The weather is getting cooler but the competition is heating up in the 2019 fall TV lineup when it comes to ratings! We're a month into fall TV season, meaning that some new and returning shows have already aired four episodes to reveal whether they have a future or should get the axe. Others, like Arrow, didn't even premiere until this week, which also saw the highly-anticipated One Chicago crossover and a number of other events worth noting as the season marches on. Read on for a rundown of what you need to know from this week in TV ratings!
Note: all calculations are Live+Same day in the key 18-49 age demographic.
One Chicago Kills The Competition With Deadly Infection Crossover
NBC has a good thing going on Wednesday nights thanks to the three-hour block of Chicago series, comprised of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med. October 16 finally debuted the highly-anticipated "Infection" crossover. While this wasn't the first time One Chicago aired a crossover between all three shows in one night, "Infection" was hyped as something truly cinematic rather than comprised of three distinct episodes. So the big question was: would the hype pay off or would the crossover flop?
Well, opinions inevitably vary about whether or not the cinematic format worked, but there were plenty of people who tuned in to see. Although Chicago didn't win every time slot on Wednesday night, it was the dominant event of the night, and it showed something arguably more valuable than a potentially one-off ratings spike: consistency.
Let's start at the beginning. NBC rearranged the Chicago shows for the crossover, with Fire airing in Med's usual slot at 8 p.m. ET, Med taking Fire's usual slot at 9 p.m. ET, and P.D. using the 10 p.m. hour per usual to get pretty gruesome by broadcast network standards.
Fire came in third in the ratings with a 1.3 in the 8 p.m. hour, according to TV Series Finale, behind The Masked Singer on Fox with 2.1 and Survivor on CBS with a 1.4. That said, Fire was the most-watched show in the 8 p.m. hour, with its 8 million viewers beating runner up The Masked Singer's 7.2 million and Survivor's 6.8 million. Not too shabby for hour #1 of the crossover!
What about hour #2? Well, something genuinely remarkable happened with the 9 p.m. Med episode that followed Fire. Rather than losing viewers from the first hour of primetime to the second, Med actually picked up a point in the ratings and several hundred thousand viewers, with a 1.4 rating and 8.8 million. This placed Med on top in the 9 p.m. hour, as Fox continues to lose most of The Masked Singer's audience ahead of Almost Family and none of the other dramas even came close to Med.
And this brings us to hour #3: Chicago P.D. Unsurprisingly, P.D. is usually the lowest-rated and least-viewed of the Chicago shows, airing last of the night and getting a whole lot darker than Fire and P.D. Yet with the "Infection" crossover, P.D. closed things out with a 1.4 rating that matched Med's and 8.6 million viewers, which is only just under Med's audience and higher than Fire's. Neither Stumptown on ABC nor SWAT on CBS came close to matching P.D.
So, the three hours of the One Chicago crossover were separated by only 0.1 in the key demo ratings and less than a million in viewership. From last week to this week, Fire experienced a boost of 11% percent in the ratings and 4.75% in viewership, while Med got a bump of 27% in ratings and 18.28% in viewership. Most impressive of all was the increase for P.D., which was 41% up in the ratings and 36% up in viewership.
After the consistency between the three hours, massive boosts, and dominance in all categories except for demo in the 8 p.m. hour, something tells me NBC will keep going with the cinematic crossovers!
Everybody Loves Disney On Dancing With The Stars
ABC's Dancing with the Stars has had its ups and downs in Season 28 so far, not helped by the continued questioning of whether or not the voting is even fair this year. Leah Remini was divisive as a guest host, and I continue to be baffled as to how Sean Spicer even made it past his fluorescent first week. And yet, none of this mattered with the October 14 episode. Why? Because it was Disney Night.
Yes, it was Disney Night, which meant that the celeb dancers were strutting their stuff to classic Disney songs while doing their best to recreate classic Disney costumes that could actually be danced in. Sailor Brinkley-Cook channeled her inner Cinderella, while Karamo Brown went animalistic for a Lion King number. Kate Flannery was sweet for "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins, and Ally Brooke was beautiful for Beauty and the Beast.
Lauren Alaina played the Little Mermaid without the tail, Hannah Brown was underscored with her Aladdin dance, James van der Beek channeled his inner Johnny Depp for a Pirates of the Caribbean number, and Kel Mitchell went back to high school for a High School Musical dance. If you don't feel at least a little bit good at the end of Disney Night, then you clearly weren't paying attention! But how many people were watching?
