Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Two observations from last night. The third number for a new show is telling, and "9-1-1" jumped up three tenths in 18-49s after an acceptable falloff for episode 2. This show is a hit by today's standards. Second, "The Goldbergs" outdelivered "Modern Family" in total viewers. I assume that's the first time that happened. Keep an eye on "The Goldbergs."
Here's more from the Masked Mailbox. BM wants to know, "Have any insight into 'The X-Files' and why it's tanking after big return in 2016?"
Back in 2016, the return of "The X-Files" was the top priority for FOX. It was heavily promoted and was placed behind the NFC Championship game, where it delivered a pretty solid rating. When moved over to Monday it started out well but then drifted off, and the consensus was that the episodes were sort of erratic.
I was never a big fan, but since I had recently retired from FOX, I decided to watch all the episodes. With one exception, I was underwhelmed.
With this second return, "The X-Files" was not the top priority for FOX, as they were trying to launch a singing competition in "The Four," the new Ryan Murphy show "9-1-1" and "LA to Vegas." FOX has also been pushing "The Resident," giving the medical drama the choice post-NFC Championship slot. "The X-Files" needed to rely on its pre-sold status to relaunch a second time.
Finally, whether intentional or not, the promotion for the return sort of implied that the last set of episodes may have been a disappointment to the fans, emphasizing that the show was "returning to its roots." Not a smart move, in my opinion.
I'm sure there's lots of delayed viewing for the show, and given all the other priorities for FBC, they are fine with the diminished ratings.
SH had suggested a newsmagazine for ABC in the past and writes:
"Last night ABC won the Thursday 10 p.m. slot with 'Truth and Lies,' the Tonya Harding news special. Does what happened last night suggest that ABC should put a newsmagazine in the time slot? I know that they Tonya Harding interview is tied to the movie, but ABC is doing so poorly on Thursday nights at 10, so why not?"
When newsmagazines were red hot in the early '90s, they were driven by the sleazy tabloid stories that dominated the news: serial killer interviews, Amy Fisher, Michael Jackson. It was also the beginning of the clip-show craze, where whole segments could be built around a clip.
The Tonya Harding story is hot with the release of the movie "I, Tonya," but you can’t do that every week. Would a newsmagazine do better than most scripted shows ABC could put in that timeslot? On average, sure, but there are other variables at play, like what ABC can charge for a spot in news vs. scripted, as well as giving up the opportunity to build another scripted asset, which has far more of an afterlife than a newsmag.
Questions get answered if you email me at or tweet me @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.7/7 6.47
The Amazing Race (CBS) 1.5/6 6.84
The Blacklist (NBC) 1.1/4 6.52
The X-Files (FOX) 1.1/4 3.94
Riverdale (The CW) 0.5/2 1.45
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 1.3/5 4.78
9 p.m. Modern Family (ABC) 1.8/7 6.17
9-1-1 (FOX) 1.8/7 6.16
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.4/5 6.19
SEAL Team (CBS) 1.1/4 6.63
Dynasty (The CW) 0.2/1 0.64
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.3/5 4.99
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.4/5 6.63
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.0/4 5.59
Match Game (ABC) 0.8/3 3.34


Bad winter weather in much of the country has been good for TV ratings this week, and the trend continued Wednesday night with most broadcast shows improving on their last episodes.

FOX’s “9-1-1” and ABC’s “Modern Family” tied for the lead among adults 18-49 in primetime, each scoring 1.8 ratings. “Modern Family” was up 0.2 vs. last week and “9-1-1” up 0.3 to equal its premiere.

“The X-Files” (1.1) rose a tenth of a point for FOX. The rest of ABC’s comedies improved too: “The Goldbergs” (1.7, +0.2) had its second-best rating of the season, “Speechless” (1.3, +0.1) tied its second-highest number and “American Housewife” (1.3) was up a tenth. “Match Game” was even with last week’s 0.8.

At CBS, “The Amazing Race” ticked up a tenth to 1.6, and “SEAL Team” rose two tenths to 1.1. “Criminal Minds” matched its 1.0 from a week ago. All three of NBC’s dramas were up a tenth, with “The Blacklist” and “Chicago PD” tying season highs.

“Riverdale” (0.5) and “Dynasty” (0.2) returned to The CW with ratings on par with their last episodes of 2017.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.4/5 1.3/5 1.3/5 1.2/4 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.05 6.45 4.85 6.36 1.05


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.7/4, 2.8/7

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.7/4, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/3, 1.8/5

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.2/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 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: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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