Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First Two Weeks, One Big Happy

Rating: 1.6
Lead-in: Undateable (1.9)
Competition: Agents of SHIELD (1.6 overall, 1.5 at 9:30), NCIS: New Orleans (R) (1.1 overall, 1.1 at 9:30), The Mindy Project (0.9), iZombie (0.8 overall, 0.8 at 9:30)

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/30/15

  • An uncommonly strong post-premiere hold for Dancing with the Stars (2.1) continued, as the show was up a tenth to tie the season premiere number. The year-to-year deficit has shrunk from -19% for the premiere to -9% for this episode. Castle (1.5) also inched back up for ABC.
  • NBC's The Voice (3.2) and The Night Shift (1.2) were each down a bit more, but The Voice like DWTS was still down only single digits vs. the same week last year.
  • CBS' 2 Broke Girls (1.8), Mike and Molly (1.8), Scorpion (2.0) and NCIS: Los Angeles (1.5) all dropped exactly a tenth. So did Fox's The Following (1.1), which was saddled with another Gotham repeat lead-in (0.5).

Best Case/Worst Case, April 2015: Weird Loners, A.D., American Odyssey and more!

It's the season finale of Best Case/Worst Case, covering the last few shows that will air a significant stretch of episodes before the end of the regular season. But since all of these except Weird Loners should continue airing into the summer, I will again note that these averages only cover regular season episodes.

Monday, March 30, 2015

First Two Weeks, iZombie

Rating: 0.83
Lead-in: The Flash (1.3 overall, 1.3 at 8:30)
Competition: Agents of SHIELD (1.6), NCIS: New Orleans (R) (1.1), Undateable (1.9) / One Big Happy (1.6), New Girl (R) (0.6) / The Mindy Project (0.9)

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/29/15

  • AMC had one last thorough domination of primetime with the 90-minute season finale of The Walking Dead (8.16), which was 2% above the 8.00 that ended last season and wrapped up a +5% spring season overall.
  • CBS had NCAA basketball coverage (4.3) running 17 minutes into primetime, which significantly boosted 60 Minutes (2.3) and provided another small boost to Madam Secretary (1.4), which finally got back to the low end of its fall ratings. 
  • Other than CBS, it was pretty rough sledding against the Dead finale. ABC saw Once Upon a Time (1.7) and Secrets and Lies (1.3) each shed a couple tenths, while Fox was even more alarming with another hour of The Last Man on Earth (1.4/1.2) down over 25% week-to-week in each hour. Last Man had a somewhat surprising uptick last week, so maybe the airings on the 22nd were flukes in the positive direction and this one was a fluke in the negative direction. We'll see what's left in two weeks when original Family Guy is back and The Walking Dead is traded out for Game of Thrones.
  • On the last Sunday before it finally starts airing a real lineup, NBC had a productive showing from the iHeartRadio Music Awards (1.7), even with last season when it aired on Thursday and famously beat American Idol head-to-head.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/27/15

