Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Happy 420!
Some questions from the Masked Mailbox. First, CD writes:
I've often wondered how the four major broadcast networks feel about shows like "The Walking Dead," "Love & Hip Hop," "Real Housewives," "Flip Or Flop," "Chrisley Knows Best" and others scoring blockbuster ratings that should make any of them envious. Why don't any of them try to make a run at any of these shows with instant built-in audiences ? Surely they all have more money than any of their cable counterparts. Couldn't NBC easily move "Chrisley Knows Best" over from USA? How do you think these shows would fare on broadcast television? Not as good -- or even bigger?
Good question. First, several of these shows are on channels owned by the parent company of the broadcast network, and the show is more valuable on its current channel in terms of subscriber fees.
Second, there are often standards and sales issues that a network has to deal with that a cable channel does not. Remember a network is made up of local stations. Also the ratings for many of these cable hits are still below those of the broadcast networks. They just get more attention.
Having said that, the broadcast networks often air episodes of cable shows to help promote those shows. When I was at FOX I aired episodes of "It's Always Sunny…" and I pitched airing "The Shield" over the summer.
Here’s one from MVH:
With cancellation rumors spreading for shows with deep back-stories like "Blindspot" and
"The Blacklist," I'm curious about the level of concern that networks have for not leaving viewers hanging. For instance, "Lost" definitely got to plan their finale, but "Revolution" abruptly ended, even though the final moment foreshadowed bigger things to come. Do the "suits" even consider viewers when making decisions?
Yes we do, and we often tell the showrunner not to leave the season finale so open-ended for that very reason. This is especially true of freshman series. This is the risk we take with highly serialized shows. To be honest, a showrunner may purposely leave the finale open-ended in order to pressure a network to renew a show.
Every show is somebody's favorite, so we will always be disappointing some segment of the audience but don't feel we were happy doing it.
Finally I was asked if I would ever be a cord-cutter.
Well, I subscribe to Hulu, Netflix and the WWE Network, but I still have DirecTV which I need for authentication. I am still not convinced that cord cutting will reduce my TV consumption bill but would love to be proven wrong. I still believe we are moving to an app-based world.
Keep those cards and letters coming in on Twitter @maskedscheduler and email
Yesterday's sked:
- "Smackdown" (USA, L+SD)
- "Better Call Saul" (AMC, L+2)
- "Riverdale" (CW L+7) why I don’t know
- "Fresh Off the Boat" (ABC, L+1)

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday include a whole lot of reruns:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) (8-10 p.m.) 1.7/7 7.84
The Goldbergs (ABC) – R 1.0/4 4.08
Shots Fired (FOX) 0.8/3 3.17
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.35
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.15
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – R 0.9/4 3.53
9 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.9/4 4.79
Modern Family (ABC) – R 0.9/4 3.85
Empire (FOX) – R 0.8/3 3.08
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.18
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.47
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.10
10 p.m. Designated Survivor (ABC) 1.0/4 5.05
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.8/3 4.78
Chicago PD (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.30


A two-hour edition of “Survivor” delivered steady ratings Wednesday night, and on a night filled with reruns — only four shows were originals — that was more than enough to lead the evening.

The CBS show drew a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, right in line with its average this spring. “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (0.8) was even with last week.

FOX’s “Shots Fired” also held steady at 0.8, and ABC’s “Designated Survivor” drew a 1.0, currently up 0.1 from last week’s final number.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 0.9/4 0.8/3 0.8/3 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 6.82 4.17 4.48 3.12 1.15


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”: 0.5/3, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.7/5

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.0/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.3/2, 1.0/4


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: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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