Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Breakdown: CBS Monday in 2018-19 (The Neighborhood, Magnum P.I., Bull and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Monday schedule in 2018-19...


2017-18Kevin Can WaitMan with a PlanSuperior Donuts9JKLScorpion85
2018-19The NeighborhoodHappy TogetherMagnum P.I.Bull93 (+10%)
117 (+8%)89 (-4%)91 (+18%)84 (+11%)
103 (+2%)

CBS' big news at the 2018 upfront was its wholesale overhaul of Monday, and the network's 2018-19 attempt brought modest improvement, but not a lot of flash. The clear winner was The Neighborhood, giving the network a lead-off anchor to build around. In the fall, there was actually more percentage growth at 9/8c with newbie Magnum P.I. and at 10/9c with transplanted Bull, but those shows' improvements would fade over time.


2017-18Kevin Can WaitMan with a PlanSuperior Donuts9JKLScorpion88
2018-19The NeighborhoodMan with a PlanMagnum P.I.Bull92 (+5%)
131 (+19%)100 (+1%)81 (-4%)80 (+6%)
115 (+11%)

The Neighborhood's value became even clearer in 2019, as it got a thrilling winter bounce. But that didn't extend to later in the night; Man with the Plan returned to 8:30 at familiar levels, while Magnum P.I. and Bull both faded a bit.


2017-18Kevin Can WaitMan with a PlanSuperior DonutsLiving BiblicallyScorpion73
2018-19The NeighborhoodMan with a PlanThe CodeBull74 (+2%)
106 (+24%)85 (+2%)59 (-12%)68 (+1%)
96 (+13%)

CBS barely eked out year-to-year improvement in all three phases of the season, but that was no thanks to the late spring 9/8c newbie The Code; it was a noticeable step below even the cancelled 9/8c comedies from a year ago.

Rating the Ratings

The Neighborhood1.01.121.4118soliddetail
Happy Together0.70.851.089marginaldetail
Man with a Plan0.70.861.1-13%91marginal+0%detail
Magnum P.I.0.70.852.490marginaldetail
The Code0.50.590.762flopdetail

The Neighborhood: Feels like this one is right on the border between A- ("breakout") and B+ ("significant success"). The closest comps since I've been giving grades to newbies are probably Kevin Can Wait and American Housewife, both of which got B+. But I'm gonna be kinder to this one, since it was a self-starter from day one and also came in with fairly low expectations. Grade: A-.

Happy Together: The 9JKL of 2018-19. The raw numbers are a little deceiving; it had no DVR interest, and is not what you're looking for leading out of something as potent as The Neighborhood. Grade: D+.

Man with a Plan: It just keeps plugging away and ekeing out renewals. Nothing really new or different to say about it. Since it had improved lead-ins it was a touch weaker in True Plus, but not much. Grade: B-.

Magnum P.I.: This was the 2018-19 version of SEAL Team in 2017-18: much-maligned but, in the end, probably not a "bad" renewal. Maybe it had higher expectations because of the brand name behind it, but it also had a lower bar to clear because of the troubles in the timeslot recently. Grade: C.

The Code: (Above includes results through May 20.) After premiering to a 0.7 after NCIS and then getting a 0.5 on its first Monday, it looked like there was potential for a massive megabomb. But it held up well enough from there to avoid flunking out. Grade: D.

Bull: It was an improvement on the fast-tanking final season of Scorpion, but not by much. To be fair, it faced two really strong opponents in the fall/winter, and it didn't get a lot of help from Magnum P.I., but I'm still thinking CBS was hoping for a little better hold here. 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 CBS Monday.

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