  • Without its usual Last Man Standing lead-in, a lead-off hour of original Cristela (0.8/0.8) went even lower than usual, another bad sign for the ABC bubble show.
  • NBC saw Grimm (1.0) down a tenth in its second 8/7c week. Hart of Dixie signed off for the season and seemingly series with its usual 0.4. And Fox began a run of Friday movies with Grown-Ups (0.9), which did better than its usual 2015 series lineup on the night.
  • CBS averaged a 1.9 in preliminary March Madness ratings, which would significantly trail the same night last year (2.3/3.6).
  • Quick programming note: I'm out of town next week. I'll try to do daily updates, but they will likely be later than usual. There's a Best Case/Worst Case and a couple First Two Weeks posts scheduled to go up early next week, but no more full tables/Vault updates/Questions till at least Sunday, April 5. I can't 100% promise I will get the April 5 Question up, but I will do my best.
Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. Full table forthcoming!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/26/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: American Crime (1.3) adjusted up. The CBS games (1.9/2.7) had virtually the same final ratings as the first Thursday last year (2.0/2.6).
  • It looks like Scandal (2.3) is officially in crisis, as it preliminarily lost yet another tenth from last week's already alarming number and is now down a full point in just a month. It's equally staggering that this has happened while its lead-in Grey's Anatomy (2.2) is still showing no signs of problems whatsoever. We'll see next week if Grey's has benefited from no The Big Bang Theory the last couple weeks, but this kind of dynamic between the two shows is quite surprising. American Crime remained mired at 1.2.
  • On Fox, Bones (1.3) was back from a 3.5-month hiatus at a tenth above the fall finale and about on par with what it did for most of the late fall run, while Backstrom (0.9) hit its usual low number with a weaker but probably more compatible lead-in.
  • And NBC preliminarily saw a new low for The Blacklist (1.6). More on the March Madness ratings after finals!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/25/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Survivor (2.3) and Criminal Minds (2.1) added a tenth, putting the whole CBS lineup even week-to-week. The Middle (1.9), The Goldbergs (2.1) and Modern Family (2.9) also got a tenth of relief apiece.
  • The first "post-imperial" Wednesday of 2015 saw nobody step up to the plate in the absence of Empire. CBS had the highest three-hour average, but Survivor (2.2) and Criminal Minds (2.0) were each down a tenth from their last airing against Empire. And hope seems to be dwindling for CSI: Cyber (1.4), which was even with the return of Minds as a lead-in and its first taste of Chicago PD (1.5) as competition.
  • ABC also underwhelmed, with The Middle (1.8), The Goldbergs (2.0) and Modern Family (2.8) all taking major stumbles despite the lessened competition. This lineup had seemingly been overachieving against the later Empire weeks, but it's still disappointing to take this big of a hit on the first night with lessened competition. Black-ish (2.1) held the closest to its recent results. ABC rounded out the night with a Nashville "On the Record" special (0.8).
  • NBC was coming back from the longest hiatus of all, and The Mysteries of Laura (1.0) quickly reverted to its season low after experiencing a spike in the Eric McCormack episode a month ago. Law and Order: SVU (1.3) was yet another 9/8c show that actually dropped noticeably in the first post-Empire week, while Chicago PD (1.5) had by far the best night in holding steady and topping Cyber at 10/9c.
  • And the Empire network also laid an egg, with two hours of American Idol (1.7) going a tenth behind last week's Thursday episode. This trailed the last Wednesday episode paired with Empire by nearly thirty percent!
  • Only the CW really had anything to crow about as Arrow (1.0) and Supernatural (0.7) both inched up. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/24/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The finale of The Mindy Project (0.9) dodged a new low and ended up on par with the last couple airings after repeats. The Voice (2.8) and The Flash (1.2) were also up. NCIS: New Orleans (1.8) lost a tick, making this the show's outright second-lowest episode.
  • NBC's Tuesday comedy block looked less promising in week two, as Undateable (1.5) dropped about 20% and One Big Happy (1.2) about 25% to put the hour pretty much on par with typical ratings for The Night Shift after The Voice. However, they had little help from The Voice itself (2.7), which shed 15%ish for the second straight week. NBC also got some info on what The Night Shift (1.0) would be like without a The Voice lead-in by airing an original in the 10/9c hour after One Big Happy. It doesn't seem like a very surprising result in either direction.
  • The CW had somewhat better newbie news as iZombie (0.7) was down just a tenth in week two. Its lead-in The Flash (1.1) could very well adjust up (it had a 1.2 in the 8:00 half-hour), but even getting to 1.2 would still mark a new low.
  • ABC's 8:00 block didn't fare well after a week off, with Fresh Off the Boat (1.4) down two tenths and Repeat After Me (1.0) also hitting yet another new low. FotB has looked utterly safe, but it would certainly do well to stop the bleeding from this point forward. Agents of SHIELD (1.5) and Forever (0.9) also inched down for ABC.
  • CBS saw NCIS: New Orleans (1.9) get back to normal after its disastrous 1.6 against The Voice two weeks ago. Lead-in NCIS (2.2) and lead-out Person of Interest (1.5) were even.
  • And Fox's The Mindy Project (0.8) ended its season on a new low, leading out of a repeat New Girl (0.7) for the third straight week.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/22/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Once Upon a Time (1.9) and the lower 9:30 edition of The Last Man on Earth (1.7) each adjusted up. Overrun-muddled 60 Minutes (1.7) went down two tenths, but the rest of the CBS lineup did not adjust. The final rating for the 7:00 half-hour on CBS was a 3.7, just behind a 4.0 for the same overrun last year.
  • It was a good fourth week for both of the newbies in the 9/8c hour. An hour of Fox's The Last Man on Earth (1.7) grew week-to-week despite a repeat lead-in from Family Guy (which averaged 1.4 at 8:30), though it had a somewhat odd dip from 1.9 to 1.6 at the half. And ABC's Secrets and Lies (1.5) inched back up to tie its premiere rating from three weeks ago. These results probably brightened the renewal prospects for both vs. a week ago.
  • CBS is subject to adjustments thanks to an overrun from NCAA basketball, which averaged a preliminary 3.3 in the 7:00 half-hour and slightly ran into the 7:30 half-hour. But it didn't seem to have much effect on the low-rated original lineup beyond 60 Minutes (1.9). Madam Secretary (1.3) perhaps got an extra tenth.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/21/15

  • Saturday basketball action on CBS (1.6) was significantly behind last year's opening Saturday (2.2).

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/20/15

  • A six-year run for Glee ended with a huge whimper, only barely growing week-to-week in the 8:00 hour (0.8) and then actually dropping back to 0.7 in the 9:00 hour. So the two-hour finale for the one-time phenomenon was only narrowly above the season average.
  • For NBC, Grimm (1.1) was back and airing an original in the 8/7c hour for the first time. In this timeslot, tying the last episode before hiatus seems like a decent win, but that also meant a tie for a season/series low.
  • ABC's Last Man Standing (1.3) is off to another strong post-DST run as it grew a tenth week-to-week. Cristela (1.0) also inched up, but it has had some downward adjustments recently. Shark Tank (1.8) and 20/20 (1.1) remained below average. 
  • CBS averaged a preliminary 1.2 for March Madness, about on par with last year's opening Friday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/23/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Voice (3.4), Mike and Molly (1.9), Scorpion (2.1) and the 8pm The Following (1.3) were up a tenth. The Night Shift (1.5) lost a tenth.
  • Week two of Dancing with the Stars (2.0) had a nice post-premiere hold, matching the 2.0 for week two of the fall season but still about 10% behind last spring's pace. But the struggle continued for Castle (1.4), which shed another tenth.
  • CBS had its first fully original lineup vs. the new DWTS season and saw a bit of an off night for comedies 2 Broke Girls (1.9) and Mike and Molly (1.8), while Scorpion (2.0) was even and NCIS: Los Angeles (1.6) was back to fairly normal after a high-end result a couple weeks ago.
  • On Fox, two hours of The Following (1.2) inched up from the last couple weeks, perhaps illustrating just how far below local programming those repeat Gotham lead-ins have been.
  • And NBC won with a fairly steady The Voice (3.3) and a preliminary new season high for The Night Shift (1.6). But we'll have to see if TNS can avoid a reprise of last week's two-tenth downward adjustment in finals.

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

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/19/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Reign adjusted down to just its second 0.3. The basketball games adjusted down noticeably to 1.6/1.8 but still went massively above last year's CBS offerings. The leading cable basketball game had a 1.3 on TNT.
  • The last two three-tenth drops for Scandal were somewhat understandable, since the 3.3 three weeks ago was a really high-end number and then DST hit. But this third straight 0.3 drop, now to a 2.4 that was the show's lowest rating since early season two, seems much more alarming and curious. It came alongside another steady number for Grey's Anatomy (2.1), but the 10/9c hemorrhaging continued with a two-tenth loss for American Crime (1.2).
  • On NBC, The Blacklist (1.8) inched up with some help from a considerably stronger Dateline (1.2) at 8/7c, while a second straight two-hour American Idol (1.8) was even for Fox.
  • These results came as CBS was sitting out its regular lineup for March Madness coverage, which averaged a preliminary 2.0 across three hours. This is still not nearly the caliber of ratings CBS was getting when the games weren't spread across four channels, but this coverage (which included undefeated #1 Kentucky) looks like a huge improvement on recent CBS opening Thursdays. Last year's games only averaged a 1.0/1.3.

