Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Breakdown: NBC Tuesday in 2017-18 (The Voice, This Is Us, Chicago Med and more!)

It's time for a journey through the NBC Tuesday schedule in 2017-18...


2016-17The VoiceThis Is UsChicago Fire183
2017-18The VoiceThis Is UsLaw and Order True Crime179 (-2%)
186 (-10%)256 (+22%)96 (-27%)

This Is Us came back even stronger in season two, especially at the start. But its enormity was utterly squandered on limited series Law and Order True Crime, which was 27% lower than last year's Chicago Fire at the same time This Is Us was 22% up. That meant that despite TIU's growth, NBC's full night average for the fall was narrowly down.


2016-17The WallThis Is UsChicago Fire158
2017-18Ellen's Game of GamesThis Is UsChicago Med181 (+14%)
182 (+42%)231 (+7%)129 (-1%)

Once True Crime was done, things got much brighter in the 10/9c hour as Chicago Med took over. And the network got another huge injection of unscripted success with Ellen's Game of Games, which had two episodes at megahit levels to open January and stayed almost that strong for the next month.


2016-17The VoiceGreat NewsChicago Fire109
2017-18The VoiceRiseChicago Med106 (-3%)
151 (-3%)71 (+9%)97 (-10%)

Life after This Is Us was once again a struggle for NBC, as the network tried and failed to get something of a spiritual successor going in the high school musical drama Rise. It was a bit better than Great News in the above comparison, but remember that GN only aired in the last month of the season; combining Great News with the other new comedy Trial and Error, Rise really wasn't an improvement at all. Chicago Med somehow pulled NBC back to nearly league average ratings at 10/9c.

Rating the Ratings

The Voice Tue Fall* hit-10%detail
Ellen's Game of Games1.72.002.4183big hitdetail
The Voice Tue Spring*1.21.702.4-16%155big hit-6%detail
This Is Us2.02.713.9+1%247megahit+13%detail
Law and Order True Crime0.71.051.696marginaldetail
Chicago Med1.01.211.5-2%110solid+10%detail

The Voice Tue Fall: Already updated.

Ellen's Game of Games: Well, I gave The Wall an A- last year and Game of Games went 42% above that. So... Grade: A.

The Voice Tue Spring: Already updated.

This Is Us: In taking a big step up in season two, it did what megahit newbies of the past like Desperate Housewives and Empire could not. I'm a bit hesitant to give it an awesome grade because it was still kinda front-loaded, and its worst trends of the season came at the very end. But it's still a megahit that was up in raw numbers without a major timeslot upgrade (though Game of Games surely helped some in the winter). So I guess I'll worry about those minor warning signs next year. Grade: A.

Rise: It was no stronger than last year's spring occupants Trial and Error and Great News, and the hopes were even higher. You can make the argument that the target audience never even knew it existed (most episodes got just a 0.4 in A18-34), but it's hard to do a lot better by it than a Voice lead-in. Grade: D-.

Law and Order True Crime: It was another winning year for NBC overall, but it is a big missed opportunity that the network used the biggest Will and Grace weeks on Great News and the biggest This Is Us weeks on... this. Grade: D.

Chicago Med: Even accounting for the upgrade in the fall, Chicago Med seemed like an even stronger show this year. It has about the same growth in True Plus as it does in raw Plus, which suggests that the move to 10/9c basically cancelled out a half season of This Is Us support. It did really well after TIU and did a great job to hold onto the ones at 10/9c after Rise. Grade: A-.

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 Tuesday.

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