Monday, July 23, 2018

The Breakdown: CBS Thursday in 2017-18 (The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Mom and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Thursday schedule in 2017-18...


2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesPure Genius126
2017-18The Big Bang TheoryYoung SheldonMomLife in PiecesS.W.A.T.144 (+14%)
244 (-8%)196 (+58%)133 (+17%)104 (-2%)93 (+26%)
220 (+13%)119 (+8%)

CBS Thursday became one of the biggest growth nights on TV in 2017-18, largely driven by the megahit newbie Young Sheldon at 8:30. S.W.A.T. was also a double-digit improvement in the last hour, compared with a rotating cast of 10/9c occupants. The fall was actually the smallest growth period of the year, largely because The Big Bang Theory was unable to keep up with its fall 2016 pace.


2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesTraining Day122
2017-18The Big Bang TheoryYoung SheldonMomLife in PiecesS.W.A.T.152 (+24%)
260 (+4%)214 (+67%)143 (+16%)111 (+4%)91 (+49%)
237 (+25%)127 (+10%)

The comedies all popped up nicely in January, and S.W.A.T. in the winter was compared against an even bigger bomb than it was in the fall.


2016-17The Big Bang TheoryThe Great IndoorsMomLife in PiecesThe Amazing Race110
2017-18The Big Bang TheoryYoung SheldonMomLife in PiecesS.W.A.T.129 (+17%)
223 (+5%)178 (+68%)127 (+14%)92 (-1%)77 (+12%)
200 (+26%)109 (+7%)

In the spring, S.W.A.T. fell off a bit and was also compared against a more reasonable occupant in The Amazing Race. But there was more massive growth from Young Sheldon and double-digit improvement from Mom, plus a very strong wedding finale from The Big Bang Theory.

Rating the Ratings

The Big Bang Theory*2.02.754.1-11%251megahit-1%detail
Young Sheldon1.82.213.8202megahitdetail
Life in Pieces0.91.111.3-12%102solid-1%detail

The Big Bang Theory: This show continues its very slow trickle downward: 257 -> 256 -> 253 -> 251 in the last four years. It seemed a little weaker for the most part (especially in the late fall) but was boosted by its highest ever premiere and finale in Plus, and maybe it benefited a bit from the Young Sheldon heat as well. Grade: B.

Young Sheldon: Because it's a spin-off, there are some "we don't really know how strong it is" takes floating around out there. I would think the 1.8 in late December with a repeat lead-in would've made that pretty clear? This was an exceptional performance. Since CBS decided not to change the first 90 minutes of this night, I guess the "questions" will continue for another season. Grade: A.

Mom: With a lead-in that was consistently at least 50% better year-to-year, Mom should have improved this year in Plus. Should it have improved in raw numbers? I think some would say yes, but at least according to True Plus it was still a minor improvement. It nearly made it to the show's career high Plus, from season two when it led out of TBBT. Grade: B+.

Life in Pieces: It deserved the renewal, and still did better in DVR gains than a lot of the Monday comedies. But with a lead-in that was 15% up year-to-year, Life in Pieces should have done a little better than a teeny decline in Plus. Grade: C+.

S.W.A.T.: It was headed for a B+ or even better for most of the year, but ended up being one of a few new shows that felt just a little softer at the end of the season. That may not bode well for the long term, but this was still a nice win by 10/9c standards. It was a key part of making this such a big growth night. Grade: B.

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 CBS Thursday.

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