Monthly Archives: May 2017

How the audience returned, then left again – a ratings analysis of season 28

“Our ratings went up this season! If you look at things holistically. Individually, the later episodes’ ratings would’ve been higher if FOX didn’t schedule us against heavy competition, especially when there was a re-run against weaker competition the week prior!”

“The Simpsons”‘ 28th season was one of the few shows on broadcast TV this past season that saw its audience increase year-on-year (contrary to my calculations, but they’re probably wrong!), with its 18-49 figure improving ever so slightly. Both viewership overall and in the 18-49 demographic saw improvement from the boosts given to the show by football early in the season – and once that reliable lead-in had gone, the audience gains evaporated, and the show saw three new all-time lows in one season – and went fractional for the first time ever… twice.

Here’s a comparison to last season:

This season’s 18-49 rating average: 1.76
Last season’s 18-49 rating average: 1.74
This season’s overall viewership rating average: 4.147 million
Last season’s overall viewership rating average: 3.999 million
This season’s audience share average: 5.6%
Last season’s audience share average: 5.4%

EDIT: Now to add the ratings following catch-up. Live+3 ratings are defined by viewers watching on the night, and on catch-up over the next three days. Live+7 ratings are defined by viewers watching within seven days of broadcast.

18-49 average in Live+3 ratings: 2.0 (0.2 gain from Live+SD), #26 rank
Overall viewership average in Live+3 ratings: 4.637 million (490,000 gain), #90 rank

18-49 average in Live+7 ratings: 2.1 (0.1 gain from Live+3; 0.3 gain from Live+SD), #28 rank
Overall viewership average in Live+7 ratings: 4.838 million (201,000 gain from Live+3; 691,000 gain from Live+SD) , #90 rank

Here’s some other generic facts about this season’s ratings:

In live+same day ratings, “The Simpsons” was the 74th most-watched broadcast TV show last season in overall viewership, tied with “Dateline Saturday Mystery” on NBC, but ranked significantly higher in 18-49s, placing 15th (at 1.8), tied with CBS’ “Survivor”. This is an improvement on last season, which ranked 92nd and 35th respectively.

“The Simpsons” was also FOX’s second-highest-rated show this season, after the freefalling “Empire”.

One episode that aired in the fall was watched by under three million – the first time the show had an episode seen by fewer than three million in fall ever.

Three episodes in the season had fewer viewers than the lowest-rated episode last season (2.315m), with six below the 18-49 rating for the lowest-rated episode last season (1.04) – all said episodes being in the 2017 portion of the season.

Lowest 18-49 rating this season, and episode: 0.92, “The Caper Chase
Lowest overall viewership rating this season, and ep: 2.128 million, “The Caper Chase”

Highest 18-49 rating this season, and episode: 3.50, “Pork and Burns
Highest overall viewership rating last season, and ep: 8.187 million, “Pork and Burns”

Number of episodes with or above a 3.0 18-49 rating this season: Two – “Treehouse of Horror XVIII” (3.0) and “Pork and Burns” (3.2).
Number of episodes with or above a 3.0 18-49 rating last season: One – “Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles” (3.6)

Number of episodes with a 2.0-2.9 18-49 rating this season: Four – “Friends and Family” (2.65), “The Last Traction Hero” (2.4), “The Nightmare After Krustmas” (2.3), “The Great Phatsby” (2.78)
Number of episodes with a 2.0-2.9 18-49 rating last season: Five

Number of episodes with a 1.0-1.9 18-49 rating this season: Eleven
Number of episodes with a 1.0-1.9 18-49 rating last season: Sixteen

Number of episodes below a 1.0 18-49 rating this season: Three – “The Caper Chase” (0.92), “Looking for Mr. Goodbart” (0.97), “Dogtown” (0.94)
Number of episodes below a 1.0 18-49 rating last season: None!

And now, just to be petty:

Number of times “Family Guy” beat “The Simpsons” this season: Seven times in 18-49s, twice in overall viewership.

That’s probably it for me until October 3rd! See you then!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, TVSeriesFinale (all of whose calculations I’ve used, since I can’t rely on mine!)

‘Simpsons’ season finale ratings stumble with music awards clash

“Is this part of a psychology class? Do the dogs represent the snapping jaws of the declining television industry?”

“The Simpsons” aired its season 28 finale on a down note on Sunday, as it hit fractional once again, for the third time this season – and ever – with the antics of an albino family from Rhode Island proving more popular again.

The episode, which saw Springfield prioritise the rights of canines over that of humans, was seen by 2.15 million viewers (second-lowest overall viewership ever) and recorded a 0.94 rating (second-lowest 18-49 rating ever) and a 4% share. (The episode had a 54% 18-49 skew, the lowest on FOX that night, but still higher than the skews of all other broadcast TV shows.)

The episode’s ratings were harmed by the clash with the Billboard Music Awards, which pulled in an average of 2.6/9 and 8.7m viewers over its three hours on air, although those numbers were lower when it started during “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot.

Sunday’s ratings are down from the previous episode‘s 1.0/4 and 2.344 million viewers, and also down from last season’s finale, which drew 1.05/4 and 2.542 million viewers.

Irrespective of the fractional figures, “The Simpsons” was still the second-most-watched show of FOX’s night in overall viewership – as well as being the third-most-watched of FOX’s night and all of broadcast TV in 18-49s.

Season 28 averaged a 1.72 rating, 4.015m viewers and 5.6% audience share compared to season 27’s average of a 1.74 rating, 3.999m and 5.4% audience share. It seems that, for this season, even with the higher numbers in fall, the lower-than-usual numbers for late spring brought the average down, although the increase in overall viewers for this season seems to buck that trend, and it also seems the increase in audience share will be due to TV audiences as a whole declining.

“The Simpsons” was beaten in the 18-49s by two episodes of “Family Guy”, which were at 1.0/4 and 1.1/4 respectively, but only the latter episode beat the show in overall viewership, with 2.052m and 2.225m respectively. You may be interested to hear “Family Guy” only went fractional (below a 1.0 rating) once this season, while “The Simpsons” did it thrice – although not low enough to meet “Family Guy”‘s fractional rating (0.88).

Opposite “The Simpsons”, around 20-21 million were watching on the other three broadcast networks, on par with the usual number.

I’ll be back within the week for an overall analysis of the season, but if you don’t catch that, I suppose I’ll see you October 3rd, with ratings analysis of the season premiere, “Springfield Splendor“!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily and TVSeriesFinale

Season 29 News: A new episode title has been revealed!

The list of episodes continues to fill up, as the title of the seventh episode of the 29th production season (XABF07) has been revealed. It is titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished“!

The episode will air during the 29th broadcast season (2017/18 TV season).

Stay tuned for more new titles!

Don’t forget to visit our pages on Season 28 and Season 29, as we always try to keep them up-to-date!