Friday, September 20, 2019

A18-49+: 2018-19 Season Recap

The A18-49+ season recaps combine all of a season's updates in the A18-49+ theme posts.

Defining Shows

The 2018-19 season was highlighted by a winter renaissance for reality television, led by franchises old and new. The biggest splash came from Fox musical show The Masked Singer (272), the biggest unscripted newbie in A18-49+ since Fox's Joe Millionaire 16 years ago. ABC's The Bachelor (195) had its biggest season ever, roaring all the way back and then some from its 2018 drop. And it did that while competing head-to-head with NBC's first-ever regular season foray for a summer staple: America's Got Talent: The Champions (179). NBC also made a splash on Thursday with Dwayne Johnson newbie The Titan Games (136). CBS was the loser in the winter reality wars, as its Super Bowl lead-out The World's Best (71) bombed hard, but it still got a respectable showing from season two of Celebrity Big Brother (111).

Broadcast TV did not look quite as healthy outside of the winter months, but there were still a series of reasonable success in the scripted realm. Fox's comeback was already in the works long before The Masked Singer, as sophomore dramas 9-1-1 (144) and The Resident (100) paired up nicely in the fall, and a revival of cancelled ABC sitcom Last Man Standing (114) performed far better than it ever did on ABC.

After ABC's Roseanne revival blew up over the summer, the network still salvaged something with a sans-Roseanne spin-off The Conners (164). The network trimmed back its drama programming significantly and still found a couple decent newbies in The Rookie (76) and A Million Little Things (97), with the latter getting a big boost airing after Grey's Anatomy in the winter. And the network pulled itself out of Friday oblivion with Fresh Off the Boat (64) and two-hour editions of 20/20 (67).

After squandering its Monday and Tuesday drama launch-pads last year, NBC was much improved this time around with genre newbie Manifest (132) and medical newbie New Amsterdam (112). An all-Chicago night on Wednesday produced new series highs for Med (126), Fire (127) and PD (115). But much of the drama heat was cancelled out by renewed struggles in the comedy realm; the Will and Grace revival (78) lost nearly half of its Plus year-to-year.

CBS overhauled Monday and got some improvement, even if it wasn't flashy; the best story on that night was definitely lead-off sitcom The Neighborhood (118). The network also renewed three drama newbies, led by FBI (102), and had a couple great Survivor seasons (157/156). Though the eye mostly avoided major drops in its 2018-19 sked, it faced some uncertainty as it bade farewell to eight-time megahit The Big Bang Theory (240) and prepared to hand the anchor reins over to Young Sheldon (180).

For more resources on the 2018-19 season in A18-49+, see these updates:
The New Shows in 2018-19
The Network Race in 2018-19
The Breakdown (a look at each timeslot across the season) Index for 2018-19

For additional yearly/theme recaps and more on A18-49+, check out the A18-49+ Index.

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