Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Breakdown: NBC Sunday in 2020-21 (Ellen's Game of Games, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, Good Girls)

It's time for a journey through the NBC Sunday 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.


2019-20Football Night in America p3Sunday Night Football696
2020-21Football Night in America p3Sunday Night Football661 (-5%)
392 (+5%)714 (-6%)
553 (-2%)714 (-6%)714 (-6%)


NBC's primetime NFL package was narrowly up year-to-year in Classic Plus, but once accounting for the inflated league average last year using CVPlus, it was actually down. Not great by NFL standards. Many sports struggled in the TV ratings this year with no/fewer fans in the stands hurting the atmosphere, and it seems even this behemoth was not immune to that effect.


2019-20America's Got Talent: The Champions (R)Zoey's Extraordinary PlaylistGood Girls49
2020-21The Wall (R)Ellen's Game of GamesGood Girls50 (+1%)
41 (-4%)52 (+2%)57 (+5%)


Former big hit Ellen's Game of Games made the move into the winter Sunday dead zone and had a disastrous run, only matching the early episodes of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. Good Girls returned to the 10/9c hour for the third year in a row and often built from its awful 9/8c lead-ins.


2019-20The WallZoey's Extraordinary PlaylistGood Girls48
2020-21Ellen's Game of GamesZoey's Extraordinary PlaylistGood Girls48 (-2%)
49 (-10%)41 (-7%)52 (+13%)


Zoey returned to Sunday night after a pre-This Is Us Tuesday run that appeared to improve its ratings, but none of that audience followed along, and it somehow bombed out even harder than last year. Still, NBC managed to not go much behind last year's horrible ratings because Good Girls built on Zoey even more significantly.

Rating the Ratings

Ellen's Game of Games0.20.490.7-52%76marginal-39%detail
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist0.20.350.5-16%55flop+7%detail
Good Girls0.20.310.4-26%49flop-6%detail

Ellen's Game of Games: Already updated.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Already updated.

Good Girls: The season average was basically derailed by an ill-fated summer Thursday run, but it actually looked pretty decent (at least by Good Girls standards) on Sunday. So, props for not turning into a complete disaster, but the first-run ratings were never really driving this show anyway, and NBC was finally done with it. 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 Sunday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20

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

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