Monday, July 3, 2017

The War of 18-49, Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Season One on Tuesday 

In fall 2013, Fox made yet another of its many attempts this decade at a two-hour Tuesday comedy block, and with two new series in the 8:00 hour: Seth MacFarlane's Dads and Michael Schur's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Fox smartly opened these shows in the pre-premiere week, getting a jump on the considerable competition to come, and both had surprisingly solid sampling. Dads opened on a 2.2 demo, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine built considerably from there with 6.17 million viewers and a 2.6 demo. The arrival of the competition was brutal, and both comedies were down almost a third to a respective 1.5 and 1.8 in week two, before taking another hit to 1.3/1.4 in week three. But they bounced back a bit from there, and Nine-Nine's mid-1's in particular stood out as a considerable improvement on the previous season's 8:00 hour.

Later in the season, Nine-Nine joined New Girl for a comedy hour after the Super Bowl (its 6.9 demo rating on that night is not included in the averages below) and moved to the 9:30 slot after New Girl on a regular basis. Ultimately, the Super Bowl and new timeslot didn't do anything for the show (it hit a few new lows after the move) but it had still done enough for a renewal.

The Sunday Bounce

In season two, Brooklyn Nine-Nine became one of several new comedies from the 2013-14 class to get a significant timeslot upgrade, moving to Sunday at 8:30 right after the often football-boosted The Simpsons. The move did very good things for Nine-Nine's ratings, peaking with a 3.0 on the night of an NFL playoff game in January. And as the NFL went away and the late spring arrived, Nine-Nine remained an impressive retainer of The Simpsons' audience. Nine-Nine returned to Sunday for the fall of 2015, but at midseason it was tapped for yet another attempt at a two-hour Tuesday comedy block.

Back to Marginal Territory on Tuesday 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine got off to an OK start in its return to Tuesday; the 1.2 demo on 1/5/16 was about in line with some numbers it had posted in the fall on non-NFL nights. But it bled significantly from that point, going fractional in mid-February and as low as a couple 0.8's in March. It was yet another two-hour comedy effort from Fox that was really derailed by weak newbies, this time Grandfathered and The Grinder.

The two-hour comedy idea never resurfaced in 2016-17, and Fox got through the season by sharing the 8:00 hour among its last vestiges, veterans Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl (plus respectable midseason newbie The Mick). It was a tougher situation for Brooklyn, which sat out the winter and had to air deep into the spring, and it seemed like cancellation could be in the cards when Nine-Nine fell as low as a 0.6. But it's made it through again, and will join The Mick in the fall for another single hour of Tuesday comedy.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
12013-14Tue 8:30, Tue 9:301.501.12.6detail
22014-15Sunday 8:301.70+13%0.93.0detail
32015-16Sun 8:30, Tue 9:001.21-29%0.82.0detailC-
42016-17Tuesday 8:000.85-29%0.61.3detailC+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow17y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
12013-1480marginal0.985813813869
22014-15101solid1.24+26%5417816165
32015-1683marginal1.02-18%5513710362
42016-1770marginal0.85-16%491069049

AVERAGE:83marginal
CAREER:333utility



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

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