Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Breakdown: NBC Sunday in 2016-17 (Little Big Shots, Chicago Justice, Shades of Blue)

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


2015-16Football Night in America p3Sunday Night Football488
2016-17Football Night in America p3Sunday Night Football518 (+6%)
295 (+4%)562 (+6%)
429 (+6%)562 (+6%)562 (+6%)

This was actually kind of a "bad" year for Sunday Night Football. It had an especially rough stretch in the weeks leading up to the election. Going +6% in Plus and actually down double-digits in raw is its worst trend since the NBC primetime package began in 2006.


2015-16Dateline SunMovie Night50
2016-17Movie Night48 (-3%)
49 (-21%)51 (+10%)46 (+11%)

NBC took a pass on programming event season, as usual.


2015-16Little Big ShotsThe Carmichael ShowCrowdedDateline Sun86
2016-17Little Big ShotsChicago JusticeShades of Blue86 (+0%)
114 (-15%)82 (+42%)61 (-6%)

Little Big Shots did not get back to its heights from season one, but it was still a very potent player by the dreadful standards of Sunday broadcast primetime. Chicago Justice and Shades of Blue were fairly moderate retainers of that audience, but that made them a significant improvement on the comedies that had aired in the 9:00 hour last spring.

Rating the Ratings

Little Big Shots1.11.402.0-36%114solid-23%detail
Chicago Justice0.91.121.792marginaldetail
Shades of Blue0.70.781.0-34%63flop-21%detail

Little Big Shots: The above includes the three 1.1's on Wednesday in the summer, so as you can see in the spring section, its drops were not as bad when just comparing Sunday episodes. It actually came in a few hundredths above my Likeliest prediction, so kudos, but I didn't think I was being optimistic either. Whether you look at the early-season or the late-season eps, it took a clear step downward, but the numbers are still big for a Sunday self-starter. Grade: C+.

Chicago Justice: I guess this cancellation goes down as one of the few wins for the Renewology formula, as it pretty much had it squarely on the bubble throughout while most of the "conventional wisdom" had it as a lock renewal. You could argue it is not that surprising, in a vacuum; given its big lead-in, it was a clear step weaker than the rest of the Chicago series. It was a level where NBC could justifiably have some worry about the prospect of over-extending the brand. The real slap in the face comes from the cancellation happening in the middle of an otherwise bizarrely generous season from NBC: Timeless AND Taken AND Trial and Error AND Great News (not to mention Justice lead-out Shades of Blue) all survived! This combination of events is rather difficult to explain. Grade: B-.

Shades of Blue: Sunday is tougher than Thursday but this was a show that was holding onto 1.0 with lead-ins from freakin' repeats of The Blacklist and Blindspot late in season one, while season two had a more stable support system from Chicago Justice. So I feel safe in saying it was not as impressive this year. It was no better than a high-end bubble show. 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 NBC Sunday.

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