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How the Fall Ratings Are Shaping Up for Scripted Programming, So Far

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 19, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 19, 2018 |


We’ve finally gotten our first look at the fall television ratings that also include 7 days of DVR viewership, which is ultimately all that matters these days. Overnight ratings are pretty meaningless when so many shows add millions of more time-delayed viewers. A lot of series basically double their ratings. Moreover, overall viewers are far less important than viewers between 18-49.

Basically, what I’m saying is: For those concerned about a show like The Walking Dead, which received a ton of bad press for its overnight ratings after the premiere, it’s not really a concern once DVR viewership is accounted for. Moreover, it’s still the second highest rated show on ALL of TV at the moment in the demo that matters.

I’ve excluded sports and reality shows (the NFL and Survivor are doing very well — in fact, NFL viewership has rebounded this season), and this is basically the lay of the land right now. This Is Us,The Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory are right where they were last season, while the big new shows of the fall appear to be Manifest, New Amsterdam and, further back, A Million Little Things. Among comedies, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Last Man Standing are leading the way (although Good Place is doing just fine), while Single Parents seems to be the big new comedy hit. Scripted cable programming is dominated by The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Mayans MC.

1. This Is Us — 4.3
2. The Walking Dead — 4.0
3. Big Bang Theory — 3.8
4. Manifest — 3.6
5. Grey’s Anatomy — 3.0
6. New Amsterdam — 2.9
7. 9-1-1 — 2.8
8. Young Sheldon — 2.8
9. Good Doctor — 2.6
10. Modern Family — 2.6
11. American Horror Story — 2.6
12. Chicago PD — 2.4
13. Chicago Med — 2.4
14. Empire — 2.4
15. Chicago Fire — 2.1
16. NCIS — 2.1
17. Last Man Standing — 2.0
18. Law & Order SVU — 2.0
19. A Million Little Things — 1.9
20. Will & Grace — 1.9
21. FBI — 1.9
22. Single Parents — 1.8
23. Good Place — 1.7
24. The Resident — 1.7
25. Criminal Minds — 1.7
26. Mayans MC — 1.6
27. How to Get Away with Murder — 1.6

As for cancellations? There are really only two new shows this fall that are already trending toward cancellation: I Feel Bad and Rel. Rel is probably a goner, but I Feel Bad may be allowed some extra time to find itself because Amy Poehler is the exec producer (also, it’s pretty good).

(Ratings Source: TVByTheNumbers)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: NBC