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Broadcast ratings update: What's a hit, what's not

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Sleepy Hallow

Big picture first: Fall was lousy for broadcast. Not one of the five major networks posted ratings gains, and three declined from last year (chart below).

NBC ranked first once again, but the network was down 9 percent overall among adults 18-49. CBS was down 7 percent. And Fox dropped a wince-inducing 16 percent. (Slotting three hours of Utopia didn’t help.) Only ABC and The CW managed to break even, with The CW also posting a 10 percent gain among total viewers.

Among individual shows, returning hits like CBS’ Big Bang Theory, ABC’s Scandal and Modern Family, and NBC’s The Blacklist and The Voice continued to top the chart. Best-performing first-season shows include ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder (the only new entertainment series to regularly reside in the Top 10 in the demo), along with Fox’s Gotham, CBS’ Scorpion, ABC’s Black-ish, CBS’ NCIS New Orleans and The CW’s The Flash. (That last one, of course, is graded on The CW’s own lower-standard ratings curve.)

On the other end of the spectrum, shows that are just barely surviving include The CW’s Reign, ABC’s Cristela, NBC’s About a Boy, and Fox’s The Mindy Project and NBC’s Constantine (which is semi-canceled; NBC has decided not to order more episodes beyond its initial 13, but is leaving open the possibility of another season). Other returning shows aren’t quite on death’s door yet, but notably tumbled compared to last season — like Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (which makes up some ground via DVR). Here’s a list canceled shows for more on who’s off the grid, and below are all the charts.

SEASON AVERAGES TO DATE (including 7 days of DVR playback) 

Adults 18-49

Net .. 2013-14…2014-15

NBC…3.2…2.9…Down 9%

CBS…2.7…2.5…Down 7%

ABC…2.4…2.4…Even

Fox…2.5…2.1…Down 16%

The CW …. 0.9 … 0.9 … Flat  

Total Viewers

Net .. 2013-14…2014-15

NBC…9.896 million …9.870 million…Down 0.3%

CBS…11.744 million…11.812 million… Up 1%

ABC…8.487 million …8.855 million…Up 4%

Fox…7.313 million …6.220 million…Down 15%

The CW … 2.068 million…2.279 million…Up +10%

Here are all the broadcast shows, ranked by the adults 18-49 rating that’s most commonly used to measure series performance (includes DVR playback) 

