2017-18 Sitcom Scorecard -- Never Watching FOX Again

Written Hunting FOX by Bridger Cunningham.

The last weeks of the Sitcom Scorecard series are afoot as beloved sitcoms lose Nielsen blood.  Thus far, AP Bio has joined the ranks of the renewed, leaving 23 shows in the clutches of the sitcom killer (3 are already suspected dead).  Sunday, May 6 opened with disappointing results for FOX as Bob's Burgers (0.7) and The Simpsons (0.9) and Family Guy (0.9) dropped another tenth, Brooklyn 99 (0.7) disappointed with another two-tenth drop and Last Man on Earth (0.7) limped out of the gates steady.  Monday, May 7 included slight improvements for Kevin Can Wait's finale (1.0) and Man With a Plan (0.9), while Superior Donuts' finale (0.7) held steady.

Tuesday, May 8 produced mostly stable results for ABC and FOX.  Roseanne (2.6), The Middle (1.5) and increasingly depressing Black-ish (1.2) all held steady, while Splitting Up Together (1.0) shed a tenth.  FOX' double helping of New Girl (0.5, 0.5) remained steady with its last showing, circling the drain.  And Wednesday, May 9 presented more abysmal ABC helpings as The Goldbergs (1.2) held steady, Alex Inc (0.7) handed a tenth over to Modern Family (1.3), and American Housewife (1.1) regained two.

This week's multi-arc passage was to include the silly, fictitious take of the sitcoms venturing to a cursed campground to be picked off by a sitcom killer.  However, the idea didn't come to fruition this week as FOX's triple slaying of The Mick, Brooklyn 99 and Last Man on Earth.  Several are heartbroken, some indifferent, and today, an overwhelming spew of hatred is coming from the impassioned.  "I hope Last Man Standing bombs because conservatives suck...."  "What a dumb fucking idea to give Carol Burnett a sitcom.  FOX is going off the air."  These are the kinder helpings of hate seen today, and this needs to be taken down six bullets. 

Yes, fans are hurt and angry.  Yes, killing these three shows off seems fairly senseless.  But stand in the shoes of the FOX executives.  For quite some time, FOX sitcoms have exhibited decaying Nielsens which do not discriminate against FOX' mighty Sundays.  Tuesdays have been abysmal for much of the decade since New Girl cooled in the ratings in 2014.  The network has worked feverishly to revamp this evening, going as far as to push the sitcoms into differing timeslots with few victories.  The Mick never caught on, no matter how often FOX plugged it in a promotional slot.  Last Man on Earth may have been in line with recent seasons' performances, but this spring exhibited a sharp drop.  And the serialized premise is hard to keep moving.

Brooklyn 99 recently bounced back on Sundays, but its fall 2017 performance scarred its chances of reclaiming its 2nd season glory.  A shorter 6th season may have been on the table, but New Girl's recent Nielsen disaster perhaps changed FOX's view on this offering to B99.  Add Thursday Night Football consuming 11 weeks (22 hours) next season, and a resurging drama variety.  The network has an embarrassment of riches in successful to modest dramas to pick from.  Save for Last Man on Earth, where would these series have been scheduled?  FOX is invested in a new direction with reviving Last Man Standing, and it needs compatible pieces to run adjacent, which none of the three axed sitcoms possessed.

Counter this with five sitcoms whose highest rank in this chart is 28th of 36 shows, and FOX had to make a choice.  Would they be wise to give The Resident the hook to save these three helpings?  All three do creative circles around creatively-decaying Simpsons, but Simpsons brings in the Nielsens, which helps generate profit.  Several are threatening to boycott the network all together, which is drastic.  People must remember there is good anger and bad.  Good anger in this instance may entail individually boycotting the network.  If FOX no longer gives you programs you enjoy, try out one of the others.  Bad anger is vomiting hateful comments on the network, other people, shows, fans of other shows or people of a differing political belief.

Out of this tragedy, fans can rest assure their shows enjoyed more than their original season.  Brooklyn 99 enjoyed five seasons, and is thriving in syndication on TBS.  The cable network has revived broadcast discards in the past (remember Cougar Town?), so perhaps they may be interested in giving the dynamic cast another run.  Last Man on Earth is streaming live, and The Mick enjoyed 37 episodes. 

This is a sad day indeed, but remember there is always hope.  And several actors within these productions who are a hot commodity for new or existing sitcoms!

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