Lisa Simpson on Broadway: of course nothing is going to go smoothly. Yet, something did last Sunday night…
As usual for episodes with post-football coverage (Sunday’s had a 4.4 rating and 12.9 million viewers) beforehand, “The Simpsons” was boosted last Sunday, with the episode rising to 2.2/8 (2.15 unrounded) and 5.245 million viewers. 54% of the audience was aged 18-49 – 2.832 million.
That figure is up on last week‘s 1.4/5 and 3.261m, but down on the second episode last year – which also had a football lead-in – which scored 2.65/9 and 5.997m, yet had a lower lead in of 12.5 million (but higher 18-49 demo of 4.6).
The higher-than-usual figure also meant “The Simpsons” accomplished the feat of being the top non-sport show of the night among the 18-49 demographic on both Fox and all networks, and was fifth in overall viewership over all networks for non-sport shows – all this despite airing against an estimated 23 million audience from the other three main networks, once again, a large chunk being pre-football coverage.
An unusual element of Sunday’s schedule was that “Ghosted”, which airs after “The Simpsons” and provided an increased lead-in of 2.2 from 1.4, stayed static at 1.4, which it drew for its last episode. Another unusual element of the schedule was that the episode of “The Simpsons” on Sunday actually aired first in Canada!
Catch-up news time, and after three days of catch-up viewing, the season premiere episode grew by 0.2 to 1.6, and slid to third for that Sunday night on Fox, with “Family Guy” at 1.7 and “Ghosted” at 1.8. In viewers, it also added 507,000 to 3.769 million, this time above “Family Guy” (+768,000 to 3.565m) yet below “Ghosted” (+1.2m to 4.782m).
This Sunday’s episode doesn’t have a football lead-in, so expect it to be around 3-3.5m and below a 1.5 demo rating.
You mention October 1st and one thing dawns on everyone’s minds – how on earth is it autumn already? But with autumn, comes “The Simpsons”, and with October 1st came its second-ever season premiere in October; the last time that happened was with season 2 in 1990, the premiere episode of which had ten times the viewership of this season’s premiere. Moving on…
Sunday night’s premiere, which saw Homer and co go medieval on our… screens, scored a 1.4/5 demo rating (1.36 unrounded) – steady with last year’s premiere – and drew 3.261 million viewers – down from last year, and is the lowest-ever viewership for a season premiere. (55% of the episode’s viewers were aged 18-49 – around 1.8 million)
Furthermore, unlike last year, “The Simpsons” was not the highest-rated show of Fox’s (post-football) night – it had to share the honour in 18-49 ratings with, and come second in viewership to, new comedy “Ghosted”, which accrued a 1.4/5 figure and 3.58m viewers. On a positive note, “Simpsons” and “Ghosted” tied second for the night on broadcast TV among non-sport shows in the 18-49 demographic (in rounded figures of 1.4 each; in unrounded figures, ‘Simpsons’ pipped ‘Ghosted’ by 0.01)!
Despite some little negatives, “The Simpsons” returned to an OK demo figure on Sunday, which is somewhat surprising after some shaky figures towards the end of last season (multiple fractional ratings) – plus, Sunday’s episode had broadcast TV opposition of around 25 million, the predominance of those viewers being from overrunning and pre-match football coverage.
On an additional note, those watching Sunday’s episode may have seen the appeal at the end for donations for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. One wonders if they’ll air it again this coming Sunday, where it will receive more exposure (the show has a football lead-in this time).
“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:
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 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!)
“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.
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
Last Sunday’s episode, which saw Burns attempt to break up Marge and Homer, recorded a 1.0/4 rating, with an overall viewership of 2.344m. The 18-49 rating is the same as the previous episode’s, but Sunday’s episode was up in viewership from the last episode’s 2.302m – it’s strange to see audiences go up considering they usually decrease as we go into summer and the extreme back end of the season. The episode had a 55% 18-49 skew, just behind “Bob’s Burgers”‘ 57%.
With one episode to go, the current season average is 1.76, 4.108 million viewers and 5.7% audience share. By the same point last season, the average was slightly higher at 1.77 and slightly lower at 4.068 million viewers and 5.3% audience share.
The episode – plus “Bob’s Burgers” – were the only shows on FOX’s lineup with an audience of above two million, as “Family Guy” took the night off. As aforementioned, Sunday’s episode tied in rounded ratings with three other shows – “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Chicago Justice”, the latter two being scripted.
The audience during “The Simpsons”‘ broadcast on the other broadcast networks was 20 million, lower than usual – which doesn’t explain why Sunday’s episode was up in overall viewership.
I’m back on May 23rd for analysis of the ratings for the last episode of the season. Bye for now!
Thankfully for FOX, both animated veterans “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” returned after some time away up on their poor numbers on their last run around. While it’s relieving to see “The Simpsons” out of fractional land, it’s a bit concerning to see “Family Guy” have a wider-than-usual gap over it.
