Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Breakdown: Fox Thursday in 2020-21 (Hell's Kitchen, Call Me Kat, Last Man Standing and more!)

It's time for a journey through the Fox Thursday 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.


2019-20Thursday Night Football573
2020-21Thursday Night Football584 (+2%)
584 (+2%)584 (+2%)


Football! Generally, when the NFL takes a decline about in line with entertainment programming, it's considered a disappointment... and while perhaps it wasn't this direct a link, there was much reduced interest in the TNF package among the broadcasters. So it will become an Amazon exclusive after just one more year on Fox.


2019-20Last Man StandingOutmatchedDeputy81
2020-21Hell's KitchenCall Me KatLast Man Standing93 (+15%)
111 (+29%)81 (+7%)69 (-9%)
75 (-1%)


Back from almost two years off, Hell's Kitchen was one of the under-the-radar success stories of early 2021, singlehandedly putting the network well above last year's levels on Thursday. Mayim Bialik comedy Call Me Kat looked pretty good in its first couple January episodes and ended up settling with a consistent 0.5 for most of its season. And a year after anchoring the night, Last Man Standing became a 9:30 afterthought for much of its final season.


2019-20Last Man StandingOutmatchedMental Samurai (R)54
2020-21Hell's KitchenLast Man StandingThe Moodys86 (+59%)
121 (+76%)62 (+52%)42 (+4%)
52 (+28%)


Hell's Kitchen was strong in the winter but really caught fire in the last month of its season, posting a bunch of 0.8's even after DST and throttling last year's comedies. That helped Fox to big gains in this period despite little help from the comedies; Last Man Standing moved to 9/8c for its final episodes but didn't really benefit, and last year's holiday event The Moodys returned to zero interest at 9:30.

Rating the Ratings

Hell's Kitchen0.60.740.8

Call Me Kat0.40.591.4
Last Man Standing*0.30.420.6-43%66flop-27%detail
The Moodys0.10.230.3-51%36flop-38%detail
Let's Be Real0.20.180.2

Hell's Kitchen: This ranked among the highest-rated Hell's Kitchen seasons in Plus. It's not quite as much of an explosion vs. the recent seasons as it appears, since it's been on Friday for awhile, but it would be hard to deny it was still meaningfully stronger. And it truly impressed in the early spring for reasons that kind of escape me; the only thing I can think of is perhaps it had big crossover with Celebrity Wheel of Fortune?? Or maybe it was just a good season creatively. Either way, well done. Grade: A-.

Call Me Kat: Sort of the same analysis as with Mr. Mayor on the NBC post and the CBS Thursday newbies as well; it was certainly no breakout but considering the state of new comedies, I can see why they renewed it. Starting with its 0.55 on January 14, it was pretty consistent for the next 2+ months (its low ended up being a 0.47). Grade: C+.

Last Man Standing: It's kind of crazy that, in this show's nine-season run, the three years on Fox produced both its strongest season ever and this, its weakest season ever. It's certainly got timeslot excuses, largely getting thrown away in the 9/8c hour, but it should have done better than this. Grade: D+.

The Moodys: This is a classic example of a show that only avoids getting an F because something else (Let's Be Real) showed up after it was done and did even another level worse. Also, the above average is deflated by some Sunday burn-offs. But it was a really poor performance. Grade: D-.

Let's Be Real: The election special in October actually did kind of OK (a 0.35 following a 0.41 Masked Singer repeat) but this brief run late in the spring did nothing, and had the dreaded sub-50% retention after the penultimate episode of LMS. Grade: F.

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 Fox Thursday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for Fox Thursday.

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