Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Breakdown: NBC Wednesday in 2019-20 (Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD)

It's time for a journey through the NBC 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.


2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD127
2019-20Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD144 (+14%)
145 (+14%)149 (+10%)140 (+18%)

One of the best stories in broadcast TV was off to the races for another big fall in 2019. While most of broadcast TV languished around a 20% year-to-year decline, the Chicago series kept their declines in the single digits to around 10%.


2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD128
2019-20Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD143 (+12%)
144 (+6%)147 (+16%)137 (+14%)

Basically the same story in the winter of 2020, though Med did not quite get the kind of winter upswing that it saw in 2019.


2018-19Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD110
2019-20Chicago MedChicago FireChicago PD131 (+19%)
133 (+19%)137 (+20%)124 (+20%)

And the trio's final four episodes came amidst the COVID-19 upswing, which unsurprisingly proved a major benefit to these shows. None of them were able to pull off new season highs like so many other shows, for the mid-October crossover had set such a high bar, but they still got better bounces than most of broadcast during this period.

Rating the Ratings

Chicago Med*
Chicago Fire*
Chicago PD*

Chicago Med: This was definitely the least impressive cog in an extremely impressive lineup. It had the lowest growth of the three even though it may have been in the timeslot most ripe to benefit from the pandemic, and the growth was a few points lower in the DVR numbers. Could maybe make the case to even go a notch lower if you grade on a "Chicago curve," but since it still blew away its previous series high I will go with Grade: A-.

Chicago Fire: This one is more clearly within A-minus territory and could maybe even be bumped up to outright A, but like Med the growth was not quite as pronounced in delayed. Grade: A-.

Chicago PD: If you're wondering what it would take for me to actually give out an A, it's this show, where the DVR growth was just as robust as the Live+SD growth. It continues to pull ahead of the other two (and way ahead of Med) when Live+7 are tallied. 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 NBC Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19

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

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