Delayed Viewing: ABC’s ‘Quantico’ Sees Biggest Lift Yet in 3-Day Ratings

'Quantico' Ratings: Record High in Delayed
Courtesy of ABC

ABC’s rookie drama “Quantico,” already a big gainer in delayed viewing ratings, saw its largest lift yet in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates last week and hit a four-week high overall.

Other three-day ratings highlights for the Nov. 9-15 frame included season-high adults 18-49 ratings for ABC’s “Last Man Standing,” CW’s “The Flash” and the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” And at AMC, “Into the Badlands” didn’t have the biggest lift in delayed viewing but wound up as the No. 3-rated premiere in cable history among adults 18-49.

Looking at “Quantico,” Nielsen estimates that the Sunday series averaged a 2.85 rating in adults 18-49 for its Nov. 15 episode — up 123% from its “live plus same-day” rating reported on Monday (1.33). This is the third straight week that the show has more than doubled its rating with three days’ of time-shifted viewing via DVR playback and VOD.

The 123% lift is the highest for any program this fall. Last week, the next highest percentage lifts among shows in the top 100 were FX’s “American Horror Story” (up 92%), Comedy Central’s “South Park” (80%) and CBS’ “Elementary” (78%).

“Quantico” ranked 20th among all primetime programs in 18-49 and 14th among scripted series. Among the shows the ABC rookie surpassed in L+3 after lagging them in same-day numbers were “Survivor” (2.71), “American Horror Story” (2.68) and “The Blacklist” (2.52). In total viewers, “Quantico” spiked 89% to 7.93 million viewers.

The record L+3 lift for “Quantico” this time is a little surprising considering the show had its strongest same-day lead-in to date (1.6, courtesy of an expanded episode of “Once Upon a Time”). But it could signal an unwillingness by some fans to lose themselves in the terrorist-themed drama just a couple of days after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Another factor in the “Quantico” surge in delayed viewing last week may have been AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” which premiered Sunday at 10 p.m., behind the network’s megahit “The Walking Dead” and directly opposite the ABC drama. “Badlands” grew by 29% from its same-day score to its Live+3 result in both adults 18-49 (3.1 to 4.0) and total viewers (6.39 million to 8.22 million).

In Live+3, “Badlands” ranks third among the top-rated cable premieres of all time in adults 18-49, behind only AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul” this year — both of which had a “Walking Dead” lead-in. After finishing neck and neck in 18-49 with CBS’ “Supergirl” and NBC’s “Blindspot” as the top-rated new series of the fall in “live plus same-day” ratings, “Badlands” fell behind both of these broadcast series in delayed viewing. “Blindspot” leads all fall premieres in L+3 with a 4.4 rating, and “Supergirl” is No. 2 (4.1).

Last week’s “Blindspot,” the fall’s top-rated new broadcast series, continued its steady ways (3.7 in 18-49, 12.03 million viewers overall) and has been between a 3.5 and 3.7 demo rating for its last four airings. In its third week, “Supergirl” (2.47 in 18-49, 10.09 million viewers overall) was down 16% in the demo from week two (a slightly better showing than the 22% decline it saw in same-day rating) and in total viewers it was down by 10%.

ABC had a weak Tuesday, starting with both “The Muppets” (down 13% in 18-49 to 1.62) and “Fresh Off the Boat” (down 11% to 1.85) at season lows; the former was at less than half its good premiere rating (3.8). “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” also was at lows (2.07 in 18-49, 5.27 million total viewers), and of course “Wicked City” dropped to numbers (0.71 in 18-49, 2.52 million) that clinched its cancellation.

Also for the Alphabet, “Dancing With the Stars” hit an in-season high in 18-49 Monday (2.32), behind only its Sept. 14 preseason premiere (2.54), but “Castle” had its second lowest score of the season (1.74) and its lowest overall audience (9.17 million).

At CBS, “NCIS” (3.0 in 18-49, 19.92 million) hit a seven-week high in the demo and leap-frogged “Sunday Night Football” (19.47) as the week’s No. 1 primetime program in total viewers. And capping Tuesday for the Eye, “Limitless” (2.27 in 18-49, 9.61 million) remained in the same solid 2.24-2.29 range it has been for five weeks now.

