Friday, February 27, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 2/26/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: American Idol (2.2) and The Blacklist (1.9) each gained a tenth.
  • It was a pretty encouraging week two for The Odd Couple (2.8), down just three tenths to tie the Mom high point in the slot as its The Big Bang Theory lead-in was even at 4.5. Speaking of Mom, it made its transition to the 9:30 half-hour at a 2.1, tying the last rating it posted after a repeat Big Bang. And CBS went way below usual Elementary numbers with a Victoria's Secret special (1.0).
  • Scandal-free edition of TGIT did modest business by its lofty standards. Grey's Anatomy (2.2) hit a low and led into the two-hour finale of How to Get Away with Murder (2.8), which dropped a tenth week-to-week in a special hour with a worse lead-in.
  • NBC saw The Blacklist (1.8) mercifully inch back up, though The Slap (0.7) and Allegiance (0.8) were both down. Fox was even with American Idol (2.1) and Backstrom (0.9).

Best Case/Worst Case, Early March 2015: The Last Man on Earth, CSI: Cyber, American Crime and more!

Best Case/Worst Case is back to preview one of the busiest five-day stretches of midseason. We're covering just the seven premieres from Sunday to Thursday here. There should be another post in a couple more weeks or so.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 2/25/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Empire (5.4) added a tenth to go 0.2 above last week's final, while Survivor (2.4) was up to even year-to-year. Arrow (1.1) and American Idol (2.7) were also up; Black-ish (2.2), Nashville (1.3) and The 100 (0.5) were down.
  • Yep, it grew again. Empire posted a 5.3 preliminary rating this week, up two tenths from last week's prelim and a tenth from last week's final. It's now within two tenths of the top broadcast entertainment rating of the season, The Big Bang Theory's premiere. Its lead-in American Idol (2.6) was down to a Wednesday season low, but that's still very close to even year-to-year. The bad news for Idol is it gets just two more airings alongside Empire.
  • CBS premiered both of its spring reality shows with 90-minute episodes; Survivor (2.3) was down noticeably from the last premiere in the fall but very close to the year-ago 2.4 spring 2014 premiere. And the temporary return to a weeknight with a seemingly compatible lead-in wasn't of that much help to The Amazing Race (1.5). This was well above the Friday fall premiere (1.1) but only tied the spring 2014 premiere against the Olympics.
  • ABC had another very strong comedy night; though The Middle (2.0) slumped a bit in the lead-off role, there were noticeable bounces for stunts on The Goldbergs (2.5) and Modern Family (3.4), and Black-ish (2.3) also inched up a bit more.
  • And NBC also had something interesting to report as The Mysteries of Laura (1.4) had a significant bounce in the lead-off role. I always thought The Mentalist was hurting it, but one would think this much growth probably has at least something to do with Debra Messing's Will and Grace co-star Eric McCormack appearing. We'll see what's left when it next airs, which apparently won't be for several weeks.
  • On the CW, Arrow (1.0) headed to hiatus on a slightly down note, and you guessed it, another preliminary 0.6 for The 100...

First Two Weeks, The Slap

Note: I was going to follow the bear's lead on this and skip this game, saying this show was a mini-series that never had a chance at renewal. I'm not 100% sure that's true, but the voting here would very likely be unanimous anyway, so it didn't seem to be worth the time and space. However, I realized that in the past I have given myself a win for similarly murky shows like The Assets. So for record-keeping purposes, everyone will be locked in with a "Cancel (Confident)" here. I'm providing this post just in case anyone would like to "opt out" and predict something else. If you want "Cancel (Confident)," no response is necessary!

The Question Results Through 2/23/15

Here are the standings through February 23 for the ratings prediction game The Question:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 2/24/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: There must have been some weird preemptions, as there were several atypical adjustments; NCIS (2.3), NCIS: New Orleans (2.0), Fresh Off the Boat (1.8) and New Girl (1.3) all went down. Only The Voice (3.9) went up.
  • NBC's The Voice (3.8) had a solid Tuesday return, growing by a tenth vs. the one-hour Tuesday premiere from last spring (though it was slightly below the 4.1 fall Tuesday premiere). But it didn't seem to much affect the one-hour series finale of Parks and Recreation (1.6). This was a two-season high and up about 40% vs. the hour of originals last week, but it probably wouldn't have done much worse (at least in the demo) in its usual 8/7c slot.
  • The story for the competitors was pretty similar to how it played out on Monday; namely, ABC and Fox were almost remarkably resilient. This was particularly good news for Fresh Off the Boat (1.9), which was dead even at a very good number against two more points of NBC competition. Week two of Repeat After Me (1.3) and the Agent Carter finale (1.3) each lost a tenth. Fox saw a small drop for MasterChef Junior (1.6) but no change for New Girl (1.4) and The Mindy Project (1.1).
  • Again, CBS took a minor hit for the combo of NCIS (2.4) and NCIS: New Orleans (2.0), but the week-to-week numbers don't look bad because they had already taken noticeable drops the week before. Meanwhile, Person of Interest (1.7) was above average at 10/9c as its main drama competitor Chicago Fire sat out for the night.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 2/22/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Oscars inched a bit higher to 11.0 in finals, but the year-to-year picture was the same: down 16% from last year's 13.1 final. The red carpet stuff was down around 10%. The Walking Dead had a noticeable bounce to 6.93, marking its first positive year-to-year point this spring.
  • UPDATE: Time zone-adjusted fast nationals have Oscar at 36.6 million viewers and a 10.8 rating. That's down 16% from the time zone number last year, and it's not impossible that it could adjust below the all-time 18-49 low in finals (a 10.7 in 2008).
    • The grand finale to Sunday event season was the Academy Awards (34.6 million viewers, 10.3 A18-49), the only program of any real consequence on the broadcast networks. This preliminary 18-49 result from 8:30 to 11:00 is down 15% year-to-year, another somewhat underwhelming result in what has been a rather soft season for awards shows. Since it aired live in all time zones and stretched way out of primetime, expect adjustments. (The ceremony adjusted from 12.1 prelim -> 12.9 time zone-adjusted prelim -> 13.1 final last year.)
  • Among the repeats, only 7:30 (1.0) and 8:00 (1.2) episodes of The Simpsons broke a 1.0. Somewhat notably, Simpsons actually beat its original number from a week ago (and tied the one from two weeks ago). Perhaps the departure of Mulaney helps. 

