Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Time for a Masked Mail question. TT has an interesting one:
"Do shows usually employ cliffhangers when the producers aren't sure if all the characters will be back the following season? Quite a few shows seem to use this, or at least it seems that way. How often do actors on long-running shows have to renew their contracts? My favorite show 'NCIS: Los Angeles' is entering its 10th season, so I'm assuming that all contracts are up for renewal -- which would explain the cliffhanger season finale they had."
Sure, there are occasions where a show may use the final episode to put a character's life in question. That was the case with "Lethal Weapon," and from your question, I guess "NCIS: LA" employed the same tactic. I question whether cliffhangers (like guest stars) really make a difference in the performance of a returning show. For a cliffhanger to really succeed, it has to go viral and pique the interest of occasional or non-viewers to a show. That was the case on "Dallas" with the "Who shot J.R." cliffhanger and the "Bobby in the shower" moment. By the way, "Jane the Virgin" pretty much pays homage to that moment in its season-ender, which is one of the best cliffhangers I have seen in a long time.
"The Simpsons" also paid homage to "Dallas" with its "Who shot Mr. Burns" cliffhanger. Soaps are the perfect vehicle for outrageous cliffhangers. Unfortunately, I don't think "Empire" ever got it right.
Regarding stars' contracts, I think initially there is a three-year deal in place, and then after that it's a negotiation between the studio, the network and the cast. It can often result in hardball, and I have been witness to some of them over the years where a deal was not made until the last minute. It can get pretty hairy.
Questions can go to and the Twitter is @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, June 18, 2018

The numbers for Monday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Bachelorette (ABC) (8-10 p.m.) 1.4/6 5.67
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 0.8/4 3.13
Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC) 0.7/3 3.20
Mom (CBS) – R 0.6/3 4.40
Supergirl (The CW) – F 0.5/2 1.79
8:30 p.m. Man with a Plan (CBS) – R 0.6/3 3.84
9 p.m. American Ninja Warrior (NBC) (9-11 p.m.) 1.0/4 4.23
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) – R 0.6/3 4.27
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) – R 0.5/2 2.17
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) 0.3/1 0.96
9:30 p.m. Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 0.90
10 p.m. The Proposal (ABC) – P 0.8/3 3.85
Elementary (CBS) 0.6/3 4.57


The season finale of “Supergirl” ticked up week to week, finishing in line with its season average.

The CW show drew a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, up from 0.4 last week and on par with its in-season average. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” was steady at 0.3.

“The Bachelorette” led the night with a 1.4 for ABC, even with last week. “The Proposal” premiered with a 0.8, up from “The Crossing’s” recent performance in the 10 p.m. spot.

“So You Think You Can Dance” rose a tenth to 0.8 on FOX as it scaled back to one hour. “American Ninja Warrior” (1.0) was off a tenth vs. last week, when it aired on Wednesday, and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” posted a 0.7.

“Elementary” was even with last week’s 0.6.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.2/5 0.9/4 0.7/3 0.6/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.06 3.89 2.65 4.32 1.36


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.6/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.4/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/3, 1.7/5

12:35 a.m.

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 0.2/2, 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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