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Fox’s ‘Pitch’ and ABC’s ‘Notorious’ Sink to Series Lows

Easy Thursday Overnight Victory for CBS Care of Thursday Night Football

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2016

Note: These ratings exclude the Orlando market.

Household Rating/Share

CBS: 6.9/12, ABC: 3.9/ 6, NBC: 3.8/ 6, Fox: 2.3/ 4, CW: 1.4/ 2

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Week:
CW: +40, NBC: +12, CBS: -12, Fox: -15, ABC: -36

—–

-Winners:
Thursday Night Football (CBS), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Chicago Med” (NBC)

-Fading Fast:
“How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)

-Losers:

“Rosewood” (Fox), “Notorious” (ABC), “Pitch” (Fox)

—–

Ratings Breakdown:
It was an easy Thursday overnight victory for CBS care of the Denver Broncos at the San Diego Chargers at an estimated 7.5 rating/12 share for the Eye net portion of the football match-up from 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET. As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate.

In season-premiere news, “D.C. Legends of Tomorrow,” the weakest of the superhero-themed action dramas on The CW, opened season two with a 1.4/ 2 in the household overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that was 27 percent above year-ago time period occupant “The Vampire Diaries” (1.1/ 2 on 10/15/15). Next was the 12th season premiere of “Supernatural” (yes – time flies!) also at a 1.4/ 2, which compared to modest year-ago time period occupant “The Originals” (0.8/ 1 on 10/15/15) was an overnight improvement of 75 percent.

In freshman drama series news, ABC has sprung a leak at 9 p.m. with “Notorious,” which at a series-low 3.0/ 5 in the household overnights at 9 p.m. was 54 percent below year-ago occupant “Scandal” (6.5/10 on 10/15). Retention out of lead-in “Grey’s Anatomy” (#1: 5.7/ 9 at 8 p.m.) was only 53 percent. And “Notorious” was 12 percent below the 3.4/ 6 in the overnights one week earlier, which translated into just 4.20 million viewers and a 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 (based on the Live + Same Day data).

With weaker lead-in support, “How To Get Away With Murder” on ABC at 10 p.m. (#3: 3.1/ 5) was 43 percent below the 5.4/ 9 one year earlier.

Fox’s “Pitch,” meanwhile, also hit a series-low at a 2.1/ 3 at 9 p.m., which was 22 percent below the 2.7/ 4 one week earlier (which translated into 3.47 million viewers and a 1.0/ 3 in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data). Overnight retention for “Pitch” out of modest lead-in “Rosewood” (#4), which was 28 percent below year-ago occupant “Bones” (3.6/ 6), was 81 percent.

On NBC, quiet 8-9 p.m. sitcoms “Superstore” (#3: 3.1/ 5) and recent entry “The Good Place” (#3: 2.9/ 5) were still, on average, 11 percent above year-ago occupant “Heroes Reborn” (2.7/ 5 on 10/15/15). Sophomore lead-out “Chicago Med” rose to a second-place 4.5/ 7 in the 9 p.m. hour, which was 55 percent above “The Good Place.” And that led into a 3.9/ 7 (#2) in the overnights for relocated “The Blacklist,” which was notably stronger than failed year-ago occupant “The Player” (2.8/ 5 on 10/15/15).

What follows is the breakdown by half-hour:

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 6.9/12, ABC: 3.9/ 6, NBC: 3.8/ 6, Fox: 2.3/ 4, CW: 1.4/ 2
-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Week:
CW: +40, NBC: +12, CBS: -12, Fox: -15, ABC: -36

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5,8.10 (#1)
CBS – Thursday Night Football Kick-Off: 4.1/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Superstore”: 3.1/ 5 (#3)
Fox – “Rosewood”: 2.6/ 4 (#4)
CW – “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (season premiere): 1.5/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.7/ 9 (#1)
CBS – Thursday Night Football (Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers): 7.0/12 (#1)
NBC – “The Good Place”: 2.9/ 5 (#3)
Fox – “Rosewood”: 2.5/ 4 (#4)
CW – “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (season premiere): 1.4/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Notorious”: 3.0/ 5 (#3)
CBS – Thursday Night Football (Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers): 8.0/13 (#1)
NBC – “Chicago Med”: 4.4/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “Pitch”: 2.1/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Supernatural” (season premiere): 1.4/ 2 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Notorious”: 2.9/ 5 (#3)
CBS – Thursday Night Football (Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers): 7.3/12 (#1)
NBC – “Chicago Med”: 4.5/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “Pitch”: 2.1/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Supernatural” (season premiere): 1.4/ 2 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 3.1/ 5 (#3)
CBS – Thursday Night Football (Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers): 7.6/12 (#1)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 4.0/ 7 (#2)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 3.1/ 5 (#3)
CBS – Thursday Night Football (Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers): 7.7/13 (#1)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 3.8/ 7 (#2)

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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  1. I’ll bet ABC can’t wait to bring back “Scandal”.

    I’m assuming the same for “How to Get Away with Murder” — which I’m sure will be back to year-ago levels once “Scandal” returns.

