Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

I'm wondering if cable news is starting to make a permanent dent on primetime viewing, especially in the 9 p.m. hour. Just wondering.
Last year with a 2.2 "American Idol" lead-in, "Empire" did a 4.3. Last night, with its lead-in cut by more than half, "Empire" was a 2.2. I just will never get cancelling "Idol."
A little bit of a Masked Mailbox rapid round today.
My Twitter pal Jan asks, "What's your evaluation of NBCU's Audience Symphony?"
There's an old saying, "Physician, heal thyself." Well, for me, if my 35 years in the biz taught me anything, it's that "Marketer, market thyself" is equally true. Symphony is another way of talking about synergy among the various platforms under a corporate umbrella in launching and supporting a property.
All large media companies do stuff like this. They may not have a fancy word for it.
For me what is often crucial to the success of a property is the passion for it "within the building." When everyone pulls together and wills something to succeed, it often does.
At FOX, "Glee" was a show that had passionate supporters in every part of the building, and collectively it was willed to be a success in spite of lots of evidence that it would not work.
This one is from the Ratings Junkie: "I was wondering, with 'Chicago Med' and 'Chicago Justice' both going under a 1.0 this week, how much is too much to air from a franchise? When does it come to the point where the network has to tell a super-creator no? And as a scheduler, do you tend to think these types of shows would do better together rather than apart? Thanks!"
As I have said many times here, this is a business of reducing the cost of failure and investing in success. To me franchises and spinoffs are not always going to succeed, but they often have a better chance than the alternatives.
It also should be noted that a network would often approach the creator of a franchise or a successful show and ask them to do another version, so it's not a one-way street. At FOX we played with the notion of a "24" franchise with stories other than CTU terrorist stuff.
Any network can go overboard at times, but betting on certain talent and giving fans of a franchise four of it is something I still think is valuable to a network. Having said that, the next big hit will still come from the most unlikely source.
Finally, I don't think there's one way to schedule franchises, and their value to a schedule is that they can work just about anywhere. They are valuable in sweeps where they provide opportunities for crossovers.
Mets/Baves went to extra innings last night, but got in:
- "Empire" (FOX, L+SD)
- "RIverdale" (CW, L+7)
On Twitter I'm @maskedscheduler, and email is

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday include an uptick for an NBC show and down numbers in a lot of other places:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 8.29
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.5/6 5.60
Blindspot (NBC) 0.9/3 4.31
Shots Fired (FOX) 0.9/3 3.64
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.3/1 1.04
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 1.3/5 4.75
9 p.m. Empire (FOX) 2.2/8 6.31
Modern Family (ABC) 1.8/7 6.16
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.2/5 6.97
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.1/4 4.93
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 0.89
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) 1.3/5 4.57
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW) – R 0.3/1 0.89
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.3/5 6.39
Designated Survivor (ABC) 1.1/4 5.20
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.8/3 4.71


NBC’s “Chicago PD” rose week to week on Wednesday night, scoring a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and leading its hour. That was it for improvements on the night.

Several shows — “Survivor” (1.7), “Speechless” (1.3), “Criminal Minds” (1.2), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.1), “Designated Survivor” and “Blindspot” (0.9) — matched their ratings from last week. The rest were down.

The night’s two top shows, “Empire” (2.2)  and “Modern Family” (1.8), each recorded series lows. “Shots Fired” dipped a tenth of a point to 0.9 on FOX, while “The Goldbergs” (1.5) and “Black-ish” (1.3) each fell two tenths for ABC. “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” was also down a tenth at 0.8.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.6/6 1.4/5 1.2/5 1.1/4 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 4.98 5.25 6.65 5.21 0.96


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.3/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.5/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.7/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.3/5

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

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4


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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