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Lackluster Debut for ‘Conviction’ on ABC; Competing ‘Timeless’ on NBC Also Disappoints

NBC Wins Third Monday of the New TV Season

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2016

Household Rating/Share
NBC: 6.9/11, ABC and CBS: 6.1/10 each, Fox: 2.5/ 4, CW: 0.7/ 1

Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening:
Fox: + 4, NBC: – 7, CBS: – 9, CW: -12, ABC: -13

—–

-Winners:

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), “The Voice” (NBC), “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)

-Disappointing:
“Timeless” (NBC)

-Losers:
“Gotham” (Fox), “Lucifer” (Fox), “Conviction” (ABC)

—-

Ratings Analysis:
NBC opened this third week of the new TV season on a winning overnight note, besting No. 2 ABC and CBS by 13 percent in households. With “The Voice” as the anchor, NBC’s advantage in adults 18-49 (and all the key young adult demos) will be more significant.

Two more hours of “The Voice” scored a 7.9 rating/12 share in the household overnights from 8-10 p.m., which was seven percent above older-skewing competitor “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC (7.4/11).

In the battle of the 10 p.m. drama series premieres, “Timeless” on NBC (#2: 5.0/ 9) was a hefty 35 percent above “Conviction” on ABC (#3: 3.7/ 6). But “Timeless” opened 15 percent below “Blindspot” on the year-ago evening (5.9/10 on 10/05/15, which translated into 9.06 million viewers and a 2.4 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data). It slipped by 32 percent from the 9:30 p.m. portion of “The Voice” (7.9/12). And it trailed the second half of the two-hour season premiere of CBS’ “Scorpion” (#1: 5.3/ 9) by six percent.

“Conviction,” the real loser here, trailed fading year-ago time period occupant “Castle” (4.7/ 8 on 10/05/15) by 21 percent in the household overnights (which translated into 6.76 million viewers and a 1.2/ 4 in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data). It dropped from the 9:30 p.m. portion of “Dancing With the Stars” (7.1/11) by 48 percent. And slipped by 17 percent in the second half-hour (4.0/ 7 to 3.3/ 6), which was more severe than the 13 percent for competing “Timeless” on NBC (5.4/ 9 to 4.7/ 8).

Overall, the two-hour “Scorpion” season-opener on CBS (5.4/ 8 from 9-11 p.m.) was 18 percent below the 6.6/11 for the regularly scheduled 9-10 p.m. installment on the year-ago evening.

Earlier in the evening, “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS topped the night with a 9.1/15 in the household overnights at 8 p.m. And it led into a 5.9/ 9 for episode three of Kevin James sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” at 8:30 p.m., which was comparable to the 5.7/ 9 for “Life in Pieces” on the year-ago evening. Three-week overnight track for “Kevin Can Wait”: 7.1/11 – 6.5/ 9 – 5.9/ 9.

The true test for “Kevin Can Wait,” of course, will come on Oct. 24 when it moves to Monday at 8 p.m. into new Matt LeBlanc sitcom “Man With a Plan.”

Elsewhere, Fox could not compete with its pairing of dramas “Gotham” (#4: 2.4/ 4) and “Lucifer” (#4: 2.6/ 4). And The CW aired two more repeat episodes of “Supergirl” (#5: avg. 0.7/ 1 from 8-10 p.m.), which opens season two (and its first on The CW) next Monday.

Here is the half-hour breakdown:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Dancing With the Stars”: 7.3.12 (#3)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory”: 9.1/15 (#1)
NBC – “The Voice”: 7.4/12 (#2)
Fox – “Gotham”: 2.5/ 4 (#4)
CW – “Supergirl” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Dancing With the Stars”: 7.7/12 (#3)
CBS – “Kevin Can Wait”: 5.9/ 9 (#3)
NBC – “The Voice”: 7.9/12 (#2)
Fox – “Gotham”: 2.4/ 4 (#4)
CW – “Supergirl” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Dancing With the Stars”: 7.3/11 (#2)
CBS – “Scorpion” (season premiere)”: 5.5/ 8 (#3)
NBC – “The Voice”: 8.2/13 (#2)
Fox – “Lucifer”: 2.6/ 6 (#4)
CW – “Supergirl” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Dancing With the Stars”: 7.1/11 (#2)
CBS – “Scorpion” (season premiere)”: 5.4/ 8 (#3)
NBC – “The Voice”: 7.9/12 (#1)
Fox – “Lucifer”: 2.6/ 6 (#4)
CW – “Supergirl” (R): 0.7/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “Conviction” (series premiere): 4.0/ 7 (#3)
CBS – “Scorpion” (season premiere): 5.4/ 9 (#1t)
NBC – “Timeless” (series premiere): 5.4/ 9 (#1t)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “Conviction” (series premiere): 3.3/ 6 (#3)
CBS – “Scorpion” (season premiere): 5.3/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Timeless” (series premiere): 4.7/ 8 (#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. Not all that surprised Conviction disappointed but then again just about everything has disappointed. I think if ABC’s patient, they might have something long term. The show needs to focus on being a procedural though.

