Thursday, June 30, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/29/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: Big Brother (1.9) and MasterChef (1.2) adjusted up, while Wayward Pines (0.7) adjusted down.
  • CBS' Big Brother (1.8) had a nice opening to its second week, going within a tenth of last week's premiere. And American Gothic (0.7) matched its premiere as a repeat of Criminal Minds (0.9) took over at 9/8c. The history of Big Brother incompatibility is so well-documented that it isn't really a big deal that Gothic did this with half the lead-in. But just holding steady in week two is at least a little positive in any scenario. It now seems to have surpassed BrainDead in the CBS hierarchy, for what little that is worth. And it still has Zoo somewhat within striking distance.
  • NBC tried using another round of swimming US Olympic Trials (1.2) to boost The Night Shift, but it didn't work; the show averaged a new low 0.8 in each of its two hours.
  • On Fox, MasterChef stayed at 1.1 and Wayward Pines inched back up to 0.8.
  • ABC (0.8/0.8/1.1/0.9/0.7/0.6) and the CW (0.2/0.2) had more repeats.

Schedules Plus Enhanced: CW Tuesday

Schedules Plus is the ultimate almanac to broadcast network primetime scheduling since 2001. It features lineups for three different parts of the year, as well as A18-49+ ratings that more fairly account for historical decline. For more on the tables and charts in Schedules Plus, see this primer.

This post covers CW Tuesday. If you want to know how the CW managed to come back from its early-2010s low point, look no farther than this night. In the network's first seven years, the network only occasionally had even passable Tuesday ratings: like when Gilmore Girls was there in the inaugural season, or very early in the run of 90210. But the launch of The Originals took the night to an unprecedented level in 2013-14, and it's flown into the stratosphere with The Flash: the CDub's biggest series ever.  See the 2022-23 Breakdown.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 6/28/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: Containment (0.3) adjusted up to hold off its first ever 0.2. But CBS had a rough adjustment night as NCIS (0.9) and the Zoo premiere (0.8) each went down.
  • CBS welcomed back its biggest original drama from last summer, Zoo, with a two-hour premiere (0.9/0.8). While it tied the season one finale's series low for the first hour and dropped to a new low in the second hour, and significantly trailed the 1.2 series premiere from a year ago, it still looks to be the best (or least-worst) thing going in the network's dire summer drama department. Zoo slightly trailed its NCIS repeat lead-in (1.0).
  • On ABC, Uncle Buck (1.1) got back a tenth following its massive week two drop to 1.0. There's only one week left in this limited run, but it seems to warrant another look unless there is a second collapse next week. It got some help from the 8/7c comedy repeats (0.8/0.8), which were also on the upswing. At 10/9c, To Tell the Truth (1.0) stabilized in acceptable territory as well, even with added competition from Got Talent.
  • Swimming US Olympic Trials (1.3) were back in NBC's 8:00 hour and continued to trail the 2012 editions by about a third. However, America's Got Talent (2.4) had an uptick in its temporary move to 9:00-11:00. 
  • Fox's Hotel Hell (0.9) and Coupled (0.5) both inched up, but the CW's Containment ticked down to its first 0.2.

Cablemetrics: Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, Queen of the South, Ray Donovan

These numbers are current through Monday, June 27.

  • HBO bid farewell to ratings dominance with the season six finale of Game of Thrones (4.35), which went out on a new season high and was 5% ahead of last year's finale. Lead-out comedies Silicon Valley (1.05) and Veep (0.50) both took single-digit declines from last year's finales.

The Breakdown: The CW Tuesday in 2015-16 (The Flash, iZombie, Containment)

It's time for a journey through the CW Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...

SpotVault - Celebrity Family Feud (ABC) - Summer 2016 Ratings

Celebrity Family Feud
Sundays, 8/7c, ABC

SpotVault - The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC) - Summer 2016 Ratings

The $100,000 Pyramid
Sundays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Match Game (ABC) - Summer 2016 Ratings

Match Game
Sundays, 10/9c, ABC

SpotVault - Ray Donovan (Showtime) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - Murder in the First (TNT) - Summer 2016 Ratings

