Monday, August 18, 2014

Schedules Plus Update, Fox (2013-14)

Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using fairer numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive comparisons vs. last year's schedule (in parenthesses) and vs. the full 11-year historical average (in the "VsAvg" row).

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages. Fox overhauls its schedule at midseason so consistently that I did separate fall/winter versions on the Fox posts, so that will give a sense of what the network had in January/February. But even this approach was insufficient this season, since the network made another sweeping wave of changes in the spring. I'll mention most of those.

More 2013-14 Schedules Plus updates: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | CW



8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Bones The Mob Doctor 74
101 46
2013-14 Bones Sleepy Hollow 117
95 (-6%) 138 (+201%)

Avg 99 81 90
VsAvg -3% +70% +30%
Rank 7/11 1/11 2/11


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Bones The Following 113
101 125
2013-14 Almost Human The Following 97
100 (-1%) 93 (-26%)

Avg 112 119 115
VsAvg -11% -22% -16%
Rank 7/11 9/11 11/11

Based on how miserably Fox's season ended, it's easy to forget that some things actually went pretty well for them in the fall. By far the most significant win was Sleepy Hollow, which gets the added benefit here of being compared with one of the biggest flops in recent memory. But the Monday picture soured considerably as the season went on, starting with a major sophomore slump for The Following (the only new hit on the big four last regular season). Bones returned to Monday after Almost Human's run and really struggled. (The 95 listed above averages all Monday episodes, but it was a 111 for the fall episodes and 81 for the spring ones.) With filler-level stuff replacing The X Factor on Wednesday and Thursday, Monday (starting with Gotham) will become the network's great hope this fall.



8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Raising Hope Ben and Kate New Girl The Mindy Project 81
75 64 109 74
70 92
2013-14 Dads Brooklyn Nine-Nine New Girl The Mindy Project 78
74 (-2%) 86 (+34%) 89 (-19%) 68 (-8%)
77 (+11%) 78 (-14%)

Avg 98 113 106
VsAvg -22% -31% -27%
Rank 8/11 10/11 10/11


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Hell's Kitchen New Girl The Mindy Project 94
96 109 74
2013-14 Glee New Girl Brooklyn Nine-Nine 67
50 (-48%) 89 (-19%) 67 (-9%)
84 (-8%)

Avg 231 153 192
VsAvg -78% -45% -65%
Rank 11/11 10/11 11/11

This was really the only Fox night that stacks up poorly historically both in the fall and the winter, with New Girl's rapid flame-out being a major culprit. The 8/7c hour in the fall did not go nearly as badly as it could have as Brooklyn Nine-Nine pulled off major timeslot growth. But the winter arrangement was a total debacle, as a crumbling Glee was asked to lead off a night for some reason and Brooklyn Nine-Nine saw no benefit from a New Girl pairing. Since this was American Idol's performance night for most of the era, that means the winter sked was sixty-five percent below average.



8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 The X Factor 139
139 139
2013-14 The X Factor 94
94 (-32%) 94 (-32%)

Avg 96 99 98
VsAvg -2% -5% -4%
Rank 5/11 5/11 4/11


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 American Idol 185
185 185
2013-14 American Idol 142
142 (-23%) 142 (-23%)

Avg 183 218 201
VsAvg -23% -35% -29%
Rank 7/11 9/11 11/11

The X Factor went from hit to below-average (and cancelled) in season three, and American Idol continued its rapid descent as well. Amusingly, X was still pretty close to the fall historical average even after all this collapse, which only illustrates how much trouble Fox used to have in the fall.



8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 The X Factor Glee 122
132 111
2013-14 The X Factor Glee 87
89 (-33%) 85 (-23%)

Avg 86 74 80
VsAvg +4% +16% +9%
Rank 5/11 3/11 4/11


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 American Idol Glee 137
175 99
2013-14 American Idol Rake 98
137 (-22%) 59 (-40%)

Avg 120 79 99
VsAvg +14% -25% -2%
Rank 4/11 8/11 5/11

The third cog in Fox's music-themed empire was Glee, and it arguably had an even rougher season than the reality series! (The Thursday average gets a ten-point inflation due to the Cory Monteith tribute episode, but it took another huge step down on Tuesday.) Fox then tried a House rip-off in the winter, but the old American Idol/House magic was clearly gone as Rake became one of the season's biggest disasters. Later in the season came Hell's Kitchen (88), a return to the 30-minute Idol results show at 9/8c, and another newbie failure in comedy Surviving Jack (60).



