September 6, 2012

The Sked: Wednesday Ratings September 5 — Updated with Cable Ratings

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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NBC of course won last night handily with the first NFL game of the season.  Usually scheduled on the Thursday after Labor Day, the NFL moved the game to Wednesday out of deference to President Obama who gives his acceptance speech in Charlotte tomorrow night.  Last night’s game (Dallas upsetting the Super Bowl champion New York Giants 24-17) averaged a preliminary 8.7 rating with Adults 18-49 in the fast nationals.  When the west coast is properly counted in the official nationals, the rating will  probably rise to around 9.9 (the official rating for the game is a 9.7), still behind last year’s premiere game (10.9 rating on Thursday, September 8 for New Orleans at Green Bay).  That would be an unusually large decline for the NFL if that holds — keep an eye on that.  The 2010 game on Thursday, September 9 averaged a 10.7, while 2009’s premiere game on Thursday, September 10 scored an 8.6 rating.  Last night’s game is certainly off the recent highs for the NFL but still a very good number.

CBS averaged a 1.4 rating from 8-11 pm.  Big Brother was the high point for CBS on this night as usual (a 2.1 from 8-9 pm), down from the 2.3 last week but identical to the prior two weeks.  Criminal Minds averaged a normal 1.1 rating for a repeat at 9 pm, while coverage of the Democratic National Convention at 10 pm averaged a 0.9 rating, up from the 0.5 last week and the 0.7 yesterday.  CBS News clearly benefited somewhat from NBC News taking the night off because of the NFL game.

FOX averaged a 1.4 rating from 8-10 pm with an original episode of So You Think You Can Dance, down a tick from the 1.5 rating the last two weeks (which were down from the 1.7-1.8 just a few weeks before).

ABC averaged a fairly typical 1.0 from 8-11 pm with repeats of its comedy block (The Middle 1.1, Suburgatory 0.9, Modern Family 1.3, and another Suburgatory 1.0) from 8-10 pm.  Just a year ago on this night, a repeat of Modern Family averaged a 2.0 rating and The Middle scored a 1.5.   At 10 pm, ABC News coverage of the DNC averaged a 0.9 rating, matching the ABC number for the RNC last Wednesday, but it is interesting to note that both ABC News and CBS News ratings went up through the 10 pm hour (from a 0.8 at 10:00 to 1.0 at 10:30), as former President Clinton spoke (and spoke) beyond his allotted time.  Generally, the convention ratings have been steady through the hour or down slightly at 10:30 pm.

Although much of the news audience that would have watched NBC seems to have gone to CBS last night, much of the rest probably went to MSNBC.  Since MSNBC was second only to NBC for the Tuesday night coverage, MSNBC can expect a big victory in the Wednesday coverage over CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox News.  We will see for sure when the cable numbers are released later today.  Cable numbers are in and it turns out CNN actually won the race last night with young adults, while MSNBC narrowly took the crown with viewers 2+.  

DNC 2012 Adult 18-49 Rating Person 2+ (millions)
10-11 pm Tue Wed Thu Tue Wed Thu
NBC 1.2 n/a 5.00 n/a
MSNBC 1.1 0.9 4.11 4.39
CNN 0.9 1.1 3.89 4.14
ABC 0.8 1.1 3.27 4.62
CBS 0.7 1.1 3.29 4.41
FOX News 0.3 0.5 2.40 3.10

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.