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Monday 6/27/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: The Bachelorette (2.0) adjusted up to pull ahead of American Ninja Warrior and top the night. Most of CW's Whose Line? repeats adjusted down by a tenth, but at 0.3/0.3/0.4/0.4 it was still a nice evening for them.
  • NBC took Monday night as swimming US Olympic Trials (1.2) filled the 8:00 hour and American Ninja Warrior (1.8/2.1) was on the upswing as it got bumped into the last two hours. It's another tepid showing from the pre-Olympics stuff, which had a 2.0 on this night four years ago. However, American Ninja Warrior had almost identical raw numbers to that night four years ago, when it had a 1.9 at 10/9c leading out of a 3.0 America's Got Talent.
  • ABC's The Bachelorette (1.9/2.0) was down a bit from last week but still very close to the year-ago evening, but Mistresses (0.7) remained a really weak retainer at 10/9c.
  • The struggles persisted for the other scripted originals as well. On CBS, BrainDead (0.5) couldn't bounce back from its week two drop and stayed way behind CBS' repeats of comedies (0.9/0.9) and Scorpion (0.7).
  • And Fox's Houdini and Doyle (0.4) retained less than half of its lead-in from an upticking So You Think You Can Dance (0.9). The silver lining is that Dance seems to have stabilized compared with last year.
  • The CW served up four strong repeats of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.4/0.4/0.4/0.5), which will return to originals in two weeks alongside Penn and Teller: Fool Us.

A18-49+ Update: Originals vs. Repeats, Comedies vs. Dramas in 2015-16

Here's a look at the different types of programming in 2015-16. This post will combine the broad programming categories (originals, repeats, sports, specials, movies) as well as the sub-categories within the original series realm (comedies, dramas, reality, news).

Schedules Plus Enhanced: Fox Tuesday

Schedules Plus is the ultimate almanac to broadcast network primetime scheduling since 2001. It features lineups for three different parts of the year, as well as A18-49+ ratings that more fairly account for historical decline. For more on the tables and charts in Schedules Plus, see this primer.

This post covers Fox Tuesday. Thanks to American Idol and its very successful drama companion House, this night has housed many of the strongest lineups on record. That changed when Fox moved Idol to a Wednesday/Thursday arrangement in 2011, though the dramedy Glee kept the network solid for a couple more years. Since then, it's pretty much been all downhill, with many an ill-fated comedy block taking the network ever-closer to the ratings basement.  See the 2022-23 Breakdown.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 6/26/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: Celebrity Family Feud (1.6) adjusted up to dodge a new series low (instead tying its series low from 4th of July weekend last year). Big Brother (1.6) also got a tenth back to avoid a new low.
    • On cable, Game of Thrones finally got its first 4.0+ of the season, and it was by a wide margin with a new series high 4.35. That was up 5% from last year's finale, and means the show has been up in raw numbers every week this season except for the premiere.
    • And the BET Awards were a strong second with a 1.95 average on BET. It was simulcast on several other networks, but it looks like the highest it got elsewhere was a 0.22 on Nick at Nite and a 0.19 on Comedy Central.
  • The most heavily-branded lineup in summer TV is ABC's "Sunday Fun & Games," and it opened to somewhat unexpected results. The first note is that Celebrity Family Feud could only muster up a 1.5, which is a new series low and a bit surprising considering it had actually been getting low-1's even for recent repeats. It also had the biggest entertainment programming competition with the Sunday premiere of Big Brother (1.5), which has now been down in the teens year-to-year for all three of its opening nights. (Including a 1.9 on Wednesday and a 1.7 on Thursday).
  • But ABC's news brightened a lot from there, as newbie The $100,000 Pyramid (1.7) pulled off an upset in actually growing from the Feud. Then another revival, Match Game (1.5) at 10/9c, held quite well from there. So it made for a surprisingly consistent night, and at a great level by summer standards.
  • NBC also helped to liven up the Sunday summer landscape with a four-hour helping of US Olympics trials, with diving (0.7) at 7/6c, swimming (1.0) at 8/7c and gymnastics in the last two hours (1.4/1.3). NBC only had one hour of these trials on the comparable 2012 night (a 1.2 at 7/6c), so the comparisons should be a bit more apples-to-apples over the rest of this week.
  • Fox was stuck deep in the cellar with the finale of Cooper Barrett's Guide (0.3) leading into comedy repeats (0.4/0.6/0.5/0.6/0.4).
  • Updates to come on cable, as Game of Thrones' finale seeks its first un-rounded 4.0 rating in a season that has produced two 3.96's, a 3.95 and a 3.92.

The Breakdown: Fox Tuesday in 2015-16 (New Girl, Grandfathered, The Grinder, Scream Queens)

It's time for a journey through the Fox Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...

