Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

The Masked Wife and I don't watch the Winter Olympics. so it's a good time for us to catch up on some of the shows that have been clogging up my Netflix list. We tend towards the short six- to eight-episode procedurals.
I may have recommended "Retribution," which was a pretty depressing four-episode whodunit, and last night we finished a French procedural "La Mante" (The Mantis) which was oodles of fun. Another serial killer story, with the twist being that the lead investigator is the son of a notorious incarcerated serial killer (The Mantis, duh) who assists him in finding a copycat killer. The investigator has not told his wife nor his team of his connection to La Mante, so you see there's a problem here.
This is subtitled (six episodes), and since the Masked Wife speaks French, she enjoys pointing out that what the characters say and what the subtitle says are often different. We had a lot of fun yelling at the screen during this one, and there are enough red herrings to feed a Finnish bar mitzvah. Check it out before the onslaught of new and returning series starts next week.
Here's a Masked Mail question from LY that takes me back to my Must-See-TV days:
"Why wouldn't NBC order more than 22 episodes of 'Night Court' (with the exceptions being seasons 7 and 8, which had 24 episodes)?"
I took over scheduling in July 1991, and "Night Court" concluded its run during my first season. Legend has it that the pilot was not embraced by those in the screening room (I was in research back in New York at the time), but Brandon Tartikoff believed in the show and ordered 13 episodes for midseason. Turned out Brandon was right, and the comedy was a successful part of NBC's schedule for eight years beyond the initial 13 episodes.
"Night Court" spent most of its career on either Thursday or Wednesday. At the start of the 1991-92 season it was on Wednesday at 9 p.m., leading into "Seinfeld." One of my first moves as a scheduler was to flip the shows and make "Seinfeld" the anchor to the night.
Although it wasn't my call, the reason NBC stayed with 22 episodes during most of "NC's" run probably had something to do with fitting in some short-order comedy commitments to try out some new shows on Thursday night following "Cheers." Also, back then comedy repeats would garner solid ratings, so you could spread the cost over more episodes and be profitable without going to 24.
Two more things about "Night Court." It's the show that inspired me to coin the term "walk the dog show," i.e. the show on a big night of television where you walked the dog so that you could get back for the remaining shows. "Night Court" was my "walk the dog show" on Thursday night, but it was so much fun that our schnauzer Bella often had to wait until 11 p.m. for her walk.
Also, the Masked Wife gave birth to our son on the same night that Markie Post gave birth on a very special "Night Court" sweeps episode. Yes, my whole life used to revolve around television.
Questions? I got answers. Reach me at and follow along on the Twitter @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Note: NBC’s live Olympics broadcast may result in greater adjustments than usual for the network in the final ratings.

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Winter Olympics (NBC) (8-11 p.m.) 3.3/13 13.98
Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (CBS) 1.4/5 5.54
The Goldbergs (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.26
The Resident (FOX) – R 0.5/2 2.57
Riverdale (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.62
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – R 0.6/2 2.40
9 p.m. The Amazing Race (CBS) (9-11 p.m.) – F 0.9/3 4.27
9-1-1 (FOX) – R 0.7/3 3.31
Modern Family (ABC) – R 0.6/2 2.43
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.81
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.5/2 2.14
10 p.m. Match Game (ABC) 0.4/2 2.19


The Winter Olympics turned in a relatively soft ratings performance Wednesday, hitting their lowest weeknight levels of the 2018 games.

Pending updates, NBC scored 13.98 million viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 in primetime. Thus far only the Saturday, Feb. 17 coverage has had lower fast national numbers. In metered markets, NBC and NBCSN had a combined 11.1 household rating, down from 13.1 a week earlier.

The season finale of “The Amazing Race” (0.9) held steady with last week in adults 18-49; it rose a little in viewers (4.27 million vs. 4.05 million). “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition” (1.4) improved a tenth of a point on last week. “Match Game” was down a tenth at 0.4 on ABC.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.3/13 1.1/4 0.6/2 0.6/2 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 13.98 4.70 2.94 2.43 0.72



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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