Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Last week HBO announced that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the producers of "Game of Thrones," would be working on a new opus, "Confederate." As best as I can understand it, "Confederate" is an alternative-history drama in which the South won the first Civil War, and the series follows the events leading up to the third Civil War. Given the passion of those (myself included) who consume "GOT," the reaction was fast and visceral.
I quickly tweeted out that I would probably pass on watching this and probably will, but at least I will try to understand what the show is and possibly reconsider at some point. HBO wisely got the producers, along with their partners in this project, to sit down for an interview with Joe Adalian at vulture.com. It's well worth the read.
On Tim Goodman's podcast "TV Talk Machine," he questioned why HBO would go out with the announcement when they will be at TCA (the TV critics' semi-annual press tour) in two weeks. He thought it was a mistake. I totally disagree.
Everyone at HBO knew that this would be controversial on a variety of levels, and by going out with the announcement before TCA, it allowed them to test the waters and be ready to respond to any concerns that the TV writers may have.
Tim also wondered if "Confederate" is ever going to really happen of it HBO will shut it down. Trust me they won't. These guys have earned this, and it will get on the air at some point.
I have two concerns, neither of which have to do with the appropriateness of the project or whether the talent both on front of and behind the camera will best reflect all perspectives on this posited world.
My first concern is that as the world keeps changing, the interest in and appetite for a show like this will evolve as well. What sounded like a good idea today might be far more off-putting in the two years or so that it will take to get this project of the air. "House of Cards" and "The Man in the High Castle" are two recent examples of this.
My second concern is that I believe that this will inevitably be compared with "GOT." To be honest, when I heard the words "the impending next Civil War," the first thing that jumped into my mind was "Winter is coming." I'm sure this story will be told through families, because that's the best television, and there are so many characters on "GOT" that we will surely find them again in this tale.
Again, I don't know if all this will result in anything approaching "Game of Thrones," but it is exciting that television can still generate such passion and tens of millions of viewers will consume something over such a short period of time.
Twitter is @maskedscheduler, and email is masked.scheduler@gmail.com.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, July 23, 2017

Note: NBC’s live NASCAR coverage will likely result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Sunday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. NASCAR overrun (NBC) (7-9 p.m.) 1.1/5 5.92
60 Minutes (CBS) 0.7/3 7.31
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) – R 0.7/3 4.53
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.3/1 0.83
7:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.4/2 0.92
8 p.m. Big Brother (CBS) 1.8/7 6.05
Celebrity Family Feud (ABC) 1.1/5 6.09
The Simpsons (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.24
8:30 p.m. Family Guy (FOX) – R 0.6/3 1.36
9 p.m. Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC) 0.8/3 4.29
Candy Crush (CBS) 0.5/2 2.39
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly (NBC) 0.5/2 2.71
American Grit (FOX) 0.4/2 1.13
10 p.m. The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC) 0.8/3 4.28
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge (NBC) – F 0.5/2 1.91
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – R 0.4/2 3.26

 

Sunday’s ratings were largely a repeat of the previous week’s, with “Big Brother” earning a fairly comfortable victory among adults 18-49.

“Big Brother” drew a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic, even with the previous week. Several other originals were also steady with last Sunday, including all of ABC’s game shows and “American Grit” (0.4) on FOX. “Candy Crush” took another hit for CBS, falling three tenths of a point to 0.5. It’s lost more than half of its premiere rating in the subsequent two weeks.

An unusually long, caution-filled NASCAR race on NBC ate up two hours of primetime. “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” is currently at 0.5, pending updates, as is the first hour of the “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge” finale. “Spartan” ran until midnight ET.

Network averages:

CBS ABC NBC FOX
Adults 18-49 rating/share 0.9/4 0.8/3 0.8/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 4.75 4.80 4.11 1.10

 

Definitions:
Rating
: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. 
Share (of Audience): 
The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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