Wednesday ratings roundup: Cubs clincher also a win in ratings

The Cubs and “Empire” cam “Fly The W”.

Empire tops in national ratings

(Editor’s Note: Excluding the Cubs number, these are final adults 18-49 ratings.

While yours truly should talk about Wednesday night’s prime-time ratings race, you can’t ignore the fact the Chicago Cubs’ return to the postseason is going to have an impact on the broadcast networks. TBS is happy given they have rights to the NLDS and the NLCS this year.

The Cubs clinched the National League Central for their second straight division title with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals, and the telecast over CSN Chicago drew a 10.8 household peak rating at 8:45 p.m., easily topping the broadcast networks in the Chicago market – beating CBS’ new Seal Team and comedies on ABC and Star on Fox. And the ratings will only grow for the Cubs from there as they defend their historic 2016 World Series Title.

And don’t forget – the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are also in the playoff mix, and their presence will also impact ratings.

The Cubs open the playoffs against the Washington Nationals Friday, October 6. Start times for the postseason are yet to be set – although it is likely the Cubs will get a prime-time slot since they are a major TV draw. The NLDS’ third game could be on opposite the Vikings-Bears game at Soldier Field on Monday Night Football, airing on both ESPN and WGN-TV (more on this in the next Media Notepad.)

As for the broadcast networks prime-time lineup Wednesday night, Fox finally found signs of life with the season premiere of Empire now leading off primetime, followed by Star. Empire won the time period with a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating – down tremendously from last year’s season premiere, but that was expected. Star received a boost with a 1.8 – down from the lead-in, but scored its highest ratings since its premiere in December 2016. Empire was meh-like last night, and Lucious Lyon was certainly not his Donald Trump-like self.

Turning to CBS, Seal Team had a decent debut with a 1.5, down slightly from its Survivor lead-in (1.8, down 22 percent from last year’s premiere.) Criminal Minds thirteenth-season premiere ended the night with a 1.3. As for Survivor, you wonder if the Russians interfered with the vote at Tribal Council – or at least were involved in the editing.

ABC’s comedy block saw notable year-to-year losses in double-digits with The Goldbergs (1.8), Speechless (1.4), Modern Family (2.1), and American Housewife (1.6), which has to be the most unfunniest sitcom yours truly has ever seen. The season premiere of Designated Survivor finished the evening with a 1.1., and of course you would want the person in the White House on this show in real life instead of the imbecile now occupying the premises.

Finally, NBC had The Blacklist (1.1), Law and Order: SVU (1.4) and Chicago P.D. (1.3), the latter tying Criminal Minds for first place. All three were down from year-ago time period ratings.

(Edited on 2017-09-30 at 10:36 p.m. to fix Cubs errors.)  

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