Monday, July 8, 2019

The Breakdown: NBC Wednesday in 2018-19 (Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD)

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


2017-18The BlacklistLaw and Order: SVUChicago PD103
2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD127 (+24%)
127 (+48%)135 (+16%)119 (+13%)

The union of three Chicago series paid immediate and huge dividends. The improvement at 8/7c with Chicago Med vs. The Blacklist was most obvious from the beginning, but in the fall the network had double digit growth in all three hours.


2017-18The BlacklistLaw and Order: SVUChicago PD109
2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD128 (+18%)
136 (+45%)127 (+9%)121 (+4%)

The year-to-year growth fell off a little bit after the new year, with the Fire and PD improvement slowing to single digits. Still double-digit improvement across the night, and still the second-biggest NBC Wednesday in the A18-49+ era.


2017-18The BlacklistLaw and Order: SVUChicago PD98
2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD111 (+13%)
112 (+50%)115 (+4%)105 (-4%)

And that story continued into the spring. The last two hours were barely even breaking even year-to-year by this point, as Fire and PD could not hold up quite as well in the spring as SVU/PD a year ago. But that ridiculous growth at 8/7c carried the day, keeping the nightly average up by double digits year-to-year, and at the second-highest level for an NBC Wednesday in the era.

Rating the Ratings

Chicago Med*
Chicago Fire*
Chicago PD*

Chicago Med: At least according to True Plus, it was actually Med that had the most impressive performance in this lineup. It was up 14% from a previous season that largely aired after This Is Us, while Fire was completely buried behind megabombs for all of last season and really had no choice but to improve a lot. I also think it's noteworthy that Med looks a lot more impressive relative to its entire previous history. (Fire, I would argue, wasn't really any stronger than what it did two years ago.) And finally, Med's timeslot growth held up a lot better over the course of the season, while Fire's growth dissipated a bit later in the year. Grade: A.

Chicago Fire: I said it all above. Fire did a good job, and the raw growth is obviously amazing to look at, but I think Med was actually the bigger winner of the two. So I'll make Fire settle for merely a Grade: A-.

Chicago PD: Thought about knocking this down to a B but Fire ultimately wasn't that huge of an improvement on SVU, so I think it did perform a little better than last year. Grade: B+.

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 NBC Wednesday.

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