2017-18 Week 21 Sitcom Scorecard -- Now is the Time for CW to Invest in Sitcoms

Written Freezing Laughs by Bridger Cunningham.

Behold the strike of original sitcoms, and programming, as NBC is colder than an attorney in court covering the Olympics.  ...And ABC, CBS and FOX are hiding out as though they owe NBC money.  No changes in ranks, ratings or status have occurred, leaving plenty of opportunity to discuss a prime opportunity -- CW jumping back into the sitcom arena.

Take a peek at the sitcom ratings boasted by ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.  Then take a peek at a common average for CW.  Most of CW's shows rate in what is classified in this chart as "Anemic" or "The Abyss."  CW announced today they are opening Sundays for original programming, adding a potential 3 hours of programming to their lineup per week.  Perhaps now is the time for the network to consider venturing into a "new" genre for the following reasons.

1. Fridays are currently a dumping ground for low-rated programming.  Why not open one hour for a 13-episode cycle to allow two new sitcoms to try their luck?  The last successful network to feature sitcoms was ABC, and they foolishly ditched the programming in 2017.  Why not capitalize on this loss and fill a void left by another network?

2. The creative renaissance brought in 2014 is starting to fade.  Superhero shows are everywhere, and critical darlings are scheduled on CW's outskirts.  It is time to shake things up slightly and give viewers something new to check out/invest in?

3. It has been over two years since CW attempted a sitcom with its last foray in 2015's Significant Mother.  That was after a six-year absence after Everybody Hates Chris was cancelled in 2009.  Come to think of it, the only other sitcoms CW has showcased are Reba, Aliens in America, and Girlfriends.  What a better opportunity to diversify CW's dance card?

4. CW is partnered with Netflix, who regularly displays 13-episode season orders of successful 30-minute entries.  Even with 0.2 ratings, viewers love sitcoms they can invest in.

5. NBC has updated its Must-See-TV Thursday sitcom lineup into a diverse, compact timeslot housing 7+ sitcoms over two hours the entire season.  As seen in this chart, three entries are doing well in the current format and do not require 22-episode season orders.  CW could take NBC's cue and dabble in the format with limited space commitments.

6. CW caters to teens and young adults, two demos absent in most of the current sitcom roster.  Imagine a sitcom centered on teens in class a la Welcome Back Kotter or That 70's Show.  Both mentions succeeded as they did not have a founding "star" but rather generated their own celebrities.

7. There are plenty of evenings with weakened sitcom blocks.  FOX Sundays in Spring are ripe for the taking.  CBS Mondays have been an embarrassment.  Tuesdays may be saturated with sitcoms, but none are blockbuster.  ABC Wednesdays are aging, and no one is colonizing Fridays.  There are a plethora of options to develop new sitcoms on CW without being trounced by the other four networks.

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