Ratings History 1987-88 -- Downward Trends. NBC Still 1st, ABC Rebounds to 2nd After 4-Year Drought, CBS Sees All-Time Low in 3rd Place. And FOX is a Joke

Written Marveling at Dynamic Changes by Bridger Cunningham

Ratings drops continued into the 1987-88 season.  Well, for 80's sized standards, that is.  In spite of "meager" returns from the market, NBC still ruled by a wide margin as its four top sitcoms crowned the charts.  That's old hat, or more appropriately old crown.  The real story rests in the remaining not two, but three networks.  ABC experienced a 7-percent loss in overall viewers from the reason before dropping below the 13 mark.  They were forced to cry on their silver booby prize of, 2nd place!  A foreign concept since spring 1984, ABC broke its curse.  The opposite fortune afforded new lows for CBS, which had never seen 3rd place for the first time in its 47 years on the air.  And FOX experienced double-digit growth due to additional affiliates.  Too bad its average fit in multiples of 3 and 4 inside the big-three's ratings.

Trending Hot -- Word of FOX's upcoming prominence remained just that.  A hot word.  NBC burned fuego, again.  Sitcoms on NBC always remained too hot to touch in the 80's.  This year, however, ABC began to heat up due to its Family First fit.  Friday nights became the third fit for 30-minute shows, as the network finally figured out what to do with its debits in spring 1988 and developed an investment which would pay off well through the 1990's.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays on ABC and Thursdays and Saturdays on NBC were where the action was at.  Just as surviving mid-network jumps trended the season before, NBC succeeded in mid-marquee star jumps.  Cheers flourished without Shelley Long, and Valerie exploded minus Valerie Harper.

Trending Tepid -- Mixing up the schedule gave mixed results this season.  CBS moving its sitcoms around failed, while ABC flaunted success.  Growing Pains' nickel-mighty status woke up wavering Wednesdays, as well as launch two mid-season successes.  NBC Also moved its fares around with mild results.

Trending Cold -- CBS.  Once the silver standard, the network set an all-time low in 3rd Place.  Soaps jumped the shark, with Hotel closing for reservations, Dynasty slipping further into bipolar disillusions, and Dallas dumping following Victoria Principle's exit.  Daytime fares dominated, whilst primetime fares plummeted.

Girlboss Cancelled -- Netflix Continues 2017 Trend

Image result for girlboss netflix

Written Questioning Lost Opportunities by Bridger Cunningham

Netflix has yet to confirm, but per Hollywoodlife.com and Sophia Amoruso's Instagram account, the streaming service has cancelled the service.  A saddening announcement indeed, yet Sophia Amoruso, the vintage clothing entrepreneur the series was loosely based on, had harsh words lined up against Netflix:

“So that Netflix series about my life got canceled. While I’m proud of the work we did, I’m looking forward to controlling my narrative from here on out,” she wrote in a series of Instagram stories on June 24. “It was a good show, and I was privileged to work with incredible talent, but living my life as a caricature was hard even if only for two months. Yes, I can be difficult. No, I’m not a d---. No, someone named Shane never cheated on me. It will be nice to someday tell the story of what’s happened in the last few years. Ppl read the headline, not the correction, I’ve learned.” 

The series premiered on Netflix on April 21 to lukewarm reviews.  It featured stylish backdrops and standout performances outside of the principle cast.  The series had potential for character and story development, yet Netflix has amassed enough original material it can discern which shows to invest in, and which to cut its losses on.  Be the judge and try out the series.  It left a neatly-attired season which can entertain as a standalone season.

1999-2000 Sitcom Scorecard -- The Scripted Purge Creates Harsh Realities for Sitcoms

Image result for who wants to be a millionaire
Written Mourning the Loss of Laughs by Bridger Cunningham

What a harsh reality this year faced.  Following Seinfeld's exit two seasons earlier, powerhouse sitcoms became a thing of the past.  For the first time since 1984, a sitcom did not rank in the top 3 positions in the overall Nielsens, ending a 15-year trend dominated by NBC.  They still dominated sitcom performance, yet the overall network ratings show how sitcom demand plunged.

