2017-18 Week 18 Sitcom Scorecard -- Sitcoms Hibernate as Great News Concludes its Season Low

Written One Year of Sitcom Writing by Bridger Cunningham.

After January delivered hearty helpings of sitcom goodness, several series are hibernating as the Superbowl and Winter Olympics converge this February stifles Nielsen potential.  Be prepared, as The Sitcom Scorecard will also hibernate throughout this period as sparse data = nothing to talk about.

FOX's latest Resident squatted on sitcom real estate on Sunday, January 21, as that block will not return until much later into February.  Thankfully, CBS reigned in new material on January 22 as Kevin Can Wait (1.3) and Man With a Plan (1.2) held steady, Superior Donuts ticked down a tenth (1.0), and 9JKLet'sMakeFunOfThisShow dropped two tenths (0.8).  ABC took Tuesday January 23 off, and FOX's LA>Vegas (0.8) and The Mick (0.7) each dropped a tenth.  Speechless and Modern Family took Wednesday, January 24 off, opening doors for ABC to fluff off extra episodes.  The much-lambasted Goldbergs backdoor pilot episode held steady (1.7), while double helpings of American Housewife delivered impressive (1.4), then dismal (1.1).  CBS took Thursday, January 25 off, while NBC shelled out its three softest sitcoms.  Superstore (1.2) and The Good Place (1.1) bounced back a tenth, while the season/series finale of Great News shed one (0.5).

Great News bowed out for the season this week close to its series low, and the signs are looking grim.  So why hasn't it been downgraded to 5% (Certain Cancellation)?  That is because three sitcoms have yet to debut, and could potentially lower the bar beyond Great News' abysmal performance.  Somehow, Great News wrangled a renewal last season, so anything goes, especially with NBC's new format of encouraging shorter episode orders per season.  Speaking of burnoffs, only two more episodes of 9JKLet'sCallThisADud completes its 16-episode order on February 5.  Critically reviled, poorly named and insultingly low rated should have been a cue for CBS to yank it off the air weeks ago.  However, the network needed a bridge to get to Living Biblically's premiere on February 26.  Several can concur 9JKL is the worst sitcom foisted onto audiences for the 2017-18 season (thus far).

Several status changes occurred to sitcom renewal odds this week, mostly with positive developments.  Bob's Burgers and Kevin Can Wait cracked 100% certain renewal this week.  KCW is the strongest player on Mondays and deserves the vote of confidence.  But why is Bob's Burgers gaining an upgrade during a week it is nowhere to be found?  It acts as a retaining wall for an undesirable timeslot, and is currently FOX's 2nd-highest rated sitcom, pushing past Family Guy.  That is grounds for an upgrade.

Man With a Plan also received a bump to 80% (Likely Renewal) as its January performance has gained traction, pushing further into The Middle of the Pack.  It also pairs nicely with KCW, so why would CBS foolishly ax a series performing moderately?  And (not so) sadly, 9JKL gets a downvote to 5% (Certain Cancellation).  Why now?  After the remaining lineup performed at a higher bar this week, 9JKL dropped 20%.  It is CBS's weakest player (at the moment) and is being groomed to be dispensed.  It's only saving grace for a pickup is a guarantee that all cities pick up trash every week.

Elsewhere, American Housewife proved it holds more value than Speechless as it did top its performance in the plum 8:30 timeslot on Wednesdays.  However, it is still weakened, and hardly sturdy enough to take the reigns with Modern Family's speculated ending next year.  Before closing this week, let's have a moment of silence as the Address Sitcom circles the drain with this loving tribute from Blazing Saddles.

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