    • Conviction is, at its base, a procedural but it’ll get swallowed up fast on Monday nights. Poor Hayley Atwell — her new show attracted more viewers than almost every episode of her previous show but since it doesn’t have the backing of Marvel behind it, it’ll be much shorter lived.

    • Except they’re only “huge” because the basis number is very low…

      And high DVR usage is a predictor of further erosion.

      Gotham has been underwhelming since it premiered to disappointing numbers.

  2. Not surprised about Conviction, Dungey is having a bad rookie season way too many scheduling mistakes. I knew Timeless would bomb, NBC should make early plans to cancel that and give something else a boost there in November. I think NBC should’ve put This Is Us on Monday nights at 10pm and left Chicago Med with Chicago Fire on Tuesdays. Due to these two bombs Scorpion won’t have any trouble controlling their new 10pm slot. Kevin Can Wait is holding up pretty damn well.

    So The CW is starting its new season tonight?

      • Just bad scheduling and horrible freshmen pickups. They also made some moves that should’ve been made a few years ago like The Middle to Tuesdays. A lot of this is all catching up on ABC now.

      • They renewed an ocean of bad shows and their new shows are really unappealing.

        They also acted as if they thought Hayley Atwell was a big draw, which she clearly isn’t.

        • ABC must finally cancel Once Upon a Time and rebuild Sunday. Both new dramas are busts. Even Shark Tank is losing steam.

    • ABC actually had a good schedule overall when they introduced it back in May but viewers just didn’t take to the new shows they just introduced. At least Wednesdays are still working out well for them especially at 10 p.m.

      • You guys thought that but I knew better and I told you guys that. I don’t blame them too much for Notorious and Conviction failing on them although Murder should’ve aired at 9pm instead of 10pm behind Grey’s. The Wednesday comedy block will still be solid despite the all-time low ratings since 2009 but 10pm is still a wait and see game.

        • Designated Survivor has lost 20% of its audience in week 2. ABC still has a lot to worry about there.

          I agreed with Hello Larry about ABC’s schedule of course, my point being that the wholesale renewal of their flops could only produce a bad new season.

          At least with new shows like Designated Survivor, even if it turns out not to work out in the end, they gave themselves a chance to do better. They should have has 10 more, or at least 5, or even 3, even one more would have been better than keeping Agent of F.L.O.P. or OUAT.

        • Luckily for ABC, the advertisers liked what they saw and sold well from that May upfront. DS and Speechless already got full-season pickups so they’ll both be around for a while now. ABC had to get rid of Nashville there. They just had to!

          • I’ll point out that the networks ALWAYS say the advertisers like what they see at the upfronts and ALWAYS claim they sold for a higher price than last year…

            They’re also giving minimum audience guarantees, which they’ll likely have trouble hitting.

            Watch out for make-dos being handed over like candy from the unsold inventory.

            ABC, like its brethren, no longer has the money to be able to properly program a full season and will likely keep airing most, if not all, its new shows for lack of anything else to replace them with other that re-runs (and they don’t have anything that re-runs all that well!)

              • Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

                Maybe they figured they ratings were so bad that it was pointless to pretend they were getting a 5% increase in per thousand viewers pricing… 😉

          • I don’t blame ABC for making that move at all but man DS already in the mid 1s? It’s dropping much faster than I thought it would. Speechless looks to be doing okay and might hold up but DS better settle in fast though.

    • Dungey’s main error was renewing more than 10 flops!!!

      When you have that much dead weight, how you program it becomes close to irrelevant.

      NBC: I don’t think they have the money to have a November show ready any longer.

  3. Totally agree with you on the self-destructive move that was all those renewals of Nashville… 🙂