For the season, ABC narrowly nosed NBC out of 1st place, a position they had not seen in years, ending 14 seasons of the peacock in front.  yet they placed 1st with their sitcom stable.  NBC tested its lead-in-dependent shows this season and discarded failures on Thursday.  ABC's sitcom performance dropped a massive 14%, landing neck to neck tied with CBS for 2nd place with comedy.  The results spelled the tragic end to ABC's 11-year old TGIF franchise, as ABC cancelled all entries.  However, WB and UPN were on hand to salvage discarded pieces, many of which enjoyed 2-3 additional seasons.

CBS again landed in 3rd in overall sitcom ratings and by one-hundredth in sitcom averages.  FOX too experience massive drops, yet showed signs of investment in the early 2000's as Malcolm in the Middle and Titus created great installations with the previous seasons' successes with Family Guy and That 70's show.  FOX boasted the highest renewal rate among the six networks with a respectable 9 sitcoms, as all networks downgraded their sitcom orders.  UPN treated this season as no laughing matter and slashed their sitcom entries from 13 to 5 sitcoms, and they experienced a 17-percent increase in Nielsen performance.

WB experienced massive drops in both sitcom and overall Nielsens, taking 6th place in sitcoms performance behind UPN.  So why did sitcoms become weakened this season?  Seinfeld's exit left few sensations shaking up the sitcom world, causing several lead-in dependent shows burning off and being cancelled.  Networks opted to duplicate their news magazines, because evidently the world was too peaceful and the newscasts had to change that.  A rash of gameshows such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and reality platforms perked the interests of viewers.  They were one-third cheaper to produce, making them marketable to networks.  Therefore, this aided what began in 2000 known as "The Scripted Purge."  Who needs Seinfeld laughing about nothing when reality TV stars get drunk like rednecks at a keg party laughing about nonsense.

The one pro which emerged in the sitcom world during this relevance-fueled era was the rising trend in the absence of canned laughter, predominantly with FOX displaying successful entries with Malcolm in the Middle and its animation block.  Times looked bleak for sitcoms, which dropped 19 original showings among the networks inside one season.

Ratings Source: http://fbibler.chez.com/tvstats/by_5_yr_period/1999-00.html

TV Ratings 6/23/17: What Would You Do? Has Solid Start, The Originals Finale Steady

Friday Ratings

18-49 Rating
Total Viewers          (In Millions)
America’s Got Talent (R) (NBC)

Shark Tank (R) (ABC)

MacGyver (R) (CBS)

MasterChef (R) (FOX)

The Originals (F) (CW)

What Would You Do (P) (ABC)

Hawaii Five-0 (R) (CBS)

Beat Shazam (R) (FOX)

Riverdale (R) (CW)

20/20 (ABC)

Dateline NBC (NBC)

Blue Bloods (R) (CBS)

Friday night got a little more interesting as ABC had the premiere of newsmagizine What Would You Do? (0.9). That was a good bit above what it was doing Tuesdays at 10 in 2015-16 season, but exactly even with last year's summer premiere. It also managed to build from its Shark Tank repeat lead-in (0.7). At 10, 20/20 (1.0) managed to pull ahead of NBC's Dateline (0.9) as the former tackled the story of Otto Warmbier. Both had similar-sized lead-ins with Dateline having a repeat of America's Got Talent (0.9).

After airing an original 48 Hours last week, CBS stayed out of the original game with drama repeats (0.5/0.6/0.6).

Fox had repeats of their Wednesday and Thursday centerpieces (0.4/0.4).

The CW showcased the season finale of The Originals (0.3), steady with last week, and the start of a Riverdale (0.2) repeat marathon. 

