ABC Wednesday has centered around one signature show in recent years, but those shows have been very different. At the start of the A18-49+ era, reality series The Bachelor was in charge. Then came breakout drama Lost in 2004. And after a brief stop-off with Private Practice, Wednesday then became a comedy-centric night, led by two-time megahit Modern Family.
|2001-02||My Wife and Kids||According to Jim||The Drew Carey Show||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||20/20||95|
|2002-03||My Wife and Kids||George Lopez||The Bachelor Fall||MDs||113|
|2003-04||My Wife and Kids||It's All Relative||The Bachelor Fall||Karen Sisco||105|
|2004-05||Lost||The Bachelor Fall||Wife Swap||120|
|2006-07||Dancing with the Stars Tue Fall||Lost||The Nine||130|
|2007-08||Pushing Daisies||Private Practice||Dirty Sexy Money||104|
|2008-09||Pushing Daisies||Private Practice||Dirty Sexy Money||70|
|2009-10||Hank||The Middle||Modern Family||Cougar Town||Eastwick||83|
|2010-11||The Middle||Better with You||Modern Family||Cougar Town||The Whole Truth||91|
|2011-12||The Middle||Suburgatory||Modern Family||Happy Endings||Revenge||126|
|2012-13||The Middle||The Neighbors||Modern Family||Suburgatory||Nashville||113|
|2013-14||The Middle||Back in the Game||Modern Family||Super Fun Night||Nashville||107|
|2014-15||The Middle||The Goldbergs||Modern Family||Black-ish||Nashville||122|
2014-15 Update: ABC put four family comedies together, and the result was one of the season's biggest ratings bonanzas. The Goldbergs and Black-ish each improved their own timeslots by 40%ish and were able to drag past-their-prime lead-outs Modern Family and Nashville to minor growth as well. The best trend among the incumbents actually belonged to lead-off comedy The Middle, which was up to a historical-adjusted series high in its sixth season. These five will stay together in 2015-16, though Nashville is supposed to make room for Secrets and Lies at midseason.
Notable midseason replacements:
- The only things that really worked after The Bachelor in the early aughts were unscripted: Celebrity Mole (124 in 2003, 99 in 2004) and Extreme Makeover (113 in spring 2003, then 105 for its return in spring 2004).
- After season three of Lost, the arrangement to end the show after season six meant shorter seasons, and ABC held them for midseason consecutive runs. Only one of those seasons went on Wednesday; that was 2008-09's season five (150), which took over after the fall 2007 all-newbies lineup blew up in season two. It was followed by Thursday transplant Life on Mars (62) and preceded by comedies Scrubs (72) and Better Off Ted (59).
- The post-Modern Family midseason replacements: 2010-11's Mr. Sunshine (yay.) (86), 2011-12's Apartment 23 (99), 2012-13's How to Live (101) and 2013-14's Mixology (75). Season one of Happy Endings (70) in 2010-11 mostly aired in the 10:00 hour.