May 23, 2013

THE SKED’S Fall TV Ratings Predictions – Sunday


From a predicting point of view, Sunday is sort of an anti-climactic end to our week of fall TV ratings forecasts, since the winner is obvious and there are few changes from last fall.  (See our more interesting predictions for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.)   Still, here’s how we–that being former head of NBC Scheduling Mitch Metcalf, former head of NBC Current Programming Ted Frank and myself–see the night playing out.  Note, once again, that our outlook on new series is based on trailers cut together by the networks themselves to attract as much interest as possible.

Fall 2013 Ratings Estimates SUN


7PM:  NFL Football will continue to own Sundays, and in the 7PM hour that means the overrun from whichever of CBS or FOX has the late national game.  The discrepancy between the ratings for those two networks in the hour is because of their different football strategies:  FOX doesn’t bother to schedule anything definite for the 7PM hour, so its average is pure football much of the time, while CBS slides its schedule and keeps its line-up intact, which means that the 60 MINUTES number doesn’t include any of the NFL overrun and begins whenever that show starts during the hour.  The NBC pre-game show and AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS should be stable.

8PM:  This is where SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL takes over the rest of the night for NBC (in exchange, to be sure, for a fearsome license fee to the NFL).  Among the also-rans, ONCE UPON A TIME toppled instead of building in its second season, and it’s going to be hard-pressed to keep up with THE AMAZING RACE on CBS and THE SIMPSONS on FOX.

9PM:  REVENGE was also hit hard in Season 2, and veteran FAMILY GUY should be enough to give the non-football audience to FOX.  THE GOOD WIFE, which has a low but very stable audience, could catch up to ABC if Revenge doesn’t stop falling.

10PM:  ABC has its new soap BETRAYAL here, and will hope to reverse the trend of 10PM Sunday disasters that the network has suffered since Brothers & Sisters ended its run.  The trailer doesn’t make us hugely hopeful, but it should hold its own against the aging MENTALIST in the hour.

We’re not quite done:  tomorrow we’ll take a look at the week as a whole, and sum up how the fall season shapes up for all of the major broadcast networks.

Predictions for other nights:





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."