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

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the fifteenth overall) of CSI on CBS.

SpotVault - iZombie (CW) - 2014-15 Ratings

Tuesdays, 9/8c, CW

SpotVault - One Big Happy (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings

One Big Happy
Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

SpotVault - Undateable (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings

Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

SpotVault - Dancing with the Stars (ABC) - Spring 2015 Ratings

Dancing with the Stars
Mondays, 8/7c, ABC

Thursday, March 19, 2015

First Two Weeks, American Crime

Rating: 2.0
Lead-in: Scandal (3.0 overall, 3.1 at 9:30)
Competition: Elementary (1.3), Allegiance (0.8)

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/18/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Empire was separated into two hours in the finals, each of which adjusted up a tenth (6.1/6.9). Survivor (2.3) and Arrow (0.9) were also up while Supernatural (0.6) was down.
  • The two-hour finale of Empire produced one last night of big growth; it averaged 16.5 million viewers and a 6.4 A18-49 rating. These were both up by about 10% from the previous series highs set last week, and further upward adjustments seem likely. The show started at last week's number (5.8) in the 8:00 half-hour and grew as high as a whooping 6.9 (in other words, very close to normal The Walking Dead territory) by the end.
  • The only networks that went original vs. Empire were CBS, where Survivor had a very respectable 2.2 for a two hour episode, and the CW, where Arrow (0.8) took a sizable hit and Supernatural (0.7) had an OK but low-end transition to Wednesday.
  • In the 10:00 hour, CSI: Cyber (1.4) had a disheartening week three drop with a lead-in that was no weaker than last week's Criminal Minds but likely less compatible. And ABC made some real noise with a The Sound of Music-themed special (1.4) that basically tied normal Nashville numbers. I'd say Empire served as a de facto lead-in for this thing, but the skews suggest they had extremely different audiences. (For example, the ABC special had almost exactly as many 50+ viewers as Empire!)

War of 18-49 Update, Celebrity Apprentice (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the seventh celebrity season) of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Question, Wednesday 3/18/15: Will Empire End on Another High Note?

Tonight brings a temporary end to the most phenomenal broadcast TV ratings story in at least a decade. Only about one new show per season starts as high on a historical-adjusted basis as Empire, and only about one new show per season grows in week two. Empire did both, and it only continued to escalate from there. Its last two 5.8's were the two biggest broadcast entertainment series episodes of the season, even topping The Big Bang Theory's high from premiere week, and they were also more than 50% ahead of that premiere from ten weeks ago. Will Empire end on another high note? That's The Question for Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/17/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Voice (3.2) went up a tenth and NBC's comedies avoided downward adjustments. On the CW, The Flash (1.3) picked up a tenth and iZombie (0.8) lost one, putting iZombie only on par with the most recent episode of Supernatural.
  • NBC had a decent enough start to its second experiment with a summer series in the spring. Undateable (1.9) went almost 50% above its high point from last summer, and the series premiere of One Big Happy (1.6) had sound enough retention in the 9:30 slot. It probably looks better than it really is because of how thoroughly The Night Shift bombed a few weeks ago; after all, it's still at least 10% below the fall comedy openers for Marry Me (2.3) and About a Boy (1.7) and about 20% behind last spring's About a Boy/Growing Up Fisher (2.5/1.9). But it's certainly a far less painful opener than what we saw from The Night Shift, and these shows will have a chance if they can hold on reasonably.
  • On the CW, iZombie also had a start that can be put in the "decent enough" column, a 0.9 rating with 2.3 million total viewers. This was not down too badly from its The Flash (1.2) lead-in, which preliminarily hit a new low in its first post-DST airing (though it's been a frequent adjust-up show in the past, so it may only tie).
  • Elsewhere on NBC, The Voice (3.1) took another big week-to-week hit, in part because it contracted to one hour. And despite better comedy ratings than usual, Chicago Fire (1.6) was below most of what it did in the fall when separated by an hour from The Voice, even opposite repeats on ABC and CBS.
  • The other three networks had at least something in repeats. Most promising among the originals was probably Agents of SHIELD (1.6), which ticked up in its first spring outing with no Voice competition despite airing after a repeat of Repeat After Me (0.7). Hell's Kitchen (1.3) and The Mindy Project (0.9) were even on Fox, while CBS was all repeats.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/15/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: 60 Minutes (1.5) and the three brand new shows The Last Man on Earth (1.7), Secrets and Lies (1.4) and Battle Creek (0.9) all inched up. We can now say Secrets is having a pretty impressive post-premiere hold, and the Last Man drop looks a bit more excusable now when considering what happened to Family Guy.
  • A few of the shows that withstood the opening post-DST Sunday had trouble on the second one. On ABC, the biggest example was Once Upon a Time (1.8), which followed last week's solid one-tenth decline with another three tenths this time. It's still not at its December low yet, but it's pretty close, and that 1.7 in December had a mere 0.5 lead-in. The other two scripted hours on ABC were relatively stable as Secrets and Lies (1.3) shed just a tenth for the second straight week and Revenge was flat at 1.1. 
  • Fox's worst news was a second straight 20%ish drop for The Last Man on Earth (1.5), still a passable number but now miles away from that extremely promising premiere a couple weeks ago. It's worth noting it had little help from its Family Guy lead-in (1.7), which was down almost as much. The other Fox shows Bob's Burgers (1.0), The Simpsons (1.5) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.4) also inched down.
  • CBS still looks pretty dire, but it got some minor consolation as Madam Secretary (1.2) inched back up. The Good Wife (1.0) and Battle Creek (0.8) were both even.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/14/15

