Monday, July 20, 2020

The Breakdown: Fox Wednesday in 2019-20 (The Masked Singer, Almost Family, LEGO Masters)

It's time for a journey through the Fox 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.


2019-20The Masked SingerAlmost Family168 (+18%)
261 (+61%)74 (-39%)

A winter-only megahit from the 2018-19 season became a nearly full-season megahit in 2019-20, as The Masked Singer aired a nearly three-month fall season and blew away the late-stage Empire ratings. It was enough to produce robust nightly growth even in the face of a truly epic disaster at 9/8c in new drama Almost Family.


2018-1924 Hours to Hell and BackThe Masked Singer192
2019-20The Masked SingerLEGO Masters195 (+2%)
244 (+118%)145 (-46%)

The Masked Singer didn't get much of a winter break, as it was back right after the Super Bowl (following three disastrous weeks of Flirty Dancing in January). Fox got even stronger with the introduction of an actual competent lead-out for TMS; reality newbie LEGO Masters was able to more than cancel out any drop-off between the two Masked Singer seasons.


2019-20The Masked SingerLEGO Masters174 (+57%)
225 (+86%)123 (+22%)

A Masked Singer-led lineup finally got its chance at enormous year-to-year growth when the TMS-LEGO Masters tandem got compared against the last days of the Empire-Star combo. The pandemic viewing inflation took a high-1's/1.0ish combo back into the low-2's/low-1's. The last month of the season saw Fox fill the 9/8c hour with aftershow The Masked Singer: After the Mask, which started better than late-season LEGO Masters results (1.41) but quickly fell behind (1.13 -> 0.89 -> 0.82).

Rating the Ratings

The Masked Singer Fall1.62.002.5244megahitdetail
The Masked Singer Spring1.82.032.4-21%248megahit-9%detail
Almost Family0.20.440.754flopdetail
LEGO Masters0.91.131.6138hitdetail

The Masked Singer Fall: This grade is a little more of a subjective process, almost like grading a new show, because these seasons were stretched out over much longer periods of time and there were two of them. They were weaker than season one, but I just feel like it overachieved to air this much and still have this much potency by the end of the season. Maybe someday it will get consistent scheduling and we'll be able to use the conventional year-to-year metrics... Grade: A-.

The Masked Singer Spring: See above. Grade: A-.

Almost Family: Impressively disastrous. Doesn't warrant a lot of consideration. Grade: F.

LEGO Masters: I didn't come into this post thinking that I would give LEGO Masters a grade in the A range, but in a brutal year for newbies on the scripted side, a lot of things about this unscripted rookie were impressive. Despite the huge lead-in, it brought a lot of its own audience to the table; it had really substantial DVRing for a reality show, skewed noticeably more male than The Masked Singer and also a fair amount younger. Most of its episodes had a median age less than 50, which basically nothing on the big four other than Fox cartoons can pull off nowadays. The only thing that gives me pause is that I didn't love the trajectory it was on before the pandemic. The viewership inflations in the last month may have rescued it on that front, but I will still slightly lean toward a Grade: A-.

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 Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

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

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