Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2014, 5 to 1


It's time for my fifth annual look back at the year's top 10 moments in TV ratings! As always, the criteria are pretty subjective, but I go for a blend of 1) relatively isolated incidents that are impressive for their sheer enormity/cultural impact and 2) moments that exemplify much larger trends in TV this year. The headlines link back to writings on these moments at the time they happened. Enjoy, please let me know about my most egregious rankings/omissions, and check out the first post from yesterday. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Top 10 TV Ratings Moments of 2014, 10 to 6


It's time for my fifth annual look back at the year's top 10 moments in TV ratings! As always, the criteria are pretty subjective, but I go for a blend of 1) relatively isolated incidents that are impressive for their sheer enormity/cultural impact and 2) moments that exemplify much larger trends in TV this year. The headlines link back to writings on these moments at the time they happened. Enjoy, please let me know about my most egregious rankings/omissions, and check out the now live top five. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Schedules Plus Update, NBC (2001-02 & 2002-03)


Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts, looking back on the newly added 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive year-to-year trends and ranks among the 13 iterations of each hour.

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages, but the most basic one is that the listed schedules are fall lineups, even when midseason replacements may have done much better. (I try to mention those midseason replacements that did better.) Please also note that the 2003-04 thru 2005-06 numbers still contain the "old" A18-49+ scores from before I filled in the missing data from those seasons. So those numbers will change (slightly) when the 2014-15 numbers are entered this summer.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Schedules Plus Update, CBS (2001-02 & 2002-03)


Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts, looking back on the newly added 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive year-to-year trends and ranks among the 13 iterations of each hour.

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages, but the most basic one is that the listed schedules are fall lineups, even when midseason replacements may have done much better. (I try to mention those midseason replacements that did better.) Please also note that the 2003-04 thru 2005-06 numbers still contain the "old" A18-49+ scores from before I filled in the missing data from those seasons. So those numbers will change (slightly) when the 2014-15 numbers are entered this summer.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/18/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: With Thursday Night Football hitting a runaway season low (just a 1.6 on NFL Network) in two small markets, adjustments were minimal. Only Elementary (1.3) and the 8:00 Bones repeat adjusted down. That meant Mom (2.3) finished at a noticeable 0.3 points higher than its last episode after a repeat two weeks ago.
  • Pending preemptions, CBS' Mom (2.3) and Two and a Half Men (1.9) took hits with a repeat lead-in from The Big Bang Theory (2.3), while The McCarthys (1.6) and Elementary (1.4) were even. These numbers may adjust down a bit due to a Jacksonville football preemption.
  • These numbers came against virtually no competition on the other networks. NBC saw The Biggest Loser (0.9) get into truly disastrous territory, and it led into an unwatched new awards show called the People Magazine Awards (0.8). But somehow that combo was still enough for second place against ABC with The Taste (0.8) and Fox with Bones repeats (0.8 pending a preemption). Compared to these stinkers, the CW looked like a winner with the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball special (0.6), up a tenth year-to-year.
  • Programming note: I won't be doing updates based on preliminary ratings for the next two weeks, but I'll have a few roundup posts as the finals trickle in. Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/17/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The Survivor reunion dropped to 1.8 in finals, putting it on the narrow year-to-year downside. 
  • The two-hour finale of Survivor (2.4) was the dominant option on a night full of unscripted programming. Though it didn't get any week-to-week bounce, it was just two tenths below the previous fall finale, and the 10/9c reunion show was even with last year's 1.9.
  • NBC brought back The Sing-Off (1.3) with modest results as just a one-time special this year; it tied both its Michael Buble special lead-in (1.3) as well as Fox's two-hour finale of Hell's Kitchen (1.3).
  • The CW's The 100 (0.5) was Wednesday's only scripted original, dropping a tenth with a reduced lead-in. Led by Modern Family (1.7), ABC averaged a 1.3 with three hours of comedy repeats, tying the NBC and Fox averages. The three-episode Black-ish marathon hit 1.3/1.1/1.0.

Schedules Plus Update, ABC (2001-02 & 2002-03)


Schedules Plus looks at the evolution of network schedules and timeslots using numbers adjusted for historical decline. These update posts, looking back on the newly added 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, will link back to the now updated full posts for each day, and the update posts have exclusive year-to-year trends and ranks among the 13 iterations of each hour.

