Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Breakdown: ABC Tuesday in 2021-22 (Abbott Elementary, Black-ish, The Bachelorette and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Tuesday schedule in 2021-22...


2020-21The BacheloretteBig Sky171
2021-22The BacheloretteQueens108 (-37%)
133 (-35%)133 (-35%)58 (-43%)


For a second straight autumn, ABC brought summer staple The Bachelorette into the regular season, but this time it did not go nearly as well. The show was down more than a third year-to-year in Plus. To make matters worse, the drops were even worse in the 10/9c hour, where music-themed drama Queens had worse retention than Big Sky did last year with a much bigger lead-in.


2020-21To Tell the TruthBlack-ishMixed-ishBig Sky88
2021-22Judge Steve HarveyAbbott ElementaryBlack-ishQueens91 (+3%)
125 (+36%)113 (+42%)81 (+15%)50 (-48%)
97 (+29%)


Though Queens' struggles continued after the new year, the year-to-year trends took a sharply positive turn in the first two hours, where unscripted offering Judge Steve Harvey and new comedy Abbott Elementary both showed a lot of promise. Black-ish also returned for its final season, but was something of an afterthought at 9:30.


2020-21Pooch PerfectBlack-ishMixed-ishBig Sky62
2021-22Judge Steve HarveyAbbott ElementaryBlack-ishTo Tell the Truth73 (+17%)
87 (+31%)102 (+72%)71 (+35%)45 (-30%)
87 (+55%)


Like many unscripted shows of its ilk, Judge Steve proved to be very front-loaded, and dropped well below the league average for most of its spring run. Abbott held up much better, and actually built from Steve all four weeks when the two were reunited. Black-ish was just kind of there again, and To Tell the Truth returned for a 10/9c run where it was unsurprisingly much weaker than in last year's 8/7c stint.

Rating the Ratings

Abbott Elementary0.40.560.6
Judge Steve Harvey0.30.520.7
The Bachelorette Fall0.60.670.8-48%132hit-35%
To Tell the Truth0.30.420.7-24%65flop-4%detail

Queens: Sort of like The Endgame on NBC, there was another show on its network (Promised Land in this case) that flopped noticeably harder. But this was still quite a disappointing result for a show that ABC was hoping might generate some buzz, given its R&B pedigree. Grade: D.

Abbott Elementary: It's been a really dry couple of years for broadcast sitcom newbies, so it was great to see both this and CBS' Ghosts succeed this year. Abbott had some help with Steve Harvey out of the gate, but clearly had its own audience by the time the two were reunited in the spring, and will get a chance to air alongside other anchor-worthy comedies next season. Grade: B+.

Black-ish: I guess you can say that Black-ish found some sort of level in its last few seasons, holding off the flop label to the bitter end. But Abbott was much better lead-in support than anything else Black-ish had in its last few seasons on Tuesday,  and this was not a meaningful improvement, so it was still kind of a meh showing. Grade: C.

Judge Steve Harvey: An impressive winter and a mediocre spring. In Judge Steve's defense, this show had a much longer hiatus in the middle of its season than Abbott (airing no originals between February 1 and March 22), so that might have stunted its momentum somewhat. This type of show is often front-loaded but it can also jump back up at the start of the next season, so we'll see. Grade: B-.

The Bachelorette Fall: Brutal drop in this show's third season in a fourteen-month period, and it was even a pretty big drop just from the last summer season (considering they only aired four months apart). ABC is holding it till a little later in the summer this year perhaps to space things out a bit, but it'll be an interesting test of how much permanent damage was done with this overexposure. Grade: D.

To Tell the Truth: Not doing another grade here since it's all a part of the same production cycle as the winter/summer 2021 episodes but it's interesting that if you average the big winter 2021 episodes with the very weak spring 2022 ones, you end up with the same kind of Plus in the 60's as this show has been getting its entire run. Timeslot matters a lot for this kind of show.

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 ABC Tuesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21

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

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