Sitcom Scorecard: February 2-4, 2021 -- Katie Otto is the ABC Angel from Hell Fighting for American Housewife

Embrace the ride as the Superbowl has come and gone.  This event spells the onslaught of ratings erosion for the scripted series taking on the roughest time of the season.  Most of the comedies seeking survival have fled and hide behind repeats.  Unless one is shit outta luck like ABC, or sacrificing a failing fare like CBS is doing with The Unicorn.  Here is the display of how last week's original sitcoms splayed across the luneup:

Tuesday, February 2: After splashy debuts, Blacklish (0.51) and Mixedish (0.47) dropped 0.13 and 0.12, respectively as their lead-in To Tell The Truth tumbled as well.  

Wednesday, February 3: It was a stable and sad evening for ABC as The Goldbergs (0.57), The Conners (0.56) and Call Your Mother (0.37) held stable at their series lows.  The kicking sitcom came from American Housewife (0.49) who mustered a 0.04 gain as Katie Otto refuses to stay down despite ABC capping the series' episode order.

Thursday, February 4: Call it a late victory as CBS' The Unicorn (0.42) regained a half of a tenth.  The cancellation train is still being built through its timeslot.  Over at NBC, Superstore (0.46) regained 0.06 as its lead-in, Mr. Mayor (0.51) dropped a half of a tenth.  And for those who forgot, FOX is still airing sitcoms despite Call Me Kat (0.47) shaking 0.08 out of its litter pan, and Last Man Standing (0.37) tunneling losses in testosterone in its final season.

The best way to describe American Housewife is ABC's angel from hell.  Like Batman's Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, it displays beauty and feist.  But it has been battered to hell and back like Selina.  Batman physically threatened Selina with mortality, while ABC threatened American Housewife with deadly timeslot changes.  Initially the side piece in its sturdy lineup, ABC has tested lives and wasted a few for American Housewife.  After tossing it out the Wednesday window in early 2019, it came back to life on the dreaded Tuesday evening.  Another battering off a rooftop left it landing in the Friday sand truck in Fall 2019.  And somehow ABC seems to enjoy high drops as they threw it through the skylight last spring into Modern Family's defected timeslot back onto Wednesday.  Throw after throw and bullet after bullet, American Housewife survives being moved timeslot after timeslot.  And recently, ABC dealt what appeared to be another deadly toss on the schedule by capping the series at 12 episodes for Season 5.

Many are forecasting an ominous ending, yet fail to recognize for 2020-21 standards, a 12-episode season cap is relative to a season trimming episode orders.  Due to extenuating costs of COVID precautions, several shows are seeing trimmed episode orders.  If trimmed episode orders spelled the death knell for shows, Grey's Anatomy would rest in peace after 17 seasons as its order was trimmed to 16 episodes.  American Housewife not only suffered an insulting number of timeslot moves, but two noticeable departures of cast members.  Julia Butters left as Katie's favored Anna-Kat, and Carly Hughes's best gal pal Angela exited as Hughes cited behind the scenes turmoil.  While these are setbacks which may forecast an ending, do not count American Housewife out.

A season or two ago, an ending could have come under these circumstances.  Back then, ABC held three strong(er) sitcoms in The Conners, Modern Family and The Goldbergs.  Modern Family bowed out, The Goldbergs is disintegrating in its 8th season and The Conners has run into creative and viewership declines.  Unless ABC plans on shuttering an hour of sitcoms, American Housewife holds value as it is needed to bridge another era for new sitcoms.  Take a peek at Rezz Grabbitz single "Someone Else."  While not a complete reflection, the lyric ominously singling "You're like an angel sent from hell" perhaps describes American Housewife's durability and why it may see at least one more season on ABC.


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