April 20, 2013

The Sked: Friday Night Ratings — Real Crime Drama Draws Viewers to Normally Dead Night

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Not quite as exciting as a live freeway police pursuit but still very compelling and much more relevant, the coverage of the reaction to the capture of the remaining Boston Marathon Bombing suspect brought viewers to the normally tough to program Friday evening.  Collectively, the broadcast networks earned a 7.1 rating with adults 18-49 in the fast nationals, up 45% from the 4.9 rating on the same night last year.

NBC News led the way, with a 2.4 rating between 8 and 11 pm, peaking at a 2.7 rating between 8:30 and 9:30, shortly after the official announcement of the capture and the speeches from politicians and law enforcement officials.  ABC averaged a 1.8 rating across the night, while CBS News struggled with a 1.5 rating.

Keep in mind these ratings are approximate.  The News coverage was live to all time zones, and the numbers below do not include west coast viewing of the coverage from 5-8 pm PT.  Instead, the ratings below contain west coast viewing of whatever alternate programming was provided during normal prime time hours.  Also, Boston stations WCVB, WBZ and WHDH certainly did not carry the network feeds.  All of that massive viewing in The Hub will be factored out of these numbers on Monday morning when the Official Nationals for Friday are released.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.