  • The third installment of In an Instant (0.6) inched down again, seemingly suffering from a newsmagazine logjam at 9/8c with 48 Hours and Dateline each in play. It went 0.5/0.6 in the 9:00 hour before perking up to 0.7 in the last two half-hours.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/13/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: CBS was indeed nicked due to basketball preemptions, with The Amazing Race (1.3) down two tenths and Hawaii Five-0 (1.2) and Blue Bloods (1.4) each down one. But this was still ultimately a good night for the network, as Race went up and the other shows held even. Cristela had another damaging finals downtick to 0.9.
  • At least in the preliminaries, CBS was a huge winner on the first Friday after DST, with an insane spike from The Amazing Race (1.5) and upticks from Hawaii Five-0 (1.3) and Blue Bloods (1.5) as well. These shows overachieved even more drastically in 18-34 numbers, so it seems pretty likely that there will be some downward adjustment due to NCAA basketball preemptions. But it would take quite a downtick to spoil the Race's night.
  • ABC's post-DST deliveries seemed a bit more realistic, as Last Man Standing (1.2) dropped a bit below its consistent January/February level (though it still avoided a season low). Shark Tank (1.8) was also below average, but Cristela (1.0) was flat.
  • On Fox, World's Funniest Fails (0.8) was even for the last episode of its initial order, while Glee (0.7) inched up in the week before the two-hour finale.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Question II, Tuesday 3/17/15: Will Viewers of The Flash Dine on iZombie?

ALERT: It's a double-Question day! See also the Undateable/One Big Happy Question!

The CW's The Flash is the biggest success in the network's near-decade of existence. Tonight, the network will take its first stab at a new series after that Flash lead-in, and it's another entry from the DC Comics conglomerate that has seemingly taken over television this season. But iZombie doesn't have the name recognition of Arrow or The Flash. Will viewers of The Flash dine on iZombie? That's The Question for Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

The Question, Tuesday 3/17/15: Will An Undateable-Led Comedy Block Be Unwatchable?

ALERT: For the first time in a couple years, it's a double Question day! Another one is going live momentarily, so stay tuned!

Last summer, the premiere of NBC comedy Undateable seemed like such a burn-off that I didn't even bother doing a Question for it. Nearly ten months later, here we are with the show improbably getting a run of episodes after NBC's biggest lead-in. Undateable didn't exactly light up the Nielsens en route to this treatment; its 1.3 premiere on the opening Thursday of the summer was a relatively pleasant surprise, but it quickly shed a lot of that audience when the NBA Finals showed up. Now, it joins new comedy One Big Happy and will try to benefit more from The Voice lead-in than fellow summer rookie The Night Shift has. Will an Undateable-led comedy block be unwatchable? That's The Question for Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/16/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Dancing with the Stars (2.1) went up, bringing it just inside the -20% year-to-year threshold, while Mike and Molly (2.0) adjusted up, again dodging its first 1.x since the new year. The Voice (3.4) went up, but The Night Shift (1.3) was down an unusual two tenths to eliminate all of its week-to-week growth. Also flattening out week-to-week was the CW, where oddly The Originals (0.5) went down while Jane the Virgin (0.5) was up.
  • ABC opened up its latest Dancing with the Stars season in soft fashion (2.0), down 20%+ from last spring's premiere and double digits from the fall 2014 premiere (2.4). Considering the scorching way DWTS ended its last fall season, including a 3.0 finale, this is a disappointment. (It was actually above the fall 2014 premiere in total viewers, so this show skewed a lot older than its already ancient norm.) And usual DWTS lead-out Castle (1.5) saw no benefit from the return of a more compatible-skewing lead-in.
  • If there was any consolation for ABC, it was that the music-themed competition seemingly did take a chunk out of a previously overachieving The Voice (3.3). But with NCIS: Los Angeles in repeats and Castle still mediocre, weak lead-out The Night Shift (1.5) went back up a touch.
  • The CW's The Originals (0.6) inched up, but it's starting to get hairy again for Jane the Virgin (0.4), down for the second straight week since its return from hiatus.
  • The other two networks were in part-repeat mode. The Following hung at 1.1 in week three while Mike and Molly (1.9) lost a bit in yet another original airing amid a sea of CBS repeats. (It once again had help from a The Big Bang Theory repeat (1.7) at 8/7c.) 

War of 18-49 Update, The Bachelor (Winter 2015)

Let's take a look at the winter 2015 season (the nineteenth overall) of The Bachelor on ABC.

Monday, March 16, 2015

First Two Weeks, CSI: Cyber

Rating: 1.8
Lead-in: Criminal Minds (1.9 overall, 1.9 at 9:30)
Competition: Nashville (1.4), Chicago PD (R) (1.1)

Best Case/Worst Case, Mid-March 2015: Undateable, iZombie and more!

Best Case/Worst Case is back for another brief edition. Since there's another large gap with no premieres, we're covering only the four premieres tonight and tomorrow night. Will come back for one more edition in a couple more weeks.

It's getting to be the time of year to note that these predictions only deal with episodes prior to the end of the regular season. We are not factoring in extended summer runs in an unknown timeslot.

Friday, March 13, 2015

First Two Weeks, Battle Creek

Reminder: The Last Man on Earth and Secrets and Lies games are also open till Monday!

