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Positive Week Two Results ‘Designated Survivor’ and ‘Speechless’ on ABC

Fox Wins Wednesday with its Combination of 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Empire'

What follows are the fast affiliate results for Wednesday, September 28 broken out by network and by each half-hour.

-Total Viewers:
Fox: 8.32 million, CBS: 8.11, ABC: 6.93, NBC: 5.90, CW: 1.55

-Adults 18-49:
Fox: 2.8 rating/10 share, ABC: 1.9/ 7, CBS: 1.7/ 6, NBC: 1.4/ 5, CW: 0.4/ 1


Survivor (CBS), The Goldbergs (ABC), Speechless (ABC), Lethal Weapon (Fox), Empire” (Fox), Modern Family” (ABC), Designated Survivor (ABC)

Blindspot (NBC), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Chicago PD (NBC)

Whose Line is it Anyway? (CW), Code Black (CBS)


8:00 p.m.

ABC – The Goldbergs
Viewers: 6.44 million (#3), A18-49: 1.9/ 7 (#2)

CBS – Survivor
Viewers: 8.88 million (#1), A18-49: 2.0/ 8 (#1)

NBC – Blindspot
Viewers: 5.84 million (#4), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#4)

Fox – Lethal Weapon
Viewers: 6.69 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 7 (#3)

CW – Penn & Teller: Fool Us (R)
Viewers: 1.56 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – Speechless
Viewers: 6.40 million (#3), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#3)

CBS – Survivor
Viewers: 9.35 million (#1), A18-49: 2.2/ 8 (#1)

NBC – Blindspot
Viewers: 5.30 million (#4), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#4)

Fox – Lethal Weapon
Viewers: 7.41 million (#2), A18-49: 2.1/ 8 (#2)

CW – Penn & Teller: Fool Us (R)
Viewers: 1.56 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – Modern Family
Viewers: 7.34 million (#3), A18-49: 2.3/ 8 (#2)

CBS – Criminal Minds (season premiere)
Viewers: 9.02 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#3)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 5.80 million (#4), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#4)

Fox – Empire
Viewers: 9.46 million (#1), A18-49: 3.6/12 (#1)

CW – Whose Line is it Anyway?
Viewers: 1.56 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – black-ish
Viewers: 5.56 million (#4), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3t)

CBS – Criminal Minds (season premiere)
Viewers: 8.72 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#2)

NBC – Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.29 million (#4), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3t)

Fox – Empire
Viewers: 9.70 million (#1), A18-49: 3.7/12 (#1)

CW – Whose Line is it Anyway?
Viewers: 1.42 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – Designated Survivor
Viewers: 8.01 million (#1), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#1)

CBS – Code Black (season premiere)
Viewers: 6.57 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#3)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.11 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#2)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – Designated Survivor
Viewers: 7.81 million (#1), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#1)

CBS – Code Black (season premiere)
Viewers: 6.13 million (#2), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#3)

NBC – Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.05 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#2)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. Like Tuesday, everything is just a little lower…

    FOX: Empire had the biggest drop (0.6) but since it was so much higher than the rest its drop is felt less….if this number hold in finals it will mean The Big Bang Theory would tie Empire in the demos. Lethal Weapon held up pretty well, the increase at the 1/2 is probably all pre-tune-in for Empire but the first half held up better than I thought

    ABC: MF took a bit of a hit and looked very soft last night, 2.3 isn’t that much better than what the Middle got last season at 8pm (2.2) OUCH! The Goldberg’s held up well and Speechless was down just 10%. Blackish is also down a lot 20% vs last week and DS also dropped about 15% holding up well vs. ABC/CBS despite having a lead-in that had almost the same demo numbers as those Nets.

    CBS: Survivor held up, Minds looked low to me and CB is a loser IMO as it fell at the 1/2 and came in dead last despite the strongest lead-in at 9:30

    NBC: Consistently low across the board less 10pm where NBC held up….still behind ABC but the season is still young.

    • Looking at the demo numbers just obscures the reality of the ratings, although even with ageist spin, Modern Family, as you rightly pointed out isn’t performing the way ABC would love to make us say it is.

