Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Breakdown: NBC Thursday in 2021-22 (Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Organized Crime and more!)

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


2020-21SuperstoreConnecting...Law and Order: SVUDateline72
2021-22The BlacklistLaw and Order: SVULaw and Order: Organized Crime103 (+43%)
64 (0%)132 (+49%)113 (+76%)


With original Thursday plan Law & Order: For the Defense scrapped, the long-past-its-prime drama The Blacklist was asked to lead off the night in the fall, and it was not really up to the task. But the network still found huge growth because the spring momentum for the L&O franchise kept rolling. SVU absolutely crushed last year's fall episodes and Organized Crime still had good retention at 10/9c.


2020-21Mr. MayorSuperstoreLaw and Order: SVUDateline77
2021-22Law and OrderLaw and Order: SVULaw and Order: Organized Crime115 (+48%)
116 (+59%)127 (+22%)100 (+84%)


NBC finally got its all-L&O night in late February, when the original was resurrected for a 21st season. Only the first three episodes fell within the winter window, so it looks like a big success because of the premiere (145), but it quickly fell to league average-ish levels. SVU kept rolling along, but Organized Crime separated a bit retention-wise.


2020-21ManifestLaw and Order: SVULaw and Order: Organized Crime119
2021-22Law and OrderLaw and Order: SVULaw and Order: Organized Crime102 (-15%)
87 (+14%)119 (-19%)98 (-26%)


The original L&O's level is more accurately reflected here, but it was still enough to improve the hour vs. last year's Manifest. SVU and Organized Crime were unsurprisingly unable to keep up with their blazing hot spring ratings from a year ago.

Rating the Ratings

The Blacklist*
Law and Order*0.40.490.7
Law and Order: SVU*0.60.650.8-15%127hit+7%detail
Law and Order: Organized Crime0.40.540.7-32%105solid-15%detail

The Blacklist: We said last year that The Blacklist did not seem like the kind of show that should be leading off a weeknight at this point, and that basically played out. It actually had some good comparisons when it first returned to Friday but fell off in the spring. Still, the show has stuck around for so long past when a normal show would've ended that it seems to have leveled off to some extent. Grade: C.

Law and Order: I'm not sure a lot of people remember how rough it had gotten for this show by the end of its original run. So the fact that it scrounged up a 145 Plus premiere is actually a nice accomplishment when you compare it with something like CSI: Vegas, even if a lot of the credit probably goes to SVU for keeping the brand awareness alive. But gravity set back in for this show pretty quickly, and it's probably doomed to pale in comparison with SVU just like in the late aughts. Not a lot of reason to be optimistic on the long term prospects. Grade: C+.

Law and Order: SVU: Obviously this show was still coasting on the huge upswing produced after the premiere of Organized Crime in April 2021, but I'm inclined to give this a pretty good grade anyway because it was still up 22% even all the way into winter 2022, and the winter 2021 performance had already looked pretty impressive at the time. It was a pretty normally "shaped" season with a typical spring drop, so it'd be disappointing if it continued to leak at the spring 2022 pace next season. Grade: B+.

Law and Order: Organized Crime: There was maybe some reason for concern in the fall/winter as it seemed to be falling off from the spring 2021 heights more quickly than SVU, but it leveled off pretty nicely in the spring, and by the late spring comparisons it was close to even in Plus. If it can keep delivering 80% of SVU, it's a nice win. 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 NBC Thursday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21

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

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