Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Breakdown: ABC Wednesday in 2019-20 (The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Stumptown and more!)




It's time for a journey through the ABC Wednesday 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.


fall


Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2018-19The GoldbergsAmerican HousewifeModern FamilySingle ParentsA Million Little Things110
12911014510586
119125
2019-20The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsStumptown95 (-14%)
117 (-9%)94 (-15%)127 (-13%)85 (-19%)73 (-15%)
105 (-12%)106 (-15%)
VsAvg-5%-28%-12%-17%
Rank12/1916/1912/1917/19

ABC Wednesday continued on its downward trajectory in the fall, with no early sign of a final season bump for Modern Family. At the bottoms of the hours, Schooled and Single Parents trended worse than their lead-ins, and the 10/9c hour saw the launch of newbie Stumptown. It had a lot of DVR interest but trailed the year-ago occupant by about as much as the night in general.

winter


Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2018-19The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsMatch Game92
1261081267756
117102
2019-20The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsStumptown83 (-10%)
104 (-17%)84 (-22%)127 (+0%)78 (+1%)52 (-7%)
94 (-20%)102 (+0%)
VsAvg-6%-22%-35%-20%
Rank11/1915/1919/1917/19

The comedy trends were reshuffled somewhat significantly after the new year, as Modern Family started to show some life (though it had some help from a huge Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time boost in January) while The Goldbergs and Schooled actually got a noticeably negative winter bounce. Stumptown deteriorated a ton over the course of the season and could not match the year-ago game show filler in same-day numbers.

spring


Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2018-19The GoldbergsSchooledModern FamilySingle ParentsWhiskey Cavalier86
115961167755
10696
2019-20The GoldbergsSchooledAmerican HousewifeSingle ParentsWho Wants to Be a Millionaire74 (-14%)
95 (-17%)72 (-25%)65 (-43%)52 (-33%)79 (+44%)
84 (-21%)59 (-39%)
VsAvg-5%-48%+6%-20%
Rank10/1918/197/1917/19

The spring period saw Modern Family wrap in early April with a big 1.6 finale, then hand the 9/8c hour over to the much weaker American Housewife, which did no favors for Single Parents, and the trends at 8/7c remained dire. The 10/9c hour was a hodgepodge; the first three weeks of Millionaire (including a premiere that was heavily juiced by the Modern Family finale) made it the most frequent occupant, beating out the last two episodes of Stumptown and a couple episodes of Shark Tank.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
The Goldbergs*0.70.871.1-26%106solid-14%detail
Schooled0.60.690.8-29%84marginal-18%detail
Modern Family*0.71.041.6-17%127hit-4%detail
American Housewife0.50.590.7-36%72solid(Fri)-25%detail
Single Parents0.40.600.9-29%73marginal-17%detail
Stumptown0.40.490.760flopdetail

The Goldbergs: Could make the case to go a notch higher since it had tough competition from The Masked Singer, but it really didn't look any better in the DVR numbers. After an impressive five-year peak, this was the first time since season one that The Goldbergs made a major departure from its 130-135ish plateau. Grade: C-.

Schooled: There was never much indication this show could do anything other than glom onto The Goldbergs audience, and in fact it ended up consistently trending worse than that show. Because it got to air in the fall this year, the comparisons vs. itself in winter/spring were even uglier than the full-season numbers. Grade: D.

Modern Family: This is basically the same Plus trend as last year's The Big Bang Theory final season, and much better than the trends in most of the rest of the ABC comedy department. But it is not very indicative of what happened for most of the individual episodes; the final average benefited from a shorter season and an inflated post-Jeopardy! episode. Despite the late-season surge by the league average, Modern managed to hang onto the hit label, qualifying in all 11 of its seasons. Grade: C+.

American Housewife: This is a tough one because it was an impressive improvement vs. Fresh Off the Boat, as we will see on the Friday post, but did not have the juice to keep the Wednesday lineup afloat in the late spring. I'm choosing to give it a little more credit for the Friday run than I do blame for the Wednesday run.  Grade: C+.

Single Parents: Much like in their first seasons, it had much more going for it from a DVR standpoint than Schooled (in fact, makes up the entire difference and then some in Live+7) but both these shows were going to be on thin ice if the night in general continued to decline, and that's what happened.  Grade: C-.

Stumptown: Looking purely at the full season numbers, this would have one of the biggest gaps of anything on TV between "Live+SD grade" (no better than a C-) and "Live+7 grade" (probably about a B-). I would usually be inclined to give more credit for the DVR numbers but I have to knock it for losing a rather alarming amount of steam down the stretch of the season. It was dangerously close to a rounded 0.3 and may have gotten rescued from that by the viewing inflation. 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 Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

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

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