  2. A lower rated Wednesday but an interesting one as well as I’m interested to see how the rookies and vets settle in on this night because the vets are actually in some new territory with changes around it or aging. Some of the shows that were advertised as positive ratings are going to get shutdown by me.

    Starting with FOX which actually performs and looks like a real network on Wednesdays and sadly that’s the only day when I consider them a big 4 network the other days they’re a netlet like The CW. Lethal Weapon just like Kevin Can Wait and MacGyver’s premiere last week is very surprising to me. It’s not really all Empire because Rosewood was doing worse last year and it seems like people still love and remember Damon Wayans who was bringing in high ratings for My Wife and Kids at one point on ABC. Just like with Kevin Can Wait and Kevin James it looks like star power still matters. I’m definitely keeping an eye on Lethal Weapon for sure. Empire is doing it’s thing but the fad it was when it first came out tells the bigger story there.

    Like I will probably be saying all season just when you’re ready to doubt Survivor the old man just keeps ticking the audience is very loyal to this show. Now for Criminal Minds this is one of the vets that I mentioned earlier that will be interesting when it comes to settling in because some more familiar faces on the show are gone now and it’s aging even more but it has a loyal audience also and there’s room to fall a little more as well where its continued battle with SVU will get a lot closer this year. I’ll talk about Code Black in a second because I’m breaking that 10pm hour battle down.

    ABC’s comedy block has clearly lost a bit of momentum without The Middle leading off there and a number of us on different sites kind of predicted this to happen. What’s interesting now is how an older Middle can carry a block of losers on Tuesdays in a couple of weeks. The Goldbergs has been a clear demo player with modest viewership but is clearly weaker than The Middle. Speechless is easily a wait and see approach right now because its trending a lot like Neighbors out of the gate already and that’s not a great sign long-term but we need to see where it settles in long-term. Modern Family has clearly aged and its days in the 2s are coming to end very soon as there might be some weeks down the line where The Goldbergs beats it. It doesn’t help that MF is working with weaker lead-ins lead-ins now.

    NBC could’ve honestly done a lot worse last night but they held up well to me especially Blindspot which is still a mystery in this block since it’s performing on its own now but Blindspot’s numbers are looking very similar to Laura’s like a point or two higher in the demo and lower in viewership so that definitely tells you off the bat that Laura’s cancellation was a bad mistake by NBC. Blindspot isn’t doing as bad as it could be it might not go fractional the entire season and it might stay at this level which should be okay for NBC at this point. SVU is as solid as they come very impressive outing from the 17-year veteran.

    This 10pm hour is the one that I look forward to every week the most because based on last night’s numbers it looks like Designed Survivor might be way more softer than people anticipated. Anytime you see a show with huge promise and possibly the biggest promotion of the season outside of This Is Us this fall you expect it to be a beast and this show is anything but a beast. It looks vulnerable like Nashville did 4 years ago when it started losing its timeslot to Chicago Fire later in the season.

    DS reminds me a bit of Stalker two years ago on CBS where it looked like it was going to be a strong player out of the gate and froze up and was quickly cancelled before the end of its first season. That will not happen to DS as it’s a stronger show plus this is ABC and not CBS where the standards are higher. I can say this about Designed Survivor already it’s a flop because it’s not a blockbuster like it should be and I blame most of this on ABC for not putting it in the 9pm timeslot like a lot of people were saying before the season began. For most shows its numbers are strong but for DS its mediocre. Not a good sign when you lose to Lethal Weapon which was way less hyped in comparison.

    To me the worse news of all for DS going forward is how close these numbers were to Chicago PD and this is the biggest threat to in this hour and with Chicago PD holding up so well here there’s a possibility that CPD may take its slot back faster than people originally thought. If I’m Code Black although the numbers were weak I feel a lot better right now against DS than I did before the season began because CB can survive here for a full season and know it’s not going to lose a ton of its audience to flop that is Designated Survivor now.

    • On Lethal Weapon: it’s derived from one of the biggest franchises of all time. The low ratings show using the name just isn’t enough.

      Compared to rosewood it is doing marginally better, but not by much.

