Monday, July 30, 2018

The Breakdown: Fox Thursday in 2017-18 (Gotham, The Orville, The Four and more!)

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


2017-18GothamThe Orville85 (+30%)
79 (+26%)92 (+33%)

Fox added a lot of drama depth in 2017-18, and this fall Thursday lineup was one of the clearest examples. Gotham and The Orville did not set the world on fire, but still represented a huge improvement on last year's Rosewood / Pitch debacle.


2016-17Hell's KitchenMy Kitchen Rules81
2017-18The Four108 (+33%)
108 (+11%)108 (+71%)

And Fox came up with another big dose of timeslot improvement in the winter months, thanks to reality competition The Four. It wasn't a huge amount stronger than the Gordon Ramsay shows from a year ago, but its two-hour nature allowed it to crush last year's 9/8c reality flops. (And the Gordon Ramsay shows got to stay on Friday, which bore a lot of fruit on that night.)


2016-17MasterChef JuniorKicking and Screaming63
2017-18GothamShowtime At the Apollo58 (-9%)
60 (-25%)55 (+18%)

The Thursday improvement couldn't last into the spring, as Gotham softened in its return from hiatus and got compared against a much stronger year-ago occupant in Gordon Ramsay. A regularly-scheduled edition of Showtime At the Apollo quietly improved upon the year-ago Kicking and Screaming by just enough to keep Fox's decline in just the single digits.

Rating the Ratings

The Four1.11.191.3108soliddetail
The Orville0.91.252.7114soliddetail
Showtime At the Apollo0.50.600.755flop

Gotham: Moving from Monday to Thursday is a downgrade, but not a huge one. The run of 0.9's in the fall was actually fairly solid, but it underwhelmed somewhat in the spring (just hundredths away from falling to 0.5 on a couple occasions). Grade: C.

The Four: On a smaller scale, it actually kinda reminded me of American Idol in that the level of success was debatable early in the season, but it went on a nice run at the end that put it more clearly in the win column. Grade: B+. The grade is just for the winter run; it has been less impressive in the summer, but taken on the same kind of upward trajectory.

The Orville: Its averages are heavily inflated by early-season football exposure, but this was still a success up to the end; I would say when the dust settled it was about as strong as The Resident from the spring, and definitely a step ahead of The Gifted. I was wrestling between B+ and B for both this and Resident but gave this one the lower grade because it looked just a touch softer at the end of its run. After airing its last episode on December 7, not even making it on the fall schedule the next season is a pretty tough break. Grade: B.

Showtime At the Apollo: It didn't do much at all, but considering the incompatibility of its lead-in it was still a surprisingly decent improvement on Kicking and Screaming from last year. Not totally sold that was enough for a renewal, but Fox thought so. 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 Fox Thursday.

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