How’d They Do? Evaluating The Ratings of Stumptown, For Life, and Emergence

Welcome to this edition of How’d They Do?. The ratings for Stumptown, For Life, and Emergence are here. Note that this does not include cancelations, but rather shows that were announce to be ending ahead of time.

Credit for the ratings go to Programming Insider. Any missing numbers is a result of them not being reported.

Stumptown (2019-Present)
Stumptown was one of two new dramas ABC premiered on their fall 2019 schedule, the other being NBC reject Emergence. It was placed in the Wednesday at 10pm time slot, airing directly after Single Parents and against Chicago PD and S.W.A.T. It is based on the comic book series, Stumptown.

Stumptown started out somewhat promising for its premiere, growing tremendously in delayed viewing. When all platforms within the first five weeks of viewing was tallied, Stumptown’s 3.22 in Adults 18-49 was four times its Live + Same Day rating. 

While Stumptown didn’t end up doing bad enough to be called a flameout, it eventually settled in subpar ratings. Declines were apparent across the board, especially in W25-54 and Households. 

Stumptown almost always made an entrance on Canada’s top 30 weekly chart in first-week total viewers, perhaps signaling to ABC that the show has potential outside of the United States. 

ABC is yet to announce where on its schedule Season 2 will air. While Stumptown’s ratings certainly weren’t cancelable, it will likely need some more protection to grow into a show that can feasibly last more than two seasons.

Grade: C

For Life (2020-?)
ABC saved For Life, a new legal drama executive produced by rapper 50 Cent, for midseason. They proceeded to place it in the dreaded Tuesday at 10pm time slot, airing directly after black-ish. Already, For Life had its work cut out for it, and expectations for its ratings likely weren’t all that high. It is still unknown if the show will be renewed for a second season. 

For Life, like previous time slot owner Emergence, was sampled well. Chances of a renewal started looking more shaky as the series went on, hitting a 0.43 in the Adults 18-49 demo in same-day viewing. More concerning, the delayed viewing ratings declined with the same-day viewing ratings.

The sub-demos skewed similarly to most shows, with W25-54 being its top demo and M18-34 lagging behind. Luckily, it never hit a 0.0 in M18-34, but a string of 0.1s toward the end of the season indicated a possibility of hitting a 0.0 for its finale.  

The ratings bump it saw for the finale was largely due to having a different lead-in: a special called ‘The Happy Days of Garry Marshall,’ a special honoring the creator of Happy Days. This likely will make ABC wonder how it would perform if it permanently had a lead-in other than black-ish. This could be a cause for renewal.

It wasn’t a steady hit in Canada, but it did made the top 30 most-viewed weekly shows in Canada for four of the 13 episodes. It isn’t anywhere near what Stumptown did, but it’s something nonetheless.

With For Life yet to be renewed or canceled, it seems ABC has more faith in it than Emergence, but knows it didn’t perform as par with Stumptown. If it was an easy renewal, it would have happened by now. With that in mind, its grade can’t be too high.

Grade: D

Emergence (2019-2020)
Emergence was originally a pilot on NBC. A high-concept drama, it is rumored NBC was scared of its potential to flame out in the ratings. With NBC declining to order the show to series, ABC picked it up and placed it in their Tuesday at 10pm time slot in the fall.

As NBC expected, Emergence flamed out. It started out decently for the time slot, but it got to the point where even the impressive delayed viewing jumps weren’t enough to save it. While the ratings were pretty solid at first, it simply got to the point where it would have been awfully tough to justify a renewal.

It even flamed out in Canada. While it started extremely well for Canadian standards, and stayed on the top 30 chart in most weeks, the trajectory of its ratings was largely on the decline.

Everyone will always be left wondering how it would have done had NBC picked it up and aired it on Mondays instead of Bluff City Law. Chances are it would have done better, but still be a pure bubble show at best for a renewal.

Grade: F

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