Rank Show Name Net 18-49
1 NBC NFL SUNDAY NT FOOTBALL NBC 7.7
2 BIG BANG THEORY CBS 6.1
3 CBS+NFLN THU NT FOOTBALL CBS 5.9
4 NBC NFL SUNDAY NT PRE-KICK NBC 5.6
5 MODERN FAMILY ABC 5.2
6 SCANDAL ABC 4.8
7 BLACKLIST NBC 4.6
BIG BANG THEORY-M 830P CBS 4.6
OT- FOX FOX 4.6
10 HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER ABC 4.4
11 VOICE NBC 4.2
12 FOOTBALL NT IN AMERICA 3 NBC 4.1
13 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 4.0
14 FAMILY GUY FOX 3.9
15 VOICE-TUE NBC 3.7
CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 3.7
GOTHAM FOX 3.7
18 SCORPION CBS 3.6
19 NCIS CBS 3.5
BLACK-ISH ABC 3.5
ONCE UPON A TIME ABC 3.5
22 SIMPSONS FOX 3.3
23 BIG BROTHER-WED CBS 3.2
24 CHICAGO FIRE NBC 3.0
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 3.0
26 SURVIVOR CBS 2.9
UNDER THE DOME CBS 2.9
GOLDBERGS ABC 2.9
29 MOM CBS 2.8
MARVEL AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC 2.8
31 LAW & ORDER:SVU NBC 2.7
2 BROKE GIRLS CBS 2.7
TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 2.7
34 CASTLE ABC 2.6
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE FOX 2.6
36 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 2.5
MIDDLE ABC 2.5
38 CHICAGO PD NBC 2.4
CBS+NFLN THU NT KICK-2 CBS 2.4
NCIS: LA CBS 2.4
PERSON OF INTEREST CBS 2.4
SHARK TANK ABC 2.4
SLEEPY HOLLOW FOX 2.4
44 PARENTHOOD NBC 2.3
60 MINUTES CBS 2.3
STALKER CBS 2.3
47 DANCING WITH THE STARS RSLTS ABC 2.2
NASHVILLE ABC 2.2
NEW GIRL FOX 2.2
50 MADAM SECRETARY CBS 2.1
RESURRECTION ABC 2.1
REVENGE ABC 2.1
53 GRIMM NBC 2.0
STATE OF AFFAIRS NBC 2.0
CSI CBS 2.0
GOOD WIFE CBS 2.0
MILLERS CBS 2.0
BONES FOX 2.0
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR FOX 2.0
FLASH CW 2.0
61 ELEMENTARY CBS 1.9
HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS 1.9
MIKE & MOLLY CBS 1.9
ABC SAT NIGHT COL FTBL(8:06P) ABC 1.9
FOREVER ABC 1.9
HELL’S KITCHEN FOX 1.9
67 FOOTBALL NT IN AMERICA 2 NBC 1.8
MARRY ME NBC 1.8
MYSTERIES OF LAURA NBC 1.8
BLUE BLOODS CBS 1.8
LAST MAN STANDING ABC 1.8
72 BIGGEST LOSER 16 NBC 1.7
AMAZING RACE CBS 1.7
MCCARTHYS CBS 1.7
UTOPIA FOX 1.7
76 CONSTANTINE NBC 1.6
MENTALIST CBS 1.6
20/20-FRI ABC 1.6
BOB’S BURGERS FOX 1.6
MINDY PROJECT FOX 1.6
RED BAND SOCIETY FOX 1.6
82 ABOUT A BOY NBC 1.5
DATELINE-FRI NBC 1.5
SELFIE ABC 1.5
SIMPSONS ENCORE FOX 1.5
86 BAD JUDGE NBC 1.4
FAMILY GUY-ENCORE FOX 1.4
ARROW CW 1.4
89 AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS ABC 1.3
GRACEPOINT FOX 1.3
SUPERNATURAL CW 1.3
VAMPIRE DIARIES CW 1.3
93 MIKE & MOLLY 2 CBS 1.2
CRISTELA ABC 1.2
MANHATTAN LOVE STORY ABC 1.2
96 A-TO-Z NBC 1.1
MODERN FAMILY-TUE 830P ABC 1.1
ORIGINALS CW 1.1
99 48 HOURS CBS 1.0
ABC SAT NIGHT COL FTBL-PREGM ABC 1.0
MULANEY FOX 1.0
UTOPIA-FRI FOX 1.0
103 SNL PRIME-SAT NBC 0.9
104 20/20-SAT ABC 0.8
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FOX-PRIME FOX 0.8
100, THE CW 0.8
107 CRIMETIME SAT-9P CBS 0.7
JANE THE VIRGIN CW 0.7
REIGN CW 0.7
WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY CW 0.7
111 CRIMETIME SAT-8P CBS 0.6
112 LAW & ORDER:SVU-SAT NBC 0.5
AMER NEXT TOP MODEL 21 CW 0.5

Here are all the broadcast shows ranked by total viewership (includes DVR playback). The numbers are partially cut off by Nielsen, so for example, “21138” for Sunday Night Football equals 21.1 million viewers) 

