Monday, August 17, 2020

The Breakdown: CBS Friday in 2019-20 (Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Friday 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.


2018-19MacGyverHawaii Five-0Blue Bloods82
2019-20Hawaii Five-0Magnum P.I.Blue Bloods83 (+1%)
89 (+19%)79 (-6%)80 (-7%)

CBS moved its 9/8c tentpole Hawaii Five-0 down to the 8/7c hour, where it benefited from the earlier timeslot and provided a nice hammock for sophomore Magnum P.I. After a rocky freshman season on Monday, Magnum proved a better fit amidst this company. It was not quite as strong as Five-0, and Blue Bloods was also down some at 10/9c, but Five-0's gains made up for them.


2018-19MacGyverHawaii Five-0Blue Bloods84
2019-20MacGyverHawaii Five-0Blue Bloods83 (-1%)
82 (+4%)85 (-3%)83 (-3%)

The winter saw the reunion of a trio that had aired three full seasons in this order. Once again, it was the 8/7c hour that fared best, with MacGyver kicking off a season of growth, while Five-0 was not quite as impressive back at 9/8c.


2018-19MacGyverHawaii Five-0Blue Bloods72
2019-20MacGyverMagnum P.I.Blue Bloods76 (+5%)
74 (+11%)75 (+3%)77 (+2%)

A Friday night lineup with a lot of casual viewership was probably as well-suited as anything to benefit from the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. And though Hawaii Five-0 was gone, the network grew in each hour during this period. Once again, 8:00 trended the best of the three, while the growth slowed when Magnum was compared with Five-0.

Rating the Ratings

Hawaii Five-0*0.60.720.9-7%87hit(Fri)+8%detail
Magnum P.I.0.50.650.8-24%79hit(Fri)-12%detail
Blue Bloods*0.60.650.8-18%79hit(Fri)-5%detail

Hawaii Five-0: Perhaps its fall 8/7c run was another illustration of just how "easy" the Friday 8/7c slot is, because it did not look quite that good in the winter when it returned to 9/8c. But it was still a nice way for this show to go out. Looks better in CVPlus since it only got to air a couple episodes post-pandemic. Grade: B+.

MacGyver: I have always been fairly down on this show because it has lagged as a DVR gainer, and part of me says it was extremely ripe to benefit from the spring conditions. CVPlus wipes away some of this growth but it's still a bit too much for me to go any lower than a Grade: B+.

Magnum P.I.: Considering how shaky it looked at times in its freshman run, it was a positive result for this show to come to this night and be only a little weaker than Five-0. It is increasingly worthwhile to question how much of a downgrade airing on Friday actually is, especially among this esteemed company, but CBS will happily allow this presumably cheaper show to keep the Friday flow going. Grade: B.

Blue Bloods: The least healthy of the hours in this lineup this season, but like Five-0 it didn't get to air many originals during the spring inflation (three out of 19), which narrows the gap a little. Grade: B-.

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

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

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