2021-22 Sitcom Scorecard (9/21 - 10/24): Full Season Orders for Home Economics and Wonder Years Does Not Equal High Renewal Odds

3 sitcoms received full season orders this week, staking their place on the schedule likely into May.  Ghosts not-too-surprisingly picked up a full order after successfully colonizing the Thursday 9:00 timeslot on CBS vacated by former heavyweight Mom.  The surprise came from ABC granting the same pass to Wonder Years and Home Economics, who's performance has been underwhelming and evident as both are in the lower reaches of the chart.  This indicates ABC is scrambling as their comedy block is in ruins.  Last season, it was struggling, and this season few hits punctuate their former glory in the 2010's.  Elsewhere, the FOX animation block on Sunday is performing their usual see-saw of NFL inflation, then crashes without a game pumping up their numbers.  Shining is the last stop in the block at 9:30 with Family Guy, who receives the least of the inflation and outperforms the prior two helpings scheduled before.


All three deliveries in this category belong to CBS as they have demonstrated built-in audiences or potential for growth.  The Neighborhood continues a 4th season strong, and likely could match or pass ABC's Dancing With the Stars.  Following its success is the ultra-durable Bob+Abishola in its 3rd season, which retains 80% or more of its lead-in.  And Ghosts shook up Thursday evening by outshining its neighbors and holding the 9:00 hour strong.  So strong that in its 3rd episode, it matched ABC's ailing Grey's Anatomy. 


Both helpings in this category belong to ABC's strongest sitcoms.  So why aren't they certain renewals?  The Goldbergs is aging and became questionable for being ended when George Segal passed last season.  Its performance has proven durable after his departure, and ABC has not located a suitable replacement to take its place.  Wonder Years' collapse raises the question if Adam F. Goldberg can squeeze another season of formulamatic jokes out.  The much younger Conners has also proven durable and strong.  Every season poses the question if the series is profitable as the talents of John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert come at a premium.  Both series have good prospects for returning for the 2022-23 season.


Both sitcoms in this category garnered critical acclaim this season, and both are nestled in prime 8:30 timeslots between strong performers.  Yet neither appears to have developed strong internal bases, particularly Wonder Years who dipped as low as 0.39 recently.  Where Wonder Years holds the edge is they air on ABC, a network whose glorious comedy block of the 2010's is struggling and they are scrambling to locate hits.  ABC appeared to eye this series to potentially replace Goldbergs if the show ends this season but Wonder Years has failed to remotely meet that standard.  United States of Al does best fellow newbie B-Positive, but it also sits between two strong players.  CBS has proven impatient the last couple seasons if they do not see growth with series, leaving a moderate risk for United States of Al.  For now, both series are the better odds on their schedule but will need to be monitored as the season progresses.


B-Positive has established its appeal through great chemistry and punches of comic talent from Linda Lavin.  But it has squandered two strong lead-ins over its two seasons on the air.  With the transplant arc, the series appears to be struggling creatively.  CBS has too many other strong performers to give B-Positive a pass and may part if space is needed.  Unless United States of Al collapses, B-Positive is first on the chopping block.


Home Economics' ratings do not reflect the creative quality, but rather the lack of interest viewers have demonstrated.  It received a late spring helping between The Goldbergs and The Connors yet underperformed for the brief exposure.  And it still has a strong lead-in behind The Conners but has failed to launch, dipping as low as 0.29 tested out behind a Conners repeat.  If ABC needs to clear space, Home Economics is the obvious choice as it underrates by a wide margin.

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