Last season's television may have felt big, but you wouldn't know it from the ratings. In fact, only two returning scripted network TV shows went up in their live+same day ratings last season, and it may surprise you which ones. Out of 95 returning shows on network television, only Hawaii Five-0 and The Simpsons saw an increase in ratings from the prior season.
While The Simpsons and Hawaii Five-0 were the only two returning scripted shows to boast improved live+same day ratings, they didn't do so by much. Not including DVR ratings (which weren't factored into any show mentioned), The Simpsons would see a .1 boost with a 5.9% improvement from last year to their ratings and Hawaii Five-0 would see the same boost with a 9.1% increase. The scripted shows would share the spotlight with sports programs Saturday Night College Football and the Fox NFL postgame show The OT, who TVByTheNumbers adds as the two remaining shows to see an increase to their live+same day ratings. So given that there were only a couple ratings improved scripted shows in the past season, how did the rest of television fare?
While a bulk of the 93 network television shows would experience a decrease in ratings, four scripted shows would stay the same in this most recent season. Last Man Standing, Bob's Burgers, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Blue Bloods would post the same numbers from the prior season. Two reality shows, The Bachelor and Hell's Kitchen, would also post the same rating numbers as well as sports program NBA Countdown. Beyond that, all unmentioned shows like The Big Bang Theory, Black-ish, Arrow would see a drop in live ratings viewership in the 18-49 demographic.
While some of those numbers, like Supergirl's jump from CBS to The CW, may be a bit unfair to judge, it looks like live viewing is trending downward for a lot of popular television shows. Some of the highest drops in live ratings in this group, like Rosewood, have already been removed from programming. As bad as some shows dropped, the worst performing scripted series' didn't top the NFL, who struggled with ratings for Thursday and Sunday Night Football this past season. I suppose the good news is for popular shows that saw their rating dip is that nearly everyone had the same thing happen. Could this mean live television numbers are only going to continue downward as more homes cut the cord and get DVR boxes?
We'll have to see as the trend continues during this current season of television. If you aren't following a show right now, you're missing out as there is a lot of great television on at the moment! Make sure you're in the loop by bookmarking our handy summer premiere guide as well as our renewal guide so you can keep tabs on what's staying and going as some of your favorite shows wind down.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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