All posts by Phinbart

US ratings: Hiatus, DST, and basketball-inflated competition sink ‘Simpsons’

“Nothing to see here, detective from a cancelled show everyone’s forgotten about.”

‘Simpsons’ returns to all-time low as spring downturn sets in

Daylight saving time, and spring, has well and truly arrived. And that is usually not good news for any show on television.

“The Simpsons” arrived back on our TV screens on Sunday (March 18th) with its worst numbers yet – 0.8/3 and 2.1m viewers. That 0.8 is the lowest demo rating ever, and that 2.1m is the lowest viewership ever – both below “The Caper Chase“‘s 0.92 demo rating and 2.128m viewership last April.

The equivalent episode last year – “Kamp Krustier” – scored 1.1/4 and 2.61m.

This is the fourth time “The Simpsons” has gone fractional, after recording three (0.92, 0.94, 0.97) last season.

The last episode this season we can fairly compare this to is November 19th, “Singin’ in the Lane” (the last episode that aired without a football lead-in), which drew a 1.1/4 and 2.67m. It could be said the 0.8 is just evidence of natural decline, but it is worrying, especially since…

It just added to the embarrassment that comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, which was relocated from its Tuesday slot due to it recording flop-level ratings, actually improved on “The Simpsons” in the demo and audience share (0.9/4), yet not in viewers (1.92m). “Family Guy” did even better, with 1.0/4 and 2.24m viewers, but it was a special episode (no commercial interruption) and didn’t have to face as much competition from the other networks. Previous to “The Simpsons” was a new “Bob’s Burgers”; each matched in the demo and share.

“The Simpsons” recorded a 49% 18-49 skew (around 1.03m viewers in that demo), the lowest for originals on FOX for the night.

So far, this season is averaging 1.8 and 4.4m viewers.

In “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot, around 23-25m were watching the other three main networks, which is similar, yet slightly up, on usual.

I’ll be back next Tuesday where hopefully the ratings story will be brighter.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: NFL carries ‘Simpsons’ to season high once again

“Now that are ratings are up, is sexy times back on the menu? Or am I going to have to resort to eating cold chicken legs out the fridge again?”

You gotta thank the NFL, FOX – it just lifted your longest-running animated comedy, your two other animated comedies, and a live action comedy about no longer being the last man on Earth to season highs (and in the latter’s case, a two-year high!).

Sunday’s episode scored a 3.3/11 rating and attracted 8.042 million viewers, with 53% of that audience in the key 18-49 demo (approx. 4.26m).

That’s the show’s highest ratings since last January 8th when “Pork and Burns” pulled in 3.5/10 and 8.19m, and up on the last episode (2.8/9 and 6.945m) and up on the equivalent episode last season/year (2.8/8 and 6.901m). However, its 11% share is the show’s highest share since “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner“‘s 13% share in January 2015 – three seasons ago!

This season is averaging so far 1.9/6 and 4.6m.
Last season was averaging 2.2/7 and 5.25m by this point.

“The Simpsons”‘ high ratings may have also been down to the low opposition on Sunday – just an approximate 15m viewers watching the other three main networks, about 10m down on usual.

Outside of sports, “The Simpsons” was the highest-rated show of the night (in the 18-49 demo), and the second-most-watched (in viewership) of the night – across all US TV. As well as this, it collected the title of being the highest-rated (in the 18-49 demo) show of the week on US TV, outside of sports.

See you again sometime in March after the show’s award-season-and-Olympics-avoiding spring break – and as we begin our journey into depths of ratings carnage that is deep spring.

N.B. This post is a day later than anticipated, due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday delaying final ratings.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: ‘Simpsons’ propelled to season high – against Golden Globes

More love at first sight for Lisa – nevertheless, it may have helped the ratings, her love interest in reality being a world-famous musician…

FOX doesn’t always make the best decisions with scheduling, especially when they know ‘The Simpsons’ is at a point where pitting it against the highly-watched awards shows will cause its ratings to be even weaker than usual. However, on Sunday, they redeemed themselves – they put the show against the Golden Globes, put with a high football lead-in, managed to eke out its highest audience since… last year, when it aired with a football lead-in against the Golden Globes.

Ed Sheeran’s guest spot may have also helped Sunday’s episode, which scored a 2.8/9 rating and attracted 6.945 million viewers, with 52% of that audience in the key 18-49 demo (approx. 3.61m).

