I started a Tuesday Ratings Analysis piece yesterday afternoon, but then a problem arose.
See, I dedicated the entire intro to the dire ratings for “Utopia” and its negative pull on FOX's Tuesday comedies and the necessity to finally give up on “Utopia” and shuffle lineup positions.
My solution was the one I've given a couple times before: Shift struggling Wednesday drama “Red Band Society,” with its young female core and nothing else, to Tuesdays where it could at least bring those viewers to “New Girl.” Put “MasterChef Junior” on Wednesdays either before or after “Hell's Kitchen” and just make it a Gordon Ramsay night. Let “Utopia” continue on Fridays and just plug your nose and look away.
Of course, as I reached the half-way point in the post, FOX announced that “MasterChef Junior” would move to Tuesdays and “Utopia” will remain on Fridays, where the network can plug its nose and look away. This was what I recommended on the morning after “Utopia” premiered when there was no way of knowing whether or not “Red Band Society” would succeed. It makes sense. Relaunching a low-rated scripted drama after a few episodes is vastly harder than just using playoff baseball to promote a new time period for a new season of a reality show.
The FOX announcement, followed by “Survivor” recapping duties put the kibosh on analysis. So this is now several days of Live+Same Day Finals analysis, which is a lot of bullet points. Sorry. Blame Dan Piraro. And if you don't know who Dan Piraro is… That's why this all happened.
*** ABC's Tuesday comedies got off to a weak start, but after the Finals came in, ABC was less unhappy. “Selfie” rose to 5.31 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49, while “Manhattan Love Story” kicked up to 4.7 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating. Both comedies rose 0.2 in the key demo and added nearly half-a-million viewers. By the time Live+3 ratings become available in a few days, ABC could be spinning both shows as hits.
*** That's especially true since ABC still has to pretend like “Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is a success, even though it drew only 5.05 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49, which was also up from Fast Nationals. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” continues to get a big weekly Live+3 debut and it isn't in any jeopardy, but among adults 18-34, it did only a 1.3 rating on Tuesday, tied with “Selfie” and only 0.1 ahead of “Manhattan Love Story.” Both comedies beat “Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in nearly every female demo, but had almost no male appeal, as suddenly “S.H.I.E.L.D.” went from an even gender split among adults 18-49 to a 0.3 male advantage this week, which isn't dire, but may be worrisome for somebody.
*** There isn't a gender problem with “Forever.” There's just an audience problem, as “Forever” fell from 6.85 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 last Tuesday to 5.96 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating this week. “Forever” slipped to a 0.9 rating among adults 18-34, Tuesday's lowest for any scripted program, ahead of only “Utopia.” And we know what happened to “Utopia.” As I said several times last week: “Forever” just has to fill the shoes of “Lucky 7,” “Mind Games” and “Killer Women” in this slot, so it's safe here for a little bit. But it's not The Answer.
*** After premiering to 17.25 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 last week, “NCIS: New Orleans” dipped only to 16.75 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in its second airing. That's good retention in general and important retention with “NCIS: Los Angeles” struggling in its first Monday airing this week. The “NCIS” mothership averaged 18.84 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating in its second episode. And “Person of Interest” averaged 10.715 million viewers and a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 for Tuesday. With “Person of Interest” underperforming on Tuesday and “NCIS: Los Angeles” underperforming on Monday, might I propose a swap? I'm not sure how “PoI” would do on Monday, but does anybody doubt that “NCIS:LA” would top 11 million viewers at 10 in a three-hour “NCIS” block?
*** Let's start combining Tuesday and Wednesday stuff so that this post can get finished at some point, eh? “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD” were both predictably down in their second weeks. “Chicago Fire” averaged 8.71 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 on Tuesday, which isn't bad by any means, but the 9:30 half-hour for “The Voice” averaged 14.9 million viewers and a 4.6 key demo rating. What will “Chicago Fire” do when its lead-in is “About a Boy”? Short answer? Worse. “Chicago PD” was down to 6.63 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating on Wednesday.
*** You know what DIDN'T fall on Wednesday? “The Mysteries of Laura.” NBC's let's-pretend-it's-a-breakout-hit of the fall did a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, same as last week. “Mysteries of Laura” was down to 8.975 million viewers, which was down from 10.01 million last week. Perception-wise, there's a major gap between “Over 10 million viewers” and “Under 9 million.” And “Mysteries of Laura” is still having an impossible time finding male viewers — 2.0 women 18-49 versus 1.0 men 18-49, a split that gets worse as the demo gets younger. The numbers go down as the demo gets younger as well. That 0.9 rating among adults 18-34? That's in a huge four-way tie for last on the night with “Hell's Kitchen,” “Red Band Society” and “Nashville.”
*** The biggest ratings story on Wednesday was probably the drop for “Black-ish,” which fell to 8.29 million viewers and a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 out of a “Modern Family” lead-in of 10.56 million viewers and a 3.7 key demo rating. The shows were separated by 1.1 ratings among adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. [The percentage gap is obviously bigger in the 18-34 demo, where “Black-ish” did a 1.6 rating, compared to the 2.7 rating for “Modern Family.”] But last week there was only a 0.3 gap between the shows in the 25-54 demo, so that's where the biggest separation has occurred. ABC is noting that this is better Week 2 retention post-“Modern Family” than any comedy has had for five years. On one hand? That's absolutely true! On the other hand, all of those post-“Modern Family” shows have failed hilariously. So what is the standard we're setting? If “Black-ish” stops falling, it's good. If it falls even more next week? That's a problem.
*** ABC, which seems to always big bumps in Live+SD figures over Fast Nationals, also saw “The Middle” (7.42 million and a 2.0 key demo) and “The Goldbergs” (7.09 million and a 2.3 key demo) go up from the morning. That's down from last week, but still robust.
*** And “Stalker” is… A show that's airing on CBS on Wednesdays at 10! Kevin Williamson's new drama drew 9.05 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. Last year, “CSI” premiered in that time slot to 9.21 million and a 2.0 key demo rating. “CSI,” as a long-running show, had the comfort of stability from that point on. “Stalker” likely will not, but the half-hour splits were really good. “Criminal Minds” averaged 11.46 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating in the 9:30 half-hour. “Stalker” was down to 9.2 million and a 2.0 key demo in the 10 p.m. half-hour, but then it only dropped to 8.9 million and a 1.9 key demo rating in the 10:30 half-hour. Some viewers didn't want to watch two straight hours of terror, but the viewers who tuned in, stayed. See? I'm capable of being impartial and optimistic for “Stalker.” Among adults 18-34, “Chicago PD” averaged a 1.2 rating to edge out the 1.1 rating for “Stalker,” while among adults 25-54, “Stalker” clobbered “Chicago PD” 2.9 to 1.9. Heck, among adults 25-54, “Nashville” also beat “Chicago PD” with a 2.0 rating.
Anything here jump out?