoms On Earth? Get Real O'Nielsen's!

Image result for last man on earth - mary steenburgenWritten Lauding Proof Sitcoms Are Not Old Hat by Bridger Cunningham

Does anyone remember the 2000's, a decade marked by party girls, hackneyed people becoming reality TV stars, real estate prices inflating to artificial highs, and gangsta rappas singing about nothing but fighting, [fornicating] and burning things down?  Yes, the consensus is everyone is glad that mess is over.  That decade was extremely cruel to the sitcom franchise, as it was treated as poorly as an infomercial or public access fare.  If anyone questions whether the networks still value sitcoms, this colorful display is a testament of passive aggressive proof the networks still love sitcoms.

They may not love the corny laugh tracks, but the 17 repeat/duplicate displays of the 31 active sitcoms shows broadcast networks valued a function for sitcoms.   Their repeats/duplicates were used as scheduling putty for undesirable timeslots or failures.  This season, CBS' L+7 ratings stood one full point ahead of ABC's 2nd place average as The Big Bang Theory has ruled for some time, of course.  FOX stood in 3rd as their mixed fortunes and creative changes delivered varied results.  And NBC may have ruled the Nielsens, but was a loser in laughs as only partial-season order Superstore was spared the scythe.

Image result for last man on earth - mary steenburgenThat lower portion of the chart, ranging from ranks 22-48, is messy and offensive.  Let TV Ratings Guide apologize in advance.  Some shows in that range put people to sleep until 11pm.  The meat and potatoes of 2016 resided above that range, and the numbers pay ode to that as nothing was renewed beneath a 1.3 L+7 18-49 Demo rating.  So what went on above that?  Let's start with CBS.

The network made the foolish decision to abandon Monday evening sitcoms late in 2015, and results have yet to recover.  A staple since 1986, the laughs went quiet and averted to mocking a misplaced Supergirl, who resulted to flying over to safe airspace on CW.   Mike and Molly received a low-calorie fat-shaming episode count and a bum's rush with a hastily-declared 13-episode final season.  M&M went out with style, a rare luxury CBS affords its outsourced productions who become old hat at 6 years.  The grifting alchies of Mom endured yet another timeslot move, of course, and the drunken crass antics of 2 Broke Girls lit the shot on fire in their 5th season as the ladies explored Hollywood in a splashy departure in writing.  Impressive, as this show which held the shifty sitcom block affloat was groped with more moves than a despicable/desperate male at a nightclub at 1am.  Life in Pieces performed decently in its fertile post Big Bang soil, and Angel from Hell was vanquished satirically like a Leslie Nielsen sendoff via Exorcist parody Repossessed.

Does is sound as though the networks were downright evil and cruel to sitcoms this season?  Not so fast.  ABC allowed The Real O'Neal's to hang out.  'Nuff said.  Elsewhere, their Wednesday comedy block reigned supreme with winning quad Middle, Goldbergs, Modern Family and Black-ish.  Last Man Standing won its timeslot for majority of the season, and Dr. Ken outperformed its predecessor Cristela, earning a renewal.  Problematic was Tuesdays as Fresh Off The Boat was shackled to not one, but two clunkers via a failed Muppets 'The Office' spin, but also The Real O'Neal's.  Respect for hanging onto their ratings the next season after the network experienced unison erosion.  With Tuesday comedies failing, how did ABC remedy a problematic night?  They opened up more sitcom spaces to rent.  Bold.

And finally FOX.  They rested in 4th the last season, yet had some bright spots.  Family Guy and The Simpsons reigned solid, Bob's Burgers was not offended by its timeslot, and New Girl and Brooklyn 99 found immunity with critical acclaim.  Left to fend was Last Man On Earth, dealt an undesirable tail-end timeslot with minimal fumes from Football inflation.  Yet the series not only prevailed with a beautiful cast but crisp writing.  FOX was wise to renew.  Beyond that, little losses with dispensing with Bordertown, Grinder, Grandfathered and Cooper Barrett.

Call sitcoms the last TV genre on earth, yet they endure and slap trends back in the face.  They aren't going anywhere!

Source - http://deadline.com/2016/05/tv-season-2015-2016-series-rankings-shows-full-list-1201763189/

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