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Respectable Overnight Sampling for ‘Imaginary Mary;’ Fox’s ‘Shots Fired’ Loses Steam

CBS Tops Final Wednesday in March

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What follows are the metered market (overnight) results in households by network and by half-hour for Wednesday, March 29, 2017:

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 4.2/ 7, ABC and Fox: 3.8/ 6 each, NBC: 3.5/ 6, CW: 0.9/ 2

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
ABC: +27, NBC: -15, CBS: -19, CW: -31, Fox: -38

-Ratings Breakdown:
CBS led this final Wednesday in March, with “Survivor: Game Changers” topping the night at a 5.2 rating/9 share in the household overnights from 8-9 p.m. An almost identical 5.1 rating in the overnights one week earlier for “Survivor” translated into 8.1 million viewers and a 1.7 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data. In other words, “Survivor” remains a consistently positive performer for CBS.

In series-premiere/preview news, ABC sitcom “Imaginary Mary,” starring Jenna Elfman, opened with a distant second-place 3.4/ 6 at 8:30 p.m. Comparably, overnight retention out of “The Goldbergs” (#2: 3.9/ 7 at 8 p.m.) was respectable at 87 percent. But airing in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. half-hour in place of “The Real O’Neals” and out of “Fresh off the Boat” (effective on April 4) is likely to result in a smaller return for “Imaginary Mary.”

“Survivor” led into a second-place 4.3/ 7 in households for “Criminal Minds” at 9 p.m., followed by “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” at a third-place 3.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. Comparably, “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” which is not expected back next season, trailed “Chicago PD” on NBC (4.1/ 7) and “Designated Survivor” on ABC (#2: 3.6/ 7) by 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Unfortunately, that recent three month hiatus did not benefit “Designated Survivor.”

Next on ABC was a 4.7/ 8 in the household overnights for “Modern Family” at 9 p.m. (#2) into a 3.3/ 6 (#4) for critically acclaimed “black-ish” at 9:30 p.m. In other words, nothing unusual.

In week two news, Fox drama “Shots Fired” dropped by 23 percent in the overnights week-to-week, with a fourth-place 2.8/ 5 at 8 p.m. Last week, a 3.5 household rating for the “Shots Fired” opener translated into 4.70 million viewers and a 1.1/ 5 in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data.

At 9 p.m., while a 4.9/ 8 for Fox’s “Empire” at 9 p.m. increased by 75 percent out of “Shots Fired,” year-to-year “Empire” declined by 41 percent (from the 8.3/13 on March 30, 2016).

Elsewhere, NBC’s “Blindspot” finished third in the 8 p.m. hour, with a 2.9/ 5. Next was veteran “Law & Order: SVU” at a 3.5/ 6 (#4) at 9 p.m. And The CW had nothing unusual to report with its pairing of “Arrow” (#5: 1.2/ 2) and “The 100” (#5: 0.7/ 1).
What follows are the household overnight results for March 29 by half-hour:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “The Goldbergs”: 3.9/ 2 (#2)
CBS – “Survivor: Game Changers”: 5.2/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Blindspot”: 2.9/ 5 (#3)
Fox – “Shots Fired”: 2.7/ 5 (#4)
CW – “Arrow”: 1.2/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Imaginary Mary” (series premiere/preview): 3.4/ 6 (#2)
CBS – “Survivor: Game Changers”: 5.2/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “Blindspot”: 2.8/ 5 (#3t)
Fox – “Shots Fired”: 2.8/ 5 (#3t)
CW – “Arrow”: 1.1/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Modern Family”: 4.7/ 8 (#2)
CBS – “Criminal Minds”: 4.3/ 7 (#3)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 3.3/ 5 (#4)
Fox – “Empire”: 4.8/ 8 (#1)
CW – “The 100”: 0.7/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “black-ish”: 3.3/ 6 (#4)
CBS – “Criminal Minds”: 4.3/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 3.6/ 6 (#3)
Fox – “Empire”: 5.0/ 8 (#1)
CW – “The 100”: 0.7/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 3.7/ 6 (#2)
CBS – “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”: 3.2/ 5 (#3)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 4.1/ 7 (#1)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 3.5/ 7 (#2)
CBS – “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”: 3.1/ 6 (#3)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 4.0/ 7 (#1)

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 might give “Imaginary Mary” one more week. The first week of a sitcom is always so full of character introduction and setting up the situation.

    • Pilots are supervised by an army of executives swarming the director with “Advice” so these days pilots tend to be awful, which is part of why it’s been harder to launch shows and audiences don’t even bother to sample.

      That said Mary’s ratings were really bad. CBS, the last network who had the ability to get its shows sampled by big numbers, no longer can. 🙁