Sitcom Scorecard: September 28-October 22, 2020

Welcome back to TVRG's Sitcom Scorecard feature.  It has been in interesting, trying 5 months since the last season's shows ran for cover from COVID-19 and ducked out by late April-mid May.  This season will indeed be a lean one, with few to no fresh new pilots.  Approximately 20 sitcoms will be profiled by the season's end, a bleak and sad drop from the 2017-18 season's landmark 37 entries.  7 finally made their returns, and many more shall be filing in within the next three weeks.

Given animated shows require less body contact, it was a no-brainer FOX's Animation Domination block returned on schedule to give bored viewers something new to watch.  The word "Domination" is more of a nod to the past, as FOX can only scrape up large numbers via its annual Football Inflation continuing through January.  In fact, FOX' Sunday block will likely be the only network seeing shows register above the 1.0 mark.  The verdict is out for Young Sheldon, set to premiere in two weeks, and The Conners may squeak out an occasional entry in this arena.  Beyond that, what you see below 1.0 is the new norm(al) for the 2020-21 season.  Always creative NBC attempted to create a virtual style sitcom in Connecting, only to be greeted with the same style numbers as the last 15 years.  Please note One Day at a Time will not be profiled in this feature as CBS merely licensed its 4th season of repeats from Pop, leaving renewal odds none of CBS' business.

FOX already handed renewals to Bob's Burgers and Family Guy, making the first official changes to the charts.  If a series already registered 2+ episodes in the new season, their odds have been predicted below.  FOX will be on hold until The World Series concludes; meanwhile the action has shifted over to ABC's rebuilt Wednesday evening, consisting of the strongest survivors from the year prior.  The Goldbergs registered two solid (ratings wise) episodes, doing the boiler plate ABC sitcom style plotting.  Tuesday transplants The Conners and Blackish knocked it out of the park addressing 2020 issues head on, unmasking all the problems the world knows now.

The Conners carried nearly their entire audience over from the destroyed Tuesday comedy block, while Blackish looked like the weakling.  What readers must realize is Blackish took a battering the prior 3 seasons trying to hold up Tuesday evening.  Suffering from underperforming neighbors and a dreadful move to 9:30, the veteran series has some ground to recover getting reacquainted with its old timeslot.  Given the interest in the "ish" spinoffs (read about that in this site's profile of Blackish' SPINOFF STORIES), Blackish appears to be a solid investment for ABC and holds potential for renewal.

What Is To Come This Sitcom Season

With few options for sitcoms looking as bleak as the 1973-74 or 2009-10 seasons, fans of the genre sadly only have Sundays on FOX, Mondays on CBS, Wednesdays on ABC and Thursdays on CBS/NBC to watch these laughers.  However, they are coming back one by one.  Starting next week, the Sitcom Scorecard will be profiled Fridays.

Save These Dates

October 28 -- American Housewife makes it's 5th season debut at 8:30.  This marks the 8th move for the series (read about that HERE), expect some soft numbers in the 0.5-0.6 range.

October 29 -- NBC's strongest player, Superstore, making a heralded debut.

November 5 -- CBS rounds up returning veterans Young Sheldon and Mom, as well as their only freshman pilot for the fall with B Positive.  Mom potentially will see a spike as viewers wish to find out how Anna Faris is written out.

November 12 -- Sophomore sitcom The Unicorn makes its timeslot debut on CBS at 9:30.  Can it retain what it had last year out of CBS' eroding Thursday nights?

November 16 -- Canned laughter returns to Mondays as The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola return with new episodes.  Will they be able to replicate their sturdy success of the prior season?

After Thursday Night Football Ends -- Last Man Standing returns for its 9th and final season sometime in 2021.  Along with they Moody's?  How did that one get renewed!?

Sometime in 2021 -- The remains of the sitcoms do not have declared dates.  But ABC still has Mixedish on their plate, and NBC has veteran series Brooklyn 99 and afterthought pilot Kenan to display on Thursdays.  Predictions for debut dates?  February 30 and April 31 are open bets.

A Drama Scorecard?

Yes, a Drama Scorecard is slated to be revived as a companion piece to the Sitcom Scorecard.  Only 4 series not licensed from other countries/networks have displayed original episodes, so this feature likely will not make its debut until sometime in November, and be published on Saturdays.

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