Ratings History, 1998-99 Edition -- A Narrow(er) Race for the Top 3 Ranks; Sitcoms Troubled, Duplicate News and Reality TV On the Rise

Written Tiring of Reality by Bridger Cunningham

What a difference one year makes.  In the wake of Seinfeld ending in May 1998, NBC's stranglehold on 1st place softened.  CBS took a solid second, with ABC holding third, the same pattern and configuration of the last two seasons.  FOX was a softer 4th, as expected, and WB and CW trailed so far behind the two combined still underrated Fox.

Sitcoms no longer dominated the top of the ratings, yet offered 73 of the 161 original shows in this table.  Duplicity was the theme of 1998-99, as news outlets on the big three duplicated to 4-5 showings per week.  Nielsen data counted several shows twice as they aired more than twice a week over several weeks.  Reality TV and variety platforms were on the rise, though they did not register above 39th place.  NBC housed the number one show and drama, ER, yet had a noticeable scarcity in dramas.  Instead, Dateline traipsed across the landscape.  The peacock also housed a total of 16 sitcoms with Thursdays continuing to burn red-hot for a 15th season in a row.  All the while Monday and Tuesday sitcoms struggled or met an unceremonious ending.

CBS had fewer sitcoms, as they bolstered their lineup with dramas and news.  ABC continued to attempt three blocks of sitcoms with only Tuesdays and Wednesdays experiencing success.  FOX's soaps all experienced rapid declines, with Melrose Place finally vacating after hooking up with the network for 7 seasons.  WB continued to experience surges due to the popularity of its dramas, while its sitcoms' greatest laugh generated from its paltry ratings.  And UPN struggled to distinguish itself as FOX and WB had done in recent years.

Downward Dog Canceled By ABC

After airing just six episodes, ABC has decided to cancel Downward Dog. The series follows the life of Nan as narrated by her dog, Martin. The series had a rough start, hitting a 1.1 after Modern Family on premiere night, but ended up doing well for its timeslot premiere. Unfortunately, it fell to a 0.7 against an onslaught of competition the week after. Its most recent episode managed just a 0.6 in the 18-49 ratings. The series stars Allison Tolman, Barry Rothbart, and Samm Hodges as the voice of Martin. Samm Hodges, who is also the creator, broke the news on Twitter.

This was a correct prediction by The TV Ratings Guide. Here are the ratings below.

What do you think of the news? Are you sad that the series will not return? Are you a fan of the show? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Sporcle Off-Topic Quizzes of the Week- History Edition/Sporcle Contest Part 1

Welcome to the series premiere of the Sporcle Off-Topic Quizzes of the Week. Here' you'll find quizzes on anything from Movies to Science! This week's topic is one that I've long found fascinating: History. Let the games begin!

#1- Female U.S. Senators (Picture Click)
This first quiz is my personal favorite non-TV quiz I've ever made. While I'm fascinated by all of History and Politics, I'm particularly interested in the Senate. Women in Government is also an interesting topic to me, so I combined two of my interests with this quiz. While I'd love to take credit for the whole quiz, the idea to make it a "Picture Click" was the idea of Sporcle's history editor, needapausebutton. Without him, this quiz would look totally different.

#2- US Presidents
If you've only played one History quiz on Sporcle, this is likely the one. With over 7 million plays, this quiz is by far the most played History quiz on Sporcle. And in this case, quantity (of plays) does equal quality. It's a quiz that can be very easy if you're a history buff and very difficult if you don't follow the presidents very closely. Either way, you should be able to get a few answers.
My Score: 45/45

#3- Original UN Members
I'm no expert on the UN, and I really don't know very much about it. I don't even really know the current members, so this was a challenge for me. For some reason, it didn't strike me to just start naming any country until about halfway through this. Nevertheless, I still found this quiz interesting, and it gave a snapshot of the UN from way back in 1945.
My Score: 31/51

This is the first week of the Off-Topic TVRG-Sporcle Tournament. For each week, the number of questions you got correct on each quiz will be added up. The first place finisher receives 3 points for placing first, as well. This is the same scoring system used for the TV edition, which is posted once weekly on Sundays.

