Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Breakdown: ABC Wednesday in 2016-17 (The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Designated Survivor and more!)




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


fall

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The MiddleThe GoldbergsModern FamilyBlack-ishNashville124
13914818912871
143158
2016-17The GoldbergsSpeechlessModern FamilyBlack-ishDesignated Survivor140 (+13%)
149 (+7%)138 (-7%)186 (-2%)131 (+3%)118 (+66%)
143 (0%)159 (+0%)
VsAvg+31%+4%+41%+22%
Rank3/167/161/162/16

The Goldbergs made the move to 8:00 and initially stayed very close to its year-ago Plus ratings, while improving on what The Middle did a year ago. Speechless did quite well but was still the only one of the comedies to take a noteworthy y2y decline in its timeslot. And at 10/9c, the early episodes of Designated Survivor absolutely blew away the final ABC season of Nashville.

winter

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The MiddleThe GoldbergsModern FamilyBlack-ishAmerican Crime117
13013817812864
134153
2016-17The GoldbergsSpeechlessModern FamilyBlack-ishMatch Game125 (+7%)
149 (+14%)133 (-4%)176 (-2%)126 (-2%)84 (+32%)
141 (+5%)151 (-2%)
VsAvg+44%+12%0%+18%
Rank2/167/167/16416

The Goldbergs' finest hour was the winter comparisons, when it was actually up a good bit in Plus vs. its 8:30 ratings, and up double-digits vs. The Middle. At 10/9c, Match Game did a pretty nice job as filler between Designated Survivor half-seasons.

spring

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The MiddleThe GoldbergsModern FamilyBlack-ishNashville105
11513115511259
123133
2016-17The GoldbergsSpeechlessModern FamilyBlack-ishDesignated Survivor108 (+3%)
120 (+4%)101 (-23%)148 (-4%)108 (-3%)87 (+47%)
110 (-10%)128 (-4%)
VsAvg+27%+9%+12%+15%
Rank4/168/165/162/16

Goldbergs and Speechless limped to the finish just a bit, taking a bigger hit after DST than The Middle usually did. The 9/8c hour was close to even in Plus as it had been all season, and Designated Survivor had a pretty solid return and continued to crush Nashville.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
The Goldbergs*1.31.722.0-16%140hit+0%detail
Speechless1.11.552.0127hitdetail
Modern Family*1.62.102.6-18%172big hit-2%detail
Black-ish1.21.512.0-15%123solid+1%detail
Designated Survivor0.91.252.2102soliddetail
Match Game0.60.851.3-21%69flop-6%detail

The Goldbergs: In a season of Plus stability for the Wednesday staples, Goldbergs gets the grading edge because of its move to the 8:00 timeslot. I put less value on "leading off" than some people do but it is still more difficult to be at 8:00, compared with a hammock between The Middle and Modern Family. Nice work. Grade: B+.

Speechless: It consistently had the biggest year-to-year timeslot declines of anything in the block. But the rest of the block sets a high standard, so this was never in any real renewal doubt. Still, it's the right decision to protect it in this hammock for awhile longer. True graded it just a teeny bit behind American Housewife, even though Speechless had over a tenth advantage in raw. So I gave Housewife the narrow grade advantage. Grade: B.

Modern Family: Staying very close to even in Plus should not be taken for granted with a show of this size, especially since it had a lead-in downgrade. Still, I will go ahead and take it for granted anyway with a workmanlike Grade: B.

Black-ish: Another year of acceptable retention for Anthony Anderson and crew, but the three-year run in this timeslot is now over. Grade: B.

Designated Survivor: It's a shame that this show will probably go down as one of those "hyped disappointments" in a lot of minds, because over half of its audience is watching after the same day. Still, even airing in the 10:00 hour, which seems to get harder every year, it was a huge improvement on most historical occupants: better than Nashville even at its strongest and very close to season one of Revenge. It will be really interesting to see what its ad rates look like for season two, because it fits into The Blacklist profile: a huge delayed audience despite skewing kinda old. And The Blacklist always gets very favorable ad rates. I'm still skeptical about its potency long-term, but it was more resilient after the long hiatus than a lot of people were expecting, so season one gets a Grade: B+.

Match Game: Its 1.3 on the first Wednesday in January was an eye-opener, and it ended up with a still-solid 1.0's and 0.9's. But its average was derailed to behind what it did in season one thanks to a 0.7ish run on Sunday. It lost out to To Tell the Truth for the fall keep-the-hour-warm-for-American Idol berth, but it is decent enough filler. Grade: B.

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 Wednesday.

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