Weekly Ratings: ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Puts FXX Atop Week’s Cable Rankings in Young Adults

The Simpsons Renewed

The Simpsons” has helped put FXX on the TV map for many Americans, as a marathon of the long-running animated comedy lifted the nascent network to ratings heights.

Last week, FXX was the top-rated primetime cable network in adults 18-34 (616,000 viewers), according to Nielsen — and not too far behind overall leaders NBC (660,000) and Univision (650,000). This is especially impressive because FXX, which launched just one year ago, is available in only 74 million homes.

It also ranked second among cable networks in adults 18-49 (932,000), behind only ESPN, and eighth in total viewers (1.43 million).

Over the course of its 12-night run, the 552-episode “Simpsons” marathon has often drawn five and six times what FXX had averaged in the timeslot this summer. The network had hovered around the No. 50 mark in primetime 18-49 rankings in the weeks leading up to the arrival.

Overall for the week of August 25-31, it was NBC — boosted by the Primetime Emmy Awards — that finished on top in adults 18-49 (1.3 rating/5 share). It was followed by Univision (1.1/4), ABC and CBS (both 1.0/3), Fox (0.8/3)  and ESPN and FXX (both rounding to a 0.7/2).

The Peacock, coming off its first regular-season primetime triumph in a decade, won 11 of 14 weeks among the Big Four networks this summer. It also was the leader in adults 25-54, while CBS edged ahead in total viewers.

Last week for NBC kicked off with the Primetime Emmys, which were telecast on a Monday for the first time in nearly 40 years but didn’t seem too affected ratings-wise. The net’s coverage generated the event’s second biggest overall audience in eight years (15.59 million) and matched the second best in the last seven years in adults 18-49 rating (4.2/14 share).

On the series side, both editions of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” ranked among the week’s top 10 programs in 18-49, and Tuesday’s performance show was the frame’s most-watched series telecast (9.52 million).

The only series to rate higher than “Talent” was CBS’ “Big Brother,” whose three editions once again ranked among the week’s top five shows in adults 18-49.

Among other highlights was a series high on Sunday for CBS’ rookie drama “Reckless” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.36 million viewers overall), as both it and lead-in “Unforgettable” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 6.02 million viewers overall) seemed to benefit from ABC airing the MDA Telethon (which had no reported ratings since it didn’t feature commercial spots).

The top cable program in adults 18-49 was the “Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta” reunion show Monday on VH1 (2.1/7 in 18-49, 3.98 million viewers overall). Also scoring were E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 2.85 million viewers overall), which was Sunday’s No. 2 show on all of television (behind only “Big Brother”), and Discovery’s hot “Fast N’ Loud” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.69 million viewers overall), which was Monday’s No. 1 series on all of television in key male demos.

Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” wrapped its second season Sunday with its largest audience of the summer (1.489 million) — up 14% week to week (from 1.35 million) and the show’s biggest tune-in since its fourth episode in 2013 (1.52 million). During its freshman year, “Donovan” closed with 1.41 million viewers, but that night it benefited from airing behind the “Dexter” series finale.

The network’s “Masters of Sex” hasn’t held up as well in its second year, and closed on the low side of its range for the season (726,000). In its first season, behind “Homeland” last fall, “Masters of Sex” drew 1.21 million viewers for its regular-timeslot telecast.

In the busy news month of August, Fox News led the way with an average adults 25-54 audience of 320,000 — ahead of CNN (214,000), MSNBC (152,000) and HLN (126,000). In total viewers, FNC (1.782 million) beat the combined tallies of CNN (629,000), MSNBC (571,000) and HLN (361,000).

CNN made the biggest year-over-year gains and leapfrogged MSNBC, which was the only cable newsie to be down vs. last year.


(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
NBC             1.3/5
UNI             1.1/4
ABC             1.0/4
CBS             1.0/4
Fox              0.8/3
ESPN          0.7/3
FXX            0.7/3
TEL             0.6/2

Total Viewers
NBC               5.84 million
CBS               5.26 million
ABC               3.97 million
UNI                2.78 million
ESPN             2.42 million
Fox                 2.26 million
USA                1.89 million
Disney           1.61 million
TNT               1.61 million
Fox News      1.60 million

(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Primetime Emmy Awards (NBC), 4.2/14
2.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 2.3/9
3.  America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 2.1/7
3.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 2.1/7
5.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 2.0/8
5.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 2.0/7
7.  Saturday Night Football: Florida State-Oklahoma State (ABC), 1.9/8
8.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 1.8/6
8.  College football: LSU-Wisconsin (ESPN), 1.8/7
10.  Hotel Hell (Fox), 1.6/5
11.  Modern Family, 9:30-r (ABC), 1.5/5
11.  Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!), 1.5/5
13.  Bachelor in Paradise-Tuesday (ABC), 1.4/5
13.  Modern Family-r (ABC), 1.4/5
13.  Under the Dome (CBS), 1.4/4
16.  NASCAR Sprint Cup (ESPN), 1.3/6
16.  Bachelor in Paradise (ABC), 1.3/4
16.  Fast N’ Loud (Discovery), 1.3/4
16.  WWE Raw (USA), 1.3/4
20.  T.I. and Tiny (VH1), 1.2/3

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Primetime Emmy Awards (NBC), 15.59
2. America’s Got Talent-Tuesday (NBC), 9.52
3.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 9.46
4.  NCIS-r (CBS), 8.99
5.  60 Minutes (CBS), 7.16
6.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 6.88
7.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 6.71
8.  Under the Dome (CBS), 6.60
9.  Saturday Night Football: Florida State-Oklahoma State (ABC), 6.03
10.  Unforgettable (CBS), 6.02
11.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 5.86
12.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 5.70
13.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 5.68
14.  Extant (CBS), 5.67
15.  America’s Got Talent-Wednesday (NBC), 5.55
16.  MasterChef (Fox), 5.47
17.  Hawaii Five-O (CBS), 5.22
18.  NASCAR Sprint Cup (ESPN), 5.21
19.  Bachelor in Paradise-Tuesday (ABC), 5.07
20.  Mike & Molly-r (CBS), 4.85

Source: Nielsen (English-language programs only)
Each 18-49 ratings point represents roughly 1.3 million viewers


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