Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

One of the problems with midseason series is that they often feel like stuff you find in the back of the refrigerator. "Superior Donuts" got the sampling but now has to go over to Monday and lead off an hour, so verdict still out.
So this Sunday night after the Super Bowl FOX brings back "24" as "24: Legacy." I enjoyed the first episode quite a lot. In fact it was the best drama pilot I saw last May (in my humble opinion).
With legendary shows like "24," we are always a decision or two away from going down a different path. I thought I would share with you a decision that we had to make about the final episode of the first season.
This is from a piece I did on the conclusion of the series for my blog, Revenge of the Masked Scheduler:
As the season was winding down we faced a pivotal decision ... whether or not to have Nina Myers (the first in a long line of CTU moles) kill Jack's wife Teri in the final episode of the season. As would be expected there were differing opinions. This show broke so many rules, how can we not end it in an unexpected and shocking way? Will fans of the show come back next season if we do not give them a satisfying upbeat ending?
Remember, "24" in its first season was, at its center, a family drama about Jack looking for his kidnapped daughter Kim. We shot two endings. We were in the scheduling room when [programming EVP] David Nevins said we needed to make a decision and lock the final episode. David, [network head] Gail (Berman) and I looked at the alternatives. I believe we went around the building and found some fans of the show and let them look at the alternatives. It was decided that, in the spirit of the show, Teri Bauer would be killed. I think that was the most pivotal decision in the history of "24."
I remember the night of the finale watching the episode at home with the Masked Wife. She was a huge fan of the show and she never wanted to know what was going to happen. I had no idea how she would react, but I respect her TV instincts (an excellent picker of hits on all the networks). The scene came on and I'm waiting for the explosion of outrage. She shed some tears, looked at me and said "Well that's the show." Jack was on his path and we had a hit on our hands.
I won't say how my colleagues voted, but the vote was two to one and I voted "kill." You can read the full post at
I was imparting my wisdom to a media class at Cal State Fullerton last night so my TV viewing was limited to:
- "Hell's Kitchen" (FOX, L+SD)
- "Training Day" (CBS, L+SD) Masked Wife wants to give it a second chance.
You can follow me on Twitter at @maskedscheduler and ask me questions there or at
I’m picking the Falcons.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017

The numbers for Thursday include three series premieres and decent retention for ABC’s TGIT lineup:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 3.1/12 14.55
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.3/8 8.44
Superstore (NBC) 1.2/4 3.99
Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) – F 1.1/4 3.69
Supernatural (The CW) 0.6/2 1.75
8:30 p.m. Superior Donuts (CBS) – P 1.9/7 10.61
Powerless (NBC) – P 1.1/4 3.08
9 p.m. Scandal (ABC) 1.8/6 6.57
Mom (CBS) 1.6/5 8.79
Chicago Med (NBC) 1.2/4 6.25
My Kitchen Rules (FOX) 0.7/3 2.20
Riverdale (The CW) 0.4/2 1.14
9:30 p.m. Life in Pieces 1.3/4 6.65
10 p.m. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) 1.3/5 4.69
The Blacklist (NBC) 0.9/3 5.00
Training Day (CBS) – P 0.9/3 4.73


One of Thursday’s three series premieres had a solid start. The other two, not so much.

CBS’ comedy “Superior Donuts” debuted to a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 coming out of “The Big Bang Theory” (3.1). That matches the debut for “The Great Indoors” in the same spot earlier in the fall, and its 10.61 million viewers were the second-most for a comedy series premiere this season, behind “Kevin Can Wait.”

NBC’s “Powerless” put up a 1.1 for its premiere, in line with recent episodes of “The Good Place” but 0.3 below the latter’s Thursday debut in the fall. CBS’ “Training Day” managed only a 0.9 at 10 o’clock.

Elsewhere, ABC’s TGIT lineup was down some from last week but still gave the network a win for the night. “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.3) fell 0.3 vs. last week, and “Scandal” (1.8) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (1.3) each dipped 0.2.

“Riverdale” drew a 0.4 for The CW, down a tenth from its premiere last week. “Supernatural” held steady at 0.6. NBC’s “Superstore” and “Chicago Med” (1.2 each) were in line with recent performances, while “The Blacklist” (0.9) was off a tenth from last week.

CBS’ other comedies, “Mom” (1.6) and “Life in Pieces” (1.3), were down 0.1 and 0.2 vs. last week.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/6 1.6/5 1.1/4 0.9/3 0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 6.57 8.34 4.93 2.94 1.44


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/4, 2.2/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.3/4

: 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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