Thursday, June 13, 2019

The War of 18-49, Superstore

Midseason Monday Filler

Superstore began its run as part of a Monday comedy duo, designed to help NBC get through the period between seasons of The Voice. It even had its season one episode order cut to accommodate that role. But first, it got a December preview after The Voice; after Voice's 2.8, two Superstore episodes in the 10/9c hour averaged a 2.0 and 1.6. Its future companion Telenovela went on to average 1.4 and 0.9 in a similar preview the next week, so it was pretty clear that Superstore was the more promising prospect.

That dynamic played out in the winter, as Superstore opened to a 1.8 demo in its January premiere while Telenovela had a 1.3. While Superstore drifted down into the mid-1's, Telenovela was fractional starting in their fourth week together. Superstore also handily outrated The Biggest Loser, the veteran reality player scheduled from 9:00-11:00, making it the clear bright spot in this midseason lineup. That got it a renewal and a fall berth at the 2016 upfront.

Thursday Lead-off

From there, Superstore began an unspectacular but consistently decent three-year run at the beginning of NBC's Thursday comedy lineup, a thankless role head-to-head with perennial comedy megahit The Big Bang Theory on CBS. In seasons two and three, a consistent trend was Superstore's big drops in the spring; both years, it hung onto low-1 ratings for most of the season, but then got well into fractional territory down the stretch.

Season four had a somewhat different arc, looking weaker in the fall (as the whole night crumbled around a much reduced Will and Grace revival) but not dropping much in the spring. That produced some great trends in the last months of the season, even though the full season average ticked down a bit. Superstore was right back in that Thursday lead-off role for season five, and the timeslot changed around it as longtime competitor The Big Bang Theory will be out of the picture, but the ratings picture remained similar.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12015-16Monday 10:001.470.82.0detail
22016-17Thursday 8:001.13-23%0.81.4detailB
62020-21Thu 8:00, Thu 8:300.48-34%0.40.6detailC-

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:



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

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