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 2/21/15

Spotted Ratings, Friday 2/20/15

  • There was many a post-Valentine's rebound on the last Friday of February sweeps, but the biggest was for usual Friday champ Shark Tank (2.2), which tied its season high and could tie its series high if it adjusts up in finals. Its lead-out 20/20 (1.6) also had a very good night, perhaps benefiting from no Dateline competition. At 8/7c, Last Man Standing posted its fourth consecutive 1.3, but Cristela (0.9) had a discouraging result in Roseanne's return stint.
  • CBS also fared well, with the Undercover Boss finale (1.3) inching up and procedurals Hawaii Five-0 (1.4) and Blue Bloods (1.5) each up two tenths. That marked a new season high for Blue Bloods.
  • NBC continued to get outstanding mileage out of Sunday's Saturday Night Live 40th special, as a three-hour repeat (1.5) was much stronger than the network's usual lineup and made the network a very close second place overall.
  • Fox was even with World's Funniest Fails (0.8) and Glee (0.6), and Hart of Dixie (0.4) ticked down from its last ep two weeks ago.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 2/23/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Voice (4.1) adjusted up to tie the fall premiere. Gotham (2.3) also added a tenth, making it a half point of growth in two weeks. And Castle dropped to its third consecutive 1.6.
  • NBC returned to ratings relevancy with the latest two-hour premiere of The Voice (4.0). This was down 15% from an Olympics-promoted premiere a year ago, and very close to the fall 2014 premiere's 4.1 which faced huge competition.
  • But if that was fairly as-expected, the good news ended promptly at 10/9c. Former summer drama The Night Shift (1.5) just barely retained a third of its Voice 9:30 lead-in (4.4) and couldn't even get to its high point from the summer. It's gotta be hugely disheartening for NBC to see a Voice premiere lead-out drop all the way to third place, behind both Castle (1.7) and NCIS: Los Angeles (1.6). This was basically where State of Affairs settled in its last post-Voice weeks; how much worse can it possibly get?!
  • Despite the added NBC presence, ABC's The Bachelor (2.6) and Castle (1.7) were completely unfazed and Fox's Gotham (2.2) comeback rolled on, picking up another tenth (and now four in the last two weeks). The season and perhaps series finale of Sleepy Hollow (1.4) was even.
  • The only network that got nicked at all was CBS, as 2 Broke Girls (2.1), Mike and Molly (2.0) and Scorpion (2.1) all went back to about what they were doing when they last faced The Voice in December.

First Two Weeks, Fresh Off the Boat

WEEK ZERO (Wednesday previews)
Rating: 2.5 (8:30) / 2.3 (9:30)
Lead-in: The Middle (2.2) / Modern Family (3.4)
Competition: The Mentalist (1.2 at 8:30) / Criminal Minds (2.0 at 9:30), The Mysteries of Laura (1.0 at 8:30) / Law and Order: SVU (1.3 at 9:30), American Idol (3.2 at 8:30) / Empire (4.7 at 9:30), Arrow (1.2 at 8:30) / The 100 (0.5 at 9:30)

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Question, Monday 2/23/15: Can The Night Shift Handle a Regular Season Shift?

Faced with one of the most disastrous new series classes for a network in recent memory, NBC is trying something unconventional with its spring season of The Voice: using it to lead into sophomore series that first aired in the summer. It starts tonight with The Voice's premiere followed by the medical drama The Night Shift. TNS had a good lead-in from America's Got Talent last summer, and it proved a reasonable improvement on some other stuff that aired post-Talent in recent seasons. It's still hard to label the season one performance as anything more than modest, but it now gets to try on an even bigger stage. Can The Night Shift handle a regular season shift? That's The Question for Monday, February 23, 2015.

