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Thursday Overnights: Football Leads NBC to Victory

'Young Sheldon' is the Real Deal on CBS


Household Rating/Share
NBC: 6.7/10, CBS: 5.9/10, ABC: 4.2/ 7, Fox: 2.2/ 4, CW: 1.1/ 2

Percent Change from Opening Thursday in 2016 – 9/21/16:
NBC: +81, CBS: +16, ABC: +14, Fox: no change, CW: -15

-Ratings Breakdown:
NBC led the Thursday overnights thanks to the arrival of “Thursday Night Football,” which featured the 22 to 16 victory for the Seattle Seahawks over the Arizona Cardinals and scored an estimated 7.2 rating/12 share in households from 8:30-11 p.m. ET. Combined with coverage on the NFLN, and the household rating rose to a 9.4 (with a 4.8 rating in adults 18-49).

In freshman series news, CBS’ “Young Sheldon” is the real deal, with episode three at a dominant 7.7/12 in the household overnights at 8:30 p.m. Comparably, that was 57 percent above failed year-ago time period occupant “The Great Indoors” (4.9/ 8 on 10/16/16). And the overnight retention for “Young Sheldon” out of lead-in “The Big Bang Theory” (#1 for the night: 9.1/15 at 8 p.m.) was 85 percent, which is better than anything ever airing out of adult Sheldon and company.

In week two news on CBS was episode two of the revival of crime drama “S.W.A.T.”, which scored a second place 4.4/ 8 in the 10 p.m. ET hour. Comparably, this bested ABC’s competing “How To Get Away With Murder” (#3: 2.9/ 5) by 52 percent. It was 22 percent above failed year-ago time period occupant “Pure Genius” (3.6/ 6 on 10/16/16). It was seven percent above lead-in “Life in Pieces” (#2: 4.1/ 7 at 9:30 p.m.). And, opposite football, “S.W.A.T.” only dropped by four percent from its launch one week earlier (4.6/ 8 on Nov. 2).

In the 9 p.m. half-hour on CBS was sitcom “Mom” at a solid (and second-place) 5.5/ 9. Since Violet (Sadie Calvano) and Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal) barely appear anymore, it makes perfect sense to change the opening credits.

Elsewhere, “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC reached the 300 episode mark with a healthy second-place 5.8/ 9 at 8 p.m., which led into a 3.9/ 6 (#3) for this final season of “Scandal” at 9 p.m. Full season-renewed “The Orville” on Fox (#4: 2.5/ 4 at 9 p.m.) increased by 25 percent from lead-in “Gotham” (#4: 2.0/ 3 at 8 p.m.). And The CW featured “Supernatural” (#5: 1.2/ 2 at 8 p.m.), now in season 13, and relocated “Arrow” (#5: 1.0/ 2 at 9 p.m.).

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What follows is the breakdown by half-hour for Thursday, November 9:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.9/10 (#2)
CBS – “The Big Bang Theory”: 9.1/15 (#1)
NBC – “Football Night in Arizona”: 4.1/ 7 (#3)
Fox – “Gotham”: 2.0/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Supernatural”: 1.2/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Grey’s Anatomy”: 5.7/ 9 (#3)
CBS – “Young Sheldon”: 7.7/12 (#1)
NBC – “Thursday Night Football” (Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals): 6.6/11 (#2)
Fox – “Gotham”: 1.9/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Supernatural”: 1.1/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 4.0/ 6 (#3)
CBS – “Mom”: 5.5/ 9 (#2)
NBC – “Thursday Night Football” (Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals): 7.5/12 (#1)
Fox – “The Orville”: 2.5/ 4 (#4)
CW – “Arrow”: 1.0/ 2 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “Scandal”: 3.8/ 6 (#3)
CBS – “Life in Pieces”: 4.1/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Thursday Night Football” (Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals): 7.7/13 (#1)
Fox – “The Orville”: 2.5/ 4 (#4)
CW – “Arrow”: 0.9/ 2 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 2.9/ 5 (#3)
CBS – “S.W.A.T.”: 4.4/ 8 (#2)
NBC – “Thursday Night Football” (Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals): 7.1/12 (#1)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “How to Get Away With Murder”: 2.8/ 5 (#3)
CBS – “S.W.A.T.”: 4.3/ 8 (#2)
NBC – “Thursday Night Football” (Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals): 7.2/13 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. The lead-in retention of “Mom” is still quite troubling as it is actually worse than that of “Life in Pieces.” And the overall ratings of the 9 o’clock hour as a whole compared to that of the 8 o’clock hour ought to really be worrying the CBS executives in charge of scheduling.

    • Very true. Mom has never worked for CBS.

      There’s nothing new there as CBS has been looking for a real hit (ie. not a spinoff doing so-so behind an established hit) for ten years now.

      Not that the other networks are doing any better.

      • You are so right about the state of affairs currently afflicting CBS and the other nets. The sad thing is that I actually used to enjoy watching “Mom” during its first couple of seasons. That was back when the title actually meant being a mom with kids instead of its current unfunny, hot mess of a bitter, man-hating show. Lucky for me, great episodes of “I Love Lucy,” “Bewitched,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Fraiser,” and other brilliantly written comedies are only a simple mouse click away. Tonight, I think I will revisit Rob and Laura Petrie’s home, but the problem with that is that I usually end up in Mary Richard’s newsroom sometime after midnight. It’s just a shame that today’s TV comedies seem to actually be de-evolving in regards to those greats of yesteryear.

        • Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

          It’s funny because you find me having just watched an episode of The Wild Wild West and deriving much more satisfaction from it than from current shows, even it is was made “before my time”. 🙂

          I find myself doing the same thing you do and watching sitcoms I never watched before (either because they were made before I was or because I was not a big sitcom fan then).

          Something I notice watching some of the older shows is how compelling they were in the way they were made. You couldn’t wait to see what’s next. Current shows I can take or leave and don’t feel that “tug” that I must see the end now… 🙂

          On the “state of affairs” you describe, I couldn’t help but think of the old studios (which were making a lot of the classic old shows) and that they were mostly run by filmmakers, the most famous being Disney of course.

          Disney didn’t have a movie studio because he needed somewhere to make money with his MBA, but as a tool to make the movies and tV shows he wanted made.

          Can this be said about any studio owner today?

          • The bigger issue on CBS is Monday. Kevin Can Wait is not strong enough to anchor the evening and it is downhill from there. The return of Man With a Plan is unlikely to really help.

            • Totally agree with you on that. CBS (and the other networks) need a bunch of real “anchors” post-haste.

              That’s why I keep saying they need to try more new shows (especially given their recent hitting average!) 😉

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