8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Kitchen Nightmares Fringe 50
54 46
2013-14 MasterChef Junior (repeats) 57
74 (+38%) 39 (-15%)

Avg 46 43 44
VsAvg +63% -9% +28%
Rank 1/11 8/11 1/11


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 Kitchen Nightmares Touch 43
54 33
2013-14 Bones Enlisted Raising Hope 58
82 35 35
35 (+5%)

Avg 53 48 51
VsAvg +55% -28% +15%
Rank 1/11 10/11 2/11

Another of Fox's quiet wins in the fall was an unprecedented Friday foothold with MasterChef Junior, which was (surprisingly to me) considerably stronger than Kitchen Nightmares ever was on this night. The network then did even better when it finally followed through on the long-promised Bones move to Friday... until it was sent back to Monday after airing just seven hours on Friday. That left Enlisted and Raising Hope to air after repeats and Rake, completely shattering any minor momentum the hour may have had.


8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 Avg
2012-13 The Simpsons Bob's Burgers Family Guy American Dad! 110
118 92 128 101
105 115
2013-14 The Simpsons Bob's Burgers Family Guy American Dad! 114
118 (-0%) 105 (+14%) 124 (-3%) 107 (+6%)
112 (+6%) 116 (+1%)

Avg 108 104 106
VsAvg +4% +11% +7%
Rank 3/11 4/11 4/11

The Bob's Burgers and American Dad! averages only include episodes aired in these timeslots, which inflates them considerably since they moved to the 7:00 hour in the spring (when their ratings would've been lower even in the listed slots). Like the anchors, they would've been even to very slightly down in Plus if just comparing fall and winter numbers. Just like on several other nights, Fox busted up this relatively fine lineup late in the season, this time in favor of the documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (78). And they're dropping Dad! and downgrading Burgers again in the fall to air live-action comedies at the bottoms of the hours.


Spot said...

The major season-two downturns for short-order "The Following" and "Under the Dome" have me very worried about "Sleepy Hollow" this fall.

Spot said...

At almost every step, Fox made the wrong choice this season. Instead of leaving Bones on Fridays, they jerked it back to "help" The Following. Once Bones vacated the lead-off hour on Fridays, they saddled their sitcoms with a failed drama and reruns. When it was clear Glee wasn't working even with a compatible lead-in, they threw it against its most obvious competitor (The Voice). Seth McFarlene's had a passion project, so they decided to upend Animation Domination midseason and throw the show that was already renewed to the worst weeknight half-hour (Bob's Burgers). And then the non-choices were almost as egregious. Raising Hope was a lost cause by this point, but Enlisted couldn't have moved to the Tuesday at 8:00 slot once Dads was done? Almost Human couldn't have gotten an episode extension to keep schedule stability? Even with moving Bones again, Rake had to keep soaking up an hour instead of Kitchen Nightmares?

In hindsight, I'd argue Fox ordered too many shows for 2013-2014 in reaction how bad their 2012-2013 slate went, then felt compelled to squeeze it all into the regular season. And thanks to The X-Factor being canceled it's happening again this season (Gotham, Red Band Society, Wayward Pines, Empire, Bordertown, Backstrom, Last Man on Earth, Weird Loners, Gracepoint, Mulaney). Plus they have figure out a place to safely detonate the megabomb that is Glee and hope that The Following doesn't have a bigger meltdown.

Spot said...

Sleepy Hollow should have better lead in insurance with Gotham than those two had. It also had positive reviews all year and UTD and the Following did not

Spot said...

Do you know how Bob's Burgers spring ratings at 7 compare to the repeats FOX aired there last year? Simimlarly can you compared American Dad! to The Cleveland Show? I know you usually don't do Sundays at 7, but in this case it matters

Spot said...

