Friday, July 21, 2023

The War of 18-49, 9-1-1: Lone Star

Mondays with the Mothership

After two very successful seasons, Fox's Ryan Murphy-produced drama 9-1-1 got its first spin-off in early 2020. With just a nine-episode first season, 9-1-1: Lone Star premiered with a 3.14 demo after an NFL playoff game, but had only an OK start leading off Monday with just a 0.96 and 0.97 (117 -> 118 Plus) in its first two episodes. Then the show shot up to a whooping 1.27 the day after getting a bunch of Fox Super Bowl promotion, and it stayed north of 1.0 for the next couple weeks. That made it a no-brainer second season renewal.

In season two, with all scripted programming delayed due to COVID production shutdowns, Lone Star got paired with the mothership. That winter after 9-1-1 produced the best sustained ratings for Lone Star, and it stayed at hit levels for most episodes even in the deep spring.

Season three was a hybrid between the two approaches; it was held for midseason again, returning to anchor Monday nights in the winter like in season one, but it was reunited with the mothership in the spring. However, 9-1-1 took its biggest drop in series history (-9%), and Lone Star basically followed suit with a 10% drop.

Breaking Away 

Season four marked the first time that 9-1-1: Lone Star did not share Monday night with the original. While it waited till midseason yet again, this time it aired on Tuesday rather than Monday. It was an improvement on that night, outrating pretty much the entire run of longtime previous occupant The Resident, but it took another dip from its stout Monday levels. If that level of independence from the mothership wasn't enough, season five will see Lone Star air on an entirely different network. 9-1-1 is slated to air on ABC, while Lone Star will take over as Fox's biggest returning drama.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

1Winter 2020Monday 8:
22021Monday 9:000.86-28%0.71.0detailB
32022Mon 8:00, Mon 9:000.62-28%0.40.8detailC+
42023Tuesday 8:000.45-26%0.40.6detailC+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

1Winter 2020147hit0.63110383383110


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

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