Another Series Star Tied to Scandalous Headlines -- Do Not Jump to Conclusions, Especially Where Ratings Are Concerned

Another Series Star Tied to Scandalous Headlines -- Do Not Jump to Conclusions, Especially Where Ratings Are Concerned
Written Delivering Another Objective View by Bridger Cunningham

It has been a rough October for the entertainment industry.  In recent weeks, a Hollywood Mogul stood accused by dozens of performers and production staff members of misconduct, sexual harassment and assault allegations, sparking the #Me Too hashtag.  Then yesterday, popular Netflix series House of Cards experienced devastating blows as not only was its marquee star accused of misconduct from an incident in the 80's.  The blow to the cast, production crew and viewers seethed further when show-runners announced production on the 6th and final season was indefinitely and immediately halted, leaving the show's fate ambiguous.  And today, negative headlines and allegations have been attached to Wisdom of the Crowd star Jeremy Piven over an alleged incident from his 2004-11 run on HBO series Entourage.  These accusations are being investigated, and divulging an opinion in these early stages would be speculative and salacious at best.

TV Ratings Guide offers a plethora of articles discussing television ratings, online platforms, series reviews and developments relating to episode orders, renewals and cancellations of series.  This site refrains from commenting beyond declarative statements and works to pass opinions or speculate as to what happened in performers' personal troubles, as these parties are innocent until declared otherwise.  The controversial matters discussed shall be addressed as "scandal," "allegations" and "incidents" rather than feeding the bonfire of the vanities.  Not as a means to shelter or shield performers, but rather from the stance of viewers' tastes in shows should not be affected by negative headlines relating to one of their shows.  If readers wish to perk their curiosity as to what is being referenced by these ambiguous statements, there are a plethora of media outlets which are willing to address the specific nature of these unfortunate headlines, whether by divulging cited statements or speculation.  TVRG seeks to discuss news related to the series viewers love, not the personal woes of its performers.

In Piven's unfortunate headlines, the referenced incident is still under investigation and alleged to have occurred years ago; production is still intact on this CBS series, Wisdom of the Crowd.  Currently, the Freshman series is averaging a 1.06 18-49A Live Viewing average with episodes delivering ratings between 0.7-1.3.  Prior to today's unfortunate headlines, Wisdom of the Crowd has been on the watch list of several ratings websites, including TVByTheNumbers, Spotted Ratings, TV Series Finale, and TVRG's Renew/Cancel article series (  Television viewing patterns are affected by several factors -- viewer preference, scheduling, seasonal ratings patterns and promotion via broadcast network.  If Wisdom of the Crowd rises or drops following today's headlines, this will likely not be on Piven's shoulders, but rather the overall production.  And CBS is keeping an objective eye on the matter, as stated by “We are aware of the media reports and are looking into the matter,” a CBS spokesperson said Tuesday.

Bare in mind while TVRG will not foist an opinion or speculation onto readers, and Piven is not the first television star to deal with the obstacle of negative headlines.  Even this country's president, Donald Trump, has battled unfavorable headlines relating to past misconduct allegations.  The incident is still under investigation, and no formal charges have been filed regarding the matter.  Take a critical view of the subject matter and do not let speculative headlines mar the experience of enjoying shows and productions.  Draw on intelligent opinions, and also check the credibility of the media outlet.

Several outlets are eager to take an opportunistic pounce on reporting these matters due to the timing of when a show airs or other factors.  As published by TVRG this week (, several of viewers' favorite stars have found themselves entangled in less than favorable headlines.  These people are human first, performers second and deserve an objective eye before drawing conclusions.  If Wisdom of the Crowd does not perform well, it is not due to this incident.  As valuable of a performer as Piven is, he is not that powerful to sink a show.

Even non-criminal scandals can link to existing shows.  A current CBS performer performs well, and last year had a star entangled in a headline relating to animal neglect and welfare.  The facts remain ambiguous, and perhaps those who knew of this starlet's attachment to the unfavorable headlines may view her differently.  However, this should not stop viewers from enjoying the performances from her dynamic costars, or the crisp writing the premise offers.

The same speculative nature does not discriminate beyond performers, even if no legal allegations are present.  In April 1999, NBC announced it was cancelling 35-year old soap Another World due to dismal ratings.  Devoted fans led a wrathful outcry, vowing never to watch the NBC network again.  And the following 1999-2000 season, NBC slipped into 2nd Place behind ABC.  Take a peek at that year's seasonal ratings:


Several have accredited this loss due to AW's cancellation, and in the case of several devoted fans, this may have rung true.  However, take an objective look at what was happening at NBC in the late 90's.  Seinfeld, considered the leading sitcom of the 90's and helped propel NBC back into 1st Place from 3rd in the 1993-94 season, came to a ceremonious end in 1998 after 9 seasons.

