Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Breakdown: CBS Thursday in 2016-17 (The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Life in Pieces and more!)




It's time for a journey through the CBS Thursday schedule in 2016-17...


fall

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The Big Bang TheoryLife in PiecesMom2 Broke GirlsElementary125
26213411211066
198111
2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesPure Genius126 (+1%)
265 (+1%)123 (-8%)113 (+1%)106 (-3%)73 (+11%)
194 (-2%)110 (-1%)
VsAvg+11%-35%-33%-17%
Rank4/1615/1614/1614/16

Football ended and The Big Bang Theory made its move to Thursday, and its new lead-out The Great Indoors didn't waste much time before falling below 50% retention. After a middling season one following Big Bang, Life in Pieces made the move to 9:30 and had surprisingly solid retention out of Mom in the early going. Pure Genius premiered poorly but held up well enough to outrate Elementary's final Thursday fall.

winter

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The Big Bang TheoryLife in PiecesMomAngel from HellElementary128
2581401209775
199109
2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesTraining Day122 (-4%)
251 (-3%)128 (-9%)123 (+3%)107 (+10%)61 (-18%)
190 (-5%)115 (+6%)
VsAvg+9%-28%-44%-18%
Rank8/1613/1616/1614/16

The winter months seemed to wake up some of Big Bang's lead-outs more than it did Bang itself, as both Great Indoors and especially Mom looked better in this period. But the 10/9c hour became even more of a problem as the Training Day remake stumbled out of the gate.

spring

Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2015-16The Big Bang TheoryThe Odd CoupleMom2 Broke GirlsRush Hour114
22410911310964
167111
2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesThe Amazing Race Spring110 (-3%)
212 (-5%)106 (-3%)112 (-1%)93 (-15%)68 (+8%)
159 (-4%)102 (-8%)
VsAvg+3%-31%-32%-18%
Rank8/1616/1615/1614/16

CBS patched up the 10:00 hour well enough with reality vet The Amazing Race in the spring, but the comedies generally trended a little worse in this period. Overall, the night came pretty close to last year's numbers all season long, but that is not a good thing compared to the lofty historical averages.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
The Big Bang Theory*2.53.103.8-17%253megahit-1%detail
The Great Indoors0.71.401.9114soliddetail
Mom*1.21.431.7-15%117solid+1%detail
Life in Pieces1.01.261.5-37%103solid-25%detail
Pure Genius0.70.851.070marginaldetail
Training Day0.30.520.943flopdetail
The Amazing Race Spring*0.60.830.9-22%67flop-7%detail

The Big Bang Theory: It is one of those shows that is tempting to bump up grade-wise because even though it's even in Plus, it's doing it at a very high level. But I will stick to my rubric, in part on the grounds that its trends got a little worse as the season progressed. Grade: B.

The Great Indoors: I'm still not sold that it was much weaker than the lowest renewals from the Monday lineup (Man with a Plan and Superior Donuts), and if not for CBS' early renewals, people probably would've still considered it very much alive until its last couple Monday episodes. But strength-wise, it was clearly a low-end bubble show at best. Score one for the retentionistas; maybe CBS actually learned something from the debacle with similar-performing The Millers? Grade: C-.

Mom: I thought it was kinda underwhelming in the fall, when it was a very easy 9:00 hour with Scandal sitting out. This is right on the fence between B+ and B for me but I will swing toward the more generous grade since Great Indoors was even weaker than last year's 8:30 show, and the performance seemed to improve later in the season. Grade: B+.

Life in Pieces: Its retention of Mom got worse as the season progressed, but I actually think this was more about Mom improving than LiP weakening. If it was purely a "relative to expectations" grade it would do better, because I thought it was gonna be more of a problem than this, but it's earned its way to what should be a syndication-length run. A True comparison vs. last year reveals a show that was just a teeny bit weaker than season one. Grade: B-.

Pure Genius: This is another one of those shows that everybody (correctly) left for dead after the premiere rating, but it held up OK from that point on. And I wasn't even aware that it outrated the year-ago fall episodes of Elementary. The fact that Doubt and Training Day did even worse later in the season may have vindicated it a little bit, but unlike with Code Black, that wasn't enough to actually make it look like a viable renewal. Grade: D+.

Training Day: At least it wasn't Doubt. RIP Bill Paxton. Grade: D.

The Amazing Race: It moved from Friday to Thursday at 10/9c, including a few hours in the summer, which is probably not much/any of an upgrade. It'll be back for some more filler duty next year. 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 CBS Thursday.

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