SpotVault - Vikings (History) - 2014-15 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, History

SpotVault - The Odd Couple (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Odd Couple
Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS

SpotVault - The Slap (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Slap
Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

SpotVault - Repeat After Me (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings

Repeat After Me
Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c, ABC

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 2/19/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Scandal (3.3) and How to Get Away with Murder (2.9) made it a full night of 0.2 gains for TGIT. The Big Bang Theory (4.5) and Two and a Half Men (3.2) were also up a tenth.
  • The second long-running series finale in as many nights went a lot better for CBS, as twelve-year vet Two and a Half Men (3.1) spiked by nearly 50% week-to-week. It wasn't quite a How I Met Your Mother-sized spike, but it was pretty close. This was the show's highest rating in the two seasons since it lost The Big Bang Theory as a lead-in.
  • The network had more middling results in the 8/7c hour. The Big Bang Theory (4.4) didn't see any real benefit from the events later in the night, and it led into a 3.1 premiere for The Odd Couple. While this was about 10% above Mom's high point in the slot, it will take a very good post-premiere hold for this show to settle in as a Mom-sized player. Considering a two-week March Madness hiatus is coming in just a few weeks, that will be difficult to say the least. 
  • Week three of NBC's all-drama Thursday saw a big 8/7c drop from The Slap (0.8), but The Blacklist (1.7) was even against increased CBS competition and Allegiance (0.9) rebounded a bit. It's not a major surprise that the shows held up this week since last week seemed like such a ridiculous underachievement, but let's see if they've got a rebound in them going forward.
  •  TGIT had another particularly stellar night, as Grey's Anatomy (2.5), Scandal (3.2) and How to Get Away with Murder (2.8) were all up week-to-week.
  • Fox was the only network that really seemed to suffer, as Backstrom (0.9) gave back last week's rebound and then some. American Idol (2.1) also hit a season low.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Question, Thursday 2/19/15: Will The Odd Couple Be a Ratings Oddity?

Tonight, CBS unveils its latest attempt to pair a new comedy with The Big Bang Theory as Matthew Perry's The Odd Couple comes to town. Though Perry's many post-Friends attempts to break back into TV have all fizzled out, they've also tended to start off well. The Odd Couple marks the revival of a classic TV brand, but you've got to be at the very upper crust of the 18-49 demo to remember seeing the early-'70s version of The Odd Couple in originals. Perhaps the biggest factor here will be the hammock effect; the show has not just a TBBT lead-in but also a lead-out from what should be a solid-rated series finale of Two and a Half Men. Will The Odd Couple be a ratings oddity? That's The Question for Tuesday, February 19, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 2/18/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Empire's latest record was smashed again with a finals uptick to 5.2. As usual, The 100 (0.5) adjusted down, but the CW got it back at 8/7c as Arrow (1.2) went up to match its non-crossover season high from two weeks ago. Also up were Idol (2.8) and Modern Family (3.1), while Stalker (1.2) was down.
  • Fox's rookie phenom Empire began the second half of season one in familiar fashion: with week-to-week growth, this time by 6% to another new record 5.1. It's now within realistic reach of the biggest entertainment episode on broadcast this season: the 5.5 for The Big Bang Theory's season premiere.
  • CBS said goodbye to veteran drama The Mentalist in rather blah fashion, with a 1.3 at 8/7c and a 1.4 for the last episode at 9/8c. These were really no different than what the show has been getting since its move to Wednesday. And its presence at 9/8c significantly weakened CBS, opening the floodgates for NBC's Law and Order: SVU (1.6) and Chicago PD (1.7). SVU posted its best ratings since the last time there was no Criminal Minds on January 7, while PD had its best number since the big crossover in November.
  • The only real notable on another original night for ABC was the softening of Modern Family (3.0), but its 3.4 and 3.3 in the last couple weeks seemed like overachievements anyway. The Middle, The Goldbergs and Black-ish all tied at 2.2, and Nashville (1.3) inched back down.
  • On the CW, it was another 1.1 for Arrow and yet another preliminary 0.6 for The 100...

