Monday, June 22, 2020

The Breakdown: ABC Tuesday in 2019-20 (The Conners, Mixed-ish, Black-ish and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Tuesday schedule in 2019-20...

NOTE: In addition to classic A18-49+, Breakdown posts in 2019-20 also use CVPlus, comparing spring ratings against a higher league average due to viewership inflation from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. See here for more.


2018-19The ConnersThe Kids Are AlrightBlack-ishSplitting Up TogetherThe Rookie103
2019-20The ConnersBless This MessMixed-ishBlack-ishEmergence92 (-10%)
147 (-14%)92 (-15%)88 (-9%)85 (+12%)71 (-14%)
120 (-14%)86 (+1%)

ABC moved sophomore Bless This Mess, a modest success from the late spring last year, to the 8:30 half-hour and saw no improvement in retention out of a declining The Conners, putting the hour down noticeably from last year. The 9/8c hour was a relative bright spot, as veteran Black-ish shifted to 9:30 and did better than year-ago Splitting Up Together, while spin-off Mixed-ish launched at 9/8c. 10/9c genre newbie Emergence had an OK start, but big drops in weeks two and three left it as a clearly weaker option than last year's The Rookie.


2018-19American HousewifeThe Kids Are AlrightBlack-ishSplitting Up TogetherThe Rookie78
2019-20The ConnersBless This MessMixed-ishBlack-ishEmergence75 (-4%)
128 (+32%)80 (-4%)79 (-3%)69 (+6%)46 (-35%)
104 (+16%)74 (+1%)

The ABC trends got better beyond the fall, as the net got 20 episodes of The Conners and stretched them across nearly the full season. That lead-in juice produced better trends for Bless This Mess and Mixed-ish. However, the 10/9c hour killed any chance at nightly growth, as Emergence completed an epic post-premiere collapse by dropping all the way to 0.29 for its late January finale.


2018-19American HousewifeThe Kids Are AlrightBlack-ishBless This Mess196961
2019-20The ConnersBless This MessMixed-ishBlack-ishFor Life69 (+13%)
112 (+39%)70 (+8%)59 (-17%)58 (-17%)57 (+44%)
91 (+25%)58 (-17%)

The hours were reshuffled again during the COVID-19 viewership inflation, with The Conners doing pretty well but Black-ish and especially Mixed-ish becoming sore spots in this period. However, this time the 10/9c hour came to the rescue, with a passable showing from 10/9c legal drama For Life.

Rating the Ratings

The Conners0.91.071.3-32%130hit-21%detail
Bless This Mess0.60.670.8+1%82marginal+17%detail
For Life0.40.560.768flopdetail

The Conners: 20 episodes and wrapping in May this year, vs. 11 episodes wrapping in January last year. That accounts for a chunk of the drop. The inflated part early in season one also explains a chunk of the drop. And then there's another chunk of the drop that is the show getting weaker. I think all three chunks are about the same size; the closest thing to an apples-to-apples comparison for me was episodes 4-11 of both seasons, and in CVPlus that leads to a fairly reasonable -7%ish. Grade: C+.

Bless This Mess: Despite being up in raw numbers, it was pretty disappointing for a show that had shown some life at 9:30 to show up at 8:30 and essentially be indistinguishable from The Kids Are Alright all season long. Grade: C-.

Mixed-ish: A fairly "meh" performer for most of the season that got even shakier in the spring. Though it was surely an internal favorite, the spring results suggested a show that should probably be in real cancellation trouble. Grade: C.

Black-ish: It was actually kind of impressive in the fall, but much less so after the new year, and then got dragged into bleak territory alongside Mixed-ish down the stretch. The spring was ugly enough to tip me to a Grade: C.

Emergence: Ranking this behind The Baker and the Beauty even though it had a lot more DVR audience, solely because of the sheer ugliness of the trajectory. It fell so far by the end that its last few L+7 ratings weren't any better than Baker, anyway. Grade: D.

For Life: Its full CVPlus average is 63, which is almost identical to Emergence and Stumptown and certainly nothing to write home about, but it was a lot less front-loaded than those two shows. Definitely a reasonable occupant given how little help it got from the 9/8c hour late in the season. 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.

Previous Breakdowns for ABC Tuesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for ABC Tuesday.

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