Following Seinfeld's Thursday departure, the network struggled to regain momentum and strong players to populate its lineup.  ER, Frasier and Friends remained strong players, yet never matched the same heights Seinfeld achieved in the 90's.  In 1999, ABC attained mild Nielsen wealth by acquiring Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, grabbing the top three positions in the season's register.  Accompanied by successful Monday franchise Monday Night Football in 6th Place and burgeoning The Practice in 9th Place, ABC did the math and managed to steal the season from a weakened NBC.  Fans of AW's loss should not be discounted, but their series, which struggled in the Daytime Nielsens since the late 70's, boasted enough viewers to dent the NBC franchise as AW's last season scored a 2.4 Household Rating.  Compared with Friends, Frasier and ER all averaging 13.4-16.9 Household Averages that year, the math doesn't gratify one soap's exit destroying the ratings.

A similar mystery befell ABC in 2012, as the network cancelled longstanding soaps All My Children and One Life to Live the year before after 42 and 44-year runs, respectively.  The network plunged to 4th Place, and several speculated the downfall was due to axing the two beloved sudsers.  However, people also forget this was the season 2000's sensation Desperate Housewives ended its 8-season run.  DH helped catapult ABC fro 4th to 2nd place, as it was joined by a handful of desirable series including Lost and Grey's Anatomy.  After DH left the air, scheduling respectable performers became a challenge for the already troubled network.

Shows' ties to troubled stars hardly warrants speculation of their fates, along with their networks'.  In the case of Kevin Spacey's personal troubles, it halted production on House of Cards, effectively defining an endpoint.  HOC's exit will not directly attribute to troubles with Netflix, just as Wisdom of the Crowd will not be responsible if CBS ratings decline.  Enjoy your shows with an objective eye, and cautiously question eyeball-grabbing headlines depicting unfavorable behaviors.  TVRG will continue to report on developments relating to your shows' fates, not the personal turmoil of its performer.



Promo Watch--ABC Tuesday

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Middle
Break 1 - Modern Family/American Housewife Combo
Break 2 - Fresh off the Boat, CMA Awards
Break 3 - Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish

Fresh off the Boat
Break 1 - The Goldbergs
Break 2 - American Housewife, CMA Awards
Break 3 - Black-ish/The Mayor Combo

Break 1 - Modern Family/American Housewife Combo, Fresh off the Boat
Break 2 - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, American Housewife
Break 3 - Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Mayor, CMA Awards

The Mayor
Break 1 - Modern Family/American Housewife Combo, How to Get Away with Murder, Fresh off the Boat
Break 2 - The Goldbergs, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Break 3 - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, CMA Awards

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
Break 1 - Modern Family/American Housewife Combo, Designated Survivor
Break 2 - Jimmy Kimmel Live, How to Get Away with Murder
Break 3 - Living Every Day: Luke Bryan, The Goldbergs
Break 4 - Grey's Anatomy, Scandal
Break 5 - Jimmy Kimmel Live, CMA Awards
During Credits - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World

CBS Renew/Cancel: '9JKL' Likely to be Canceled

Linda Lavin, Mark Fuererstein ("9JKL") | CBS
Welcome to the CBS Renew/Cancel Watch. All in-season, scripted primetime shows airing on CBS in the 2017-18 season are included in the prediction table below. My current predictions are current as of October 31, 2017.

The key to the right indicates the colors associated with each prediction. The data in the table includes current season lows, highs, and averages (Adults 18-49 demo), as well as the year-to-year changes for returning shows. The shows are ordered by their season averages against other scripted CBS shows.

