Monday, August 28, 2023

The Breakdown: CW Friday in 2022-23 (Penn and Teller: Fool Us, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Great American Joke Off and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CW Friday schedule in 2022-23...


2021-22Penn and Teller: Fool UsNancy Drew13
2022-23Penn and Teller: Fool UsWhose Line Is It Anyway?Whose Line Is It Anyway? (R)17 (+28%)
16 (-8%)20 (+115%)16 (+74%)
18 (+94%)


In 2022-23, the CW finally abandoned its practice of putting leftover scripted originals on Friday and fully embraced Penn & Teller, Whose Line and friends. That paid off in a big way for the 9/8c hour, vaulting the network to growth for most of the season, in spite of Penn & Teller itself being on a downward trajectory.


2021-22Penn and Teller: Fool UsNancy Drew17
2022-23Penn and Teller: Fool UsCriss Angel's Magic with the Stars16 (-2%)
19 (-11%)14 (+15%)


Winter was the one period when the 9/8c hour couldn't make up for P&T's declines. The Criss Angel series at 9/8c was an improvement on the year-ago Nancy Drew, but not by a huge margin.


2022-23Penn and Teller: Fool Us (R)Whose Line Is It Anyway?The Great American Joke Off14 (+41%)
13 (+6%)17 (+148%)11 (+60%)
14 (+104%)


Despite Penn airing only a couple original episodes in the spring window, the growth revved up when compared against a weaker scripted lineup from a year ago. The network introduced The Great American Joke Off as a Whose Line? companion but it dropped rather steeply at 9:30.

Rating the Ratings

Penn and Teller: Fool Us00.070.1-28%16flop-13%
Whose Line Is It Anyway?00.080.1+2%19flop+22%
Criss Angel's Magic with the Stars00.050.1

The Great American Joke Off00.050.1

Penn and Teller: Fool Us: This show was very steady in the high-20's for most of its CW run (when it aired in the summer) but now we have some apples-to-apples comparisons in the regular season, and it seems to be losing some steam pretty clearly. Grade: C.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?: The growth is relative to last year when it was charged with re-opening Saturday night for the network, so it's not as impressive as it looks, as it had a 25 Plus in its last Friday run two years ago. However, that run came at 8/7c after local programming, so this was probably tougher than that, and Whose Line? still managed to grow on Penn & Teller regularly. Grade: B-.

Criss Angel's Magic with the Stars: Its average includes a bunch of Saturday episodes from the fall, and like Whose Line? it perked up in a move to Friday. It held the Penn & Teller lead-in OK, but nothing special. Grade: C.

The Great American Joke Off: It dropped quite a bit from Whose Line?, looking quite a bit weaker than the Whose Line? repeats from the fall. 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 CW Friday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21 | 2021-22

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for CW Friday.

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