For those new to the Sporcle Quizzes of the Week, or those that need brushing up, to participate, just play all three quizzes and comment your scores on each.
Scores will be posted Wednesday.

Thanks for playing the Sporcle Quizzes of the Week! Make sure to participate in the original TV edition, every Sunday, only on TVRG.

TV Ratings 6/22/17: Boy Band a Little Pitchy, Gong Show Does Okay, The Night Shift Hits New Low (UPDATED)

It was a rough premiere night for ABC and NBC, both of which had some disappointing (but not entirely surprising) premieres for their shows. Let's start with ABC, which has Boy Band leading off the night. It basically flopped, starting with only 0.7. It lead into The Gong Show, which hold its own in a rough situation and pulled a 0.9. It's not a particularly strong number, but it'll likely be enough to get a renewal if it can stay around that number. It's not a very promising start, which doesn't give Battle of the Network Stars much hope. Hopefully it can do well, or ABC Thursdays aren't in for a good Summer. NBC debuted Hollywood Game Night's fifth season, as well as the Night Shift's fourth. HGN actually did respectfully with a 0.8. It's not a big number, but it's not too bad either. The Wall also returned, and it didn't go too well. It went fractional in its (admittedly pretty terrible) new timeslot. Behind it, the Night Shift debuted and immediately went below any number its done before. Fox (!) actually had the best night, with Beat Shazam remaining a very solid addition to the lineup with its 1.0 and Love Connection ticking up to a 0.9 after a brief downtick to 0.8. The CW and CBS were in repeats, with The Big Bang Theory again being the standout among the group of repeats.

Finals Update: Hollywood Game Night (+0.1) and The Wall (+0.1) adjusted up. Both repeats of Supernatural (-0.1 each) and a repeat of Superior Donuts (-0.1) adjusted down.
18-49 Rating/Share
Viewers (mil)
8 PM
The Big Bang Theory (R)


Hollywood Game Night (P)

Boy Band (Series Premiere)

Supernatural (R)
The CW
8:30 PM
Superior Donuts (R)
9 PM


Mom (R)

Supernatural (R)
The CW
9:30 PM
Life in Pieces (R)
10 PM
The Gong Show (Series Premiere)

The Night Shift (P)

MacGyver (R)

Sporcle TV Quizzes of the Week- Friends Edition/Sporcle Contest Season 2 Part 2 (UPDATED)

Welcome to the second week of the second season of the Sporcle Quizzes of the Week! It's Friends week, and all quizzes will be about the classic NBC sitcom. Let's get started!

1) 'Friends' and Family
We'll start with an easy one. This is about the families of the Friends, and you can probably play this without even seeing the show. It's a pretty fun quiz, and it reminds you of some of the great guest stars the show has had playing the family members of the iconic "Friends".
My Score: 20/20

2) The Ultimate Friends Quiz
This quiz has everything. Some of the trivia is really obscure, and some of it is common knowledge for a Friends fan. It was really fun to play, and was a real challenge, even for a huge Friends fan like myself.
My Score: 56/75

3) The One With the Guest Stars
This is a quiz that I made, focusing on some of the great guest stars from the course of the show's run.   Some of them have made iconic appearances, and some of them are more forgotten. Either way, it's a nice stroll down memory lane.

1- Good Behavior in Animal Kingdom, 124 points
2- JB, 116 points
3- Game of Thrones PT, 99 points
4- HV, 86 points
5- Miguens, 78 points
6- Full Boyle, 37 points

This is the second week of the 2nd TVRG-Sporcle Tournament. For each week, the number of questions you got correct on each quiz will be added up. The first place finisher receives 3 points for placing first, as well.

For those new to the Sporcle Quizzes of the Week, or those that need brushing up, to participate, just play all three quizzes and comment your scores on each.
Scores will be posted Friday.