Many more disclaimers can be seen on the individual pages, but the most basic one is that the listed schedules are fall lineups, even when midseason replacements may have done much better. (I try to mention those midseason replacements that did better.) Please also note that the 2003-04 thru 2005-06 numbers still contain the "old" A18-49+ scores from before I filled in the missing data from those seasons. So those numbers will change (slightly) when the 2014-15 numbers are entered this summer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/16/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: NCIS (2.4) avoided its season low with a finals uptick, while The Voice (3.3) was also up, taking its y2y decline to just 18%.
  • NBC's two-hour finale of The Voice (3.2) was the series' best rating since early November, but it was down 20% vs. last year's fall finale. Considering how poorly the series fared in the closing weeks of the season, going -15%/-20% on the last two nights isn't really that terrible/unexpected. But this season seems to have confirmed the notion that the series is on the downturn.
  • CBS tried throwing originals at NBC's finale, and it went about as badly as the last time the shows had major NBC competition (when The Voice was two hours on November 11). NCIS (2.3) and Person of Interest (1.3) each tied their season lows from that night, and they sandwiched a new one for NCIS: New Orleans (1.9).
  • In the 8:00 hour, ABC's A Charlie Brown Christmas (1.7) tied the finale of MasterChef Junior (1.7) for second. NBC brought up the rear, not getting much out of a new Elf special (1.3).

SpotVault - Hart of Dixie (CW) - 2014-15 Ratings





Hart of Dixie
Fridays, 9/8c, CW







SpotVault - Undercover Boss (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings





Undercover Boss
Sundays, 8/7c and Fridays, 8/7c, CBS







SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CW) - 2014-15 Ratings





Specials & Movies on The CW






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (Fox) - 2014-15 Ratings





Specials & Movies on Fox






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings





Specials & Movies on NBC






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings





Specials & Movies on CBS






SpotVault - Specials & Movies (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings





Specials & Movies on ABC






Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/14/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Bob's Burgers (1.3) was up 0.1. Cowboys-fueled Sunday Night Football ended up at an 8.6 rating, a massive number for this time of year; it was the biggest SNF since late September (also a Cowboys game). TNT's new drama The Librarians (0.8) took a major week two decline.
  • CBS brought back Undercover Boss for a three-week Sunday run before it moves to Friday to fill space between The Amazing Race seasons. And it got off to a good start (1.7), coming in just below the high point of last season's Friday run (and better than the usual Madam Secretary demo without overrun help). This pulled CBS into a virtual tie with ABC and a national overrun-infused Fox in the 8/7c hour. And it also helped The Mentalist (1.3) bounce back a bit from last week's bad drop. It could well get even better for the Boss when it gets national overrun help the next two weeks.
  • On ABC, Once Upon a Time (1.7) has positively limped to the finish after such a huge early fall, declining by another three tenths on fall finale night. It's definitely going to be interesting to see what this show can piece together in the spring with the Frozen storyline done. To be fair, it can lay much of the blame on this night at the feet of a completely invisible Disney special (0.5) at 7/6c. And to round off a rotten ABC night, the two-hour Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People special (1.4) at 9/8c was down massively year-to-year (vs. a 2.2 on a Wednesday last year).
  • Despite having the national overrun, Fox went with repeats of The Simpsons (2.0) and Family Guy (1.4). They led into originals of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.5) at 8:30 and Bob's Burgers (1.2) at 9:30, which basically managed non-overrun numbers with the lessened lead-ins.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/13/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • On the first Saturday without college football, two networks still broke a 1.0 average (which is really good for Saturday filler). CBS' two hours of strong holiday specials inched past Fox's UFC. Both lineups were down about a tenth from the same lineups on this night last year. 
  • NBC's Peter Pan Live! remained close to the half-of-Sound of Music pace, with the Saturday encore doing a 0.3 (vs. SoML! pulling a 0.7 on this night last year).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/12/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The Amazing Race (1.2) was up 0.1.
  • Most Friday series aired their final originals of 2014, but the results were not memorable. ABC had a particularly weak outing with Last Man Standing (1.1) and Cristela (0.8) each declining for the third straight episode and Shark Tank (1.5) blowing away its previous season low. And CBS' trio of The Amazing Race (1.1), Hawaii Five-0 (1.1) and Blue Bloods (1.2) were all below average. Only NBC did reasonably well with Dateline (1.3), Grimm (1.3) and Constantine (1.0) all a bit above average. Fox had two hours of MasterChef Junior repeats (0.6) and the CW replayed the two-hour premiere of TNT's new show The Librarians (0.4).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/15/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Football took a tenth away from every ABC/NBC program, leaving The Voice (2.8) down 15% year-to-year and State of Affairs at a new low 1.5. Also, Jane the Virgin failed to hold onto the preliminary 0.6, but was still even week-to-week with a worse lead-in.
  • The CW went with a one-week preview of Hart of Dixie (0.4), which moves to Friday in January, at the same number it posted for almost every Monday airing last season. It was upstaged by a promising fall finale uptick for Jane the Virgin, which registered its first 0.6 since the series premiere (provided it holds in finals).
  • NBC had the fall finale of The Voice (2.9) and another 1.6 for State of Affairs, but they may drop a bit in finals due to a Monday Night Football preemption. The Voice should be up at least a bit week-to-week, but it'll be well below last year's 3.3 fall finale. 
  • ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight (1.5) is also sweating a preemption, but it seems to have fared better against The Voice's finale than it did last year (1.0).
  • Fox had the newly renamed American Country Countdown Awards (0.9), down a third from last year's American Country Awards (1.4 on 12/10/13). 
  • CBS was all original again and saw a 0.1 uptick for 2 Broke Girls (2.1) and 0.1 drops for Mike and Molly (1.8) and Scorpion (2.0).

