ABC’s The Bachelorette ended its season on a high note — a proposal and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 for the two-hour finale, up a tenth from last week and the best demo result since the season premiere. (In total viewers, the reality series closed out its cycle with a season-high 7.5 million viewers). But versus last summer’s finale, Bachelorette was down 27% to log the series’ lowest-rated finale in Live+Same Day 18-49 ratings. At 10 PM, The Bachelorette: After The Final Rose special (2.1) built onto its lead-in but too was down from last year (-16%) to rank as the lowest-rated After The Rose special in Live+SD. Despite facing the After The Rose special, CBS’ Under The Dome (1.5) held steady, even with last Monday.
CBS’ Sunday series went for an encore performance, repeating their fast nationals ratings from last week. Big Brother (2.1/8) was once again the highest rated program of the night in adults 18-49. Unforgettable (1.0/3), midseason-turned-summer drama Reckless (0.6/2) also were flat, as was 7 PM anchor 60 Minutes (0.9), which was the only rerun on CBS’ schedule and once again the most watched Sunday offering with 7.7 million viewers. CBS won the night in 18-49 (1.2) and total viewers (6.2 million). ABC, the only other English-language broadcast network to offer original fare last night, finished tied with NBC for fourth in 18-49 behind Fox and Univision. The alphabet network’s performance was hampered by ratings declines for both Wipeout (0.8) at 8 PM, down 27% from last week and Rising Star at 9 PM (0.9, down 10%). Both shows hit Live+same day series lows. The live singing competition managed to build onto its lead-in for the first time in three weeks.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Black Box’ Finale Ticks Up, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ & ‘Hollywood Game Night’ Closers Flat
As July is winding down, some late spring/early summer entries are wrapping their runs. Last night marked the finales of ABC’s freshman direct-to-series drama Black Box, Fox veteran Hell’s Kitchen and NBC utility player Hollywood Game Night. Proving that unscripted fare as a whole continues to do better than scripted on the broadcast networks during the summer months, all reality originals last night stayed above a 1.0 rating in 18-49 while all scripted originals were under that threshold.
The Season 12 finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen drew a 1.7 in adults 18-49 from 8-9 PM to top the hour in the demo. It was on par with the show’s episode last week and down 19% from the 8 PM episode of last summer’s two-hour season finale. (2.1 from 8-9 PM, 2.2 from 8-10 PM). At 9 PM, drama Gang Related (0.8) was down a tenth from last Thursday. NBC had the Hollywood Game Night finale at 8 PM (1.1, even with last week, up a tenth from last summer’s closer, which aired at 10 PM) and Last Comic Standing at 10 PM (1.1, even with last week), bookending a block of original comedies, Welcome To Sweden (0.8) and Working The Engels (0.6). Both also were flat with last week. The two-hour finale of ABC’s Black Box (0.7) was up a tenth from last week, while ABC News’ NY Med (0.9) was flat.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady In Move, Boosts ‘Taxi Brooklyn’; ‘Extant’ & ‘Motive’ Fall
The competitive landscape on Wednesday changed last night when NBC’s summer flagship America’s Got Talent relocated its original telecasts there from Tuesdays. In its first outing on the new night, the talent competition series drew a 2.3 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 PM, down just a tenth from its last Tuesday airing. Interestingly, the increased reality competition seemed to boost the other 8 PM unscripted offerings — both CBS’ Big Brother (2.3) and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (1.1) were up from last Wednesday by 10%. Big Brother tied AGT as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49. The arrival of AGT had a major impact on the race at 10 PM. With an original AGT lead-in vs. a repeat previously, NBC’s acquired drama Taxi Brooklyn (1.1) shot up 38% to a series high. That pushed down the other two original dramas in the 10 PM hour. In Week 3, CBS’ Extant (1.1) was down 27% from last Wednesday, while ABC’s Canadian import Motive (0.6) was down 25%. Both series hit lows. NBC won the night in 18-49 (1.9) and total viewers (8.6 million).
