Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

When FOX stays away from their obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and horror shows and focuses on broad appeal programming ("Bones," "House," "Empire"), they can succeed. "The Resident" also has a lot of potential. Sadly, it could be too little too late.
Some Masked Mail this morning. First up, CGC wants to know:
"Why did the broadcast networks pretty much surrender the bowl games to ESPN? From what I've read, the games are pretty lucrative, even the third-tier bowls."
The broadcast networks are all in the college football business, and they are also connected to cable sports networks, which share packages. Remember ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney, so regardless of which platform carries the bowl games, Disney benefits.
I think the playoffs have made most bowl games less attractive to the broadcast networks, and I think part of the money the networks receive to carry these games comes from sponsorship. I honestly don't know if they are profitable. (ESPN's events arm also has an ownership stake in some of the lower-tier bowls.)
Remember, even though the games on New Year's Eve in 2015 and '16 attracted large audiences for ESPN, the majority of people watching television were watching something other than the playoffs. I would not be surprised if within five years, the playoffs expand to six or eight teams. There will be a lot of talk in the coming days about having two SEC teams in the championship game.
WQ asks a question that I'm sure has come up before here or on posts on my blog, Revenge of the Masked Scheduler:
"When ordering new series, who normally makes the final decision as to which ones to settle on? Is it solely that of the scheduler, or is it a group effort that includes the scheduler, various execs and maybe even the sales department, all perhaps casting their votes on which shows will earn a place in the fall lineup or any subsequent lineup? And can the scheduler, any exec or the sales people even override a team decision either to pick up or not pick up a series for whatever 'legitimate' concern or reason?"
First of all, the scheduler does not make the final decision regarding new series pickups; that role is reserved for the president or chairman, or whatever the title du jour is, of entertainment with a nod coming from whomever is running the larger corporation (Rupert Murdoch and Peter Chernin at Fox or Bob Wright when I was at NBC).
Generally, the scheduling room is made up of the various interests in putting together a schedule: Sales, marketing, finance, affiliates relations (president of the network), business affairs, research, top entertainment execs and scheduling.
Everyone has input and presents their schedules, but in the end, it generally came down to the network president, his or her bosses and me finalizing the schedule. As I have often said, the scheduler's job is to keep lines of communication open among all the various interests so that when I walked into the scheduling room, I pretty much knew where we were going to wind up, and my bosses respected that my suggestions were representing all the groups and the pilot testing.
Got more questions? and @maskedscheduler on Twitter is the way to go.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Amazing Race (CBS) – P 1.6/6 7.31
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.5/6 5.84
The X-Files (FOX) – P 1.4/5 5.19
The Blacklist (NBC) 1.0/4 6.01
Riverdale (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.79
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 1.1/4 4.33
9 p.m. 9-1-1 (FOX) – P 1.8/7 6.81
Modern Family (ABC) 1.7/6 5.90
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.4/5 6.29
SEAL Team (CBS) 0.9/3 5.87
Dynasty (The CW) – R 0.1/0 0.49
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.3/5 4.77
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.3/5 6.78
Criminal Minds (CBS) 0.9/3 5.38
Match Game (ABC) – P 0.9/3 3.56


The return of “The X-Files” Wednesday came in well below its last run in 2016, but the news wasn’t all bad for FOX: New drama “9-1-1” posted strong ratings.

“The X-Files” posted a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49, less than half of its 3.2 average in 2016 (and 0.7 below its weakest outing). “9-1-1” improved on its lead-in and drew a 1.8 — the third-best drama series premiere this season behind “The Orville” (which had an NFL assist for its first episode) and “The Good Doctor.”

“The Amazing Race” (1.6) also started fast for CBS, nearly doubling its 0.9 average from last season. It was the show’s biggest premiere in both adults 18-49 and viewers (7.31 million) since September 2013. “SEAL Team” (0.9), however, was down 0.2 from its last episode, while “Criminal Minds” held steady at 0.9.

“The Goldbergs” (1.5) and “Speechless” (1.1) were each off a tenth of a point vs. their last episodes, while “Modern Family” and “American Housewife” held steady. “Match Game” debuted with a 0.9. On NBC, “The Blacklist’s” 1.0 was up a tenth from its last episode in mid-November, “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4) “Chicago PD” (1.3) each rose a tenth.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.6/6 1.3/5 1.3/5 1.1/4 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 6.00 6.36 4.66 6.19 0.64


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” – R: 0.7/4, 2.0/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.6/3, 2.0/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.8/7

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.3/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” – R: 0.4/3, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – R: 0.2/1, 1.0/3


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.

  • ‘Chicago PD’ adjusts up, ‘The X-Files’ adjusts down: Wednesday final ratings – TV By The Numbers by

    […] Wednesday’s final ratings brought a pair of changes from the initial adults 18-49 numbers. […]


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