Rating: 1.0
Lead-in: The Good Wife (1.1 overall, 1.1 at 9:30)
Competition: Secrets and Lies (1.5), Dateline (0.9)

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/12/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: A few of the underachievers in prelims got a little help from finals as Scandal (2.7), American Idol (1.8) and Dateline (0.9) all adjusted up. But CBS had some downticks likely due to preemptions for The Odd Couple (2.5), Mom (2.2) and Elementary (1.4).
  • Score another one for DST, which had a big impact on ABC's drama lineup. Weirdly, it was probably Grey's Anatomy (2.1) in the most viewing-depressed hour that fared best; this was down three tenths week-to-week, but only a tenth from the season low two weeks. Scandal (2.6), meanwhile, went much more sharply below its previous season low, though the week-to-week drop was similar to that of Grey's. And American Crime (1.4) saw its incompatibility with TGIT on display again, as it took a massive 30% week two hit that certainly does not bode well.
  • On CBS, it was more of a mixed bag, as The Big Bang Theory (4.4) and The Odd Couple (2.6) each shed 0.4. But the second half of the evening fared a lot better, as Mom (2.3) impressively inched up again and Elementary (1.5) also recovered. We'll see if these numbers hold after accounting for basketball preemptions.
  • NBC's revamped Thursday didn't cause any excitement; if anything, it mucked things up even more. A new run of Dateline (0.8) could only tie last week's The Slap, while the move of The Slap (0.6) was a debacle that went below all previous Allegiance episodes (and all previous The Slap episodes, for that matter). The Blacklist was back at 1.7.
  • And perhaps the most harrowing news came on Fox, where a two-hour live American Idol (1.7) completely crashed to nearly a half point behind the show's previous season low. Fox certainly hopes this was a blip and not the new reality with no more Empire pairing.
  • The CW's The Vampire Diaries was back with a preliminary 0.6, which would be a new series low unless it adjusts up.

War of 18-49 Update, Undercover Boss (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the sixth overall) of Undercover Boss on CBS.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

First Two Weeks, Secrets and Lies

Rating: 1.5
Lead-in: Once Upon a Time (2.2 overall, 2.1 at 8:30)
Competition: The Good Wife (1.1) / Battle Creek (1.0), Dateline (0.9), The Last Man on Earth (2.4) / local programming

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/11/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The growth streak is over, but Empire (5.8) did adjust up two tenths to avoid an 18-49 decline. American Idol (2.4) also went up, while CSI: Cyber (1.7) finished down a tenth week-to-week.
  • A five-week streak of growth for Empire (5.6) appears to have come to an end with the season's penultimate episode, at least in adults 18-49. (Though the total viewership streak, which has lasted since the premiere, is still active; it was up again to 14.7 million.) In its last episode alongside Empire, American Idol (2.3) grew from last week's episode against The Voice but was still down noticeably from everything before in its first post-DST episode.
  • On CBS, Survivor (2.2) inched down, but the crime drama results were promising as Criminal Minds (2.1) finally got back into the 2's and CSI: Cyber (1.8) was dead even in week two. Cyber still hasn't faced an original Chicago PD yet (and avoids it again next week). And it had even less competition on ABC from a repeat of American Crime (0.7). But this is still reasonably good news.
  • The other networks were mostly in repeat mode, though ABC saw Black-ish (1.5) do better than its usual repeat delivery with a blooper special. And with another Arrow repeat lead-in, the season finale of The 100 preliminarily notched its first 0.4.

War of 18-49 Update, Two and a Half Men (2014-15)

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the twelfth and final overall) of Two and a Half Men on CBS.

SpotVault - Dig (USA) - 2014-15 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, USA

SpotVault - The Returned (A&E) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Returned
Mondays, 10/9c, A&E

SpotVault - Bates Motel (A&E) - 2014-15 Ratings

Bates Motel
Mondays, 9/8c, A&E

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

First Two Weeks, The Last Man on Earth

Rating: 2.4
Lead-in: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.8)
Competition: Secrets and Lies (1.5), The Good Wife (1.1), Dateline (0.9)

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/10/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The finals brought 0.2 to The Voice (3.8) and 0.1 to NCIS (2.2), Person of Interest (1.5), Fresh Off the Boat (1.6) and SHIELD (1.5). Most of the new season lows from the prelims still stood, though SHIELD is now only tied for its low.
  • After a couple days of shows proving pretty resilient against daylight saving time viewing depressions, Tuesday brought a good old-fashioned DST bloodbath. Every scripted series on ABC and CBS lost at least two tenths from the previous episode, and almost everything in the first two hours on every network hit a new season low. For ABC, Fresh Off the Boat (1.5) didn't have much to crow about but still seems acceptable by post-DST standards, while Agents of SHIELD (1.4) dropped another two tenths from last week's already "meh" return.
  • On CBS, there was a new season low 2.1 for NCIS and a particularly ugly 1.6 for NCIS: New Orleans; both shows have now lost nearly a full point over their last three episodes. The only consolation for NCIS: NO and SHIELD is that The Voice contracts back to an hour next week. Only Person of Interest (1.4) in the relatively viewing-unchanged 10:00 hour avoided a low.
  • NBC and Fox held up better, relatively speaking; another two-hour The Voice (3.6) was down about 10% from a really strong number last week, and Chicago Fire held last week's 2.1 final (but was down a tick from the prelim). And Fox's Hell's Kitchen (1.3) and The Mindy Project (0.9) each lost a tenth. The latter has the additional reason of New Girl (0.7) beginning a string of repeats to save originals for upcoming Weird Loners.

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

Let's take a look at the 2014-15 season (the seventh and final overall) of The Mentalist on CBS.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/8/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Fox had a big night of adjustments, as all the originals except for The Simpsons went up a notch, reducing The Last Man on Earth's week-to-week drop to -21%. Revenge (1.1) also adjusted up.
  • Last Sunday's big breakthrough The Last Man on Earth (1.8) was down 25% in week two, falling slightly behind its new lead-in from Family Guy (2.0). It's a steep drop, but it gave itself room to withstand this. Like The Simpsons last week, Family Guy did a good job bouncing back from bad event season ratings,but Fox saw the arrival of DST take a toll earlier in the night as Bob's Burgers (1.1), The Simpsons (1.6) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.4) were all down multiple tenths from last week.
  • On ABC, week two of Secrets and Lies (1.4) had a good post-premiere hold, down just a tenth from last week's premiere. I hesitate to call it "promising" since it's holding from a premiere that did not do that well, but this at least keeps it from dropping out of the conversation. Its lead-in Once Upon a Time (2.1) absorbed DST well, also down just a tenth from last week's return, while Revenge (1.0) bounced back a bit from the January event season numbers, though this was still on the low end of its fall ratings.
  • For CBS, last week's nightmare only intensified. Battle Creek was down two tenths to a horrific 0.8, but the more meaningful story is probably how ugly it's getting in the previous two hours. Madam Secretary (1.1) and The Good Wife (1.0) were down again from already miserable return ratings last week.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 3/7/15

