Sitcom Scorecard: March 22-26, 2020

Welcome back to TVRG's revival of the Sitcom Scorecard.  There are approximately 7 weeks left of original programming left, save for COVID-19 delays.  Unlike prior seasons, the renewal predictions seem all too easy for 2019-20.  FOX ratings now deflate without NFL spikes on Sunday, despite mild windfalls this season due to a record number of American Viewers confined this spring.


When the Sitcom Scorecard debuted 3 years ago, ABC had an embarrassment of riches to pick from on solid sitcoms.  Flash forward to 2020, those days are over.  Despite having plenty to embarrass themselves, all the sitcoms are fading or ending.  The Conners delivers strong, and The Goldbergs is modest.  Beyond that, sitcoms as of late trade 0.5, 0.6 and 0.7 ratings around like checkers.  Among their players, Schooled and Single Parents convey the weakest.  Schooled is outsourced from Sony and parked next to ultra-compatible company and still delivering soft.  Single Parents boasts a large ensemble and has done little to shine on its own.

Elsewhere, the "ish" sitcoms too a beating as Black-ish plugged the 9:30 cursed timeslot and prequel Mixed-ish does little to bolster.  Bless This Mess' strongest pitch is it defies ABC's tired family sitcom formula of the 2010's, and American Housewife is surviving strong despite some unsavory timeslots (read about that HERE).  AH took a beating housed on Friday nights and now appears to be poised to resume Modern Family's post.  Unless ABC plans on folding that hour, that's a guarantee for AH.  Sadly, with so few players delivering, there appears to be no sitcoms on deck for Fridays.  The greatest takeaway is Shark Tank is thriving on that evening as ABC is putting things back where they belong.


The Tiffany Network again remains mysterious without any clear sacrifices called out.  Mom and Young Sheldon are locked into the following seasons, The Neighborhood continues strong, and surprisingly has strong compatible company with Bob Hearts Abishola.  The Thursday freshman, The Unicorn and Carol's Second Act did little to distinguish themselves.  It doesn't help being without The Big Bang Theory's monstrous ratings power-up, but Young Sheldon still triumphs with solid ratings (for today).  The Unicorn's premise is savvy, and Carol's Second Act is equitable to a warm embrace on the back of the schedule.  The problem lies in that two more series need to showcase.

CBS' formula anticipates one show will bomb, leaving an opening for either Man With a Plan or a new pilot.  This season had none of that, as Abishola outperformed, and Carol and Unicorn performed modestly to get to 18 episodes.  That leaves newbie Broke and returning Man With a Plan to scrape out the remains of the Thursday schedule.  MWAP is at 56 episodes which a few short years ago many would argue CBS would commit to the series to get it to syndication.  Last season proved otherwise, as Life In Pieces walked into the season with 66 episodes and was burnt off to 79, cancelled after an afterthought April debut.  So unless MWAP or Broke halos in with a 0.9 this April, they will likely file into Unicorn and Carol bucket.  All of which the network could dump as they have four solid players.


America's 4th (founded) network is doing fine, and they have identified not only their time windows but the players likely coming aboard.  Hit show Simpsons is locked into the next season, Bless The Harts is renewed and who would cancel Family Guy (again) and Bob's Burgers?  Elsewhere, Last Man Standing is, ordinary, again.  A powerful player in the 2018-19 season, there's only so long the sparkle lasts after 8 seasons.  LMS is still a likely renewal, but no longer the sterling player it once was.  Sadly, Outmatched never stood a chance coming into its timeslot.  It will likely be dispensed in the same manner The Cool Kids was last season.  And Duncanville?  Ditto, as it was saved for scheduling nowhere near NFL inflations.


Many argue ABC lost viable players, but NBC's slate is more grave.  Its strongest two players are (wisely) renewed.  But it lost two tentpoles as The Good Place and Will & Grace declared final seasons.  In between, not a single freshman pilot shined.  Current player Indebted squandered a 0.7 lead in from Brooklyn Nine-Nine (sad to call that number a lead-in) and belted out 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.  There's little to no audience established and this series needs to go.  Next season, it may be likely NBC trims the sitcom window back to one hour, as there will need to likely be 4-5 new pilots to gamble on to fill a 2-hour window.

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