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 2/17/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The CW ended up exactly even week-to-week as The Flash (1.5) went up and Supernatural (0.8) down. NCIS (2.6) also added a tenth, keeping it away from a new 2015 low.
  • On the week before The Voice shakes up the Tuesday landscape, ABC put itself in good position to withstand the onslaught. Week three for Fresh Off the Boat (1.9) had its most encouraging point yet, up by two tenths vs. the 8/7c episode last week, and Repeat After Me (1.4) had a reasonable enough start for cheap 8:30 filler. The next-to-last Agent Carter (1.4) was even at 9/8c, but an Oscar preview at 10/9c flopped (0.8).
  • There were several other winners in the last pre-Voice week. After an weak result last Tuesday, Fox had a huge rebound for MasterChef Junior (1.8) that spilled a bit into the 9/8c hour with New Girl (1.4) and The Mindy Project (1.1). NBC inched back up in each half-hour for the penultimate week of Parks and Recreation (1.2/1.1). And the CW was pretty average with The Flash (1.4) and Supernatural (0.9), which is always a good thing.
  • The only significant hits came on CBS, where NCIS (2.5) and NCIS: New Orleans (2.0) each had their weakest numbers of 2015 to date.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 2/16/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: +0.1 for the The Bachelor (2.6) and Celebrity Apprentice (1.7).
  • After some major bleeding over the last few weeks, Fox's genre dramas finally had a bounce-back night. A much-teased Joker appearance on Gotham (2.1) saw the show surge by three tenths, and the penultimate Sleepy Hollow (1.4) was up by two.
  • On NBC, it was finale night for Celebrity Apprentice (1.6), which posted its lowest number of the season aside from the one-hour episode last week. Though this season marked a very significant resurgence for the franchise, the last couple weeks came back to earth a touch. But this still edged the 1.5 finale from the last cycle in 2013. State of Affairs also signed off with its usual 1.0.
  • CBS had steady comedies 2 Broke Girls (2.2) and Mike and Molly (2.2) leading into a somewhat weaker final two hours with a Stevie Wonder special (1.4), while ABC's The Bachelor (2.5) dropped a bit from last Monday. The CW's The Originals (0.6) rebounded a bit and Jane the Virgin remained at 0.6.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 2/15/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: SNL (7.8) did not adjust in finals, and it handily defeated week two of The Walking Dead (6.2). This TWD ep marked a second straight year-to-year decline for the series, down 9% vs. week two of last spring. (That episode faced the Olympics, but that was actually significantly weaker than SNL.)
  • On what's usually one of the less eventful weeks of Sunday event season, this time NBC made its own enormous event. The 40th anniversary celebration of Saturday Night Live averaged an absurd 23.14 million viewers and 7.8 demo rating, which could very well make it the top 18-49 program of the night on an evening when The Walking Dead was airing. We're talking average Sunday Night Football levels here, and it was within 10% of this year's Grammy ratings! (Worth noting it'll probably adjust down a touch since the 11:00 half-hour isn't included; the show was already dropping in the 10:00 hour.)
  • The other three networks were all original and didn't have much luck.
    • Three hours of The Bachelor on ABC averaged a 1.5 at 8:00, a 1.6 at 9:00 and a 1.5 at 10:00; on this night, those look like good numbers, but only a little over half what the show has been getting on its main night.
    • CBS and Fox were even worse, only around a 1.0 average starting at 8/7c. CBS had Undercover Boss (0.9) and what could be a pretty sad final two hours ratings-wise for CSI (1.1).
    • And Fox's comedies The Simpsons (1.1), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (0.9), Family Guy (1.2) and Bob's Burgers (0.9) were all down from the already absolutely anemic numbers last week.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 2/14/15

  • After seven years of airing primetime races on ABC, that part of the NASCAR package made its move to Fox. ABC didn't have a race this week last year, but this one (1.2) was down a tenth from the last ABC telecast in October.
  • On the eve of an explosive rating for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special, the franchise posted a very solid number by Saturday standards with a Valentine's Day-themed special (1.3).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 2/13/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Hawaii Five-0 (1.2) went up a tenth.
  • It was mostly an unlucky Friday the 13th on broadcast at the beginning of a holiday weekend. CBS took the hardest hit as drops from Undercover Boss (1.2) and Hawaii Five-0 (1.1) reverted the network to the ratings level it often experienced during the fall. 
  • NBC's Grimm (1.1) and Dateline (1.0) also inched down to season lows, while ABC's Shark Tank (1.8) was a bit below average as the network sat out the 8/7c comedies in favor of a Charlie Brown Valentine special (1.0). The CW also preempted its regular programming for movie Safety Not Guaranteed (0.2).
  • The steadiest network was actually Fox, but that might just be because it dropped so much last week. World's Funniest Fails (0.8) was even and Glee (0.6) up a tick.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

First Two Weeks, Allegiance

Rating: 1.1
Lead-in: The Blacklist (2.4 overall, 2.3 at 9:30)
Competition: How to Get Away with Murder (2.7), Elementary (1.5)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 2/12/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Backstrom comeback got a little less exciting with a downward adjustment to 1.2.
  • Reasonable minds could disagree about what to make of The Blacklist's opening 2.4 on Thursday. But it's hard not to see a nearly one-third drop to 1.7 in week two as a severe disappointment, and one that suggests the show got more Super Bowl help than it might have seemed at the time. Dropping even more was Allegiance (0.7), which went completely off the map in just its second week. It's now on immediate death watch. In the context of Allegiance's 1.1 premiere with a big lead-in last week, The Slap filling out the lineup at an identical 1.1 at 8/7c doesn't seem that bad, really. But it's not gonna serve as any real consolation for what happened in the last two hours.
  • CBS squeezed in one last 8/7c repeat of The Big Bang Theory (2.1) in the week before The Odd Couple's premiere. With more competition than in January, an original Mom (2.1) did not fare as well as in previous post-repeat showings, and the rest of the originals were also down a touch.
  • On this night, TGIT's steadiness with Grey's Anatomy (2.3), Scandal (3.1) and How to Get Away with Murder (2.7) looked pretty awesome by comparison.
  • And it looks like some of those lost Blacklist viewers may have funneled back into Backstrom (1.3), which had a surprisingly large week four rebound.