  • NBC got good returns from the return of broadcast primetime boxing (1.1), with 18-49 results about on par with recent Fox UFC telecasts (and slightly better total viewership).
  • ABC's In an Instant (0.7) also did OK by Saturday standards, dropping just two tenths from the Friday telecast that led out of Shark Tank. If it could tie 48 Hours on a regular basis, ABC would probably be pretty happy with that.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 3/6/15

  • A one-week move to 8/7c was no problem for Shark Tank (1.9), but its two-hour lead-out preview of In an Instant (0.9) still had a light sampling, far below usual 20/20 numbers. The docudrama film series will be on Saturday starting tonight.
  • Despite the added 8/7c competition, The Amazing Race (1.2) inched up in its second Friday episode, while Hawaii Five-0 was even at 1.2 and Blue Bloods (1.4) had a good outing. (It never got as high as 1.4 on an Amazing Race night in the fall.)
  • NBC slightly grew week-to-week by installing a repeat of Law and Order: SVU (0.6) at 8/7c leading into Dateline (1.3), while Fox's World's Funniest Fails (0.8) and Glee (0.6) and the CW's Hart of Dixie (0.4) were all even again. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/9/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The finals made the NBC and CBS nights look a good bit better; The Voice (3.8) went up two tenths, putting it on the year-to-year upside and very nearly even with last week. 
    • The CBS comedies adjusted up to very nearly even at 2.1 apiece, while NCIS: Los Angeles hit its third-highest rating of the season.
    • The finale of The Bachelor (2.8) also gained a tenth, making this the first three-hour Bachelor finale night on which the actual finale outrated "After the Final Rose." (It has happened a couple times with The Bachelorette, though.)
  • Some week-to-week slippage was to be expected for week two of The Following, which had a worse lead-in from a Gotham repeat (0.7) and more competition from an original Scorpion (2.0). But this was an obliteration, down a half point to a 1.1 that has it very quickly behind Sleepy Hollow's series low.
  • ABC wrapped up The Bachelor with, by this show's standards, a very modest finale spike. It averaged a 2.7 for the two-hour finale and a 2.7 for "After the Final Rose" at 10/9c. This was significantly behind last year's 3.3 finale / 3.8 ATFR, a disappointment considering recent weeks had been even or better year-to-year.
  • DST slightly depressed the early originals on the other three networks:
    • On CBS, 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly and Scorpion all tied at 2.0, but NCIS: Los Angeles (1.7) was slightly up;
    • NBC saw The Voice (3.6) took a bit of a hit, but it was very close to the year-ago episode, while The Night Shift stayed at 1.4;
    • And the CW's The Originals (0.5) and Jane the Virgin (0.5) each inched down.

War of 18-49 Update, Parks and Recreation (2014-15)

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

Monday, March 9, 2015

Intro to Plus Power Rankings and Projected A18-49+

The True Power Rankings are specifically designed as a resource for measuring the strength of series from a renewal/cancellation/scheduling perspective. They use timeslot-adjusted numbers and also focus specifically on more recent episodes, which helps eliminate the inflation caused by early episodes. However, these rankings are not as helpful with the historical perspective. When the season is over and we're looking back on the full season, every point counts, and you can't piece full-season comparisons together from the True Power Rankings.

I have sensed that there is some demand for a better way of looking at these historical-adjusted numbers as the season is ongoing. So here's a new set of rankings that will serve as a hub for tracking how everything will grade out in final, full-season A18-49+ stats. Say hello to the Plus Power Rankings!

CW Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15

These are the CW's Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15, lining up all the network's shows based on their full season-to-date Live+SD adults 18-49 ratings averages (A18-49). These averages are also converted to A18-49+, a number that can be compared more fairly with ratings in past seasons.

Also included in these rankings are projections of what the A18-49 average (Proj Avg) and what the A18-49+ (Proj +) will be at the end of the season. How are these projections generated? See this intro. Projections in italics assume the most recent rating for all remaining episodes. Projections in bold are for completed seasons.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 24.

NBC Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15

These are NBC's Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15, lining up all the network's shows based on their full season-to-date Live+SD adults 18-49 ratings averages (A18-49). These averages are also converted to A18-49+, a number that can be compared more fairly with ratings in past seasons.

Also included in these rankings are projections of what the A18-49 average (Proj Avg) and what the A18-49+ (Proj +) will be at the end of the season. How are these projections generated? See this intro. Projections in italics assume the most recent rating for all remaining episodes. Projections in bold are for completed seasons.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 24.

CBS Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15

These are CBS's Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15, lining up all the network's shows based on their full season-to-date Live+SD adults 18-49 ratings averages (A18-49). These averages are also converted to A18-49+, a number that can be compared more fairly with ratings in past seasons.

Also included in these rankings are projections of what the A18-49 average (Proj Avg) and what the A18-49+ (Proj +) will be at the end of the season. How are these projections generated? See this intro. Projections in italics assume the most recent rating for all remaining episodes. Projections in bold are for completed seasons.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 24.

ABC Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15

These are ABC's Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15, lining up all the network's shows based on their full season-to-date Live+SD adults 18-49 ratings averages (A18-49). These averages are also converted to A18-49+, a number that can be compared more fairly with ratings in past seasons.

Also included in these rankings are projections of what the A18-49 average (Proj Avg) and what the A18-49+ (Proj +) will be at the end of the season. How are these projections generated? See this intro. Projections in italics assume the most recent rating for all remaining episodes. Projections in bold are for completed seasons.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 24.

Fox Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15

These are Fox's Weekly Plus Power Rankings for 2014-15, lining up all the network's shows based on their full season-to-date Live+SD adults 18-49 ratings averages (A18-49). These averages are also converted to A18-49+, a number that can be compared more fairly with ratings in past seasons.

