All posts by Phinbart

“The Simpsons” goes fractional and sinks to lowest-ever audience

“What happened? Oh, yeah, FOX didn’t figure in the ‘American Music Awards’ variable.”

“The Simpsons” is the name, four all-time ratings lows in one season’s the game.

Last season there was “The Burns Cage“, which scored a then new all-time low of a 1.044 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 2.315 million viewers.

First this season was “Fatzcarraldo“, with a 1.02 rating.

Then came along “A Father’s Watch“, with a 1.00 rating.

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!

‘Simpsons’ ratings stumble to another all-time low

Time is ticking. We’ll go fractional eventually.

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.

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily, TVSeriesFinale

‘Simpsons’ audience stays steady, ties to top FOX’s night

Homer, waiting for Nielsen to release Sunday’s ratings, for the past two days.

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.

Viewership, as said above, is up slightly from the previous episode, which had 2.563 million. Theequivalent episode last year, was higher, however, at a 1.3/5 rating and 3.07 million viewers.

“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.

Hopefully, I’ll see you next Tuesday!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

‘Simpsons’ audience stays steady against heavy competition

“Since when did this thing exist?!”

“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!

‘Simpsons’ barely recovers, but still tops broadcast night

“You better do what I say, otherwise I’ll plummet you to a new all-time low again.”

Broadcast TV had a somewhat horrific night on Sunday, with only five shows, and just three scripted shows, making it above the 1.0 barrier – two being on FOX. NBC self-indulged, ABC plonked on a film, and CBS had the crazy idea that previewing an online-only show skewing heavily towards an older audience would bring in a young crowd. FOX was steadfast and familiar, and it, as well as the poor performances by other networks, seemed to help, as all their shows were up on last week, however, it seems not enough for “Son of Zorn”.

Sunday (Feb 19)’s green-with-guilt episode pulled in 2.443 million viewers, scoring a 1.1/4 18-49 demo rating, up slightly on the second-lowest-ever viewership of previous episode “Fatzcarraldo” with 2.399 million and the lowest-ever 18-49 rating it had with 1.02/3. Sunday’s episode, “The Cad and the Hat”, was also behind the equivalent episode last season, “Gal of Constant Sorrow“, which had a 1.4/4 rating and 3.10 million viewers.

Despite the negative aspect of this story, it tied with “NCIS: Los Angeles” for the highest 18-49 viewership of the night in broadcast shows, with both shows at 1.1/4, and the CBS show topping the night in overall viewership among scripted shows with 8.606 million; plus, “The Simpsons” was FOX’s top show on Sunday night.

Another bonus point for the show came with FOX’s shows having the highest 18-49 skews of the night, with 57% for all shows except a 60% for “Bob’s Burgers”, and is good news considering “Son of Zorn”, “Family Guy” and “Bob’s Burgers” had, as well as “The Simpsons”, mediocre figures, with the former finishing at cancellation-level 0.7/2 (1.58m) and the latter two at 1.0/4 (2.257m) and 0.9/3 (1.97m).

So far, the season average is 2.08/7 and 4.84 million viewers. At this point last season, it was slightly behind this season’s average, at 2.06/6 and 4.74 million viewers.

FOX saw sense after the all-time low in 18-49 viewership the show suffered against the Grammys and aren’t putting a new episode against the Oscars – an event likely to receive up to double the ratings of the Grammys (who knows what a new episode would’ve received in terms of viewership against that, considering how weak “The Simpsons” is at the moment.). See you again March 7th!

P.S. Apologies for the post being published a day later than usual; final ratings were delayed by a day due to the Presidents’ Day weekend.

Sources: TVByTheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

‘Grammy’ power knocks ‘Simpsons’ return to all-time low

Homer’s being petty.

New episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ returned to US TV on Sunday night (February 12), and you couldn’t say it didn’t have a difficult time to remind viewers of that, as someone at FOX thought it would be a good idea to put new episodes of their Sunday shows against one of the biggest programmes on US television. And they suffered. Immensely.

2.399m tuned in to watch Homer take a trip down his gourmandising past on Sunday, with the episode scoring a 1.0/3 rating, down both on the last episode with a football lead-in (“The Great Phatsby“, down 1.8) and the last episode without (November’s “Dad Behavior“; down 0.3).

UPDATE: An unrounded 18-49 figure for this episode has been revealed, 1.02. This means that “Fatzcarraldo” is the least-watched episode in 18-49s, ever; “The Burns Cage” had 1.044 in unrounded figures.

