Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

LY wants to know, "Why didn't NBC keep 'Frasier' on Thursday nights?"
I went over much of this last summer when I talked about my years scheduling Must-See TV, but here's the quick answer: We moved "Frasier" off of Thursday twice during its career. The first time was after its freshman season, when we tried (successfully, fortunately) to open up a second night of smart adult comedies on Tuesday. "Frasier" had an outstanding freshman year creatively, and with the help of competitive research tracking, we felt comfortable that it could anchor a night and take on "Roseanne," which at the time was ABC's 9 p.m. Tuesday anchor.
After we made the move, ABC replaced "Roseanne" with "Home Improvement," but we were still able to establish a second night of comedy.
We moved "Frasier" back to Thursday when "Seinfeld" left the schedule. We had a debate between moving "Friends" to 9 on Thursday (that's what Warren Littlefield and I assumed would happen) or leaving "Friends" at 8 and moving "Frasier" back. For several reasons "Frasier" got the nod, but we quickly realized that we were taking a demographic hit on the night with "Frasier" being an older-skewing comedy than either "Friends" or "Seinfeld."
After two seasons, NBC moved "Frasier" back to Tuesday. I was gone by then.
AP has a question about tonight’s ABC premiere:
"What are your thoughts on the 'Grey's Anatomy' spinoff 'Station 19'? It seems a bit generic but something that could work. However, it seems NBC is pitting 'Chicago Fire' against it. Thoughts? Either way I think 'Station 19' will win."
First of all, I love, love, love how NBC is countering a two-hour premiere of "Station 19" with a two-hour "Chicago Fire." That is old school scheduling at its best. So, props to my pals Jeff
Bader and Steve Kern over at the Peacock, and good luck to my buddy Andy Kubitz over at America's Network, ABC. I think both shows will do just fine, and in some way, this move brings attention to the night. This gets my competitive juices going, and I almost wish I was back in the scheduling game --almost, but not quite.
Putting "Young Sheldon," aside, one of the most successful new shows of the season is, "9-1-1" at FOX. When I heard about it, my reaction was generic Ryan Murphy could work, and it has. The audience loves heroes, and these fire rescue shows in the hands of pros like Shonda Rhimes, Dick Wolf or Ryan Murphy, each putting their spin on the show, increases the odds of success.
Head-to-head tonight, I would give the edge to "Station 19," because it will have the more compatible lead-in. I would not be surprised if there is something on "Grey's" that carries over to the new show tonight. If not, they dropped the ball. I'll predict 1.6 for "Station 19" and 1.1 (its season average) for "Chicago Fire."
You can ask questions at masked.scheduler@gmail,com and tweet me @maskedscheduler.

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

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 8.52
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.5/6 5.83
The X-Files (FOX) – F 0.9/3 3.36
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.8/3 4.78
Riverdale (The CW) 0.4/2 1.13
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – F 1.3/5 4.64
9 p.m. 9-1-1 (FOX) – F 1.7/7 6.58
Modern Family (ABC) 1.6/6 5.56
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.4/5 6.34
SEAL Team (CBS) 1.0/4 6.47
Life Sentence (The CW) 0.2/1 0.54
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.3/5 4.50
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.3/5 6.99
Criminal Minds (CBS) 0.9/4 5.22
Designated Survivor (ABC) 0.7/3 4.01


On a generally up night for the broadcast networks, the season finale of “9-1-1” tied “Survivor” for the lead among adults 18-49. Several shows had their best ratings since January.

“Survivor” and “9-1-1” each drew a 1.7 in the 18-49 demographic; “9-1-1” was up 0.1 vs. last week and “Survivor” steady. The finale of “The X-Files” also rose a tenth of a point for FOX, to 0.9.

Three of ABC’s four comedies improved on their last episodes, with “Speechless” (1.3) tying its second-best rating of the season and “Modern Family” (1.6) and “American Housewife” (1.3) rising two and three tenths. “The Goldbergs” (1.5) and “Designated Survivor” (0.7) were even with their last outings.

“Law & Order: SVU” (1.4) and “Chicago PD” (1.3) each hit five-episode highs for NBC. At CBS, “SEAL Team” ticked up a tenth to 1.0, and “Criminal Minds” was steady at 0.9. The CW’s “Riverdale” and “Life Sentence” were even with last week.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 1.2/5 1.2/5 1.2/5 0.3/1
Total Viewers (millions) 4.97 6.73 6.04 4.76 0.84


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.6/3, 2.0/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.6/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/3, 1.7/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.2/4

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

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.3/4


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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