Rank Show Name Net Viewers
1 NBC NFL SUNDAY NT FOOTBALL NBC 21138
2 NCIS CBS 20583
3 BIG BANG THEORY CBS 19919
4 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 18406
5 CBS+NFLN THU NT FOOTBALL CBS 16812
6 BLACKLIST NBC 16372
7 NBC NFL SUNDAY NT PRE-KICK NBC 16024
8 BIG BANG THEORY-M 830P CBS 15842
9 SCORPION CBS 15153
10 MADAM SECRETARY CBS 15130
11 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 14673
12 CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 14142
13 60 MINUTES CBS 14052
14 MODERN FAMILY ABC 13975
15 SCANDAL ABC 13914
16 VOICE NBC 13820
17 BLUE BLOODS CBS 13776
18 HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER ABC 13494
19 GOOD WIFE CBS 13388
20 PERSON OF INTEREST CBS 13113
21 VOICE-TUE NBC 13071
22 CASTLE ABC 12537
23 OT- FOX FOX 12470
24 DANCING WITH THE STARS RSLTS ABC 12278
25 NCIS: LA CBS 12195
26 GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 12076
27 HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS 11922
28 FOOTBALL NT IN AMERICA 3 NBC 11757
29 MOM CBS 11459
30 UNDER THE DOME CBS 11267
31 CHICAGO FIRE NBC 11043
32 SURVIVOR CBS 10918
33 CSI CBS 10702
34 TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 10432
35 MYSTERIES OF LAURA NBC 10372
36 MENTALIST CBS 10274
37 BLACK-ISH ABC 10139
38 LAW & ORDER:SVU NBC 10045
39 STALKER CBS 10038
40 ELEMENTARY CBS 9844
41 ONCE UPON A TIME ABC 9738
42 CHICAGO PD NBC 9621
43 GOTHAM FOX 9374
44 2 BROKE GIRLS CBS 9139
45 MIDDLE ABC 8896
46 SHARK TANK ABC 8749
47 GOLDBERGS ABC 8692
48 BIG BROTHER-WED CBS 8280
49 STATE OF AFFAIRS NBC 8264
50 CBS+NFLN THU NT KICK-2 CBS 8256
51 MILLERS CBS 8178
52 MIKE & MOLLY CBS 8060
53 LAST MAN STANDING ABC 8024
54 FOREVER ABC 7812
55 BONES FOX 7641
56 NASHVILLE ABC 7462
57 MARVEL AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC 7395
58 DATELINE-FRI NBC 7358
59 MCCARTHYS CBS 7349
60 AMAZING RACE CBS 7329
61 FAMILY GUY FOX 7322
62 RESURRECTION ABC 7298
63 REVENGE ABC 7281
64 SIMPSONS FOX 7129
65 GRIMM NBC 7104
66 SLEEPY HOLLOW FOX 6684
67 PARENTHOOD NBC 6535
68 20/20-FRI ABC 6520
69 AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS ABC 6348
70 ABC SAT NIGHT COL FTBL(8:06P) ABC 6225
71 CRISTELA ABC 5868
72 48 HOURS CBS 5726
73 MARRY ME NBC 5686
74 BIGGEST LOSER 16 NBC 5618
75 MIKE & MOLLY 2 CBS 5614
76 MASTERCHEF JUNIOR FOX 5509
77 FOOTBALL NT IN AMERICA 2 NBC 5415
78 BAD JUDGE NBC 5355
79 FLASH CW 5353
80 BROOKLYN NINE-NINE FOX 5289
81 GRACEPOINT FOX 5165
82 ABOUT A BOY NBC 5027
83 HELL’S KITCHEN FOX 4949
84 RED BAND SOCIETY FOX 4866
85 CONSTANTINE NBC 4839
86 SELFIE ABC 4662
87 CRIMETIME SAT-9P CBS 4179
88 NEW GIRL FOX 4126
89 ABC SAT NIGHT COL FTBL-PREGM ABC 4063
90 20/20-SAT ABC 4038
91 UTOPIA FOX 3908
92 MANHATTAN LOVE STORY ABC 3867
93 SIMPSONS ENCORE FOX 3850
94 ARROW CW 3805
95 A-TO-Z NBC 3673
96 CRIMETIME SAT-8P CBS 3652
97 MODERN FAMILY-TUE 830P ABC 3342
98 BOB’S BURGERS FOX 3211
99 MINDY PROJECT FOX 3174
100 SNL PRIME-SAT NBC 3171
101 SUPERNATURAL CW 3099
102 FAMILY GUY-ENCORE FOX 2960
103 COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FOX-PRIME FOX 2620
104 VAMPIRE DIARIES CW 2598
105 UTOPIA-FRI FOX 2512
106 LAW & ORDER:SVU-SAT NBC 2445
107 MYSTERIES OF LAURA-SAT NBC 2434
108 100, THE CW 2274
109 MULANEY FOX 2204
110 ORIGINALS CW 2119
111 BONES-SAT FOX 1903
112 JANE THE VIRGIN CW 1798
113 WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY CW 1764
114 REIGN CW 1756
115 CRIMINAL MINDS-TUE 9P ION 1543
116 AMER NEXT TOP MODEL 21 CW 1518