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Ratings: ‘People v. O.J. Simpson,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ Big Gainers in 3-Day Viewing

Ratings may continue to sag for 10 p.m. dramas across the primetime schedule, but they are also the shows that derive the biggest portion of their young-adult audience from delayed viewing.

Last week, according to Nielsen’s “live plus 3” estimates (which include early DVR playback and VOD), 10 p.m. dramas on cable and broadcast accounted for the six biggest percentage lifts from their same-day averages in adults 18-49. Viewing levels tend to decline as the night wears on, and many viewers have long abandoned the idea of watching their favorite 10 p.m. dramas same-night.

FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” again more than doubled its same-day 18-49 rating in “live plus-3,” rising 110% for the biggest percentage gain of any of primetime’s top 100 shows in the demo (see chart). It ranked among the week’s top 15 series in the demo, and placed seventh among all scripted programs, behind only “The Walking Dead,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “Blindspot” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” In total viewers, it ranked second among cable dramas with 6.17 million.

The only other series to grow by 100% or more in “live plus-3” for the March 7-13 frame was AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” which doubled its same-day rating (0.94 to 1.88) while drawing 4.26 million total viewers. History’s “Vikings” came close, rising 97% (0.68 to 1.34) for the show’s top rating in the three weeks since its season premiere; it ranked fourth among scripted cable programs for the week.

ABC’s “Quantico,” in its second week back, grew 83% in 18-49 (1.10 to 2.01), vaulting from the No. 9-ranked Sunday broadcast in “same-day” to No. 2 in L3. This actually represented the show’s smallest raw L3 lift to date, though, as it had been growing more than 90% many weeks last fall, and the 2.01 represents its lowest score.

Two female-fronted dramas airing Thursday at 10 also showed more spikes, with ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” starring Viola Davis vaulting 91% (to 2.62) and NBC’s “Shades of Blue” starring Jennifer Lopez leaping 82% (to 1.84).

Among the shows breaking up the 10 p.m. logjam on the list of biggest L3 percentage gainers in 18-49 last week were a pair of Bravo reality series. “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” nearly doubled its same-day rating (going from 0.63 to 1.23), and “Vanderpump Rules” spiked by 87% (0.68 to 1.27).

Overall, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” again towered over everything else in primetime among adults 18-49, averaging an 8.2 rating — more than 50% above runner-up “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS (5.1). Still, this was the zombie drama’s lowest rating in a few seasons.

Among other highlights, TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” drew its best numbers in four 2016 airings to date, ranking ninth among all scripted cable series in 18-49 (0.89), fifth in 25-54 (1.27) and third in total viewers (5.28 million).

At Showtime, “Shameless” hit a season high with 2.604 million viewers in Live+3; as a premium cabler, it doesn’t sell advertising, but the show’s 18-49 rating (1.10) ranked fifth among all scripted cable series for the week. “Billions” (2.013 million) was up a little for its largest audience since Jan. 25.

HBO continued to struggle to draw in the masses for its Sunday programs “Vinyl” (908,000) and “Girls” (818,000), even if the former edged up to a three-week high.

(Among the Top 100 primetime shows)
                                                                           L+SD ….. L+3 …….. % lift
1.  The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX) …………. 1.24 ……… 2.60 …….. +110%
2.  Better Call Saul (AMC) ……………………… 0.94 ……… 1.88 …….. +100%
3.  Vikings (History) …………………………….. 0.68 ……… 1.34 ……… +97%
4.  Real Housewives of B.H. (Bravo) …………. 0.63 ……… 1.23 ……… +95%
5.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) …….. 1.37 ………. 2.62 …….. +91%
6.  Vanderpump Rules (Bravo) ………………… 0.68 ……… 1.27 ……… +87%
7.  Quantico (ABC) ……………………………… 1.10 ………. 2.01 ……… +83%
8.  Shades of Blue (NBC) ………………………. 1.01 ………. 1.84 ………. +82%
9.  Teen Mom (MTV) ……………………………. 0.70 ……… 1.26 ………. +80%
10.  Grimm (NBC) ……………………………….  0.89 ……… 1.58 ………  +78%

(Week of March 7-13, 2016)

Adults 18-49 rating
1.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 8.2
2.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.1
3.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.9
4.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.7
5.  Little Big Shots-Tuesday (NBC), 3.4
5.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 3.4
7.  Little Big Shots (NBC), 3.2
8.  Scandal (ABC), 2.84
9.  Blindspot (NBC), 2.80
10.  Survivor (CBS), 2.75
11.  Talking Dead (AMC), 2.71
12.  The Bachelor (ABC), 2.68
13.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 2.62
14.  The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX), 2.60
15.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 2.58
16.  GOP Florida Debate (CNN), 2.47
17.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 2.33
18.  The Voice-Wednesday (NBC), 2.24
18.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.24
18.  Gotham (Fox), 2.24
21.  Mom (CBS), 2.19
22.  Lucifer (Fox), 2.10
23.  Quantico (ABC), 2.01
24.  Family Guy (Fox), 1.93
25.  Better Call Saul (AMC), 1.88
25.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 1.88
25.  Limitless (CBS), 1.88
28.  Shark Tank (ABC), 1.86
28.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 1.86
30.  Shades of Blue (NBC), 1.84
30.  Fresh Off the Boat (ABC), 1.84

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.72
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 16.74
3.  Little Big Shots-Sunday (NBC), 16.34
4.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 15.27
5.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 15.04
6.  Little Big Shots-Tuesday (NBC), 14.65
7.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 13.32
8.  GOP Florida Debate (CNN), 12.07
9.  Survivor (CBS), 10.94
10.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 10.51
11.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 10.39
12.  Life in Pieces (CBS), 10.10
13.  Blindspot (NBC), 10.06
14.  The Voice-Wednesday (NBC), 9.93
15.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 9.70
16.  Mom (CBS), 9.38
17.  60 Minutes (CBS), 9.11
18.  Scandal (ABC), 8.85
19.  NCIS: New Orleans-r (CBS), 8.83
20.  The Bachelor (ABC), 8.57
21.  NCIS-r (CBS), 8.56
22.  Castle (ABC), 8.53
23.  Elementary (CBS), 8.44
24.  CSI: Cyber (CBS), 8.17
25.  Shades of Blue (NBC), 8.09
26.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 8.08
27.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 7.95
28.  Little Big Shots, Sunday 7 p.m.-r (NBC), 7.87
29.  Limitless (CBS), 7.81
30.  Last Man Standing (ABC), 7.71

Source: Nielsen (Each 18-49 ratings point represents roughly 1.27 million viewers)


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