Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

A week ago, I talked about getting a post NFC Championship hour for the networks. I looked back at what we put in there the first time we had the opportunity, and it was an audition episode of "American Idol." One year I wanted to put an episode of "Idol" on after the Super Bowl and go live with the selection of the final 10, but we could not get that to work out logistically. Oh well, but you gotta keep on thinking and not be afraid to have your ideas shot down.
Some Masked Mail today. First WQ has a question about the diminished ratings:
"Since the 18-49 ratings are so greatly diminished in just over the last half-dozen seasons, how do the networks even survive anymore? How do they convince advertisers it's worth
putting their money into a 7th place show with a 2.1 when, in 2010-11, the 7th place show earned a 4.4? How does The CW survive when 'Dynasty' scored an abysmal 0.2 this week for a first-run episode?"
Good question. For quite a while, the law of supply and demand was at work in the TV business. As ratings declined the CPM's (Cost per Thousand Viewers) would increase, and advertisers were willing to pay more for the diminishing supply of eyeballs. At some point, basic cable shows (with generally cheaper CPM's) were beginning to become more attractive as their ratings started to approach several network primetime shows.
Over the past several seasons, the way the 18-49 audience is aggregated with delayed viewing (C3 +C7 ratings), VOD and streaming has enhanced the traditional 18-49 rating, and the networks are still the best way to deliver large audience in a rapid fashion.
As I have said here before, network profits are shifting away from advertising as networks and their studios can monetize their programs in other ways. The CW owns their programming, and the network is in the business of building assets, with the selling advertising being secondary. Also, there continue to be attempts to sell audiences beyond the conventional demographic breaks and include psychographics and buying behavior into the equation.
LY has another CW question and simply asks, "Why doesn't The CW start their season at the same time as the other networks?"
Maybe my pal the great Kevin Levy (@TV_Levy) over at The CW can provide some insight, but I'm pretty sure it's their attempt to avoid the insanity of premiere weeks and start their season after the dust has settled. It also gives them more episodes for the rest of the season, so they can have some originals when the other guys are sometimes in repeats. At least that's what I think.
Always happy to answer your questions, so send them to You can follow me on Twitter @maskedscheduler.
P.S. I did something stupid and deleted several Masked Mail questions, so if you have emailed me in the past few weeks and I have not answered your question, send it again.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, Jan. 29, 2018

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Bachelor (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.7/6 6.29
Kevin Can Wait (CBS) 1.2/5 7.18
The Wall (NBC) 1.1/4 5.42
Lucifer (FOX) 0.8/3 3.62
Supergirl (The CW) 0.6/2 2.09
8:30 p.m. Man with a Plan (CBS) 1.1/4 6.56
9 p.m. Superior Donuts (CBS) 1.0/4 5.79
The Resident (FOX) 0.9/3 4.68
Better Late Than Never (NBC) 0.9/3 4.79
Valor (The CW) – F 0.2/1 1.12
9:30 p.m. 9JKL (CBS) 0.8/3 4.81
10 p.m. Scorpion (CBS) 0.9/4 5.75
The Good Doctor (ABC) – R 0.8/3 5.01
The Brave (NBC) – F 0.7/3 3.90


Two of the season’s three military dramas ended their seasons Monday night, and both of them scored ratings on par with last week.

“The Brave” drew a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 on NBC, even with last week. It was up a bit in viewers (3.9 million vs. 3.4 million a week ago). “Valor” closed out on The CW with a 0.2, in line with its season average.

“The Bachelor” (1.7) led the night in adults 18-49, dipping a tenth of a point vs. last week. CBS “Kevin Can Wait” (1.2) and “Man with a Plan” (1.1) were down a tenth as well, but “Scorpion” ticked up to 0.9. “Superior Donuts” and “9JKL” were flat.

At FOX, “Lucifer” (0.8) and “The Resident” (0.9) each dipped by a tenth. “Supergirl” rose a tenth to 0.6 for The CW. At NBC, “The Wall” was down a tenth at 1.1, and “Better Late Than Never” equaled last week’s 0.9.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 1.0/4 0.9/3 0.9/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.87 5.97 4.70 4.15 1.60


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.8/8

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

12:35 a.m.

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4


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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