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady, ‘Food Fighters’ Debuts Soft, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Falls
Little person, big voice. The vocal gymnastics of 11-year old Mara Justine on a Whitney Houston tune proved to be a big success with the judges on America’s Got Talent (2.4/8) last night. While the Garden State native isn’t America’s next sweetheart yet, making it as one of the contestants to get through Judgment Week on the 2-hour NBC competition show on Tuesday certainly moved her a step towards that goal. Her next stop is of course the live shows at Radio City Music Hall where things will really heat up on AGT. Not that things weren’t hot last night with candidates in six categories like kid singers, magic and comedy competed to progress to those live shows. And that was OK for AGT. Back after weeks of repeats and recap specials, the show dipped 8% from it last original on July 1. On a night of scant original competition, the 2-hour AGT was the top rated and most watched show of the night with 10.3 million viewers.
Leading into AGT last night, NBC had the debut of Food Fighters (1.0/4) at 8 PM. Unlike his now postponed new Travel Channel series, this Adam Richman-hosted show went ahead despite the controversy over some of his comments on social media. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea as the cook-off game show was down 23% from the premiere of the comparable Hollywood Game Night on July 11 last year on NBC.
The only other originals on last …
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hotel Hell’ Returns Down, ‘Under The Dome’ Cracks, ‘Ninja Warrior’ & ‘MasterChef’ Rise, ‘Bachelorette’ Steady
He’s back, not that he ever really went away. Fox’s favorite multitasker Gordon Ramsay returned with a new season of Hotel Hell (1.5/5) last night. Which of course meant that Fox was all Ramsay on Monday with the second-cycle debut of the reality series following his own MasterChef (2.1/7). Hotel Hell was a big hit for the network when it launched two years ago, if for no other reason than it was comfortingly reminiscent of Ramsay’s now-shuttered Kitchen Nightmares. The then-new Hotel Hell saw the often acerbic chef going into establishments in need of serious help and delivering it in his distinct fashion. Monday saw Ramsay in Las Cruces, NM, working on desert retreat that really isn’t working. The show was debut down a hard 21% from its August 13, 2012 Season 1 premiere. But don’t shed a tear for Gordon: Lead-in MasterChef shot up 17% among adults 18-49 from last week’s dip to hit a season high. It was also easily the top-rated show of the night, which helped Fox winthe night in the demo with 1.8/6 rating and among total viewers with 4.93 million.
All of the Big 4 and the CW aired originals last night. Once again CBS’ only new show of the night was Under The Dome (1.5/6). Like Hotel Hell, the 10 PM Steven Spielberg-produced drama also fell 21% from its July 14 show to hit a series low. Last week, Dome rose double digits from the previous series low of its July 7 episode.
A dystopian reproductive drama on Lifetime from Children Of Men scribe Timothy J. Sexton does seem to have all the right ingredients. However, it also needs an audience to show up and that was a bit of a struggle for the debut of The Lottery last night. With a new Witches Of East End as a lead-in, the Warner Horizon-produced conspiracy thriller debut to 1.1 million total viewers last night at 10 PM. That’s down from the 1.93 million who tuned in for the 10 PM Season 1 premiere of the supernatural soapy Witches on October 6 last year.
The Lottery’s launch was also down from the viewership of Lifetime’s other most recent drama debut. The June 23, 2013 premiere of the Marc Cherry-created Devious Maids drew an audience of 2 million. In fact, the Danny Cannon-directed pilot, which he EP’d along with Sexton and Dawn Olmstead, was much closer to the Season 2 debut of Witches on July 6. That 9 PM airing had 1.12 million viewers. Lifetime has ordered 10-episodes of The Lottery so far — let’s see if it turns out to be a winning ticket.
The rule of thumb is that when news is breaking and a crisis is unfolding, cable news networks see a big jump in viewership. Turns out that’s not the case if you are MSNBC. On the first full day of coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster and Israeli troop movement into Gaza the day before, the Comcast-owned news channel actually was down double digits among adults 25-54 both in total day and in primetime on July 18. While rivals CNN and Fox News Channel were up 16% and 13% in total day over the comparable day last year, when the news was much quieter to say the least, MSNBC fell 38% to a mere 87,000.
Take a look at primetime, the numbers get even harsher for MSNBC with a 46% fall in the demo to 118,000 from July 19, 2013 compared to a rise of 16% and 30% for FNC and CNN. Winning in all categories on Friday and benefiting from the breaking news, FNC had 268,000 among 25-54s for total day and 323,000 during primetime. Seeing an uptick as it commonly does during breaking news, the often ratings struggling Time Warner-owned network got 208,000 in the demo total day and 263,000 in primetime.
