Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Once again last night we see the importance of live events to the networks and why it is essential that a network hold on to these events.
At NBC, we had one of the two big country music awards shows, and ABC took it from us for something like 30-50K more in a bid. We were just being stubborn.
I spent most of the weekend watching WrestleMania-related stuff, including seven (yes seven) hours of WrestleMania yesterday ... and I live in California, where it was a perfectly beautiful day. Baseball started yesterday (going to Opening Day today) so the Mets will occupy a lot of my time ... and the DVR is filling up.
This morning I was listening to Alan Sepinwall’s podcast "TV Avalanche" and he was reeling off all the new shows coming in April including "Better Call Saul," "Silicon Valley" and "Fargo." I think I'm at overload.
It got me thinking that, at the end of the day, there are a few shows that I call the "unmissables." They are the shows that I have to watch immediately, either live, same day or the following day. Regardless of what is going on in my life or what else is on TV, they need to be consumed ASAP. They are the shows that elicit the most visceral reaction in me. They are my fix.
Here are my top five Unmissables (in order of unmissable-ness) that continue to air original episodes:
1. "The Walking Dead"
2. "The Americans"
3. "Game of Thrones"
4. "Silicon Valley"
5. "Better Call Saul"
"Fargo," "Jane the Virgin" and "Girls" would follow these five.
In terms of streaming, "Orange Is the New Black," "Happy Valley" and "Catastrophe" are consumed as soon as they are dropped.
I'm sure you have your list of Unmissables.
I recently wrote about upscale TV shows and I received a tweet from my pal @millsy11374, who claims to be a big shot reality executive at ABC. He wanted me to make the point that "The Bachelor" is a very upscale show. Reality has come a long way in terms of being accepted by advertisers. Remind me to tell you all about "Joe Millionaire."
With all the 'rassln' I still managed to get in "Jane the Virgin," two "Modern Family"s and "Girls."
Now I gotta go watch "The Walking Dead" season finale, and LET'S GO METS!
Tweets: I'm @maskedscheduler, and email me at

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, April 2, 2017

The numbers for Sunday have a whole lot of fractional ratings:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. 60 Minutes (CBS) 1.1/5 9.33
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) – R 0.9/4 4.71
Little Big Shots (NBC) – R 0.6/3 4.40
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.13
7:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) 0.7/3 1.52
8 p.m. Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS) (8-11 p.m.) – S 2.1/7 10.85
Little Big Shots (NBC) 1.2/5 8.49
The Simpsons (FOX) 0.9/3 2.08
Once Upon a Time (ABC) 0.8/3 2.81
8:30 p.m. Making History (FOX) 0.6/2 1.29
9 p.m. Chicago Justice (NBC) 0.9/3 5.82
Family Guy (FOX) – R 0.7/3 1.59
Match Game (ABC) 0.6/2 2.49
9:30 p.m. The Last Man on Earth (FOX) 0.8/3 1.75
10 p.m. Shades of Blue (NBC) 0.7/3 4.22
American Crime (ABC) 0.4/1 1.74


Sunday was not a pretty night for the broadcast networks, as only three programs managed to get above a 1.0 in adults 18-49. The season finale of “The Walking Dead” may have stolen some viewers in the 9 o’clock hour, but that doesn’t explain the fractional numbers everywhere else.

CBS’ broadcast of the Academy of Country Music Awards topped the night with a 2.1 and 10.85 million viewers, down a bit from last year’s 2.3 and 11.2 million. “60 Minutes” (1.1) and NBC’s “Little Big Shots” (1.2, down half a point from last week) were the only others above 1.0.

“The Simpsons” (0.9), “Chicago Justice” (0.9), “Once Upon a Time” (0.8), “Shades of Blue” (0.7) and “Making History” (0.6) all drew season lows. ABC had a minor bit of positive news as “Match Game” (0.6) provided a bit of an upgrade over the canceled “Time After Time” and “American Crime” (0.4) was up a tenth of a point from last week’s series low.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.9/7 0.9/3 0.7/3 0.6/2
Total Viewers (millions) 10.47 5.73 1.56 2.94


: 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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