Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

AB has a beverage recommendation and a scheduling question:
"Greetings from Belgium. First, I really need to advise you to drink Belgian beer instead of that lemonade that is available over there. It's a whole new world of tastes to explore.
"My question: I think it's a sure bet 'This is Us' will move next season. It's capable of leading a night on its own. What are NBC's options? Giving Wednesday a pulse, but also breaking up a stable but low night. Or go to Thursdays, against 'Grey's' and 'Big Bang' claiming 8 p.m.? That would result in self-destruction (like 'The Blacklist'), but it's also the most profitable night of the week. I'm curious what you would do.”
AB, you will be happy to know that my beer of choice is Blue Moon (it's New Belgium, but close enough), so I hope that gives you more faith in my answer.
As you may remember, last May NBC announced that "This Is Us" was going to move to the 9 p.m. slot on Thursday night following two comedies. NBC positioned this night in the upfront as the return of "Must-See TV" with the return of "Will & Grace" also scheduled for the night.
That made a lot of noise and was a smart move by the network to reclaim a night that meant so much to them through the '90s. You may also remember that a week or so later, that night disintegrated as "TIU" was slotted back in its freshman time period of Tuesday at 9.
At the time I said I believed that the showrunner and the studio (20th Century Fox) must have pressured NBC to move the show back. You may remember that NBC gave the show a two- season order, and the studio must have freaked at damaging the show.
NBC gave some cockamamie reason for unscrambling the egg, but I have to believe that they had thought through this move and were forced to change their mind.
I remind you of this because I do not believe "This Is Us" will move out of its current time period. I think it both benefits from "The Voice" lead-in (although it outrates "The Voice") and can also serve as a foundation for a compatible 10 p.m. show. Unfortunately, NBC did not have a compatible show to pair with "TIU" at the start of this season, but I have to assume they have a few candidates for next fall.
Having said this, I will crack open a Blue Moon and give it further thought.
***
BS asks, "How did you deal with Sunday afternoon sports overruns at FOX and NBC?"
Sports overruns on Sunday are a royal pain. CBS has lots of them with football, golf and college basketball. They will not pre-empt "60 Minutes," so they "slide" their schedule and go beyond 11 p.m. on several Sundays. On the rare occasions that "60 Minutes" can't get on until 8 p.m., they usually pull the 10 o'clock show and run a repeat (if the pulled episode was scheduled as an original) for the West Coast.
Kelly Kahl, who is now CBS Entertainment president, and Noriko Kelly, who is head of scheduling over there, are very good at alerting viewers to the time shifts on Sunday, so follow them on Twitter.
At NBC, we would slide the schedule post-football. Our Sunday schedule included a movie, which made our ability to manipulate the schedule difficult. When we had two comedies in the 8-9 slot we would sometimes "jip" (join in progress) one of the comedies and run it in its entirety on the West Coast.
At FOX, we generally had a repeat animated show at 7 p.m. and would jip it. If we went beyond 7:30 with football, we would generally slide the remainder of the schedule. This was stressful and required that I be around Sunday afternoons to coordinate with sports. There were times I had Sandy Grushow (who was running the network) screaming at me on one phone while David Hill (FOX Sports chief) was laughing in my other ear and telling me they will get off when they were ready. Oodles of fun.
Finally, we resolved all this by creating "The OT," wherein Sports kept the air until 8 p.m. with a post-game show that expanded or collapsed depending on when the doubleheader game ended. On single-header weeks, we would go back to the strategy discussed above.
Needless to say, schedulers are not big fans of sports overruns.
Masked.scheduler@gmail.com is the email and @maskedscheduler is Twitter. Hit me up.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Roseanne (ABC) (8-9 p.m.) – P 5.1/21 18.16
The Voice (NBC) 1.6/7 8.88
NCIS (CBS) 1.3/5 11.77
Lethal Weapon (FOX) – R 0.5/2 1.88
The Flash (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.82
9 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) 2.6/10 8.71
Bull (CBS) 1.2/5 10.67
Rise (NBC) 0.8/3 4.48
LA to Vegas (FOX) 0.6/2 2.02
Black Lightning (The CW) 0.5/2 1.54
9:30 p.m. Splitting Up Together (ABC) – P 2.2/8 7.20
The Mick (FOX) 0.6/2 1.79
10 p.m. Chicago Med (NBC) 1.0/4 5.81
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 0.9/4 8.55
For the People (ABC) 0.9/4 3.58

 

The revival of “Roseanne” opened to big ratings for ABC Tuesday night — bigger than just about any non-sports show on the broadcast networks this season, in fact.

The show debuted to a 5.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 18.16 million viewers. Only the post-Super Bowl “This Is Us” had a better 18-49 rating this season. It also had a halo effect on the rest of ABC’s lineup, as “Black-ish” (2.6) was more than double its season average and “Splitting Up Together” premiered to a strong 2.2. “For the People” had its best showing to date with a 0.9.

“The Voice” (1.6, -0.5 vs. last week’s fast nationals) and “Rise” (0.8, -0.3) both took good-sized hits on NBC. “Chicago Med” (1.0, -0.2) was also down.

The other networks fared somewhat better. “NCIS” fell 0.2 from its last episode to 1.3 on CBS, and “NCIS: New Orleans” (0.9) came down a tenth but “Bull” was steady at 1.2.

“Black Lightning” held steady at 0.5 on The CW. “LA to Vegas” was even with last week’s preliminary o.6 (it adjusted up in the finals) for FOX, while “The Mick” came down a tenth to 0.6.

Network averages:

ABC NBC CBS FOX CW
Adults 18-49 rating/share 2.8/10 1.2/5 1.1/4 0.5/2 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 9.90 6.39 10.33 1.90 1.18

 

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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.6/3, 1.7/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 3.0/8

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – R: 0.5/3, 1.6/4

12:35 a.m.

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.3/2, 0.9/3

Definitions:
Rating
: 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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