“The Simpsons” drew a (still fractional!) 0.97 rating last Sunday night, with 2.302 million viewers and a 4% share of the audience watching Homer obsess over getting all the Peekimons and Bart hang out with Jennifer Saunders. With a 56% 18-49 skew (tied with “Bob’s Burgers”) the episode was also FOX’s second-most-watched show of the night, and, in 18-49 ratings, tied third in scripted shows across all networks (tied fifth in all shows, sixth if including cable), while it finished fourteenth in total viewers.
While this is up on the previous episode‘s 0.92/3 and 2.128 million (both of which were all-time lows, bar the audience share), Sunday’s episode still pulled in the second-lowest 18-49 viewership and overall viewership ever.
The episode was down, bar in audience share, on last year’s equivalent, “To Courier with Love“, which drew 1.09/4 and 2.518 million viewers.
Twenty episodes in, the season is averaging 1.85/5.7 and 4.336 million – higher than the average after twenty episodes last season, which was 1.80/5.7 and 4.133 million.
Opposite “The Simpsons”, in the 8-8:30pm timeslot, was a 21 million audience, although another ratings site proposed a figure of 23 million.
As aforementioned, “Family Guy” had an unusual lead over “The Simpsons”, in that it was 0.2 ahead (it’s usually just 0.1 whenever “FG” beats “Simpsons”) at 1.2 – and it was also top scripted show of the night. Let’s see whether the Griffins can do the same next week, and survive the critical panning their episode last Sunday received.
See you next Tuesday for analysis of the ratings for the penultimate episode of the season!
Next arrived “The Caper Chase“, last Sunday night’s episode, with an all-time low 18-49 rating and a new low in viewership, with 0.90 and 2.128 million viewers Sunday’s episode also garnered a 3% audience share – not the lowest ever, probably the only thing about Sunday’s episode that wasn’t!
Three all-time lows in 18-49s and one all-time low in total viewership, all in one season. That’s not good, especially with the last new low being fractional (under a 1.0 rating).
The season average so far is 1.89/5.8 and 4.443 million viewers. By this point last season, it was 1.79/5.8 and 4.401 million viewers.
“The Simpsons” managed to stave off going fractional with its last episode, but the American Music Awards (which caused “The Burns Cage”‘s low ratings last year, which at that point were the lowest ever ratings in 18-49s and total viewership for the show) struck it again, and “The Simpsons” lost.
Nevertheless, irrespective of the low ratings, “The Simpsons” was actually first in scripted shows on broadcast TV (the main four networks), among the 18-49 demographic, on Sunday night, tying with “Chicago Justice”, and in all shows on broadcast, tied fourth!
The show officially (to one decimal place) went fractional in the preliminary ratings (it was fractional to third-decimal places last episode), and was at just 0.896 to three decimal places.
The equivalent episode last year was “The Burns Cage” – a bit of a coincidence that for the same Sunday two years running “The Simpsons” drew a new low for total viewership.
Despite the “American Music Awards”‘ large 18-49 rating, it only skewed 25% to that audience, with “The Simpsons”‘ 56% skew tying with “Family Guy” for the third largest skew of the broadcast TV night.
The audience against “The Simpsons” in its timeslot, on broadcast TV, added up to around 23 million viewers.
Why must FOX keep putting the Simpsons against shows they know are going to attract huge audiences and therefore knock their own shows (which they’ve already experienced by putting “Fatzcarraldo” against the Grammys and it pulling in the show’s lowest 18-49 rating ever)? Who knows why they didn’t air a repeat like “Family Guy” did. And usual powerhouse “Little Big Shots” was knocked by 0.5 down to 1.2 – very low for its standards. FOX was even fractional (below a 1.0 rating) for all of its night!
See you on May 2nd for analysis of the next episode’s ratings!
It’s interesting. Over the weekend I was wondering whether “The Simpsons” would go fractional first or dip below two million viewers first, or at the same time. It appears the former is more likely, based on how it DID go fractional in preliminary ratings on Sunday but managed to creep above a 1.0 in final ratings, and the show has only been within 300,000 viewers or so of the 2m barrier, of which only “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” crossed on FOX’s Sunday night.
Sunday’s trophy-laden episode attracted 2.402 million viewers (the third-lowest viewership ever) and also scored exactly a 1.00 rating in the 18-49 demo – the lowest ever rating in the demo. The audience share was also 3%. The show tied “Bob’s Burgers” with a 53% 18-49 skew, the second-best skew of the night.
Once again, “Family Guy” beat “The Simpsons”, but this time it was only in 18-49 ratings, having scored a 1.10, and was below “The Simpsons” in viewership with 2.34 million watching – both shows were the only ones on FOX on Sunday over two million viewers, as aforementioned.
The equivalent episode last season, “The Burns Cage”, was just above Sunday’s at 1.04/4 and below in viewership, at 2.315 million – the 1.04 the all-time low in 18-49 viewership until “Fatzcarraldo” with 1.02 earlier this season, and it’s 2.315 million still remains the all-time low in overall viewership. The season average so far is now 1.95/5.9 and 4.571 million viewers, above that of this point last season with 1.79/5.8 and 4.401 million viewers.
