Monday, August 28, 2017

The War of 18-49, Mistresses


Mondays with The Bachelorette

As The Bachelorette became re-established as a Monday staple, ABC went on a search for a compatible lead-out drama and came up with the soapy Alyssa Milano drama Mistresses. It had only an OK start with a 1.2 demo on 6/3/2013, leading out of a 1.7 from Bachelorette. But it took a surprising upturn to a 1.4 in week two, before returning to the 1.2 in week three. It would manage to hang around the low-1's throughout season one, making it a significant improvement on the year-ago failed reality occupant The Glass House. It fell off a bit after Bachelorette wrapped in August, with one major exception: a surge back to the series high 1.4 on September 2. Overall, it eked out another season.

The pairing produced fairly similar results in season two, with Bachelorette inching down in A18-49+ and Mistresses taking a slightly larger drop to 1.0ish ratings. Once again, it was renewed, but ABC decided to strive for bigger things in the post-Bachelorette hour.

The Thursday Centerpiece

So Mistresses was off to Thursday, as the middle prong in a tri-drama lineup alongside newbie The Astronaut Wives Club and veteran Rookie Blue. It also had to deal with the loss of Milano. Considering all of that, the 44 Plus in this season may have been its strongest season; it outrated Rookie Blue and was building on Astronaut once that show came down from its decent opening weeks. Still, the lineup as a whole was not that impressive, and it was the last we saw of both the surrounding dramas. The one show to survive was Mistresses.

A Disappointing Return to Monday

And after the summer 2015 occupant The Whispers had started well and fizzled, ABC decided to give the increasingly cushy Bachelorette berth back to Mistresses. Considering this upgrade, season four went down as a big disappointment; it couldn't even match the Plus of the Thursday season and was usually managing barely a third of its lead-ins from The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. That spelled the end of the road for Mistresses.

It felt like four years of barely hanging on, but not many summer scripted shows can make it four years in any fashion. And as the post-Bachelor/Bachelorette bombs have piled up in 2017 with Quantico and Still Star-Crossed, it has become clear that it's not that easy to get people to leave on the TV after these shows. Perhaps what Mistresses did in those first two years was a bit underrated, but it was definitely time to go in season four.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
1Summer 2013Monday 10:001.150.91.4detail
2Summer 20140.97-16%0.81.2detail
3Summer 2015Thursday 9:000.75-23%0.60.9detail
4Summer 2016Monday 10:000.61-19%0.40.8detail

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow17y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
1Summer 201355marg(sum)0.6743665752
2Summer 201451marg(sum)0.63-6%42646448
3Summer 201544flop0.54-14%36545436
4Summer 201642flop0.51-6%27554841

AVERAGE:48flop
CAREER:192blip



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

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