2020-21 Scorecard (3/27-4/8): Home Economics Demonstrates Network Sitcoms Are Becoming a Rarity


All 27 of the in-season sitcoms have debuted and displayed ratings, leaving the future state of broadcast network sitcoms questionable.  None of the entries from the class of 2020-21 have demonstrated they have established an independent audience without a strong lead-in.  The latest entry, Home Economics rested nicely on ABC between The Goldbergs and The Conners (two former heavyweights now weakened with time).  It matched American Housewife's trend in how it would rate on stronger night, and its ratings are passable.  But could they survive in the 9:30 slot behind The Conners or in the dreadful Tuesday timeslots?

Over at CBS, United States of Al also matched B Positive's performance at 8:30 nestled between Young Sheldon and Mom.  B-Positive in turn suffered a steep drop at 9:30 leading out of Mom, similar to how The Unicorn rated.  Dropping from season high 0.68 to a dreadful 0.42 demonstrates it failed to establish an audience, leading to it being downgraded to Leans Cancellation.  The trouble with CBS is they cancelled Mom mid-season, taking out one of the stronger tentpoles in the lineup.  If CBS opts to open the 9:00 hour to dramas, this could lead to a culling of one to all of their sitcoms not renewed yet.

FOX's The Moodys have such appalling ratings they are registered below NBC's failure Connecting....  However, FOX somehow renewed this stinker after similar performances last year, so could the network place it on display to embarrass itself again next year?  Due to the unlikely renewal that took place last year, it only registers as a Likely Cancellation vs a Certain Cancellation.

With heavyweights Mom and Superstore on their way out, the future state of sitcoms is questionable.  ABC's former power lineup is in shambles, NBC is getting stampeded off of Thursday nights and FOX and CBS have also experienced their share of weaker shows.  1973-74 and 2009-10 set a record low sitcom count with 23, and 2021-22 may potentially lower this bar.

The topic of "Cancelled" vs "Final Season" has been a hot topic to discuss as of late.  However, the standards were redefined recently due to CBS' callous oustings of Mom, NCIS: New Orleans and MacGyver.  Yes, these series were declared ending early enough to wrap properly.  However, the network did not make a formal announcement prior to launching the current seasons like FOX did with Last Man Standing.  Therefore, Mom and Superstore unfortunately have been reclassified as Cancelled.  

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