Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Breakdown: NBC Monday in 2019-20 (The Voice, Bluff City Law, Manifest and more!)

It's time for a journey through the NBC 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 VoiceManifest172
2019-20The VoiceBluff City Law138 (-20%)
170 (-6%)170 (-6%)72 (-52%)

The Voice continued its slow and steady march downward for the fall season, but the night as a whole took a much bigger hit because a really strong post-Voice option (season one of Manifest) gave way to one of the weakest ever in legal drama Bluff City Law.


2018-19America's Got Talent: The ChampionsManifest155
2019-20America's Got Talent: The ChampionsManifest125 (-19%)
143 (-20%)143 (-20%)88 (-17%)

Manifest returned with a shorter second season for the winter and early spring, and last winter's huge pairing with America's Got Talent: The Champions was still strong but took a major step down.


2018-19The VoiceThe Enemy Within122
2019-20The VoiceSongland125 (+3%)
150 (+3%)150 (+3%)75 (+4%)

The early weeks of the spring Voice season were down at least as much as the fall one, but the show got a gigantic shot in the arm during the spring viewership inflation. Some of that was offset by the late spring episodes, which had altered production due to the pandemic, but it was still up even by CVPlus standards. Songland took over as unscripted filler for the 10/9c slot in April.

Rating the Ratings

The Voice Fall*1.11.311.7-24%160big hit-12%detail
America's Got Talent: The Champions1.01.111.3-35%135hit-25%detail
The Voice Spring*0.91.421.8-5%173big hit+10%detail
Bluff City Law0.50.560.868flopdetail

The Voice Fall: The slow downward march continued. If you believe in the 170 CVPlus number, the show has basically lost right around 10 Plus points for four falls in a row since its 214 peak in fall 2015. Grade: C+.

America's Got Talent: The Champions: Still a big piece of between-Voice filler, but it was not really that close to getting the Voice-sized ratings that it did in season one. The drops were big and they were pretty consistent across the winter. Grade: C-.

The Voice Spring: The whole season CVPlus average (including the early pre-lockdown weeks) was 158, virtually even with the 157 for a brutal spring season last year. I'm inclined to give it a bit of a pass for the last three weeks where production was hampered due to the pandemic, but it also got one of the biggest inflations from the early part of the pandemic. Overall, it seems like better-than-usual news that the bleeding was stemmed, but I don't think it was a huge turnaround like the classic Plus is suggesting. Grade: B.

Bluff City Law: Certainly the weakest show to ever get a Voice lead-in in the fall, ranking way behind shows like The Brave and Timeless that were previously considered disappointing occupants. Whether it's the weakest Voice lead-out ever is a little more ambiguous, because there have been some real duds in the spring, but it does not clearly outrank any of those either. Grade: F.

Manifest: The CVPlus winter comparison is actually fairly apropos here, because that takes the huge early season one numbers out of the comparison, and also shows that it was not down any more than its AGT lead-in. It definitely weakened even after keeping those things in mind, but it was not really that terrible for a serialized show. And, as last year, it's a much stronger show after accounting for DVR numbers. But its status remains in limbo as of this writing. Grade: C.

Songland: Giving it my default mediocre filler grade, as it did not look hugely different from what it was in season one after America's Got Talent. 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 NBC Monday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

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

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