Also included in these rankings are projections of what the A18-49 average (Proj Avg) and what the A18-49+ (Proj +) will be at the end of the season. How are these projections generated? See this intro. Projections in italics assume the most recent rating for all remaining episodes. Projections in bold are for completed seasons.

These rankings cover numbers through Sunday, May 24.

SpotVault - American Crime (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings

American Crime
Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC

SpotVault - CSI: Cyber (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings

CSI: Cyber
Wednesdays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - Hell's Kitchen (Fox) - Spring/Summer 2015 Ratings

Hell's Kitchen
Tuesdays, 8/7c, Fox

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/5/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Big Bang Theory (4.8), American Idol (2.2) and The Blacklist (1.8) adjusted up. So Idol's Thursday ep beat the Wednesday ep that was paired with Empire but against The Voice.
  • How to Get Away with Murder is already missed. ABC premiered newbie American Crime at a lukewarm 2.0 demo rating, two thirds of its lead-in from Scandal (3.0). The show clearly brought a different skew than the TGIT norm to the table, with noticeably better retention among older viewers (88% in total viewers, 8.4 million vs. 9.6 million) and noticeably worse among younger viewers (61% in A18-34, 1.4 vs. 2.3). 
  • Though Scandal's 3.0 was its lowest rating in 2015, Grey's Anatomy (2.4) snuck in one last rise on the Thursday before DST.
  • CBS was this Thursday's big winner, at least in the first two hours. Though it had some help from a bigger The Big Bang Theory (4.7), The Odd Couple (3.0) looks like the real deal at 8:30, and Mom (2.2) inched up in its second try at 9:30. But Elementary (1.3) was weak at 10/9c, perhaps suggesting the older-skewing American Crime cut into its audience a bit.
  • NBC saw The Blacklist regress back to 1.7 after last week's growth, and it was surrounded by 0.8's from The Slap and Allegiance. Fox was close to even with American Idol (2.1) and Backstrom (1.0).

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Question, Thursday 3/5/15: Will American Crime Arrest the TGIT Audience?

Thanks to a short first season for Thursday home run How to Get Away with Murder, the post-Scandal timeslot has come open over two months before the end of the season. Tonight, ABC will use that opportunity on the new drama American Crime. The marketing campaign wants you to believe the show is Very Important, and the critical reviews have mostly lived up to that billing. But it's still unknown whether the extremely grim tone will connect with an audience that is accustomed to much soapier ABC Thursday dramas. Will American Crime arrest the TGIT audience? That's The Question for Thursday, March 5, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 3/4/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Empire (5.8) was up one more tenth.
  • CBS launched newbie CSI: Cyber at a 1.8 rating, with nearly full retention of its lead-in from Criminal Minds (1.9) in both viewership and demo rating. It's 10% behind the Stalker premiere from the fall, though that one had a much larger 2.7 Minds lead-in. It's another of those premieres that will have to hold very well in subsequent weeks to be a contender in a very crowded CBS drama field. Despite the return of Survivor (2.3) at 8/7c, Minds (1.9) wasn't even able to grow from its last episode three weeks ago, perhaps thanks in part to...
  • ... yet another new series high from Empire (5.7), up yet another three tenths in week nine. I don't really know what else to say except that this passed The Big Bang Theory's season premiere to become the biggest regularly-scheduled broadcast entertainment episode of the season.
  • ABC had another sensational comedy Wednesday in its last original week before the departure of Empire. The Middle, the only show that had an off night last week, bounced back to 2.2 this time, while The Goldbergs (2.5) and Modern Family (3.4) each held onto last week's surges completely. Nashville (1.4) and Black-ish (2.3) inched up from last week's finals, but they've adjusted down before.
  • Despite new heights for Empire, its lead-in American Idol (2.1) had quite a rough time as it had to deal with a strong two-hour The Voice recap special (2.1) on NBC.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Question, Wednesday 3/4/15: Will Viewers Log In to CSI: Cyber?

Tonight, CBS launches the fourth CSI series CSI: Cyber after Criminal Minds. Cyber may end up with the interesting distinction of premiering after the entire rest of the CSI empire has finished airing (though we don't yet know CSI's fate). Though CSI wasn't much of a viewership draw on Sunday this season, it's still an iconic brand on CBS, and the network also hopes that Medium alum Patricia Arquette and her recent Academy Award win can bring in some interest. Will viewers log in to CSI: Cyber? That's The Question for Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 3/3/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Chicago Fire adjusted down to 2.1.
  • The spring return of Agents of SHIELD (1.6) made little noise, down about a tenth from both the fall finale and the overall fall average. This is a bit disappointing since CBS was in repeats, but it will get to face comedies rather than The Voice in a couple weeks. Earlier in the night for ABC, Fresh Off the Boat (1.7) and Repeat After Me (1.2) each lost a tenth for the second straight week.
  • On NBC, The Voice (4.1) was up from last week and exactly even with the year-ago episode (though that one was just one hour). For the first time in four tries this spring, NBC finally found something to break a 2.0 with a The Voice lead-in; the upgrade was very welcome for Chicago Fire (2.2), up about 50% from recent deliveries after the fractional comedy block (and just a bit below its 2.3 after the second Voice week in the fall).
  • Fox traded out MasterChef Junior for the spring premiere of slightly weaker Hell's Kitchen (1.4). It was down a tenth from the premiere of the fall season and a very noticeable 30% below the last spring premiere on 3/13/13 (2.0).

