UPDATED: The Seattle Seahawks fought hard for their 30-29 victory over the Los Angeles Rams last night in what was a thriller of Thursday Night Football that delivered a nightly ratings win for the network.
On the entertainment side, most series held steady week-to-week, with new shows still low in Live+Same Day deliveries, including numbers we rarely see on a Big 4 network, a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating and 1.28 million viewers for freshman NBC comedy Sunnyside.
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A solid West Coast representation for the NFL, the second week of this season of TNF on Fox had everything you’d want in a primetime game. The drama, the twists, the change of fortune and of course that throw by Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and that gravity defying and full extension touchdown catch by Tyler Lockett in the first quarter that made it clear to viewers at home and the packed hometown stadium that the Super Bowl XLVIII winners hadn’t just come to play against the Super Bowl LIII contenders.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 4, 2019
And, as the game caught fire on social media last night, the ratings reflected that America was watching.
Scoring a 3.7/18 rating in fast affiliate results and 12.05 million viewers, the Seahawks vs., Rams grinder was pretty much a win all round for the sports heavy Murdoch-owned network.
Now, on the first day of no more metered market results from Nielsen and the introduction of the data company’s expanded metrics with Portable People Meter measurement, we all know that fast affiliates are fluid at best and often see changes in the final numbers – especially with live events like NFL games and award shows.
Having said that, in the fast affiliates, last night’s TNF was steady with last week’s season opener. Dipping a negligible 5% among adults 18-49 from the Philadelphia Eagles win over the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks’ victory last night was also down 5% in total viewers in the now first round of ratings.
However, year-to-year, it was a very different game.
The Seahawks’ win soared up 23% in the key demo over the comparable match-up of the big market New England Patriots and Tom Brady and the losing Indianapolis Colts. Looking a total sets of eyeballs, last night’s TNF was up 26% over the second TNF of last season on Fox.
There are a number reasons for the rise, but, with a far wider spread of 38-24, the October 4, 2018 just didn’t have the edge of your sofa feel of last night A reality that in an era of Twitter and more can lack the pull to get viewers tuning in as the game progresses. A breakdown of the fast affiliates from last night show that viewership took a distinct uptick midway through the first quarter – which is when things really started to get interesting on the field.
Last year’s TNF Week 2 went on to pull a 4.3.19 key demo rating and 13.22 million viewers. Last week’s season opener adjusted up to a 5.6/29 rating and an audience of 17.62 million. With both teams being from the West Coast, expect to see even greater adjustments as those local market results from LA and Seattle pump up the volume, so to speak.
After the sticker shock of Premiere Week when we had to adjust to the new normal of low Live+Same Day levels, Week 2 has been more mellow, with most series holding steady and quite a few adding a few eyeballs.
That also was the case last night.
Two of NBC’s returning series, Superstore (0.8, 2.8 million), which paid tribute to late co-star Linda Porter, and Law & Order: SVU (0.7, 3.3 million), and one of the two new ones, Perfect Harmony (0.5, 2.1 million) held steady in the demo from last week. While a 0.5 L+SD 18-49 rating is hardly a cause of celebration, it is better than the Week 2 delivery of fellow NBC newbie, Sunnyside (0.3, 1.28 million3), which slipped from its paltry premiere delivery.
Even with the new (low) ratings standards this fall, it is unclear how long NBC will be able to put up with such numbers as Sunnyside also is hurting veteran Law & Order: SVU, which is facing an uphill battle every week building onto a minuscule lead-in. As a result, 74 % more of the veteran drama’s ratings come from digital viewing this season vs. last.
After strong Live+3 lifts, CBS freshman drama’ Evil (0.6, 4.3 million) was steady in the demo in Week 2 while slipping just a bit in viewers.Young Sheldon (1.0, 8.1 million) was on par with its fast nationals last week and once again was the most watched entertainment program on Thursday. Newbies The Unicorn (0.8, 6 million) and Carol’s Second Act (0.7, 5.7 million), which was the most watched new series of Premiere Week in L+3,, as well as veteran Mom (0.8, 6.4 million) also all held steady.
ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (1.3, 6 million) was off by .2 in the demo from its Season 16 premiere last week to to match a L+SD demo low and deliver its second-smallest viewership ever. A Million Little Things (0.9, 4.8 million) and HTGAWM (0.5, 2.7 million) were each down a tenth in the demo; HTGAWM matched a demo low.