Fox True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! These rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

CW True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! These rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 2/11/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: In an adjustment-heavy batch of finals, the two most notable were that Empire was up to 4.8, while Criminal Minds (1.9) fell below two for the first time in series history. American Idol (2.8) and Arrow (1.1) were also up. There were a bunch of downticks, perhaps due to local basketball: The Goldbergs (2.2), Black-ish (2.1), The Mentalist (1.4), The Mysteries of Laura (1.0) and The 100 (0.5).
  • For the fifth time in six post-premiere airings, Empire (4.7) was up week-to-week in adults 18-49. It was also up for the sixth straight week in total viewers (to 11.9 million). This one came despite a sizable drop at 8/7c from American Idol (2.7).
  • ABC also had good things to report in the 9/8c hour, as Modern Family (3.3) had a second straight very good result against this titan, and Black-ish (2.2) also picked back up to what would be its best result since Empire premiered. The network also saw The Middle (2.1) inch down at 8/7c and Nashville (1.4) inch up at 10/9c.
  • On CBS, Criminal Minds (2.0) and Stalker (1.4) stayed low-end, but the penultimate week of The Mentalist (1.5) had a noticeable jump. NBC inched up in the first two hours with The Mysteries of Laura (1.1) and Law and Order: SVU (1.4), but Chicago PD (1.4) lost steam from last week's crossover result.
  • The CW saw Arrow (1.0) come back to earth a bit after a very hot recent run, while The 100 had yet another preliminary 0.6...

NBC True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! These rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

SpotVault - Better Call Saul (AMC) - 2014-15 Ratings

Better Call Saul
Mondays, 10/9c, AMC

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 2/10/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Everything on CBS plus The Flash (1.5), the 8:00 Parks (1.1) and About a Boy (0.9) adjusted up.
  • ABC's Fresh Off the Boat made a promising transition to Tuesday, posting a 1.7 demo at 8:00 and rising to a 1.8 at 8:30. This hour was down 27% from the 2.4 average for the Wednesday episodes, but that's good retention given the more difficult timeslot. And it was about 30% better than the launches of Selfie and Manhattan Love Story. It will still have to deal with The Voice in a couple weeks, but this has given it a real shot at holding onto a number ABC can work with. ABC's dramas Agent Carter (1.4) and Forever (1.1) also benefited a bit.
  • Fresh might have even had something of a Death Star effect on some competitors, as NBC's two episodes of Parks and Recreation (1.0/1.0) and even Fox's MasterChef Junior (1.4) did much worse than usual. NBC's struggles continued into the 9/8c hour with Marry Me (0.8) and About a Boy (0.8) and culminated with a new season low for Chicago Fire (1.4). Fox didn't fare much better with below-average New Girl (1.3) and The Mindy Project (1.0).
  • CBS fared much better in the 8/7c hour as NCIS (2.8) rose, but NCIS: New Orleans (2.2) and Person of Interest (1.5) were pretty normal.
  • And the CW's The Flash (1.4) ticked back in the positive direction. 

CBS True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! These rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 2/8/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Grammys (8.3) adjusted down another two tenths in finals, putting it down a rather unfortunate 16% year-to-year.
  • AMC UPDATE: Better Call Saul (3.4) had the largest adults 18-49 premiere in cable history, retaining a low-40s percentage of its The Walking Dead (8.0) lead-in. The only other post-TWD scripted launch was the Hell on Wheels pilot (1.9), which had better retention but out of a much much much smaller Dead (3.4). The ratings actually closely resembled a premiere/finale episode of the TWD aftershow Talking Dead, which opened the fall season at 3.50 and closed at 3.33.
    • As for The Walking Dead (8.0), amazingly this will go as the first down year-to-year episode in the 4.5 season history of the series. The previous spring season opened at 8.17. It was just a few tenths above the fall 2014 finale (7.58) and nearly 10% behind the fall premiere (8.65).
  • The three-hour preliminary ratings for the Grammy Awards (8.8) were down 13% vs. the 10.1 preliminary (ultimately 9.9 final) for the same block last season. UPDATE: Time zone-adjusted fast nationals say the Grammys got 25.3 million viewers and an 8.5 A18-49 rating. The latter was down 14% vs. last year's final.
  • Only Fox tried anything of consequence vs. the Grammys and AMC's big The Walking Dead/Better Caul Saul premiere night, and the comedies went even lower than the last airings two weeks ago. The Simpsons (1.2) and Family Guy (1.4) were each down about 30% vs. Grammy night last year, and Bob's Burgers (1.0) took a similar decline vs. the year-ago American Dad! Only Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.2) held up better. It is worth noting that last year's results came in late January with no Walking Dead in the mix.
  • In the battle of filler between ABC and NBC, ABC's theatrical The Hunger Games (1.1) was a decisive winner over NBC's three-hour American Ninja Warrior repeat (0.6). More on AMC to come!

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 2/7/15

  • People were in a real mood for newsmagazines on this night; 48 Hours (1.1) hit an outright season high, while the Dateline (1.1) Saturday number was only eclipsed by the week that it had an NFL lead-in.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 2/6/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Hart of Dixie (0.5) produced another eyebrow-raising result, adjusting up to 0.5 for the second time in three weeks. Shark Tank (2.0) cracked a two again, while Dateline (1.1) and Masters of Illusion (0.4) were also up and Cristela (1.0) down.
  • It was a fairly quiet second Friday of February sweeps, and quietest of all on Fox. The previously reasonable pair of World's Funniest Fails (0.8) and Glee (0.5) each took sizable hits this week, putting the network in a distant fourth place. It took a month, but Glee finally went below that mortifying 0.6 at which it ended last season.
  • On the big three, everything was even or slightly down. CBS saw Hawaii Five-0 (1.3) come down to match its lead-in Undercover Boss (1.3) and lead-out Blue Bloods (1.3), while the first two hours on ABC and NBC perfectly matched last week's prelims. The 10/9c newsmagazines 20/20 (1.2) and Dateline (1.0) each had pretty bad nights.
  • The only shows on the upswing were the CW's Hart of Dixie (0.4), preliminarily inching back up after a drop last week, and the Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.4) repeat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Question, Tuesday 2/10/15: Will Fresh Off the Boat's Ratings Stay Fresh on Tuesday?

