×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weekly Ratings: College Basketball Dominates; Mixed Bag for Religious Programming

One week after AMC’s “The Walking Dead” ended its season, the Final Four college basketball contest between Wisconsin and undefeated Kentucky towered over all other programs in the weekly rankings.

The Badgers’ upset victory over the Wildcats on Saturday night averaged a big 5.8 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 16.8 million viewers on TBS. But if you include the simulcasts on both TNT and truTV, the Turner networks combined to do a 7.3/23 in the demo and drew 22.63 million viewers overall — the largest audience for the round in 23 years.

That made it especially dominant in a holiday frame that saw reduced ratings for several shows later in the week. CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” for example, returned Thursday after a two-week hiatus to easily its lowest scores of the season. It wasn’t alone, though, as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” also hit lows on the night.

Last week saw mixed results for religious-themed programming, with NBC faring well with its Easter Sunday series premiere of “A.D. The Bible Continues” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 9.68 million viewers overall). Though it couldn’t come close to Part 1 of the History network’s miniseries “The Bible” in 2013 (3.3 in 18-49, 13.1 million viewers overall), it was NBC’s top series premiere of the season in several categories. (It’s worth noting that “The Bible” had the advantage of premiering in early March and not on a holiday weekend, and then concluded on Easter.)

Not faring as well was CBS’ two-night movie premiere “The Dovekeepers” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 8.98 million viewers overall on Tuesday and 0.9/3 in 18-49, 6.35 million viewers on Wednesday). On average, its four hours rated more than 40% lower in 18-49 than the regularly scheduled crime series on the network the previous week (0.95 vs. 1.7).

ABC saw stronger than usual scores for its annual telecast of 1956 theatrical classic “The Ten Commandments” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.88 million viewers overall). The net has been airing the movie on the Saturday before Easter in recent years, but moved it to Sunday this year to blunt the premiere of NBC’s “A.D. The Bible Continues.”

At Fox News Channel, Friday’s telecast of “Killing Jesus” averaged 1.86 million viewers including 385,000 adults 25-54, making the network No. 1 among cable newsies on the night. It was up vs. FNC’s performance on Good Friday last year by 24% in total viewers and a big 84% in the demo. Five days earlier, the premiere telecast of “Killing Jesus” drew 3.7 million viewers for National Geographic Channel — an all-time high for the network.

Overall for the week of March 30-April 5, according to Nielsen’s “live plus same-day” estimates, ABC prevailed in adults 18-49 by a narrow margin over NBC and CBS, with college basketball-boosted TBS and Univision rounding out the top five. ABC and CBS tied for the lead in adults 25-54 while the Eye easily won in total viewers.

The Alphabet had a good performance from its Wednesday comedy block, including rookie “Black-ish” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 7.43 million viewers overall), which logged its best scores of 2015. It retained a higher-than-usual 80% of its lead-in from “Modern Family” (3.0/10 in 18-49, 9.43 million viewers overall), which was the top show of the night in demos.

At Fox, the series premiere of comedy “Weird Loners” drew tiny ratings Tuesday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.89 million viewers overall), though it had a modest lead-in from “New Girl,” which hit season lows (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.32 million viewers overall). NBC, by comparison, looked pretty good in the same hour with its recent comedy additions “Undateable” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.98 million viewers overall) and “One Big Happy” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.82 million viewers overall).

Despite getting a softer lead-in this week from “The Voice” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 8.57 million viewers overall for a recap episode) and facing all firstrun Fox comedy competition for the first time, “Undateable” stood as the night’s top-rated comedy. And “One Big Happy” held all of its demo rating from the previous week, holding a best-yet 86% of “Undateable.”

CBS was led by “The Big Bang Theory” (3.4/14 in 18-49, 13.89 million viewers overall), though it was down a full ratings point from its prior original, and “NCIS” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 16.60 million viewers overall), which was Tuesday’s No. 1 show in demos and stood as the week’s most-watched series overall.

