Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Breakdown: ABC Tuesday in 2015-16 (Fresh Off the Boat, Agents of SHIELD, The Muppets and more)




It's time for a journey through the ABC Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...


fall

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2014-15SelfieManhattan Love StoryAgents of SHIELDForever77
625610071
59
2015-16The MuppetsFresh Off the BoatAgents of SHIELDWicked City83 (+7%)
105 (+69%)104 (+84%)97 (-3%)46 (-36%)
104 (+76%)
VsAvg+11%-11%-39%-11%
Rank5/1512/1515/1511/15

Even with a huge collapse from premiere to end of the fall, The Muppets combined with sophomore Fresh Off the Boat for one of primetime's biggest year-to-year gains in the fall portion of the season. Probably even more miraculous was Agents of SHIELD managing to stay close to even in Plus in the early part of the season. But the 10/9c hour was an issue from the jump, and it started with three-and-through megabomb Wicked City about midway through the fall.

winter

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2014-15Fresh Off the BoatRepeat After MeAgent CarterForever80
106778960
92
2015-16Fresh Off the BoatThe MuppetsAgent CarterWhat Would You Do?58 (-28%)
89 (-16%)58 (-25%)55 (-38%)46 (-24%)
74 (-19%)
VsAvg+4%-32%-32%-20%
Rank7/1513/1514/1514/15

Any positives from the fall came undone after the new year, with only Fresh Off the Boat able to hang onto remotely acceptable ratings. A rebooted Muppets was below 1.0 in all its 2016, Agent Carter saw one of the biggest sophomore collapses in the already rocky history of "limited series," and two more disasters rolled through the 10/9c hour: What Would You Do? starting at the end of January, then the not-pictured two-and-toast drama Of Kings and Prophets (45).

spring

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2014-15Fresh Off the BoatRepeat After MeAgents of SHIELDForever74
86618859
73
2015-16Fresh Off the BoatThe Real O'NealsAgents of SHIELDBeyond the Tank58 (-21%)
78 (-10%)66 (+9%)66 (-26%)36 (-39%)
72 (-2%)
VsAvg+15%-34%-50%-26%
Rank5/1513/1515/1514/15

There was a small spring consolation as The Real O'Neals was able to do a bit better than The Muppets even in a post-DST world (and also improved a bit on Repeat After Me from a year ago). But Agents of SHIELD shed a whooping third of its fall audience, and Beyond the Tank was another severe underperformer at 10/9c.

The Shows

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
Fresh Off the Boat0.91.321.9-23%91marginal-11%detail
The Muppets0.81.272.988marginaldetail
The Real O'Neals0.81.111.976marginaldetail
Agents of SHIELD0.91.171.7-26%81marginal-14%detail
Agent Carter0.70.800.9-47%55flop-38%detail
Beyond the Tank0.50.731.1-51%50flop-44%detail

Fresh Off the Boat: Season one had Wednesday preview episodes and season two had a fall run after a solid-rated The Muppets. Interestingly, these things seem to cancel out almost exactly, since the spring episodes' -10% was almost exactly in line with the full season trend. It eroded a lot less than other Tuesday occupants, so I'm being a bit kind grade-wise. Does The Middle's move to Tuesday offer real hope for a better situation long-term? Grade: C+.

The Muppets: There were rumors that it could eke out another season, but this was an almost unprecedented level of post-premiere rejection. Barely a quarter of the premiere audience caught the winter retooling.

The Real O'Neals: Marginal show, but in light of the comedy expansion, seems like a reasonable renewal. Like FotB, it's hoping that The Middle re-invigorates things on this night.

Agents of SHIELD: Doesn't seem like the kind of show that should be situation-dependent. But it was surprisingly healthy when The Muppets was doing decent business in the fall, then surprisingly disastrous when paired with Real O'Neals in the spring. Fall gets a B or B-, but the D-level showing in the spring got it shoved to 10/9c. Grade: C-.

Agent Carter: It didn't seem like that bad of a renewal when it happened, far better than fellow bridge series Galavant and American Crime. But it sure turned out to be one. Season one was a bit frontloaded but this year was still down over 40% even in the closing weeks. Really disheartening stuff. Grade: F.

Beyond the Tank: Really weird one. I mean, I'd give like a solid B for the Thursday 8/7c run as a TGIT bridge, an F for these Tuesday 10/9c eps, and maybe a C or so for its leftover Friday episodes. I think the Thursday run showed that there was some reasonable filler potential here, but can't pretend that the rest of it didn't happen. Grade: D+.

The names in this last table link to the shows' War of 18-49 pages. Links with an asterisk(*) have been updated with the new info. Updates to younger shows will come later in the summer.

Check back tomorrow for this day's new Schedules Plus! Till then, you can refer to the old version.

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