Last week, ABC's new comedy Fresh Off the Boat opened with a pretty impressive 2.5 demo at 8:30 and a 2.3 at 9:30. The first episode was a considerable improvement on its The Middle (2.2) lead-in, while the second dropped from Modern Family (3.4). Tonight comes a move to the much more difficult lead-off hour on Tuesday. This change will surely cause a sizable drop from the preview numbers, but we'll see if it attracted enough viewers to remain in contention, at least for now, and improve on the opening Selfie / Manhattan Love Story numbers (1.4/1.3) in the same hour. Will Fresh Off the Boat's ratings stay fresh on Tuesday? That's The Question for Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 2/9/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: CBS shows Mike and Molly (2.2), Scorpion (2.3) and NCIS: LA (1.7) all adjusted up. AMC got a very good Monday start out of Better Call Saul (1.63). Though down just over half from its post-The Walking Dead preview, it was extremely competitive with NCIS: LA and Castle in the 10/9c hour and it topped all of Monday cable.
  • Fox's Monday lineup can't seem to stop the bleeding; Gotham (1.8) hit its third consecutive new series low, while Sleepy Hollow (1.2) also hit a new one this week.
  • The penultimate Monday for a very good season of Celebrity Apprentice was seemingly scheduled ill-advisedly, as an 8/7c clip show (1.2) appeared to noticeably damage the new material at 9/8c (1.4). 
  • ABC's The Bachelor (2.7) was up yet again, and this point was the first of the season to go up year-to-year (albeit vs. the first 2014 ep to face the Olympics). For once, it seemed to help Castle (1.6) somewhat, as that show hit its best number since the end of Dancing with the Stars.
  • CBS was very slightly down across the board with 2 Broke Girls (2.3), Mike and Molly (2.1), Scorpion (2.2) and NCIS: Los Angeles (1.6).
  • And on the CW, it was a noteworthy evening for Jane the Virgin (0.6), growing from its low-end The Originals (0.5) lead-in in 18-49 for the first time. Jane also had another W18-34 series high (1.0).

ABC True Power Rankings, February 2015

The True Power Rankings are back! These rankings dive into the strength of series based on the last one-third of results this season, rounded up (which helps weed out inflated early ratings), in the timeslot-adjusted metric True and in A18-49 ratings. Also included: how the show is trending vs. last season (y2y), how much of the show's total viewership falls within the 18-49 demo (Skew), and, new this year, how much of the 18-49 audience is male (%Male). These last three numbers cover what is available for the full season rather than just the last third of results, but generally the age/gender skews don't change a lot from week to week.

New to True Power Rankings: The Heat is On

As we kick off another batch of True Power Rankings, here's a brief intro to a new number called "Heat" that will be included.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 2/5/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Big Bang Theory (4.6) rose to tie Empire for the top (broadcast) scripted series of the week. Scandal (3.2), The Blacklist (2.4) and Grey's Anatomy (2.3) also added a tenth, while The Vampire Diaries (0.7) was down.
  • Despite a bold move of its top drama, Thursday remains a very tough nut for NBC to crack. The Blacklist (2.3) was a disappointment in its Thursday premiere, below its entire Monday run this season and tying the 2.3 low point when it didn't have a Voice lead-in last season. This was not a good result but not a total disaster, and it should still settle in as a massive improvement over NBC's recent fare on the night. But NBC still put one in the total disaster column with the unwatched pilot of Allegiance (1.1). It couldn't even hold onto half of The Blacklist's demo on premiere night. It's the latest and perhaps biggest fail in what remains a miserable season for NBC's new series.
  • TGIT took its usual significant week two hit, with Grey's Anatomy (2.2) suffering the most on a week-to-week basis (down over 20%) compared with Scandal (3.1) and How to Get Away with Murder (2.7) (which were down in the low teens).
  • With a second major drama competitor in the mix, Fox's Backstrom (1.0) actually took an even bigger drop in week three than in week two, and this should take it completely out of any renewal conversation. And this came despite a second straight night of week-to-week growth for American Idol (2.4). 
  • The biggest winner in all this was CBS, which was completely unscathed in the first 90 minutes with The Big Bang Theory (4.5), Mom (2.8) and Two and a Half Men (2.3). And they were improved in the last 90 minutes with the return of The Big Bang Theory repeat (1.9) at 9:30 and Elementary (1.5) ticking back up at 10/9c.

War of 18-49 Update, America's Next Top Model (Fall 2014)

Let's take a look at the fall 2014 season (the twenty-first overall) of America's Next Top Model on the CW.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Question, Thursday 2/5/15: How Many Viewers Pledge Allegiance to NBC Thursday?

