After a couple of weeks of primetime thrown off balance by Major League Baseball's World Series, television was back on track for the week of November 3. The broadcast network ratings game was afoot once more for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and (technically) The CW. Sure, ABC had an aquatic extravaganza with The Little Mermaid Live and Fox aired a double dose of Masked Singer, but the numbers for this week were more comparable than last week. So, let's move on to some of the most notable trends and twists from this past week in TV ratings!
Note: all calculations are Live+Same day in the key 18-49 age demographic.
One Chicago Barely Won Wednesday
Wednesdays in the fall TV season so far have arguably been the most interesting nights to watch when it comes to the ratings. The Masked Singer on Fox is the hottest show on television right now and certainly scores some of TV's biggest numbers when not being preempted by baseball, but One Chicago delivers almost shockingly consistent numbers between its three shows in primetime each week.
In fact, due to the consistency between Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET, Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET, and Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m. ET from week to week, I've spent the fall season naming One Chicago the winner over the comparable three-show NCIS franchise and the winner of Wednesdays overall rather than just one time slot. For this week, however, I would say that the race between One Chicago and the competition was a lot closer than usual.
Although all three shows did technically get a bump in the viewership for the night of November 6, the bumps were relatively minor, and all three experienced drops in the ratings.
While TV Series Finale reports Chicago Med dropped more than 10% in the ratings to a 1.1 in the 8 p.m. hour, its CBS competition jumped by more than 10% to hit 1.3, putting Survivor back on top of Med after Med beat Survivor last week. Med did still triumph over both Survivor and The Masked Singer in viewership, with its fast-tracked love triangle watched by 8 million people compared to The Masked Singer's 7 million and Survivor's 6.8 million. Considering Med is unlikely to lose in the viewership any time soon, though, the ratings drop is disheartening.
Let's move to the 9 p.m. hour with Chicago Fire. The latest episode following the exploits of Firehouse 51 (which now no longer includes Severide) scored a demo rating of only 1.0, which is a 14.5% drop from last week and placed it in second by half thanks to the second hour of The Masked Singer's 2.0 rating. Notably, Fire was also only 0.1 above Modern Family in the ratings.
Admittedly, Fire did kind of get robbed of ratings dominance in its slot this week due to the fact that The Masked Singer added a second hour rather than its usual episode of the likely doomed new drama Almost Family, which The Masked Singer failed to launch at the beginning of the season, and Fire did win in viewership with 7.64 million.
Unfortunately, that 7.64 million is not a whole lot higher than The Masked Singer's 7.22 million, and that's closer to the competition than Chicago Fire usually gets. Basically, The Masked Singer was closer to beating Fire in viewership than Fire was to beating The Masked Singer in ratings.
But hey, at least One Chicago still has Chicago P.D. at 10 p.m.! Although P.D. is generally the least-watched and lowest-rated of the Chicago shows, likely largely due to its late time slot and much darker stories vs. Med's and Fire's, P.D. is also the only Chicago show that regularly kills the competition. Even with a 6.5% drop in rating to a 1.0 this week, P.D. was still double both SWAT on CBS and Stumptown on ABC in the 10 p.m. slot, both of which only hit 0.5, and that's with SWAT bumping up and Stumptown staying even!
As for viewership, Chicago P.D. with its audience of 6.44 million was still more than 2 million above its closest competition, which was SWAT with 3.84 million. Stumptown trailed with 2.83 million. While all three shows in the 10 p.m. received a viewership boost this week, SWAT's and Stumptown's were both bigger than P.D.'s, and P.D. still didn't have to sweat any competition.
So, what are the results overall? Chicago Med won in viewership but lost key ratings points to Survivor (which itself was behind Hour 1 of The Masked Singer), Chicago Fire lost in the ratings but won in viewership by a margin a little too close for comfort, and Chicago P.D. crushed. I'd still give One Chicago the win for the night -- mostly due to the little P.D. that could -- but it was barely a win compared to usual.
Personally, I'll be interested to see how P.D.'s numbers do or do not change with the next episode, as the promos have already given away that one of the cops in Intelligence is dealing with a surprise pregnancy.
Animation Didn't Dominate
Et tu, Animation Domination? Fox has cornered the market on primetime network animated shows, with its four adult animated series in one two-hour block on Sunday nights. The Simpsons, Bless the Harts, Bob's Burgers, and Family Guy together are known as "Animation Domination," and while that technically remained true with the November 3 broadcasts, it's really only true because Fox doesn't have any competition for dominating animation. This was not a dominant week for Fox animation. Here's why.
