Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

It's a Masked Mailbox day. Long time Masketeer RL asks:
"I'd to love to know your opinion about all the military shows premiering this fall. Do you have a favorite among them?"
The way development works is that the pitches for these militaristic (I would include "SWAT" in this) shows took place probably sometime between August and October. Scripts are ordered and pilots are greenlit in December/January. Given the events occurring during that time, I can see where the networks may have come to the conclusion that the country is ready for shows like these. That they reflect a prevailing mood. We had similar discussions at FOX in September of 2001.
At FOX, we didn't take the bite, because you never know where the mood of the country will be when the shows you start developing in September get on the air a year later. My concern is that some of the shows announced in May that center around these military groups will have to deal with creative issues they did not anticipate when they were ordered.
I question whether military series like these will work on a weekly basis. When FX premiered a series called "Over There," about soldiers and their loved ones during the Iraq war, I told my boss at the time, Peter Liguori, that I questioned whether it would work. He pointed out the success of "The Hurt Locker." I told him that in my opinion, movies are dates and TV series are relationships, and there's a big difference. Seeing war and the military every week may not have staying power.
Having said that, I liked The CW's "Valor" relative to the others because it was more of a soap and a mystery. It will be interesting to see what happens with all of them.
KT writes: "In the wake of the recent events in Charlottesville, do you think HBO's in-development 'Confederate' series will be affected by this? When you first talked about the series you mentioned how, as the world changes, the interest in this series could change as well. What happened in Charlottesville seems like the kind of event that could make a series like this a lot less appealing to people. I was just wondering if you think this will make HBO reconsider going forward with the series or not."
Good question. Given the auspices, I assume HBO will move forward with scripts and, along with the creators, evaluate the direction that the series will take. I still assume that the series will make it to air. Only Benioff and Weiss can pull the plug on this, and I don't think that they will.
There's no such thing as bad publicity, and what is happening now will keep "Confederate" in the cultural discourse. Having said that, we wake up each morning to new and disturbing (for many) events, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that HBO et al reach a point where they can no longer justify the series. Stay tuned.
Got a question for me? Sure you do. Email at or Tweet me @maskedscheduler. I don’t bite.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. America’s Got Talent (NBC) 2.1/9 10.71
Big Brother (CBS) 1.9/8 6.26
CMA Fest (ABC) (8-11 p.m.) – S 1.2/5 5.71
Masterchef (FOX) 0.9/4 3.05
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.70
9 p.m. Marlon (NBC) – P 1.3/5 5.42
The F Word with Gordon Ramsay (FOX) – F 0.6/2 1.76
Salvation (CBS) 0.5/2 3.12
Supernatural (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.65
9:30 p.m. Marlon (NBC) 1.0/4 4.14
10 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.6/3 2.78
Salvation (CBS) 0.4/2 2.79


The first Wednesday results show for “America’s Got Talent” posted season-low ratings (clip shows excluded), but it still led NBC to a ratings win in primetime.

“AGT” drew a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49, down from 2.4 for the first results show last season. It’s averaging 2.6 on Tuesdays. New comedy “Marlon” had a solid premiere, with its two episodes drawing 1.3 and 1.0. The premiere scored the best 18-49 rating for any scripted show on broadcast this summer.

“Big Brother” held its own opposite “America’s Got Talent.” Its 1.9 was even with last week’s finals. Two episodes of “Salvation” went 0.5/0.4; the first was even with last week’s 9 p.m. airing.

ABC’s annual CMA Fest special earned a 1.2, even with last year. “Masterchef” was steady with last week’s 0.9 for FOX, and the finale of “The F Word” (0.6) was up a tenth of a point over last week.

In late night, NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” notched its best Wednesday rating in six months; see below.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 1.2/5 0.9/4 0.8/3 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 6.09 5.71 4.05 2.40 0.68


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/4, 1.9/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 1.6/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/2, 2.3/6

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.5/4, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 0.9/3


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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