Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Sunday nights have come a long way from when I started in the business. Sunday and Monday were the highest HUT (Households Using Television) nights of the week, and the networks would aggressively program Sunday with big event movies and specials.
When I was in research in New York, on Sunday night I would walk my dog Bella through my neighborhood in Flushing and look in people's windows to see which of the three networks (and it was almost always one of the three) they were watching.
Brandon Tartikoff would often call me on Sunday night to get a read on my dog-walking observations. This was all before emails and texting. In his book "The Last Great Ride," Brandon talked about this and said that one day, he expected me to be arrested as a Peeping Tom.
I bring this all up as I look at the Sunday numbers in the untethered viewing era and I fondly remember one of the last of the biggest Sunday nights when the three networks were watched by over 95% of all sets in use.
Here was the schedule:
- NBC: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
- CBS: "Gone with the Wind"
- ABC: "Elvis" (John Carpenter directed TV movie)
I believe the order of finish was ABC, CBS, NBC.
I'm certain that the Household share for each of those movies was greater than last night's four net-share. We've come a long way.
Tomorrow: One of the last big Monday nights and the origin of NIGHT OF A THOUSAND LAUGHS.
The weekend schedule limited by activities to:
- Kansas/Oklahoma State (ESPN)
- "Modern Family" (ABC, L+3)
- "Fastlane" (WWE Network) Big disappointment
- "Riverdale" (CW, L+3) Masked Wife a big fan
- "Girls" (HBO, L+SD)
Lots of catch-up viewing this coming week.
Find me on Twitter @maskedscheduler
Question me at

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Sunday, March 5, 2017

The numbers for Sunday include a host of premieres and returns from hiatus:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
7 p.m. 60 Minutes (CBS) 1.1/4 10.64
Little Big Shots (NBC) – R 1.0/4 6.07
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 1.0/4 5.24
Bob’s Burgers (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.58
7:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (FOX) 0.8/3 1.79
8 p.m. Little Big Shots (NBC) – P 2.0/7 11.66
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 1.2/4 9.32
The Simpsons (FOX) 1.1/4 2.62
Once Upon a Time (ABC) 0.9/3 3.02
8:30 p.m. Making History (FOX) – P 0.9/3 2.19
9 p.m. Chicago Justice (NBC) 1.4/4 7.28
Family Guy (FOX) 1.2/4 2.45
Madam Secretary (CBS) 0.8/3 7.36
Time After Time (ABC) (9-11 p.m.) – P 0.6/2 2.53
9:30 p.m. The Last Man on Earth (FOX) 1.0/4 2.16
10 p.m. Shades of Blue (NBC) – P 1.0/4 5.23
Elementary (CBS) 0.6/2 4.25


A premiere- and return-heavy night brought a definite mixed bag in the ratings Sunday.

The season premiere of “Little Big Shots” led the night with a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC, down a good amount from the 2.9 for its series debut last year but in line with its Season 1 average. “Chicago Justice” (1.4) was off 0.3 from its midweek premiere but held up fairly well, putting up the night’s second-best rating. “Shades of Blue” (1.0) was also down considerably from its series premiere last year (1.9) but on par with where it ended.

At ABC, “Once Upon a Time” returned from hiatus to a 0.9, even with its last episode of the fall. “Time After Time” managed only a 0.6 for its premiere, putting it in second place among time-travel shows for the night.

FOX’s time-travel comedy “Making History” (0.9) fared slightly better, though it was below “Son of Zorn’s” average for the season. “The Last Man on Earth” (1.0) returned up slightly from its last episode.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” scored a 1.2 for CBS, also up a tick from its last episode. “Madam Secretary” and “Elementary” each dipped a tenth of a point.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 0.9/3 0.9/3 0.8/3
Total Viewers (millions) 7.56 7.89 2.13 3.33

: 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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