Drama Scorecard: November 5-13, 2020

The tide of the 2020-21 season ripped loose 10 returning drama treasures this week from the broadcast network's sand to favorable results.  NBC unveiled the most with 5, CBS with 3 and ABC 2 offerings.  Thursday, November 5 delivered only CW's Supernatural (0.3) and The Outpost (0.1) with little change to report.  Sunday, November 8 also showcased another invisible CW rating for The Outpose (0.0, when will everyone learn to let out a decimal point!?).  Elsewhere, CBS capitalized on Football Inflation to give NCIS: Los Angeles (0.8) a few extra eyeballs while NCIS: New Orleans (0.6) returned in its norm.  This will likely be the number NCIS: LA returns to as well.  Monday, November 9 saw The Good Doctor (0.6) tick down a tenth on ABC while Filthy Rich (0.3) continued its trending seesaw losing and gaining a tenth as it finishes its run in shame.

Tuesday, November 10 saw This Is Us (1.3) match its last outing as FOX's cancelled neXt (0.3) underwhelmed.  Wednesday, November 11 unveiled 4 new dramas as Chicago Med (1.2), Chicago Fire (1.0) and Chicago PD (1.0) delivered strong, and a double helping of CBS' SWAT (0.4, 0.4) returned to disappointing results.  Thursday, November 12 marked some heralded debuts as Station 19 (1.2) and a double helping of Grey's Anatomy (1.4, 1.2) beamed a strong emergency signal for ABC, while NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (0.6) returned soft.  And CW held no changes with Supernatural (0.3) and The Outpost (0.1).  Friday, November 13 only offered a returning showing of The Blacklist (0.4).

An equally large rash of premieres is coming next week, starting Monday, November 16 on CBS with All Rise and Bull.  Tuesday, November 17 sees CBS unveiling its procedural block with NCIS, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, while ABC tries its luck again with freshman drama Big Sky.  November 18 marks the return of ABC's For Life, and Thursday, November 19 will feature the return of ABC's A Million Little Things as CW's Supernatural bows out after 15 years.  The dramas are registering miles ahead of the season's Sitcom Scorecard, which you can check out HERE.

So what do the 17 registered dramas tell viewers about broadcast television?  Currently, ABC and NBC are vying for the strongest helpings, mainly due to prior megahits and multiple franchises.  Before The Blacklist returned, NBC and ABC were tied for 1st in the table above.  All of that will change when ABC enters Big Sky and A Million Little Things, which are guaranteed to register in the middle of the table.  But both networks have set their prized jewels on the proper evenings.  NBC made the unoriginal idea of jamming its Chicago-verse onto Wednesday and all three are benefiting from compatible neighbors.  And ABC followed a similar rhythm by keeping the remains of its Shonda-verse on Thursdays with similar results.  Its remaining players remain strewn on other evenings with aging but graceful This is Us still the strongest scripted show on Tuesdays.

CBS appears to be continuing into troubled waters as it holds no megahits besides the aging NCIS parent show.  Thankfully it has the Superbowl this year to bring up the tail-end of its tired sitcoms and procedurals.  And FOX would appear to be ailing in this table, but has a trend of being television's late bloomer since American Idol was their flagship in the 2000's.  It always lays dormant in the fall, and January unveils its riptide of ratings.  All of its colossal hits in recent years such as 9-1-1, The Masked Singer and Empire have made their debuts in January to favorable results.  FOX also has the licensing for Thursday Night Football and America's strongest show in The Masked Singer, so they have room to let clunkers like neXt and Filthy Rich circle the drain.  Over at CW, they rebel against the Nielsen system.  Television is merely another exposure platform and make bank streaming online.

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