Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

So, Mark Burnett and my buddy Mike Darnell sold a talent competition to CBS. The network has stayed away from this genre since two summers of "Rock Star," which I liked a lot. It seems to be a cross between "America's Got Talent" and Eurovision. If you have never seen Eurovision, you are seriously missing something. I'm sure you can find past years somewhere in the digital world.
A bit of Masked Mail to kick of the no-football weekend. First, a Twitter question from @LALupusLady:
"You mention networks trying to copy 'Friends.' Would you consider 'Happy Endings' a more modern homage that didn't catch on with audiences for whatever reason? I wish 'Happy Endings' was still on."
One of the executive producers of "Happy Endings" was Jamie Tarses, who was one of the key program executives at NBC during the Must-See TV era. Jamie went on to become president of ABC Entertainment at before becoming a supplier in her own right. So the pedigree of "Happy Endings" does have its roots in "Friends."
I think that "HE," which had wide support among the TV critics, suffered from being on a network (ABC) that was more known for its family comedies than for young-adult shows, which was more of an NBC genre. There was no real flow between "HE" and its lead-ins, but ABC stuck with the show in spite of the so-so ratings.
Jamie actually called me when I was at FOX looking for a new home for the comedy, but there was no place for it on our schedule. We all have a show like "Happy Endings" which we feel never got its proper due and should have been far more successful than it was.
This one is from CS, who ponders:
"In a recent column you said there are very few original ideas and most are variations of a theme. For example, the original 'Hawaii Five-0' (police officer show set in Hawaii) was replaced Thursdays at 9 by the original 'Magnum, P.I.' (private eye show set in Hawaii). And yes TV reviewers said the networks had run out of ideas. Hmmm? Should the reboot 'H50' be worried especially with the return of 'Magnum, P.I.'?"
I don't think so. CBS will keep "Hawaii Five-0" until it's not in their financial interest to do so. Friday is such a tough night that having this established show on the night (along with "MacGyver" and "Blue Bloods") is smart.
Hey, NBC has three shows set in Chicago, and during the MSTV era virtually all our comedies were set in New York City, so two shows in Hawaii is not an issue.
It's Friday, so may I recommend "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and "Jane the Virgin," both on The CW, as well as "High Maintenance" on HBO. All excellent ways to spend a non-Olympics Friday night.
Email me at, and my Twitter is @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

Note: NBC’s live Winter Olympics broadcast may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network in the final ratings.

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Winter Olympics (NBC) (8-11 p.m.) 3.4/13 14.53
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.0/8 7.30
Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (CBS) 1.4/5 5.60
The Four: Battle for Stardom (FOX) (8-10 p.m.) 1.3/5 4.03
Supernatural (The CW) 0.6/2 1.82
9 p.m. Scandal (ABC) 1.1/4 4.63
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 1.0/4 5.58
Arrow (The CW) 0.4/2 1.30
9:30 p.m. Young Sheldon (CBS) – R 0.9/3 5.45
10 p.m. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) 0.8/3 3.26
SWAT (CBS) – R 0.6/2 4.45


The first night of Winter Olympics coverage on NBC easily led Thursday night’s ratings, but they were down some from the same night in 2014 and didn’t hurt the other networks too much.

Since the Olympics aired live across the country, the fast nationals above aren’t really accurate. In metered-market households, NBC scored a 9.3 rating/16 share, down from 11.8 four years ago (a drop of 21 percent, in line with non-sports primetime declines since 2014). Coverage on NBC Sports Network bumped the combined rating up to 11.1, 6 percent below the same night in 2014.

Some other shows were down, but not a huge amount: “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.0) and “Scandal” (1.1) were each off o.3 vs. last week on ABC, and “How to Get Away with Murder” (0.8) fell two tenths of a point. At CBS, “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” came down 0.4 from its Wednesday premiere to 1.4.

“Supernatural” and “Arrow” were both steady with last week for The CW, as was the finale of “The Four” on FOX.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.4/13 1.3/5 1.3/5 1.0/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (millions) 14.53 5.06 4.03 5.19 1.46



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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