There was a viewership of around 21-23 million opposite “The Simpsons”, on par with the last episode.
As of right now, it’s unclear whether the 1.00 rating “The Simpsons” achieved is rounded up or rounded down. The episode was at a 0.985 in preliminary ratings – and no unrounded data for final ratings has been released to determine whether the show DID go fractional, in ratings to three decimal places. As of now, though, “The Simpsons” has narrowly avoided taking a trip to fractional-land. And with this fact, who knows, considering how we’ve got two more months of post-DST and spring decline left, whether it’ll manage to complete the trip later on in the season. The show’s just above the 1.0 barrier now; who knows where it’ll be this time in May? For a show to be above a 3.0 rating and also be below a 1.0 rating in the same season sure is something – especially in a season that’s also recorded two all-time lows.
See you April 4th.
Apologies for the lateness in this post; this time it WAS my fault, I was waiting to see if unrounded data would be made available – it wasn’t, really. Apologies also if there are errors in the article; while composing this post my concentration was drawn to the breaking news in the UK.
Bart was the focus last Sunday night (March 12) where a tale of basketball success turned into one bogged down with the oppression of the mob. A successful sportsman getting involved in the wrong crowd. Typical, eh?
Apologies for the delay in this post – there were some issues with Nielsen for the first half of the week as a power outage at one of their centres in Florida compounded the issue of tweaking ratings collection due to the US’ shift into Daylight Savings Time. Moving on…
Sunday’s episode beat the last episode’s feat of having the highest viewership outside of football-supported episode so far this year, with 2.611 million, with a 1.1/4 rating, equal to the previous episode.
In unrounded ratings for the 18-49 demographic, “The Simpsons” scored a 1.122 rating, marginally below that of “Family Guy”, which attained a 1.13, meaning “Simpsons” was the sixth most-watched show in the demographic on Sunday (“Family Guy” fourth), but in scripted shows, “Simpsons” was fourth. Both “Simpsons” and “Family Guy” were the only shows in FOX’s Sunday schedule above the 1.0 barrier. In all, “Simpsons” and “Family Guy” effectively tied.
“The Simpsons”, once again, was the lowest-young-skewing original show on FOX, with 54% of its audience in the 18-49s, just above newbie “Making History” with 49%.
After a brief overtaking of last season’s average, this season’s average has come under it again, with 1.961/6 compared to last season’s average (up to the 17th episode, as are we of this season) of 1.967/6. This is also the first time in these rating posts the averages for both seasons have been below the 2.0 barrier. In total viewership, however, this season is higher than last season, with 4.56m compared to 4.54m.
During “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot, the overall audience opposite, on the other broadcast networks, was around 22 million, up on the previous Sunday.
A father’s watch is the focus of this coming Sunday’s episode, where Grampa gifts Bart a watch Homer’s longed for, and Marge succumbs to the pressure of seeking out a ‘parenting expert’, worried Bart’s destined to fail.
“The Simpsons” was back on Sunday night (March 5) where Bart and Lisa’s Kamp Krusty nightmares became Krustier. I’m not sure what type of crust they’d like their nightmares to be more of, though; pastry, maybe?
Sunday’s episode scored the highest viewership outside of football-supported episode so far this year, at 2.563 million, with a 1.1/4 rating. The viewership is up slightly from the previous episode, which had 2.443 million, and steady in the 18-49 demographic and audience share (1.1/4). The equivalent episode last year was higher, however, at a 1.3/4 rating and 3.09 million viewers; it was steady again in audience share at 4%. Another bane for Sunday’s episode is the fact the episode of “Family Guy” which followed an hour later received a higher audience among 18-49s, with a 1.2/4; the “Simpsons” episode also had the second-lowest 18-49 skew among original shows on the night, at 55%, just above the 53% for the premiere of “Making History”.
The season average so far is narrowly ahead of last season’s, at 2.015/7 compared to 2.009/6. In viewership, this season is also above last season, with 4.68m compared to 4.63m.
This season’s average has definitely benefited from there being more episodes with a high football lead-in. If ratings of this season continue at the same level (at a 1.0 rating and a tenth or two above) things may start to dip below last season’s average again.
Against the show on Sunday was the big return of “Little Big Shots”, watched by 11.718 million viewers. During “The Simpsons”‘ timeslot, the overall audience opposite “The Simpsons” on the other broadcast networks was around 21 million. Without the big rating for “Little Big Shots”, it’s likely The Simpsons could’ve gone up on Sunday, a couple tenths or a few.
Next Sunday’s episode focuses on a venture into sport for Bart, before getting involved with the mafia again – another milk scandal on the cards, perhaps, this time laced with something other than rat genes – it is a sport plotline, after all?! We’ll see. And I’ll see you next Tuesday to review how many watched. See you then!