Monday, June 15, 2020

The Breakdown: Fox Monday in 2019-20 (9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star, Prodigal Son)

It's time for a journey through the Fox Monday 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 Resident9-1-1124
2019-209-1-1Prodigal Son145 (+16%)
186 (+80%)104 (-29%)

One of the best stories of an otherwise bleak early fall for broadcast TV was 9-1-1's dazzling 1.6 -> 1.6 -> 1.7 three-parter to open the season, and it hung onto 1.4ish ratings even beyond that. It launched newbie Prodigal Son, which took big drops from its lead-in but still had a solid DVR audience apart from that.


2018-19The ResidentThe Passage102
2019-209-1-1: Lone StarProdigal Son110 (+8%)
131 (+27%)88 (-12%)

9-1-1's midseason break also went better than last year, as spin-off 9-1-1: Lone Star came to the rescue and kept the heavy improvement in the 8/7c hour rolling.


2018-19The Resident9-1-1108
2019-209-1-1Prodigal Son109 (+2%)
142 (+56%)77 (-38%)

The original duo returned for the spring, and the comparisons were against the same Resident/9-1-1 duo from the fall. But the lineup didn't get a particularly profound COVID bounce and thus (at least in a metric like CVPlus) the year-to-year comparisons were not as impressive.

Rating the Ratings

9-1-11.21.381.7+1%169big hit+18%detail
9-1-1: Lone Star0.91.203.1147hitdetail
Prodigal Son0.60.751.091marginaldetail

9-1-1: It definitely got some benefit from moving to 8/7c, and the spring portion was not as impressive as the fall. But when you're up in raw numbers (and last year was inflated by a football episode!), the move does not explain all or maybe even most of the growth. This is one of the biggest successes in scripted broadcast TV right now, and still on the rise. Grade: A.

9-1-1: Lone Star: Full-season numbers are inflated by the inclusion of the post-NFC Championship episode... it was much closer to the solid borderline if you take that one out, putting it more clearly below the very high bar set by the mothership. But in a season with newbies like this one, that's still quite a godsend, and (with the exception of its Super Monday bump) it was quite steady across the season. Grade: A-.

Prodigal Son: As I said above, I don't want to kill it for dropping from its lead-in because it clearly had an audience in the DVR numbers. But the trajectory across the season doesn't look great, and even the DVR growth was going down a bit in the spring. The numbers remind me somewhat of last year's The Passage, just stretched out over a full season, and I gave that one a B- as well. I argued The Passage had real merit and may have just been cancelled because Fox was bent on contracting scripted hours. So maybe Prodigal Son's renewal is a sign that they have the scripted volume they want and are back to acting like a "normal" network. 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.

Previous Breakdowns for Fox Monday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for Fox Monday.

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