SEAL Team ratings slide in new timeslot; Empire, STAR fall

Before SEAL Team came back on the air Wednesday night, it was fairly easy to draw a pair of different conclusions. First, you could assume without fail that the numbers were going to fall because of the long hiatus. Then, you gotta add the new timeslot in there that is typically a very difficult timeslot to be. It’s not a matter of people suddenly saying “I don’t want to watch this show anymore” — it’s either a function of them not realizing it’s back or having to go to bed early in order to wake up for work in the next day. Think of all the folks on the East and West Coast who have to wake up at around 6:00 a.m. every day — this show isn’t even done until 11:00 p.m. now! We hope that some of these viewers are clocking in on DVR the next day — every little bit helps when you are a bubble show fighting to stick around on the air.

Let’s get now to the main number that matters — as in, the only one available at the moment. Wednesday night’s new episode ended up pulling a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That’s a drop from where it’s been all season long, and with 4.9 million viewers tuning in, it’s also the first time we’ve seen it drop down below that 5 million viewer threshold.

Fascinating Comparisons – While last night’s episode was a drop of around 15% in the demo (not great) versus the most-recent episode in January, it was only down around 3% in total viewers. With that, older viewers were willing to stick around and watch late while the younger crowd may shipped themselves off to bed (or somewhere else on TV).

Meanwhile, we also think it’s worth comparing SEAL Team to Criminal Minds, given that the CBS show averaged a 0.8 rating and close to 4.7 million viewers in this same timeslot for most of this season. SEAL Team is ahead in viewers, but behind in the demo. That’s a good comparison to watch moving forward since Criminal Minds was renewed — albeit for a shortened final season. Since SEAL Team is more of an in-house production than Criminal Minds, that’s an advantage that it does have in its corner.

As you can tell, we’re very invested in monitoring SEAL Team numbers, so much so that we’re going to go over them with a fine-toothed comb the rest of the season. Check back to CarterMatt after some more upcoming episodes down the line to see how it’s faring.

Other ratings news

The top story for us is the continued slide towards mediocrity for Empire and STARwhich dropped down to a 1.1 and a 1.0 rating last night. While both of these shows will be taking another lap on Fox this fall (pending some last-second pump-the-brakes sort of curve-ball), they are not barn-burner hits or sure-fire renewals beyond this season anymore when you think about their routine drops year to year. They’re not that far ahead of shows like The Resident in the renewal race anymore! We’re not sure if Empire in particular is hurt by just fatigue or the Jussie Smollett controversy; it may be more the former, given that this show has posted big declines year after year as more and more people just fall off from this one-time phenomenon and pop over to some other “next great thing.”

We should also point out that Survivor drew some of its lowest demo ratings ever in a 1.4 and a 1.3 for its two episodes last night … but how worried can you be about something when it’s still the #1 show on the night? Survivor isn’t victim to a drop-off in quality so much as natural erosion. Many shows at this point are rocks that are being slowly altered by the wind.

If you missed it…

Check out the link here to get our full review for last night’s SEAL Team episode! Meanwhile, be sure to also check out our case on the latest ratings below. (Photo: CBS.)

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