SpotVault - Big Brother (CBS) - Summer 2016 Ratings

Big Brother
Wednesdays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - American Gothic (CBS) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - BattleBots (ABC) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - In an Instant (ABC) - Summer 2016 Ratings

In an Instant
Saturdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - In an Instant (ABC) - 2015 Ratings

In an Instant
Saturdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Queen of the South (USA) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - The Last Ship (TNT) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - Greenleaf (OWN) - Summer 2016 Ratings

SpotVault - Pretty Little Liars (Freeform) - 2016-17 Ratings

SpotVault - The Fosters (Freeform) - 2016-17 Ratings

Friday, June 24, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/23/16

Schedules Plus Enhanced: NBC Tuesday

Schedules Plus is the ultimate almanac to broadcast network primetime scheduling since 2001. It features lineups for three different parts of the year, as well as A18-49+ ratings that more fairly account for historical decline. For more on the tables and charts in Schedules Plus, see this primer.

This post covers NBC Tuesday. This was one of NBC's weakest nights on the tail end of the Must See TV era, with the 8/7c hour regularly representing one of the network's few legitimately dark spots. Ironically, it then became an NBC strength during the network's general meltdown, as Law and Order: SVU and reality series The Biggest Loser hit their primes. And it's gone to another level still during the NBC comeback, housing the second night of The Voice, the successful drama Chicago Fire, and eventually the megahit drama This Is Us. See the 2022-23 Breakdown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 6/21/16

The War of 18-49, Elementary

A CBS Drama Darling

The new CBS drama Elementary was put in a good position to succeed. It took the Thursday 10/9c timeslot from top 10:00 drama The Mentalist and led out of promising sophomore Person of Interest (which CBS was also trying hard to boost by installing Two and a Half Men as its 8:30 lead-in). At least on premiere night, Elementary lived up to the billing pretty well, building on its PoI lead-in with 13.41 million viewers and a 3.1 demo. It took a somewhat severe week two drop to 2.5, but it was able to stabilize in the low-2's for the rest of the fall.

CBS saw that as good enough to try to boost it with the Super Bowl lead-in. Its ratings were not good in the Super Bowl lead-out context, but it also caught a rough break as a power outage during the Bowl bumped Elementary's start time well out of primetime. As with most scripted Bowl lead-outs, there was no long-term (or really even short-term) bump, and it stayed in the low-2's for the rest of the season. Overall, season one was just a tiny downgrade on what the network had gotten from The Mentalist in the last three years.

Weakening on Thursday

But it was all downhill from there for Elementary, and rather sharply. It had pretty much left the 2's behind by week three of its second season, and deteriorated all the way into the mid-1's by season's end. Season three was the first one with a delayed premiere due to Thursday Night Football, and it was a pretty steady diet of low-1's. It managed to hang onto very low-1's in season four, but the network finally had enough and sent it to the brutal Sunday 10/9c slot. It never broke a 1.0 after that spring move was made.

Elementary never remotely became the signature drama that CBS desperately wanted it to be. But it still got early-renewed for season five and will happily air another low-rated season on Sunday in 2016-17. That's probably because it's a CBS Studios drama that got a very rich syndication deal from WGN America. Talk about syndication money is probably overblown in a lot of cases, but this is a show whose survival seems very much justified by it. While CBS may have spent too long trying to make it happen in the Thursday 10:00 hour, it's finally been exiled to where it belongs: a tough slot where the opportunity cost is minimal.

Adults 18-49 info by season:

12012-13Thursday 10:
42015-16Thu 10:00, Sun 10:000.97-24%0.71.2detailC
52016-17Sunday 10:000.63-34%0.50.8detailD+
62018Monday 10:000.47-26%0.30.6detail
7Summer 2019Thursday 10:000.41-14%0.20.5detailC+

Historical-adjusted ratings by season:

7Summer 201943flop0.41-1%26535340


The War of 18-49 chronicles the ratings history of veteran primetime series. For more, see the Index.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A18-49+ Update: The Network Race in 2015-16

Here's a look from several angles at how the big five networks fared in 2015-16.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 6/20/16

Schedules Plus Enhanced: CBS Tuesday

Schedules Plus is the ultimate almanac to broadcast network primetime scheduling since 2001. It features lineups for three different parts of the year, as well as A18-49+ ratings that more fairly account for historical decline. For more on the tables and charts in Schedules Plus, see this primer.

This post covers CBS Tuesday. CBS was barely even trying on Tuesdays at the beginning of the A18-49+ era, but the incredible rise of JAG spin-off NCIS from sub-marginal season one numbers has made the night into a network bright spot. NCIS rose in Plus throughout its first decade on air, while spin-offs or NCIS star vehicles have shored up the 9/8c hour since 2009-10, and the final hour starting in 2016.  See the 2022-23 Breakdown.

