Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Catching up on a question from CM, who writes:
"Why would ABC air a repeat of 'Splitting Up Together' after a new 'Modern Family,' just a day after its premiere? I don't remember that happening recently on any network. I guess they are trying to get more eyeballs on it with a good lead-in, but wouldn't they be better off premiering 'Alex Inc.' there? (I know, its home is at 8:30.) Does this show they have more faith in 'Splitting Up' than in 'Alex'?
This is an age-old dilemma for a network. If you premiere a show out of its regular time period, how do you promote the show when it moves to its weekly time period? I have had several arguments with our promo people about how to do it. For me it's more important to promote the show in its regular time period rather than the preview. You're previewing a show out of time period because you expect the inflated lead-in to drive people to the preview, and you're promoting a show out of time period because you believe its regular slot will not provide as much support.
Marketing execs like to take credit for the launch, so they often focus their promotion on the preview. I think what ABC did here was to acknowledge that it was more important to repeat the pilot episode of "Splitting Up Together" than air another original out of its regular slot or further confuse things by moving more shows around. That actually makes sense.
I don't think it was a reflection of their faith in either of the shows.
DS has concerns about "Designated Survivor":
"I know it's been a rough 2nd season for 'Designated Survivor,' but are the recent changes are a good idea? First his wife dies. Now Kim Raver shows up as a love interest, and the episode ends with a dirty bomb in the U.S. Do you think turning the show into '24' will help?"
"Designated Survivor" has never quite found its rhythm. The Masked Wife and I are regular viewers, but I am never quite sure what this show wants to be. It started out with an intriguing premise, and having Kiefer Sutherland as the president was enough to get us there. However, for me, I don't know whether the show wants to be "The West Wing" or "24," and as a result, it has never quite taken off. None of the characters are consistent, and there's not a lot of depth to them.
I'm sure there were reasons why his wife was removed from the show, but it really hasn't added much. Bottom line for me: When a show is almost through its second season and is still trying to figure out what it is, we have a bit of a problem here.
Questions go to, and the Twitter is @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, April 5, 2018

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 2.3/11 12.73
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 1.6/6 6.75
Superstore (NBC) 0.8/3 3.17
Gotham (FOX) 0.7/3 2.54
Supernatural (The CW) 0.6/2 1.87
8:30 p.m. Young Sheldon (CBS) 1.9/8 11.57
AP Bio (NBC) 0.6/2 2.28
9 p.m. Mom (CBS) 1.4/6 8.46
Station 19 (ABC) 1.0/4 5.12
Will & Grace (NBC) – F 0.9/4 3.60
Showtime at the Apollo (FOX) 0.6/2 2.68
Arrow (The CW) 0.4/2 1.37
9:30 p.m. Life in Pieces (CBS) 0.9/4 6.16
Champions (NBC) 0.5/2 1.95
10 p.m. Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.0/4 5.41
Scandal (ABC) 0.9/4 3.88
SWAT (CBS) 0.8/3 5.12


The finale of “Will & Grace” tied a season low in adults 18-49, and Thursday’s three top shows were off week to week.

“Will & Grace” ended its season with a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, even with last week’s season low. NBC’s other comedies all tied last week’s numbers as well, and “Chicago Fire” improved a tenth of a point to 1.0.

“The Big Bang Theory” led the night as usual, but is 2.3 was off a tenth from last week’s fast nationals (it adjusted up in the finals). “Young Sheldon” (1.9) also fell a tenth on CBS; the rest of the network’s lineup was steady.

At ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy” dipped a tenth to 1.6, and “Station 19” came down 0.2 to 1.0. “Scandal,” however, ticked up a tenth to 0.9.

“Supernatural” dropped a tenth to 0.6 on The CW, while “Arrow” matched last week’s 0.4. “Gotham” and “Showtime at the Apollo” held steady for FOX.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 1.2/5 0.8/3 0.7/3 0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 8.19 5.25 3.63 2.61 1.62


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/3, 2.1/6

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R (delayed by Masters golf highlights): 0.2/1, 1.4/4

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.3/4

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R (delayed): 0.1/1, 0.8/3


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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