Monday, September 5, 2016

The Breakdown: Fox Sunday in 2015-16 (The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Last Man on Earth, Bob's Burgers and more!)

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


2014-15The SimpsonsBrooklyn Nine-NineFamily GuyBob's Burgers132
2015-16The SimpsonsBrooklyn Nine-NineFamily GuyThe Last Man on Earth111 (-16%)
143 (-15%)106 (-8%)107 (-37%)88 (+14%)
125 (-12%)97 (-21%)

Family Guy's enormous cross-over with The Simpsons at the beginning of fall 2014 set up this lineup for some very ugly drops in the fall. At least on a year-to-year basis, The Last Man on Earth remained a bright spot, but it couldn't really pick up any heat from the indirect NFL lead-ins, and was stuck close to its late season one numbers.


2014-15The SimpsonsBrooklyn Nine-NineFamily GuyBob's Burgers100
2015-16The SimpsonsCooper Barrett's GuideFamily GuyBordertown93 (-7%)
125 (+6%)76 (-20%)102 (-7%)71 (-10%)
100 (-5%)87 (-9%)

The animated anchors looked a lot better in winter comparisons; in this case, they benefited because they didn't have to face that SNL40 show that utterly decimated them in early 2015. But both of the comedy newbies fared poorly. Bordertown headed for the 7:00 hour after just five episodes, while Cooper Barrett made it seven.


2014-15The SimpsonsBrooklyn Nine-NineFamily GuyThe Last Man on Earth85
2015-16The SimpsonsBob's BurgersFamily GuyThe Last Man on Earth76 (-11%)
78 (-4%)71 (-8%)89 (-6%)66 (-24%)
74 (-6%)78 (-14%)

Familiar Bob's Burgers and Last Man returned to the main stage for the spring, and certainly stabilized those slots better than the winter newbies would have. The anchors were also down just a little bit in Plus in this spring period.

The Shows

Bob's Burgers*
The Simpsons*1.01.743.6-19%119solid-7%detail
Brooklyn Nine-Nine0.81.212.0-29%83marginal-18%detail
Cooper Barrett's Guide0.30.762.152flopdetail
Family Guy*1.21.481.8-31%102solid-20%detail
The Last Man on Earth0.91.161.5-29%79marginal-19%detail

Bordertown: This show seemed a little stronger (or maybe I should say less anemic) than Cooper Barrett, but it was the first of the two to get exiled. Ultimately, the network probably just didn't like it, and that's why its premiere was delayed for what seemed like years.

Bob's Burgers: This one is a mind-bender since it was never consistently in the same timeslot year-to-year; it mostly aired at 9:30 last fall (after Mulaney was pulled), then at 7:30 this fall. And it mostly aired at 7:30 last spring, then at 8:30 this spring (after Cooper Barrett was pulled). But in terms of percentage of the season in each slot, it ends up almost exactly evening out, so the trend above is probably fairly indicative of reality. It seemed like the healthiest of the Sunday shows so it gets the slight grading edge. Grade: B-.

The Simpsons: I was rough on Simpsons last year because it had much more NFL help than usual, but it had a bit less again this year. Still, I thought this might be in the 60 Minutes vein, bound to keep growing in Plus as long as the NFL does, but apparently not. Grade: C+.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Already updated.

Cooper Barrett's Guide: It seemed like a New Girl companion when it was greenlit. Airing it on Sunday gave it a much bigger launch-pad, but it clearly never resonated with this male-skewing crowd.

Family Guy: The 2014 Simpsons cross-over exaggerates Family Guy's year-to-year numbers to a ridiculous degree, but the show was still down in Plus pretty consistently throughout the season. It had the occasional spark of healthiness, but was mostly down a touch more than The Simpsons. I'd actually argue more of the damage was done to this show last season, but the spin-off inflation really obscures that. Grade: C.

The Last Man on Earth: Still not much of a problem in the Sunday lineup when compared with the likes of Mulaney, Bordertown and Cooper Barrett, but season two still goes down as something of a disappointment. Living up to the early season one numbers was never gonna happen, but even at the end of the season it was way down in Plus. Grade: C-.

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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