Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Time to answer some questions from the Masked Mailbox. First from KT:
"I have a couple FOX-related questions I wanted to ask you. First, just curious, what was the rationale behind your decision to move 'American Idol' to Wednesday-Thursday and start a comedy block on Tuesday led by 'Glee' in 2010? Second, although 'Empire' is still a solid performer in the 18-49 demo, it saw a decline in overall viewers last season. What do you think is the main reason for that?"
There were three reasons why we made the move of "Idol" to Wednesday and Thursday. I would say the primary reason was Thursday night was the most important night for advertising, especially automotives and movies. Putting "Idol" on the night, we felt, would allow for even higher CPMs for the show. Second, the move gave us three consecutive nights for scripted series, which we felt would give the schedule better flow. Finally, being the competitive people that we were, we hoped it would force the other guys to potentially react and make changes to their schedules.
To be honest, and I played a big part in the decision, I don't know if it accomplished what we were hoping for. As I said earlier this week about too much movement this season, we may have waited a season or two too long to make the move.
Regarding "Empire," hey, it's in its fourth season. You used to be able to get some growth for a drama in its second season, but generally by the third you do start to see some falloff. I think "Empire" is a show that burned brightly and rapidly and is now settling into being a solid success. There's a lot to roll your eyes about with this show, but it's served FOX well.
CS can't sleep at night wondering about this:
"I'm curious was there ever the opportunity to potentially have a 'Seinfeld' spinoff? It seems like there could have been one with the quality of characters on the program, but then again when Friends had a spin-off in 'Joey,' it was a disaster."
Series spinoffs are never a sure thing. For every "Frasier," "Rhoda" or Norman Lear Universe, you have your "Joey" or "AfterMASH." As "Seinfeld" was drawing to a close, Warren Littlefield and I discussed possible ways to continue the "Seinfeld" universe. We both came up with a possible spinoff or continuation of the brand. I don't think we ever discussed them with Jerry because he was resistant to just about anything the network suggested.
I won't say what the ideas were, but I will say that every once in a while, I ask Warren to pitch Jerry my idea because it is sort of universal. I think I will bring it up again.
Questions? I'm at and on Twitter @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017

Note: FOX’s live World Series broadcast could result in greater adjustments than usual for the network in the final ratings.

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. World Series Game 2 (FOX) (8-11 p.m.) 3.9/15 14.63
Survivor (CBS) 1.7/7 8.15
The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.4/5 5.41
The Blacklist (NBC) 0.9/4 5.29
Riverdale (The CW) 0.6/2 1.61
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) 1.1/4 4.15
9 p.m. Modern Family (ABC) 1.7/6 5.91
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.2/4 5.73
SEAL Team (CBS) 1.0/4 6.88
Dynasty (The CW) 0.2/1 0.73
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (ABC) 1.3/5 4.72
10 p.m. Chicago PD (NBC) 1.1/4 6.13
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.0/4 5.88
Designated Survivor (ABC) 0.8/3 4.01


The 10 o’clock dramas on the broadcast networks Wednesday all tied series lows among adults 18-49 opposite Game 2 of the World Series.

“Chicago PD” (1.1 rating), “Criminal Minds” (1.0) and “Designated Survivor” (0.8) each tied their previous lows at 10. All three were even with their performances from a week ago.

The World Series game on FOX, which went into extra innings and ended well past midnight ET, drew an 11.0 household rating in metered markets, up from 10.2 for Tuesday’s Game 1. It will likely adjust up a decent amount from its fast national ratings in the finals.

Elsewhere, “Riverdale” was steady at 0.6 for The CW, but “Dynasty” dipped a tenth to 0.2. ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” “Speechless” and “Modern Family” were steady with last week, while “American Housewife” (1.3) dipped a tenth. “The Blacklist” and “Law & Order: SVU” were also even with last week on NBC.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 3.9/15 1.2/5 1.2/5 1.0/4 0.4/2
Total Viewers (millions) 14.63 6.97 4.70 5.72 1.17


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

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/3, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.4/2, 2.4/6

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.3/2, 1.5/4

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.4/3, 1.2/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.1/4

“Nightline”: 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.

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