Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

It's a Masked Mailbox day, and SP has a head-scratcher about "The Orville":
"I was wondering if you might be able to provide some context as to why FOX cut the Season 1 finale of 'The Orville' with the intention to paste it into next season? I understand that this isn't new for FOX and it is likely/certainly a scheduling decision, but 'The Orville' is taking a break [this] week that could be utilized so the entire Season 1 order would fit this season. Also, why do this with just one single episode? That seems wasteful to me, unless of course it isn't."
A lot of scheduling is simply a counting game, and I have to assume that given FOX's plans for Thursday night moving forward, they found themselves with the extra episode. They probably also did not want to air it on Thanksgiving night, which can be an uncertain night for ratings. Also by moving the episode to next season, they can carry the cost of the episodes over, which may help them with their bottom line this season. It gives Season 2 a longer run, unless they cut next year’s order, which, with them, is possible.
EC is also confused. Here is his cry for help:
"I missed 'Ghosted' on Sunday and caught up with it via on demand. When selecting the episode, I noticed it went from episode 5 on Nov. 12 to episode 7 last night. I know networks sometimes show episodes out of order and FOX is especially infamous for doing it. But why?"
All networks will shift the air order for a series, generally to push up episodes that they feel are better and may help get more viewers hooked on a series. This is easier to do with episodic series, but I have to believe that it has been done with serialized shows as well.
Once in a while the subject matter of an episode may become problematic because of event going on in the real world, and a network will choose to rest the episode for a few weeks to let whatever is happening die down a bit.
Airing episodes out of order is more common in the first season of a show as a series is trying to find itself.
Send those emails to and tweet me @maskedscheduler. I have a special Thanksgiving tale tomorrow.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

The numbers for Tuesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Voice (NBC) 1.7/7 9.29
NCIS (CBS) 1.4/5 12.49
The Middle (ABC) 1.3/5 6.03
Lethal Weapon (FOX) 1.0/4 3.91
The Flash (The CW) 0.8/3 2.17
8:30 p.m. Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) 1.1/4 4.30
9 p.m. This Is Us (NBC) 2.5/9 9.29
Dancing With the Stars (ABC) (9-11 p.m.) – F 1.3/5 9.17
Bull (CBS) 1.1/4 8.95
The Mick (FOX) 0.7/3 2.16
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW) 0.5/2 1.49
9:30 p.m. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) 0.6/2 1.67
10 p.m. Chicago Med (NBC) – P 1.3/5 6.22
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 0.9/4 7.93


“Chicago Med” opened its third season by giving NBC a bit of a ratings bump Tuesday night.

The show drew a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49, a little above last season’s average (1.2) and ahead of the 1.0 “Law & Order True Crime” averaged in the time period earlier in the fall. NBC comfortably led the night in adults 18-49 despite both “The Voice” (1.7, -0.3) and “This Is Us” (2.5, -0.1) being down week week to week.

The finale of “Dancing With the Stars” scored a 1.3, down from both of last season’s finales (1.8 in the fall and 1.4 in the spring). It’s down about 17 percent overall from the fall 2016 edition. (It was up a little in viewers vs. the spring 2017 finale.) “The Middle” (1.3) and “Fresh Off the Boat” (1.1) were both even with last week.

“NCIS” (1.4) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (0.9) were off 0.1 and 0.2 vs. last week for CBS. “Bull” was steady at 1.1. “The Flash” was also down a tenth for The CW at 0.8. “Legends of Tomorrow” and all of FOX’s shows matched last week.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.8/7 1.3/5 1.2/5 0.8/3 0.7/3
Total Viewers (millions) 8.27 7.83 9.79 2.91 1.83


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.6/4, 3.1/8

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/4, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.4/3, 1.8/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.4/5

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.3/5

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

: 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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