Sunday’s episode was the highest-rated since the equivalent episode last season, also airing against the Golden Globes, but was higher, at 3.5/10 and 8.19m (this episode was ranked 89th in the programs with the highest demo ratings on US TV last year). In the demo rating, Sunday’s episode matched that of the episode the following Sunday last year – both pulling in 2.8. Sunday’s episode was up on the the last episode (especially with the football lead-in being higher) – which also aired with a football lead-in, and pulled in 2.3/8 and 6.063m.

This season has averaged 1.8/6 and 4.236 million viewers so far. By this point last season, it was averaging 2.1/7 and 5.1 million viewers.

Opposition during “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot was around 27-30 million viewers, the Golden Globes potentially dampening how high in viewership Sunday’s episode could have gone.

In catch-up news, “Gone Boy”, the last new episode to air before Christmas, appended 0.2 after three days to a 2.5 rating, ranking ninth in the most-watched shows on broadcast TV that week.

I’ll be back next Tuesday to see if how this week’s episode benefits from having a football lead-in but not airing against big competition.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: ‘Simpsons’ rides NFL boost to season high

“Look, Bob, I got you the higher viewership for your episode – what more do you want?!”

A larger NFL lead-in – plus it overrunning causing “The Simpsons” to start away from normal program junctions – aided the yellow clan to pull in its best performance so far this season – since the second episode of the year in January, in fact.

Sunday’s episode scored 2.3/8 and 6.063 million viewers.

The episode, as aforementioned, is a season high, beating the previous high of also-football-boosted “Springfield Splendor”, which had 2.2/8 and 5.245 million viewers. Sunday’s episode – “Gone Boy” – is the most-watched “Simpsons” outing since the 15th January, when “The Great Fatsby” recorded 2.8/8 and 6.9m. In the 18-49 demo and share, it is equal to the equivalent episode last year (2.3/8) – and up in viewers (5.6m).

The NFL boost also made “The Simpsons”, once again, the most watched non-sport show on broadcast TV (the Big Four networks) on Sunday night in the 18-49 demographic. It ranked fifth in viewers of non-sport shows on broadcast.

The episode had a 49% 18-49 skew, equating to around 2.97m viewers in that demographic.

After nine episodes, this season is averaging 1.6/6 and 3.96m, down from this time last season – after ten episodes, it was averaging 2.0/7 and 4.79m.

“Gone Boy”‘s high viewership may have been down to the fact, that, compared to last week, there were around 10 million fewer viewers around in “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot, and so less competition.

In catch-up news, the last episode grew by 0.2 after three days of catch-up to 1.9, tying 17th for the most-watched broadcast shows of that week in the demo.

See you on January 9 for ratings analysis of the first episode of 2018 – will an Ed Sheeran guest spot boost the figures?

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: ‘Simpsons’ shoots up with football help

Can you have celebratory jazz? I thought jazz was all about the blues – and there’s nothing celebratory about the blues.

The football lead-in struck again. Sunday’s episode scored 1.7/6 (quarter-hour demo ratings of 1.88 and 1.55) and 4.281 million viewers – up 0.6 points and 1.6 million from the last episode.

It’s not as high as the last episode to go out with a football lead-in (1.9/7 , 4.75m), and is down on the equivalent episode last year (also boosted by football: 2.4/7, 5.77m), but it was the highest-rated non-sport programme (in the 18-49 demo) on broadcast TV on Sunday night.

Around 51% of the viewers of Sunday’s episode were aged 18-49 – that’s approximately 2.18m – a lower percentage due to more viewers aged 49+, coming from football.

After eight episodes, this season is averaging 1.6/6 and 3.7m, down from this time last season – after nine episodes (more of which were football-boosted), it was averaging 2.0/6 and 4.7m.

This past Sunday’s episode had an unusually large opposition to deal with; football and a highly-rated Carol Burnett special, alongside an outing of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, contributed to a viewership opposition of around 28-30 million, akin to that of the episode before last, once again subduing the viewer count to not seemingly match up with the demo rating.

See you next Tuesday to see how the last episode of 2017 does!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: Awards and football hit ‘Simpsons'; falls to season low

Don’t worry, Moe – at least you didn’t get beaten by “Bob’s Burgers” this time.

