Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

My scheduling senses tell me there may be something there in "The Mick."
It’s always fun when the president asks for time. At least it was a repeat laden night. Speaking of which ...
Yesterday I talked a bit about how many episodes of a series a broadcast network has to work with over the 52-week season. I just want to finish up this discussion by showing you the dilemma that a scheduler has with the limited number of originals.
The TV season starts in mid-September. We generally try to start out the season with about 10 originals; that takes us through the November sweeps. In December we try to put two episodes on prior to Christmas. We come into the new year with 10 remaining originals.
If you try to save eight originals for the February and May sweeps that leaves you with two originals (assuming a 22-episode order) for January, March and April. So if you wonder why certain times of the season feel repeat-heavy, it’s in the math.
Everybody thinks scheduling is the sexy job of putting shows in time periods, but the real challenge that a scheduler faces is in the management of the limited number of originals and in planning out the season to maximize their performance. Not as easy as it seems.
Last night’s schedule:
- "Gotham" (L+1)
- "New Japan Pro Wrestling" (L+4)
- Wisconsin/Illinois college basketball (Badgers lookin’ good)
- "Outsiders" (L+SD)
- "Bones" (L+28)
Questions? @maskedscheduler on Twitter or

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

The Supreme Court announcement-scrambled numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Supreme Court announcement (NBC) 1.2/4 5.87
The Flash (The CW) 1.1/4 3.04
Supreme Court announcement (CBS) 1.0/4 7.43
Supreme Court announcement (ABC) 0.9/4 4.69
Supreme Court announcement/”New Girl” R (FOX) 0.6/2 2.07
8:30 p.m. The Wall (NBC) – R 1.2/4 5.47
The Mick (FOX) 1.1/4 2.95
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.59
Kevin Can Wait (CBS) – R 0.7/2 4.29
9 p.m. The Wall (NBC) 1.4/5 5.55
Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials (CBS) – S 0.9/3 6.41
Bones (FOX) 0.9/3 3.74
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) – R 0.8/3 2.82
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) 0.7/3 1.80
9:30 p.m. The Real O’Neals (ABC) – R 0.6/2 2.20
10 p.m. This Is Us (NBC) – R 0.9/3 4.17
Bull (CBS) – R 0.6/2 5.65
Agents of SHIELD (ABC) 0.6/2 2.17


The Big 4 networks rearranged their schedules some to air the announcement of President Trump’s Supreme Court pick — but as the night was heavy on reruns anyway, there wasn’t a huge effect on ratings. As the announcement ran for about 17 minutes, numbers for the 8-8:30 slot are subject to change.

CBS drew the biggest total audience for the announcement at 8 p.m ET with 7.43 million, while NBC had the best 18-49 rating with a 1.2.

Among the originals on the night, “The Flash” rebounded some from its series low last week, improving two tenths of a point to a 1.1. “Legends of Tomorrow” rose a tenth to 0.7, helping The CW tie for second in adults 18-49 on the night, pending updates.

“The Mick” was also up for FOX with a 1.1, 0.1 better than last week. “Bones” held steady at 0.9. “The Wall” (1.4), airing outside its usual timeslot, fell 0.2 for NBC. CBS got a 0.9 from its annual “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials” special, and “Agents of SHIELD” matched last week’s 0.6 on ABC.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.2/4 0.9/3 0.9/3 0.8/3 0.7/3
Total Viewers (millions) 5.12 3.12 2.42 5.97 2.94


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.1/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.4/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/2, 1.4/4

12:35 a.m.

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.0/3

: 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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