It was a half-and-half night among the Big 4 in primetime Sunday. CBS and ABC were almost all originals, while NBC and Fox were all encores. For Big Brother (2.1/8), that literally meant a bit of chess match among the usual housemate intrigue. Although the fourth Sunday broadcast of Season 16 of the vet reality show dipped 5% among adults 18-49 from last week, preliminary ratings have BB as the top-rated show of the night and, with 6.38 million tuning in, the night’s second-most-watched show — following the audience of 7.72 million for a repeat of 60 Minutes (0.9/4) that started the night. New episodes of Unforgettable (1.0/3) and freshman Reckless (0.6/2) followed BB to round out the night. Last night saw another double-digit rise for the Poppy Montgomery starrer as it grew 11% from its July 13 show. The latter took an even bigger jump with a 20% rise from last week, when it was flat with the week before. CBS topped the night in18-49 with a 1.1/4 rating and in total viewers with 6.147 million watching.
Even though it was all repeats, Fox was second in ratings (1.0/4) while ABC was No. 2 in viewers with 4.073 million. With a 1.5/5 rating, Fox’s 9 PM Family Guy encore was the night’s second-highest-rated show.
“If you were a sports reporter, you would not report the winner based on the third-inning score – that’s what you’re doing if you use Live + Same Day ratings,” CBS Research guru David Poltrack chastised Reporters Who Cover Television this morning. He was one of four number crunchers who ran the reporters through a “bar chart gauntlet” at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, by way of trying to convince them not to report on next day ratings for their networks’ programs. They came to preach the value of using Live + 3 stats at the very least, in light of how popular delayed viewing has become – particularly of scripted primetime series, with drama series leading the way.
“We all provide projections [for Live + 3 Day]. We understand your skepticism about using our projections,” Poltrack said. “The one thing you can be sure about our projections is that if one of us starts giving you a lot of bullshit, the other ones are going to let you know. You’ve got us to check each other,” he said.
Among the mind-numbing array of charts used in this morning’s pitch was one showing that, among the major broadcast networks, the demo ratings growth from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 averaged 40%. “What’s interesting is how long the tail has become,” Fox Research SVP Will Somers said. He displayed the numbers for his network’s fall-launch drama Sleepy Hollow, showing an overnight audience of 10.1 million viewers that …
This afternoon, the ratings for last night’s premiere of comedy series Married on FX came out. But the network made no mention of that. Instead, FX put out a press release for the Live+3 delivery of the series premiere of drama The Strain. It was accompanied by a note from the network that going forward, it “will no longer issue releases, analysis or comments related to ratings on a Live+Same Day basis.”
FX topper John Landgraf, along with Fox’s former chief Kevin Reilly, have been probably the most vocal opponents of the Live+Same Day ratings, slamming them for paining a skewed picture of a show’s performance. “With the exception of sports, news and live events, Live+Same Day ratings no longer accurately reflect the audience delivery for a scripted entertainment program,” FX said in its note about the change in ratings reporting. “We believe they grossly mischaracterize the actual audience due to the multiple data streams and platforms. Therefore, our first acknowledgement of any ratings will be on a Live+3 basis and beyond. That said, while Live+3 delivery still doesn’t measure the total audience, it is a significantly more accurate measurement than Live+Same Day.”
Fox earlier this year also tried to pull away from Live+SD ratings with the introduction of projections for Live+3, Live+7 and a 30-Day Multi-Platform totals. The network continues to issue those every morning though they have not caught on, with Live+SD …
The sayings are that sex sells and controversy gets coverage and certainly VH1 were betting on a bit of both with Naked Dating. To that end, last night’s 9 PM debut of the self explanitory reality series from Lighthearted Entertainment delivered – somewhat. The 1-hour Naked Dating had 826,000 total viewers with 480,000 among Adults 18-49. Not only was that 0.5 rating the best non-Monday premiere in the Viacom channel has had since Mob Wives launched on April 17, 2011 with a 0.9 but it saw huge leaps up from the last quarter.
