Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Breakdown: NBC Thursday in 2016-17 (Superstore, Chicago Med, The Blacklist and more!)

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


2015-16Heroes RebornThe BlacklistThe Player84
2016-17SuperstoreThe Good PlaceChicago MedThe Blacklist102 (+21%)
102 (+11%)101 (+9%)109 (+6%)95 (+66%)
102 (+10%)

Chicago Med moved from Tuesday to Thursday and had similar to slightly better ratings compared with The Blacklist all season long. Superstore and The Good Place both did well in the 8/7c hour, but didn't get huge gains in the fall since Heroes Reborn did OK as well. The real boon for NBC came in The Blacklist's slide to 10/9c.


2015-16You, Me and the ApocalypseThe BlacklistShades of Blue78
2016-17SuperstorePowerlessChicago MedThe Blacklist: Redemption83 (+6%)
94 (+88%)67 (+34%)102 (0%)68 (-18%)
80 (+61%)

The Blacklist: Redemption was one of those shows whose run straddled the winter/spring threshold and was technically not the most frequent occupant in any period. I shoehorned it into the winter just so it would be somewhere. Anyway, it made for really NBC's only bad Thursday comparisons all season, as it was thrown up against the successful first season of Shades of Blue.

Earlier in the night, Powerless premiered only OK and quickly fell into clear failure territory. But because it was constantly compared with year-ago megabombs, it was never really a drag on the timeslot comparisons. Meanwhile, Superstore's value became clearer in these periods as those megabombs took over a year ago.


2015-16StrongThe BlacklistGame of Silence61
2016-17SuperstorePowerlessChicago MedThe Blacklist73 (+19%)
75 (+56%)47 (-2%)90 (+3%)67 (+43%)
61 (+27%)

NBC returned to 20%ish gains in the fall, once again largely on the back of The Blacklist's big gains vs. a year-ago flop in the 10/9c hour. It's not as sexy a way of making progress as something like This Is Us, but having all these timeslots where NBC was able to do OK compared with horrifying last year really added up.

Rating the Ratings

The Good Place1.01.352.3111soliddetail
Chicago Med0.91.231.7-28%101solid-14%detail
The Blacklist*0.80.991.3-31%81marginal-17%detail
The Blacklist: Redemption0.70.761.062flopdetail

Superstore: It was killed average-wise by some fractional results in the deep spring. True Plus wise, it was actually slightly above season one, which mostly aired in January and February (or after The Voice). Grade: B.

The Good Place: Like Superstore season one, The Good Place was set up much more favorably for a raw ratings average, thanks to a double-length post-Voice preview and a bunch of fall/early winter episodes. But it did well in its own right, usually very close to its Superstore lead-in and a bit below it toward season's end. I'm not grading on too much of an "NBC comedy" curve here but if you compare it with NBC's 2017 new comedies, it's quite a forking success. Grade: B.

Powerless: It probably wasn't that much weaker than the Tuesday post-Voice comedies, and it was quietly one of the youngest/malest-skewing shows on the network. But that doesn't mean it had any argument for renewal. It's just that they all stunk. Grade: D-.

Chicago Med: It moved from Tuesday (mostly after The Voice) to Thursday (mostly after much younger-skewing comedies of varying strength), which is clearly a tougher situation. True Plus actually has it up a touch, like Superstore. I'm not sure I fully buy it in this case, but it definitely made an OK transition after a rocky start. Grade: B.

The Blacklist: I try to be kind to shows that get moved to 10/9c but this is a situation where adding a reliably league average lead-in like Chicago Med actually cancels out a good bit of the difficulty of the 10/9c move, since it had to deal with some really rough surroundings last year. It also seemed to get weaker in the second half of the season. Grade: C.

The Blacklist: Redemption: It was clearly weaker than the mothership in Live+SD but the margin became a canyon when you look at delayed numbers. Wouldn't have been a huge reach, but it didn't make much of a case. In a season when NBC renewed almost all of its seemingly "low-end bubble" shows, this was the unlucky one. Grade: D+.

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 NBC Thursday.

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