Monday, December 15, 2014

A18-49+: 2001-02 Season Recap


The A18-49+ yearly recaps combine one single season's updates to each of the A18-49+ theme posts (linked for each section below). On the theme posts: I've moved the tables with every single year (the "put 'em all together" sections) to the top of each post and put the 2001-02 and 2002-03 numbers (along with the updated 2003-04 thru 2005-06) in each of those tables. Except for New Shows (which was a simple copy&paste) I have not updated everything below those initial tables: that is, the text recaps and tables broken apart into sections. I might get into that at the end of the month, but more likely the full text updates won't come until I'm adding the 2014-15 stuff this summer.

Defining Shows/Overall Thoughts:

The 2001-02 season wasn't the last one in which NBC rode Friends and ER to the top of the ratings charts. But it was probably the last time that the network's grip on primetime seemed unbreakable. As a network, NBC's originals averaged a whooping 128 in A18-49+, a number about on par with the very biggest years of Fox's prime in the late aughts. I would argue this number was even more impressive than anything Fox did, since NBC didn't devote as much time to one individual giga-hit and also had to program the 10:00 hour.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/11/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The finals were not too harsh to CBS adjustment-wise, leaving the network with some pretty favorable numbers in spite of a new season low for The Big Bang Theory (3.9). Mom (2.6) tied its season/series high, Two and a Half Men (2.3) and The McCarthys (1.6) both zoomed up to near their premiere numbers and Elementary (1.4) hit a new season high. The CW's night brightened further as The Vampire Diaries upticked to 0.9, putting both its dramas at a tie for their season highs. But Bones got no finals help, so the new season low 1.2 sticks.
  • As usual, any observations about Thursday's top-ranked lineup on CBS (including the return of The Big Bang Theory in originals) will have to wait for finals due to preemptions in both of the Thursday Night Football markets.
  • Though there's not much Thursday competition these days, not many shows stepped up:
    • NBC's regular series in the first two hours were back for the first time in three weeks; The Biggest Loser (1.1) tied its season low at 8/7c, though Bad Judge (1.1) hopped up in its first episode without Scandal competition. (Hey, maybe the Shonda audience would've been interested in a Kate Walsh comedy after all!) 
    • ABC's The Taste (0.8) inched down in week two.
    • Bones had another preliminary new low 1.2 (though the last one ended up adjusting up), while the Gracepoint finale (0.9) was even with last week but slightly above most of the middle of the run.
    • The CW perhaps fared best of all, as the fall finales of The Vampire Diaries (0.8) and Reign (0.5) were each up a tenth.

