Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

To be honest FOX didn't do much to elevate the series finale of "Bones," but again props to the show and especially my pals Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan.
"The Voice" is in the inevitable decline of a show, which prompts this question from SH from the Masked Mailbox:
"Do you think 'The Voice' would be helped by only airing once a year like 'Idol'?"
I get asked that a lot. When we realized we were up to something with "American Idol," we decided immediately to air it once a year. We had the experience of ABC and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," where they ran the game show into the ground. I believe the decision to go once a year contributed to "American Idol's" long run of dominance before it started its inevitable erosion.
On the other hand, with a once-a-year strategy there were scheduling issues in that, whatever the schedule FOX announced in the fall, it had to be undone in midseason. It meant more shuffling than was good for certain shows.
It wasn't until "X Factor" that FOX would have a "spine" through the entire primetime season. Unfortunately that experiment did not last long.
Airing "The Voice" twice a year gives NBC a spine for its schedule. In addition, the fact that they change the talent helps to freshen up the show, and "The Voice" is more about the talent and the game show aspects than it is about the singers.
I'm pretty confident that, if NBC reduced "The Voice" to once a year, the replacement would underperform and probably cost them money and disruption to their schedule. That's why this talk of "Idol" possibly going over there would represent a smart way for them to cut back "The Voice" to once a year.
So, yes airing "The Voice" twice a season accelerates its decline, but the alternatives aren't that attractive.
Last night’s viewing:
- "Smackdown Live" (USA, live) Pro wrestling is my version of "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune."
- "The Americans" (FX, L+SD)
- "24: Legacy" (FOX, L+1) We just sit there, laugh and marvel at the absurdity of it all.
- "Girls" (HBO, L+2) An excellent episode in a wonderful final season.
My pal Mike Darnell is being honored tonight at the TV Academy and there's nothing more entertaining than that, so this may be a TV-free night.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The numbers for Tuesday include the end of a long-running series:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Voice (NBC) 2.1/8 9.98
NCIS (CBS) 1.6/6 14.04
New Girl (FOX) 0.9/3 2.19
The Middle (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.91
The Flash (The CW) 0.8/3 2.36
8:30 p.m. The Mick (FOX) 0.9/3 2.35
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.7/3 3.07
9 p.m. Bull (CBS) 1.3/5 10.84
Trial & Error (NBC) 1.0/4 4.56
Bones (FOX) – F 1.0/4 4.19
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.8/3 2.96
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) 0.6/2 1.64
9:30 p.m. Trial & Error (NBC) 0.8/3 3.37
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) – R 0.7/3 2.58
10 p.m. Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.4/5 6.61
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 1.1/4 9.18
People Icons (ABC) 0.5/2 2.17


“Bones” ended its 12-year run on FOX on an up note Tuesday night. The series finale scored a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.19 million viewers, both season highs for the show. “New Girl” and ‘The Mick” (0.9 each) were also up week to week.

“NCIS” (1.6) improved by 0.1 on its last episode, but that was it for gains on the broadcast networks.

“The Flash” scored a series-low 0.8 for The CW, down a tenth from last week. NBC’s shows were all down: “The Voice” fell a tenth from last week’s early numbers to 2.1, “Trial & Error” (1.0 and 0.8) dipped 0.2 and 0.3, and “Chicago Fire” slipped a tenth to 1.4.

CBS’ “Bull” held steady at 1.3, but “NCIS: New Orleans” was off a tenth at 1.1. “Legends of Tomorrow” was steady at 0.6 on The CW.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 1.4/5 0.9/3 0.7/3 0.7/3
Total Viewers (millions) 11.36 6.85 3.23 2.81 2.00


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/3, 2.0/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.3/2, 2.6/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/2, 1.4/4

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.3/5

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.0/3

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 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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