Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

"Empire" was a 2.4 last night in 18-49 viewers; a year ago, it was a 4.8 ... gulp.
"Imaginary Mary" has been a head-scratcher for me given how smart ABC has been with their family comedies.
"Shots Fired" is holding up a little better than I expected. Not great numbers, but it didn't tank in week two.
Last night I went over to the TV Academy in North Hollywood where Bravo's Andy Cohen interviewed my good friend Mike Darnell. Mike and I worked together for over a decade at FOX. Mike didn't trust a lot of people outside of his Alternative department, but over time, I was allowed in to the inner circle and we accomplished a lot together.
We shared a raging competitiveness which contributed to FOX being No. 1 for eight years in a row, a fascination with all aspects of the TV business and a love of showmanship.
It was great seeing him.
When I announced on Twitter that I was going to the event, I got a few questions. Here's one from @efs120: "What's the craziest show Mike proposed that never made it to air?"
When I came to FOX in the spring of 2000, Mike was the first person that I called. He knew who I was since I had lured Bruce Nash, Mike's clip specials ("When Animals Attack") guy, over to NBC. Mike showed up at my office with a stack of tapes and told me this is all the stuff that he made but was not allowed to put on the air. He wanted my support in getting Gail Berman, our boss, to agree to air some.
There were some real gems. The two I remember were something called "Celebrities Without Makeup" (self-explanatory) and something about masked people confessing some really bad s**t that they had done before a live audience, and the audience voting whether or not to forgive them.
He also had an idea called "Space Jump" (again self-explanatory), which he was not allowed to do but Discovery actually did in 2012.
He and I cooked up an idea called "My Big Fat Obnoxious Rabbi," which we pitched to Peter Liguori when he came over from FX. You can read more about that one on my blog, Revenge of the Masked Scheduler.
I could tell Mike Darnell stories forever. You may want to check out Bill Carter's book "Desperate Networks," where Mike is prominently featured.
Questions and comments? Go to @maskedscheduler and

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday are nothing special:

Time Show Adults 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 8.13
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.7/7 6.01
Shots Fired (FOX) 1.0/4 3.69
Blindspot (NBC) 0.9/3 4.30
Arrow (The CW) 0.5/2 1.59
8:30 p.m. Imaginary Mary (ABC) – P 1.4/5 5.37
9 p.m. Empire (FOX) 2.4/8 6.80
Modern Family (ABC) 2.0/7 6.68
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.2/5 6.90
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.1/4 4.88
The 100 (The CW) 0.3/1 0.97
9:30 p.m. Black-ish (ABC) 1.5/6 4.95
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.1/4 5.97
Designated Survivor (ABC) 1.1/4 5.12
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS) 0.9/3 5.07


ABC’s comedy “Imaginary Mary” had a decent debut Wednesday. Its 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 is in line with the past couple episodes of “Speechless” in the same timeslot; it moves to Tuesday next week.

The rest of the night was nothing special. “Empire” recorded a series low 2.4 for FOX, pending updates. “Arrow,” “The 100,” “Criminal Minds” and “Law & Order: SVU”  all tied their season lows, and “Chicago PD” hit a low as well at 1.1.

“Survivor” (1.7) held steady for CBS, as did “The Goldbergs” (1.7) and “Desginated Survivor” (1.1) on ABC. “Modern Family” (2.0) and “Black-ish” (1.5) each improved by 0.1 on their last outings. FOX’s “Shots Fired” was fairly steady in its second episode, dipping a tenth of a point to 1.0.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.7/7 1.5/6 1.3/5 1.0/4 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 5.25 5.54 6.70 5.05 1.28


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 2.0/5

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – R: 0.5/3, 1.4/4

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/3, 2.3/6

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

“Nightline”: 0.3/2, 1.0/3

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 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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