It's time for a journey through the Fox Wednesday schedule in 2015-16...
|2014-15||Hell's Kitchen Regular||Hell's Kitchen Regular||Red Band Society||Red Band Society||69|
|2015-16||112 (+41%)||111.905410559582||327 (+468%)||327 (+468%)||219.691603552553|
Year-to-year timeslot improvements don't get much better than Empire vs. Red Band Society, and Empire's arrival on the fall scene sent shockwaves through the rest of broadcast. Rosewood was also a significant improvement at 8/7c, but the big question of the fall was how much strength it actually had without the significant Empire pre-tune.
|2014-15||American Idol Wed||American Idol Wed||Empire||Empire||226|
|2015-16||American Idol Wed||American Idol Wed||Hell's Kitchen||Hell's Kitchen||128 (-43%)|
|2015-16||168 (-2%)||167.819974935978||87 (-69%)||87 (-69%)||127.554078352313|
Fox actually avoided airing season two of Empire in any of the same weeks as season one. That kept the show from getting direct year-to-year comparisons that may have been unfavorable. Meanwhile, American Idol remained stout in its winter airings, nearly breaking even in Plus despite not having the Empire pre-tune that helped so much last year. Not pictured is new drama Second Chance, which was shuffled to Friday after just two Wednesday airings (82 -> 69).
|2014-15||American Idol Wed||American Idol Wed||American Idol Wed||American Idol Wed||93|
|2015-16||79 (-17%)||78.9516700266986||273 (+197%)||273 (+197%)||175.924916907318|
Empire had a great 4.8 return, took somewhat steep drops in week two (4.3) and especially week three (3.8), but then hung in the high-3's from there before ekeing out a 4.1 for the finale.
|American Idol Wed*||2.0||2.42||3.0||+18%||166||big hit||+36%||detail|
Rosewood: We got at least some answer on Rosewood's true strength, as it had a few episodes before the return of Empire and one after Empire wrapped. It never broke 1.0 in those episodes. But the way Fox looks right now, even that was still not much of a reach renewal! Fox will pray it can muster up at least a little something on Thursday, where it will have a fairly important role leading into the new drama Pitch.
American Idol Wed: Also relevant here are the Thursday editions, which aired a lot longer and were -4% in raw and +11% in Plus. These averages benefit a lot because the season was so much shorter; see above, where the winter averages only are very close to even in Plus, and it's the same way on Thursday. But at the rate this show had been going, even stabilizing in Plus is great, and the Wednesday episodes also didn't have the Empire pre-tune. It also got an impressive amount of interest at the very end of the season, which is not pictured in the winter averages. Exceeded my expectations by a fair amount, so I'll be maybe a bit overly kind and let this TV-defining show go out on a Grade: A-.
Empire: It was so back-loaded in season one that I expected it to do better than this before the season, but I pin most of my miss on the early fall drops. Most of the spring run was reasonably steady, and pretty much in line with what I'd expected coming in. If I were just grading on year-to-year trends, this grade is too kind. And it'll probably be all downhill from here for Empire. But I just can't muster up a lower grade for a show that was still at freaking giga-hit levels. Grade: B+.
Hell's Kitchen: This show is always a real mind-bender for us season-graders. This time, I have to compare last season's Tuesdays in the late spring/summer against... a couple Fridays after MasterChef Junior, a bunch of Wednesdays after American Idol, some Wednesdays after Rosewood, and then some Fridays at the end of the season after Sleepy Hollow. I don't think anybody really cares, so I'm just gonna not think, go with my Grade: B- gut instinct, and hope nobody reads it.
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.