Big picture first: Fall was lousy for broadcast. Not one of the five major networks posted ratings gains, and three declined from last year (chart below).
NBC ranked first once again, but the network was down 9 percent overall among adults 18-49. CBS was down 7 percent. And Fox dropped a wince-inducing 16 percent. (Slotting three hours of Utopia didn’t help.) Only ABC and The CW managed to break even, with The CW also posting a 10 percent gain among total viewers.
Among individual shows, returning hits like CBS’ Big Bang Theory, ABC’s Scandal and Modern Family, and NBC’s The Blacklist and The Voice continued to top the chart. Best-performing first-season shows include ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder (the only new entertainment series to regularly reside in the Top 10 in the demo), along with Fox’s Gotham, CBS’ Scorpion, ABC’s Black-ish, CBS’ NCIS New Orleans and The CW’s The Flash. (That last one, of course, is graded on The CW’s own lower-standard ratings curve.)
On the other end of the spectrum, shows that are just barely surviving include The CW’s Reign, ABC’s Cristela, NBC’s About a Boy, and Fox’s The Mindy Project and NBC’s Constantine (which is semi-canceled; NBC has decided not to order more episodes beyond its initial 13, but is leaving open the possibility of another season). Other returning shows aren’t quite on death’s door yet, but notably tumbled compared to last season — like Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (which makes up some ground via DVR). Here’s a list canceled shows for more on who’s off the grid, and below are all the charts. READ FULL STORY