This was wonderfully put and I wholeheartedly agree with this. At every turn, they made the wrong choice. Spot's overall comment on this article about how FOX started the season so well (baring The X-Factor) and ended so bad really goes to show that. It's kind of tragic how bad they were doing at season's end, it was like every day they would find a new low. Horrible.

I don't necessarily think they had ordered too many shows. The fact that despite all those shows they still needed to bring Hell's Kitchen to the regular season while also regularly scheduling repeats on Fridays shows that wasn't the problem IMO. It was just poor usage of what they had. I don't think it's that hard to come up with a better schedule than the one FOX came up with. Just out of the top of my head:

Monday: Bones+Sleepy Hollow
Tuesday: B99+Enlisted+New Girl+The Mindy Project
Wednesday: The X-Factor
Thursday: The X-Factor+Glee
Friday: Masterchef Jr. + Raising Hope double episodes
Sunday: The OT+The Simpsons+Bob's Burguers+Family Guy+American Dad

Monday: Almost Human + The Following
Tuesday: B99+Enlisted+New Girl+Surviving Jack
Wednesday: American Idol
Thursday: American Idol+Rake
Friday: Bones+Kitchen Nightmares
Sunday: American Dad +The Simpsons+Bob's Burgers+Family Guy+Dads

Monday: Almost Human+The Following
Tuesday: B99+Enlisted+New Girl+The Mindy Project
Wednesday:American Idol
Thursday: Hell's Kitchen+American Idol
Friday: Bones+Masterchef Jr Season 2 (or Glee's second half if not possible)
Sunday: American Dad +The Simpsons+Bob's Burgers+Family Guy+Dads

I mean this still would have been problematic in many areas like The X-Factor or The Following collapse but at least it's using well what's working and it's avoid unnecessary move while giving new shows a fair shot.

Spot said...

Bob's (R) at 7:00, 2012-13 - 38 (35 just taking the eps starting in March)
Bob's at 7:00, 2013-14 - 51

Cleveland Show at 7:30, 2012-13 - 65 (56 just taking the eps starting in March)
Dad at 7:30, 2013-14 - 67

Spot said...

Like Chris L said below, FOX simply made every wrong choice possible this year. It's tragic that they've started the season so well and ended up as bad as they did.

Anyway, in regards to next year, my prognosis here:
Up Hours:
- Mondays at 8: Even if it disappoints, I think Gotham does better than Bones and Almost Human did a year ago. I suspect Wayward Pines will end up there come spring and I see that show doing at least as well as the Bones Spring episodes were doing, so the hour overall should still be up.
- Thursdays at 8: This is a bit of a gamble but assuming Bones recovers from this spring, it should be able to beat The X-Factor performance on this day since that's what it was doing last year anyway. I am not sure what will happen to this hour on Spring through, since this seems like the night where they would do Bones/Backstorm but I am not sure where that leaves Idol, so this prevision comes with a big question mark.
- Thursdays at 9: Excluding the tribute episode, it's not like Gracepoint has that high of a bar to beat from Glee.. Again, no idea what happens here come spring though.
- Fridays at 9: I don't believe in Utopia but it should be able to beat repeats and the sitcoms.

Down Hours:
- Mondays at 9: Sleepy Hollow and The Following are bound to fall, especially Sleepy Hollow
- Tuesdays at 8: I don't believe in Utopia and it's not like Dads and
B99 were doing that awful a year ago. I don't know what happens come
spring because I don't really see Utopia sticking around for the entire
year so it's a question mark. However, whatever they put here should be able to beat Glee from a year ago right? Well... except if they put Glee itself here which I don't put it past them. Otherwise I would have put this hour in the up hours even if I think it will be down in the fall.
- Tuesdays at 9: Did you see how much New Girl fell in the spring?...
- Wednesdays at 9: I still haven't decided if I believe in Red Band Society or not but the x-factor wasn't performing that badly for this to be an easy accomplishment. You can argue that X would do much worse now and I agree (hence its rightful cancellation) but that doesn't make this comparison any better.
- Fridays at 8: I am not sure if anything can do what Bones did in there. And Masterchef Jr showed up last year in a FOX that is much stronger than the FOX from today so maybe it goes down more than normal now.
- Sundays: I think there was some real damage to all the mix up from spring and I don't think the live-cartoons mix up will do as well as just the cartoons thing. Also, I don't buy Mulaney.

