Tuesday, September 5, 2023

The Breakdown: CBS Sunday in 2022-23 (The Equalizer, East New York, NCIS: Los Angeles and more!)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Sunday schedule in 2022-23...


2021-2260 MinutesThe EqualizerNCIS: Los AngelesSEAL Team142
2022-2360 MinutesThe EqualizerEast New YorkNCIS: Los Angeles148 (+4%)
332 (+12%)138 (+4%)98 (-7%)86 (+13%)
235 (+10%)118 (-1%)92 (-1%)


The late afternoon NFL lead-outs continued to push CBS upward, with 60 Minutes growing in its fall episodes and keeping The Equalizer rock solid. 9/8c newbie East New York immediately looked somewhat weaker than NCIS: Los Angeles, but Los Angeles was initially enough of an improvement in its shift to 10/9c to make up for it.


2021-22The EqualizerNCIS: Los AngelesS.W.A.T.101
2022-23The EqualizerEast New YorkNCIS: Los Angeles86 (-15%)
97 (-18%)85 (-11%)77 (-14%)


But the NCIS: Los Angeles comparisons at 10/9c got much worse once it started going up against S.W.A.T., which had overachieved in the hour a year ago. Meanwhile, The Equalizer somewhat quizzically had rather terrible comparisons in this period. It seems to be largely about not airing in January and then following relatively weak 60 Minutes episodes in the late winter, because it doesn't really line up with the rest of the season.


2021-22The EqualizerNCIS: Los AngelesS.W.A.T.95
2022-23The EqualizerEast New YorkNCIS: Los Angeles85 (-10%)
109 (+0%)77 (-16%)70 (-18%)


Equalizer's comparisons were much better in the spring, but again that seems to be driven in part by a big episode right at the start of the spring window, and the typical episode was down a little in Plus. The East New York and NCIS: LA comparisons only got worse.

Rating the Ratings

60 Minutes*0.40.781.6-12%183big hit+5%detail
The Equalizer0.40.500.8-17%117solid-1%detail
East New York0.30.380.6
NCIS: Los Angeles*0.20.350.5-30%81marginal-16%detail

60 Minutes: Pretty standard season for 60 Minutes at this point, roughly even in Plus in non-sports episodes (bottoming out around the league average) but driven upward by its bigger sports lead-out episodes. Grade: B.

The Equalizer: It's a bit tough to disentangle all the sports stuff going on with these shows but my best impression is that it was "Truly" down a little in Plus through the winter/spring, and bumped up to near even by some better 60 Minutes lead-ins. Going 116 -> 119 -> 117 in its first three seasons is quite consistent, though. Grade: B-.

East New York: After a few years of prosperity with the NCIS spin-offs, season one of East New York generally looked like a step in the wrong direction, but (perhaps thanks in part to Equalizer) still not yet as bad ratings-wise as the Madam Secretary/The Good Wife days. Grade: C.

NCIS: Los Angeles: I don't think going -16% in Plus is particularly shocking in a move to 10/9c with a much worse lead-in, but it was still down more year-to-year vs. S.W.A.T. than even East New York was at 9/8c. Perhaps that's more a testament to what S.W.A.T. did last year than anything, but LA was still a little weaker than NCIS: New Orleans in this slot two years ago. 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 CBS Sunday: 2015-16 | 2016-17 | 2017-18 | 2018-19 | 2019-20 | 2020-21 | 2021-22

Here's the now updated Schedules Plus for CBS Sunday.

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