“The Big Bang Theory” hit season lows (5.3 in 18-49, 18.74 million viewers overall) but ranked as the No. 2 broadcast entertainment series in both categories. And first-year hospital drama “Code Black” edged up to its second-highest 18-49 rating to date (1.77), helping earn it an order of five additional episodes from CBS.

NBC’s “The Voice” was Tuesday’s top show in 18-49 with the same 3.3 rating it has done with its last four firstrun episodes on the night. Its two-hour installment led into “Chicago Fire,” which hit a season high in the demo (2.96) while also climbing to a new season best in total viewers for a fourth straight week. One night later, a rare “Voice” airing leading off the night helped propel “Law & Order: SVU” (3.1) and “Chicago PD” (2.56) to season highs in 18-49.

“The Blacklist” delivered its lowest demo score of the season (2.52) and its second smallest overall audience (10.58 million), and lead-out “The Player” hit a low (1.16) as it neared its finale.

Fox’s “Empire” (5.9 in 18-49, 14.69 million viewers overall) hit season lows for a sixth straight airing since its premiere (although that streak could come to an end based on an uptick in same-day ratings during the current week).

At ABC, “Scandal” matched its season low in 18-49 (3.5), but “How to Get Away With Murder” (3.4) edged up one week from its fall finale. Friday’s “Dr. Ken” fell a bit to hit its low (1.55 in 18-49, 6.27 million) even as lead-in “Last Man Standing” surged to season highs (1.88 in 18-49, 9.10 million). The Tim Allen comedy saw its biggest L+3 spike of the fall (0.57).

CW’s “The Flash” hit a season high in 18-49 (2.20 rating) while staying above the 5-million total viewer mark for the fifth time in six airings this season. Among Tuesday shows, its demo score topped all four of the night’s comedies on ABC and Fox as well as dramas “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (2.07) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (2.18). “iZombie” had its second highest 18-49 rating (0.89) and overall viewer count (1.97 million).

Also for CW, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” hit a high in 18-49 (0.38) while drawing its second largest overall audience to date (1.06 million).

Of note in cable, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” posted its lowest scores of the fall (8.7 in 18-49, 17.02 million viewers overall) but it still towered over every other primetime program for the week in 18-49. Another cable biggie, FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel,” also hit a season low (2.68 in 18-49).

It was a good week for a pair of Tuesday series that score well with African-Americans. BET’s “Being Mary Jane” (1.42 in 18-49, 2.71 million viewers overall) and OWN’s “If Loving You Is Wrong” (0.99, 2.93 million) both logged their second best numbers of the fall.

TLC had a good Sunday with season highs for “Sister Wives” (0.98 in 18-49, 2.93 million) and “90 Day Fiance” (0.77 in 18-49, 1.87 million). The latter also posted its top scores since the show’s season 1 finale in all key female demos, ranking behind only AMC’s “Into the Badlands” among Sunday 10 p.m. programs.

Discovery’s “Alaskan Bush People” delivered its highest-rated season premiere scores to date last Wednesday (1.55 in 18-49, 4.96 million). It teamed with the season premiere of “Men, Women, Wild” at 10 p.m. (0.51 in 18-49, 1.56 million) to make the network No. 1 on cable for the night in men 25-54 and total viewers.

The premiere of animated series “Goldie and Bear” on the 24-hour Disney Junior channel ranked as the No. 2 highest-rated preschooler series debut of 2015 to date among kids 2-5 (548,000) — behind only another new Disney Junior series, “Miles From Tomorrowland.” Also, its launch on Disney Channel’s Disney Junior block was the No. 1 preschooler series debut of the year in total viewers (1.539 million) as well as adults 18-49.