Naked Dating had a 150% increase among the demo and a 147% rise in total viewers over the same time period last quarter. Now granted, VH1 didn’t have any original programming on Thursday nights between March 29 and June 29, but triple digit rises are nothing to be scoffed at. Then again, Naked Dating’s debut was far far behind the January 6th Season 3 premiere of Single Ladies, which pulled in 2.6 million viewers that Monday. With its 11 PM encore, the Amy Paffrath-hosted Naked Dating had a total viewership of 1.289 million last night.
The rest of VH1’s new programming on VH1 might have wanted to strip down a bit to do better. Coming after the 551,000 who watched the debut of Candidly Nicole, the 10:30 premiere of Leann And Eddie was seen by a total 374,000 audience of 374,000. The former was up 51% from last quarter among the 18-49s with …
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Extant’ Steady In Week 2, ‘SYTYCD’ & ‘ Motive’ Down, ‘Big Brother’ Tops Night In Demo
CBS has made a bet that it can own Wednesdays this summer with its teaming of veteran reality show Big Brother (2.0/8) and freshman sci-fi thriller Extant (1.5/5). If last night was any gauge, the network might be holding a winning ticket. Now granted, with the exception of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (1.04) there wasn’t a lot of competition against CBS’ originals. Still, the network easily won primetime both among Adults 18-49 with a 1.5/5 rating and 6.54 million viewers. Univision was the second highest rated network with its 1.2/4 result while audiencewise NBC came in the No. # 2 spot with 5.55 million viewers. Individually, BB at 8 PM was up 5% from its July 9 show while the 9PM Halle Berry starrer series dipped a slight 6% from its heavily promoted debut last week. While down over 1.2 million viewers from those who watched its premiere, the audience of 7.87 million who tuned in for Extant last night made it primetime’s most watched show. Big Brother was the highest rated show of the night. CBS ended the night with a Criminal Minds (1.1/4) repeat.
CBS’ bet seems to also have a healthy dollop of digital afterlife. With Live+3 numbers, last week’s premiere of the Steven Spielberg executive produced CBS astronaut series saw a 37% jump among Adults 18-49 to 2.2 from its Live+SD 1.6 result. In terms of viewers, Extant’s launch rose 24% from 9.58 million to 11.88 million in its DVR life.
Elsewhere on TV last night, SYTYCD saw …
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Night Shift’ Dips In Finale, Fox Wins Night With MLB All-Star Game, ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ Drops
Yes, we are already that far into the summer that seasonal shows are having their finales. Last night it was NBC freshman drama The Night Shift (1.2/4) taking its turn. Having debuted on May 27 and renewed fairly quickly for a second season on July 1, the medical show dipped 8% last night among adults 18-49 compared with its July 8 episode. With battle memories and scars, the finale was down 25% from the 1.6 its premiere drew in late May. Night Shift’s lead-in was an America’s Got Talent (2.0/7) audition recap special. The two-hour show was down 23% from the last original AGT on Tuesdays, which got a 2.6.
Of course, the really big game of the night was the baseball’s All Star-Game (3.0/10) on Fox. Final numbers will come from Fox Sports later today, but in preliminary ratings, last night’s victory by the American League over the National League at Target Field in Minneapolis was a bit of a repeat of last year. The game itself was up 3% from the July 16, 2013 match-up. This being live sports, expect the numbers to be adjusted later today. Last year’s game ended up averaging a 6.9/12 in the final numbers. Needless to say, even with the preliminary ratings, Fox won the night in the demo and among total viewers with 10,95 million.
It was a double blast of returns from Showtime on Sunday with the Season 2 premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. With the former having moved from 10 PM to 9 PM and the later at 10 PM, the shows pulled in 1.22 million and 825,000 viewers, respectively. While the Donovan debut was down 13% from the Season 1 finale last fall, it slipped just 9% from the 1.35 million who watched its series premiere on June 30 last year – that served as the lead-out for the strong debut of the last season of Dexter and become the best-ever series debut in Showtime’s history. For Sex, Sunday’s number was 17% down from the 998,000 who saw its Season 1 opener last fall. Over all plays on Sunday, Ray Donovan was seen by 1.76 million while Masters Of Sex was seen by 1.12 million.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ’24: Live Another Day’ Finale & ‘Under The Dome’ Rise, ‘Whose Line’ Down, ‘Bachelorette’ Steady
Jack was back, to paraphrase Fox’s hashtag for 24: Live Another Day (1.7/5), and now Jack is gone, again. The finale of the 12-episode limited event series that saw the return to action for Kiefer Sutherland’s super-agent Jack Bauer after four years in both real time and TV time was up 21% among Adults 18-49 from its July 7 show. While no one expected the dramatic 1-hour ender (SPOILER ALERT LINK) to hit the 2.8/8 rating that the two-hour Season 8 finale of 24 pulled on May 24, 2010, last night’s show was down 34% from the 2.6 rating that the reboot event series got for its heavily promoted 2-hour May 5 debut. In context, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the end of 24 the series was at a time when network viewership in general was about 27% higher than it is nowadays. With 6.5 million watching, 24:LAD was up 8% over last week to hit its best viewership since its premiere, which 8.1 million tuned in for. Leading-in to the 9 PM 24:LAD, MasterChef (1.8/6) simmered a bit from last week and was down 5%. Overall, Fox took the top spot among the Big 4 with a 1.7/6 rating and 5.97 million viewers.