    Season Low High /Average     
 Y2Y Change
Young Sheldon
- / 3.8 / 3.80
 The Big Bang Theory 
2.8 / 4.1 / 3.15
1.4 / 1.6 / 1.45
Kevin Can Wait
1.1 / 2.3 / 1.41
0.8 / 1.5 / 1.38
1.2 / 1.3 / 1.23
1.0 / 1.5 / 1.20
Criminal Minds
1.0 / 1.3 / 1.11
NCIS: New Orleans
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.06
  Wisdom of the Crowd  
0.7 / 1.3 / 1.06
0.8 / 1.3 / 1.05
Hawaii Five-0
1.0 / 1.1 / 1.04
Me, Myself & I
0.7 / 1.6 / 1.01
Blue Bloods
0.9 / 1.1 / 0.97
0.7 / 1.0 / 0.82
- / 0.8 / 0.81
Superior Donuts
- / 0.8 / 0.80
Madam Secretary
0.6 / 0.8 / 0.77

NCIS, NCIS: LA, NCIS: New Orleans, Bull
I've decided to upgrade several reliable dramas to Certain to be Renewed status this week. These four shows continue to offer the most stability to the schedule. NCIS is the net's longest-running drama currently on the air, and it continues to rate highly as their #1 drama and #3 series overall. NCIS: New Orleans has impressed me with its ability to pull consistent 1.1s in the 10pm hour this season, with a light 10% decline y2y, and it looks stronger than the other dramas from its class: Scorpion and Madam Secretary. It will likely secure a syndication deal at some point due to its franchise association and CBS's master procedural-selling skills, which will make it much more valuable in the years to come. Lastly, Bull has maintained solid ratings this season and doesn't fall too much from its NCIS lead-in. It's shaping up to be a fairly good investment for the network going forward.

Criminal Minds, MacGyver
While I'm still hesitant to claim these shows are near-certain to return in any way, I'm feeling generous this Halloween and have upgraded both to Likely to be Renewed territory. Criminal Minds has done better than I anticipated Wednesdays at 10, highlighting more of the weaknesses in SEAL Team and its inability to do much better in the earlier hour. MacGyver impressed with a slight uptick to a 0.9 on Friday, and even its string of 0.8s has been very consistent if nothing else this season. With so much uncertainty in CBS's new dramas, and the network already more or less expecting MacGyver to deliver what's it currently getting, it seems safe right now.

9JKL, Wisdom of the Crowd
The two freshman series have been downgraded from the bubble to Likely to be Canceled status this week. 9JKL dropped significantly, as expected, to a 0.8 last night. It fell heavily from last week's episode (1.4) and from its Kevin Can Wait (1.2) lead-in last night. There doesn't seem to be much of an audience for it when it's scheduled without The Big Bang Theory. It's really dragging down the night, as evidenced by Superior Donuts (0.8) and Me, Myself & I (0.7). A positive is that it is owned by CBS, but I don't know how far that can ultimately take it if it remains fractional. Wisdom of the Crowd is looking weaker by the airing, with this week's episode bringing in a 0.7 rating, its lowest yet. It doesn't take advantage of a typically football-inflated night, while NCIS: LA has grown several times from it, suggesting viewers are rejecting the new drama in the line-up. CBS has yet to give it a backorder like they've done with SEAL Team, and that's perhaps indicative of a lack of long-term confidence. They have plenty of options with which to replace it, so I don't feel comfortable with its chances. 

Superior Donuts
The second season premiere of the 2016-17 midseason comedy rated horribly: a 0.8 in the 9:00 hour, half an hour earlier than it was supposed to premiere up until a week ago. CBS was hopeful that an upgrade to the top of the hour would help it, but unfortunately there's no real upside to this result. 9JKL didn't do any better, and Me, Myself & I did even worse, but that's not good enough to justify Superior's second-to-last ranking across the network and a fractional season premiere. I truly think CBS made a bad decision in bringing back so many of these comedy players that weren't hits. The two hours on Monday really ought to be cut down to one again, and I don't know that Superior Donuts has a place in that alternative slate, or any future slate for that matter. It may be early to say, but I'm starting the show in Likely to be Canceled territory. 

Would you renew or cancel Superior Donuts?

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Renew (uncertain)
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Cancel (uncertain)
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Ranking the Songs From the Rocky Horror Picture Show: A TVRG Halloween Special

The Rocky Horror Picture show is one of my favorite movies. It's a great film to watch every Halloween season (or a few times every Halloween season), since it has everything. It's funny, it's absolutely bananas, it features great performances, and best of all, its songs are amazing. The music is really what makes the movie, and the fantastic slate of songs is why I think TRHPS is one of the best movie musicals of all time. So to celebrate the Halloween season this year, I've decided to rank all of the great songs from the film's soundtrack, from worst to best. There's a few ground rules, though. Firstly, I'll be using the 40th Anniversary "Absolute Pleasures" soundtrack, as some of the film's songs aren't included on the original soundtrack. Also, reprises are not considered for this list. I'm about to make you a list, and unlike Dr. Frank-N-Furter when he makes a man, it won't take seven days.