Toss up:
- Wednesdays at 8: It depends on the league average decline I think. Like I said, The X-factor would likely do much worse than Hell's Kitchen will do but the comparison will still have those initial "inflated" (ahah) X-Factor episodes.

Spot said...

If my read on the Fox press release from July is right, Utopia will never actually air at 9 on Friday. It says it's only six weeks on Friday, scheduled to premiere at 8:00, and MasterChef Jr is not premiering till November. So there will probably be drama repeats at 9:00 again in the fall (they just didn't want to admit it at the upfront).

Spot said...

Thanks! How does American Dad! stack up with the likes of former 7:30 stuff? FOX has had a lot. American Dad!, Cleveland Show, King of the Hill, and Malcolm in the Middle?

Spot said...

Oh, I had missed that. Thank you! Then I guess Fridays at 9 is another dead hour for FOX. I wonder if they will try to move Bones to Fridays again later in the season when Idol takes over Thursdays, although the Bones/Backstorm pairing is a very tempting one.

Spot said...

Bob's Burgers will reclaim that 8:30 slot when Brooklyn 99 slides to 9:30 after Not Seinfeld gets the axe.

Spot said...

I agree with that possibility. But it might not stay long as they will at least try to launch Bordertown in a better than 7:30 slot

Spot said...

What would you have done with Cosmos? And if they hadn't been pre-canceled, Murder Police and Us & Them?

Spot said...

FOX was a mess in 2013-14, they are dangerously becoming the post-Friends NBC (and their "hit" is still there).

Up hours:
Mondays at 8: Gotham will face tough competition, but considering that both Bones and the canceled Almost Human averaged high 90s, it'll outrate both even if it is Almost Human 2.0 ratings-wise (it happens to be a Warner show too).
Tuesdays at 8: just because Utopia might become some of those guilty pleasures America loves (*cough* The Bachelor *cough*) but I beleive it'll flop. Supposing the league-average drops 10% from the current 1.88 to 1.69, Utopia needs to be DOA right out of the gate.
Wednesdays at 8: most league-average-ish hour, despite having a different show from 2013. When it comes to spring, supposing that Idol 2 weekly hours will be there, it'll take another big drop to borderline solid territory.
Thursdays as a whole: in a optmistic scenario I would say they could be uo on both hours considering that the bar isn't high, but Bones falling to mid 1s in the spring and FOX's general slump makes me defer, if Gracepoint scores a good premiere, it may beat Glee, even with the tribute episode included.
Down hours:
Mondays at 9: I expect SH to go down above the league average and The Following (supposing it goes there) to vanish.

Tuesdays at 9: FOX gave 15 to Mindy and New Girl's trend is worrisome, unless they value the W18-34 that much, both show will only surivive a rebuild if it is one so huge that they'll have to renew some bad performer just like NBC during The Jay Leno Show era.
Wednesdays at 9: all it takes for RBS to be down from XF is be a bubble show.
FOX's current situation makes it safer to goo 100% pessimistic.
Fridays at 8: Bones did well there, another bad move by FOX, Masterchef Junior may be resillient since is a Ramsay show, but I'm not sold on it performing like last season.
Sundays as a whole: congratulations at messing your best day, FOX, AD is gone, Bob's Burger is at 7:30, Mulaney screams DOA and Brooklyn Nine Nine will be Arrested Development 2.0, it might keep last season's 86, but its retention form Simpsons won't impress.

Spot said...

Well, I tend to think that when networks themselves cancel shows before airing them that's a good call but I would have tried Us & Them in the slot I have Surviving Jack and sending Surviving Jack to a post Idol slot on Thursday like ultimately happened.
As for Murder Police, I suppose FOX would have to chose between that one and Dads.

I wouldn't have aired Cosmos. I am not really very aware of the specific but I think that show was not flexible at all in terms of schedule right? It had to air at that hour during those weeks, or isn't that correct? If that's not the case, then I would toy with the idea of doing American Idol/Cosmos on Thursday and saving up Hell's Kitchen entirely for summer duty or, alternatively, simply airing Cosmos during summer. I definitely would not have toyed around with the cartoons just because of it.

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