October 11, 2011

The Sked: Advisory — ABC Ratings Will Be Inflated Tuesday Morning

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>When you see the fast nationals Tuesday morning, ABC’s ratings for Dancing with the Stars and Castle will be overstated by at least a few tenths of a rating point.  WXYZ, the ABC station in Detroit, is carrying the Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions Monday Night Football game live in primetime.  In contrast, Dancing with the Stars is scheduled to air at 2 am on WXYZ, followed by Castle.

The NFL sells local over-the-air broadcast rights to the markets involved in each ESPN Monday telecast.  (The station carrying the game in Chicago is an independent UHF station so it will not impact the fast nationals.)  Basically, the fast nationals measure all viewing and DVR activity on each network affiliate in primetime.  The fast nationals assume each network program is aired as scheduled — so all the viewing in primetime on WXYZ in Detroit (and it will be substantial, a high double-digit demographic rating) will be temporarily credited to Dancing and Castle.  The official nationals released later in the day (precise program ratings rather than time period ratings) will correct this error and measure the Detroit viewing of Dancing with Stars and Castle in late night.

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."