Finally, We Have Accurate Weekly Ratings for Week Three as Nielsen Sorts Out Its Glitch

Oct 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen appears to have ironed out a glitch in its measurement system that skewed results for months and created ratings headaches for the start of the fall season.

Writing in Variety, Rick Kissell reports that the ratings company issued its Live+Same Day numbers for week three of the season — two days later than usual, coming out on Thursday rather than Tuesday — and notes that “things started to get back to normal this week.”

The top spots in the weekly rankings — especially in the key demo of viewers 18-49 — are dominated by football, with one big exception: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is the top show by a comfortable margin, with an 8.7 average rating.

The next three spots go to NFL games: NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (New York Giants vs. Philadelphia) with a 6.6 average in 18-49, CBS’s “Thursday Night Football” (Indianapolis vs. Houston) with a 5.4, and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” (Seattle vs. Washington) with a 4.8.

In the No. 5 position is the highest-ranked scripted broadcast show, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” with a 4.6 average.

Rounding out the Top 10 for week three: No. 6 “The Voice” (Monday), NBC (3.8 average in 18-49); No. 7 (tie) “Modern Family,” ABC (3.5); No. 7 (tie) “Talking Dead,” AMC (3.5); No. 9 “The Simpsons,” Fox (3.3); No. 10 (tie) “American Horror Story,” FX (3.1); No. 10 (tie) “How to Get Away With Murder,” ABC (3.1).

The rankings for total viewers show a stronger broadcast presence, with a number of CBS’s dramas in particular making their way into the top 10. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” however, claims the top spot with 18.09 million viewers.

CBS programming owns five of the week’s top 10 spots in total viewers, including three drama series: “NCIS” in the No. 2 position with 17.30 million viewers, “NCIS: New Orleans” at No. 6 with 15.41 million and “Scorpion” at No. 10 with 12.05 million.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” slips to No. 3 in total viewers with 17.29 million, followed by CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” at No. 4 with 15.94 million and CBS’s “Thursday Night Football” at No. 5 with 15.85 million.

Others making the top 10 are ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” at No. 7 with 13.12 million total viewers, NBC’s “The Voice” at No. 8 with 12.58 million and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” at No. 9 with 12.32 million.

Commenting on the Nielsen technical glitch, Kissell writes: “Nielsen acknowledged its error late last week and re-issued program averages for premiere week (Sept. 22-28). A bunch of ABC series were revised downward in the updated nationals, while some shows on the competition (including Fox’s new ‘Gotham’ and CBS veteran ‘The Big Bang Theory’) were revised upward.”

Revised figures for week two of the fall season have yet to be released and are expected soon, as Nielsen continues to adjust its data. Kissell notes that sorting out week three didn’t take the ratings service as long because the glitch was corrected just over a week ago and Nielsen’s figures have been accurate since last Thursday.

Broadcast rankings by network for Week 3, Oct. 6-12, are as follows:

Adults 18-49 (Live+Same Day)
NBC: 2.3 average rating
CBS: 2.1
Fox: 1.8
ABC: 1.8
Univision: 1.0
CW: 0.8
Telemundo: 0.5

Total viewers (Live+Same Day)

CBS: 10.32 million
NBC: 8.12 million
ABC: 7.08 million
Fox: 5.45 million
Univision: 2.80 million
CW: 2.01 million
Telemundo: 1.11 million

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