2017-18 Week 28 Sitcom Scorecard -- Mom Rightfully Renewed by CBS as ABC Continues to Monopolize 1st Place

Written Committed to Nielsen Sobriety by Bridger Cunningham

Another ratings-sturdy sitcom, Mom, made it into the elite early season renewal club, joining 10 other sitcoms into renewals guaranteed through Spring 2019.

The deliveries for sitcoms during this week delivered mixed results, most in line with the Spring Doldrums and downturns.  Sunday, April 1 delivered softer results for FOX, likely due to the Easter holiday.  Bob's Burgers (0.7) shed two-tenths, while The Simpsons (0.9) held steady.  Brooklyn 99 (0.8) ticked down a tenth, yet made the accomplishment of upgrading from The Abyss to the Anemic classification within this table.  Family Guy (0.9) held steady, and Last Man on Earth (0.6) slipped a tenth and carved out a new series low.  Monday, April 2 only presented Living Biblically (0.8) as an original sitcom, bolstered one tenth to match its series high this week thanks to a Big Bang rerun.

Tuesday, April 3 delivered another fractional FOX evening as LA>Vegas (0.7) rebounded a tenth, and The Mick (0.7) was even for its season finale.  Over at ABC, Roseanne (3.9) dropped 1.3 ratings points from its premiere, holding 75% of its inflated prior week.  And this is as good as it gets for ABC in its current state.  Following Roseanne, The Middle (2.2) spiked eight-tenths for its rich lead-in, Blackish (1.5) dropped 1.1 points following its Roseanne windfall, and Splitting Up Together (1.4) retained an impressive trajectory of holding 93% of its lead in, as well as the timeslot's highest rating in two years.  Due to this sturdiness, Splitting Up Together enters the chart as an 80% (Likely Renewal) chance of renewal.

Wednesday, April 4 delivered a ho-hum batch as The Goldbergs (1.4) was even as Alex Inc (0.9) dropped two tenths.  The softer delivery to Speechless left Alex Inc. debuting into the charts as 45% (On the Bubble, Leans Cancel) renewal odds, taking into account spring delivers lower yields and ABC may opt to timeshare its sitcoms the following season.  Elsewhere, Modern Family (1.4) delivered even as American Housewife (1.2) was down a tenth from its last entry.

Thursday, April 5 delivered harsh spring ratings.  On CBS, everything slid one tenth The Big Bang Theory (2.4) etched a new series low, followed by Young Sheldon (1.9), Mom (1.3) and Life in Pieces (0.9) shamefully delivered its first fractional performance.  Over at NBC, the network delivered low yet steady with Superstore (0.8), AP Bio (0.6), the 9th season finale of Will & Grace (0.9) and Champions (0.5).

Why and How Mom Was Renewed
An outsourced sitcom in its 5th season with modest ratings picks up an early renewal?  How did this come to be?  CBS' Mom has experienced an upswing in the last 12 months, attributed primarily to having a stronger lead-in with Young Sheldon vs. tepidly rated The Great Indoors, whom Mom not only often outperformed but also TGI weighted Mom down like cement shoes.  After breaking that albatross free, Mom flourished, just in time to get its creative tone and cast centered.  CBS delivered a little TLC to Mom with the right lead-in and consistent timeslot, and Mom performed above average.  Given the disastrous results of CBS Mondays, the network wisely locked in its winners for one more season of stability.
Mom's renewal indicates CBS sees it as instrumental to stake its lineup for the next season.  With The Big Bang Theory rumored to be leaving TV after its 12th season concludes in 2019, CBS has its prequel Young Sheldon eyed to assume its timeslot in upcoming seasons.  CBS will elect to either keep Mom in its current 9:00 scheduling on Thursdays, or use it somewhere on the Monday map to rebuild its night of ruins.  Speculators wondered if NBC's opposing reboot Will & Grace would damage Mom's ratings, especially with W&G debuting with a polished 3.0.  Thankfully, Mom and W&G debuted at opposite scheduling times.  And when they finally matched head to head, Mom regularly bested its competition, currently tied for 8th Place in this chart among broadcast network sitcoms.
CBS is in a shaky state on the sitcom front with three strong winners, four delivering mediocre, oft fractional performance, and a multitude of failures populating the 9:30 timeslot on Mondays.  With one of its winners rumored to exit next season, CBS is seeking to bolster its Chuck Lorre-based sitcoms, which have proven to be moneymakers for the network since 2003.  6-7 sitcoms will likely return next season, with TBBT, Young Sheldon and Mom will be used to frame in a shaky lineup.

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