Last week, I was uncertain whether to make a Question for this night about just NBC or about the showdown between Scandal and The Blacklist. I decided to leave it up to what The Blacklist's ratings were after the Super Bowl; if it did decently or better, then Scandal vs. The Blacklist could be hugely intriguing. Unfortunately, The Blacklist was a post-Super Bowl disappointment, posting the worst ratings for a lead-out starting before 11:00 (8.4) in recent memory. To me, that has made this night much more about NBC just doing well by its own standards than about NBC actually aspiring to knock off ABC. Maybe The Blacklist can still be a world-beater, but the network would probably take something less than that if offered right now. How many viewers pledge Allegiance to NBC Thursday? That's The Question for Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 2/4/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: American Idol (3.1) was up a tenth, while the 9:30 Fresh Off the Boat (2.3) and (as usual) The 100 (0.5) were down a tenth.
  • ABC's Fresh Off the Boat impressed, with a 2.5 rating at 8:30 that actually tied The Goldbergs' season high in the slot, and it built noticeably on its lead-in from The Middle (2.2). The 2.4 at 9:30 was not quite as promising, especially since ABC had an above-average showing from its lead-in Modern Family (3.4), but it was still a noticeable improvement on recent Black-ish results. Also, there's a little piece of added competition in the 9:00 hour called...
  • ...Empire, which took yet another step up to a whooping 4.6 in week five. This put it above the season-to-date average of current top broadcast series The Big Bang Theory for the first time, and it's all the more astounding since the show faced a noticeable increase in competition this week. It continued to help boost American Idol (3.0), which bucked its usual trend by growing in the first post-audition week; this was just 12% behind Wednesday #5 last season.
  • The struggles continued for the CBS and NBC crime dramas. On CBS, The Mentalist (1.2), Criminal Minds (2.0) and Stalker (1.3) all saw very low-end results, while NBC's The Mysteries of Laura (1.0) proved its big drop to 1.0 a few weeks ago was not a fluke. The only real positive on these two networks was Chicago PD (1.6), which probably benefited from a crossover with Chicago Fire.
  • On the CW, Arrow (1.2) is still heating up, hitting its highest rating of the season that wasn't a crossover with The Flash. The 100 had yet another preliminary 0.6. 

War of 18-49 Update, Parenthood (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth and final overall) of Parenthood on NBC.

Best Case/Worst Case, February 2015: Fresh Off the Boat, The Blacklist, The Odd Couple and more!

Welcome to the Best Case/Worst Case for broadcast television's ten February premieres!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Question, Wednesday 2/4/15: Will Viewers Get On Board with Fresh Off the Boat?

ABC continues its midseason rollout tonight with a Wednesday preview for family comedy Fresh Off the Boat. It's getting the "Grover Cleveland" treatment, airing two non-consecutive episodes after usual anchors The Middle and Modern Family, before heading to Tuesday to fend for itself next week. The show is getting some pretty decent critical acclaim, but it would do well to attract some long-term viewers tonight because self-starting on Tuesday will not be easy. Will viewers get on board with Fresh Off the Boat? That's The Question for Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

First Two Weeks, Backstrom

Due to a posting logjam over the next couple days, there's one of these plus a Question today. The Question drops momentarily, so stay tuned!

Rating: 1.9
Lead-in: American Idol (2.8 overall, 2.9 at 8:30)
Competition: The Taste (0.8 overall, 0.8 in 9:00 hour), Two and a Half Men (2.2) / The Big Bang Theory (R) (1.8), Bad Judge (0.7) / A to Z (0.6), Reign (0.4)

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 2/3/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Mindy Project (1.0), About a Boy (0.9), Supernatural (0.8), Marry Me (0.8) and the Parks repeat (0.7) adjusted down.
  • On ABC, Agent Carter (1.3) steadied in week four, but it had help from an original episode of Shark Tank (1.9) at 8/7c. Forever (0.9) dropped to a new series low at 10/9c.
  • The return of CBS' regular original lineup produced slightly lower ratings than the shows saw in their early January airings. NCIS (2.6) and NCIS: New Orleans (2.2) still dominated their respective hours, but the drop to Person of Interest (1.4) was noticeable, and it also fell behind Chicago Fire for the lead at 10/9c.
  • Parks and Recreation (1.2) inched down again at 8/7c, and NBC squeezed in the one Parks repeat (0.8) necessary to get through the 13 episodes in 7 weeks. Despite the weak 8:30 lead-in, Marry Me (0.9), About a Boy (1.0) and Chicago Fire (1.6) were up a touch.
  • On the CW, Supernatural (0.9) bounced back from last week's off night, but The Flash (1.3) remained at last week's low point.
  • Fox saw MasterChef Junior (1.6) inch down against added competition from Shark Tank but was otherwise steady.

War of 18-49 Update, White Collar (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth and final overall) of White Collar on USA.

