Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

I’m not sure if "The Voice" is live yet, but assuming it is that's three networks with live events last night. Immediacy is becoming more and more important.
The Masked Mailbox is filling up so let's dive in.
"You just talked about how 'Frasier' skewed high in terms of demographics. What are shows that basically skewed towards undesirable demos (besides older people)?
"I've always heard that wrestling was one of those. - David"
I don't know if advertisers or network executives ever thought in terms of "undesirable" demos as we are always trying to reach the largest audience possible. Having said that, the big divide for quite a long time was between scripted and unscripted shows. That started to change as the ratings and quality of unscripted series started to rise with shows like "American Idol," "The Voice" and "The Amazing Race."
When we scheduled "Joe Millionaire" on a Monday night, replacing a failed David E. Kelly series called "Girls Club," my boss and I were taken to the woodshed by the big boys at FOX and were told that we were about to cost the corporation millions of dollars. Fast forward a few weeks, "Joe Millionaire" is a ratings juggernaut, and those same execs are calling asking if I could schedule a repeat of the Monday "Joe Millionaire" episodes on Thursday nights.
A good friend of mine in sales would always say that the difference between bad taste and art is 10 share points.
One of the high points of my career was meeting Vince McMahon when he came out to LA in the late '90s to pitch "Smackdown" to the broadcast networks. NBC considered itself the "chichi foo foo" network (my term), so whenever something like a wrestling pitch walked in the door, I along with John Miller, our head of marketing, were asked to take the meeting. We were considered the low taste guys.
I was really excited to meet Vince, and what was fascinating to me was that he brought his two kids, Stephanie and Shane, to the meeting. He never introduced them, but he was in the process of teaching them the business.
Vince made his pitch. He is a big, and at the time, 'roided dude. I sucked it in and told him that NBC had a very upscale network and that the audience for pro wrestling was not in line with our primetime profile. I closed my eyes and prayed that he wouldn’t level me.
I still remember his words: "F**k that. If your sales guys don't have the b**ls to sell this s**t, we'll buy the time and sell it ourselves." And that’s exactly what they did over at UPN.
Yesterday’s sked:
- "The Walking Dead" (AMC, L+1)
- "Monday Night Raw" (USA, live)
- "Homeland" (Showtime, L+1) Talk about ripped from today’s headlines. What a season!
- "Billions" (Showtime L+1)
@maskedscheduler is my Twitter handle, and e-mail can go to

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, April 3, 2017

Note: CBS’ live broadcast of the NCAA Championship may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 2.6/11 11.41
The Voice (NBC) (8-10 p.m.) 2.1/7 9.81
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.5/5 10.31
24: Legacy (FOX) 0.8/3 3.10
Supergirl (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.08
8:30 p.m. Championship Central (CBS) 2.6/10 9.25
9 p.m. NCAA Tournament Championship (CBS) (9-11 p.m.) 5.6/20 17.94
APB (FOX) 0.6/2 2.65
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.97
10 p.m. Taken (NBC) 0.9/3 4.88
Quantico (ABC) 0.6/2 3.22


CBS’ broadcast of the NCAA Championship game dominated Monday’s ratings: North Carolina’s 71-65 win over Gonzaga averaged a preliminary 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 and just under 18 million viewers.

Those numbers are likely to change a good amount in the finals as the game extended well past primetime. In metered-market households, the game’s 14.5/24 is up 21 percent from last year’s title game (which aired on TBS). It will likely come in behind the last CBS telecast of the championship in 2015 (which, to be fair, was an 18-year high).

Opposite the game, “The Voice” (2.1) and “Dancing With the Stars” (1.5) were both down week to week. Both were down 0.2 vs. last week’s early ratings (“The Voice” adjusted up in the finals while “DWTS” held).

“Taken” (0.9) and “Quantico” (0.6) each lost a tenth of a point from last week, as did “24: Legacy” (0.8) on FOX. “APB” matched last week’s 0.6.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 4.6/17 1.7/6 1.2/5 0.7/3 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 15.40 8.17 7.95 2.87 1.03


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/2, 1.7/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: n/a, delayed by NCAA overrun

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.0/4

“Nightline”: 0.2/2, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: n/a, delayed

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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