Drama Scorecard: January 24-29, 2021 - Prodigal Son May Be The Next Show Butchered on FOX

 Unlike Fall 2020, there are too many dramas to mention airing original programming, and far fewer imported second hand/outsourced dramas.  Sparing the smartass wisecracks of the Sitcom Scorecard, look back play by play:

Sunday, January 24: CBS wisely gave its tired NCIS spawn the night off and opted to power up younger Tuesday procedural FBI (1.98) NFL inflation, gaining 1.33 and setting a series high.  ABC's The Rookie (0.40) lost 0.08, while CW's Batwoman (0.16) gained 0.01 and Charmed (0.11) made a quiet debut.

Monday, January 25: ABC's The Good Doctor (0.67) built on its last entry and gained 0.06 as CW's All American (0.29) shed an entire tenth.  CBS' windfall of comedy wins stalled on All Rise (0.51) which lost 0.03 while Bull (0.50) scavenged their losses and gained the same total.  And all shows lose ratings?  Not 9-1-1 (1.24) who inched up 0.02 and nosed past an aging This Is Us into 2nd Place.  And 9-1-1: Lonestar (1.03) gained a massive 0.08, marking the 2nd scripted series to earn a rating above 1.0 without NFL boosts.

Tuesday, January 26: CBS enjoyed a hearty evening as NCIS (0.97) gained 0.21 and arrest their series high.  The Football halo crashed on FBI (0.83) as they shed more than half of their gains, and FBI: Most Wanted (0.67) made up for their losses and gained 0.11.  ABC's Big Sky (0.61) returned almost steady with an extra 0.01, and NBC bounced back as Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (0.48) reclaimed 0.04.  FOX experienced polarizing results for their other dramas as The Resident (0.61) regained 0.06 while Prodigal Son (0.44) lost 0.07 leaving its future questionable.  And CW's back-to-back Two Sentence Horror Stories (0.11, 0.07) nearly identical save for the last half lost 0.02.

Wednesday, January 27: If singing Reality TV shows are not a fans' preference, they may want to invest in NBC's Chicago franchises.  Med (0.91) returned down 0.12, Fire (0.93) down 0.09 yet besting their lead-in, and PD (0.88) also shed 0.09.  Down indeed but these three shows are on fire against their competition.  After the comedies destroyed 8-10pm, ABC's For Life (0.30) shed an entire tenth and appears up for execution.  CBS' middling procedurals delivered steady with SEAL Team (0.54) spiking 0.54 while SWAT (0.40) delivered steady.  2nd outings on CW disappointed as Riverdale (0.13) and Nancy Drew (0.08) each clipped off 0.01 of their minimal ratings.

Thursday, January 28: Dramas were scarce for a while with the only buzz being Walker (0.34) maintaining a sturdy average despite losing 0.03 of its premiere, and Legacies (0.18) gaining back 0.02.

Friday, January 29: CBS taking the night off left only NBC's The Blacklist (0.38) the talk of the town with a renewal despite losing 0.03.

Prodigal Son's target from FOX is saddening.  Unlike a weakling like ABC's For Life, Prodigal Son shows no lack of creative qualities.  An appealing cast, crisp writing, lacings of humor and a compelling and serialized format, Prodigal Son should be winning.  The trouble is the series reads too dark for FOX' current tone.  Had this series been scheduled on NBC following Blacklist, the two would display compatibly.  FOX has limited shelf space and is placing more priority in its reality franchises.  More episodes and demonstrated Nielsen patterns need to be established before downgrading Prodigal Son to Likely Cancellation, but do not count the procedural to be the next victim to the network's show killer.

Prodigal Son may be used in future seasons during the fall when ratings are weaker, or if sitcom Call Me Kat's ratings scatter out of the Thursday litterbox.  If FOX remains committed and continues seeing a lack of options due to COVID-19 complications, they may play it safe and give the series a 3rd season.  Keep following the Scorecards as the carnage of 2021 continues with ongoing ratings deterioration is inevitable.

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