Monday, July 10, 2023

The Breakdown: ABC Wednesday in 2022-23 (Abbott Elementary, The Conners, The Goldbergs and more!)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Wednesday schedule in 2022-23...


2021-22The GoldbergsThe Wonder YearsThe ConnersHome EconomicsA Million Little Things81
2022-23The ConnersThe GoldbergsAbbott ElementaryHome EconomicsBig Sky88 (+9%)
123 (+9%)90 (0%)116 (+9%)82 (+23%)59 (+9%)
107 (+5%)99 (+14%)


Fall 2022 saw the Wednesday debut of Abbott Elementary, which had done well on Tuesday in its rookie season. It improved on last year's The Conners, while The Conners made the move to 8/7c and improved on last year's The Goldbergs. But perhaps the biggest surprise in the comedy night was that the pairing with Abbott actually made third-year perennial underperformer Home Economics look fairly respectable in the 9:30 half-hour, where it had easily the biggest timeslot improvement of the whole night in the fall. The Goldbergs took a big dip in its move to 8:30, while Big Sky came to Wednesday at 10/9c and had some modest year-to-year improvement in its slot.


2021-22The GoldbergsThe Wonder YearsThe ConnersHome EconomicsThe Chase81
2022-23The ConnersThe GoldbergsAbbott ElementaryNot Dead YetA Million Little Things82 (+1%)
116 (-2%)82 (0%)118 (+19%)74 (+12%)51 (-14%)
99 (-1%)96 (+16%)


The Conners slowed down in the winter, while The Goldbergs still couldn't push past the year-ago bubble comedy The Wonder Years. That left the 9/8c hour to carry the load in this period. Abbott's growth vs. Conners accelerated, and newbie Not Dead Yet was weaker than Home Ec from the fall but did enough to improve on Home Ec from last year. A Million Little Things returned at 10/9c and was basically the same show as last year.


2021-22The GoldbergsThe Wonder YearsThe ConnersHome EconomicsA Million Little Things65
2022-23The ConnersThe GoldbergsAbbott ElementaryNot Dead YetA Million Little Things79 (+21%)
108 (+23%)78 (+27%)118 (+39%)64 (+11%)51 (+4%)
93 (+25%)91 (+28%)


Spring was the best period for this lineup, as the first 90 minutes in particular held up swimmingly. The Conners zoomed past Goldbergs' numbers from last spring, The Goldbergs was finally able to produce some growth compared with the weak Wonder Years spring, and Abbott Elementary just kept plugging away with the same raw numbers and saw its timeslot improvement balloon even farther.

Rating the Ratings

The Conners*0.40.500.6+0%117solid+20%detail
The Goldbergs*0.30.360.4-33%85marginal-20%detail
Abbott Elementary0.40.500.6-12%117solid+6%detail
Home Economics0.30.350.4+8%82marginal+29%detail
Not Dead Yet0.20.300.4
Big Sky0.20.250.3-17%58flop0%detail
A Million Little Things*

The Conners: Don't want to go too crazy here because moving to 8/7c should really help this kind of show, and it was still about 10% behind the last time it aired at 8/7c three years ago. But its nice hold in the spring launched it to a major improvement vs. The Goldbergs (and the previous couple Goldbergs seasons for that matter), so this goes down as a success story. Grade: B+.

The Goldbergs: Sad final season ratings for a show that quietly had a successful and lengthy run. Losing Jeff Garlin didn't help, and moving out of the 8/7c slot is almost always a bad thing, but it was still hammocked between two solid successes and probably should've done better. You could argue for even a little worse grade than this but at least it finally pulled way ahead of The Wonder Years in the spring. Grade: C.

Abbott Elementary: This might be a bit aggressive for a show that was only +6% in Plus, and it's still a long way from Modern Family levels of success in its old timeslot. But what really stood out here is just how well Abbott held up as the season went on. You can really see that in how it has the same numbers in every sub-section yet grows from +9% to +39% in its timeslot. Ending on a 0.53 -> 0.55 was impressive stuff. It seems well set up for a bright future, so let's hope the long break doesn't mess with it. Grade: A-.

Home Economics: Nothing says "ratings don't matter" quite like Home Economics, which looked like a bubble show at best (emphasis on the "at best") for two years and sailed to renewal, then finally appeared to pay off its network's belief and yet has somehow had a very long wait hearing about a season four. Just looking at the numbers for this season alone, it still doesn't look like anything great, but have to give it some props for the trajectory. Grade: B+.

Not Dead Yet: It improved its timeslot in the winter and spring, but that's not much of an accomplishment considering its Abbott lead-in (plus the year-ago comparison was season two of Home Ec). However, it did have to air a handful of eps after Abbott was over so the retention was not quite as bad as it appears above. In the end, it was yet another entry in the "bubble-show-at-best" column, probably not meaningfully different strength-wise from the first seasons of Home Economics and The Wonder Years. Like both of those shows, season two is on the way. Grade: C.

Big Sky: Even in Plus considering it aired after Grey's Anatomy last year is actually not that bad, though it aired in the spring last year and ended in January this year. The show dropped to a brutal 0.19 in week two and then somehow pulled itself back up to 0.25ish pretty much the whole rest of the way. Still not really an acceptable level for this timeslot, though, and it got the axe. Grade: C+.

A Million Little Things: Like Big Sky, it didn't get any worse, but it also didn't get better. Can't give it but so much credit considering it was still one of the weakest shows in big four primetime live ratings-wise. 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 ABC Wednesday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21 | 2021-22

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

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