Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Tough Sunday night, especially for ABC. This is a difficult night to get anything going in the second season, since January and February on Sunday are filled with sports and big events. By the time you get to March, it's daylight savings and the season feels virtually over.
"American Crime," although I am sure it's quite excellent (according to the critics), has never resonated with the audience and to me is an example of cable envy. Interesting to see what "Shots Fired" does on FOX this week, which all brings me to this: I want to finish answering MvW’s (from Finland!) question:
"How low will ratings have to go in general until network TV is no longer a viable business?"
Let me start with this:
In my opinion network television will continue to be a viable business. It had been evolving before I started back in 1980, and the evolution has accelerated over the 35+ years that I played a role.
Having said that, anything over a 2.0 rating in 18-49 viewers should be considered a hit in today’s environment. Shows in the 1.0-2.0 range are renewable depending on a variety of circumstances such as ownership, the creative strengths of the show and relationships. Anything under a 1 rating … well, more likely than not, should be canceled. Of course there will be exceptions.
This is all Live+Same Day because the relative strength of the shows does not change all that much with added viewing. As I have often said, the rich get richer and the poor get a little less poor.
When I was at NBC we were told that when the network average in adults 18-49 goes under a 6 rating there is no longer a business. That was almost 30 years ago. We blew through that number and networks continue to exist.
Tomorrow I'll talk about why that is the case.
My DVR is starting to fill up as this was NCAA Tournament weekend. With my daughter a Badger and a UCLA employee and my son a Jayhawk, this is going to be an exciting week.
Yesterday I did get a chance to watch:
- "NXT" (WWE Network)
- "Designated Survivor" (ABC, L+4) Another stupid funny show.
- "Girls" (HBO, L+SD) Excellent final season.
I take questions and comments on Twitter @maskedscheduler, and my email is masked.scheduler@gmail.com

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, March 19, 2017

Note: CBS’ live NCAA Tournament coverage could 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. NCAA Tournament overrun (CBS) 3.5/14 13.18
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 0.9/4 4.83
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.7/3 2.33
Little Big Shots (NBC) – R 0.6/2 4.75
7:30 p.m. 60 Minutes (CBS) (7:30-8:30 p.m.) 1.6/6 10.58
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) 0.8/3 1.95
8 p.m. Little Big Shots (NBC) 1.5/5 9.32
The Simpsons (FOX) 1.0/3 2.34
Once Upon a Time (ABC) 0.8/3 2.72
8:30 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) (8:30-9:30 p.m.) 1.2/4 8.99
Making History (FOX) 0.7/3 1.57
9 p.m. Family Guy (FOX) 1.1/4 2.37
Chicago Justice (NBC) 1.0/4 5.70
Time After Time (ABC) 0.4/2 1.78
9:30 p.m. Madam Secretary (CBS) (9:30-10:30 p.m.) 0.8/3 7.23
The Last Man on Earth (FOX) 0.8/3 1.95
10 p.m. Shades of Blue (NBC) 0.8/3 4.12
American Crime (ABC) 0.4/2 1.88
10:30 p.m. Elementary (CBS) (10:30-11:30 p.m.) 0.6/2 4.37

 

A pair of new shows, “Chicago Justice” and “Time After Time,” each suffered some ratings dips Sunday.

“Chicago Justice” is in better shape. It fell two tenths of a point vs. the previous week and scored a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49. “Time After Time” also dropped two tenths, coming in at a weak 0.4 for ABC. “American Crime” also posted a 0.4, down 0.1 from its premiere. “Once Upon a Time” was steady at 0.8.

“Little Big Shots” (1.5, -0.2) and the just renewed “Shades of Blue” (0.8, -0.1) also came down for NBC.

FOX was mostly steady for the night with a small downtick for “The Last Man on Earth” (0.8, -0.1) the only change from a week ago. CBS’ numbers are subject to change thanks to an NCAA Tournament game running into primetime, but “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.2) is currently up a tenth while “Madam Secretary” and “Elementary” are in line with last week.

Network averages:

CBS NBC FOX ABC
Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 1.0/4 0.9/3 0.6/2
Total Viewers (millions) 8.92 5.97 2.08 2.80


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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