SpotVault - The Librarians (TNT) - 2014-15 Ratings


The Librarians
Sundays, 8/7c, TNT







SpotVault - Ground Floor (TBS) - 2014-15 Ratings


Ground Floor
Tuesdays, 10/9c, TBS







Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/10/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Chicago PD (1.5), hour two of Hell's Kitchen (1.2) and Arrow (1.1) all adjusted up. That meant PD actually built on its SVU lead-in for the first time this season.
  • ABC's comedies bounced back from disastrous results last week. The Middle (2.2) had the biggest win, all the way back into a tie with its season high from two episodes ago and up year-to-year. The Goldbergs (2.2) also did fine, hitting season-average levels (though failing to build on The Middle for the first time), while Modern Family (3.1) and Black-ish (2.3) remained clearly below average (even if up multiple tenths from last week). At least in the prelims, Nashville (1.5) actually won the tightly-packed 10/9c hour outright.
  • NBC was the big loser of this Wednesday, bringing its three-hour procedural lineup back for a one-week original stint in the middle of two lengthy hiatuses. Bookends The Mysteries of Laura (1.2) and Chicago PD (1.4) each tied their season lows, but those didn't look as bad by comparison as Law and Order: SVU (1.4) dipped well below its previous season low.
  • On CBS, it was a good night for Survivor (2.4) but not so much for low-tying Criminal Minds (2.1) and Stalker (1.4). Fox had two hours of Hell's Kitchen (1.2), while the CW's Arrow (1.0) came back to earth after last week's Flash crossover (but was still a tenth ahead of the episode before the crossover). The 100 preliminarily held at 0.6 despite the reduced lead-in.

A18-49+: 2002-03 Season Recap


The A18-49+ yearly recaps combine one single season's updates to each of the A18-49+ theme posts (linked for each section below). The updates to the theme posts will come after the 2001-02 recap is posted.

Defining Shows/Overall Thoughts:

We've already looked at a couple seasons that were notable as explosions for one particular category of programming. 2004-05 saw an incredible class of new dramas, while 2011-12 marked the explosion of several new and returning comedies. At least within the A18-49+ era, 2002-03 is the closest thing to a Year of Reality, welcoming in a new generation of unscripted hits that are still major players on the primetime landscape well over a decade later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/9/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show adjusted up to 3.4, putting it even year-to-year. It also edged out the series finale of FX's Sons of Anarchy (3.3) for top series of the night. Sons joined recent finales like Breaking Bad and How I Met Your Mother in ending on a new series high, just barely beating the 3.2 from this season's premiere. Elsewhere, The Voice (2.3) adjusted up to avoid a new low, while Supernatural (1.0) and The Mindy Project (1.1) both went down.
  • CBS ruled Tuesday with the always reliably stout Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (2.8) and The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (3.3) sandwiching a repeat of NCIS (1.7). Both these specials were just barely down from last year (3.0/3.4 respectively) when CBS aired them on separate nights (putting Rudolph a couple weeks earlier and Secret following original episodes of the NCIS twins).
  • The superhero shows preliminarily inched down from last week, but The Flash (1.5) was still above its usual level before the Arrow cross-over (and Supernatural (1.1) had a particularly strong night). ABC's fall finales of Agents of SHIELD (1.7) and Forever (1.1) also declined by 0.1 with less lead-in support at 8/7c from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1.1), but these shows were still ahead of some previous episodes (when they had more drama competition).
  • NBC's struggles continued with another new low for The Voice (2.2) leading to more declines from Marry Me (1.2) and About a Boy (0.9) and a modest Angelina Jolie news special at 10/9c (1.0). Fox's New Girl (1.5) and The Mindy Project (1.2) each picked up a tenth.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 12/7/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Each of Fox's animated anchors adjusted up a tenth.
  • There was no big post-Walking Dead really for ABC's dramas. In fact, Once Upon a Time (2.0) was preliminarily down another tenth, putting it on the year-to-year negative side for the first time all season. But Resurrection (1.0) did get back one tenth and Revenge (1.2) was up two.
  • On the other two networks, the NFL overrun made a big impact. Fox's The Simpsons (2.8), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2.1), Family Guy (2.2) and Bob's Burgers (1.6) all shot up to at or barely below the last time they had the overrun two weeks ago, while overrun-less CBS saw The Mentalist (1.1) take a huge week two drop and CSI (1.2) a two-tenth drop leading out of an I Love Lucy Christmas special (1.4) at 8/7c.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 12/6/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Championship Saturday in college football was a massive reversal of fortunes compared to last year. Fox's Big Ten Championship (1.7) went from a tight epic in 2013 to a 59-0 massacre this year, putting that game at well under half of last year's 4.5. Meanwhile, ABC's ACC Championship (3.1) went from rout last year to yet another Florida State nail-biter this time, and it nearly doubled last year's 1.7. The games had pretty similar initial interest (ACC 2.6 to B1G 2.1 in the 8:30 half-hour), but that 0.5 advantage for ABC had quintupled by 10:30 (ACC 4.0 to B1G 1.5).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 12/5/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Grimm (1.2) adjusted up to avoid tying its low. The Pac-12 Championship was just a tenth above the prelims at 1.9.
  • Fox had a rare night of Friday leadership thanks to the Pac-12 Championship Game, which had a preliminary 1.8 from 9:00-11:00 and figures to adjust up once the West Coast viewership is accounted for.
  • Opposite a stronger Fox, no entertainment programs really had anything to crow about. Cristela (0.9) hit a new low, putting it on pace with year-ago occupant The Neighbors. It was the only series to hit an outright low, but plenty of others like Last Man Standing (1.2), Shark Tank (1.8), Grimm (1.1) and Constantine (0.8) tied or were very close to their season low points. The NBC dramas had a worse lead-in than usual from holiday special How Murray Saved Christmas (0.9), while CBS also failed to score much traction with its 9/8c special A Very Grammy Christmas (0.8).
  • Only The Amazing Race (1.2) and 20/20 (1.4) grew vs. the previous episode, while the two-hour finale of America's Next Top Model (0.4) was flat.

