Monday, June 12, 2017

The War of 18-49, Chicago PD

Chicago Fire Gets a Spin-Off

When Chicago PD was announced, there were a lot of questions about whether a one-season, below-league average series like Chicago Fire should already be tapped as the start of a franchise. But on premiere night, PD appeared to pass the test, with a solid enough 2.0 leading out of a well above-average 2.1 from Law and Order: SVU. Then it took a similar path to the opening weeks of Fire, with a sizable drop to 1.5 in week two (but it actually built on its 1.4 SVU lead-in), but then a bounce-back to high-1's for most of the rest of the season.

In what would become a trend, the season highlight came thanks to a crossover event; it grew to a season high 2.2 for its first crossover with Law and Order: SVU on 2/26/14. The crossovers have been a big boon for PD in years to follow: historical-adjusted series high so far came in another crossover, a 1.9 / 155 Plus sandwiched by Fire and the premiere of Chicago Justice.

Growth, Growth and More Growth

After four seasons, there isn't a whole lot more to say about PD's story because it's the same thing every year: it has always been on Wednesday at 10/9c after SVU, and it has always been up year-to-year in A18-49+. Combined with Chicago Fire's continued growth on Tuesday, Dick Wolf has set up quite the little dynasty in the 10:00 hour.

Season three was the biggest growth season, but two and four were notable as well because those years had a noticeably better trend compared with the SVU lead-in. The retention has subtly improved over the years, to the point that PD had a higher average than SVU for the first time in 2016-17. A 10/9c drama pulling that off as the hour seems to get tougher every year is quite a success story. Next year, the familiar pairing with SVU continued into a fifth season, and in the Dick Wolf tradition, the loss of series lead Sophia Bush didn't make a lot of difference.

In 2018-19 came more improvement, as the tail end of a three-hour #OneChicago night with Chicago Med at 8/7c and Chicago Fire at 9/8c. While the other shows had moved around a lot, for Chicago PD it marked a sixth consecutive year in the same timeslot, and the compatibility helped it eke out a new series high. In season seven, the whole lineup took a major upswing to new series highs, with PD's growth the most robust of all.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12014Wednesday 10:001.651.42.2detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:



The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

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