Of note at CW was a good week 3 hold by Tuesday drama “iZombie” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.81 million viewers overall). Teaming with “The Flash” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.67 million viewers overall), the network tied Fox for the night in 18-49 and pulled ahead in 18-34.

Univision moved to second place (behind ABC) for the week in adults 18-34 thanks to a strong premiere week for “Amores con Trampa” (Fooled into Love), which averaged 717,000 viewers in the demo for its five episodes in the 8 o’clock hour. Overall, the novela averaged a 1.2 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 3 million total viewers overall.

Comedy Central’s “Roast of Justin Bieber” on Monday averaged a strong 2.6/9 in adults 18-49 (among primetime’s top 5 programs of the week) and 4.4 million viewers overall. This is the third largest audience among the network’s 14 such events over the years, behind only Charlie Sheen in 2011 (6.4 million) and Jeff Foxworthy in 2005 (6.0 million).

At Starz, “Outlander” returned from its midseason hiatus with a solid 1.22 million viewers — in line with its prior season average even though it went up against the big college basketball game. It was also more than double the series’ premiere average from last summer (721,000). Women comprised roughly 62% of the Saturday tune-in, and about 59% of the 2.4 million viewers who watched over the weekend.

AMC’s return of “Mad Men” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.27 million viewers overall) matched the show’s year-ago premiere score and figures to see especially large DVR playback due to the Easter holiday.

 

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS
(Live plus same-day for March 30-April 5, 2015)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
ABC                    1.4/5
NBC                   1.3/4
CBS                    1.3/4
TBS                    1.2/4
UNI                    1.0/3
Fox                     0.9/3
TNT                   0.6/2
USA                   0.6/2
TEL                    0.6/2
CW                     0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS                    8.09
ABC                   6.43
NBC                   5.80
TBS                    3.48
Fox                     3.16
UNI                    2.61
TNT                    1.73
USA                    1.70
FNC                   1.70
TEL                    1.45

 

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day for March 30-April 5, 2015)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
1.  College basketball, Saturday: Kentucky vs. Wisconsin (TBS), 5.8/19*
2.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.4/14
3.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.2/10
4.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.0/10
5.  Roast of Justin Bieber (Comedy), 2.6/9
6.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.4/8
7.  A.D. The Bible Continues (NBC), 2.3/7
8.  NCIS (CBS), 2.2/8
8.  Survivor (CBS), 2.2/8
10.  Scandal (ABC), 2.1/7
10.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 2.1/6
12.  Mom (CBS), 2.0/7
12.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 2.0/7
12.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.0/7
12.  Scorpion (CBS), 2.0/6
16.  The Odd Couple (CBS), 1.9/7
16.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 1.9/7
18.  The Middle (ABC), 1.8/7
18.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 1.8/6
18.  The Big Bang Theory, 9 p.m.-r (CBS), 1.8/6
18.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 1.8/6
18.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 1.8/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  College basketball, Saturday: Kentucky vs. Wisconsin (TBS), 16.80*
2.  NCIS (CBS), 16.60
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 13.89
4.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.76
5.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.86
6.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.70
7.  A.D. The Bible Continues (NBC), 9.68
8.  Survivor (CBS), 9.59
9.  Modern Family (ABC), 9.43
10.  Scorpion (CBS), 9.38
11.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 9.27
12.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 9.17
13.  The Dovekeepers: Part 1 (CBS), 8.98
14.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 8.87
15.  The Odd Couple (CBS), 8.70
16.  Mom (CBS), 8.62
17.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 8.57
18.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 8.48
19.  The Big Bang Theory, 9 p.m.-r (CBS), 8.34
20.  Castle (ABC), 8.16

*the game also aired on TNT and truTV, with the three-network cume totals hitting 7.3/23 in 18-49 and 22.63 million viewers overall

 

 

More TV

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content