Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Breakdown: CW Wednesday in 2020-21 (Riverdale, Nancy Drew, Kung Fu)

It's time for a journey through the CW Wednesday 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.


2019-20RiverdaleNancy Drew27
2020-21DevilsCoroner13 (-54%)
14 (-57%)11 (-48%)


The fall of filler rolled on for the CW on Wednesday, where import dramas Devils and Coroner could not even come within half the ratings of the year-ago Riverdale and Nancy Drew.


2019-20RiverdaleNancy Drew21
2020-21RiverdaleNancy Drew18 (-12%)
22 (-15%)14 (-6%)


Riverdale and Nancy Drew returned after the new year and were down from last year's ratings, but not by all that much. Riverdale actually managed to slow its declines down a bit after collapsing hard in 2019-20.


2019-20RiverdaleNancy Drew16
2020-21Kung FuNancy Drew19 (+18%)
26 (+29%)12 (-1%)


Newbie Kung Fu showed up for the spring and showed some real initial spark, with a high 0.2 on premiere night that remained mostly on the 0.1-0.2 borderline for the regular season episodes.

Rating the Ratings

Kung Fu0.10.140.2
Nancy Drew0.00.080.1-43%13flop-27%detail

Riverdale: This average includes only the regular season portion, with new episodes set to resume a couple weeks from now. Compared with other CW shows, this one is actually kinda representative, because it missed out on both the fall comparisons due to COVID and the spring comparisons due to Kung Fu. The winter comparisons were actually not quite as catastrophic as what we saw last year, so that's something. Grade: C-.

Kung Fu: The regular season portion seen in the spring table above was rather impressive, and the renewal was deserved, but it's fallen pretty hard in the summer portion. Could be a bit kinder here but it had very small DVRing compared with the other two newbie successes, so maybe it got some help from the local lead-in. Grade: C+.

Nancy Drew: The season comparison looks bad not just because it missed the fall, but because season one was very frontloaded. The winter/spring comparisons were actually not bad at all, but we're still talking about very small numbers here, and the spring episodes got a pretty big bump in the early weeks of Kung Fu. Two seasons was enough for this show on a major night, and it's off to Friday next fall. 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 Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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