SpotVault - Mike and Molly (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings





Mike and Molly
Mondays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS







SpotVault - The Great Christmas Light Fight (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings





The Great Christmas Light Fight
Mondays, 8/7c, ABC







SpotVault - The Taste (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings





The Taste
Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC







SpotVault - The Mentalist (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings





The Mentalist
Sundays, 9/8c and Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS







Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/8/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Downward adjustments put The Great Christmas Light Fight at a very solid 1.7, well above anything from its three-week run last season (including last year's 1.4 premiere). However, Castle (1.4) adjusted all the way down to a new series low. The picture brightened somewhat for Mike and Molly (1.9) after a finals uptick, putting it just a tenth behind its 2BG lead-in.
  • CBS' return to original programming saw 2 Broke Girls (2.0) bounce most of the way back from its major stinker a couple weeks ago, and Scorpion (2.1) also had its best rating in four episodes. But the network didn't get much out of the return of Mike and Molly (1.8), only managing to premiere at the same 90%ish retention of 2 Broke Girls that it tended to score when they aired a half-hour later last year. That's a definite step up from what The Millers brought to the slot, but not exactly by a runaway margin.
  • On NBC, another very low edition of The Voice (2.5) led into State of Affairs, steady at its mediocre 1.6.
  • ABC had great preliminary numbers for the return of The Great Christmas Light Fight (1.9), but the finals will change that since it was preempted in both Monday Night Football markets. Fox's repeats fell to sub-CW levels, and CDub's Jane the Virgin (0.5) was up a tenth.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A18-49+: 2001: A Rates Odyssey