Tournament Standings:
1 - Good Behavior in Animal Kingdom, 187 points
2 - JB, 179 points
3 - HV, 142 points
4- Game of Thrones PT, 99 points
5- Full Boyle, 89 points
6- Miguens, 78 points
7 - omabin, 58 points
8- Jovan, 57 points
9- Raph, 56 points
10- theratingsjunkie, 47 points
11- Reese, 20 points

Thanks for playing the Sporcle Quizzes of the Week! Make sure to come check out the series premiere of the spin-off, the Off-Topic Quizzes of the Week, TODAY, only on TVRG.

Off Topic - Week 5 (Summer 2017 Season)

It's Week 5 of Off Topic! Well, well, well...look what we have here?

See you in the comments, folks! 

ABC Moves Still Star-Crossed To Saturdays, De Facto Canceled

ABC has decided to move Still Star-Crossed to Saturdays at 10 after just one airing. This comes after its latest episode managed just a 0.3 in the 18-49 demographic despite having a strong Bachelorette as a lead-in. This means that the show has essentially been canceled since it's moving to a much lower-viewed night with no lead-in support. There's next-to-no chance it survives. Still Star-Crossed is a period drama produced by Shonda Rhimes and is a continuation of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. Here are the full ratings and projections: 

What do you think of this news? Are you a fan of Still Star-Crossed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

An Argument For And Against More Animated Shows

Most shows fall under one of three categories: comedy, drama, and reality. There are also many subsections; for example, there are plenty of family comedies and plenty of multi-camera/laugh track comedies. Another subsection is an animated comedy. However, there are only three of them, and all are on the same network. With all three--The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob's Burgers--having great seasons in 2016-17, should there be more animated shows on the air? Let's take a look at some of the reasons why there should and why there shouldn't be more animated shows on broadcast television.

Reason Why #1--Requires Less Of The Actors
With animated shows, the people behind the show still need to read through the script and perhaps provide their own feedback/improvisations. However, voicing an animated character alleviates the need for the voice actors to worry about keeping a straight face as they deliver a funny line, or about standing in the right place, forgetting their lines, etc.

Reason Why #2--The Actors May Come Cheaper
Due to the fact that animated shows typically require less of the actors (under the assumption they aren't also creators/executive producers), the actors may be cheaper than they would be in a live action comedy. This means that high-profile talent could likely be drawn in for a cheaper price.

Reason Why #3: Flexibility In Who Can Be An Actor
Let's take a look at Bob's Burgers: the Belcher family consists of two parents and three children. While three of the Belchers are female, there is only one female voice actor. Also, the three kids are voiced by adults, something that could not happen in a live action comedy. Furthermore, it allows for the characters to remain the same age for however long the writers wish. They can age the animated characters at any time, and occasionally show an episode or segment of the characters grown up like The Simpsons has done sometimes. This way, the characters will not age out of their personas before the writers are done telling their stories.

Reason Why #4: It's Something Different
One of the reasons why The Simpsons are yellow is that people who are flipping through the channels are bound to sample it due to its aesthetic differences from the competing shows--they're the only yellow family anyone has ever known. There are only three animated comedies on broadcast television right now, meaning the genre is far from oversaturation.

Reasons Why Not
Though the three animated shows on FOX are doing well for the network, there have also been many failed animated shows, including on ABC and NBC. Also, they take a very long time to produce and as such need to be renewed very early in the season, or simply do short seasons. Plus, networks would not appreciate having a new show that takes a ton of time to produce fail out of the gate.

Is It Feasible?
ABC's website currently has a new section called ABCd, with the 'd' standing for digital. They have numerous short episodes (about 5-10 minutes each) of shows in various different genres, all of which are presumably much cheaper than something you would find on broadcast television. What I learned by looking through those shows, though, is they have an animated show. Called Ginger Snaps, the show is specifically meant for an adult audience, but if they could get the rating down to TV-14, it will show that ABC is capable of airing animated shows. While there are no signs of that currently on CBS or NBC, it could be something to look into.

What do you think? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below!