Like last week, CBS’ only new show of Monday’s primetime was Under The Dome (1.9/6). A mysterious burning red rain came down on Chrester’s Mill on last night’s show but ratingswise, the third episode …
It was icky, dark and something bloodier is definitely going on with The Strain, but that seems OK with viewers. FX’s new series based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan pulled in an audience of 2.99 million Sunday night for its 1-hour and 42-minute debut at 10PM. That’s 42% better that the cabler’s most recent other drama debut Tyrant did on its June 24th premiere. Showing good DVR life in Live+3 numbers, the Middle East-based series drew 2.1 million viewers for its initial 1-hour and 22-minute opener that Tuesday night. With the first heavily promoted episode directed by del Toro and EP’d by the Pacific Rim director, Hogan and Carlton Cuse, the vampire drama was also 12% higher in terms of its audience than the 2.65 million viewers that the 97-minute debut of limited series Fargo got on April 15.
The Strain follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, played by Corey Stoll, as the NYC head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team. Goodweather and his crew are trying to figure out a mysterious viral outbreak that seems to have arrived via a Berlin-originated plane of seemingly dead passengers. That outbreak reveals itself to be a strain of vampirism. While the series hasn’t officially been picked up for a second cycle, Cuse and del Toro have already said that they don’t want The Strain to go more than 5 seasons.
2ND UPDATE, 1:40 PM: We know the winner of yesterday’s World Cup final was Germany, but it looks like ABC/ESPN and Univision scored too. Both broadcasters had their best World Cup ever this year, with ESPN/ABC up 39% in viewership over the 2010 World Cup and up 96% over the 2006 World Cup. Over the 64 games of this year’s tournament, Univision was up 34% from its total audience from 2010.
Broadcasting live on ABC on Sunday afternoon, the Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina in a game that went extra time was watched by 17.324 million viewers with an average rating of 9.1. That marks the most-watched men’s soccer final ever for the Disney-owned properties and the third-most-watched soccer game ever in the U.S., behind only the 18.22 million who watched USA-Portugal on ESPN on June 22 and the 17.95 million who saw Team USA win the Women’s World Cup final in 1999 over China. Sunday’s final was the most-watched World Cup championship game in U.S. Spanish-language TV history with an average total audience of 9.2 million (5.0 million adults 18-49), with the broadcaster out-delivering ABC in the big Miami and LA markets.
The cable news network found its ratings prey last night. With 330,000 viewers in the Adults 25-54 demo, CNN’s new original series The Hunt With John Walsh is the highest-rated debut of an Original Series on the network ever. That beats the 284,000 that The Sixties got for CNN on May 29. While that is good news for the often ratings unsteady Jeff Zucker-run CNN, The Hunt also got a pretty good run in total viewers too. With 989,000 watching, the fugitive investigation series fronted by the former America’s Most Wanted host beat Fox News Channel by 21% and MSNBC by 174% in total viewers. The new show outperformed FNC’s 9 PM offering and MSNBCs by 141% and 63% in the key news demo, though Fox was airing a repeat of On The Record. The Hunt is produced by Zero Point Zero Productions, the same people behind CNN’s other hit of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, which aired in the same slot. The infamous chef and international traveler’s show’s Season 3 debut got 325,000 in the 25-54 demo on April 13 this year, that’s a 34% rise over its Season 2 bow on September 15, 2013.
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