“The Simpsons” usually copes OK up against football, but this past Sunday it had the double whammy of football and the American Music Awards – which hasn’t been kind to the show in the past, and wasn’t on Sunday. At least “Bob’s Burgers”‘ local NFL boost didn’t mean it beat “The Simpsons” in this case… it just tied it.

Sunday’s episode scored 1.1/4 and 2.67 million viewers.

This is down on the last episode without a football lead-in encouraging the ratings upwards (“Grampy Can Ya Hear Me“, 1.3/5 and 2.859m), and down on the equivalent episode last season (“Dad Behavior“, 1.3/4 and 2.876m). The 1.1 is a season low, and is the lowest 18-49 rating “The Simpsons” has ever recorded in fall; that 2.67m is also a new season low and fall low in viewership. However, Sunday’s episode was the highest-rated show of Fox primetime and, in the 18-49 demo, of all scripted shows on broadcast TV.

Around 53% of the viewers of Sunday’s episode were aged 18-49 – that’s approximately 1.42m.

After seven episodes, this season is averaging 1.5/6 and 3.62m, down from this time last season – after eight episodes (more of which were football-boosted), it was averaging 2.0/6 and 4.56m.

It seems the fact that, even though the AMAs were steady year-to-year, it was the higher football ratings than last year that lowered “The Simpsons”‘ ratings this time around. In fact, there was the added issue of there being an opposition of around 30 million viewers for Sunday’s episode – way higher than normal.

See you on December 5th for a ratings analysis of the next episode (which will be boosted by football, as both December eps were last year) – it’s off this Sunday due to “Miss Universe”. Until then…

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: Football lead-in boosts ‘Simpsons’ to top non-sport show

“Homer, I know you like to watch football half-naked – and we need to appreciate it for the audience boost it gives us – but please, next time, eat any food you would otherwise substitute for underpants from the fridge.”

Local elections in the US recently saw a slew of women elected to posts, and the trend continued on Sunday, with Marge becoming Springfield’s mayor. She probably would’ve have preferred her mayoral debut to pull in the crowds without football behind it, but a boost in viewership is a boost in viewership…

Sunday’s episode scored 1.9/7 and 4.745 million viewers. This was down on the last football-boosted episode (directly; “Springfield Splendor“, 2.2/8 and 5.245m) and on the equivalent episode last year (“Havana Wild Weekend“, 3.1/9 and 7.1m). Despite this, Sunday’s ep was the highest-rated show of FOX’s night post-football, and in the 18-49 demo on all broadcast networks outside of football.

Around 52% of the viewers of Sunday’s episode were aged 18-49 – that’s approximately 2.47m.

After six episodes, this season is averaging 1.6/6 and 3.78m, down from this time last season – after seven episodes (more of which were football-boosted), it was averaging 2.1/7 and 4.80m.

Opposition to Sunday’s episode on broadcast TV was around 23m – normal.

See you next Tuesday for the results of Homer’s bowling tournament revival – and by that, I mean how many tuned in to watch it, and considering it doesn’t have a direct football lead-in this Sunday, and is against the American Music Awards (which “The Simpsons” has suffered against in the past), we could be looking at a season low for the next ep.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings

US ratings: ‘Simpsons’ falls to season low, beaten by “Bob’s Burgers”

“No more burger places for us. I mean you. Everyone apart from me, Homer.”

When a new episode of your longest-running show has fewer viewers than a new episode of a comedy shunted to a low-priority slot you only renew because anything you replace it with would fail, something’s up.

That was the tale this past Sunday on Fox, where “Bob’s Burgers” beat “The Simpsons”. But more on that in a bit…

Sunday’s outing with the yellow clan scored a 1.3/5 rating (1.2995 in unroundeds; first ep this season below 1.3, so season low), and 2.859 million viewers (the lowest viewership so far this season). This is down from the last episode (1.6/6 and 3.659m) – although, a comparison isn’t fair as that had the football and “Treehouse of Horror” boost to help it – yet steady with the last ‘normal’ episode on 15th October (“Whistler’s Father“), which had 1.3/5 and 2.905m. The episode is down from the equivalent episode last year, which had 1.4/5 and 3.14m.

