2020-21 Season To Date Ratings Report (9/21-2/26) -- NBC Yanks Back Its Rightful 1st Place Crown From FOX (And Somehow Locates a Buzzworthy Sitcom!)

 The NFL halo ended after Superbowl, and the chips are down.  Aside from ABC and CW who are not in the rotation, the networks squeeze every inch out of scripted and new series abutting popular games.  FOX is known to utilize this the most to often boost its sagging Animation Domination block.  And this season, profiled two new sitcoms (Call Me Kat, The Great North) following lucrative games.  The jury is still out if these are solid players and sink deeper into the lineup, but a smart strategy for the network.  CBS made a couple wise moves as well, powering up an episode of FBI as well as handing the plum post-Superbowl slot to reboot The Equalizer.  Both again are dropping out of the higher reaches but solid players nonetheless.  And of course ever-sturdy veteran 60 Minutes enjoyed some time in the spotlight.

Beyond these windfalls, NBC is on track to being this year's 1st Place MVP.  It had its trophy stolen last year by FOX after an impressive 8-year uninterrupted run due to The Masked Singer being red-hot above the 2.0 range.  Still a strong player (and likely to finish the season in 5th Place), The Masked Singer is losing a little steam much like NBC's This Is Us.  NBC always sits pretty due to its Sunday NFL exposure sits within the proper primetime ratings guidelines of starting after 7:00.  Had this zone not be drafted, CBS would sit higher as they often hold the strongest game in the afternoon.  As-is, NBC holds stronger on most evenings, placing 1st or 2nd in their timeslots with the exception of Fridays and Thursday sitcoms.  They have earned their prize.

Elsewhere, this season's 142 entries demonstrate it is better to be sports or unscripted.  Only one unscripted drama (The Equalizer) rests in the Top 10 and is certain to leave.  A sturdy entry, it is now registering between 0.7-0.8, hardly Top-10 material.  This chart has compiled ratings for the entirety of the season save for one-time events (Superbowl, Award Shows) and leading to the finalized May entries.  Had the one-time events been omitted, CBS would rest in 4th Place.  But even with Superbowl and NFL powering up the ratings, it will likely go toe-to-toe with often 4th Place ABC.

Trending Hot

Sports are losing ratings by the season, but who DVR's a game!?  If a network wants to stay on the grid, they best throw their name in the NFL rotation.  Elsewhere, being a Reality TV Show on ABC and FOX is the place to be.  The Bachelor and Dancing With the Stars gave viewers heartburn over switching hosts, but people still enjoy tuning in for the catty antics changing the game weekly.  FOX' Masked Singer still dominates, and civic based professions (police, fire and medical) make for the strongest dramas with 9-1-1, Grey's Anatomy and NBC's Chicago Verse holding sturdy toward the top of the chart in the top 30.

Trending Tepid

Being a sitcom sucks without massive players like The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and The Conners in 2021.  However, CBS has cornered the market with locating newer entries which will carry the network for the next 3-4 seasons.  Thursdays may be fading, but the action is moving back to the landmark Mondays with conventional The Neighborhood gaining ground and rom-com Bob Hearts Abishola captivating viewers.  ABC Gameshows made an ideal COVID-19-Friendly alternative to fill its vacated schedule (let's hope they don't saturate and ruin the game!).  Outsourced shows from around the globe gave viewers something to sink their teeth into while they awaited their usual players returning to production.

Trending Cold

What's a sitcom?  Sadly, this may become a question younger viewers ask in the near future as fewer shows can distinguish themselves.  Sinking fastest is ABC's Wednesday lineup.  Ratings on the CW?  They hold smaller priority as America's 5th network seeks alternative measures to the business model to determine keeping a show or throwing it into the fire.  Loftier sets on shows will need to wait due to COVID-19 sterilization standards.  This added cost is harming production and the likely factor why Superstore shuttered its box franchise this spring.

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