    ABC should have just held back “Murder” for midseason, returned “Grey’s” to 9pm in the meantime (though its doing really well at 8pm) and/or moved “Murder” up to the 9pm slot for the fall and aired “Notorious” at 10.

    Maybes. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    • I’m not sure about that claim HTGAWM when Scandal returns. There has been too much ratings leakage on the show to salvage it back to where it even was last season. Quite a shame since it is one of my current favorite dramas.

      • my assumption was based on the level of decline between “scandal” last season and “notorious” this season as it relates to the same level of decline for “HTGAWM” — which even in L7 is just above last season in live viewers.

        but to your point, it probably won’t rise back up to last season’s levels since there will be too few episodes airing after “scandal” to make up that lost ground.

        ABC just made a poor programming decision for its Thursday night tentpole slot.

        • Sorry to repeat the same thing, but for once SotB and I agree. There has been a lot of ratings leakage for HTGAWM.

          You are basing your analysis on disputable L+7 numbers (where it seems the networks include unaudited off-network numbers) averaged over the year which hides the slide.

          To me (and I apologize since you’re a fan of that show 🙂 ) the mistake was bringing back HTGAWM for a second season,.

          But ABC is so bad at picking shows right now, it sorta made sense at the time…

          The other error was to think that Shonda Rhymes could produce other hits (but at least it was more logical than ordering show after show from Greg Berlanti!)

          • How are you calling my numbers disputable if a) we’ve already established that I know how to read numbers for myself and b) they’re coming from Nielsen. So unless you’re disputing Nielsen — which is a different thing entirely, and not on me since that’s all we have to go on.

            And there is no slide to hide, the slide is obvious, but much of the slide (in live and L7) is attributed to its weaker lead-in — at least as it stands right now until “Scandal” comes back and THEN we can make the determinations you want to make.

            So the only mistake ABC made with the show was its lead-in.

            And what was the mistake with bringing HTGAWM back for a second season if the decline in L7 (which I know you want to dispute, but I’m not using Wikipedia) between the two seasons was only 10%?

            And you don’t know that Shonda Rhimes can’t produce another hit just because she hasn’t since “Scandal” (which goes back to our divergent qualifications for what makes a hit).

            • First, you did not collate those numbers (unless you work for NIelsen of course) so I am not disputing “your” numbers, but rather what the networks put out. 🙂

              It has nothing to do with your ability to read numbers, and everything to do with the dishonesty of the PR spin which constantly throws apples and oranges at us trying to pass them off as the same.

              Nielsen produces numbers, but the networks have routinely “published” numbers including “on-Demand and other media” (I paraphrase) which means they are giving us numbers that are NOT produced by Nielsen.

              They do that routinely with the end-of-year averages (which I confirmed to my satisfaction doing a bit more research that it was really worth 😉 ).

              Wikipedia, which does yeoman work publishing the real overnights (I am still surprised they do to their credit) publishes garbage for the yearly averages (garbage that comes from network PR).

              The decline between the two season in the meaningless (sorry to repeat but it’s worth doing it because people seem not to realize those numbers are there for PR purposes only) L+7 were cooked up by adding unaudited numbers.

              To give another example not about a show you clearly love, FOX did that with New Girl, transforming its 2 million + viewers into 8 million by adding up unaudited on-demand and internet viewers.

              It does make me sad they do that because they do fool people. About another show again I did have a conversation with someone who maintained against all reality that Mr. Robot was a huge hit because he liked it and he read it was a hit in the press.

              It is a sad state of affairs that our press doesn’t bother to check what they print, but so it is…

              On Shonda Rhymes. I do give her lots of credit for Grays’ (a show I just can’t seem to find any desire to watch for more than 30 seconds), but Scandal never was a hit, neither is HTGAWM or any of the shows she’s produced since.

              Like I said before, it still puts her well ahead of the Flop-Maker Brigade of Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams, Rob Thomas, Seth MacFarlane, Joss Whedon, etc…

              She actually made a hit. A due credit to her.

              • Note that my numbers are not coming from the networks but from sources using information directly from Nielsen.

                And L7 numbers are just DVR — not all platforms so the networks couldn’t spin that in there if they wanted to. And yes, networks use aggregate numbers to make shit smell like roses. But in SOME cases, those aggregate numbers are relevant.

                I understand about the PR spin, but let’s establish in your mind that none of the numbers I speak of are coming from the networks. And the numbers are speak of on here are L+SD, L7 and maybe L3. I repeat that those numbers are JUST DVR.

                The decline between seasons is only meaningless as it relates to a hemorrhaging of viewers — which is not the case for the show.

                So trust me when I tell you that I’m not fooled. My numbers come from reputable non-network sources sans spin because I don’t read network press releases about numbers.

                And believe it or not, “Scandal” was a hit. Bottom line. Your standards for what constitutes a hit doesn’t factor in a lot of things in play today that weren’t 20 years ago. But based on my non-PR, non-network standards, it was a hit for Shonda.

