Scorecard: January 12-29 All Scripted Series: 9-1-1 May Soon Be in 1st Place

 Since the scripted series' combined averages were last reported January 13, several changes (and coincidences) occurred on broadcast television.  In that time:

1. 14 new series entered the lineup, primarily on CW and FOX.

2. CBS and FOX utilized football inflation to bolster series.  The Great North experienced generous exposure, while CBS opted to enhance 3rd-season procedural FBI.

3. This Is Us fell flat and plunged below the 1.0 line, opening the door for others to enter as it fell from 1st to 4th.

4. 9-1-1 grew in its 2nd episode, potentially poised to overtake dormant Grey's Anatomy as this season's #1 drama.

5. Somehow, Blackish is in 37th place again despite the shows increasing from 51 to 65.  This time around, it rated as ABC's strongest sitcom of the prior week after returning to Tuesdays.

6. ABC experiences a reversal of fortunes as its Tuesday sitcoms delivered strong and its Wednesday entries eroded to dust.

7. The Neighborhood became CBS' 1st scripted series of the season to earn a rating at 1.0 without using NFL exposure.

Take a stroll through the 65 scripted entries displayed on broadcast television below.  And take a peek back at the last scorecard from January 13 HERE.

What is Observed With the Broadcast Networks' Scripted Shows


In a surprising reversal of fortune, the alphabet network's dramas prove stronger and their sitcoms frail.  This was not the case in recent seasons as their Wednesday comedies (and The Conners on Tuesdays) ruled with stronger ratings.  Why the switch?  Unlike the overplayed family format of the sitcoms, ABC was forced to apply more attention and updates to its dramas which struggled after the TGIT craze cooled down.  Indeed, their dramas are more civic minded (hospital, fire and police), but they are distinguishable.  The Good Doctor and Grey's Anatomy are hospital dramas, but TGD pays more focus into a serialized medical tempo vs. Grey's is the soap inside of a hospital.  It also paid great attention to compatibility placing spinoffs next to their parents.  After years of failing at Tuesdays at 10pm, Big Sky is performing solidly along with the 8-10pm hours stabilized by To Tell the Truth and ultra-compatible Blackish and Mixedish.

ABC has surprisingly shifted to more gameshows and sturdy Reality TV platforms which may help offset scripted programming losses.  The sitcoms need a facelift.  With few options in their exhausted players, Call Your Mother misfired.  Hopefully an updated Home Economics can signal a slight update.  All outside Blackish have factors shaking their renewal odds.  Goldbergs is fading and 8 seasons in.  American Housewife is in its 5th season and facing trimmed episode counts and behind the scenes turmoil.  And The Conners is dive bombing due to inconsistent writing unable to balance the proper humor against the bleak plotting.

How ABC May Turn Their Fortunes Around in 2021-22

If ABC is able to secure some desirable pilots, look for the compatibility in tone when scheduling.  The Good Doctor is solid, but its space is most suitable for developing new shows behind The Bachelor or Dancing With The Stars.  Keep to rotating the post-Grey's Anatomy slot as it also develops.  The Tuesday schedule as-is fits like a glove, and if Big Sky continues steady, they have cemented a solid evening.  As for the comedies, it is time or an update in tone and variety.  No skirting around it.


Look toward the top of the charts and spot the bright spots of the lineup.  FBI is enjoying a brief post-football windfall, but without this power-up, CBS would not have a single top-10 scripted series on the radar.  The Neighborhood became the first series of the season to score an honest 1.0 without inflation.  It leads to a surprising reveal that CBS has fostered a stronger brand of sitcoms with Neighborhood, Bobishola and Young Sheldon.  Even the grating B-Positive is showing signs of growth.  The Unicorn is being forced into extinction, but the real loss will be if the fading, beloved Mom exits the lineup.  Beyond the sitcoms...

...Rests a tired boiler plate of exhausted procedurals and their spinoffs.  Just how many NCIS', FBI's reboots of old procedurals and shows with "a star" can draw viewers?  The Friday block remains solid and steadfast.  Beyond that, the CBS dramas average 0.592, narrowly a hundredth above the drama average for all networks.  CBS best celebrate it has its name in the NFL hat, as these tired dramas perform like their aging and middling Reality TV franchises.

