Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Breakdown: CBS Wednesday in 2015-16 (Survivor, Criminal Minds, Code Black and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Wednesday schedule in 2015-16...


2014-15Survivor FallCriminal MindsStalker124
2015-16Survivor FallCriminal MindsCode Black116 (-7%)
147 (+5%)115 (-17%)87 (-9%)

Considering where the season ended up, it's almost hard to remember what a shaky state Criminal Minds was in going into the 2015 upfront. Some thought it had only kept its Wednesday 9:00 perch to be fodder against Empire! And it pretty much continued living down to those expectations, declining by double digits in Plus throughout the fall. Code Black had a soft premiere and held up decently post-premiere, but was still a step below the year-ago Stalker.


2014-15The MentalistCriminal MindsStalker94
2015-162 Broke GirlsMike and MollyCriminal MindsCode Black109 (+16%)
113 (+42%)111 (+40%)132 (+10%)84 (+1%)
112 (+41%)

But the Criminal Minds narrative took a complete 180-degree turn over the holidays, as it suddenly came back a much stronger show. It had considerable help in the 8/7c hour, as 2 Broke Girls and Mike and Molly proved to be far better Survivor filler than The Mentalist had been a year before. Code Black held up well in the winter, at the same time fellow bubble show Limitless was falling apart on Tuesday, but could never really sustain actual positive momentum.


2014-15Survivor SpringCriminal MindsCSI: Cyber113
2015-16Survivor SpringCriminal MindsCriminal Minds: Beyond Borders119 (+5%)
140 (+4%)127 (+7%)89 (+6%)

And Criminal Minds' momentum continued into the spring season. It might have been even more impressive to go +7% for that period, since it faced Empire (and didn't face it a year ago). Though it did get some help from Shemar Moore's high-rated departure in late March. The network also had some improvement at 10/9c from Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, though it ended up being pretty equivalent to Code Black once competing Chicago PD returned from hiatus.

The Shows

Survivor Fall*
2 Broke Girls*1.41.611.7-20%111solid-8%detail
Survivor Spring*
Mike and Molly*1.31.551.7-21%106solid-8%detail
Criminal Minds*1.51.792.2-17%123solid-4%detail
Code Black1.01.261.586marginaldetail
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders1.01.251.686marginaldetail

Survivor Fall: Already updated.

2 Broke Girls: As with the Mike and Molly update, it's hard to grade a show that moved around so much. I thought it was kinda disappointing when tacked onto the Thursday lineup in the late fall, but better in the winter Wednesday and spring Thursday episodes. Like with M&M, I was never really wowed by its ratings, but it was fine... so, same grade. Grade: B-.

Survivor Spring: It was the first double-digit raw numbers decline for Survivor since fall 2013... but it was also easily the biggest league average decline on record, so -11% is still good enough to be up in Plus. It feels like Survivor's amazing resilience got a bit shakier in its 2015-16 seasons, but a downturn has not yet begun. Grade: B.

Mike and Molly: Already updated.

Criminal Minds: It's the biggest raw decline in Minds history, but so much of that is tied up in the early part of the season, and I try to be kinder to shows that finish well. I still don't think I can go better than like a Grade: B-, especially since it had such a big lead-in upgrade year-to-year and no Empire when it pulled off the winter turnaround. But its spring ratings were legit, and may offer some hope for a better-looking fall next season.

Code Black: Would've never expected after Code Black's finale night that it would come back to this timeslot the next fall. But it got to sit in the clubhouse as Limitless and Beyond Borders both underwhelmed in the second half of their seasons.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders: It actually did a little better than spring 2015 entry CSI: Cyber in season one, but like Cyber it scored a second season renewal that wasn't much of a vote of confidence. Then again, missing out on the fall schedule is probably better than making it on Sunday at 10:00?

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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