Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

"The Mick" continues to build on its "New Girl" lead-in. There’s something here.
"Fresh Off the Boat" is having an outstanding season. It deserves a bigger audience.
Before we move on, I promised you two more stories about scheduling theatricals on broadcast networks. I'll start with "Tremors."
As I was segueing into the scheduling job at NBC, we were approached by Universal with a proposition to buy a package of movies that would bypass basic cable and premium channels and go directly to the network. This was in early 1991. The package consisted of two or three high-end movies like "Back to the Future Part II" and "Kindergarten Cop." We were given a list of about 15 or 20 movies and we had to select a set number from that list to fill out the package.
The art of these movie deals was to figure out which of the pack might get a rating. On the list was "Tremors," a comic monster movie with Kevin Bacon and Reba McEntire, among others. I wanted it but Don Carswell, the NBC CFO, and Lee Currlin, Brandon Tartikoff's scheduler, told me I was nuts so we made a bet on its rating.
I waited for the right opportunity and put it against two very female 50+ movies on CBS and ABC. The result was one of the top five movies in adults 18-49 for the entire season and the No. 1 movie in 18-49 men.
We did another direct-to-network package with Universal but the business was changing. A few years later I led the charge to cancel one of our two movie nights, but that's a story for another day. A brutal story.
Another obscure throw-in to a movie deal was "Quigley Down Under" with Tom Selleck. FOX had just "stolen" the Emmys from the three established broadcast networks. We were outraged at NBC, although in reality we were trying to get the exclusive rights for ourselves.
I was charged with "destroying" the Emmys so I did some competitive research on what might play well against it. We had some strong titles but the competitive research pointed to this rather obscure movie. We did our marketing testing and, like "Fried Green Tomatoes," the preponderance of the evidence pointed to this movie.
I presented my case and, not for the first time, was told the consequences of being wrong. We scheduled it and we either outrated the Emmys or came in a solid second. Either way, we did some damage and the show was again put in rotation among the four networks.
I miss those Sunday night chess games where the three established networks would play a big stakes chess match for the audience.
Yesterday's schedule:
- "Monday Night Raw" (USA L+1)
- "Smackdown Live" (USA LIVE)
- "Star" (FOX L+7) I’m pretty much out but the Masked Wife persists.
- "Fresh Off the Boat" (ABC L+SD)
- "Humans" (AMC L+1) Fun show; you should check it out.
- "Jane the Virgin" (CW L+1096) if you watch the show you’ll get the joke. They did an amazing thing last night which I’ll talk about more.
On Twitter @maskedscheduler
Got a question?

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017

The numbers for Tuesday show Valentine’s Day likely having an effect on several shows:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. NCIS (CBS) 1.8/7 15.05
The Middle (ABC) 1.5/6 6.25
The Wall (NBC) 1.4/5 5.73
New Girl (FOX) 0.9/3 2.14
Tough Mudder: The Challenge Within (The CW) – S 0.3/1 0.77
8:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.4/5 5.27
The Mick (FOX) 1.0/4 2.47
9 p.m. This Is Us (NBC) 2.4/8 8.97
Bull (CBS) 1.3/5 10.57
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) 1.0/4 3.64
Bones (FOX) 0.8/3 2.98
The Flash (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.71
9:30 p.m. The Real O’Neals (ABC) 0.8/3 2.89
10 p.m. Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.5/6 6.71
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 1.2/5 10.22
Agents of SHIELD (ABC) 0.7/3 2.17


Valentine’s Day is often a night of lower TV viewing than average, and that looks to be the case for several shows Tuesday.

“This Is Us” (2.4 rating in adults 18-49) led the night per usual but was down 0.2 vs. last week. Three of ABC’s four comedies — “American Housewife” (1.4), “Fresh Off the Boat” (1.0) and “The Real O’Neals” (0.8) — were off a little bit as well, while “The Middle” and “Agents of SHIELD” were even with last week. The CW opted for a special and a “Flash” rerun rather than airing original programming.

CBS was up week to week thanks to improvements by “NCIS” (1.8, +0.1) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (1.2, +0.2), which aired a two-part crossover. “Bull” held steady at 1.3. “Bones” ticked up a tenth to 0.8 on FOX, while “New Girl” and “The Mick” matched their numbers from last week.

NBC’s “The Wall” slipped a tenth to 1.4, and “Chicago Fire” was even with last week’s 1.5.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/6 1.5/6 1.0/4 0.9/3 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 7.13 11.95 3.73 2.64 0.74


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”: 0.6/3, 2.8/8

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/2, 1.5/4

12:35 a.m.

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.3/5

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