You can always count on Bill Carter at the New York Times to be surprised by numbers that aren’t a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to them.

Yesterday’s article is no different. In it he’s surprised by ratings declines in the Spring!

In the last few weeks, new viewership lows for network series have been recorded nightly among 18- to 49-year-olds, the group that still commands the highest advertising prices.

The declines have not discriminated. The bad news has been the same for hits, like ABC’s “Modern Family,” which had its lowest rating for the season (4.0 or about 5.2 million viewers)

NYT Newsflash! Modern Family hits adults 18-49 season low* in week 31!

Alert for those paying attention! Modern Family hit a season low in week 31 last season as well!

And this season’s low (4.1 rating) was higher than last season’s low (3.8), but that doesn’t fit the nonsense narrative that Carter’s pitching (“mysterious” decline in broadcast viewership, unfounded speculation as to why) so it’s conveniently omitted!

Here’s a helpful guide to readers (& NYT writers):

Now you can be a veritable TV Ratings Indiana Jones in unraveling the mysteries before the New York Times!

Update: Joe Flint does better research on the history of Bill Carter being “surprised” than I do.

* Not counting the Wednesday Thanksgiving Eve show which is designated as a “special” and is typically the lowest rated episode of ABC’s Wednesday shows each season. Next December NYT headline preview: Third Wednesday In November Sees Mysterious Decline In ABC Ratings! What’s Going On?

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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