Monday, September 13, 2021

The Breakdown: Fox Sunday in 2020-21 (Bless the Harts, The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy and more!)

It's time for a journey through the Fox 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.


2019-20The SimpsonsBless the HartsBob's BurgersFamily Guy126
2020-21The SimpsonsBless the HartsBob's BurgersFamily Guy111 (-12%)
160 (-9%)89 (-18%)95 (-11%)99 (-10%)
125 (-13%)97 (-11%)


In the fall, the Fox Sunday continued on the downswing, with the three veterans all down 10%ish and sophomore Bless the Harts looking even weaker by comparison at 8:30.


2019-20The SimpsonsDuncanvilleBob's BurgersFamily Guy72
2020-21The SimpsonsThe Great NorthBob's BurgersFamily Guy69 (-4%)
70 (-13%)69 (+16%)70 (-6%)68 (-9%)
70 (0%)69 (-8%)


When the winter hit, the trends for the staples were all about the same, but newbie The Great North looked a little better by comparison at 8:30. Its average in this table is inflated by its first preview episode (it's counted in this average because it was in-timeslot). But even if you factor that out, it was still basically even with Duncanville and thus somewhat better retention-wise.


2019-20The SimpsonsDuncanvilleBob's BurgersFamily Guy54
2020-21The SimpsonsThe Great NorthBob's BurgersFamily Guy62 (+14%)
61 (+3%)51 (+23%)66 (+21%)71 (+13%)
56 (+11%)68 (+17%)


Somewhat in the same vein as American Idol on the ABC post, these shows took pretty typical spring drops, but the trends looked much better in CVPlus because these shows basically got no bounce during the COVID lockdowns a year ago. Perhaps most notably, The Great North once again looked like an improvement on Duncanville.

Rating the Ratings

Cherries Wild0.10.280.4
Bless the Harts0.10.360.8-58%56flop-46%detail
The Simpsons*0.30.701.7-25%109solid-5%detail
The Great North0.30.552.1
Bob's Burgers*0.40.510.8-30%80marginal-11%detail
Family Guy*0.40.571.1-20%88marginal+2%detail

Cherries Wild: Random reality filler for the 7/6c timeslot in the late winter. Grade: D+.

Bless the Harts: Getting moved to 7:30 obviously deflates the season average, but this show looked about as bad as any 8:30 occupant historically in the fall, and had markedly worse retention than last year. Grade: D.

The Simpsons: You can throw the Fox cartoons in with This Is Us, The Goldbergs, etc. as the veterans that seemed bad at the time but don't look all that dire in Plus. Though in this case, they're pulled up a good bit by the spring comparisons. But if I penalized last season for having bad springs, I can't hold it too much against this season as well. So basically I'll give these shows the grades that their trends deserve. Grade: C+.

The Great North: They've definitely done worse than this show; the aforementioned Duncanville and Making History from a few years back spring to mind. That doesn't mean it did "well" but it didn't stick out too egregiously. Grade: C.

Bob's Burgers: Last season's average included a big directly post-football episode. Once you remove that it was down just a bit from last year, though still markedly weaker than the previous few years. Might have been helped a little bit from The Great North doing not as bad as Duncanville. Grade: C+.

Family Guy: The best trend of the animated anchors, but a pretty similar story to Bob's. It's a low level historically, but about the same as last year. Grade: B-.

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

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

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