Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

I'm done with "Puzzle TV." I stuck with "The Leftovers" because the Masked Wife felt it was "intriguing," but by the end even she felt it was a waste of our time. I'm walking away from "Westworld" and "Legion." I gave both of them a season to convince me that there was really something beyond the confusion and self-indulgence. I didn't even bother with the return of "Twin Peaks." I wasn't alone. "True Detective" and "The Affair" did not hold me beyond Season 1.
Sometimes I think the people who do Puzzle TV are laughing at us for thinking there's something there when there is no there. I gather there was some teaser for the new season of "Westworld" that was trolling the fans of the show.
Puzzle TV are shows where the point of the show is that there really isn't a point, and it's up to the viewer to figure out what the hell is the point of it all. These shows are generally non-linear, which generally adds to the confusion. For me, that seems like a lot of work with no real payoff.
Puzzle TV is very popular among the TV intelligentsia. These shows generally get far more attention than their ratings justify, and podcasts are often devoted to them. Puzzle TV has become an industry. It's rare that someone shouts out, "The emperor has no clothes" with these shows.
I'm in no way encouraging those of you who enjoy these shows to rethink things, but I'm out. Give me a well-told story with intriguing characters. I'm through with the gimmicks and the tricks.
Harry Anderson passed. For four seasons, "Night Court" followed "Cheers" during NBC's first cycle of Thursday night dominance. I was in research and still living in New York at the time, and we had a miniature schnauzer named Bella. "Night Court" was the show where I walked Bella so I could get back for "Hill Street Blues" or "LA Law." This was a time of pre-DVR viewing. The problem was that "Night Court" was so funny that Bella would have to wait until 11 p.m. for her final walk of the night.
"Night Court" inspired me to coin the phrase "walked the dog show." The notion was that on a four-comedy, one-drama night, you had to select a show that you would pass over so you could walk the dog. I got a lot of mileage out of that notion.
RIP, Harry Anderson.
It's and @maskedscheduler on Twitter for questions and comments.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Roseanne (ABC) 3.4/15 13.01
The Voice (NBC) 1.5/6 8.21
NCIS (CBS) 1.1/5 11.27
Lethal Weapon (FOX) 0.7/3 3.51
The Flash (The CW) 0.6/2 1.87
8:30 p.m. Alex, Inc. (ABC) 1.2/5 4.85
9 p.m. Bull (CBS) 1.1/4 10.69
Black-ish (ABC) 1.1/4 4.14
Rise (NBC) 0.8/3 4.31
LA to Vegas (FOX) 0.6/2 2.04
Black Lightning (The CW) – F 0.5/2 1.69
9:30 p.m. Splitting Up Together (ABC) 1.0/4 3.62
New Girl (FOX) 0.6/2 1.72
10 p.m. Chicago Med (NBC) 1.2/5 6.21
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 0.8/3 8.39
For the People (ABC) 0.6/2 2.10


The season finale of “Black Lightning” held steady for The CW Tuesday night. “Roseanne” was also steady for ABC, but a tryout of “Alex, Inc.” afterward didn’t go so great.

“Black Lightning” drew a 0.5 rating among adults 18-49, even with last week (and the seven episodes before that). “The Flash” was also steady at 0.6.

“Roseanne” scored a 3.4, even with last week’s fast nationals (it adjusted up in the finals). “Alex, Inc.” followed with a 1.2, up from its last Wednesday airing (0.9) bet well behind the 1.9 for “The Middle” in the spot last week. The softer lead-in also drove down “Black-ish” (1.1, -0.2) and “Splitting Up Together” (1.0, -0.2). “For the People” held at 0.6.

“The Voice” (1.5) fell three tenths of a point vs. its last regular airing two weeks ago (last week was a clip show). “Rise” stayed at 0.8 for NBC, and “Chicago Med” rose a tenth to 1.2.

“NCIS” hit a series low 1.1 on CBS, and “Bull” (1.1) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (0.8) were each down a tenth from their last episodes. “Lethal Weapon,” “LA to Vegas” and “New Girl” all dipped a tenth vs. last week for FOX.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 1.1/4 1.0/4 0.7/3 0.6/2
Total Viewers (millions) 4.97 6.24 10.12 2.69 1.78


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.6/4, 3.5/9

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.7/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/3, 1.5/4

12:35 a.m.

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.5/5

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.3/3, 0.9/3

: 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.

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    […] shows, all of them in the first hour of primetime, adjusted up in adults 18-49 from Tuesday’s early ratings to the finals. “Alex, Inc.” (1.3), “NCIS” (1.2), “Lethal […]


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