Tiffany Haddish's 'Kids Say the Darnedest Things' Ranked 173rd Last Season – But CBS Revived It Anyway

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Tiffany Haddish’s ‘Kids Say the Darnedest Things’ Ranked 173rd Last Season – But CBS Revived It Anyway

The network, like all broadcast channels, needs year-round programming, and is banking on the “comedic genius” of Tiffany Haddish

CBS makes the darndest decisions. The broadcast network just brought back “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” reviving the Tiffany Haddish-hosted reboot after an unimpressive one-and-done run on ABC.

Studying primetime entertainment (so, no sports, news or specials) programs across both broadcast and cable, ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was (tied for) the 173rd highest-rated series with a 0.64 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen. That 0.64 excludes repeats and includes one week of (mostly) DVR viewing, and counts the 52-week September 2019-September 2020 television season.

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We also omitted any one-off show not coded as a special, requiring a two-telecast minimum to make our rankings.

All-told, our list topped 2,400 shows, which probably makes the “Kids Say” ranking look relatively solid. Don’t let the huge pool skew things too much — most of the lower-rated series are on channels you never heard of, and the majority of the shows on the list have a rating smaller than a 0.1.

ABC’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was tied at No. 173 with A&E’s “Live PD,” TLC’s “Unexpected: Tell All,” CBS’ Thursday edition of “Love Island,” NBC’s “Perfect Harmony” and ABC’s “United We Fall.”

One can certainly make a case that “Live PD” had the worst year of the bunch, but none of those are on Santa’s nice list, ratings-wise.

If you’re wondering if something called “My Feet Are Killing Me” on TLC was higher rated than “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” this answer is, yes.

You can see where this is going: “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was canceled by ABC in May.

So why is CBS going this route?

Well, the network, like all broadcast channels, needs year-round programming. And at CBS, alternative and reality programming is a priority, one network insider told TheWrap. There, they also appreciate Haddish’s star power and love the format’s (potentially) wide appeal.

Plus, it makes a bit more financial sense for CBS than it did ABC — guess who owns the intellectual property? It’s sure not Disney.

Finally, “viewers could use some levity,” the CBS insider told us. Can’t argue with that.

CBS is touting the move as a homecoming for the long-running format. It originated as a segment on the CBS Radio show “House Party” by Art Linkletter in 1945. He made it a regular segment between 1952-1969. CBS then made it a TV series hosted by Bill Cosby from 1998-2000.

“Few things have more universal appeal and humor than the unfiltered honesty of a child, and the comedic genius of Tiffany Haddish takes that to the next level. It’s great to have ‘Kids Say’ back on CBS and part of our expanding alternative slate for 2021,” Mitch Graham, senior vice president of alternative programming at CBS Entertainment said Thursday in a statement to media.

‘Kid Say the Darndest Things’ is produced by CBS Studios in association with Anvil 1893 Entertainment and She Ready Productions. Eric Schotz, Tiffany Haddish, Bellamie Blackstone and Ruth Rivin are executive producers.

CBS’ latest attempt at the I.P. will premiere sometime during the current 2020-21 season.

Tony Maglio