Monday, August 29, 2016

The Breakdown: CBS Sunday in 2015-16 (Madam Secretary, The Good Wife, CSI: Cyber, Elementary)

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


2014-1560 MinutesMadam SecretaryThe Good WifeCSI101
2015-1660 MinutesMadam SecretaryThe Good WifeCSI: Cyber92 (-9%)
181 (+8%)88 (-3%)74 (-8%)59 (-28%)
135 (+4%)83 (-10%)

The NFL overruns produce this weird-looking table, in which 60 Minutes is the most frequent occupant at 8:00, Madam Secretary at 8:30 and 9:00 and The Good Wife at 9:30 but not at 10:00. Fortunately, it was also that way last year, so it's actually fairly apples-to-apples. 60 Minutes kicked off a season of improvement, Madam Secretary kicked off a season of small Plus declines, and The Good Wife had a pretty mediocre start to the season. CSI: Cyber was the real sore spot, coming nowhere close to what CSI did at 10/9c.


2014-15Madam SecretaryThe Good WifeCSI73
2015-16Madam SecretaryThe Good WifeCSI: Cyber70 (-4%)
77 (-1%)69 (+2%)64 (-13%)

Cyber did better in the winter with consistent start times and narrowed the gap with CSI to a more tolerable (but still fairly bad) margin. The Good Wife started to show hints of improvement in the winter episodes.


2014-15Madam SecretaryThe Good WifeBattle Creek59
2015-16Madam SecretaryThe Good WifeElementary65 (+10%)
70 (-2%)71 (+16%)54 (+22%)

The episodes leading up to the end of The Good Wife made for probably the healthiest stretch in the history of the series, culminating in a big spike to a 1.3 finale. Meanwhile, Elementary took over for CSI: Cyber in the 10/9c hour. It actually did a fair amount worse than even the winter episodes of Cyber (never even breaking a 1.0). But the good news is it was a big upgrade on year-ago megabomb Battle Creek...!

The Shows

60 Minutes0.81.654.8-5%113solid+10%detail
Madam Secretary0.91.202.0-16%82marginal-4%detail
The Good Wife*
Undercover Boss*
CSI: Cyber0.70.911.2-34%63flop-24%detail

60 Minutes: This show is probably bound to keep growing in Plus as long as the NFL keeps growing in Plus, so that has to be factored in to some extent. But +10% in Plus is a high-end growth even by this show's standards (though the NFL also had a really good year by its standards). Grade: B+.

Madam Secretary: This took the same kind of small Plus decline that we've seen in most Good Wife seasons. Not great, especially since 60 Minutes was up so much, but could've been worse. Grade: C. We'll see if the move to 9/8c hurts more.

The Good Wife: I don't put a lot of weight on series finales grading-wise, but this show had a nice run even in the months leading up to it. It also had a very mediocre fall. This show's history was basically a long run of small declines in Plus, and this was the only time it managed to break even. Grade: B.

Undercover Boss: Already updated.

CSI: Cyber: The treatment of this show will always remain a mystery to me. It was reportedly renewed for reasons other than first-run ratings, moved to a place where getting first-run ratings is almost hopeless, and then cancelled... because of bad first-run ratings? Shrug. Anyway, it continued the rather eerie tradition of dropping almost exactly a third in the move to Sunday Siberia, joining CSI: Miami and The Mentalist and CSI. I still think these shows wouldn't drop this much if they weren't getting Truly weaker as well, but the history of struggle in this timeslot is really piling up. Grade: C-.

Elementary: Already updated.

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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