Television is now a couple of weeks into 2022, with some of the biggest shows on the broadcast networks already getting back into swing after paying off on midseason finale twists. By now, fans have had the chance to both tune in to their returning favorites as well as check out the shows like Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star that are launching new seasons, and series like CBS’ Good Sam that are premiering for the first time. So, we have a couple of weeks of ratings data by this point to look at and raise some questions about 2022 moving forward.
For these questions for the week of January 9, let’s look at the Live+Same day numbers in the 18-49 age demographic, which are the totals for ratings and audience size one day after the live broadcast. Even though delayed data after three and seven days is quite valuable, the Live+Same give away just how much of a priority viewers are giving to particular shows over others. And on that note, let’s start with a show that isn’t quite crushing its competition!
Does Good Sam Need A New Time Slot On CBS?
CBS got into the medical drama game in 2022 with the premiere of Good Sam, starring Chicago P.D. veteran Sophia Bush as the titular Sam. Although CBS gave the new show a big push before its premiere and medical dramas reliably deliver solid numbers in primetime, it’s not holding up compared to the competition in the 10 p.m. ET time slot on Wednesdays, which includes Bush’s former NBC show. ABC, CBS, and NBC all aired new episodes on January 12, and these were the Live+Same totals (via SpoilerTV):
- Chicago P.D./NBC: 0.7 rating and 5.8 million viewers
- The Chase/ABC: 0.3 rating and 2.15 million viewers
- Good Sam/CBS: 0.2 and 2.4 million viewers
In the previous week, Good Sam beat The Chase in both ratings and viewership, but came in second this week in the ratings, and the ABC show is closing the gap in audience size. Good Sam is unlikely to topple Chicago P.D. short of a P.D. rerun, and it’s possible that airing up against Sophia Bush’s old show isn’t ideal for the medical drama. CSI: Vegas, which is a crime drama that held CBS' 10 p.m. time slot against P.D. in the fall, got off to a stronger start in October with its 4.12 million and 0.46 rating.
Good Sam had a less impressive launch on January 5 with an audience of 2.7 million and 0.3 rating, and didn’t pick up Live+Same steam in its second week, indicating that it won’t be serious competition for P.D. on NBC and may remain neck and neck with The Chase, which is a game show. I can’t help but wonder if Good Sam simply doesn’t pair well The Amazing Race, which airs on CBS at 9 p.m. ET. It could theoretically do better paired with a drama, and perhaps airing earlier than 10 p.m.
As somebody who was surprised at the start of the 2021-2022 TV season to see CBS lead into NCIS’ new time slot with a pair of comedies, I could see a switch of Good Sam to Mondays at 8 p.m. ahead of NCIS, with The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola moved to Wednesdays. Both comedies are already strong performers and viewers could potentially follow the shows to Wednesdays, while Good Sam might stand a better shot on a night of dramas in an earlier slot. Medical dramas are hits on other networks, so there may be a way for CBS to pull it off as well.
Does The CW Really Need More Superhero Shows?
News broke this week that The CW is developing another superhero TV show, this time starring Arrow alum David Ramsey as John Diggle. As a former Arrow loyalist, I was happy to see that one of the heroes who help establish the entire Arrowverse could get his own show; upon looking at the ratings for The CW’s four superhero series that aired this week, however, I find myself doubting that the network really needs more superhero shows. Sorry, Digg!
The first superhero series to hit the network this week was Superman & Lois with its Season 2 premiere on Tuesday at 8 p.m., which (according to SpoilerTV) scored a rating of 0.23 and audience of slightly over 1 million. Those are actually pretty solid numbers for The CW, but also likely to drop off in non-premiere episodes. New series Naomi followed at 9 p.m., with a 0.14 rating and audience of 0.8 million, which is more on par with what solid CW shows deliver regularly. But again, that was a premiere, and numbers will likely drop next week.
And that brings us to the other two CW superhero shows of the week, which aired on Wednesday night. Legends of Tomorrow’s Season 7 midseason premiere hit a rating of 0.11 and audience of 0.56 million at 8 p.m., with Batwoman’s return at 9 p.m. faring worse (albeit not by much) with 0.08 rating and audience of 0.52 million.
Admittedly, these totals do leave off The Flash, which is currently the Arrowverse’s longest-running show with a Season 8 that averages a SpoilerTV rating of 0.17 and audience of 0.72 million. The Grant Gustin series won’t be back until March, but unless it gets a big boost, it won’t have the totals to give much of a ratings boost to the Arrowverse.
