Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Breakdown: Fox Wednesday in 2018-19 (The Masked Singer, Empire, Star and more!)




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


fall

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2017-18EmpireStar149
176123
2018-19EmpireStar143 (-5%)
162 (-8%)123 (0%)
VsAvg+56%+3%+27%
Rank3/186/185/18

There were signs of the Empire and Star trends getting better late last season, and that got a nice chance to play out in the fall of 2018. Empire was down a little in Plus, but still held up quite admirably for a show that had declined 25% in seasons three and four. Star, finally getting an apples-to-apples timeslot comparison, broke even.

winter

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2017-18The X-Files9-1-1121
92150
2018-1924 Hours to Hell and BackThe Masked Singer192 (+58%)
112 (+22%)271 (+81%)
VsAvg-44%+36%-4%
Rank13/185/1810/18

There's just something about that Wednesday 9/8c timeslot in the winter on Fox. This year, Fox came up with one of its most thrilling rides yet in megahit singing show The Masked Singer. It absolutely throttled last year's 9-1-1, which was itself a massive success, and the network also improved at 8/7c by bringing in Gordon Ramsay sophomore 24 Hours to Hell and Back.

spring

Year8:008:309:009:30Avg
2017-18EmpireStar137
159116
2018-19EmpireStar111 (-19%)
121 (-23%)101 (-13%)
VsAvg-2%-45%-27%
Rank7/1816/1815/18

Whatever spark Empire and Star had shown over the last year just... ended all of a sudden in the spring, as Empire returned with a 1.2, down a whooping three tenths from its fall finale. They didn't hold up that badly after the spring premieres, but that night caused a major downshift in expectations.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
Empire*1.11.351.9-26%142hit-15%detail
24 Hours to Hell and Back0.81.041.2+5%109solid+21%detail
Star0.91.061.5-19%112solid-6%detail
The Masked Singer2.22.583.6272megahitdetail

Empire: The fall offered a promise of real stabilization, and that promise was promptly broken in the spring. The drops for the whole season obviously look better than the last two, but the spring half leaves behind a disappointing taste. Grade: C.

24 Hours to Hell and Back: As I think we saw when it got 0.8's for its two-hour finale, this growth was really due to airing in the winter alongside an absolute sensation. It did perfectly fine, but I don't buy that the improvement was anything like what the raw numbers say. Grade: B.

Star: Same disappointing fall-to-spring drop as Empire, but it gets the better grade because it had better retention of Empire in both periods. The DVR growth for this show has always been pretty bad, but it's still one of the stronger shows to get cancelled in recent years. Grade: B-.

The Masked Singer: This is the biggest unscripted newbie since Joe Millionaire back in 2003, and the first unscripted newbie to top The Apprentice's inaugural run in 2004. Fox could not resist double-pumping it in 2019-20. Grade: A+.

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 Wednesday.

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