Monday, August 1, 2022

The Breakdown: Fox Thursday in 2021-22 (Joe Millionaire, Call Me Kat, Welcome to Flatch and more!)

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


2020-21Thursday Night Football585
2021-22Thursday Night Football816 (+40%)
816 (+40%)816 (+40%)


With the stadiums full once again following last year's COVID disruption, it was an awesome season for football in primetime. Fox's NFL package was up year-to-year in raw numbers, and so was NBC's on Sunday. (The college games on ABC/Fox grew even more.) Unfortunately for Fox, it was the last year of their TNF package, so buckle in for 90%+ declines next year?


2020-21Hell's KitchenCall Me KatLast Man Standing93
2021-22Joe Millionaire: For Richer Or PoorerCall Me KatPivoting56 (-40%)
64 (-42%)55 (-31%)40 (-41%)
48 (-36%)


Things quickly fell apart once football was gone. One-time megahit Joe Millionaire got resurrected 19 years after its first two seasons, but it was the season two ratings rather than the breakout season one ratings that showed up. That meant a bad lead-in for season two of Call Me Kat, and a bomb lead-out newbie called Pivoting at 9:30.


2020-21Hell's KitchenLast Man StandingThe Moodys86
2021-22MasterChef JuniorCall Me KatWelcome to Flatch62 (-28%)
76 (-37%)62 (+1%)33 (-22%)
48 (-8%)


Things perked up a bit in the first 90 minutes after DST, as MasterChef Junior returned from a long hiatus and helped improve Kat's ratings a touch. But the 9:30 half-hour somehow got even worse with another newbie, Welcome to Flatch.

Rating the Ratings

Joe Millionaire: For Richer Or Poorer0.30.330.4
MasterChef Junior*0.30.370.4
Call Me Kat0.20.351.2-40%69flop-25%detail
Welcome to Flatch0.10.170.2

Joe Millionaire: For Richer Or Poorer: It actually managed to do even worse than 2003's season two (71) in Plus, and less than a quarter of the breakout season one (274). This is a rough showing for a reality show at 8/7c on a weeknight in the winter. Grade: D.

MasterChef Junior: Despite the three-year hiatus, it came back pretty close in Plus to the last season in 2019 (78). It was certainly unimpressive compared with what Hell's Kitchen pulled off in the slot last year, but Joe Millionaire proved it could be worse. Grade: C+.

Call Me Kat: Both seasons had a football-inflated premiere, so that boosts the season average but ends up not having much of an impact on the y2y trend. Overall it had a lot less lead-in help than last season, as Joe Millionaire seemed to be a particularly bad fit, and it actually didn't look too terrible once the also weaker MasterChef Junior returned. Kind of an iffy renewal but not totally incomprehensible considering Fox has to fill additional space without football. Grade: C.

Pivoting: Being generous here because the show that succeeded it was so much worse. It'd be hard to argue this was any stronger than The Moodys a year ago. Grade: D-.

Welcome to Flatch: I mean... it's a 32 Plus on a weeknight. And... it got renewed. I don't know what else to say. I think this becomes the first newbie to get a Grade: F and get renewed, though there have been a handful of F returnees that got renewed. (The penultimate seasons of Glee and Quantico come to mind.) I guess you can say it wasn't really any weaker than last season's Let's Be Real?

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

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

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