Sunday night is historically the most watched night of television, but that’s even more true in the summer, when there’s little else to watch during the week beyond the relatively little-seen UnReal, Mr. Robot and whatever you’re binging on Netflix. There’s so much on Sunday nights that — while I can get to bed at a reasonable hour during the week in the summer — I basically just watch until I crash and wrap up what’s left during the week.
There are a ton of shows on cable on Sunday night, too. I ran across the overnight ratings for the top 100 shows of the day, and I was curious as to where the shows that I watch place. (And also curious as to how those ratings might affect the possibility of future seasons.)
Personally, I watch True Detective, Humans, Ballers, Halt & Catch Fire, Last Week Tonight, Masters of Sex and (starting this last week) Rick & Morty, but I know that some of you also watch Ray Donovan (for some reason), The Strain and Brink.
So, where do they all place? These are only overnight ratings and obviously they do not provide the full ratings picture (especially with dramas, since these shows are likely to see upticks once ratings for 7 days of DVR viewership are taken into account), but they give us a rough idea.
I am Cait was the top-rated show in the 18-49 demo on Sunday, besting Naked and Afraid on Discovery. True Detective has seen a ratings decline this season, but it’s still good for fourth place.
Ballers is the sixth most-watched show of the night, but HBO’s other shows don’t fare nearly as well. Brink is the 30th most watched, and much to my surprise, Jon Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is 44th. (Clearly, many of you either wait and watch it the next day, or catch the major segment on YouTube the next morning.)
Rick & Morty had a solid debut. Despite not airing until 11:30 p.m., it was the third most-watched show of the entire day, besting even True Detective (as it should be, honestly).
FX’s The Strain is good for 11th place on the night, while Showtime’s Ray Donovan is 19th (followed by Falling Skies on TNT).
After that, things begin to get ugly. AMC’s excellent Humans is 33rd (getting bested by Beachfront Bargain Hunt), while Halt & Catch Fire is 69th, getting beaten out handily by the 11:30 p.m. broadcast of Sportscenter (yikes). However, this last week’s episode did see a nice uptick of about 100,000 viewers, although I doubt it will be enough to save the much-improved series.
However, Halt and Catch Fire is not even the lowest rated so-called prestige drama of the night. That title belongs to Masters of Sex, which is 77th, narrowly beating out Fat Guys in the Woods.
My guess, however, is that Masters of Sex — in its third season — must be getting a huge percentage increase on DVR, otherwise Showtime wouldn’t keep it around.