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Wednesday Overnights: NBC Leads; CBS’ ‘Survivor’ Tops Evening

Week Two of The CW's 'Life Sentence' Slips to an Anemic 0.5 Rating in Households at 9 p.m. ET


Household Rating/Share
NBC: 4.3/ 7, CBS: 4.0/ 7, Fox: 3.2/ 5, ABC: 2.6/ 5, CW: 0.7/ 1

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
NBC: – 2, Fox: – 3, CBS: – 7, CW: -22, ABC: -30

Ratings Breakdown:
Veteran “Survivor” on CBS topped this second Wednesday in March, with a 5.1 rating/9 share in the household overnights from 8-9 p.m. Comparably, that was six percent above the comparable year-ago evening (4.8/ 8 on 3/15/17). But it was NBC that led the Wednesday overnights with its compatible combination of dramas “The Blacklist” (#2: 4.0/ 7 at 8 p.m.), “Law & Order: SVU” (#2: 4.2/ 7) and “Chicago PD” (#1: 4.6/ 8). Chances are NBC will leave this Wednesday line-up intact next season. If “Law & Order: SVU” does return, it will tie “Gunsmoke” and parent “Law & Order” as the longest running scripted drama in the history of television.

In week two news, CW dramedy “Life Sentence” slipped by one-tenth of a household rating point (or 17 percent) from its anemic week-ago opener, with a 0.5/ 1 in the 9 p.m. hour. Comparably, that dropped by 40 percent from lead-in “Riverdale” (1.0/ 2 at 8 p.m.), and it was 29 percent below year-ago time period occupant “The 100” (0.7/ 1 on 3/15/17). In other words, don’t get too used to it.

On Fox, already renewed freshman drama “9-1-1” from Ryan Murphy led the 9 p.m. hour with a solid 4.5/ 8 in the household overnights, which more than doubled lead-in “The X-Files” (2.0/ 4 at 8 p.m.).

ABC, meanwhile, has sprung a leak at 10 p.m., with sophomore “Designated Survior,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, at a modest 2.6/ 5 (#3). Comparably, that was 33 percent below the 3.9/ 7 on the year-ago evening. Earlier in the night, the alphabet network featured two episodes of sophomore sitcom “Speechless” (8 p.m.: #3, 3.0/ 5; 8:30 p.m.: #3: 2.5/ 4), which is on the fence for renewal, followed by an encore of “Modern Family” (#4: 2.5/ 4) and sophomore “American Housewife” (#4: 2.6/ 4) from 9-10 p.m.

Airing out of “Survivor” on CBS last night was a Wednesday 9 p.m. repeat airing of “NCIS” (#3: 3.0/ 5) into “Criminal Minds” at a second-place 3.8/ 7 at 10 p.m. Chances of a 14th season renewal for “Criminal Minds” is unlikely at this point.

What follows are the household overnight ratings for Wednesday, March 14 broken out by half-hour:

8:00 p.m.
ABC – “Speechless”: 3.0/ 5 (#3)
CBS – “Survivor”: 5.2/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 4.1/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “The X-Files”: 2.0/ 4 (#4)
CW – “Riverdale”: 1.0/ 2 (#5)

8:30 p.m.
ABC – “Speechless”: 2.5/ 4 (#3)
CBS – “Survivor”: 5.1/ 9 (#1)
NBC – “The Blacklist”: 3.9/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “The X-Files”: 1.9/ 3 (#4)
CW – “Riverdale”: 0.9/ 2 (#5)

9:00 p.m.
ABC – “Modern Family” (R): 2.5/ 4 (#4)
CBS – “NCIS” (R): 3.0/ 5 (#3)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 4.1/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “9-1-1”: 4.4/ 7 (#1)
CW – “Life Sentence”: 0.5/ 1 (#5)

9:30 p.m.
ABC – “American Housewife”: 2.6/ 4 (#4)
CBS – “NCIS” (R): 3.0/ 5 (#3)
NBC – “Law & Order: SVU”: 4.3/ 7 (#2)
Fox – “9-1-1”: 4.6/ 8 (#1)
CW – “Life Sentence”: 0.4/ 1 (#5)

10:00 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 2.7/ 5 (#3)
CBS – “Criminal Minds”: 3.8/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 4.7/ 8 (#1)

10:30 p.m.
ABC – “Designated Survivor”: 2.5/ 5 (#3)
CBS – “Criminal Minds”: 3.9/ 7 (#2)
NBC – “Chicago PD”: 4.5/ 8 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. SVU is up this week and Chicago PD is way up from the fall during this winter season. The domination CPD has at 10pm is quite impressive if you think about it.

    Interesting point Marc brought up with NBC keeping Wednesdays intact next season I definitely see SVU and CPD sticking together for another season with The Blacklist moving to Fridays. I think NBC will find a new lead-off player maybe that Bad Boys spin-off will lead. I originally thought This Is Us would lead Wednesdays but I think NBC is going to move it to Thursdays to help Will & Grace and whatever new comedy airs behind it.

    • I am much more comfortable with NBC moving This Is Us this fall as opposed to last fall, as they originally planned.
      I think that TIU will start dropping a bit anyway. The biggest plot line was revealed so I think people will start straying from it.

      • Exactly it makes a lot more sense this fall than last fall. I thought last year was too early and it actually worked out keeping it put this year because it gave the show a chance to settle in its sophomore season and give Chicago Med a boost so that it can self-start better in the future.

        That’s another reason why the move makes sense there’s going to be a drop-off anyways so they minus well move it where it can take down the Grey’s and BBT hour and that will make it much easier in the fall for Will & Grace to rebound back to the mid 1s and give the comedy lead-out a better chance to succeed in front of Chicago Fire.

        • They desperately need to do something to save W&G. They have ruined its ratings by surrounding it with such low-rated fare.

    • I’d just leave it alone. Research Wednesday at 8PM NBC slots. They have had no consistency in that hour in probably 15 plus years. I hear rumors of a 2 year renewal for Blacklist to end it after that. I’d be down with that. The Blacklist is not doing any better or worse than anything else in that time slot.

      • I mean if they do pickup the Bad Boys spin-off they minus well go on ahead and put it on Wednesdays because I can totally see it outdoing The Blacklist by a demo point or two which will lift SVU to a 1.3 or 1.4 on a regular basis like Laura was doing a few seasons ago.

        What I would do is this because that new drama could bomb, sometimes NBC places stuff on Fridays but keeps it in reserve. I would hold its premiere until midseason and have it premiere back on Wednesdays if the new drama fails if not it stays on Fridays for the end of its run.

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