2017-18 Week 16 Sitcom Scorecard -- NBC Plunges to 3rd Place in Sitcoms as FOX Sports a Beautiful New Trailer of Sunday Ratings

Written Shuffling the Ranks by Bridger Cunningham
2018's second week of original programming is coming to a close, and the dynamics have shifted.  ABC lost a player last week, and is holding its course, now positioned in 2nd Place with its sitcoms.  CBS enjoyed another week of abnormally high ratings due to Mondays taking a hiatus, FOX scored their annual (and abnormally high) banner week.  ABC delivered ho-hum this week, and NBC received a double kneecapping as not only was their direct competition from CBS was strong, but a ABC landed a much-anticipated interview with troubled Olympian Tonya Harding.  The ABC special is perhaps the only victory they will take against NBC until February, as the Olympics are a surefire win for the peacock.
Sunday, January 7 experienced landmark growth for FOX due to its welcome Football inflation.  The results?  The Simpsons gained 1.1 points (3.4), Ghosted gained eight-tenths and scored their series high (1.8), Family Guy gained four tenths (1.6), and Last Man on Earth gained three-tenths (1.1).  Looks like FOX is movin-on-up to a beautiful new trailer with purdy numbers.  CBS took Monday, January 8 off, and Tuesday, January 9 spelled downticks for ABC and FOX.  The Middle lost two-tenths (1.3), as did Fresh Off The Boat (1.0), and Blackish ticked down a tenth to its series low (1.0).  FOX's fortunes were bleaker, as LA>Vegas dropped three-tenths in its second episode (0.8), and The Mick ticked down a tenth to its series low (0.7).
Wednesday, January 10 spelled mixed fortunes for ABC as The Goldberg's epic dinner episode delivered steady (1.2), Speechless gained a tenth (1.2), Modern Family ticked down a tenth (1.6), as did American Housewife (1.2).  Thursday, January 11 kicked off Olympic fever, with CBS again winning the gold as its enteire lineup retained all but a tenth of last week's impressive gains.  The winners -- The Big Bang Theory (3.0), Young Sheldon (2.5), Mom (1.6) and Life in Pieces (1.2).  NBC busted their shoe laces as Superstore remained steady (1.1), The Good Place was saddled with another series low (1.0), Will & Grace slid three-tenths to a new series low (1.1), and Great News regained two tenths (0.6).
Check out the table, and notice many changes, particularly in ranks.  The FOX gains will likely cool for the remainder of the season, but let The Simpsons enjoy shoving its way from 5th to 3rd, even for a brief spell.  Given Will & Grace has sparse episodes to deliver between now and April 5, it will likely end the season in 3rd place (if it manages to break past this ratings fumble on the winter ice).  Modern Family lost ground this week, though will likely finish the season in 4th place as The Simpsons tends to drill downward in the Springtime.  A desirable lead-in is leaving Mom in a polished placed of improvement, as it now inches close to the Goldbergs' 6th Place.  A welcome improvement, considering the series spent the 2016-17 season as the 10th or 11th highest sitcom on the air.  Cutting that boulder known as The Great Indoors loose helped CBS Thursdays reign strong.
Further down the roster, Family Guy nearly shattered the glass ceiling of the Middle of the Pack classification this week.  Ghosted also enjoyed a hearty spike from 18th to 13th Place, thanks to a desirable Simpsons lead-in helping the series reach a new high (check out the rare green mark on the table).  Much of the Middle of the Pack shuffled ranks due to this change as The Good Place dropped from 13th to 15th, Black-ish and Speechless each dropped a rank, and LA>Vegas' drop helped push Fresh Off The Boat up a place.  Elsewhere, it was business as usual for the Anemic classification, save for an entry from a plummeting LA>Vegas.
Notice anything different about Speechless?  Yep, it turned green this week and was upgraded to 70% from 55%, now deemed "Leans Renewal."  Given it was announced the episode oder was trimmed, how is this plausible?  Speechless has now twice sported stronger gains on evenings which ABC's comedy block was down.  Plus, more networks are dabbling in shorter episode runs, so a series having 18 episodes is not a death knell in 2018.  ABC is going big or going broke this March, speculated to be either their rebound or plunge with a bold rash of new shows.  Reclaiming 2nd place in sitcoms for the first time this season seems to be a promising start....  Let's hope their three March debuts give TVRG something to talk about as the season concludes.

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