Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Interesting that two of the broadcast networks aired movies against the Grammys. There is a long history of doing this. Movies once played a big part in the scheduling of a broadcast network, not so much today. I wrote a piece about scheduling movies on my blog “Revenge of the Masked Scheduler” if you want to check it out.
Surprised FOX didn’t hold its powder and save those original animated episodes to fight another day. They are precious.
I promised to follow up my discussion of promo scheduling with a little tale about the tease campaign for "Fringe," one of my favorite shows while I was at FOX. I brought "Fringe" up in the context of my dislike of tease campaigns that, for me, were a waste of our limited resources.
There was a decision by our marketing execs to make "Fringe" intriguing by never telling people what it was and, instead keep throwing out these bizarre images of deformities and biological anomalies. If you went on the FOX site to look for information about the show you needed to keep digging until you finally came to a page that described the show … if you were lucky.
When we were testing the print ads for the campaign there was one approach that showed our three heroes looking down at something, their faces showing fear and curiosity. The sky above them had some strange shapes. I felt that this gave the consumer some idea of what this show was … a team investigating weird s**t.
I was heading research as well as scheduling at the time so, although I was told not to test that print ad, I went ahead and included it among all the bizarre approaches. Not surprisingly it blew the other takes out of the water in terms of interest in sampling the show. Yeah, my boss was not happy with me, but it forced them to include that approach in the marketing campaign although the bulk was still spent on the unintelligible approach.
Moral of the story is if you see a promo or a print ad for a new show and you have no idea what the show is, it’s a good bet neither do the network executives.
Lots of TV viewing this weekend:
- "Impact Wrestling" (L+1 with A lot of fast forwarding)
- "Riverdale" (L+1 still crazy stoopid)
- "The Big Bang Theory" (L+1)
- "Modern Family" (L+2)
- "New Japan Pro Wrestling" (L+SD)
- "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" (L+SD)
- "Suits" (L+2)
- KU/Texas Tech (no such thing as a bad Big 12 game. If you don’t believe me check out KU/West Virginia tonight)
- "Homeland" (L+SD)
- "Girls" (L+SD Welcome back)
- Passed on the Grammys (recorded it) for "Elimnation Chamber" on PPV. Two belt changes … not a fan of either.
- "The Walking Dead" as soon as I post this. I like watching it in the morning.
Follow on Twitter @maskedscheduler

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017

The Grammy-dominated numbers for Sunday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. 60 Minutes (CBS) 2.4/9 12.64
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 1.2/4 5.81
Dateline (NBC) 0.8/3 5.36
Son of Zorn (FOX) – R 0.3/1 0.81
7:30 p.m. Grammy Red Carpet Live (CBS) 3.2/12 14.04
The Simpsons (FOX) – R 0.6/2 1.31
8 p.m. Grammy Awards (CBS) (8-11:30 p.m.) 7.8/22* 26.05*
The Simpsons (FOX) 1.0/3 2.45
Movie: The Blind Side (ABC) (8-11 p.m.) 0.9/3 3.88
Movie: Fast & Furious 6 (NBC) (8-11 p.m.) 0.7/2 2.46
8:30 p.m. Son of Zorn (FOX) 0.6/2 1.44
9 p.m. Family Guy (FOX) 0.9/3 1.92
9:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) 0.8/3 1.70

*Time zone-adjusted ratings.

CBS’ broadcast of the Grammy Awards Sunday rose ever so slightly from 2016 show. The 8-11 p.m. portion of the Grammys earned a 7.3 rating in adults 18-49 and just under 24 million viewers, The awards drew a 7.8 rating in in adults 18-49, up a tick from last year, and 26.05 million viewers, also up. It’s the biggest total audience for the Grammys since 2014. Last year’s awards, which aired on a Monday, had a preliminary 7.4 before adjusting up to 7.7.

FOX was the only other network to run a full slate of original episodes on the night, and it took a hit. “The Simpsons” (1.0), “Son of Zorn” (0.6), “Family Guy” (0.9) and “Bob’s Burgers” (0.8) all had season lows.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 6.2/19 1.0/3 0.7/2 0.7/2
Total Viewers (millions) 21.32 4.36 3.19 1.61

: 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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