TV Long View: The First-Year Series With the Longest Ratings Tails

Cobie Smulders in Stumptown (ABC), Allison Tolman in Emergence (ABC) and Tom Payne in Prodigal Son (Fox) - Publicity Stills - Split - H 2019
ABC (2); FOX

In same-day ratings, Stumptown ranks in the middle of the pack among the broadcast networks' first-year series. The ABC private-eye drama averaged about 3.7 million viewers and a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49 over the season's first five weeks. Those numbers put it eighth among the rookie class in viewers and tied for ninth in the 18-49 demographic.

The series leaps up the ranks in delayed viewing. After a week, it's second in both adults 18-49 and total viewers. Going out to the longest Nielsen measure of delayed viewing — 35 days — Stumptown moves ahead of CBS' All Rise to become the most-watched new show of the season, and it sits a tenth of a point behind Fox's top-rated Prodigal Son in the 18-49 demographic.

Through five weeks of the 2019-20 season (Sept. 23-Oct. 27), Stumptown is averaging 8.51 million viewers in the 35-day ratings, a 129 percent increase over its initial airing. As is the case for every new show, the great majority of that viewing comes within the first week, but Stumptown also adds nearly a million viewers in weeks two through five.

Another ABC drama, Emergence, moves from 10th to third among new shows in viewers over 35 days. It adds almost 4.5 million viewers over that time and gets a slightly larger percentage bump than does Stumptown (133 percent, owing to its somewhat lower starting point).

In the 18-49 demographic, Prodigal Son has sole claim to the top spot after both seven and 35 days of delayed viewing (it is tied with Fox's animated comedy Bless the Harts, which receives an NFL bump every couple of weeks, in the same-day averages). The drama has a 1.8 rating in the key ad-sales demo after five weeks, just ahead of the 1.7 for Stumptown.

The 35-day averages from Nielsen only include DVR and TV on-demand viewing. The limited multiplatform data networks have provided for the first week of the season suggests that the numbers below would be significantly larger with the inclusion of digital platforms. Digital viewing accounted for more than 40 percent of the total 35-day ratings for the Prodigal Son and Stumptown premieres, for instance.

As is the case with three- and seven-day ratings, dramas post the biggest delayed-viewing gains among the first-year shows. The top four 35-day bumps in adults 18-49 all belong to dramas (Stumptown, Prodigal Son, Emergence and CBS' Evil). ABC's comedy Mixed-ish ties NBC's Bluff City Law for fifth; both shows grow by half a point over five weeks.

In total viewers, the top six gainers are all dramas: Stumptown, Emergence, Bluff City Law, Prodigal Son, Evil and All Rise. CBS' sitcom Carol's Second Act adds the most viewers among comedies at 2.28 million, about 600,000 people behind All Rise.

Below are rankings of the first-year broadcast series by their 35-day ratings.

Adults 18-49

Show Live + SD Live +7 Live +35 L+SD to L+35 gain L+SD to L+35 % gain
Prodigal Son (Fox) 0.9 1.6 1.8 0.9 100%
Stumptown (ABC) 0.6 1.5 1.7 1.1 183%
Emergence (ABC) 0.6 1.3 1.4 0.8 133%
Evil (CBS) 0.6 1.2 1.3 0.7 117%
Mixed-ish (ABC) 0.7 1.2 1.2 0.5 71%
The Unicorn (CBS) 0.8 1.1 1.2 0.4 50%
Carol's Second Act (CBS) 0.7 1.1 1.1 0.4 57%
Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS) 0.7 1.0 1.1 0.4 57%
Bluff City Law (NBC) 0.6 0.9 1.1 0.5 83%
All Rise (CBS) 0.6 1.0 1.0 0.4 67%
Almost Family (Fox) 0.7 1.0 1.0 0.3 43%
Bless the Harts (Fox) 0.9 1.0 1.0 0.1 11%
Kids Say the Darndest Things (ABC) 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.1 14%
Perfect Harmony (NBC) 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.3 60%
Batwoman (CW) 0.4 0.7 0.7 0.3 75%
Sunnyside (NBC) 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.3 100%
Nancy Drew (CW) 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.3 150%

 

Total Viewers

Show Live + SD (000s) Live +7 (000s) Live +35 (000s) L+SD to L+35 gain L+SD to L+35 % gain
Stumptown (ABC) 3,719 7,539 8,508 4,789 129%
All Rise (CBS) 5,493 7,730 8,384 2,891 53%
Emergence (ABC) 3,375 7,022 7,863 4,488 133%
The Unicorn (CBS) 5,662 7,298 7,739 2,077 37%
Carol's Second Act (CBS) 5,359 7,239 7,641 2,282 43%
Bluff City Law (NBC) 3,894 6,675 7,506 3,612 93%
Evil (CBS) 3,934 6,741 7,443 3,509 89%
Prodigal Son (Fox) 3,629 6,377 7,157 3,528 97%
Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS) 5,350 6,834 7,123 1,773 33%
Kids Say the Darndest Things (ABC) 4,425 4,885 4,979 554 13%
Mixed-ish (ABC) 3,320 4,596 4,827 1,507 45%
Almost Family (Fox) 2,414 3,460 3,643 1,229 51%
Perfect Harmony (NBC) 2,182 3,319 3,612 1,430 66%
Batwoman (CW) 1,456 2,393 2,611 1,155 79%
Bless the Harts (Fox) 2,269 2,500 2,553 284 13%
Sunnyside (NBC) 1,351 1,932 2,069 718 53%
Nancy Drew (CW) 930 1,713 1,900 970 104%

Source: Nielsen

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