I'm very happy to announce the addition of two more seasons to the "A18-49+ Era"! In other words, I've gotten enough data to be able to calculate a fairly accurate average rating for original non-sports series on the big four in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. I now have almost* every 18-49 rating for the six broadcast networks in those two seasons. In this post, I will have a few brief introductory remarks on the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, and we'll go into much more detail later in the month.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 12/4/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: After finals, Mom (2.0) and Two and a Half Men (1.9) ended up noticeably above their Thanksgiving numbers but below what they had been getting after original Big Bang. The McCarthys (1.4) was pretty much back to normal, while Elementary (1.2) was even with Thanksgiving (and thus above the last couple ratings against TGIT and Parenthood). Peter Pan Live! adjusted up to 2.4, making the drop from Sound of Music less than half.
  • NBC's second stab at a live musical event did not capture the national attention to nearly the same degree. Peter Pan LIve! (2.3) managed merely half of last year's The Sound of Music Live! rating and was pretty soundly rejected across the half-hours (starting at 2.7 and ending with a mere 1.8 at 10:30). Though the Carrie Underwood-fueled numbers from last year were always going to be extremely difficult to replicate, I'd guess NBC is at least a bit disappointed here. But this rating is likely still strong enough to keep the tradition alive for now. It looks worse than it is because of how enormous last year's event was.
  • ABC began its two-month TGIT hiatus with a soft start for The Taste (0.9), which only tied the low point from last season and was down nearly a third from last year's 1.3 opener. It may benefit in future weeks from NBC going lower, but this wasn't the start ABC wanted.
  • Elsewhere, Bones (1.5) had a decent uptick with no competition from The Big Bang Theory or Grey's Anatomy. And we'll visit CBS after finals, as the network was heavily inflated by pre-emptions in both of the large Thursday Night Football markets.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 12/3/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • The second half of the CW's The Flash / Arrow crossover was the more explosive one, as Arrow (1.4) vaulted to a new series high (and up by a whooping half point vs. its last episode). This is the rating that normal episodes of The Flash have been getting, which is huge.
  • NBC was stronger than usual with specials Christmas in Rockefeller Center (1.9) and Saturday Night Live Christmas (1.9). However, both of these specials declined considerably from last year (when they hit 2.3/2.6 respectively).
  • These NBC specials may have contributed to a great deal of ugliness elsewhere; after all, ABC also had a very bad night on this same Wednesday last year. But it was at least as poor again this time, with The Middle (1.6), The Goldbergs (1.7), Modern Family (2.8) and Black-ish (2.1) all at least 10% below their previous season lows. CBS was also soft with two hours of Survivor (2.1/2.0) and Stalker (1.5) failing to bounce back from their Thanksgiving Eve ratings. And Fox's Hell's Kitchen (1.2) and Red Band Society (0.9) were also on the low end (though at least above the Thanksgiving Eve deliveries).

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 12/2/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The Flash (1.6) adjusted up, now up 0.2 week-to-week and hitting its best rating since week two. Chicago Fire (1.7) adjusted up to round out a full night of week-to-week upticks for NBC, while Marry Me (1.3) dropped 0.1 in finals.
  • ABC got some of its best numbers of the season in the Tuesday 8/7c hour with new holiday special Toy Story That Time Forgot (1.9) leading into classic special A Charlie Brown Christmas (2.1). This was well behind the new Halloween-themed Toy Story special in 2013 (3.1), but Charlie Brown was up two tenths year-to-year. That added lead-in support plus perhaps some audience fleeing CBS repeats produced a positive night for the ABC dramas; Agents of SHIELD (1.8) had its best rating since the season premiere and Forever (1.2) snagged its best rating since late October.
  • A good night for superheroes continued on the CW as the first half of a crossover between The Flash and Arrow saw a small uptick for The Flash (1.5). Often it's the second show that benefits more in these situations, so we'll see what happens with Arrow, though last night's story on Flash was largely self-contained.
  • With CBS and ABC way down from last week (when CBS had originals and ABC a DWTS finale), there were also some minor upticks on the other original networks. The Voice (2.6), Marry Me (1.4) and About a Boy (1.1) all bounced back from last week's truly egregious numbers, but Chicago Fire (1.6) had no such luck (at least in the demo). MasterChef Junior (1.6) and New Girl (1.4) were up a tenth for Fox.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 12/1/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: The Voice (2.8) was up 0.1.
  • On a much less competitive (and less interrupted) night than the November sweeps Mondays, NBC's State of Affairs was desperate for a week three rebound. It got one, but a 1.6 probably isn't enough to really change the picture here. It will have to keep going up in the final post-Voice weeks (or hold up extremely well after The Voice leaves) to get meaningfully back in the mix.
  • Elsewhere, ABC went with two-hour special CMA Country Christmas (1.6, up a tick from last year when it aired at 9/8c) into Castle (1.5), tying a season low with its worst lead-in of the season. Fox's Sleepy Hollow (1.5) fall finale hit a pretty typical rating despite a repeat lead-in from Gotham (1.0). And CBS aired four Mike and Molly repeats (1.2 / 1.2 / 1.2 / 1.1) on the Monday before its premiere.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 11/30/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: It got a little less ugly on ABC after finals after Once Upon a Time (2.1) and Resurrection (0.9) adjusted up, but all three dramas still hit outright season lows.
  • CBS had a massive NFL overrun from Patriots/Packers that happened to end right at 7:30 ET, making these preliminary numbers a bit less subject to huge adjustments than usual. At the moment, CBS is tracking toward a season high for 60 Minutes (3.7), a best-since-premiere number from Madam Secretary (1.9) and a pretty good start for the final season of The Mentalist (1.6) (even with last year's premiere and above all The Good Wife results in the slot this season).
  • With CBS strong, NBC airing an above-average football game and AMC with a The Walking Dead finale, there was very little audience left for the other two entertainment networks. ABC had a particularly disheartening meltdown as Once Upon a Time (2.0) dropped by 17% while Resurrection (0.8) and Revenge (1.0) were down a full third. Fox punted again with repeats of both The Simpsons (1.0) and Family Guy (1.1). Given those results, Bob's Burgers (1.0) and especially Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.4) held up OK at the bottom of the hours.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 11/29/14