This is the second time the show’s hit a 1.0 rating before, with the first being “The Burns Cage“, which was broadcast against the American Music Awards in May; however, it didn’t go as low as “Cage” in terms of overall viewership (2.31m). Currently, “The Burns Cage” has the show’s lowest ever viewership, and now ties Sunday’s “Fatzcarraldo” in the show’s lowest ever 18-49 rating (“To Courier with Love” holds the show’s lowest ever audience share at 2%, however.)

The equivalent episode last season was at 1.3/4 and 2.89 million viewers, and so Sunday’s episode declined in both 18-49 viewership and total viewership.

The last episode to air against the Grammys was “Walking Big & Tall” on February 8, 2015, and garnered a higher figure of 1.2/3 and 2.78 million.

Sunday’s episode was a season low both in viewership and in the 18-49s. It’s likely FOX will look at Sunday’s ratings and put on repeats whenever there’s a big event on another network; “The Simpsons” is at the back-end of the season, where it’s usually in the low 1s and 2 millions straight through until the finale – FOX won’t want to make the show shed any more viewers if possible, considering “The Simpsons” was the only show holding up the network on Sunday night.

Sunday’s episode was popular among younger viewers with a 60% 18-49 skew, but was outmuscled in that regard by “Bob’s Burgers” with 61% and “Family Guy” with 62%.

The season average is currently at 2.14/7, and 5.03 million viewers. By the equivalent episode last year, last season’s average was at 2.11/6 and 4.87 million. It seems this season’s average is slowly taking over last season’s after being below it for the autumn episodes.

Patty and Selma didn’t make the cut to perform at the Grammys.

FOX suffered elsewhere as well, with “The Simpsons” their only show over the 1.0 barrier. For the first time, “Family Guy” went fractional and under two million viewers, to 0.9/3 and 1.859m. “Son of Zorn”, which followed “Simpsons”, crashed to 0.6/2 and 1.4m. “Bob’s Burgers” dropped to a 0.8/3 and 1.67m.

CBS’ broadcast of a technically-plagued Grammys made other networks’ show’s shed some viewers, but with both ABC and NBC showing movies, there wasn’t much more added competition for Simpsons on broadcast TV. Including the Grammys, the viewership against The Simpsons’ broadcast comes to around 31-34 million.

There’s been a lot of catching-up on the latest episodes, and these figures will be detailed in a post compiling all Live+3 and Live+7 data soon.

See you next Tuesday!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

Hour-long ‘Simpsons’ performs well against heavy competition

“That’s right, join me in cursing those pesky ice storms pushing football into primetime – prime ‘Simpsons’ time!”

The hour-long Simpsons was probably always set to be the top scripted show last Sunday night (January 15), with its high football lead-in, although it’s football opposition and the effect it would have on the landmark episode wasn’t conceived until the airdate itself. Despite the circumstances being less than ideal, The Simpsons still performed above-average on Sunday.

6.901m saw the 14-minute delayed episode, and scored a 2.8/8 rating, the highest-rated show on the night excluding sports, but fell away from FOX’s football lead-in. Considering NBC’s widely-seen football build-up and game itself, Homer and the gang conjured up a competitive feat. The episode was the fourth most-watched broadcast show in 18-49s of the week (the most-watched on FOX), with 3.566 million of its viewers being in that demographic; the episode was ranked twenty-second in most-watched shows of the week in overall viewership.

TVByTheNumbers reports an enormous 13.9/41 and 44.97 million average for the FOX football between 7pm and 8:14pm, while ShowBuzzDaily posted a huge 9.9 rating, and a 28.86 million audience across the six minute telecast from 8:08pm, and 38.752 million and a 13.1 figure for a four minute overrun segment from 8:04pm, the most-watched show of the night in viewers and 18-49s.

NBC’s “Football Night in America” averaged a 2.1/7 rating and 7.07 million in a telecast from 7:30pm to 8:20pm; the period from 7:30pm to 8:11pm had an average of 1.0 and 3.559 million viewers, with a 7.1 and 23.077 million average from 8:11pm to 8:20pm – eating into The Simpsons viewers who may have switched to NBC as FOX’s football ran late. A 12.0/35 and 37.113 million average was attained for the football game itself from 8:20pm-11:19pm.

Even the writer of part two of the episode and showrunner Matt Selman, complained on Twitter about the NBC opposition, posting “The ratings for this show would’ve been so huge if not for the ice storm moving the KC-PITT game to 8:20 EST. (SIGH)” (tweet no longer available). Chris Ledesma, a member of the show’s music department, quoted the tweet and lamented on the “Months of prep and weeks of anticipation upset by the weather in the Midwest”.

