Friday, July 8, 2022

The War of 18-49, New Amsterdam


The Most Common This Is Us Lead-out

In its first two years, the huge lead-in from megahit drama This Is Us was mostly used on familiar franchises, from Chicago Fire in season one to Law and Order True Crime and Chicago Med in season two. Season three was NBC's first big push to try something new, and the medical drama New Amsterdam showed some real promise. It premiered to a 1.8 following This Is Us' 3.0, actually beating the raw numbers of L&O True Crime (1.6 out of a 3.9). And though it had dropped to 1.0ish by the back half of This Is Us' season, New Amsterdam still retained more than 50% of the lead-in every week (something True Crime had never done). It was not that different from what Chicago Med had done in the hour the previous year, and with big DVR gains to boot.

By the 2019-20 season, it was clear that This Is Us was past its peak, and New Amsterdam was pretty much following it downward in lockstep. It kept doing a little better than 50% retention, but it was certainly not looking like another big Chicago-esque franchise in the live ratings.

Still, NBC famously gave it a three-season renewal in January 2020, and continued to ride it out in the Tuesday 10/9c hour. They were not really rewarded for their efforts. The show took another large hit in the 2020-21 season, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its premiere to March 2021. The retention out of This Is Us still never got that much worse, but This Is Us was now diminished enough that retaining 50% of it made New Amsterdam a pretty iffy player in the Live+SD ratings. In season four, it returned to the fall, but it aired after the much weaker La Brea because This Is Us was delayed till midseason. But airing earlier and then reuniting with a strong final season of This Is Us helped New Amsterdam to stop the bleeding and rebound a touch in Plus. Perhaps that makes it a bit less painful for NBC to see out the last year of the three-season renewal, but NBC has confirmed it will also be the last of the series.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

SeasYearSlotAvgy2yLoHiResultsGrade
12018-19Tuesday 10:001.06
0.61.8detailB+
22019-200.77-28%0.61.0detailC+
3Spring 20210.46-40%0.40.6detailC-
42021-220.37-19%0.30.5detailC+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

SeasYearA18-49+LabelNow22y2yLoHiPremiereFinale
12018-19112solid0.57
6319419491
22019-2094marginal0.48-16%76121121115
3Spring 202171marginal0.36-24%56959382
42021-2273marginal0.37+2%5110610692

AVERAGE:88marginal
CAREER:350utility


The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

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