Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Breakdown: CBS Tuesday in 2020-21 (NCIS, FBI, FBI: Most Wanted and more!)

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


2019-20NCISFBINCIS: New Orleans116
2020-21NCISFBIThe FBI Declassified108 (-6%)
132 (-9%)123 (+12%)70 (-24%)


CBS' Tuesday staples qualified as the most frequent occupants in the first two hours of the fall despite returning in mid-November and only airing three episodes, as they were preceded by a mix of filler. Reality filler The FBI Declassified never actually aired with the original dramas but was the most frequent occupant at 10/9c.


2019-20NCISFBIFBI: Most Wanted113
2020-21NCISFBIFBI: Most Wanted113 (+0%)
136 (+0%)114 (+1%)90 (-2%)


This was really the only period in which all three shows aired a significant number of episodes both years, and it was incredibly steady across the board.


2019-20NCISFBIFBI: Most Wanted108
2020-21NCISFBIFBI: Most Wanted106 (-2%)
119 (-9%)111 (0%)87 (+6%)


Worth remembering for the spring comparisons that NCIS and FBI ended very early in spring 2020, while Most Wanted kept airing after repeats. So NCIS and FBI probably looked better than they appear here (since they had a bunch of late spring eps this year), while Most Wanted probably looked a bit worse (since it had original lead-ins).

Rating the Ratings

The FBI Declassified0.30.450.9

FBI: Most Wanted0.50.580.7-23%89marginal-2%detail

NCIS: After a season of consistent growth last year, NCIS gave it all back and basically tied its 2017-18 and 2018-19 Plus, on the low end of where it's been for the last decade-plus. After 18 years in one timeslot, it will set off for a new adventure in the Monday 9/8c hour in 2021-22. Grade: C+.

FBI: The above average is skewed by the post-football episode, but it still has a 115 (+6% year-to-year) even without it. It's not exactly exploding but the retention was clearly moving in the right direction in a year when NCIS was -7%. Anchoring the whole night will be a challenge, but the trends are looking good. Grade: B+.

The FBI Declassified: This average is also inflated by a 0.9 for a post-football episode; four of the five eps had Plus in the 50s. Grade: C-.

FBI: Most Wanted: When you consider that it had more original lead-ins this year, it's pretty safe to say it was trending a little worse than its mothership lead-in, but still fine. 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 Tuesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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