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ABC Has Sprung a Leak on Thursday

The Moral of the Story: Putting the Trio of Dramas on a Three-Month Hiatus was a Very Bad Idea


Household Rating/Share
Fox: 6.0 rating/9 share, CBS: 5.4/ 9, ABC: 4.6/ 7, NBC: 3.0/ 5, CW: 1.4/ 2

Percent Change From the Year-Ago Week:
CW: +133, Fox: +28, CBS: – 7, NBC: -12, ABC: -28

Ratings Breakdown:
Disclaimer: These overnight results are a precursor to what could lie ahead pending the other data streams (including Live + Same Day, Live + 3 Day and Live + 7 Day). Any observations we make take that into consideration, as well as critical acclaim (or lack of) for each individual series and the social media impact.

Note: CNN and Telemundo aired the latest Republican Debate from 8:30-11 p.m. ET.

Celebrating 200 episodes, CBS sensation “The Big Bang Theory,” featuring guest star Adam “Batman” West, topped the night as usual with a 10.5 rating/17 share in households at 8 p.m. That led into “Life in Pieces” at a typical (and second place place) 5.6/ 9 at 8:30 p.m., which slipped by 47 percent, followed by “Mom” (#2: 4.9/ 8), relocated “2 Broke Girls” (#3t, 4.0/ 6) and “Elementary” (#2: 3.7/ 6) from 9-11 p.m. The bottom line: “Life in Pieces” has improved critically and will probably get a second season pick-up. But this sitcom is not capable of eventually anchoring an hour. “2 Broke Girls” is just plain tired and in need of no future episodes for off-network. And DVR-favorite “Elementary” only trailed ABC’s competing (and sinking) “How to Get Away with Murder” (#1: 3.8/ 7) by one-tenth of a rating point.

Who is your favorite character on “The Big Bang Theory”? Take the latest PI poll by clicking here.

On ABC, continued overnight erosion was the immediate observation. Veteran “Grey’s Anatomy” opened the night with a 5.4/ 8 in households at 8 p.m., which slipped by 11 percent from the 6.1/10 on the year-ago evening. But more concerning was the pairing of “Scandal” (#2: 4.6/ 7) and aforementioned “How to Get Away with Murder” (#1: 3.8/ 7) at an average loss of 35 percent from the 6.5/11 for a two hour episode of “How to Get Away with Murder” on the year-ago evening. The moral of this story: Putting these dramas on a three month hiatus is a very bad idea.

On Fox, two more hours of soon-to-conclude “American Idol” resonated at a 6.0/ 9 in the household overnights from 8-10 p.m., which means this 15-year old singing competition will be exiting in style.

NBC, meanwhile, lost a bit of steam week-to-week with its combination of failing “You, Me and the Apocalypse” (#5: 1.6/ 2) and already renewed “The Blacklist” (#4: 4.0/ 6) and “Shades of Blue” (#3: 3.4/ 6). And The CW has typical overnight results care of recently introduced “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow” (#4: 1.8/ 3) and “The 100” (#5: 1.0/ 2).

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. I wonder if the networks will learn how those long hiatuses negatively affect serial shows. I wonder how Blindspot will do upon its return…

      • the alternative is 22 episodes (or 15 in the case of “Murder”) spread out over 39 weeks with repeats. so it’s a lose-lose unless they air “Murder” in the fall and hold both back “Scandal” for midseason. it wasn’t a mistake in that it worked last season and does on cable, it’s just another new reality for network broadcast.

        • Agreed it is the new reality but cable picks up faster in January when the network shows are off. As they wind down in March other shows start up. No need to go back to network shows that were not must see and start large February.

  2. But CBS doesnt have a lot of comedies with Mike and Molly leaving and Angel from Hell canceled, The Odd Couple will not do the numbers, so that might just bring 2 Broke Girls back for season 6.

  3. ITA the 2 Broke Girls needs to be retired. Mike and Molly is a much better show than 2 Broke Girls even though I’m still watching out of habit. I enjoyed seeing Mike and Molly among all those great shows James Burrows directed on his retrospective special.

    • It does, somewhat, but considering the time shifted crowd have steady lifts from the live plus same day number, we know the overall audience of each ABC show has gone considerably down.

  4. You’re absolutely right, Marc. They’ve lost enough viewers because of the All My Children/One Life to Live boycott. A really dumb idea to take away the few shows that people do watch. But, that’s ABC/Disney for you. IDIOTS!!!!!!!

    • The typical idiocy of daytime soap opera fans. The genre is dead and only appeals to grandmas–DEAL WITH IT AND GET A LIFE!

      • With all due respect, Mr. Jeffries, I’m not a grandma. Nor are my friends who watch and fight for the shows we love. I am a full-time working woman who does special work in my community and has many, many friends. In fact, the only idiocy I see is the idiot who’s making this disparaging remark instead of contributing to the conversation.