2018 Sitcoms -- What is Coming, Going and As Good as Gone

Written Organizing Laughs by Bridger Cunningham

The four networks are poised to increase this season's sitcoms displayed prior to May 1 to 36-37 entries planned vs. last year's 34.  All debut dates, save for FOX's Brooklyn 99, NBC's Trial & Error, are slated between February 1 and April 10.  Several shows will dip in and out of the schedule between now and then, so let's look at what 2018's calendar offers:


February 1:  The same evening The Good Place bows out for its 2nd season, AP Bio makes a special debut behind Will & Grace.  Following the frosty Olympics, it is slated to return March 1.

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February 26: CBS debuts its 10th entry of original programming in the 9:30 timeslot, which has not housed a successful occupant since spring 2014 with Mike and Molly.  Can this sitcom produced by Johnny Galecki break the network's curse over this troubled timeslot?

March 8: NBC announced on January 9 that Champions will debut on March 8, presumably in the vacated 8:30 timeslot used by The Good Place.  Champions has 4 weeks of mining Will & Grace as its leadout, an ideal setup crafted by NBC.

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March 27: Aided by a 60-minute premiere, Roseanne returns to television on ABC after a 21-year hiatus.  Can the reincarnation ignite a fraction of the original series' ratings magic?  After all, Roseanne was a top-10 player for 7 of its 9 seasons.  And on this same evening, ABC launches its latest pilot, Splitting Up Together in the cursed 9:30 timeslot.  Can the series survive a timeslot which has claimed the short existences of The Real O'Neal's, Imaginary Mary and The Mayor?  Hopefully, a lack of competition from NBC's powerhouse This is Us, as well as a rumored March rebound for the network can keep this series above the 1.0 mark for a fighting chance.

Image result for alex inc abcMarch 28: ABC's last sitcom offering, Alex, Inc, receives the network's plum development place on Wednesdays at 8:30 between The Goldbergs and Modern Family.  Hopefully, it outperform Speechless, which underperformed in this place since early fall.

April 10: After six critically-heralded seasons, New Girl bows out of the FOX lineup with an 8 episode run.  Which timeslot remains unclear, but it will likely be paired with Brooklyn 99 and/or the remainder of The Mick's 20-episode season.


Image result for the good placeFebruary 1: Following Great News' exit, The Good Place bows out the following week after a strong 2nd season.  The Good Place currently averages a 1.18 18-49 Adult Demo average, NBC's 2nd strongest player which currently ranks 14th among the 29 series on display.  The Good Place has already retained a renewal and opts for shorter 13-episode seasons.

Image result for fresh off the boatMarch 20: ABC is going for broke in March 2018, deciding to end two sitcoms early to allow its last three entries to finish the season with greater visibility.  Fresh Off The Boat will exit the season earlier than usual with 19 episodes vs. the standard 22.    With 79 episodes by the season's close, FOTB holds a 1.08 demo average.  Fans best not fret, as the durable series can be positioned in nearly every timeslot and take its fans with it.

Image result for speechlessMarch 21: Like FOTB, Speechless' episode order was reduced to 18 episodes, bringing the overall original count to 39 episodes by the season's close.  Speechless hit declines this season and currently 1.14 average for the season, underperforming against its surrounding shows, The Goldbergs (1.51) and Modern Family (1.74).  Will the series make it to fall 2018?  The remains of the season (and the performances of Spring's 3 debuts) will paint a stronger picture of Speechless' future.

Image result for will and graceApril 5: After a 11-year hiatus, NBC darling Will & Grace received a two-season renewal prior to its 2017 return.  A bold stroke indeed, as the network found its strongest sitcom since the Office graced the lineup in the early 2010's.  Its 17-episode run ends in April, currently the 3rd-strongest sitcom on the map with a 1.89 average, likely finishing the season in this rank.


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January 25: It appears Great News is slated to conclude its run early as 10 episodes of the 13-episode run have already played out.  The sophomore series, which received a surprise renewal last year after averaging a 0.80 rating, has already dropped below that average at 0.79, currently ranked 28th among the 29 sitcoms.  It's broadcast range has scattered ratings between 0.4-1.3, heavily dependent on its strong lead-in, Will and Grace.  Will it survive the season?  Currently, it is NBC's weakest sitcom.

Image result for 9jklFebruary 5-19: No confirmed date has been stated, but 9JKL airs out its final 16th episode of the season one one of these Mondays.  The critically reviled series currently averages a 0.99, tying the network sitcom lows only known to Me, Myself & I and The Great Indoors.  The series continues to slide down this season's ladder, currently in 23rd Place among the 29 entries.

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October 30, 2017: The season's first Monday minus The Big Bang Theory created a fractional bloodbath, with Me, Myself & I collapsing and tying the network's sitcom low at 0.7.  CBS shelved the series as it finished with a 1.00, shuffled 9JKL into its 9:30 deathslot to open the 8:30 timeslot for returning Man With a Plan.

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December 12, 2017: Although the 9th episode of ABC's freshman series ticked up during an evening of rebounds, it meagerly managed a 0.8 rating.  It was MIA as recently as January 2, being replaced by a Modern Family rerun.  ABC yanked the series on January 4 after it averaged a 0.82, currently finishing the season ranked 26th of the 29 sitcoms.
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NBC's debut of Trial & Error has yet to declare a debut timeslot.  Brooklyn 99, which stands in last place among the 29 sitcoms on the air with an abysmal 0.65 average, has yet to have a date and timeslot declared to finish out the season.

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