Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Here are a few answers to some probing questions. This one is from AP:
"ABC has a packed midseason with 'American Idol,' 'Roseanne,' 2 Shondaland shows, 'Alex Inc.,' 'Splitting Up Together' and 'Deception,' not to mention the return of 'Quantico.' Granted ABC has the Oscars, how can they schedule all these shows and effectively promote all of them? Just seems way too much launch midseason, especially in the spring months."
For whatever reason winter has become the new fall for the networks, as they seem to save more and more product for a January (and beyond) launch. FOX, for example, has what I thought was the best pilot in "The Resident," and they saved it for midseason to take advantage of the NFL playoffs. They also have "The Four," "9-1-1," "The X-Files" and "LA to Vegas" on the runway in addition to the return of "New Girl," so ABC is not alone here.
ABC always seems to order more product than the other networks. What generally happens with them is that a few of these shows will be pushed to either very late spring (like "Downward Dog" last year) or summer, which was the case with that Shona Rhimes period drama.
Several of these shows ("American Idol" and "Roseanne") are pre-sold, so ABC will get a lot of help from the press in terms of promotion. There will be a lot of curiosity about both of them. They also have a pre-sold environment for a Shonda show, and "Deception" feels like something that can easily slip in behind "Idol." The comedies can plug some holes on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and if they flop there’s always repeats of the established shows.
One lesson you learn early in this business is you can't love all your children equally, and some of these shows will just fall through the cracks. If ABC can return "Idol" and "Roseanne" and get another 10 p.m. drama to work, that would be an accomplishment for midseason.
This comes from H, who wants to know, "New standards at FX and AMC allow F bombs in ad-supported programming. 'Fargo,' 'AHS' & 'Fear the Walking Dead' have all crossed that line this year with no apparent blowback. Thoughts? How do you think advertisers will react?"
"Fargo" and "AHS" air at 10 p.m., where the standards for language, even on the broadcast networks, are relaxed. ("Fear" airs at 9.) There's a joke that the difference between gratuitous violence and art is 15 share points. The same applies to language.
Advertisers know the environment for their ads before the show airs. There are screening companies who review the content for the advertiser, and the network will pull the ad out of any show at the request of the advertiser.
Basic cable nets like FX and AMC feel they need to relax language restrictions in order to compete with the premium channels. The networks are a bit more cautious because the licenses are held by the local stations, which are accountable to "community standards" and can have their licenses challenged.
We're not going to put the genie back in the bottle.
Question me at and follow @maskedscheduler on the Twitter.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, Dec. 4, 2017

Note: The ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh and NBC affiliate in Cincinnati pre-empted their regular schedules for “Monday Night Football.” Ratings for those networks may be subject to greater adjustments than usual.

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Voice (NBC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.9/7 10.04
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 1.2/5 7.68
The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) – P 1.1/4 5.61
Lucifer (FOX) 0.9/4 3.44
Supergirl (The CW) 0.5/2 1.76
8:30 p.m. Man with a Plan (CBS) 1.1/4 6.32
9 p.m. Superior Donuts (CBS) 0.9/4 5.50
The Gifted (FOX) 0.8/3 2.79
Valor (The CW) 0.2/1 0.99
9:30 p.m. 9JKL (CBS) 0.8/3 4.65
10 p.m. The Good Doctor (ABC) 1.7/7 9.41
The Wall (NBC) 1.0/4 4.75
SWAT (CBS) – R 0.6/2 3.70


“The Voice” and “The Good Doctor” were Monday’s top two shows, each of them matching their numbers from a week ago. For now, at least.

NBC and ABC each had “Monday Night Football” pre-emptions, so it’s not certain that “The Voice” will maintain its 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 or “The Good Doctor” its 1.7. Even with downward adjustments in the finals, however, they’ll still sit 1-2 for the night.

“The Great Christmas Light Fight” premiered to a 1.1 for ABC, pending updates. “Man with a Plan” was steady for CBS at 1.1, but “Superior Donuts” (0.9) and “9JKL” (0.8) each slipped a tenth of a point.

After last week’s crossover boost, “Supergirl” returned to its usual 0.5 on The CW. “Valor” was on its average at 0.2. FOX’s “Lucifer” was steady at 0.9, but “The Gifted” fell a tenth to 0.8.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.6/6 1.3/5 0.9/3 0.9/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 8.28 6.87 5.26 3.12 1.38


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.7/4, 2.0/5

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/3, 1.9/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 3.1/8

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.2/4

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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