2017-18 Week 17 Sitcom Scorecard -- More Shuffles as Several Shows Make Boosts and Bombs

Written Shuffling the Ranks by Bridger Cunningham
Stormy January weather seems to equate to several shows receiving boosts.  And ironically, several accrue  frostbite during prime growth opportunities.   
Sunday, January 14 presented FOX with another great growth opportunity, as the Simpsons maintained all but a tenth of last week's glory (3.3).  Bob's Burgers sauteed a season high (2.1), as did Family Guy (1.8) and Last Man on Earth (1.2).  Monday, January 15 alloted CBS' Monday roster to exhibit a storm of ratings with the usual trajectory.  Kevin Can Wait ticked up two tenths (1.3) since its last dreadful December showing, and the lineup remains all grabbed three tenths with Man With a Plan (1.2), Superior Donuts (1.1) and 9JKL (1.0).  Tuesday, January 16 brought mixed fortunes as ABC's The Middle ticked up a tenth (1.4), and Fresh Off the Boat (1.0) and Black-isk (1.0) each held steady.  A one-tenth uptick came FOX's way for LA>Vegas (0.9) and the Mick (0.8).
Wednesday, January 17 spelled a victory for ABC as The Goldbergs gained two tenths (1.7), and the lineup remains also picked up a tenth in the way of Speechless (1.3), Modern Family (1.8) and American Housewife (1.3).  Thursday, January 18 exhibited stable patterns for NBC and CBS with 2018 showings.  The Big Bang Theory (2.9) and Young Sheldon (2.4) each shed a tenth, while Mom (1.6) and Life in Pieces (1.2) each held steady.  Over at NBC, Superstore dropped a tenth (1.0), The Good Place held steady (1.0), Will & Grace regained two tenths (1.3) and Great News also reclaimed a sliver (0.7). 

What These Numbers Tell Us About Each Network

The ratings have indicated the state of each network, with a better idea of survivors and what the networks may do with their schedules next fall.  Take a look at how each brand is doing.
Last season's solidity is showing its age as Wednesdays are not as golden as they once were, and Tuesday's lineup is in ruins with only an exiting show holding strong.  ABC needs to get a plan going to reboot the Tuesday block as it faces stiff competition at 9:00 from NBC's This is Us.  Wednesday could be in jeopardy with Modern Family's speculated ending in 2019.  The only promise is ABC seems to be banking on a risky and brash reinvention strategy in March 2018 with Roseanne, Splitting Up Together and Alex, Inc all making their debuts.
The six comedies on the air not ending have higher odds of survival this fall, even with Speechless' truncated episodes.  Recent showings have exhibited growth, indicating this series could survive in many places on the lineup.  ABC's biggest issue is locating something to replace Modern Family, as American Housewife is not strong enough to assume that void.
Depending on how the three new pilots play out, Tuesdays leave many options open.  Would ABC be bold enough to have Roseanne take on This is Us head-on at 9:00?  Roseanne seems to be the strongest player thus far.  A sample lineup may have either Roseanne or Black-ish taking the 8:00 or 9:00 showings, with the follow-ups split between Speechless, Fresh Off the Boat or Splitting Up together.  Any way it plays out, that 9:30 timeslot is a difficult sell.  Wednesdays may succeed if Alex, Inc jells, otherwise it will be shopped for a new pilot. 
Thursday Nights are red hot, while Mondays are sounding a code blue alarm.  Young Sheldon has succeeded as The Big Bang Theory's greatest retention mate.  Mom has also capitalized on its windfall, perhaps foreshadowing another long-running Chuck Lorre franchise which perhaps will break the 6-season curse which befell 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly.  The remains of the lineup hold the same merit and weight, as only Young Sheldon breaks out as a freshman hit.  Where CBS is best to invest if formulating a schedule for not only next year, but the following.
It is evident Young Sheldon is being groomed to lead the evening with TBBT's speculated ending next season, and Mom is performing too well at 9:00 to move.  That means Life in Pieces may have to move during its 4th season if none of the other three series move.  Mondays are in ruins, with only Kevin Can Wait delivering sturdy weight (no pun intended).  The rest of the lineup is dispensable as 9JKL is likely a goner, Man With a Plan exhibits a small following and Superior Donuts is a lineup carb filler.  
If CBS salvages all but 9JKL, here is how it will have to go down.  Keep Thursdays intact from 8:00-9:30 and either launch a pilot at 9:30, or stick Superior Donuts in this hole.  As for Mondays, once the football shuffle ends, KCW is likely to lead the block and is best paired with Man With a Plan.  Either launch a new pilot at 9:00, or allow Superior Donuts to play out there.  And move Life in Pieces to 9:30 and repair a cursed timeslot which has not delivered a solid player since Mike & Molly in 2013.
Like ABC and CBS, FOX has a strong evening and another afterthought.  Sundays have delivered strong with longstanding favorites Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy and Last Man on Earth doing respectable or greater in their timeslots.  And Tuesdays are a fractional afterthought with nary a single series cracking above a 1.0 this season, save for LA>Vegas' debut.  Brooklyn 99 appears to have limited survivability, and a four-way tie of fillers leaves The Mick, Ghosted, LMOE and LA>Vegas competing for the undesirable schedule spaces.
FOX Sundays are guaranteed to have the animated favorites returning in their timeslots, and unless FOX scraps Tuesday comedies, the filler shows will populate there and on Sundays at 9:30.  LMOE remains questionable due to the serialized comedy format, yet performs fine on Sundays.  The Mick is sturdy and critically acclaimed.  That leaves freshman Ghosted and LA>Vegas competing for survival.  This spring will give the true weight for all shows involved, and thankfully FOX seems to invest heavily in time-sharing its Tuesday shows for more original programming. 
The peacock experienced a resurgence as Must-See-TV is back on the radar, thanks to the revival of Will & Grace.  The network found a winning trifecta with its Superstore/The Good Place/W&G scheduling, while Great News has underwhelmed.  The series is not dead yet though, as NBC's recent scheduling pattern hosts shows with limited runs.  AP Bio and Champions have yet to debut, so the race is on.  Add Trial & Error to that pack, and NBC has three winners and four other shows cutting their mark.  Expect a soft spring.

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