Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

CGC has a question about a long-running comedy:
"I always notice the ratings each week for 'The Middle' on ABC. The show is a big hit in both total audience and the demo. Are you surprised ABC is letting it go without a fight?"
"The Middle" has had a successful run on ABC, and I don't think that it was about putting up a fight to keep the show for another season. I'm sure ending "The Middle" was a mutual decision, and at some point, a show is just not generating profits for the network. "The Middle" has been on long enough where I have to believe ABC is paying close to the full cost of production.
With "Roseanne" returning and apparently becoming a major success, ABC could be having some second thoughts, but it's equally important that they develop another comedy or two with a "Roseanne"-like sensibility.
@prwilliford has a scheduling question regarding CBS:
"If you were scheduling CBS this year knowing the Monday comedy block was low-rated, would you have scheduled new originals of two of the Thursday shows during March Madness as anchors for a test run? So maybe they could've aired this: 'TBBT' - 'Superior Donuts' - 'Mom' - 'Living Biblically.'"
CBS has aired "The Big Bang Theory" on Mondays in the fall when it had NFL games on Thursday, so they have a pretty good idea how the show would do if CBS ever decided to move it over. Next year whey won't have to do this, given that the Thursday NFL package is now at FOX.
I am not a believer in "testing out" shows in other timeslots. I honestly don't think you learn all that much, and you may make a decision based on limited data.
Also, one of the benefits of the two weeks of NCAA basketball on Thursday night is to allow CBS to extend the number of originals of their Thursday shows. For them to use a few on Monday means more repeats on Thursday, which is still the most valuable night for advertisers.
MH has a question about an underappreciated show:
"Can you shed any light on the cancellation of 'The Finder'? Was it purely due to less-than-anticipated ratings, or were there other factors involved? I know Michael Clarke Duncan died shortly after the run ended, but I think the show was canceled before his death. It was such a quirky, enjoyable procedural with a really charismatic leading man and fun adventures; it seems to have an avid fan base in its afterlife on Netflix (though the show left that platform at the end of March)."
"The Finder" was developed by Hart Hanson, my all-time favorite showrunner, along with Stephen Nathan, the brains behind "Bones." I agree with you that this show was never really given a chance to succeed, and I think it was sort of a throwaway by FOX. The ratings were not stellar, but not a disaster either. Maybe with an additional order, "The Finder" could have grown into a serviceable show a la "Bones." I just don't think that there was ever a lot of support of this show. Like "Bones" and "House," these were not "FOX shows" in the minds of several execs there. They were just successful.
By the way, wherever it lands post-Netflix, check out the very end of the final episode -- yours truly is the mental patient dressed as Winslow Homer. Still don't know why I didn't get an Emmy nom for that one.
Email is, and @maskedscheduler is my Twitter handle.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Roseanne (ABC) 3.9/16 15.16
The Voice (NBC) 1.8/7 9.32
NCIS (CBS) 1.3/5 12.08
Lethal Weapon (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.84
The Flash (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.94
8:30 p.m. The Middle (ABC) 2.2/8 8.32
9 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) 1.5/6 5.42
Bull (CBS) 1.2/5 11.02
Rise (NBC) 0.9/4 4.54
LA to Vegas (FOX) 0.7/3 2.04
Black Lightning (The CW) 0.5/2 1.48
9:30 p.m. Splitting Up Together (ABC) 1.4/5 4.84
The Mick (FOX) – F 0.7/3 1.85
10 p.m. Chicago Med (NBC) 1.1/4 6.15
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 0.9/4 8.5
For the People (ABC) 0.8/3 2.82


“Roseanne” didn’t reach the heights of its premiere, but it was still Tuesday’s No. 1 show by a wide margin and still had a halo effect on ABC’s other comedies.

“Roseanne” delivered a 3.9 rating in adults 18-49, down 25 percent from the 5.2 for its return last week. “The Middle” scored a season-high 2.2 immediately after. “Black-ish” (1.5) fell from last week’s season-high 2.6 but was still well ahead of its average. “Splitting Up Together” came in at 1.4 (-0.7 from its debut). “For the People” dipped a tenth of a point to 0.8.

NBC’s shows improved week to week: “The Voice” (1.8), “Rise” (0.9) and “Chicago Med” (1.1) all ticked up a tenth. At CBS, “NCIS,” “Bull” and “NCIS: New Orleans” all matched their week-ago numbers.

The season finale of “The Mick” on FOX posted a 0.7, steady vs. last week, while “LA to Vegas” rose a tenth to 0.7. “Black Lightning” was also steady for The CW at 0.5.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/7 1.2/5 1.2/5 0.6/2 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 6.56 10.53 6.67 1.89 1.21


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/4, 2.0/6

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R: 0.3/2, 2.1/6

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 0.2/2, 1.0/4

: 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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