A lot, as it turns out! Dancing with the Stars scored a 1.1 rating and an audience of 7.29 million with Disney Night. While that did only place it third on the night in the ratings behind The Voice and 9-1-1, both with a 1.4, it was one of only three shows to experience a boost throughout all of primetime on October 14. In fact, it jumped a whopping 33% in the ratings and 14% in viewership, whereas both The Voice and 9-1-1 dropped in both categories.
The only other show to win a significant increase for October 14 was The Good Doctor, which aired its newest episode immediately following Disney Night on Dancing with the Stars, and the odds are pretty good that The Good Doctor benefited by the Dancing with the Stars bump. The Good Doctor was up 16% in the ratings with a 1.0, and 17% with 6.5 million in viewership.
These numbers make DWTS and The Good Doctor, both on ABC, the only two shows on October 14 to gain in both ratings and viewership. The only other show with experience any sort of gain was the new episode of CBS' All Rise at 9 p.m. ET, which got a boost of 1.7% in the ratings. I'll be curious to see how Dancing with the Stars' numbers change next week, as the competition leaves Disney Night behind.
Arrow Misses The Target With Final Season Premiere
Arrow was the last of the fall Arrow-verse shows to premiere, with the first episode of its final season airing October 15 at 9 p.m. ET. Personally, I was more curious about Arrow's numbers than any of the other CW superhero shows. On the one hand, the original Arrow-verse show's numbers have been dwindling for years, but this was to be the highly-publicized final season and the Arrow-verse show with the most ties to the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" mega crossover. Arrow could theoretically get a nostalgia and "Crisis" bump for the Season 8 premiere, right?
Not so much, apparently. It was no surprise that Arrow came in last in its time slot, as this is a CW series we're talking about, but the numbers were unfortunate even by CW standards. With the Season 8 premiere, Arrow won a rating of 0.3 and an audience of 0.87 million. These numbers mark a ratings drop of more than 33% and a viewership drop of nearly 40%.
The Season 8 premiere, which I absolutely adored, was the least-watched Arrow-verse series this week, coming behind The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman. It tied with Supergirl and Batwoman in the ratings, but its numbers were particularly troubling due to the fact that this was premiere, and both ratings and viewership usually drop after a show's premiere week. Could Arrow circle the drain even further next week?
Well, at least Arrow wasn't The CW's superhero show with the worst numbers. Black Lightning, which will make its very first Arrow-verse connection in "Crisis," only won a rating of 0.2 and viewership of 0.63 million. I guess this explains why nobody else said "Hell yeah!" this week when I asked if they'd seen the Arrow premiere. Of course, it probably doesn't help that Arrow is up against NBC's This Is Us, CBS' FBI, Fox's Empire, and ABC's mixed-ish in the 9 p.m. ET Tuesday slot.
But still, come on, my fellow Arrow-verse fans! This is the last season!
NBC Shows Really, Really Need Ratings
It's still relatively early in the season for shows to start worrying in earnest about getting the axe, but that doesn't mean NBC isn't already sharpening the blade. Although the Peacock Network hasn't yet handed down any official cancellations, freshman legal drama Bluff City Law won't be getting a full season order or even any extras beyond the initial ten, and Kal Penn-led Sunnyside has been booted from NBC proper. The rest of Sunnyside Season 1 will release streaming, on NBC's digital platforms and Hulu.
If we assume that an official cancellation order is on the way for these shows -- or at least Bluff City Law, since I suppose there is a chance that Sunnyside could kill on streaming and be rescued for a second season on a digital platform -- then freshman comedy Perfect Harmony may want to start worrying.
While the Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp sitcom is scoring better numbers than Sunnyside on average, a 0.45 rating and 2.22 million audience don't exactly guarantee a long future. If Sunnyside can be effectively cancelled with an average rating of 0.35, Perfect Harmony will need to keep delivering the laughs.
That said, NBC is less successful with sitcoms than CBS and ABC, so Perfect Harmony may be somewhat safe by virtue of the fact that NBC isn't overflowing with hit comedies, and it'll be down one of its veteran sitcoms once The Good Place concludes.
So, there you have some of the biggest hits, most unfortunate trends, and potential outliers from the past week of TV ratings! Check back with CinemaBlend next week for the latest rundown of TV ratings, and swing by our 2019 fall TV premiere schedule for some upcoming viewing options.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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