Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Regarding Monday's thoughts on "The Conners," DCS among others commented:
"I do not see why you keep using 'The Hogan Family' as a case where replacing someone did not work. As 'Valerie's Family'/'The Hogan Family,' it ran for 4 more seasons and made a star of Jason Bateman."
You're right. It's on me, and apologies to the fans of the show.
Now EC wants to know:
"What was the deal with 'JAG'? And related, how seriously do networks consider other networks' canceled shows?"
Ever hear of the "Butterfly Effect," the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere?
I thought I would start off this answer by making sure you were all aware of the Butterfly Effect because "JAG" was the TV example of this phenomenon. When I was at NBC, we aired the series from Don Bellisario at 8 p.m. on Saturdays in the 1995-96 season. We were still transitioning from the Saturday comedy block anchored by "The Golden Girls," and we were trying out different formats on the night. Bellisario had served up one of my favorite NBC series in "Quantum Leap," and I'm sure this was developed in the hope that he would deliver another hit.
I honestly don't remember why we canceled the show after one season, although I am certain I had an opinion given my role as scheduler. It probably had something to do with the demographic profile of the show, which was likely 50+ and female. Also, the following season we went with three genre shows on the night -- "Dark Skies," "The Pretender" and "Profiler" -- so there was no spot for "JAG." I seem to remember that cancelling the procedural was a last-minute decision and possibly had something to do with the surprise testing on "The Pretender," which completed the "Saturday Night Thrillogy" (props to our marketing team for that one).
CBS picked up "JAG" for midseason in 1996-97, and in April 2003 aired a two-part back-door pilot that returned in the '03-'04 season as "NCIS," and the rest is history. CBS, which was always more of a big-tent network vs. the young, upscale, urban profile of NBC, saw the value of "JAG," and it ran for nine seasons on the Eye.
You can't look back in this business and not wonder what would have happened had we kept it. For "JAG," it probably wound up on the right network and had unimaginable benefits for CBS.
As for the second part of EC's question: Back in the 1980s and '90s discarded series were evaluated more in terms of whether they could fill a need on the schedule. I remember "Taxi" came over to NBC for a season as we were building a "quality" Thursday night.
Clearly networks and streamers seriously look at the "rejects" -- witness NBC salvaging "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and Netflix bringing back "Lucifer." I think the motivation has changed with the importance of ownership and the emergence of more and more platforms needing original product. For some platforms, grabbing a network series (such as "Nashville" on CMT) is a way to bring a pre-sold audience to the channel or service.
Networks also continue to look at rejected pilots. "The Mindy Project" came to FOX from NBC, and "Third Rock from the Sun" was developed and piloted at ABC.
Questions? Twitter? @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Monday, June 25, 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 5.75
Mom (CBS) – R 0.7/3 4.54
Running Wild with Bear Grylls (NBC) 0.6/3 3.28
So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) 0.6/3 2.79
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW) – P 0.3/1 1.33
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.) 0.9/4 4.36
Salvation (CBS) – P 0.4/2 3.34
9-1-1 (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.79
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) 0.3/1 1.11
9:30 p.m. Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.2/1 1.07
10 p.m. The Proposal (ABC) 0.8/3 3.65
Elementary (CBS) 0.5/2 4.00


CBS’ “Salvation” opened its second season to shaky ratings, tying a series low in adults 18-49. Several other shows also declined.

“Salvation’s” 0.4 tied a series low set twice last season; the premiere was behind last year’s series opener (0.7) and the season average of 0.5. “Elementary” (0.5) was down as well, falling 0.1 vs. last week.

“The Bachelorette” (1.4) and “The Proposal” (0.8) held steady and led ABC to No. 1 for the night.

NBC came in second, but “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (0.6) and “American Ninja Warrior” (0.9) each fell a tenth of a point vs. last week. “So You Think You Can Dance” fell two tenths to 0.6, its lowest mark of the season so far.

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway” each put up 0.3s for The CW.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.2/5 0.8/4 0.5/2 0.5/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 5.05 4.00 3.85 2.29 1.21


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.4/3, 1.6/4

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/3, 1.6/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.3/2, 2.3/6

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.0/4

“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.

  • ‘Ninja Warrior,’ other originals hold, CBS reruns adjust down: Monday final ratings – TV By The Numbers by

    […] of Monday’s original programs on the broadcast networks held at their initial adults 18-49 ratings in the finals. Reruns of “Mom” (0.6) and “Man with a Plan” (0.5) adjusted […]


blog comments powered by Disqus