Friday, July 5, 2019

The Breakdown: CBS Wednesday in 2018-19 (Survivor, SEAL Team, Criminal Minds and more!)

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


2017-18SurvivorSEAL TeamCriminal Minds119
2018-19SurvivorSEAL TeamCriminal Minds109 (-8%)
159 (+1%)89 (-15%)79 (-17%)

The Wednesday trio from 2017-18 returned intact in fall 2018, and while Survivor continued to excel, the dramas SEAL Team and Criminal Minds could not even remotely keep up with their fall 2017 paces.


2017-18The Amazing RaceSEAL TeamCriminal Minds99
2018-19The World's BestCriminal Minds85 (-14%)
103 (-16%)70 (-21%)82 (-5%)

CBS aired a diverse array of lineups throughout the winter, accommodating Celebrity Big Brother, the beginning of the Survivor season, as well as one of the biggest post-Super Bowl disasters ever in The World's Best. This actual three-hour lineup aired just once (February 6), and World's Best later moved to the 9:00-11:00 block, hence the huge difference between the 8:00 and 9:00 averages, but these two shows took up the most Wednesday real estate overall.


2017-18SurvivorSEAL TeamCriminal Minds105
2018-19SurvivorThe Amazing RaceSEAL Team107 (+2%)
156 (+8%)97 (+16%)67 (-23%)

The spring brought an even more impressive uptick for Survivor, the return of The Amazing Race (after a brief run for reality series Million Dollar Mile), and a 10/9c move for SEAL Team.

Rating the Ratings

Survivor Fall*1.01.491.7-12%157big hit+1%detail
Survivor Spring*0.91.481.6-6%156big hit+8%detail
SEAL Team0.60.751.0-26%79marginal-14%detail
The World's Best0.40.671.071marginaldetail
The Amazing Race Spring*0.70.851.2-26%89marginal-15%detail
Criminal Minds*0.70.760.9-23%80marginal-11%detail

Survivor Fall: It may be just +1% y2y, but that still makes it the biggest Survivor season in Plus since 2005. Grade: B+.

Survivor Spring: And putting up virtually the same raw numbers in the spring is an even bigger feat. Being up in raw numbers for the season finale was quite a capper. Grade: A-.

SEAL Team: After a bad start to the year, it did seem to turn it around a little in 2019, and obviously it had a significant timeslot downgrade for the spring episodes. But it's still a rather shaky property to keep getting this great Wednesday 9/8c slot. Grade: C-.

The World's Best: I don't care what the timeslots were; collapses really don't get more epic than 7.0 -> 1.0 -> 0.9 -> 0.6 -> 0.4. It gives me a little pause that it got back to 0.6 for the last two weeks, but getting flop Plus ratings in the winter from a Super Bowl lead-out is still a remarkable disaster. Grade: F.

The Amazing Race Spring: Obviously it couldn't keep up with the show's major resurgence season in early 2018 (which aired in a much easier part of year) but I still think it looked stronger than the Race's Friday seasons, and maybe even the tail end of the long run on Sunday. It dropped a lot in the four weeks it had a Survivor lead-in, but held up well enough in the early summer eps. Grade: B.

Criminal Minds: The True Plus numbers actually want me to be even harsher than the raw Plus numbers, since Minds had fewer episodes and wrapped up earlier this year. But I don't want to put it at or lower than SEAL Team. 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 Wednesday.

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