Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

We were talking about moving "This Is Us," but looking at the performance of "Big Bang" and "Grey's" maybe 8 is the new 9. Just a thought.
This may be the tipping point year for the broadcast networks. Ratings continue to deflate and, with all due respect, "wait for the live+7" seems so 2014.
With the exception of "This Is Us," the networks did not find a new scripted hit this season, and several of the heavy hitter like "Empire" and "Modern Family" are starting to fade.
The networks (with the exception of FOX) are relying on veteran reality competition shows to bolster nights.
The trend toward shorter episode orders means more disruption of the underlying schedule and more marketing money as more and more shows are being introduced.
The short orders, in my opinion, can often lead to some false positives as several shows do not have the time to settle into a realistic ratings level.
The barrenness of creativity is apparent in the revival of past successes (or even half successes) to fill spots on the schedule.
With all this going on, the networks will soon fly off to New York for their upfront presentations and the theme, like many years, will be some variation of "ignore the man behind the curtain."
There will probably be some mea culpa, possibly even pointing to the atypical election year and the drama at the cable news channels, but at some point a schedule will be displayed, probably more than one. Hopefully the nets will go light on the rationale. You can't have it both ways.
There will be a lot of talk this year about measurement -- a lot. This is very real in that the networks are confronted with a new challenge in tiny bundles. I will go over them on Monday, but the irony in all this is that the bundles will succeed because the network local station will be included in some markets and not all of the networks.
This is in its infancy in terms of both content and measurement and, oh yeah, there's a little thing called bandwidth.
More to come.
Last night's sked:
- "Total Divas" (E!, L+1)
- "Designated Survivor" (ABC, L+1)
- "The Leftovers" (HBO, L+4)
- "Empire" (FOX, L+1) My headache returned bigly after watching these three shows back-to-back-to-back. Also Josh from "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" showed up as a congressman on "Designated Survivor, singlehandedly raising the IQ of the House by 5 points. That says a lot.
You can follow me on Twitter @maskedscheduler and send emails to

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, May 4, 2017

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 2.4/11 11.88
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 1.7/7 6.87
Masterchef Junior (FOX) 0.9/3 3.21
Superstore (NBC) – R 0.6/2 2.49
Supernatural (The CW) 0.5/2 1.52
8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 1.6/6 8.83
Superstore (NBC) – F 0.8/3 2.95
9 p.m. Mom (CBS) 1.5/6 8.01
Scandal (ABC) 1.3/5 5.25
Chicago Med (NBC) 1.1/4 6.15
The Mick (FOX) (9-10 p.m.) – R 0.5/2 1.50
Riverdale (The CW) 0.4/2 1.00
9:30 p.m. Life in Pieces (CBS) 1.2/5 5.97
10 p.m. The Amazing Race (CBS) 0.9/4 3.99
The Blacklist (NBC) 0.8/3 4.81
The Catch (ABC) 0.6/2 2.97


“The Big Bang Theory” was once again low with an original episode Thursday, but a rerun of the show may have helped the rest of CBS’ lineup.

The original “Big Bang” at 8 p.m. drew a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, tying last week’s early number (it adjusted up to 2.6 in the finals). A rerun at 8:30 earned a 1.6, up from the 1.2 for “The Great Indoors” last week. In turn, “Mom” (1.5, +0.2 for a six-episode high), “Life in Pieces” (1.2, +0.1) and “The Amazing Race” (0.9, +0.2) all improved.

“Riverdale” (0.4) rose a tenth of a point vs. last week for The CW with the revelation of Jason Blossom’s killer. “Supernatural” was even at 0.5.

“Scandal” (1.3) dipped a tenth vs. last week on ABC. “Grey’s Anatomy” was even with last week’s preliminary 1.7 (it adjusted up in the finals), while “The Catch” 0.6 is even with its final number a week ago (but down from a preliminary 0.7).

The season finale of “Superstore” went out quietly, tying its season low at 0.8. “Chicago Med” ticked up a tenth to 1.1, and “The Blacklist” held at 0.8.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/6 1.2/5 0.9/3 0.7/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 7.10 5.03 4.56 2.35 1.26


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.9/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.7/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.5/7

12:35 a.m.

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

: 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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