Monday, July 1, 2019

The Breakdown: ABC Wednesday in 2018-19 (The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Single Parents and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Wednesday schedule in 2018-19...


2017-18The GoldbergsSpeechlessModern FamilyAmerican HousewifeDesignated Survivor112
2018-19The GoldbergsAmerican HousewifeModern FamilySingle ParentsA Million Little Things110 (-1%)
129 (-6%)110 (+5%)145 (-9%)105 (-13%)86 (+16%)
119 (-2%)125 (-10%)

Another year of decline for the comedy block began, with the anchors both down modestly. American Housewife had a somewhat underwhelming move from 9:30 to 8:30, but was still a slight improvement on last year's Speechless, while 9:30 newbie Single Parents began a year of drastic declines vs. American Housewife. But the network was able to stay close to even in the fall thanks to improvement at 10/9c, where newbie A Million Little Things didn't necessarily break out but was basically even in raw vs. last fall's Designated Survivor.


2017-18The GoldbergsSpeechlessModern FamilyAmerican HousewifeMatch Game103
2018-19The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsMatch Game92 (-11%)
126 (-10%)108 (+2%)126 (-11%)77 (-27%)56 (-8%)
117 (-5%)102 (-18%)

The Goldbergs spin-off Schooled took over at 8:30 in the winter, as American Housewife was off to lead things off on Tuesday. It helped keep the 8/7c hour pretty stable, but Single Parents lost a lot of steam after the new year and started declining precipitously at 9:30. Perennial 10/9c winter filler Match Game was down some.


2017-18The GoldbergsAlex, Inc.Modern FamilyAmerican HousewifeDesignated Survivor89
2018-19The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsWhiskey Cavalier86 (-3%)
115 (-5%)96 (+30%)116 (-10%)77 (-22%)55 (0%)
106 (+8%)96 (-15%)

The value of Schooled became clearer in the spring, when it got compared against the year-ago bomb Alex, Inc. That helped nearly cancel out the continued declines in the 9/8c hour, while drama newbie Whiskey Cavalier was a wash vs. the dying days of Designated Survivor.

Rating the Ratings

The Goldbergs*
American Housewife0.70.911.2-25%96marginal-13%detail
Modern Family*
Single Parents0.60.851.389marginaldetail
A Million Little Things0.70.921.197marginaldetail
Match Game0.40.540.6-18%56flop-5%detail
Whiskey Cavalier0.40.570.960flopdetail

The Goldbergs: Ever-so-narrowly missed out on a fifth straight hit season, and continued the relatively slow rate of decline that began a year ago. Grade: C+.

American Housewife: Already updated.

Schooled: Somewhat similar to (maybe a little weaker than) season one of Speechless, which aired here two years ago. A deserving renewal, certainly compared with Single Parents and most of the mess on Tuesday, but it was a little inconsistent. Grade: B-.

Modern Family: The first new low in Plus since season one for Modern Family, and it continues to decline just a bit more drastically than The Goldbergs. I could go C+ here as well but since its 8:30 lead-in was improved all season long, I will narrowly lean toward Grade: C.

Single Parents: Man, those declines vs. the year-ago American Housewife are rougher than I remembered. Compared with the last four years of success in this timeslot (three of Black-ish and one of Housewife), Single Parents stacks up miserably. But I'd still say it was pretty competitive in a True sense with the stuff ABC aired here in the first half of Modern's run, like Cougar Town and Happy Endings (and was much stronger than the Super Fun Night/Mixology-type shows). It was not a slam dunk renewal but it had reasonably decent DVR interest. Grade: C.

A Million Little Things: I would probably give the fall run about a B (success but not a breakout, like The Rookie) and the low-1's winter run after Grey's Anatomy an A- or so (definitely a bigger bounce than I was expecting). That averages out to a Grade: B+.

Match Game: The actual number, comparing winter vs. winter, is more like -8% in Plus (the above comparison includes the summer 2018 eps). While the drops vs. winter 2018 aren't that bad considering the weaker lead-in, that's in part because winter 2018 got utterly demolished by the Olympics. Grade: C.

Whiskey Cavalier: It wouldn't have been the worst renewal I've ever seen, but ABC probably made the right decision. 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 ABC Wednesday.

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