In the grand scheme of things, the Arrowverse's current slate just isn’t hitting the same kinds of numbers that it did in its heyday, and I’m not convinced that the solution is adding another show. Admittedly, Superman & Lois is one of the newest shows and also consistently among The CW’s higher-rated series, but can we expect less of a show starring the Man of Steel that doesn’t require an immense knowledge of the other shows?
I’m also not so sure that The Flash has many more seasons left, and the end of Flash after Supergirl and Arrow would mark the end of arguably the Arrowverse’s most prosperous era. A new show anchored by a series regular from the very first season of the Arrowverse with John Diggle has a shot, but I’m just not sure that The CW needs more superheroes.
Would it really be a ratings discussion without bringing up television’s biggest franchises? As of the beginning of 2022, we have NCIS (three shows), FBI (three shows), One Chicago (three shows) Law & Order (soon-to-be three shows), and Grey’s Anatomy/Station 19 (two shows). I’m leaving out The CW's Arrowverse as a franchise because… well, see above. Grey’s and Station 19 aren’t back yet in the new year, but the other numbers paint a picture of franchise supremacy.
The NCIS franchise is comprised of NCIS: LA, which won its most recent Sunday night in both ratings and viewership with 0.5 rating and 5.3 million viewers; NCIS, which had the largest audience size and some of the highest ratings in its most recent Monday night with 0.47 and 6.9 million; and NCIS: Hawai’i, following NCIS on Mondays to win the 10 p.m. time slot with 0.38 and 4.9 million.
All three FBI shows were new on Tuesday, January 11, and two of the three won their time slots. FBI started the night on CBS with 0.7 rating and 8.4 million viewers to easily beat the competition; FBI: International was the second-highest rated drama at 9 p.m., with its 0.5 rating falling beyond This Is Us on NBC, but International easily won in audience size with 6.2 million; and FBI: Most Wanted, taking CBS back to the top at 10 p.m. with 0.5 rating and 5.56 million, topping NBC’s New Amsterdam and ABC’s Queens.
And this brings us to NBC’s One Chicago on Wednesday nights, which is by far my favorite franchise block of primetime when it comes to ratings consistency. On January 12, Chicago Med dominated at 8 p.m. with 0.8 and 7.3 million; Chicago Fire crushed its competition at 9 p.m. with 0.8 and 7.4 million; and Chicago P.D. finished the night strong with 0.7 and 5.8 million.
And what of the two Law & Order shows on Thursday nights in the final weeks before the original returns? Law & Order: SVU got the night of January 13 off to a dark start even by SVU standards at 9 p.m., but was the top drama of the night with 0.6 rating and 4.1 million; Law & Order: Organized Crime followed at 10 p.m. to win its own slot with 0.5 and 3.1 million.
So, what does all of this mean? While NCIS is proof that a show that dominates in audience size won’t necessarily come out on top in the Live+Same ratings, and there are exceptions to the rule of franchises winning, shows with spinoffs (or that are spinoffs) tend to do very well for their networks.
The Law & Orders may be shaken up when Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 return to ABC in February, but the revival of the original Law & Order could bolster the NBC series’ numbers. And what’s not to admire about One Chicago’s consistency? Franchises tend to deliver some of the most reliable numbers across primetime, and that could mean more and more spinoffs.
NBC has had a hit in This Is Us from the very beginning, but the end is nigh with the the current sixth and final season. With current averages of 0.9 rating and 5.24 million viewers, it’s probably safe to say that it will continue dominating Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. until the end. But what does network TV have that could become the next This Is Us-sized hit?
Back when A Million Little Things premiered, it struck me as ABC’s answer to This Is Us, but never gained the same kind of ratings foothold. Currently in its fourth season, I can’t see A Million Little Things becoming the next This Is Us. I’m also not sure that I can see any current TV show filling that void.
The franchises that are slowly taking over primetime don’t fit into the same genre as This Is Us with its focus on character and family dynamics, and I’m not sure that any of the standalones can pick up enough steam. So, I think it’s time to start keeping an eye on news for new pilots and shows in development that could be the next biggest hit on television.
NBC is reportedly working on a revival of Quantum Leap, which would be a high-profile premiere, although even farther from the This Is Us genre than the likes of NCIS, FBI, and the Law & Orders. It’s worth also keeping an eye on the ratings in Live+Same day to show just how much fans continue to prioritize watching This Is Us.
Clearly, there’s a lot happening in 2022 when it comes to television already, and the winter season will just keep heating up once shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, and maybe even The Flash are back. Be sure to check back with CinemaBlend next week for more ratings breakdowns, and take a look at our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule for the TV dates you need to know.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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