Monday, July 13, 2020

The Breakdown: CBS Wednesday in 2019-20 (Survivor, SEAL Team, S.W.A.T. and more!)




It's time for a journey through the CBS 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
2018-19SurvivorSEAL TeamCriminal Minds109
1598979
2019-20SurvivorSEAL TeamS.W.A.T.106 (-2%)
158 (-1%)88 (-1%)73 (-7%)
VsAvg+46%-24%-26%-1%
Rank2/1918/1916/1912/19

It was a pretty steady fall for CBS Wednesday, with Survivor and SEAL Team settled into their typical levels. S.W.A.T. took over for Criminal Minds at 10/9c and lagged behind it a little bit.

winter


Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2018-19The World's BestCriminal Minds85
1037082
2019-20Undercover BossCriminal MindsS.W.A.T.86 (+1%)
89 (-14%)98 (+40%)71 (-13%)
VsAvg+7%-5%-23%-7%
Rank8/1912/1916/1912/19

CBS filled much of January with Undercover Boss at 8/7c, prior to Survivor returning on February 12, and burned through the entire 10-episode final season of Criminal Minds during this period (with six episodes at 9/8c and four at 10/9c).

spring


Year8:008:309:009:3010:0010:30Avg
2018-19SurvivorThe Amazing RaceSEAL Team106
1569766
2019-20SurvivorSEAL TeamS.W.A.T.101 (-5%)
165 (+5%)76 (-22%)64 (-3%)
VsAvg+65%-26%-27%+5%
Rank1/1916/1918/1910/19

CBS got a strong showing out of an all-winners season of Survivor, but was held back from growth for the whole night in CVPlus because of SEAL Team's poor comparisons vs. the year-ago The Amazing Race.

Rating the Ratings

NameLoAvgHiy2yPlusLabelPlusy2yResults
Survivor Fall*0.91.211.4-19%147hit-6%detail
Survivor Spring*1.31.481.7+0%181big hit+16%detail
SEAL Team0.50.660.8-12%81marginal+2%detail
Criminal Minds*0.50.710.9-6%87marginal+9%detail
S.W.A.T.0.50.570.7-27%70marginal-15%detail

Survivor Fall: As illustrated above, CVPlus says it's more like -1%. But by Survivor's lofty standards, even that is bad; it would still be the first Survivor season to decline in Plus since fall 2013!! Grade: B-.

Survivor Spring: On the other hand, the "Winners at War" season had growth that goes beyond the bounds of the CVPlus adjustment. It was certainly exacerbated by that, but we got to see a solid month of this season before the pandemic and it was clearly up in Plus even in that period. If you believe Classic Plus, then this season belongs in the annals with Survivor seasons from circa 2004-05. I'm inclined to say it was not quite that strong, but still quite possibly as strong as Survivor has been since those days. Grade: A-.

SEAL Team: It had easier timeslots since it wasn't stuck at 10/9c as much, but it does seem like this show has basically stabilized at this level, whatever you make of that level. It's another one of those shows in the Manifest/Prodigal Son column that has a good timeslot but also has a clear delayed audience on top of that benefit. Grade: B-.

Criminal Minds: Like SEAL Team, it benefited from fewer 10/9c episodes, but it also aired the whole season pre-pandemic so it would look even better with a CVPlus average. It is not as impressive in the DVR numbers but the rebound in same-day is gaudy enough to lean me toward a Grade: B+.

S.W.A.T.: This seems like a big decline in a move from Thursday to Wednesday, since it didn't take much of a timeslot downgrade from a lead-in standpoint, but it took a significantly smaller decline in DVR numbers. I give it some forgiveness because it's pretty clear that it was held back by airing against Chicago PD, as seen in its spikes when it got away from it. 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 CBS Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

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

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