We’ve written about a number of different scheduling issues at CarterMatt over time and, for the most part, we find many of the decisions networks make to be fascinating. We especially feel that is the case moving into tonight’s new episode of Madam Secretary.
So what’s worth noting here? First and foremost, it’s the fact that there is a new episode airing at all tonight. This is December 23 and with that, this is not a night in which many networks like to program. There’s a clear recognition here that there are simply not going to be a whole lot of viewers around to watch programs and there’s an overall feeling of “why bother?” among many. You don’t want to see ratings suffer for some of your shows.
On paper, we certainly do feel like there’s a reason people have conspiracy theories that CBS is burning off Madam Secretary, or that they’re nervous about the controversial subject matter of tonight’s 100th episode entitled “Family Separation.” When you actually look a little bit deeper here, though, you’ll realize that this is not really the case.
So what’s actually going on here? Consider the timeslot. Tonight’s Madam Secretary is actually airing at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, which is considerably earlier than the majority of the episodes that CBS puts on the air for this show. More than likely, it’s going to be coming on the air directly following NFL programming. We actually don’t think the ratings for the show are going to be hurt at all here. Instead, CBS seems to actually be giving the Tea Leoni series the biggest platform possible for the show and this episode — it’s going to have an enormous lead-in and maybe a chance to get viewers that they have not had in quite some time.
While it can be difficult sometime to project ratings for a show like this given that so much could be dependent on the carryover audience from football, our feeling at the moment is this: Madam Secretary will set a season high in the ratings tonight, even though it is only two days before Christmas. If that doesn’t happen, it has to be considered a disappointment. There’s just so much potential for CBS to deliver numbers tonight and we also think that there’s going to be a lot of discussion about the story, as well.
The one bummer when it comes to the story is simply that you’re going to be waiting for a little while to see part 2. How long? Think in terms of Sunday, January 6. At least the story will be getting off to a great start tonight…
What do you want to see on Madam Secretary moving forward, and are you surprised that there is a new episode airing tonight? be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)