Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

When you look at the ratings for “important” shows on the broadcast networks, SHOTS FIRED appears to be holding up rather well.

Yesterday I told you about three pilots that were not picked up to series that I thought might have worked. Well here’s a tale of a pilot that WAS picked up to series, announced for mid-season 2003 but never aired. Once again, like CHAOS THEORY, it involves Kip Koenig (whom I have never met) and it was based on a concept I pitched at a management meeting. It was titled SEPTUPLETS.

I had been at FOX for about a year and in the summer of 2001 we had an off-site management meeting. Towards the end of the second day Gail Berman, my boss and President of FOX Entertainment had a pitch contest where we all had the opportunity to pitch her show ideas.

I was always obsessed with large families or big extended families as the foundation of a television show. It’s one of the reasons why MODERN FAMILY is one of my favorite pilots and a show that I have stuck with over the years. I was also interested in the price of fame and the fleeting nature of it.

So here was my pitch:

What happens to a family in the public spotlight for having a set of septuplets when the public fascination with them subsides? How does the family adjust to losing the fame and fortune? It was a dark premise. The parents were exploiting the kids and I even threw in an eighth older sibling.

For whatever reason I won the contest and Kip Koenig developed a pilot based on the pitch. One problem, SEPTUPLETS went from a brooding meditation on fame to a blue-sky soap about a family with seven kids living in their parents’ hotel somewhere in Hawaii. This was probably all for the best because turning SEPTUPLETS into a far more commercial pilot resulted in it being picked up for mid-season. It was announced at the upfront and, to be honest, I was pretty excited.

Sometime in the fall I found out that the show was not moving forward; typical shenanigans for FOX back at that time. Still, for a moment there, it was fun to fantasize of what might have been.

Busy day yesterday but got in
SMACKDOWN (USA L+1) SMACKDOWN definitely won the Superstar Shuffle.

I’m twitterable @maskedscheduler and reachable on the email at

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday include a small increase for a reliable FOX series:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 8.21
The Goldbergs (ABC) – R 0.9/3 4.14
Shots Fired (FOX) 0.9/3 3.6
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.15
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.89
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – R 0.9/3 3.62
9 p.m. Empire (FOX) 2.3/8 6.6
Modern Family (ABC) – R 1.0/4 4.01
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.9/3 4.99
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.15
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.69
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) – R 1.0/4 3.64
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.79
10 p.m. Designated Survivor (ABC) 1.1/4 5.33
Chicago PD (NBC) – R 0.8/3 3.95
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.8/3 4.99


Once again, FOX’s “Empire” led the ratings Wednesday night, ticking up one-tenth from its previous series low of a 2.2 to a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49. CBS’ “Survivor” followed behind with a 1.7 for the third week in a row.

ABC’s “Designated Survivor” won the 10 p.m. time slot as well with a 1.1, matching its rating from last week, and scoring its most-watched telecast since March 15. “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” grabbed 0.9 and 0.8 ratings with back-to-back episodes, steady with its numbers the week before, while “Shots Fired” held steady with a 0.9 on FOX.

Several other shows – including “Speechless” (0.9), “The Goldbergs” (0.9), “Black-ish” (0.9), “Law & Order: SVU” (0.8), “Arrow” (0.2), “Modern Family” (1.0), and “Chicago PD” (0.8) – all took the week off, resulting in some expected drops in their ratings.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.6/6 1.0/4 1.1/4 0.8/3 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 5.10 4.15 6.35 4.08 0.79


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – R: 0.5/3, 1.7/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R: 0.3/2, 1.7/4

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/4, 2.0/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.4/3, 0.9/3

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 0.2/1, 0.8/3

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4


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:Alex Welch

Alex Welch has been writing for TV by the Numbers since January 2016. In his off time he enjoys, rewatching old episodes of Game of Thrones and unironically singing along to ABBA. Every now and then, he even does them at the same time. He lives in Los Angeles.

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