Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

Those letters keep coming it to the Masked Mailbox. We have a festival today, starting with BS, who writes:
"'The Powers That Be' had David Hyde Pierce in a political show the season before 'Frasier' started. My primetime directory says it was abruptly cancelled in January, then USA aired a marathon of the unaired NBC episodes on Jan. 19, the day before Bill Clinton became president. It seems like odd timing to disappear then; did Clinton pull strings to have it end?"
Funny. No. Like most shows that are pulled from a schedule, "Powers That Be" suffered from low ratings. It was a midseason show in the 1991-92 season, and like many midseason premieres, you can get a false positive. The show was created by Norman Lear along with Marta Kauffman and David Crane; the latter two went on to develop "Friends," so I guess it all worked out in the end.
This Twitter question comes from @hessian"
"Do you think CBS might reconsider streaming the new 'Trek' if the premiere spikes a big number?"
I think CBS is hoping "Star Trek: Discovery" does spike a big number and that it leads to a surge in subscriptions to their streaming site. Moving it to the mothership defeats its whole purpose, and I assume that it will eventually show up on the network for a limited window, possibly right before Season 2.
This is from SH:
"My question is, would the Sunday night or Monday night movie franchise on one of the big broadcast networks still work? If memory serves me, CBS had a tremendous run with the Sunday night movie. As recently as 20 years ago I remember a Matthew Modine movie, 'What the Deaf Man Heard,' which reached nearly 40 million viewers. Also, a James Garner/Julie Andrews reached some 40 million."
I think the reasons why movies disappeared from the networks in the late '90s still apply today, so I would not expect to see a return. What you might see at some point, and what we tried to do at NBC, was package a group of short-order movies under some umbrella. We had a "Friday Mystery Movie" which was made up of several franchises for a while. Something like that might work, although the audience for that type of movie skews somewhat older.
Finally, we got this question from KT:
"As a fan of 'That '70s Show,' I was just wondering why you never tried putting it after 'American Idol.' I know you used it as a lead-in to 'American Idol' in its early years, but when 'AI' started to take off, did you ever consider switching them around?"
By the time "American Idol" was on the scene, "That '70s Show" was established as one of FOX's only successful live-action comedies. Its value to the network was to use it as a lead-in to another live-action comedy. Unfortunately, developing broad comedies has not been one of FOX’s fortes. The one that would have succeeded, had we left it behind "That '70s Show," was "Grounded for Life." As you may remember, we even tried a spinoff of "'70s" called, uh, "That '80s Show." It was not very good.
The only potentially successful comedy behind "That '70s Show" was "The Bernie Mac Show," but we did not give it the time to grow into a broad hit. Sadly, Bernie passed.
Keep those questions coming in to or on Twitter @maskedscheduler.

Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017

The numbers for Wednesday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share
Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. America’s Got Talent (NBC) 2.0/8 11.31
Big Brother (CBS) 1.8/7 6.31
Masterchef (FOX) (8-10 p.m.) 1.3/5 4.03
The Goldbergs (ABC) – R 0.7/3 2.99
Arrow (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.82
8:30 p.m. Speechless (ABC) – R 0.6/3 2.28
9 p.m. Marlon (NBC) 1.2/5 5.19
Modern Family (ABC) – R 0.8/3 3.02
Salvation (CBS) 0.5/2 3.55
Supernatural (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.76
9:30 p.m. Marlon (NBC) – F 1.0/4 3.69
American Housewife (ABC) – R 0.6/3 2.69
10 p.m. Midnight, Texas (NBC) 0.7/3 2.71
20/20 (ABC) – S 0.6/3 3.22
Criminal Minds (CBS) – R 0.5/2 3.25


“Masterchef” cooked up its best ratings of the season Wednesday night. The show averaged a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49, beating its previous high of 1.2 by a tenth of a point. (The first half of the two-hour block drew a 1.2 and the second a 1.4.)

“America’s Got Talent” led the night for NBC with a 2.0, down a tenth from last week’s early ratings but even with its final number. The final two episodes of “Marlon” (1.2/1.0) were in line with their season average, while a Wednesday airing of “Midnight, Texas” came in at 0.7.

“Big Brother” scored a 1.8 for CBS, even with last week’s preliminary rating (it adjusted up in the finals). “Salvation” was steady at 0.5.

In late night, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” got a bump from an appearance by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Numbers below.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.3/5 1.3/5 1.0/4 0.7/3 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 6.15 4.03 4.37 2.90 0.79


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 2.1/6

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

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – R: 0.3/2, 1.6/4

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.4/3, 1.4/5

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

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 0.9/3


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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