Masked Scheduler's Ratings Smackdown

I’m not sure if THE VOICE is live yet but assuming it is that’s three networks with live events last night. Immediacy is becoming more and more important.

The Masked Mailbox is filling up so let’s dive in.

“You just talked about how Frasier skewed high in terms of demographics. What are shows that basically skewed towards undesirable demos (besides older people)?
I've always heard that wrestling was one of those.

I don’t know if advertisers or network executives ever thought in terms of “undesirable” demos as we are always trying to reach the largest audience possible. Having said that, the big divide for quite a long time was between scripted and unscripted shows. That started to change as the ratings and quality of unscripted series started to rise with shows like AMERICAN IDOL, THE VOICE and AMAZING RACE.

When we scheduled JOE MILLIONAIRE on a Monday night, replacing a failed David E. Kelly series called GIRLS CLUB, my boss and I were taken to the woodshed by the big boys at FOX and were told that we were about to cost the corporation millions of dollars. Fast forward a few weeks, JOE MILLIONAIRE is a ratings juggernaut, and those same execs are calling asking if I could schedule a repeat of the Monday JOE MILLIONAIRE episodes on Thursday nights.

A good friend of mine in sales would always say that the difference between bad taste and art is 10 share points.

One of the high points of my career was meeting Vince McMahon when he came out to LA in the late 90’s to pitch SMACKDOWN to the broadcast networks. NBC considered itself the “chee chee foo foo” network (my term) so, whenever something like a wrestling pitch walked in the door I along with John Miller our head of marketing were asked to take the meeting. We were considered the low taste guys.

I was really excited to meet Vince and what was fascinating to me was that he brought his two kids Stephanie and Shane to the meeting. He never introduced them but he was in the process of teaching them the business.

Vince made his pitch. He is a big and, at the time, ‘roided dude. I sucked it in and told him that NBC had a very upscale network and that the audience for pro wrestling was not in line with our prime time profile. I closed my eyes and prayed that he wouldn’t level me.

I still remember his words: “F**k that. If your sales guys don’t have the b**ls to sell this s**t we’ll buy the time and sell it ourselves.”…and that’s exactly what they did over at UPN.

Yesterday’s sked:
HOMELAND (SHOWTIME L+1) talk about ripped from today’s headlines. What a season!

@maskedscheduler is my Twitter handle and e-mail can go to

FOX’s renew/cancel standings for week 28 of the 2016-17 season look at one of the lowest-rated shows on the network.

Here are the standings, and here’s an explanation of the Bear’s methodology.

Show Status 18-49 rating Renew/Cancel Index
Bones (O) Final season 0.81 0.11
Scream Queens (O) 🐻 0.61 -0.09
Rosewood (some F) (O) 🐻 🐻 0.69 0.12
The Exorcist (F) (O) 🐻 🐻 0.67 0.26
Sleepy Hollow (F) (O) 🐻 🐻 0.5 0.02
The Last Man on Earth (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 0.94 0.24
Pitch (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 0.85 0.15
Making History (O) 🐻 🐻 0.72 0.02
Son of Zorn (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.18 0.48
Shots Fired (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.05 0.35
Lucifer Renewed 1.08 0.38
Brooklyn Nine-Nine 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 0.99 0.29
New Girl (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 0.93 0.23
Gotham 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.14 0.44
APB (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 0.86 0.16
Star (O) Renewed 1.35 0.65
The Mick (O) Renewed 1.21 0.51
24: Legacy (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.6 0.9
Family Guy (O) 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 1.32 0.62
Lethal Weapon Renewed 1.57 0.87
Empire (O) Renewed 3.1 2.40
Bob’s Burgers (O) Renewed 1.01 0.31
The Simpsons (O) Renewed 1.83 1.13

*The index number for “Rosewood” is a weighted average of its performance on Thursdays and Fridays.

“Sleepy Hollow” is over — for the season, at least. FOX should make it a permanent thing.

The Bear predicted a cancellation for the show last season, but it held on thanks in large part to its being an in-house production for FOX. With four seasons, 62 episodes and barely replacement-level numbers for Season 4 under its belt, it’s time for the network to retire “Sleepy Hollow.”

Consider: “Sleepy Hollow” switched to Friday nights midway through last season. Its Friday episodes averaged a 0.75 rating in 2016. This year, it fell by a third to 0.5. It’s the third lowest-rated show on the Big 4 networks, behind only “American Crime” and “Ransom.”

It’s unlikely FOX will try to squeeze another year out of the show to get it to 75 or so episodes. Even with a streaming deal at Hulu already in place, the economics of such a weak show probably won’t make sense. It’s likely to be canceled.


DSW Dead Show Walking: All but officially canceled yet still airing
🐻 sure bet to be canceled by May 2017
🐻 🐻 likely to be canceled by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 tossup between renewal and cancellation by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 likely to be renewed by May 2017
🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 🐻 sure bet to be renewed by May 2017


The Renew/Cancel Index is the amount above (or below) a replacement-level rating — i.e., the expected adults 18-49 rating of an emergency fill-in show should a series be canceled. For the 2016-17 season, replacement level is a 0.7 same-day rating in adults 18-49 for the Big 4 networks and a 0.2 for The CW. (Read more here.) The index number is taken by subtracting 0.7 (or 0.2) from a show’s average same-day rating.

Friday scripted shows (denoted with an “F” above) on the Big 4 have average ratings about 30 percent lower than those of other nights, therefore their ratings are multiplied by 1.43 (1/0.7, or 7 70 percent) before subtracting the replacement-level number.

 Shows that have ended their seasons have their R/C Index number frozen at the point of their final episode.

(O) – Owned: All other things equal, shows owned by studios affiliated with their networks have a better shot at renewal than those from outside producers.

Posted by:The Cancel Bear

The Cancel Bear is a bear who tracks and devours low-rated TV shows.

  • Comedy Central has cracked the secret to late night, and you’ll never believe it, but it’s “hire a white guy.” – foolish watcher

    […] Sleepy Hollow is the third lowest rated series on TV and is unlikely to return. […]


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