Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Whether "Riverdale's" number was a disappointment to The CW or not, it does raise some issues as to whether The CW made some assumptions about who would watch the show that did not pan out. Archie comics has been part of the culture forever, but does it have any relevance to younger viewers of The CW? Also the title did not help to draw a connection with the Archie brand. I liked the pilot. I felt it had more connection to "Pretty Little Liars" than to a re-imagining of the Archie characters. Oh well; The CW marches to it's own drummer.
Shonda's back. I got a question about whether certain showrunners can have too much power over a network. Simple answer: no. The whole point of broadcasting is to reduce the cost of failure and invest in success, and investing in the output of successful showrunners does that.
I have often used the term "a colonized hit" to describe the output of Dick Wolf ("L&O," "Chicago"), Don Bellisario ("NCIS") and Anthony Zuiker ("CSI"). These are valuable contributors to a network's success and allow a network to launch other shows behind those hits. These showrunners are always open to crossovers which boost ratings during sweeps.
Can these powerful showrunners sometimes force you to put some crap on your air? Sure, moreso in comedy, but they have earned that right.
Questions? I can be reached on my Twitter @maskedscheduler or email at

Next week I will talk about how schedulers still need to use repeats to get through the season.

Saw Garrison Keillor last night (Excellent) so not much viewing but managed to get in:

ROYAL RUMBLE this Sunday beginning the Road to Wrestlemania
Rumble winner will be one of three:
Braun Strowman
Baron Corbin
The Undertaker

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017

The numbers for Thursday include a couple of heavily anticipated premieres:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.6/9 9.52
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 1.6/6 9.31
Hell’s Kitchen (FOX) 1.2/4 3.98
Superstore (NBC) – R 0.7/3 2.80
Supernatural (The CW) 0.6/2 1.71
8:30 p.m. Mom (CBS) – R 1.2/4 7.14
Superstore (NBC) – R 0.7/3 2.37
9 p.m. Scandal (ABC) – P 2.1/7 7.67
My Kitchen Rules (FOX) 0.8/3 2.19
Mary Tyler Moore: Love Is All Around (CBS) – S 0.7/3 6.50
Chicago Med (NBC) – R 0.7/3 3.98
Riverdale (The CW) – P 0.5/2 1.37
10 p.m. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) 1.5/5 5.40
Pure Genius (CBS) – F 0.7/3 5.19
The Blacklist (NBC) – R 0.5/2 2.49


The return of the TGIT lineup to ABC gave the network a big boost Thursday night. “Scandal” premiered to a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49, down a good amount from last year’s opener (3.3) but up over last spring’s finale (1.8) and in line with its 2015-16 average. “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.6) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (1.5) each scored season highs.

The CW’s “Riverdale,” on the other hand, premiered somewhat softly. Its o.5 was in line with the debuts of the network’s other new shows this season, “No Tomorrow” (0.5) and “Frequency” (0.4), and well below most TV by the Numbers users’ predictions for the premiere. “Supernatural’s” 0.6 was even with its last episode of the fall.

CBS got just a 0.7 from the season finale of “Pure Genius,” tying its season low. A special about the life of Mary Tyler Moore also drew a 0.7. FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen” scored a 1.2, off a tenth from last week, while “My Kitchen Rules” was steady at 0.8.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 2.0/7 1.0/4 1.0/4 0.7/3 0.6/2
Total Viewers (millions) 7.53 3.08 6.64 3.02 1.54


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/4, 2.0/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R: 0.3/2, 1.7/4

12:35 a.m.

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

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.4/5

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 0.2/2, 0.8/3

: 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.

  • Stiff Competition Gives Riverdale A Soft Ratings Debut

    […] CW’s Archie Comics mystery/drama “Riverdale” had a soft debut on Thursday night. TV By the Numbers’ ratings report shows that “Riverdale” was watched by 1.37 million people and scored an […]


blog comments powered by Disqus