                • Therein squats the toad. 😉

                  ALL sources available on the internet use some numbers provided by Nielsen (well, some reprints of PR releases may not as the networks are fully capable of giving entirely inaccurate information).

                  L+7 numbers, if they are the ones Nielsen gives, are accurate. The problem is that the networks also call “L+7” numbers that include more un-audited viewers that weren’t counted by Nielsen.

                  Now I’m not saying that those viewers don’t count. Just that when the networks tell us they exist, we just can’t trust them. Their goal (biggest possible spin) and ours (accurate reliable information) are entirely at odds.

                  Wish it weren’t the case.

                  You seem not to want to reveal what your source is, which is perfectly all right with me, but not being able to check it and seeing that the sources I did check that showed what you talk of about HTGAWM’s ratings I do not trust, we are at an impasse. 🙂

                  I not only do not believe Scandal was a hit, I say it very clearly. It was not a hit. Never was a hit. And highly unlikely it will ever be a hit.

                  At its best, it was solid (and highly over-hyped). 🙂

                  • “Scandal” is something else we will never agree on since our benchmarks for what constitutes a hit is vastly different.

                    And you never asked me my sources, but for the record I use tvseriesfinale for my L+SD and spoilertv for my L7. From Nielsen. And just TV and DVR.

                    Whether you want to trust them or not, my numbers are sound. I don’t know what you’re reading on Wikipedia, but that is not my source for any of this.

                • I can’t believe I wasted so much time on this, but I guess I still like talking ratings.

                  Here’s the L+7 as per Wikipedia (which got those from a site certain not to underestimate TV ratings…)

                  I AM sorry, but I see quite a continuing, consistent slide there.

                  Also the season averages that Wikipedia has (and that were widely disseminated) are also completely false.

                  Season 1 (L+7 viewer increase – total viewers)

                  1 1 6.95 21.08

                  2 2 5.76 17.70

                  3 3 5.50 16.31

                  4 4 5.41 15.20

                  5 5 4.28 14.25

                  6 6 5.18 13.86

                  7 7 5.39 14.57

                  8 8 5.32 14.57

                  9 9 4.93 14.76

                  10 10 4.56 13.74

                  11 11 4.36 12.73

                  12 12 4.33 12.78

                  13 13 4.87 13.73

                  14 14 4.31 13.32

                  15 15 4.31 13.32

                  Average 14.79

                  Season 2

                  16 1 4.62 12.99

                  17 2 4.29 11.82

                  18 3 4.00 11.22

                  19 4 4.04 10.85

                  20 5 3.99 10.94

                  21 6 4.08 10.35

                  22 7 4.00 10.49

                  23 8 3.60 10.52

                  24 9 3.98 11.16

                  25 10 4.25 10.07

                  26 11 3.91 8.78

                  27 12 3.83 8.69

                  28 13 3.84 8.37

                  29 14 3.92 8.72

                  30 15 3.63 8.93

                  Average 10.26

                  • You trust your numbers and I’ll trust mine. I don’t use Wikipedia for my ratings information. And I have never been talking about weekly numbers in my any of arguments. I was going off of season averages. The funny thing is that my first season numbers are actually lower than yours. So the slide you’re seeing is not a slide at all from what I’m seeing.

                    But as I said, you keep your numbers and I’ll keep mine.

                    • Those aren’t “my” numbers. They actually originate with a site that I frankly have no respect for because it is run by hypocrites who disseminate PR spin (I like to call them tvbytheprspin.com), but they do give the right numbers and wikipedia just copied them.

                      The season averages on Wikipedia’s main pages, however, are completely wrong and PR spin numbers.

                      The point is not to have “your” numbers, but to know how to recognize spinned numbers. Looking at numbers that were collated immediately (the “Weekly” numbers as you call them, is better because they’re harder to spin – the state of TV ratings reporting is dire, but they haven’t yet descended into publishing made-up numbers like they do with box-office).

                      Looking at the season averages can be misleading, but in this case, the averages also show a big slide, but the slide is a lot easier to see (and much more significant) when you look at each week.

                      I frankly don’t see how you can tell me that going from 21 million L+7 viewers to 8 is not a slide… They’re down below 8 now, BTW.

                      I don’t know where they got those weeklies, but I can tell you with complete confidence, they weren’t actual averages of first-run episodes.

                      Don’t know what they did but networks are very adept at gaming season averages and journalists (except Marc of course 🙂 very adept at being fooled.

                      But if you need to think that HTGAWM is a hit to enjoy it, all the power to you. 🙂

                      But I think I’ve just proved my point.

                    • Actually you have not. And you need not insult my ability to read numbers in order to attempt to prove your point.

                      And once again, comparing a series premiere of a heavily-promoted show with any other numbers in its run is faulty at best. Of course there will be a decline.

                      And since my point has always been based on season averages, then I’ll stick with that whether you agree with me or not.

                      So if you need to hate on “Murder” because of its ratings, by all means.

                      But I would appreciate it if you would stop insulting my ability to read numbers and separate it from spin because I have not done that to you.

                    • Sorry you felt insulted. 🙂

                      I’ll refer you to my points above to avoid repetitive repetition. 😉