How CBS May Update Their Tired Pallet in 2021-22

If Equalizer and Clarice succeed this month, the network may want to consider updating their drama lineup.  If Clarice succeeds and Mom bids adieu, CBS should consider shifting the sitcoms back to Mondays with B-Positive anchoring the 9pm hour and returning the Thursday 9pm timeslot to a newer drama.  Wednesdays need fresh blood, pronto.  SWAT and All Rise are the weakest dramas if cuts need to be made.  CBS is capable of generating new life outside procedurals, so sample more dramas which may spark new interests.


Losing Supernatural was bittersweet as it was the 2nd strongest player behind The Flash.  The tears dried fast when Walker blazed onto the schedule returning Jared Padalecki to hungry fans.  All American has also hit its robust stride.  Where the fading comes is Riverdale which is limping along the already-low ratings.  CW is parting with veterans Supergirl, Supernatural an Black Lightning.  CW remains committed to experimenting with alternative dramas despite a reliance on superhero franchises.  The network is the lowest rated, again.  But the greatest strength was the 5th network pioneered streaming and also broke free of the tired scheduling patterns of long lapses and rerun fillers on their lineup.  

When Will CW Locate Its Next Strong Player in 2021-22

There is never a lack of series creativity on CW.  They are not afraid to take a bold stroke and locate a change in tempo.  Given Riverdale is fading and Dynasty will never reach hit status, so temper the suds carefully.  Superhero pieces worked well for years, and perhaps in proper doses can remain.  Where CW may locate its next hit would be channeling the early success of 7th Heaven.  There will likely never be a revival due to the lead star's tarnished image, but craft a new drama channeling what made this series successful on WB.


It would appear from the chart above FOX is winning, but check back in March and April.  5 of the 8 entries ranked in the Top 30 section of the chart have been inflated by Football and will sink fast following Superbowl.  Out of this inflation rests a (still) strong drama lineup, consisting of extraordinary 9-1-1 franchises on Monday, and ordinary Tuesday procedurals in The Resident and Prodigal Son.  The dramas remain mostly strong with Prodigal Son showing the gravest signs of danger if space is needed.

The comedy front remains sturdy but lower with natural ratings vs. NFL inflation.  FOX scheduled its newer entries wisely after games.  Call Me Kat is sinking fast scheduled on Thursdays while Valentine's day will show the strength of The Great North, as well as the remaining 4 animated series.  FOX opening the 7:30 timeslot is more than digging a grave for Bless The Harts as perhaps it could be an omen for keeping the block alive and sturdy.  It could be destined for cancellation if it does not hold its weight.

Can FOX Locate a Strong Sitcom in 2021-22?

Its animated block once ruled and is tiring with age.  FOX wants to keep the berth open for live-action comedies and is willing to diversify its offerings, but nothing sticks.  They may want to consider reverting to single-cam for a helping to see if they can relive the relevance of the early-mid 2010's when New Girl blazed bright on the lineup.


The lineup has some fade, noticeably with This Is Us falling below the 1.0 barrier recently.  However, The Wednesday Chicago-verse anchors strong and in 2nd place against FOX's red-hot reality block.  Law and Order: SVU is benefiting from bumping forward one hour, and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist updates the tepid energy of the other dramas.  Bulk-season renewals of several shows leaves the lineup with less space for new blood.  Blacklist's surprising 9th season renewal narrows the timeslots and perhaps forecasts shorter episode seasons.  

The comedy front is retreating int dormancy with moderately successful Mr. Mayor holding its own, and sadly Superstore losing customers fast prior to ending.  And Brooklyn 99 remains in limbo as the writers were forced back to ground zero script-wise for its 8th season.  If Mr. Mayor and Brooklyn-99 succeed, next season will keep a soft, beaming light for comedies to survive.

Will Mr. Mayor and Zoey's Have Room to Grow in 2021-22?

Mr. Mayor indeed has space to grow due to the exodus of Superstore and lack of options.  NBC would be wisest to encourage arc stories to entrance viewers like Superstore did in spring 2019 when it experienced an uptick.  As for Zoey's, it has an established fanbase albeit low-rated.  It may be on the move, but perhaps may bring more laughs behind the sitcoms on Thursdays if Law and Order: Organized Crime fizzles.

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