Monday, July 12, 2021

The Breakdown: CW Tuesday in 2020-21 (The Flash, Superman and Lois, Supergirl)

It's time for a journey through the CW 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.


2019-20The FlashArrow50
2020-21Swamp ThingTell Me a Story15 (-70%)
20 (-69%)10 (-71%)


The CW's entire regular scripted slate was delayed till 2021, and on Tuesday the replacements consisted of streaming service imports Swamp Thing and Tell Me a Story. Swamp Thing actually hit the occasional 0.2 early in its season, making it one of the stronger CW import offerings, but it still did less than a third of The Flash's numbers from a year ago.


2019-20The FlashLegends of Tomorrow41
2020-21Two Sentence Horror StoriesTrickster11 (-73%)
11 (-79%)12 (-64%)


While most of the network's regular programming returned in mid-January, Tuesday had to stick with more filler for the majority of the winter. The network's first "normal" Tuesday was the 90-minute premiere of Superman and Lois on February 23, leaving the filler as the most frequent occupants.


2019-20The FlashLegends of Tomorrow31
2020-21The FlashSuperman and Lois32 (+4%)
33 (-16%)30 (+42%)


We're putting the solid 9/8c newbie Superman and Lois on the chart because it was much stronger than Supergirl, technically the most frequent spring occupant. Both shows aired for seven weeks in the regular season, but the first three weeks of Superman came during the winter window. The Flash returned in March and continued its speedy descent, though these numbers help show it was largely a scheduling thing and not quite as bad as what's depicted in the below table.

Rating the Ratings

The Flash*
Superman and Lois0.10.220.4

The Flash: (Average thru July 6.) Again, this will be a common refrain, but with the entire network being shifted several months later, we will be heavily weighing the apples-to-apples comparisons in individual periods, rather than the full season averages. The spring-vs.-spring comparisons were not nearly as bad as the whole season, and in line with this show's declines for a few years now. Unfortunately, those declines are still pretty rough. Even if it had aired on a normal schedule, it'd likely be at less than half of its peak Plus now. Grade: C-.

Superman and Lois: (Average thru June 22.) Considering the general state of the CW superhero empire, this show did perfectly fine. It's dropped a good bit since the late winter, but so has The Flash, and S&L has continued to roughly match its lead-in and usually eke out a rounded 0.2 even in the summer. Tough to ask for much more than that. Grade: B.

Supergirl: (Average thru May 11.) The seven spring episodes were actually up from its spring 2020 Plus average, though it got a nice timeslot upgrade in the move from Sunday to Tuesday. And it basically matched the year-ago Legends of Tomorrow Tuesday eps. This is kind of an incomplete since it's got a lot of episodes left that will air in late summer and actually through the majority of fall 2021, so I might end up grading this season a second time. For now, a placeholder 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 CW Tuesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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