      On Blindspot vs. Laura: It’s renewing Blindspot that was the mistake, not canceling Laura. Then again with Bob Greenblatt at the helm, would they ever do any better?

  3. Joe and Hello Larry, you have covered it well.
    Shocked at how close to Laura’s numbers Blind Spot’s are.
    Shocked at how well Lethal Weapon is doing, even considering the Empire tune-in.

    • Thanks Louis and I’m shocked as well that Laura’s numbers are this close to Blindspot. The only thing I could’ve predicted accurately about this was that Laura would beat Blindspot in viewers and that Blindspot would beat Laura in the demo but Laura is actually even with both categories. Laura should’ve never been canned but I won’t say that Blindspot shouldn’t had moved to Wednesdays at 8pm either.

      Lethal Weapon is a huge shocker to me, this might be a good season for television adaptions for movies and remakes like MacGyver.

        • Yeah MacGyver is definitely making me look forward to Friday’s ratings on Saturday. I think it holds also with minimal decline. I’m rooting for it to succeed because we need some new Friday blood and I think we’ve had some great reboots in the past that were overlooked and I wouldn’t seeing more of them produced if they’re done right.

            • Yeah Fridays have needed for a minute especially something scripted. Maybe MacGyver can be the face of Friday nights for the rest of the year and force the competing the networks to want to find their own MacGyver.

              I really wish Laura and Undateable would’ve hung around too, I’m disappointed that NBC didn’t let them ride it out and they both could’ve aired on Fridays with each other. I think NBC could’ve had Laura lead-off and had Undateable air at 9pm after it where it would’ve had more yes to build from than it did when its was on its own at 8pm.

          • Totally disagree with you. 🙂

            We are saturated with baldly made remakes, reboots and adaptations.

            We need original shows, preferably not coming from the usual flop-makers, not more uninspired and uninspiring retreads.

        • You totally on point with your comparison. 🙂

          Two shows aimed at the same public, with the same hype and with the same (predictable) ratings trajectory.

        • It was a good prediction, I think Revolution was around between 1.3 and 1.5 when it started out before dipping off on its move to Wednesdays.

          • Revolution dipped its entire run.

            You’ll remember they did a “fall season finale” and a “spring premiere” to try and spruce up ratings (to little avail) and avoided re-runs altogether because their numbers were awful.

      • Sadly, executives are concluding it was a great season for mindless remakes, even though Lethal Weapon is heading towards being another Rosewood and the jury has to speak on MacGyver.

        This means there’ll likely be no increase in the quality of scripted TV next season. 🙁

        Dark days for television.

    • Blindspot was a flop last year. Low ratings this season aren’t exactly a surprise, I think.

      The Lethal Weapon numbers aren’t good. It’s already no longer solid, just like Rosewood last year.

  4. So Blindspots numbers are okay but Mysteries of Laura isn’t? Lol Okay NBC.

    Designated Survivor and Speechless join This is Us from NBC as the first season renewals. No surprise really. Designated Survivor is good. It gives me anxiety in that depressing situation.

    I haven’t watched the Code Black season 2 premiere. I heard they changed a lot of things. For the better? For worse? I guess I’ll find out. Looks like Designated Survivor has dethroned Chicago PD for first in the hour . . . for now.

    Lethal Weapon is doing better than I expected.

    CW shows start coming back next week.

    • You have encapsulated how network decisions are based on internal political factors and not ratings.

      The two were failed and interchangeable. The most politically connected won out.

      Both should have been axed, IMO.

  5. Pretty weak start for Criminal Minds season who-can-count-that-high but still doing better than “super-mega-hit” Modern Family…

    Empire continues to be just solid, but at FOX it IS a super-mega-hit because you compare it to “cultural reference” New Girl…

    Lethal Weapon continues to benefit from its lead-out, as shown by the half-hour splits and is predictably ebbing. This will likely be yet another remake/adaptation flop.

    Blindspot continues to have less-than-stellar ratings, showing why it needn’t have been renewed.

    The whole NBC lineup is struggling but Chicago fans will find solace that PD is struggling slightly less than the rest.

    At CBS Code Black predictably failed to improve by being renewed…

    Overall, an extremely weak night that will continue to be a sore point for the networks.

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