Monday, July 25, 2022

The Breakdown: CBS Thursday in 2021-22 (Young Sheldon, United States of Al, Ghosts and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Thursday schedule in 2021-22...


2020-21Young SheldonB PositiveMomThe UnicornStar Trek: Discovery73
2021-22Young SheldonUnited States of AlGhostsB PositiveBull89 (+23%)
131 (+12%)92 (+5%)108 (+15%)82 (+19%)62 (+78%)
111 (+9%)95 (+17%)


Fall 2021 was the beginning of a nice comeback season for Young Sheldon, and the start of something new with promising 9/8c comedy Ghosts. Sophomores United States of Al and B Positive filled out the night, with Al typically posting worse retention than the year-ago occupants and B Positive improving significantly on The Unicorn at 9:30. Bull made the move to Thursday, where it fell off from the comedies but got to crush last year's historically weak occupants.


2020-21Young SheldonB PositiveMomThe UnicornClarice90
2021-22Young SheldonUnited States of AlGhostsB PositiveBull100 (+10%)
137 (+4%)100 (-3%)122 (+23%)91 (+26%)74 (+9%)
118 (+1%)106 (+24%)


Sheldon did not get quite as much of a winter bounce as last year, but the growth actually increased in the 9/8c hour, where Ghosts had an impressive 0.70/0.65/0.68 in its three January episodes.


2020-21Young SheldonUnited States of AlMomB PositiveClarice73
2021-22Young SheldonUnited States of AlGhostsHow We RollBull85 (+17%)
119 (+11%)88 (+5%)112 (+22%)66 (-10%)63 (+57%)
104 (+8%)89 (+8%)


The first three comedies held up decently enough in the spring, but the 9:30 slot went to newbie How We Roll which was much weaker than B Positive right out of the gate.

Rating the Ratings

Young Sheldon*0.60.660.8-13%130hit+9%detail
United States of Al0.40.470.5-7%92marginal+18%detail
B Positive0.40.440.5-21%86marginal0%detail
How We Roll0.30.340.4

Young Sheldon: Nice rebound after three straight declines to open its run. It not only topped last year by 9% but also narrowly outrated season three. Grade: B+.

United States of Al: The growth here is because of Sheldon's growth, plus the fact that it got to air in the fall/winter after being spring-only in its freshman year. It was not a disaster or anything but it had somewhat worse retention than last year's occupants (including itself in the spring) all year long. Grade: C.

Ghosts: This show was basically in the same ballpark as the first couple Thursday seasons of Mom, behind the two Mom seasons that aired directly after Young Sheldon, and well ahead of the last couple seasons of Mom. For a single-camera show with a weird premise, that's a big win. But its time as an anchor was short-lived, as CBS is cutting the 9/8c comedy hour and moving it to 8:30. Grade: B+.

B Positive: It did get to miss out on the spring after airing a lot of late spring eps last year, but breaking even in Plus while moving from 8:30 to 9:30 still seems decent. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if CBS had wanted to just bring one or both of these sophomores back and keep rolling with two comedy hours. But the network wanted three new dramas and didn't have a lot of places to put them, so Al and B got cut. Grade: B-.

How We Roll: It only got to air three episodes after an original Ghosts, and it actually held up well post-premiere even after Ghosts was gone, which gets it a better grade than a lot of this year's failures. But the die was pretty much cast on premiere night. Starting at unacceptable levels and just keeping that audience was not gonna be enough. Grade: D+.

Bull: Rescued the hour from its unfathomable depths last year, but still nothing to write home about. Considering it was coming from an All Rise lead-in on Monday, Bull probably could've done a little better. It's over after six seasons, and CSI: Vegas will bring the franchise back to the night where it had five megahit seasons in the early aughts. 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 CBS Thursday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21

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

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