Spotted Ratings, Super Bowl Sunday 2/1/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Blacklist (8.4) adjusted down another three tenths. The Super Bowl was virtually unchanged in final viewership and had a 39.1 final rating among 18-49, slightly down from last year's 39.3 and marking a third straight 18-49 decline for the Bowl.
    • Would the Bowl have set a viewership record in a blowout? (Or, conversely, would it have set a viewership record if last year's game had been close?) My slightly informed guess is no. The game had a whooping 13 million more viewers in the 9:30 half-hour compared to last year's blowout (119.2 vs. 106.2) and another 5.4 million more at 9:00 (116.9 vs. 111.4). And the earliest numbers I could see suggest a pace behind 2014; the 2014 game had over three million more viewers in the 7:00 half-hour (113.1 vs. 109.7).
  • TIME ZONE-ADJUSTED UPDATE: The Super Bowl set a new American viewership record with 114.4 million viewers in time zone-adjusted fast nationals. That beats last year's final by 2.2 million, and the margin may be wider after finals.
    • The Blacklist had 26.5 million viewers and an 8.7 A18-49 rating, a disappointingly old-skewing outing that will (barring a significant finals uptick) beat out only 2003's Alias (8.2) and 2013's Elementary (7.8) among recent lead-outs. And both those shows started after 11:00.
    • Both the game and The Blacklist may adjust up a bit more in finals; last year's Super Bowl viewership went up from 111.5 million to 112.2 million while the lead-out shows adjusted up from 11.1 / 6.7 to 11.4 / 6.9. Finals and half-hour breakdown info to come.
  • More Super Bowl updates to come after time zone-adjusted numbers become available. The most reliable numbers available at the moment are the household overnights, which would seem to suggest there may not be much drama in the Bowl's pursuit of a new viewership record. The 49.7 average HH rating was up 4% vs. the huge blowout that still set a viewership record last year. The very preliminary 35.0 adults 18-49 rating edged last year's very preliminary 34.4 (which later adjusted up to 39.3).
  • NBC's special The Blacklist started at a late-ish 10:38, following what seemed like a noticeably longer post-game show than usual. (I've clocked most recent ones somewhere around 25 minutes, and this one actually seemed a bit over 30.)
    • NBC PR says the household numbers (13.5) were 9% above last year's New Girl, which could mean we're headed for a pretty impressive delivery since the year-ago New Girl had just 30 minutes to bleed viewers. (In other words, The Blacklist's lead over the full New Girl/Brooklyn Nine-Nine hour was surely much more substantial.)
    • The very preliminary 18-49 numbers in the 10:30 half-hour were 11.2 for The Blacklist vs. last year's 7.8 for New Girl (later adjusted up to 11.4). Since the 10:30 half-hour includes eight minutes of post-game, I wouldn't expect this finals adjustment to be quite as drastic, but we'll see. More to come!

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 1/31/15

  • After three straight years at a 0.9 rating, the Super Bowl Eve awards show NFL Honors (1.2) picked up some steam this year.
  • Red Band Society (0.5) was back for a burn-off of the last three episodes; the final two will air next Saturday.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 1/30/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Grimm (1.3) and Hawaii Five-0 (1.5) each adjusted up to even week-to-week. Cristela (1.0) went down a tick.
  • Everyone was airing originals on the first Friday of February sweeps, and there were a few modest drops but nothing too alarming. ABC had another winning night; despite Shark Tank (1.9) coming back to earth from its high two weeks ago, it boosted 20/20 (1.5) to its biggest rating in a couple months. Last Man Standing (1.3) and Cristela (1.1) were even with two weeks ago.
  • CBS had its softest original Friday this month (albeit still better than the Amazing Race-led fall Fridays), as Undercover Boss (1.3) hit a season low and Hawaii Five-0 (1.4) and Blue Bloods (1.3) each inched down.
  • On Fox, World's Funniest Fails (1.1) produced another good result, growing by a tenth in week three. This is looking more like a keeper in a low priority slot for the network.
  • And Hart of Dixie (0.3) came back to reality for the CW after a couple weeks of serious overachieving.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 2/2/15

  • There wasn't a premiere connected with the previous night's Super Bowl promotion, but it was still a Super Monday on three networks.
    • Despite not being a priority during the big game, NBC's Celebrity Apprentice (2.1) had a sizable bounce, all the way up to above its timeslot premiere from four weeks ago. Worth remembering that the last season two years never went higher than 1.8!
    • ABC had a new season high from The Bachelor (2.5), now down just a tenth year-to-year. The year-to-year trends should continue to improve in the coming weeks since no Olympics are on the horizon. But Castle (1.4) still didn't benefit remotely.
    • And CBS also tied season highs with comedies 2 Broke Girls (2.4) and Mike and Molly (2.2), while NCIS: Los Angeles (1.7) was a little above average despite a repeat Scorpion (1.5) lead-in.
  • The only bad news of note came on Fox, where the struggles of Gotham (1.9) continued. It hit its third season low (and second new season low) in as many weeks.

War of 18-49 Update, The Biggest Loser (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixteenth overall) of The Biggest Loser on NBC.

SpotVault - The Americans (FX) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Americans
Wednesdays, 10/9c, FX

SpotVault - Justified (FX) - Spring 2015 Ratings

Tuesdays, 10/9c, FX

SpotVault - Sirens (USA) - 2014-15 Ratings

Tuesdays, 10/9c, USA

SpotVault - 12 Monkeys (Syfy) - 2014-15 Ratings

12 Monkeys
Fridays, 9/8c, Syfy

SpotVault - Helix (Syfy) - 2014-15 Ratings

Fridays, 10/9c, Syfy

SpotVault - Baby Daddy (ABC Family) - 2014-15 Ratings

Baby Daddy
Wednesdays, 8:30/7:30c, ABC Family

SpotVault - Melissa & Joey (ABC Family) - 2014-15 Ratings

Melissa & Joey
Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC Family

SpotVault - The Game (BET) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Game
Tuesdays, 10/9c, BET

Monday, February 2, 2015

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