Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

This past Sunday's epic battle between the live "Christmas Story" on FOX and ABC's annual showing of "The Sound of Music" reminded me that "SOM" was on NBC when I came out to Burbank to do the scheduling.
NBC was halfway through a 20-year deal to air the film once a year. Although the ratings were pretty good, they were starting to decline, as the film was available on other home video platforms.
I often talk here about the lack of showmanship on television today (it's there, just not that often), and we tried a couple of gimmicks to boost the ratings. We letterboxed the musical numbers, which was something networks rarely (if ever) did at the time. We had Julie Andrews and other cast members host the movie, and one year we did a sing-along. I honestly don't remember if any of these gimmicks goosed the ratings, but there was always a lot of fun in trying things.
As our deal for the movie was coming to an end, 20th Century Fox wanted the movie back a year early so that FBC could air it. We agreed to give it back, but in return, we got additional runs of "Home Alone," which we ran around Thanksgiving for several years.
Fun times.
You can email me at and tweet me @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Voice: Recap (NBC) 1.4/6 7.86
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (ABC) – R 1.0/4 4.25
A Home for the Holidays with Josh Groban (CBS) – S 0.6/2 5.14
Lethal Weapon (FOX) – R 0.6/2 2.63
Movie: Big Game (The CW) (8-10 p.m.) 0.2/1 1.03
8:30 p.m. Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (ABC) – S 0.9/4 3.38
9 p.m. The Voice (NBC) (9-11 p.m.) – F 2.0/8 10.84
The Year: 2017 (ABC) (9-11 p.m.) – S 0.8/3 3.84
NCIS (CBS) – R 0.5/2 5.01
The Mick (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.38
9:30 p.m. Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (FOX) – S 0.4/2 1.31
10 p.m. Bull (CBS) – R 0.4/3 3.88


The finale of “The Voice” scored an easy ratings win Tuesday night, but it fell short of the fall 2016 closer.

The finale drew a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49, half a point behind the fall 2016 finale’s 2.5 (the latter aired a week earlier last year). Tuesday’s show narrowly beat the spring finale, which scored a 1.9.

The night was otherwise light on original programming. The ABC News special “The Year: 2017” earned a 0.8, and “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice” preceded it with a 0.9.

CBS’ annual “A Home for the Holidays” special scored a 0.6. FOX’s special “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas” — which for some reason aired at 9:30 p.m. ET — came in at 0.4.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/7 0.9/4 0.5/2 0.5/2 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 9.85 3.83 4.68 1.99 1.03


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.7/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/3, 1.6/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R: 0.3/2, 1.9/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.5/4, 1.5/5

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 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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