Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Breakdown: ABC Friday in 2016-17 (Last Man Standing, Dr. Ken, Shark Tank and more!)

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


2015-16Last Man StandingDr. KenShark Tank20/2091
2016-17Last Man StandingDr. KenShark Tank20/2082 (-10%)
91 (+7%)70 (-18%)95 (-11%)69 (-14%)
81 (-6%)

Shark Tank had its first season of decline in 2015-16, and it continued on about that same rate in fall 2016. Last Man Standing kept doing its thing in the lead-off role, but Dr. Ken couldn't remotely live up to its ratings from the previous fall.


2015-16Last Man StandingDr. KenShark Tank20/2083
2016-17Last Man StandingDr. KenShark Tank20/2092 (+10%)
102 (+24%)76 (+6%)108 (+9%)79 (+7%)
89 (+16%)

The whole night kinda woke up after the new year for whatever reason. Last Man Standing exploded to a 1.5 on the first January of the year, and Shark Tank actually sustained above-league average ratings for most of January and February.


2015-16Last Man StandingDr. KenShark Tank20/2077
2016-17The Toy BoxShark Tank20/2066 (-14%)
51 (-27%)85 (-3%)62 (-15%)

But that heat didn't sustain into the spring, as the comedies wrapped and the far inferior reality series The Toy Box took over in the 8/7c hour.

Rating the Ratings

Last Man Standing*
The Toy Box0.50.620.851flopdetail
Dr. Ken0.70.871.1-22%71solid(Fri)-7%detail
Shark Tank*

Last Man Standing: This cancellation has caused a bit of a firestorm in the news media due to accusations that it was politically motivated. I don't buy that it was politically motivated. But if you are trying to spin it as some kind of borderline performer to prove that point, you're being just as disingenuous as the other side. This was one of the great Friday success stories on record, and The Bachelor was the only broadcast show in the regular season that had a better trend without some kind of timeslot change or lead-in help. I don't know why they couldn't make it work since it seems to be a legit syndication success as well, but ratings-wise, LMS gets to go out on a Grade: A.

Dr. Ken: Like many sophomore shows, this is another one where a lot of the damage was done during its freshman year; just compare the y2y trend with the fall vs. the one for the winter. Still, this goes down as a moderately disappointing season simply because it fared so much worse compared with its lead-in. It's yet another show that gets to ask, "What if American Idol hadn't gotten the green light?" Grade: C.

The Toy Box: It should have been compatible with Shark Tank, but it was mediocre from the start and actually got somewhat rejected post-premiere. Losing to First Dates was a surprise to me. Good luck with the Sunday 7/6c hour. Grade: D.

Shark Tank: This is one of those shows that illustrates how severe the league average decline was in 2016-17. For most of the season, it didn't feel like Shark Tank was having a good year and yet it still broke even in Plus, even with both of its surrounding programs being down. Grade: B.

20/20: This is a fairly underwhelming performance given Shark Tank's steadiness. I mentioned this during upfront week but this show also goes down as one of the under-the-radar losers of the schedule releases. This show has had it really good with Shark Tank as a lead-in, and even if Inhumans actually works on Friday, I can't see it funneling a lot of audience into 20/20. Grade: C.

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 Friday.

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