All four shows experienced their lowest-rated and least-watched broadcast of the 2019-2020 TV season on November 3, according to TV Series Finale, and the percentage drops are all but alarming. The Simpsons plummeted 61% in the ratings to 0.8 and 62% in viewership to 2.03 million at 8 p.m. Following The Simpsons at 8:30 p.m. was the freshman Bless the Harts, which dropped 46% to 0.6 rating and 52% to 1.33 million.
And things didn't get better in the 9 p.m. hour! Bob's Burgers' broadcast at 9 p.m. dropped 43% in the ratings to 0.6 and 38% in viewership to 1.5 million. Closing out the night of Animation Domination in the 9:30 p.m. slot was Family Guy, which dropped 49% to 0.6 in the ratings, and nearly 40% in viewership to a 1.6 million.
Now, if not for the fact that these numbers were the lowest of the seasons so far for all four shows, I wouldn't be too alarmed. The ratings and viewership for Animation Domination have swung wildly back and forth all season, and the shows did miss a week due to the World Series. Still, it's not a great look that Bless the Harts and Bob's Burgers lost in the ratings to God Friended Me on CBS, and Family Guy only tied the tanking NCIS: Los Angeles.
Well, at least Animation Domination probably won't come out in the bottom of the ratings on Sundays for as long as The CW continues with Sunday night broadcasts. I'm all for Supergirl and Batwoman, but I wouldn't hold my breath on either of those shows beating any of their time slot competition short of a crisis, and that includes the four animated series on Fox on their worst days.
The Little Mermaid Live! Swam
Live TV musicals took an aquatic turn with ABC's The Little Mermaid Live on the night of November 5. It was an unconventional live musical, as the majority of the two-hour Tuesday night broadcast was actually the 1989 animated movie, with the live action taking over during the musical numbers. As a lover of musicals, the original Little Mermaid, and the occasional TV broadcast not packed with doom and gloom, The Little Mermaid Live! was right up my alley, and the numbers prove that I'm not the only one who eagerly sat down to go under the sea.
The Little Mermaid Live! was twice as high as its closest competition in the ratings, with its 2.6 easily beating NBC's The Voice and This Is Us, both of which won ratings of 1.3. The Little Mermaid Live! turned out to be nearly two full points higher than all the other broadcasts of the night aside from those two NBC hits. Not only did Ariel and Eric defeat Ursula (spoiler alert?), but The Little Mermaid was the dominant broadcast of the night in the ratings. Who cares if John Stamos forgot that the prince's name in The Little Mermaid is Eric and not Albert? It was a hit!
Of course, my love of The Little Mermaid doesn't mean I can just ignore the viewership totals for November 5. The Little Mermaid Live! was on top of almost all the competition when it comes to audience size. NCIS remains unbeatable in viewership, with its 10.74 million winning the night. The Little Mermaid Live! on ABC came in second with 8.98 million, with FBI and The Voice close behind, thanks to FBI's 8.54 million and The Voice's 8.11 million.
I think it's safe to say that The Little Mermaid Live! is a win all around for ABC, though. The ratings were the top, the audience total was behind only the viewership juggernaut that is NCIS, ABC was able to air a bunch of ads for Disney+, and it just so happens that the show that aired in the next hour reaped the benefits. I am, of course, referring to...
Emergence Emerged On ABC
Emergence! The freshman drama was one of the most hyped by ABC ahead of its fall premiere, but it didn't get off to a very strong start in live ratings and/or viewership, and the numbers proceeded to drop with only a couple of exceptions prior to the November 5 broadcast. In fact, the numbers were discouraging enough that it didn't take long for viewers to start worrying that it would get the axe.
Well, I can't say whether or not the November 5 episode was enough to stave off cancellation, but airing immediately after The Little Mermaid Live! gave Emergence a much-needed boost in both ratings and audience. In the 10 p.m. hour, which pitted it against CBS' NCIS: New Orleans (which delivered a huge shocker) and NBC's New Amsterdam, Emergence got a boost of nearly 35% in ratings and 33% in viewership.
With the 0.7 in the 18-49 demo, Emergence tied its competition. Admittedly, the 3.47 million audience was well below NCIS: NOLA's 6.6 million and New Amsterdam's 5 million, but it was a massive step in the right direction. This episode marked only the second time in Emergence's six-episode run so far that the rating increased from week to week, and the very first time that the audience increased.
The Little Mermaid Live! delivered Emergence's highest demo rating since the premiere, and second highest audience. The question now is whether some of the new viewers who checked out Emergence this week will return next week, and perhaps bolster the show's numbers to the point that fans can continue enjoying Season 1 without worrying about cancellation.
So there you have the rundown of the latest developments, trends, and outliers from the November 3 week of TV ratings! Don't forget to check back with CinemaBlend next week for the newest rundown of TV ratings, and be sure to swing by our 2019 fall TV premiere schedule for some shows that have yet to launch.