In any case, The Simpsons lost quite a bit of its football lead-in. Considering NBC’s also huge football build-up and game itself, Homer and the gang conjured up a competitive feat, and its 2.8 figure is still good despite being down 0.7 from the previous episode.

Sunday’s episode was up from the equivalent episode last year, which had 1.8/5 and 3.95 million viewers – but, with that episode having had no football lead-in, it would be unfair to compare. Sunday’s episode also had a 52% 18-49 skew, down from last year’s 58%.

With Sunday’s rating, this brings the season average to 2.23/6.9 and 5.246 million viewers. By this point last season, the average was 2.34/6.4 and 5.03 million viewers. This season is up in viewers and share, but is still down in 18-49s; now beating last season in viewership is most likely due to Sunday’s episode adding a high figure into the equation, which the equivalent episode last year didn’t have.

As aforementioned, despite the football being high for FOX, the audience had fallen by shy of ten million from the 8:04pm programme average to the 8:08pm programme average, with The Simpsons averaging 22 million less than the 8:08pm show. Despite the large drop for The Simpsons, it is entirely possible it fell through its broadcast, due to many choosing and switching to the football, and the show may have been damaged due to its late start. The episode may reach a 3.0 rating in catch-up, although it isn’t known for The Simpsons to gain more than 0.3 after three days of catch-up viewing – FOX will be somewhat disappointed with the lower-than-expected numbers (due to the unforeseen football match moved into primetime) and be hoping those who abandoned the show for football due to the late start time will watch on catch-up, considering the effort in promotion put in for the episode resulted in a figure lower than the previous non-special episode.

Among the targeted 18-49 demographic, Fox held up best against the NBC-won night, with all shows above the 1.0 barrier, something other networks couldn’t say, with ABC below it all evening and CBS peaking at 1.0 with NCIS: LA. In viewers against NBC, CBS was strongest, with only one show below seven million viewers – all of ABC’s shows being far below that number.

The rest of FOX’s line-up performed OK, with a one-off The Mick doing well with a 1.7/5 and 4.088 million (although this didn’t do anything for the normal Tuesday episode, which declined slightly (from its previous Tuesday episode) to 1.1/4 and 2.727 million – both of these figures are prelimary as of writing), and Family Guy didn’t have much of a boost with a 1.4/5 but was higher than usual in viewership, with 3.549 million.

Overall, The Simpsons had, opposite it, around a 45 million audience on broadcast TV to compete with, the highest competition so far this season.

In catch-up news for the previous episode, “Pork and Burns“, it reached 3.7 after gaining 0.2 (6% of original audience) after three days of catch-up, to become the fourth most-watched show in 18-49s for the week. And unusually for The Simpsons, it made the top 25 in most-watched broadcast shows in overall viewership, coming in 24th with 8.570m, gaining 383,000 (5% of original viewership).

In UK ratings, the first two episodes of the season achieved 529,000 (including those watching on +1) and 655,000 (excluding +1) figures respectively, after seven days of catch-up.

It’s rerun central on Fox next Sunday night and “Miss Universe” is on the week after, so I’ll see you when I see you.

And apologies for the post being published a day later than usual; the final TV ratings were delayed until today due to Martin Luther King weekend.

Sources: TVbyTheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

‘Simpsons’ boosted to highest audience in a year, holds own against Golden Globes

“What? We got a season high, didn’t we?”

A tale of one man and his pig brought The Simpsons above eight million viewers for the first time in a year, and FOX as a whole held up well against the mighty Golden Globes, but its might couldn’t top the night.

2017 got off to a good start for The Simpsons as, excluding sports and the Golden Globes, Sunday night’s episode, delayed by 10 minutes due to football overrun, was the highest rated show on the night, scoring 3.5/11, the third time this season the show’s had an 18-49 rating beginning with 3, but also the highest demo rating for the show since the 3.6 (3.595) “Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdles” had on January 10 last year – the equivalent episode last season. In viewership, “Pork and Burns” had 8.187 million tuned in – also the highest since “Hurdles” with 8.332 million. In share, however, it beat “Hurdles” – 11% to 10%. “Pork and Burns” added 1.2 from the last episode, and 2.591 million viewers.

Both Sunday’s episode and “Hurdles” had high-rated football overruns preceding it – the reason for the high ratings both episodes experienced, with the latter’s overrun at 38.85 million and the former’s around 30 million.

Sunday’s episode had a 55% skew in the 18-49 demographic, higher than usual; 4.438 million of the show’s audience were in that demographic, leading to the episode coming sixth for the most-watched show in the 18-49 demographic that week (second in scripted shows).