The episode had a 59% 18-49 skew, meaning 1.675m of its viewers were in that demographic; in the demo, the episode ranked as the 22nd-most-watched show on broadcast networks of the week. The episode’s ratings mark a season low so far in viewership, and matches a season low in rounded 18-49 demo ratings.

So far, the season is averaging 1.5/6 and 3.586m viewers after five episodes. By this point (after six episodes) last season, the average was 1.9/6 and 4.42m (yet there were more directly-football-boosted eps at the start of last season).

Now onto the burger-flipping supremacy – to spin a hyperbole. “Bob’s Burgers”, which airs in the half-hour slot before “The Simpsons” drew a 1.4/5 rating and 2.89m on Sunday – and wasn’t only Fox’s highest-rated show of primetime, it was also their highest-rated show in primetime of the entire past week (in the 18-49 demographic). However, it seems “Bob’s Burgers” beating “The Simpsons”, which has never happened before, is just a fluke, as its numbers may have been boosted by football games overrunning in local markets.

Around 22-25 million viewers were watching shows on the other broadcast networks at the same time as “The Simpsons” – usual levels.

In catch-up news, the last episode (the “Treehouse of Horror” special) rose by 0.4 after three days of catch-up, from 1.6 to 2.0. Such catch-up is higher than usual, proving “Treehouse of Horror” still has its pulling power.

See you again next Tuesday, to see how many tuned in to see Marge run for mayor.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings

US ratings: Football overruns, or ‘Treehouse of Horror’ effect, boost “Simpsons”

“Keep it up. We’ve got an audience to retain.”

There are two possible reasons why the latest episode of “The Simpsons” was lifted to a season high – either due to the ripples from local football overruns in some Fox markets in the 7pm hour extending through “Bob’s Burgers” lifted it, or it was due to the fact it was the annual “Treehouse of Horror” special, which usually sees some sort of lift.

While it may not be possible to discern the extent to which either had on Sunday’s episode, it can at least be said there was a definite increase in both 18-49 viewers and overall viewership from the last episode. Sunday’s outing scored a 1.6/6 demo rating, and entertained 3.659 million viewers – both up from the last episode (1.3/5, 2.905m), and in fact is so far a season high (excluding the football-boosted episode). The episode had a 56% 18-49 skew, and the episode had around 2.049 million; it was also the top scripted show of the night in the 18-49 demographic on Fox and broadcast TV.

Comparison to last year’s “Treehouse of Horror” are invalid, since that edition had a direct football lead-in, and in all Fox markets.

So far, this season is averaging 1.6/6 and 3.768 million viewers (excluding the football-boosted episode: 1.4/5 and 3.275 million).

“The Simpsons”‘ opposition on the other broadcast networks this time around amounted to around 25-28 million viewers, the highest so far this season.

No new “Simpsons” this Sunday due to the World Series, so the next post from me will be in two Tuesdays’ time. Until then…

Sources: SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

US ratings: ‘Simpsons’ drops without football lead-in to new fall low, yet top for Fox

“Whistle us up some viewers, Maggie.”

Sunday, October 15’s episode scored a 1.3/5 demo rating and 2.905 million viewers – down from last year (1.5/5 and 3.221m), and, less so, from the season premiere (the last episode without a football lead-in; 1.4/5 and 3.261m) – with 58% of viewers in the 18-49 demographic (1.68m), and tying 24th in the demo for the top shows of the week.

The episode is also the earliest in any season ‘The Simpsons’ has had below three million viewers, and its 1.3 is the lowest 18-49 rating ever recorded in fall – both for first-run showings of an episode.

Despite the negatives, “The Simpsons” was the top show for Fox on Sunday night – #1 in demo and overall viewership – and was the highest-rated scripted show in the 18-49 demo of the night across broadcast and cable.

Sunday’s episode had approximately a 25 million opposition on broadcast, the same as the season premiere – so the fall in viewers doesn’t seem to have come much from here.

In catch-up news, the second episode of the season – “Springfield Splendor” – grew by 0.1 after three days of catch-up to a 2.3 rating. It tied with “The Gifted” to rank 15 in the 18-49 demo for shows on broadcast TV that week.

“Treehouse of Horror” episodes usually see an uplift, so we’ll see whether the next one on Sunday follows that trend. Until Tuesday…

TVByTheNumbers, ShowBuzzDaily, SpottedRatings