Sitcom Scorecard -- May 18-21, 2020

Welcome to the first of the last three Sitcom Scorecards for the 2019-20 season.  This week's entry will focus on the renewals, the second the cancellations and the final will evaluate how things have changed since TVRG implemented the Sitcom Scorecard Series three years ago.  On the ratings front, only CBS Thursday entries Broke and Man With a Plan remain, pummeling the network's average lower and lower.  While not surprising considering CBS owned most of the season, it is noteworthy to mention as this season marked a hard collapse for the Tiffany network as they fell to 4th place below long-suffering ABC.  This is dramatic as losing megahit The Big Bang Theory was a contributing factor to losing over 30% of the crucial demographic, as well as the first time in 70 years CBS came in 4th place.

ABC and FOX delivered more fates for their shows and drew the lines with cancelled and renewed.  FOX finalized the sitcom lot granting Last Man Standing a 9th season and as expected dispensed Outmatched (more on that in the next entry.) ABC announced its returning roster with five salvages including American Housewife and Goldbergs while discarding sophomores Bless This Mess, Single Parents, and Schooled (for more about why Schooled was dismissed, read about that HERE). Already discussed and ending sitcoms include Fresh Off The Boat, Modern Family, Will & Grace and The Good Place, as well as FOX's The Simpsons and CBS's Mom and Young Sheldon as this trifecta was handed 2-year renewals the prior year.  Also please note despite The Moody's previously being classified as Certain Cancellation, this card has changed the label to "Limited Series" as this is how the series was marketed with limited intentions for additional seasons.  That leaves NBC's struggling players Indebted and Perfect Harmony the only outliers still yet determined.  NBC is often late to the party with announcing its sitcoms, so stay tuned.

So Why Were These Shows Renewed?

ABC: Everyone knew a renewal for The Conners was coming as it was TV's number 1 sitcom; it just needed to finalize a few details. The Goldbergs became questionable as the series is aging and outsourced, but ABC still needs it to support their lineup with sagging ratings.  Given a mild windfall with CBS collapsing and ABC narrowly finishing in 3rd Place (impressively without any NFL coverage), ABC needs all players on deck to continue in this direction.  Especially as CBS isn't due in rotation for the Super bowl till 2022; what a better time to gain some ground. American Housewife has been treated like an afterthought the last two seasons and passed everywhere there's a hole on the schedule and suffered, but endures. ABC would be foolish to hock this series as it is young enough to carry the network long after The Goldbergs comes and goes. The "ish "franchise took a beating in the 9:00 hour on Tuesdays, but pairs compatibly and continues to garner critical acclaim.  If ABC decides to move its puzzle pieces around, they file conveniently into an hour block, even on Fridays. And both Blackish and Mixedish part of the latest successful spinoff franchise as discussed HERE.

CBS: The fortunes are falling for CBS which hardly holds a buzzworthy show with the younger crowd.  However, the network managed to locate a strong 4th player in its 6 sitcom offerings.  Bobishola entered the arena this year to middling ratings behind The Neighborhood, though slightly stronger than stand-in Man With a Plan. Locating a 4th jewel behind their strong players Neighborhood, Mom and Young Sheldon is encouraging as the network continues to re-establish its comedy brand.  And a two-year pickup is encouraging as CBS is committed to keeping Monday comedy nights alive despite being a far cry from their glory years.  Bobishola is television's sweetest sitcom offered, and the sweetest news to hear it received a larger order. The Unicorn's pickup proved surprising as it hardly distinguished itself and relied on critical acclaim. It has a harder road being parked behind incompatible Mom next season, but is aided by said lead-in taking a more sophisticated approach in later seasons and relying less on the Chuck Lorre calling card of toilet humor. And who didn't see a Neighborhood renewal coming? CBS isn't stupid!

FOX: Did anyone really have to guess Family Guy and Bob's Burgers were returning?  FOX knows where its hits delivered. The surprise came as Duncanville and Bless The Harts received pickups after underwhelming results.  COVID-19 also unveiled an innovative twist as during the shutdowns, it was demonstrated animation requires less contact -- animators and actors looping in delivery.  Even The Blacklist incorporated animation to finish out its remaining episode to meet demands.  Last Man Standing endured a rough year as the blush wore off the revival rose last year, and being planted in infertile Thursday soil vs the bountiful Friday garden.  It is aging but still holds marketability as certain dynamics like the workplace deliver.

NBC: The peacock is standing tall in dramas delivering but stole a booby prize from ABC as it is shit outta luck in the comedy front.  Losing two major players and three freshman failing to make the grade like high school stoners, NBC had no choice but to renew Superstore and Brooklyn 99. Neither are an embarrassment for the network and hold critical acclaim, holding enough grit to hold down one hour of comedies on Thursdays.  Both are aging and ready to step into their 6th and 8th seasons, and have a plethora of character and plot development to carry these series further.

What to Look At When The Sitcom Scorecard Concludes

Just because the scorecard is ready to conclude until fall doesn't mean readers will be left with a four-month long void.  The TVRG team is brainstorming and committed to delivering editorials and other series articles to enjoy.  Keep in mind the site's RATINGS HISTORY LIBRARY was conceived during the summer of 2017 when the site opted to deliver historic Sitcom Scorecards, leading the massive undertaking of profiling the ratings for every season from 1950-present.  Keep an eye out this summer as TVRG is turning a page and offering plenty of discussion and articles even if in-season favorites are on hiatus.

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