Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Some comedy questions from the Masked Mailbox. First up is CSJ, who wants to know:
"As someone who became a fan of 'NewsRadio,' I've always heard fans bemoan that because the show was moved around so much on the schedule, it could never gain a large audience. (I think I saw the number was 11 times in 4 years). I was hoping you would discuss this during your Must See TV series, but you only brought up 'NewsRadio' as being a solid comedy for NBC, which seems to contradict the reality of it being moved so often. Why was 'NewsRadio' moved around so much? Was there any spot where it did particularly well, and do you think the show could have done better with a more stable timeslot?"
NBC was so comedy rich (please, no sarcasm) during the MSTV era that it needed a show or two like "NewsRadio" to serve as a utility player, filling the satellite slots of 8:30 and 9:30. What you are hoping for is that you see something in the comedy's ratings that tells you it's more than a satellite show. We did give "NR" the leadoff spot on Wednesday for over a year.
When I look back at the scheduling of the show, it mostly lived on two nights -- Tuesday and Wednesday -- and back in the pre-DVR days, we felt that the MSTV audience was coming to stay for the four-comedy block. So as long as we had strong anchors and satellite shows held a reasonable amount of the lead-in, everybody was doing their job on the night.
Back then flow mattered, and being hammocked between comedies like "Mad About You," "Wings" and "Frasier" was not a bad thing. "NewsRadio" generally placed among the top 20 shows in 18-49s. Would "NewsRadio" have turned into a "Seinfeld" or "Friends"-like hit if it had a more stable history? I don't know. Would it have lasted five seasons had it not been protected surrounded by hit comedies? Probably not.
This one is from BZ: "Would love to hear your thoughts on the chances for the future of 'The Goldbergs' spinoff. Will airing the pilot [this] week lead to a pickup?"
Back in the day, networks would amortize the cost of "busted" pilots by airing the episodes generally in the spring and summer. That practice has vanished.
My understanding is this spinoff was passed on by ABC last spring. Far be it from me to know what's going on at ABC, but it's possible that Adam Goldberg (or his agents) are using the well- earned success of "The Goldbergs" to give the pilot another chance by positioning it as an episode of the show. It's also possible ABC has looked at their comedy development and discovered that they are short on family comedies or comedies with diverse casts, so they have decided to take another look.
I guarantee if the ratings are good, the agents will be on the phone to ABC first thing Thursday morning, because that's how it works.
Got more questions? Email me at, or on Twitter it's @maskedscheduler

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, Jan. 22, 2018

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Bachelor (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.8/6 6.32
Kevin Can Wait (CBS) 1.3/5 7.29
The Wall (NBC) 1.2/4 5.72
Lucifer (FOX) 0.9/3 3.78
Supergirl (The CW) 0.5/2 2.03
8:30 p.m. Man with a Plan (CBS) 1.2/4 6.64
9 p.m. Superior Donuts (CBS) 1.0/4 5.70
The Resident (FOX) 1.0/4 4.67
Better Late Than Never (NBC) 0.9/3 4.84
Valor (The CW) 0.2/1 1.05
9:30 p.m. 9JKL (CBS) 0.8/3 4.73
10 p.m. The Good Doctor (ABC) 1.7/7 9.49
Scorpion (CBS) 0.8/3 5.21
The Brave (NBC) 0.6/2 3.39


ABC captured Monday’s ratings crown again, as both “The Bachelor” (1.8 rating in adults 18-49) and “The Good Doctor” (1.7) held steady with last week. The network also won the night in viewers with 7.38 million.

“The Resident” moved into its regular timeslot at FOX and fell off considerably from its post-NFL debut Sunday. The show drew a 1.0, less than half the 2.6 it got Sunday night. “Lucifer” returned with a 0.9, up two tenths of a point from its last episode on Jan. 1.

“Supergirl” dipped a tenth to 0.5 on The CW; “Valor” put up its usual 0.2. At CBS, “Kevin Can Wait” and “Man with a Plan” were even with last week, but “Superior Donuts” (1.0) and “Scorpion” (0.8) each fell a tenth, and “9JKL” dropped two tenths to 0.8.

“The Wall” matched its 1.2 from last week on NBC. “Better Late Than Never” (0.9) and “The Brave” (0.6) each came down a tenth.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/6 1.0/4 1.0/4 0.9/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 7.38 5.80 4.22 4.65 1.54


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/4, 2.0/5

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/4, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.7/7

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.3/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 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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