ABC Moves American Housewife. AGAIN. And AGAIN

American Housewife returns tomorrow having been on hiatus since January 31.  And what is its surprise gift offered by the network?  ANOTHER move!  Yes, tomorrow's move at 9:30 after Modern Family may be viewed as an upgrade.  But one needs to ask -- do the frequent moves across the schedule demonstrate ABC values its sturdy sitcom, or treat it as an afterthought?  Tomorrow's move marks the 6th move in nearly 4 seasons, followed by a 7th after Modern Family exits.  Perhaps it is a promising move to resume Modern Family's timeslot (as ABC is shit outta luck in sitcom options).  But enough already!

American Housewife is treated as the mistress of the ABC bosses on the schedule.  Always on the move, new night, new cheap motel.  And in recent seasons, out of sight of primary players.  Have a hole on Tuesday night?  Stick it there.  Fridays are weak?  Call American Housewife as she will work for cheap.  This kind of behavior is often reserved for outsourced or aging series.  Take a look back at American Housewife's extensive moves in its 4-season run:

Tuesdays at 8:30
(Season 1, Episodes 1-23)

Back when American Housewife debuted in fall 2016, it was sandwiched between aging The Middle (itself relocated to Tuesdays after 7 seasons on Wednesday), and fellow ABC afterthought Fresh Off The Boat (in its 4th move inside two calendar years).  The results?  American Housewife debuted as ABC's second strongest pilot with a 1.9 18-49 demo rating, only second to Speechless' 2.0 on Wednesday nights.  AH easily bested its neighbors for most of fall 2016, and on most evening matched or came close to The Middle for the season remains.  Speechless may have had the prime slot between heavyweights The Goldbergs and Modern Family, but American Housewife gained more notice as it built its audience on an undesirable evening.  Ratings delivered between 1.1-1.9 with a 1.43 18-49 average, marking AH's most successful season to date.

Wednesdays at 9:30 
(Season 2, Episodes 24-47)

Sensing American Housewife had more to give, ABC decided to develop it by moving it to Wednesdays following Modern Family.  Also, ABC appeared to be testing the strength of Black-ish, which sat in the prime slot post Modern Family for 3 seasons.  The results?  A tad disappointing.  But was American Housewife to blame?  Modern Family was one of ABC's strongest sitcoms of the 2010's, but it was no Big Bang Theory.  It may have been so during the early 2010's, but the signs of wear and tear were evident in 2017 as the sitcom began dipping below the 2.0 rating mark, along with The Goldbergs.

Along with this fall, American Housewife's developing success appeared to have been stifled.  Debuting to a 1.6 rating, the series pricked its finger on the fractional spinning wheel at 0.9 in May.  The ABC brand of the 2010's of family-based sitcoms saturated the lineup, and the ratings were all wet this season, save for Roseanne's landmark comeback in May.  Despite these fortunes, American Housewife finished the season with a 1.22 average and regarded as one of ABC's strong players.

Wednesdays at 8:30
(Season 3, Episodes 48-57)

After Speechless flamed out in the prime development bed between Goldbergs and Modern Family, it was shipped to the Friday graveland with Fresh Off the Boat.  In an interesting move of solidarity (or otherwise unknown reasoning), American Housewife slid into its timeslot.  ABC's (mis)fortunes for its sitcoms continued as all but The Conners (the Roseanne continuation), The Goldbergs and Modern Family began treading below the 1.0 line.  American Housewife was no exception, delivering two fractional deliveries of the ten in this timeslot.  AH managed episodes between 0.87-1.22 in this timeslot, a slight improvement over Speechless' prior delivery.  And the last time it would ever see a rating above 1.0.

Tuesdays at 8:00
(Season 3, Episodes 58-70)

ABC's true intentions of handing American Housewife its "prime" slot became evident as newbie spinoff Schooled debuted in that slot in early 2019.  Rather than hand fellow Wednesday night sitcom Single Parents the slot, ABC used American Housewife as a fluffer to hold down the bed until Schooled could join the party.  So where did ABC decide to house it's sitcom mistress?  In the hole left behind by The Conners after it wrapped its 13 episode run as they tested the series as an evening lead.  The results?  American Housewife may have been the strongest player of the evening, but it belted out 0.7-0.8 ratings.  This disastrous season left American Housewife finishing with a 0.91 average.  Not bad, considering ABC treated it as an afterthought. AGAIN.

Fridays at 8:00
(Season 4, Episodes 71-83)

Could ABC top the insults on the scheduling with its 2018-19 season for American Housewife?  They did, as AH was handed an F-U timeslot and shipped out to Fridays.  It slightly improved the slot over Fresh Off the Boat's prior season in the lead.  American Housewife delivered between 0.49-0.73, a massive downfall to a 0.59 rating (and losing 1/3 of its audience).  Was ABC trying to kill off the series by shipping it to Friday's graveyard?  Many would believe so, but once again it comes down to they were SOL for options.  The Goldbergs and Modern Family barely escaped fraction the prior seasons.  New pilots delivered ho-hum at best.  Speechless burned out and died, The Conners was no longer red-hot and Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat all but gone.  ABC wanted to keep Friday evenings going, and tasked AH with a tall order.


Is it an FU, or welcome home to send American Housewife back to Wednesdays?  There is little question ABC doesn't value AH; it just treats it shitty on its schedule.  And with only The Conners being "the hit" on the schedule, ABC needs to wake up and put things where they belong.  AH could have used some Wednesday exposure when Jeopardy's Greatest Of All Time  declared a holiday in January and February.  But let's focus forward.  Sliding into Modern Family's old timeslot demonstrates either ABC loves and values it's sassiest housewife, or (AGAIN) it's shit outta luck in the sitcom department.  Either way, leave that drama in the bedroom.  It appears American Housewife will be here to belt out bitchy insults another season.

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