Spotted Ratings, Friday 11/28/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Though it's usually not as viewing-depressed as the previous two nights (at least compared to typical levels for the night of the week), Black Friday was still not too kind to the few originals that aired. NBC's three-hour lineup of Dateline (1.3), Grimm (1.2) and Constantine (0.9) was down across the board. None of these ratings were all that irregular, though Constantine did give back most of last week's odd surge.
  • On CBS, The Amazing Race (1.0) tied a season low, and holiday specials Frosty the Snowman (1.1) and Yes, Virginia (0.7) were down massively year-to-year. (Though they aired a week later last season.)

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 11/27/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • FINALS UPDATE: Elementary (1.2) gained another tick, putting it at a tie for its season high.
  • It was a quiet Thanksgiving Thursday for CBS' original comedies, as Mom (1.6) was down nearly a full point, Two and a Half Men (1.5) nearly a third and The McCarthys over 20%. Normally they'd be expected to hold up better than this even on the viewing-depressed evening, but they had the double-whammy of also having to air for the first time after a repeat of The Big Bang Theory (1.7). As a result, the declines lessened throughout the night, culminating in Elementary (1.1) actually building by a tenth week-to-week.
  • NBC was an overwhelming #1 with NFL football, while Fox got what would be a pretty good rating out of two-hour special Cause for Paws (1.6). But based on the breakdowns (2.8 -> 1.5 -> 1.2 -> 1.0), it's pretty clear that the late afternoon NFL lead-in was of great assistance here and may have even run into the 8:00 hour. If so, it will adjust down. ABC was very quiet with a Robin Roberts special (0.6) and How to Get Away with Murder repeats (0.5/0.6).

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 11/26/14


WHAT MATTERS:
  • Always an interesting lesson in how different shows react to viewing depressions, this Thanksgiving Eve saw CBS' Survivor (2.1) take a three tenth week-to-week drop, while Criminal Minds (2.2) and Stalker (1.6) were very close to even. As usual, younger-skewing Fox was hit much harder; Hell's Kitchen (1.1) and Red Band Society (0.7) each lost over 20% week-to-week.
  • Usually a Thanksgiving Day tradition, ABC's A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (2.1) was much improved year-to-year on the higher-viewed Thanksgiving Eve, and it helped boost repeats of Modern Family (1.5) and Black-ish (1.2) to well above last year's repeats. The CW's movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles (0.6) also grew a tenth year-to-year, but NBC's preview special for Peter Pan Live! (0.6) went well behind a similar special for The Sound of Music Live! last year (1.0).

Monday, December 1, 2014

First Two Weeks, State of Affairs


WEEK ONE 
Rating: 2.2
Lead-in: The Voice (3.1 overall, 3.0 at 9:30)
Competition: Castle (1.8), NCIS: Los Angeles (1.7).


Very Late Fall 2014 Best Case/Worst Case: The Mentalist, Mike and Molly and more!


Welcome to the final Best Case/Worst Case of 2014, visiting a five-pack of premieres straggling across the last weeks of the year. Though many of these are short-order schedule fillers, I'm excluding some of the very short-order schedule fillers. (Sorry, The Sing-Off and The Great Christmas Light Fight!)

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