Friday, June 11, 2021

The Breakdown: ABC Monday in 2020-21 (Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, The Good Doctor and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Monday schedule in 2020-21...

NOTE: In addition to classic A18-49+, Breakdown posts with 2019-20 ratings 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. Also see here for information on the 2020-21 league average.


2019-20Dancing with the StarsThe Good Doctor108
2020-21Dancing with the StarsEmergency Call115 (+6%)
139 (+28%)139 (+28%)68 (-37%)


We're kicking off this season of the Breakdown with one of the biggest successes of 2020-21, a fall Dancing with the Stars season that grew hugely year-to-year and dominated in the barren early weeks of the year. Unfortunately, its usual lead-out The Good Doctor started a month late due to COVID delays and so the reality filler Emergency Call qualified as the most frequent occupant in the period.


2019-20The BachelorThe Good Doctor188
2020-21The BachelorThe Good Doctor168 (-10%)
206 (-10%)206 (-10%)93 (-13%)


The Bachelor returned in the winter to post just its second megahit season ever, but it was unable to sustain the scalding pace of a year ago. In its only relatively apples-to-apples period of the year, The Good Doctor declined just a hair more than Bachelor.


2019-20The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your HeartThe Baker and the Beauty61
2020-21American IdolThe Good Doctor99 (+62%)
107 (+61%)107 (+61%)83 (+64%)


Qualifying as the most frequent occupants in spring, American Idol and The Good Doctor demolished last year's Bachelor spin-off and Baker, but Idol only aired five episodes on Monday and the rest of the time saw a lot of movies/filler that did similar to Listen to Your Heart.

Rating the Ratings

Dancing with the Stars Fall*0.80.951.3+11%148hit+41%detail
The Bachelor*1.11.341.5-26%208megahit-6%detail
American Idol Mon*0.60.690.8-46%107solid-32%detail
Emergency Call0.40.440.6
The Good Doctor0.40.570.7-33%89marginal-15%detail

Dancing with the Stars Fall: Getting more than a month head start on The Voice is a unique factor here that keeps me from even thinking about an A+. Most of the really juicy y2y comparisons were early in the season. But it was still roughly steady in raw numbers even after The Voice came back, and thus a massive improvement on what we've come to expect from DWTS in recent years. There have been several stronger DWTS seasons historically, but there's really only been one brief period (circa 2010-11) when it was consistently doing better than this cycle after cycle. Major win. Grade: A.

The Bachelor: The meteoric growth from the last two winters came to an abrupt end, and it felt a little underwhelming that the show couldn't really do any better in raw numbers than the fall Bachelorette season. But it was still the second-strongest cycle in the history of the franchise, so I'm perhaps being a bit harsh here. Some said my A+ was generous last year so I will pay it back. Grade: C+.

American Idol Mon: Will do the grade on the Sunday post. Monday comparisons are misleadingly bad because it only aired two episodes on Monday in 2020.

Emergency Call: This was pure early-fall filler, so it's not worth thinking much about the grade. 50% or a little less retention isn't good but is not the end of the world. (Remember Quantico?) Grade: C.

The Good Doctor: (Average above includes prelims for the June 7 finale.) Have to be a bit forgiving here because it got the short end of the stick on the calendar, as a show that usually ends early got pushed to winter/spring and even slightly into the summer, and missed out on the best DWTS lead-ins. That being said, it's clearly still a show in decline, and by late in the year the DVR numbers were looking kinda disappointing. 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 Monday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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