TV Long View: Hidden Numbers From the 2018-19 Season

Digging below the surface of the Nielsen ratings reveals a lot more about the season that just finished.
Ron Batzdorff/NBC; Michael Yarish/CBS; Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO
From left: 'This Is Us,' 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Game of Thrones'

The 2018-19 TV season is (mostly) in the books, and the traditional ratings numbers have been tallied, the winners and losers identified.

Digging under those surface numbers, however, reveals a more complete picture of the season that just finished. Here are some of the hidden figures of 2018-19.

3: Non-sports shows with same-day adults 18-49 ratings of 2.0 or better: Fox's The Masked Singer (2.6), CBS' The Big Bang Theory (2.2) and NBC's This Is Us (2.0).

6: The number of non-sports shows at or above 2.0 a season ago.

3.8: Adults 18-49 rating after seven days for This Is Us and Big Bang Theory, which tied for No. 1 the demographic (excluding sports).

5.4, 4.4: Live-plus-7 ratings for This Is Us and Big Bang Theory last season. (The 2017-18 average for This Is Us includes a massive post-Super Bowl episode.)

18.06 million: Average number of viewers, including seven days of delayed viewing, for Big Bang Theory, the most-watched entertainment show of the season.

19.96 million: Average seven-day viewership for 2017-18's top entertainment show (ABC's Roseanne).

37: Number of scripted series that debuted on the broadcast networks this season.

18: First-year scripted shows renewed, as of publication time, just under half the total.

43 million (and counting): Total viewership for the final season of Game of Thrones, according to HBO, including all replays, DVR and streaming.

4.62 million: Three-day growth in viewers for NBC's Manifest, which had the biggest DVR lift of any network series.

74: Number of broadcast shows whose total three-day viewership is smaller than Manifest's three-day gain.

98.19 million: Average TV viewership for the Super Bowl, which was off by 5.2 million viewers year to year and came in below 100 million for the first time since 2009.

68.59 million: Margin between the Super Bowl and 2019's top non-sports program in same-day ratings, the Oscars. That's more than the combined population of California and Texas.

22.2 million: Post-Super Bowl audience for the premiere of the CBS talent competition The World's Best.

4 million: The show's average audience for subsequent episodes.

-44 percent: Decline in AMC's The Walking Dead's same day 18-49 rating vs. 2017-18.

+104 percent: Margin by which The Walking Dead leads the next-closest entertainment show on cable in adults 18-49 (VH1's Love & Hip Hop Atlanta).

3: Seasons since any series has averaged more than 20 million viewers in Nielsen's linear metrics (NBC's Sunday Night Football drew 21.7 million weekly viewers in 2015-16).

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