Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Breakdown: ABC Monday in 2016-17 (Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Quantico and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Monday schedule in 2016-17...


2015-16Dancing with the Stars FallCastle111
2016-17Dancing with the Stars FallConviction112 (+1%)
138 (+9%)138 (+8%)59 (-24%)

In the first year after the end of Castle, ABC sprung a major leak in its old Monday 10/9c timeslot and was never able to plug it. However, ABC remained even or better across the entire night as the reality staples kept on moving upward.


2015-16The BachelorBachelor Live127
2016-17The BachelorQuantico143 (+12%)
189 (+20%)184 (+17%)56 (-17%)

The highlight of ABC's Monday season was definitely The Bachelor, which was just about able to pull off even in raw numbers in a year of huge league average decline. The network tried using that lead-in to lift Quantico starting in late January, but it did no better than Conviction.


2015-16Dancing with the Stars SpringCastle106
2016-17Dancing with the Stars SpringQuantico106 (+1%)
136 (+12%)135 (+12%)48 (-36%)

The Dancing comparisons were a bit better in the spring than in the fall, but the ratings vs. year-ago Castle got even worse as Quantico fell to some 0.5's.

Rating the Ratings

Dancing with the Stars Fall*1.51.702.1-10%139hit+7%detail
The Bachelor*1.82.302.7-2%188big hit+16%detail
Dancing with the Stars Spring*1.41.632.1-7%133hit+11%detail

Dancing with the Stars Fall: Dancing is not quite back to its Plus prime days, but it's clawed its way back to where it was in the first year of its collapse. That's no small feat, and another year like it could bring the "big hit" label back into the mix. I'm a little hesitant to go crazy with the grades for these reality staples, because they seem to have some advantage in Live+SD comparisons for having so little DVRing, but this was still a rock-solid season. Grade: B+.

The Bachelor: Like I said, I'm wary with reality staples, but this is the clear cream of the 2016-17 crop in terms of year-to-year declines. On a historical context basis, it is even more impressive than DWTS, as this marked a series high in A18-49+. It also rolled to the #1 spot in women 18-34 for broadcast entertainment programs, ending a couple years of Empire dominance. Grade: A.

Dancing with the Stars Spring: This one might be a little closer to A- territory but I'm gonna go ahead and bundle it in with the fall season grade-wise. The franchise has a long history of holding up quite well in the spring, and perhaps this year was reverting to that after spring 2016 underachieved a bit. Grade: B+.

Conviction: Perhaps ABC went a bit too conventional with its first heir to the Castle throne? We'll see if The Good Doctor can reel in a little more initial interest. I'm holding off on the failing grade just to make room for the clear pull-me-now shows, and this one didn't hold up that badly from where it started. But where it started was clearly unworkable. Grade: D-.

Quantico: In the fall there was still a conceivable ratings argument for renewal, because it had a horrible timeslot and a lot of delayed viewing. But even in that period, it was down about 50% year-to-year. And there's no real spin to put on the 2017 run. You could try arguing "it had the same audience but the big lead-ins did nothing for it," but even that doesn't track because the show collapsed in delayed viewing! It's a similar season two meltdown to what we saw with Agent Carter last year, except Carter didn't have the freakin' Bachelor and Dancing help it get to 55 in season two. And I gave that one an F. So, despite the renewal for what I really hope are good non-ratings reasons... Grade: F.

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.

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for ABC Monday.

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