Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Breakdown: NBC Tuesday in 2020-21 (This Is Us, New Amsterdam, Young Rock and more!)

It's time for a journey through the NBC 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 VoiceThis Is UsNew Amsterdam159
2020-21The VoiceThis Is UsTransplant144 (-9%)
154 (-11%)207 (+4%)69 (-33%)


This Is Us was among the earliest "normal" dramas to return, on October 27, but it only aired three episodes before going away for the rest of the fall and was plagued by COVID-related production delays all season. Its usual drama teammate New Amsterdam didn't show up until March, leading to a Canadian import called Transplant in the 10/9c hour for the fall, which usually was around a 0.4.


2019-20Ellen's Game of GamesThis Is UsNew Amsterdam133
2020-21Zoey's Extraordinary PlaylistThis Is UsNurses92 (-31%)
71 (-44%)158 (-12%)47 (-48%)


A second Canadian medical drama, Nurses, took over at 10/9c for the winter months and was a noticeable step down from even what Transplant was doing, with mostly 0.3's and even a couple 0.2's. This Is Us aired five episodes in this period in two batches (early January and mid-February). Sophomore Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist aired the first half of its season in the 8/7c hour, where it tanked the timeslot but was still significantly improved over its dreadful Sunday ratings in season one.


2019-20Ellen's Game of GamesNew Amsterdam97
2020-21Young RockKenanThis Is UsNew Amsterdam89 (-8%)
85 (-31%)65 (-48%)128 (+43%)65 (-16%)
75 (-40%)


After a strong 1.0/0.8 premiere night in mid-February, new comedies Young Rock and Kenan lost a ton of steam over the next month and settled with half their premiere ratings (0.5/0.4) for the spring eps. The first four seasons of This Is Us never aired an episode later than April 2, but the production delays forced a third of this season (five episodes) to air after that date. The spring episodes settled at an 0.8, which was quite a far cry from the 1.4 -> 1.3 -> 1.2 ratings in the fall. New Amsterdam returned softly at 10/9c, hitting a bunch of 0.4's in the middle part of its season.

Rating the Ratings

The Voice Tue Fall*0.70.981.1-25%151big hit-4%detail
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist0.20.350.5-16%55flop+7%detail
Young Rock0.50.621.0
The Voice Tue Spring*0.60.781.0-24%120solid-4%detail
This Is Us* hit-13%detail
New Amsterdam0.40.460.6-40%71marginal-24%detail

The Voice Tue Fall: Already updated.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Its Tuesday 8/7c run in the winter was enough of an upgrade to drag it to a positive season in Plus, but upon its return to Sunday it became clear that was an illusion. The show's Sunday episodes managed to drop more than 15% from the season one Sunday episodes, which is pretty amazing considering how weak season one was. The network seemingly wanted to save it, waiting on a decision till weeks after the upfronts, but it wasn't enough. Grade: D+.

Young Rock: 97 Plus is pretty strong for a new late-season comedy leading off the night, but it's also not representative of where the show ended up. It was probably still renewal-worthy even at its low-80s Plus late in the season, especially since it was getting deep into the spring, but it certainly did not realize its premiere night potential. Grade: B-.

The Voice Tue Spring: Already updated.

Kenan: The trajectory looks kinda like season one of Mixed-ish condensed into ten weeks, except the later Young Rock eps were probably an even better lead-in than what Mixed had. It wasn't looking like a clear-cut renewal at all down the stretch, but it got one. Grade: C-.

This Is Us: Honestly, if you had told me before the season about all the scheduling delays/disruptions and put the over/under at a 157 Plus, I probably would've gone under. The average for the whole season was not bad at all, but it was super front-loaded even before the late spring eps. The fall eps were probably like B- or even B level and the spring ones more like C- at best. Overall, in the historical comparisons with its fellow rookie megahits, it remains very much on the Desperate Housewives track: not aging very gracefully like Grey's Anatomy but not falling apart fast like Empire. Grade: C.

New Amsterdam: NBC is probably somewhat disappointed with how quickly this show has crumbled since giving it a three-season renewal; it has not turned into the scheduling tentpole franchise they were hoping for. Then again, this season was hit even harder by scheduling than This Is Us, not even premiering till March and airing into the summer. You can tell in the spring vs. spring comparison that it is not quite as dire as the full season average suggests, but -16% there is still bad. 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 NBC Tuesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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