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 3/1/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Last Man On Earth (2.4) and Dateline (0.9) adjusted up.
  • For the second straight year, the Sunday after the Oscars brought a significant positive surprise, but this time it wasn't on the network with the Oscar promotion. Fox's The Last Man On Earth premiered at a very strong 2.3 rating, which it fully held in the 9:30 half-hour. This was more than double Mulaney's premiere rating from the fall. Though clearly this simple concept pulled in significant interest on its own, it also had more help than expected from the rest of the night; The Simpsons (1.8) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.8) both had massive spikes from their event season ratings. And the return to 7:30 for Bob's Burgers (1.4) actually did better than most of its 9:30 ratings.
  • Meanwhile, the Oscar network ABC had a pretty healthy return from Once Upon a Time (2.2), which was above the last three episodes from the fall and just two tenths below the strong spring 2014 premiere. But this year's post-Once Upon a Time launch was certainly no Resurrection, as the two-hour premiere of Secrets and Lies (1.5) had a modest start at best. Of course, comparing to the 3.8 breakthrough from Resurrection isn't that fair, and a 1.5 in 2015 is clearly somewhat better than the disastrous 1.5 premiere from Red Widow a couple years ago. And it was obviously a big improvement on recent Resurrection and Revenge numbers. But it's going to have to hold up very well to have a future.
  • The big loser was CBS, which bombed pretty much across the board with new season lows for Madam Secretary (1.3) and The Good Wife (1.1) and a DOA series premiere for Battle Creek (1.0).

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 2/28/15

  • NBC tried to spark the dead night with regular season NHL hockey to no avail. Next week: boxing!

Spotted Ratings, Friday 2/27/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: Hawaii Five-0 (1.2) adjusted up.
  • The Amazing Race (1.1) made its Friday return with the same number at which it began its Friday run in the fall (and, of note, below the Undercover Boss Friday season low). With it came the unfortunate return to mediocrity for CBS later in the night, as Hawaii Five-0 (1.1) sunk to its low point from the fall when it was airing after Race. Blue Bloods (0.7) was in repeat mode.
  • Shark Tank (1.2) also snuck in a post-sweeps repeat, but it didn't stop the surrounding ABC hours from having pretty good nights; Last Man Standing (1.4) inched up to snap its long 1.3 streak, while Cristela (1.0) was back to normal. At 10/9c, 20/20's 1.3 was one of its better ratings without an original lead-in.
  • NBC installed a little-watched The Night Shift (0.5) repeat at 8/7c to fill the Grimm hiatus, while Fox had a third straight 0.8/0.6 combo with World's Funniest Fails and Glee. CW's Hart of Dixie was even at 0.4.

SpotVault - The Following (Fox) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Following
Mondays, 9/8c, Fox

SpotVault - Secrets and Lies (ABC) - 2014-15 Ratings

Secrets and Lies
Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - The Last Man on Earth (Fox) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Last Man On Earth
Sundays, 9:30/8:30c, Fox

SpotVault - Battle Creek (CBS) - 2014-15 Ratings

Battle Creek
Sundays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - The Amazing Race (CBS) - Spring 2015 Ratings

The Amazing Race
Fridays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - Survivor (CBS) - Spring 2015 Ratings

Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - The Night Shift (NBC) - 2014-15 Ratings

The Night Shift
Mondays, 10/9c, NBC

SpotVault - The Voice (NBC) - Spring 2015 Ratings

The Voice
Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

First Two Weeks, The Odd Couple

Rating: 3.1
Lead-in: The Big Bang Theory (4.5)
Competition: Grey's Anatomy (2.5 overall, 2.5 at 8:30), The Slap (0.8 overall, 0.8 at 8:30), American Idol (2.1 overall, 2.2 at 8:30), The Vampire Diaries (0.7 overall, 0.6 at 8:30)

Spotted Ratings, Monday 3/2/15

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Voice (3.9) was up a tenth. Of significance to some, The Following remained at 1.6.
  • The third-season premiere of The Following (1.6) was down 20% from the timeslot premiere last year. For now, this was a bit of an improvement on recent episodes of Sleepy Hollow (which last got this high about two months ago). But it had a good situation with CBS in repeats and an original lead-in from Gotham (2.0), which is now heading to hiatus for over a month. Gotham, meanwhile, gave back a big chunk of its huge rally over the last couple weeks.
  • Week two for NBC saw continued strength in the first two hours with The Voice (3.8) and continued disaster at 10/9c with The Night Shift (1.4). Both shows took a small week-to-week drop but were up in total viewership, perhaps due to the lessened CBS competition.
  • CBS' Mike and Molly (2.2) tied its season high despite being the network's only original. Its lead-in was not that much worse than usual as CBS plugged in a repeat The Big Bang Theory (1.8) at 8:00.
  • And ABC encored the first hour of Secrets and Lies (1.0) after The Bachelor (2.4 at 9:30).

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Question, Monday 3/2/15: Will The Following's Ratings Get Scarier in Season Three?

In 2013, Fox's Kevin Bacon drama The Following became the highest-rated new show of the 2012-13 season, kicking off the year of the so-called "limited series." In 2014, the show got major exposure from an airing after the NFC Championship game but still disappointed when it returned to Monday, kicking off the year of the limited series sophomore slump. And tonight, it becomes the first example of what happens when a limited series drops huge in season two but still gets renewed anyway. Will The Following's ratings get scarier in season three? That's The Question for Monday, March 2, 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Question, Sunday 3/1/15: Will the New Sunday Series Be Well-Kept Secrets?

It's the first Sunday after the Oscars, which means it's time for the broadcast networks to start programming original series on Sunday again. It's often a multiple-premiere night, and on this evening there are three: the two-hour premiere of ABC mystery drama Secrets and Lies, CBS comedic procedural Battle Creek and Fox post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man On Earth.

This was a big night a year ago, as ABC got a huge 3.8 opening from new drama Resurrection and Fox was very much on the map with the documentary series Cosmos. But I'm far more down on this batch of series than I even was on last year's crop before they happened. Two of them will have to self-start; Battle Creek and Last Man will both probably have lead-ins that are (perhaps significantly) smaller than the required number. Only Secrets and Lies follows a series (Once Upon a Time) that is likely to go over, and I'm not sold ABC can get the Once audience interested or make this child murder concept work where others have failed. But it only takes one strong showing for "Over" to cash. Will the new Sunday series be well-kept Secrets? That's The Question for Sunday, March 1, 2015.

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