This brings the season average, so far, to 2.18*/6.9 and 5.096 million viewers. By this point last season, the average was 2.209/6.5 and 5.128 million viewers.


We’re still neck-and-neck with last season, down in 18-49s and in viewers but up share (suggesting there’s fewer viewers around), however, so far this season, we’ve had three (and is likely to be only three going forward into lower spring ratings) episodes above a 3.0. Last season there was only one, the aforementioned “Hurdles”.

Elsewhere on FOX, Son of Zorn once again showed its magical retention-losing powers – despite being boosted to a season high of 1.8 (in its regular timeslot, excluding its 2.4/8, 6.13m out-of-slot preview) and achieving 4.263 million viewers, it still lost 47.93% of The Simpsons‘ viewers and almost halved in 18-49 ratings. Family Guy also had a 1.8 rating but lost viewers to 3.996 million, with it and “Zorn” having the same shares with 6%. Bob’s Burgers rounded off FOX’s late-running night with a 1.5/5 and 3.581 million.

The “Golden Globes” averaged 20.016 million across its timeslot, with a 5.6 rating in 18-49s and a 17% share of the total audience. Overall, “The Simpsons” had around 40 million viewers on the other three broadcast networks to compete with – much higher than usual, so a good turnout. Fox’s football overrun had the night’s highest audience, however, with an average of 28.416 million over a four minute period from 7:58pm, which had a massive 9.4 rating to go along with it (there is a higher figure for the 7pm-8:10pm slot available, but this isn’t adjusted from the prelims so am not quoting it).

Without the Golden Globes as competition, ergo NBC’s line-up rating lesser, there is a chance “The Simpsons” could’ve been one to two million higher and maybe in the 4s for its demo rating.

Onto catch-up news now, and December’s Krustmassy episode posted a 2.6 rating after three days of catch-up, gaining 0.3 (13%) from its original 2.3 rating. That made the episode sixth for broadcast shows in 18-49 ratings in the week ending December 11, 2016. A nice end to the year.

FOX will be hoping for a similar figure for next week’s hour-long episode – and they’re bound to get a good one anyway, with the always reliable football lead-in.

For any UK fans out there, Season 28 launched on Sunday at 6pm on Sky1 with a double-bill; its second episode, “Friends and Family“, was seen by 583,000 viewers, around double what Sky1 usually gets in that slot, and on par with previous Simpsons returns. The first episode had 384,000 viewers, still up on the timeslot.

See you next Tuesday for that!

Sources: TVBytheNumbers, ShowBuzzDaily, SpottedRatings

(P.S.: For anyone wondering what I was going to post on New Year’s Eve, it would’ve been a review of 2016, but then thought it would be odd comparing the different ends of two seasons – you’ll see a review of Season 28 come the week after it finishes.)

‘Simpsons’ almost even with last week and last year with football lead-in

“The Night Before Christmas, and all through the states, TV analysts saw the year’s ratings were crap, but said ‘Hey, ho, what they hey?! Let’s keep the schedules low-rated; just Christmas part-ay!’*

*Excluding ‘The Simpsons‘, that’s doing alright. See the season average and how it compares. Damn. Couldn’t think of a rhyme for that one.”

‘Simpsons’ brought some Christmas cheer to FOX on Sunday night, alongside the high football overrun (5.0) and analysis programme (3.9), as it was the top-rated scripted show of the night. Although, that Christmas cheer soon became diluted thanks to the new live-action/animated hybrid.

In the preliminaries, it was looking exciting to be having not just a show be even week-on-week, but also year-on-year. Unfortunately, it had to adjust down in the finals, didn’t it, but the stability is encouraging. Despite the fact all three episodes we’re talking about here were boosted by football and this audience gain will be wiped out by the time Simpsons returns in January without football backup.

Sunday, December 11’s Christmas-themed, daughter-reuniting episode scored a 2.3/8 rating while entertaining 5.596 million viewers, down from last week’s 2.4 and 5.772 million, and more so in viewers from last year‘s 2.4 and 5.970 million. In whole audience share, however, Sunday’s episode was up a percent from last week and last year. All three episodes fell from the viewer numbers in preliminary figures.

Sunday’s episode ranked seventh in the most-watched broadcast shows of the week ending December 11th in 18-49s, with 3.011 million viewers in that age bracket.

The slightly reduced audience may have been due to the lessened number watching the football overrun and therefore there being fewer sticking around for the post-analysis show The OT, both of which declined 0.3 week-on-week, with the former losing 21,000 viewers and the latter 286,000.

Currently the season average is 2.06/6.7 and 4.784 million viewers. By this point last year, it was 2.07/6.2 and 4.852 million.

