May 22, 2014

NIELSENWAR 2014-15: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Fearless Fall Ratings Predictions – Sunday


The rest of the week:  Monday,  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The Saturday primetime network schedule, such as it is, isn’t worth much attention, being a patchwork of reruns and sports (although we will include estimates for that night in our full-week network projections).  That brings us to Sunday, once the showcase night for broadcast TV,  and now the playground for cable, with its only high ratings coming from NFL Football.  Much of the night will be stable, but there are changes on FOX and CBS that are quite interesting.

  Sunday Fall 2014 Estimates and 2013 Actuals

Sunday Fall 2014 Estimates CBS and FOX NFL doubleheader weeks

ABC:  The spring line-up stays intact.  AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS should perform as it has for years.  ONCE UPON A TIME took a hit last fall, but found its level in the spring, and the upcoming Frozen storyline should keep it at those numbers.  RESURRECTION started out looking like a phenom, and then fell steadily.  It won’t recover those early ratings, but should still do better than the sinking REVENGE, which while unimpressive at 10PM, will easily do better than last fall’s flop Betrayal.  Overall, the night should give ABC a solid bump.

CBS:  Both CBS and FOX are tricky on Sundays because they (mostly) alternate having the nationally-televised afternoon game, which bleeds into east coast primetime and has a ripple effect, particularly early in the evening.  (Further complicating matters, even when a given network doesn’t have the national afternoon game, it often has afternoon games in various parts of the country.)  We’ve broken out the projections for each network to show the difference between their numbers with and without an NFL overrun.  In terms of the night’s scheduling, 60 MINUTES gives every sign of going on forever, and will drop just a tick.  CBS’s interesting move is the replacement of The Amazing Race, still a successful series, with the new MADAM SECRETARY, starring Tea Leoni as a US Secretary of State solving global crises every week.  Secretary looks like a very compatible fit with THE GOOD WIFE–but Good Wife never performed as well as Amazing Race, which may drag the evening’s average down.  The explanation may lie with ad sales, which likely covets some more of the affluent, well-educated viewers that Good Wife provides, even if they’re also older and less plentiful.  Good Wife itself should hold well coming off a terrifically acclaimed 5th season, and Emmy attention could lift it even higher.  Moving CSI (which will be replaced by its own spin-off in the spring) into the 10PM slot should be just about an even swap with last fall’s The Mentalist.

NBC:  The only reason we’ve lowered NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL a tad is because last season, NBC had an amazing run of high-profile, big-market games, and this fall’s crop may not be quite as enormous.  But make no mistake, football is king, and however little profit NBC may make from showing the games, they’ll rule the airwaves every Sunday night.

FOX:  One of the fall’s most intriguing moves was FOX’s decision to break up its “Animation Domination” Sunday line-up for the first time in years with two live-action sitcoms.  Although we don’t think BROOKLYN NINE-NINE and the new MULANEY will do quite as well after THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY as their animated counterparts did, Brooklyn should get a significant lift from its Tuesday numbers, where it was airing after Dads and New Girl, and Mulaney, while not looking wildly promising, will certainly get a sampling.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."