(Live+ 3; Nov. 9-15, 2015)

ADULTS 18-49 rating
1.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 8.7
2.  Sunday Night Football: Ariozna-Seattle (NBC), 7.0
3.  Empire (Fox), 5.9
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.3
5.  Modern Family (ABC), 4.2
5.  Monday Night Football: Chicago-San Diego (ESPN), 4.2
7.  Into the Badlands (AMC), 4.0
8.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.9
9.  Blindspot (NBC), 3.7
10.  60 Minutes (CBS), 3.6
11.  Scandal (ABC), 3.5
12.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 3.4
12.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 3.4
14.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.3
15.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 3.1
16.  NCIS (CBS), 3.0
17.  Chicago Fire (NBC), 2.96
18.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.91
19.  The Voice-Wednesday special (NBC), 2.89
20.  Quantico (ABC), 2.85
21.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.75
22.  Survivor (CBS), 2.71
23.  American Horror Story (FX), 2.68
24.  Wisconsin Republican Debate (FBN), 2.61
25.  Scorpion (CBS), 2.60
26.  Thursday Night Football: Buffalo-NY Jets (NFLN), 2.60
27.  Chicago PD (NBC), 2.56
28.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.55
29.  The Blacklist (NBC), 2.52
30.  Supergirl (CBS), 2.47
31.  The Middle (ABC), 2.45
32.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 2.40
33.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 2.36
34.  Gotham (Fox), 2.34
35.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 2.32
36.  Limitless (CBS), 2.27
37.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.24
38.  The Flash (CW), 2.20
39.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 2.18
40.  Talking Dead (AMC), 2.09
41.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 2.07
41.  Shark Tank (ABC), 2.07
43.  Family Guy (Fox), 2.03
44.  Mom (CBS), 1.98
45.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox), 1.91
46.  Love & Hip Hop Hollywood (VH1), 1.89
47.  Last Man Standing (ABC), 1.88
48.  Saturday Night Football: Oklahoma-Baylor (ABC), 1.87
49.  Fresh Off the Boat (ABC), 1.85
50.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 1.84

TOTAL VIEWERS (in millions)
1.  NCIS (CBS), 19.92
2.  Sunday Night Football: Arizona-Seattle (NBC), 19.47
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.74
4.  60 Minutes (CBS), 18.52
5.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 17.02
6.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 14.73
7.  Empire (Fox), 14.69
8.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 14.04
9.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 14.03
10.  Wisconsin Republican Debate (FBN), 14.02
11.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 13.91
12.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 12.56
13.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 12.55
14.  Scorpion (CBS), 12.39
15.  Blindspot (NBC), 12.03
16.  The Voice-Wednesday special (NBC), 11.76
17.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 11.52
18.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.44
19.  Modern Family (ABC), 11.32
20.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 11.22
21.  Chicago Fire (NBC), 11.11
22.  Scandal (ABC), 10.84
23.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 10.79
24.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 10.65
25.  Survivor (CBS), 10.63
26.  The Blacklist (NBC), 10.58
27.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.50
28.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 10.38
29.  Supergirl (CBS), 10.09
30.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 9.99
31.  Chicago PD (NBC), 9.84
32.  Limitless (CBS), 9.61
33.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 9.37
34.  Castle (ABC), 9.17
35.  Code Black (CBS), 9.16
36.  Last Man Standing (ABC), 9.10
37.  Democratic Debate (CBS), 8.55
38.  The Middle (ABC), 8.83
39.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 8.74
40.  Mom (CBS), 8.60
41.  Into the Badlands (AMC), 8.22
42.  Elementary (CBS), 8.13
43.  Black-ish (ABC), 7.95
44.  Quantico (ABC), 7.93
45.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 7.85
46.  Thursday Night Football: Buffalo-NY Jets (CBS), 7.62
47.  CSI: Cyber (CBS), 7.55
48.  The Amazing Race (CBS), 7.36
49.  Shark Tank (ABC), 7.33
50.  Bones (Fox), 6.95

Source: Nielsen (Live+3)

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  1. EK says:

    Plus 3 & Plus 7 will increase in coming weeks as people move out and about during the holiday season and keep those DVR’s whirring on overdrive. Viewing will also diffuse with device usage reflecting mobility of the audience.

    Now that Fox is ignoring overnights and Moonves has said that they are irrelevant, the plus numbers gain in significance. Still an imperfect system though.

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