Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

FOX has to be relieved that the "Empire" is back and "Shots Fired" will live to fight another day benefitting from the "Empire" draft.
Saw the 16 series renewal story this morning. CBS' success is all about consistency and stability, so props to them for knowing that most of the time, replacing what they have will result in lower ratings.
Yesterday I described the TV Biz when I was a young pup in Research back at 30 Rock. The business has never stopped evolving, and we are again at a point where there's some question whether network television has a future. I think it does for several reasons, and well talk about them today and tomorrow starting with:
When I entered the business, network television had only one revenue stream: advertising. In addition the network would pay affiliated stations to carry their programming.
Over the years affiliate compensations went away, affiliates started paying the networks and now stations get paid by cable and satellite providers to carry the channel. The networks share in that, giving them a second revenue stream. This dual revenue stream was an advantage that basic cable channels had through subscriber fees.
One of the drivers of retrans is professional sports, especially the NFL, so the networks are willing to pay a fortune to the NFL to keep football "over the air."
Back in the 1980s, the networks were limited in what programming they could own. This was intended to insure competition and protect independent studios.
Over the next couple decades those rules went away, and every network was affiliated with a studio, which provided programming to both their sibling network as well as to other networks and cable channels. For example, the most successful network show of the season, "This Is Us," is on NBC but comes out of the 20th Century Fox TV Studio. NBC pays a fee to air the show and the studio can distribute the show on other platforms.
The line between running the studio and the network has started to vanish. For me a network's role in the TV ecosystem is changing and becoming more of a vehicle for creating assets for the larger corporation. Although a network on its own might not be profitable, if it is successful in producing hits coming from its studio, the network is accomplishing its goal.
Finally the Holy Grail for shows used to be 100 episodes and syndication, but that is no longer the case. We'll pick up on that tomorrow.
Questions or comments? Go to @maskedscheduler on Twitter and via email.
Last night's schedule:
- "NXT" (WWE Network)
- "Legion" (FX, L+SD)
- "Fleabag" episodes 1-3 (Amazon) I had heard so much about it, so I took a chance. It was worth it. May offend some but I would recommend checking it out.
We also deleted the final four episodes of "Star" … spring cleaning has begun.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 7.90
Shots Fired (FOX) – P 1.1/4 4.67
The Goldbergs (ABC) – R 1.0/4 4.48
Blindspot (NBC) 0.9/3 4.27
Arrow (The CW) 0.5/2 1.40
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – R 1.0/4 3.78
9 p.m. Empire (FOX) 2.8/10 7.89
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.3/5 7.39
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.1/4 5.01
Modern Family (ABC) – R 1.1/4 3.94
The 100 (The CW) 0.3/1 0.90
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.09
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.2/5 6.29
Designated Survivor (ABC) 1.1/4 5.17
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.8/3 4.83


“Empire” easily reclaimed its spot as Wednesday’s No. 1 show with its return. The FOX series came back from a three-month hiatus with a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49, a tenth of a point better than its last episode in December. “Shots Fired” had a more modest start, drawing a 1.1, a few tenths below “Lethal Weapon’s” average in the 8 p.m. timeslot earlier this season.

Elsewhere, “Law & Order: SVU” hit a season low on NBC with a 1.1, and “Chicago PD” (1.2) tied its season low. “Blindspot” (0.9) improved a tenth on its last episode. “Survivor” (1.7) and “Criminal Minds” (1.3) both held steady for CBS, while “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (0.8) slipped a tenth.

ABC’s “Designated Survivor” fell 0.2 vs. last week to 1.1 following a block of comedy reruns. “Arrow” and “The 100” were both even with last week for The CW.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.9/6 1.3/5 1.1/4 1.0/4 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 6.28 6.70 5.19 4.27 1.15


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

11:35 p.m.

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

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/2, 2.2/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/2, 1.6/4

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.1/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/3, 1.0/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.1/4


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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