Once again, the show is irritatingly just short of last year’s average by the Christmas break, but it is clear to see the number of Americans watching TV has decreased – the show has declined marginally in viewers yet has increased marginally in audience share.

At the moment, “The Simpsons”, is, on average, FOX’s second-highest scripted show, below “Empire”. That’s got to be something after nearly 27 years (anniversary this Saturday).

The only other show on FOX to stay above the now-notable 3m barrier was Family Guy, with 3.047m and a 1.4/4. Son of Zorn continued its low retention rate, taking a chunk out of the NFL boost FOX received and The Simpsons inherited, on Sunday night losing 47.83% of Simpsons‘ 18-49 share and 48.61% of its viewers to just 1.2/4 and 2.876 million.

Opposite ‘Simpsons’ was an increased audience of 26-29 million viewers from last week’s ~21 million, and despite competition from ‘Frozen’, the second highest non-sport show of the night in 18-49s, Simpsons still came on top in scripted shows (in 18-49s, of course), coming third in scripted shows in viewers.

The largest audience of the night on US TV was the 8.7/26 and 26.499 million who tuned in to watch Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Meanwhile, in Live+3 ratings for the week ending December 4th, “The Simpsons” gained 0.2 (8% of its 2.4 Live+Same Day audience), to reach a 2.6 rating and tie eighth in the most-watched broadcast shows by 18-49s that week. Barring one occasion this season, “The Simpsons” only makes it into the Live+3 Top 25 chart when football precedes it. It came third for Fox’s most-watched shows in 18-49s for the week, under “Empire” (4.0) and just under “College FB – Top Ten Championship” (2.7).

The next ratings analysis will come on what is looking like 10th January, scrutinising the numbers for the show’s first hour-long extravaganza on January 8th (excluding that Morgan Spurlock hour-long 20th anniversary thing, of course). To be confirmed. the first new episode of the year, which sees the return of Spider-Pig.

(Although keep an eye out New Year’s Eve for something. To also be confirmed!)

Sources (forgot last week!): TVByTheNumbers, SpottedRatings, ShowBuzzDaily

‘Simpsons’ recuperates with football lead-in, tops night in scripted shows

“Keep it going, affairs always boost the ratings.”

I think FOX were strategic in scheduling two weeks straight of ‘Simpsons’ after football, in the hopes of it catching more viewers for later in the season. We’ll just have to see after the LONG gap for Christmas that is sure to kill all those additional viewers off. Not literally; hopefully it’s not going to be THAT cold. At least that’ll leave any thoughts the show will dip into low 1s and below 3 million viewers again for the year (in original eps) out of mind.

Sunday, December 4’s affair-cusping episode saw just under 6 million stick around with 5.772 million watching (down from 5.849 million in the preliminaries) and posting the season’s fourth rating over a 2.0, with 2.4/7 (was 2.368/7 in prelims, likely to be above 2.35 to two decimal places). Although, despite the high figure, it was the season’s lowest football-boosted episode so far, likely due to the lower rating for lead-in programme The OT (4.2/14 and 12.18m compared to its previous 6.7/21 and 18.557m on November 13th). At expected, it was up from the season low of 1.3/4 and 2.876 two weeks ago. The Simpsons was the night’s top scripted show in 18-49s, the second being Family Guy, regaining its crown above FG after a blip last time both aired originals.

The episode tied ninth in the most-watched shows by 18-49s for the week, and reportedly had a 53% skew of that audience. The equivalent episode last year was also boosted by football, with 2.3/7 and 5.528 million, meaning this year’s episode is up on that.

Sunday’s rating helped the season average scoot back above a 2 to 2.03/6.5 (keeping the same share), and 4.697 million viewers, compared with the average by the equivalent episode last season (when eight had been broadcast), with 2.04/6.1 and 4.713 million viewers. Basically, “The Simpsons” is on par by this point last season.

The improved Simpsons didn’t do much for Son of Zorn posting a low, but albeit, up 1.3/4 and 3.159m. Family Guy saw a nice boost to 1.6/5, with 3.433m, and The Last Man on Earth gained slightly as well to 1.1/3 and 2.477m.

Opposite ‘Simpsons’ there was around 21 million watching on other networks, lower than usual and down significantly from last week. The highest rated show on American TV that might was, expectedly, football; Sunday Night Football on NBC to be specific, which, from 8:30-11:45pm, scored a 6.1/19 rating and 17.75 million viewers.

See you next Tuesday for analysis of the numbers from the last original episode before Christmas, and the last ratings analysis of 2016 (or penultimate, hint, hint. Actually, I don’t see how that’s a hint – it doesn’t give away much.).