Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

For the past six or seven or whatever years, after watching all the network pilots, I would present the MASKYS, which is my attempt in an entertaining way to evaluate the crop of new network shows.
I hope to get my hands on this year's freshman class. There are sometimes obstacles. It's not easy screening 30+ pilots, but someone has to do it.
I thought I would share my very simplistic method for evaluating the shows. This is from my blog Revenge of the Masked Scheduler and was my intro to last year's MASKYS.
Overall I have a pretty good track record, and most MASKY winners get a renewal. Last year, I did have a few misses but got "Designated Survivor" and "The Mick" right. Nobody's perfect, although I'm close. So here is the post:
One of the greatest wrestlers of all time (in my humble opinion), Bret Hart, said that professional wrestlers can be evaluated on three characteristics:
• In-Ring Ability
• Appearance
• Mike Skills
It was that simple.
Evaluating broadcast TV pilots can also be reduced to three characteristics. Over my 35 years in the business, and having seen hundreds of pilots, I can pretty much tell whether something has potential by asking myself three questions:
• Quality: Pretty simple. Was it good, well-produced, cast right? Did it hold my attention? Were there people to root for or care about?
• Is it commercial: Can it attract a large, broad audience? That is important for the BUSINESS of broadcast television, which still relies, to a large extent, on ad sales. Is there more than a niche audience here.
• Sustainability: Is this a TV show or just a solid pilot? Can you see episode 50? Are there enough stories that can be told and characters whose journeys you want to follow? 
Pilots that hit this trifecta and hit it big are rare, and by no means am I saying that there aren't shows that have long, successful careers that come up short on one or more of these criteria. Clearly other factors come into play, but when you screen the pilots, hear the research and put together a schedule you need something other than your gut.
I have gone through many pilot seasons without seeing a home run on my network or the other nets. Once in a while the heavens do open, though. Since coming to FOX in 2000 these are the four pilots that exploded for me: "24," "Modern Family," "Jane the Virgin" and "Empire."
Hopefully I will get this year's pilots soon, and maybe there is a gem among them. Based on the trailers I'm a bit skeptical.
In other news, Masketeer RC responded to my ratings metrics chat yesterday and sent over the ratings for last season. I want to look at them and compare the L+SD and C3 ratings, which I said were most similar and I will get back to you with that tomorrow.
Last night Masked Wife and I slogged through half of the final four "The Leftovers." Two more to go. It's no "Smackdown Live," that's for sure.
Follow on Twitter @maskedscheduler, and the email is

The Masked Scheduler’s full post on the 2016 MASKYS is here.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Note: The CW was pre-empted in New York for baseball, which could result in greater adjustments than usual for the network.

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. America’s Got Talent (NBC) (8-10 p.m.) 2.6/11 12.18
NCIS (CBS) – R 0.7/3 6.79
Downward Dog (ABC) 0.7/3 3.61
Lethal Weapon (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.87
The Flash (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.14
8:30 p.m. The Middle (ABC) – R 0.6/3 2.68
9 p.m. Bull (CBS) – R 0.6/3 5.73
Black-ish (ABC) – R 0.6/3 2.31
The Mick (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.24
iZombie (The CW) 0.4/2 1.17
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) – R 0.6/3 2.17
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) – R 0.4/2 1.24
10 p.m. World of Dance (NBC) 1.9/7 8.52
48 Hours: NCIS (CBS) 0.5/2 4.80
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.5/2 2.06
10:30 p.m. Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) – R 0.5/2 1.69


“America’s Got Talent” and “World of Dance” carried NBC to a big ratings win Tuesday night. “AGT” scored a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49, matching the early number for last week’s premiere (it adjusted up in the finals), and increased its viewer count from 12.07 million to 12.18 million.

“World of Dance” fell half a point from its debut but still put up a solid 1.9 at 10 p.m., along with 8.52 million viewers. It’s likely to be the No. 2 non-sports show of the week.

“Downward Dog” (0.7) was even with last week on ABC. The CW’s “iZombie” is currently at 0.4 but may come down after factoring out a local pre-emption in New York. CBS got a 0.5 from “48 Hours: NCIS.”

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 2.4/9 0.6/3 0.6/3 0.5/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 10.96 5.77 2.42 1.56 1.15


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.8/4, 2.4/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.5/3, 1.4/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.6/7

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, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 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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