Friday, July 14, 2017

The Breakdown: Fox Wednesday in 2016-17 (Lethal Weapon, Empire, Star and more!)




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


fall

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2015-16RosewoodEmpire220
112327
2016-17Lethal WeaponEmpire206 (-6%)
145 (+30%)267 (-18%)
VsAvg+51%+124%+91%
Rank2/162/162/16

Lethal Weapon was the best thing to come out of a mostly dire season for Fox, and it was an abundantly clear improvement on year-ago occupant Rosewood from the jump. Its improvement helped keep this night pretty close to steady even as Empire had clearly hit its decline phase.

winter

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2015-16American Idol WedHell's Kitchen128
16887
2016-17Lethal WeaponStar108 (-15%)
112 (-33%)104 (+19%)
VsAvg-47%-48%-47%
Rank13/1614/1615/16

Weapon was joined by another newbie success, Lee Daniels' Star, to get through the winter months. Once again, these shows did quite well just to keep the decline as small it was. The real pain from the loss of American Idol was felt on Thursday.

spring

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2015-16RosewoodEmpire176
79273
2016-17Shots FiredEmpire130 (-26%)
73 (-8%)187 (-32%)
VsAvg-40%-3%-17%
Rank14/1610/1613/16

Empire got a new lead-in, the limited series Shots Fired, for the spring. Lethal Weapon it was clearly not, though it was still a lot closer to the year-ago Rosewood ratings than Empire was to itself. Empire seemed to be in full panic mode with almost weekly declines in April and early May, but managed to pull itself back up to low-2's and a 2.5 finale.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
Lethal Weapon1.21.572.2128hitdetail
Shots Fired0.80.891.173marginaldetail
Empire1.92.754.2-38%224megahit-26%detail
Star1.11.352.2110soliddetail

Lethal Weapon: Its growth vs. Rosewood was so considerable that it didn't really need to "prove itself" in the winter, but it did so anyway. It's a valuable schedule piece for Fox, and it'll have more episodes but a different night for season two. NCIS seems like one of the last shows I'd be wanting to face, but we'll see. Grade: A-.

Shots Fired: One of the many shows in the blob of Fox mediocrity, but I would actually put it toward the high end of that blob. It could've gotten another shot. Grade: C.

Empire: I feel like we're heading into several years of huge declines being the constant narrative with this show, so I just want to step back and point out that this show was a megahit for (at least) three years, which is pretty rarefied company. Though it will probably have bad y2y trends from this point forward, its legacy as an incredible ratings story is secure. All that being said........ it did drop quite a lot this year. Grade: D+.

Star: When it fell to a 1.2 in the third week of its regular run, I'll admit I was becoming convinced that this story wasn't gonna end well. But that was really the end of the slippage; it only fell to 1.1 once and even sprinkled in a few 1.3's later in the season. It definitely could've gone a lot worse from that point, and league average-ish performers are very much welcome on the well below-average Fox. Keeping it afloat as a long-term player will be a whole new ordeal, but bringing it back in the fall with an Empire lead-in is literally the best Fox can do. 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 Fox Wednesday.

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