Monday, June 20, 2016

2015-16 Best Case/Worst Case Predictions Recap

Here's a look back at the highlights and lowlights from the Best Case/Worst Case preview posts, in which I predict the Live+SD 18-49 averages for broadcast series before their premieres.

For these averages, I tried to weed out episodes after unexpected drastic timeslot moves and (as noted on the individual posts) after the end of the regular season. There were more of the unexpected timeslot moves than usual this year, from Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Sleepy Hollow to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Weeding out the post-move episodes probably tends to inflate my average, since these shows would've fallen farther and I was already low on some of them even at these numbers.  But it's probably still less impactful than it would be to penalize me for episodes in unanticipated situations, so it is the lesser of two evils.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 6/19/16

The Breakdown: CBS Tuesday in 2015-16 (NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans, Limitless)

It's time for a journey through the CBS Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 6/16/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: The NBA Finals just barely eked out a new series high with a 7.7 rating. Aquarius was not counted in finals so the fast nats will be used here.
  • Game 6 of the NBA Finals had series-high preliminaries in both the 9:00 (5.9) and 10:00 (6.7) hours and figures to adjust into the general vicinity of 8.0 after finals. That'll trail last year's Game 6 (8.9), which was a series ender. But the result does mean ABC gets the good fortune of a Game 7 ratings bounty, coming on Sunday.
  • It was not a good night for the original programming that tried to compete with the Finals, starting with the tiny-rated return of drama Aquarius (0.5/0.4) on NBC. This is at the low end of its Thursday performances last summer, and less than half of the 1.1 at which it started season one. At least it rallied from the 0.2's it was getting on Saturdays...? Aquarius also notably lost more than half its lead-in from Dateline (1.0).
  • The return of Fox's reality series Home Free (0.6) was arguably an even bigger debacle, since it was actually doing OK the last time we saw it. After ending season one on a 1.0 and 1.1, it was mired at American Grit levels for this premiere. But it had little help from lead-in Bones (0.7), which itself collapsed to a new low.
  • CBS' repeats were easily the strongest alternative to the Finals, as the comedies (1.4/1.1/1.0/0.9) were up from last week while Code Black (0.7) was even. The CW had more 0.2's with Legends of Tomorrow (R) and Beauty and the Beast.

Schedules Plus Enhanced: ABC Tuesday

Schedules Plus is the ultimate almanac to broadcast network primetime scheduling since 2001. It features lineups for three different parts of the year, as well as A18-49+ ratings that more fairly account for historical decline. For more on the tables and charts in Schedules Plus, see this primer.

This post covers ABC Tuesday. At times, ABC's been able to piece together a strong hour or two: early aughts comedies like According to Jim and 8 Simple Rules, results shows for Dancing with the Stars, and even early in the run of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. But there's never really been a top-to-bottom success story, and overall it's gone down as one of the most problematic weeknights for a big four network. See the 2022-23 Breakdown.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 6/15/16

  • FINALS UPDATE: MasterChef (1.3) adjusted up to a new season high. Arrow (0.2) adjusted down.
  • With the NBA and originals of American Ninja Warrior cleared out, and Big Brother not yet premiered, Fox's originals pretty much had the stage to themselves. But both shows only matched last week, which is OK for MasterChef (1.2) but left Wayward Pines (0.7) mired in mediocrity.
  • Meanwhile, NBC's Ninja Warrior (1.0/1.3) remained a force even in repeats, while The Night Shift (1.0) inched up from last week at 10/9c.
  • The week before Big Brother and American Gothic premiere, it was all repeats on the other three networks. ABC's comedies (0.9/0.8/1.1/0.9/0.8/0.6) beat out CBS' Undercover Boss and Criminal Minds franchise (0.7/0.7/0.7) and CW's dramas (0.3/0.2).

Cablemetrics: Animal Kingdom, Wrecked, Major Crimes, Guilt

These numbers are current through Tuesday, June 14.

  • TNT had its new drama of the summer, Animal Kingdom with a 0.45 in the first hour and a 0.35 in the second. This show's pilot had previewed after NBA playoffs telecasts and was supposed to preview again after The Last Ship on Sunday. But that premiere got delayed due to its opening scene's similarity to the Orlando shootings. Anyway, 0.45/0.35 doesn't seem great, but TNT renewed Murder in the First last year with similar to slightly worse raw numbers. So it'll probably be fine if it stays close to this.

The Breakdown: ABC Tuesday in 2015-16 (Fresh Off the Boat, Agents of SHIELD, The Muppets and more)

It's time for a journey through the ABC Tuesday schedule in 2015-16...

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