Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Always dangerous to make a pickup decision on these late April shows like "Great News." You generally live to regret it.
Here are the scheduling boards that I have known and loved in my career.
When I arrived in Burbank to be Warren Littlefield's head of scheduling (side note: Warren's show "The Handmaid's Tale" drops today on Hulu), I noticed that I did not have a scheduling board in my office. There was a large board in Warren's office that we rarely used. The primary board was in the executive conference room a floor above us.
Through most of my career the scheduling board was magnetic, and the scheduling department was assigned the task of making the program tiles and updating the board. The original scheduling board consisted of only the three broadcast networks, so I upgraded it to include FOX. When the conference room was renovated, we added UPN and The WB to the new board.
When we renovated the conference room we made a miscalculation and moved the board next to the door leading up from the top executive office below so that whenever the board was opened and someone entered from the third floor, the door would crash into the board. We never did anything about that.
My assistant Kathy Farrell controlled the key to the board so it was opened when I was present. I was very protective of the schedule and considered it my third child.
When I went over to FOX, I had a large board in my office. I rarely used it, often to the consternation of my bosses, who would come in to talk scheduling, go to the board and see it was woefully outdated. I kept it all in my head.
We would schedule in Peter Chernin's conference room, and those were my favorite scheduling meetings for reasons I'll discuss in another column. At one point I convinced our CFO to let me create an electronic scheduling board. It was quite expensive, and when it was perfected, we discovered that it was too heavy for Chernin's wall. That board was never used and I got a lot of grief for that.
When Chernin left we needed another conference room for scheduling, and we would have building maintenance move the board in my office to the conference room and tape it to the wall. It would come close to falling down on a few occasions.
I gather today the scheduling boards at the networks are pretty high-tech. Coming soon I'll talk a bit about what happens in the scheduling room.
Yesterday's sked:
- "Smackdown" (USA, live)
- "Gotham" (FOX L+1)
- "Better Call Saul" (AMC, L+1) A show with Mike Ehrmantraut and MacGyver would be fun.
- "Jane the Virgin" (CW, L+1)

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Voice (NBC) 1.8/7 9.43
The Flash (The CW) 1.0/4 2.65
The Middle (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.94
NCIS (CBS) – R 0.7/3 7.20
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) 0.7/3 1.90
8:30 p.m. The Mick (FOX) 0.8/3 2.21
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.10
9 p.m. Great News (NBC) – P 1.2/4 5.22
Prison Break (FOX) 0.9/3 2.79
Bull (CBS) – R 0.8/3 6.64
Speechless (ABC) – R 0.8/3 2.78
iZombie (The CW) 0.4/1 1.06
9:30 p.m. Great News (NBC) 1.0/4 4.26
Imaginary Mary (ABC) 0.8/3 2.88
10 p.m. Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.3/5 6.81
48 Hours: NCIS (CBS) – P 0.7/3 5.31
Agents of SHIELD (ABC) 0.6/2 2.16


NBC’s new comedy “Great News” put up not-great — but also not-bad — ratings for its premiere Tuesday night. The two episodes drew 1.2 and 1.0 ratings among adults 18-49, not far off from the 1.4/1.0 for “Trial & Error” in March. “Trial & Error” also had a much bigger lead-in with a 3.4 for the finale of “This Is Us” vs. 1.8 for “The Voice” leading into “Great News.”

“The Flash” returned to The CW after three weeks off with a 1.0, up 0.1 from its last episode. “iZombie” also rose a tenth of a point to 0.4.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Mick” and “Prison Break” were all even with last week for FOX. ABC’s only originals on the night were down: “Imaginary Mary” (0.8) fell a tenth, and “Agents of SHIELD” (0.6) was off two tenths. “Chicago Fire’s” 1.3 was even with its last episode.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 0.8/3 0.8/3 0.7/3 0.7/3
Total Viewers (millions) 6.99 2.84 2.41 6.38 1.85


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

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/2, 2.5/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/2, 1.2/3

12:35 a.m.

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 0.2/2, 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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