18- Once In a While
This song isn't even in the movie, and for pretty good reason. It's a pretty big snooze fest, and it just doesn't really fit into the film all that well. It's fine, but it's nothing special.

17- Planet Hot Dog
Is Planet Hot Dog hilarious? Absolutely. But I'm ranking these as songs, not comedy pieces, and it's barely even a song. While it works really well in the movie, it's not something I'm ever going to listen to on its own, because it's not that type of song.

16- Super Heroes
Quite honestly, this song is forgettable. It doesn't make too much of an impression and I barely even remember it, even though I've seen Rocky Horror many times. It doesn't really make a mark on you and it's easily overshadowed by nearly every other song.

15- Fanfare/Don't Dream It
Here's another one where it works very well in the movie but isn't something you'd want to listen to on its own. "Don't dream it, be it" is one of the movie's most memorable lines, and rightfully so. But in song form, it's only okay.

14- I Can Make You a Man
This is one of those songs that I certainly don't hate, but I'm just not as thrilled with it as most people are. It's a good song, but it's far from the best in the movie and I think it just works better on film than in soundtrack form.

13- Wild and Untamed Thing
From this point on, I love all of the songs. Wild and Untamed Thing is just so fun to listen to, and it's a huge improvement on its preceding portion of the three part Rose Tint My World suite. It's just wonderful.

12- The Sword of Damocles
This song introduces us to the titular character in a great way. It's infectious and fun, and Rocky really shines in this one. It's a great choice to show off the film's main character with such a cool number. The only thing that sucks about it is that it's not on the original RHPS sound track.

11- Planet Schmanet, Janet
This song makes me want to just get up and dance. It's incredibly fun and energetic. Also, that pesky Janet Weiss better wise up!

10- Rose Tint My World
Rose Tint My World is an incredibly bizarre song. But it's also an incredibly good one. With four of the film's stars taking part is this three-minute-long "WTF?" fest. Despite being super weird, it fits naturally into this picture.

9- I'm Going Home
This is one of the most emotional songs in the entire film, and it's just really beautiful. At this point in the film, it's pretty clear that our favorite sweet transvestite isn't going to survive, and this is his swan song. And it works so well.

8- Over At the Frankenstein Place
This is just a lovely little song. It's not as rollicking as some of Rocky Horror's finest songs, but it doesn't have to be. It's still a great song that is simple, effective, and quite nice.

7- Eddie
I think this is one of the film's most underrated songs. It's wildly entertaining, and it's really got something for everyone. It starts slow, then speeds up. It features vocals from nearly everyone in the cast. It's just great in nearly every way. It also helps progress the plot better than many songs on this list. I will admit it, I wasn't a fan at first, but after a few more listens, it's become a true favorite.

6- Science Fiction/Double Feature
The song that starts it all, SF/DF doesn't just get the honor of being the first song viewers of the movie hear, it's also one of the movie's best. It's fun and really puts you in the mood for the hour and a half of weirdness you're about to witness. It pays homage to science fiction legends that came before Rocky Horror, as well as the film's protagonists Brad and Janet. All in all, a great song that's the perfect choice to kick off the movie.

5- Sweet Transvestite
This is the song that introduces us to Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and what a wonderful song it is. Curry is one of the main reasons why RHPS works so well, and this song is the sterling example of that. It's incredibly fun and it just rocks (pun most certainly intended).

4- Time Warp
Ask any person what they know about Rocky Horror, and they will say the Time Warp. And it's famous for a reason. It's nonsensical (kinda like the entirety of the film)and it's immensely fun to dance to. Charles Gray's Criminologist is hilarious in this, and he helps make this one of the films best, and easily the most memorable and iconic, songs.

3- Dammit Janet
One of the earliest songs in the film, Dammit Janet is incredibly infectious and fun. It kicks off the journey for our heroes Brad and Janet, and Bostwick just does a great job with it. Throw in the eavesdroppers (who I always sing along with), and you've got an amazing song.

2- Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me
This is one of the best because it's both funny and catchy as all get-out. It's my favorite song sung by 'Dammit' Janet Weiss, and that's because it's just such a fun song to listen to. As great as Sarandon is though, Magenta and Columbia steal the show, as is typical for them.

1- Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul
This is the one song on this list that, no matter what time of year, I'll listen to to put me in a good mood. It's just so fun to listen to, and Meat Loaf's voice fits this song perfectly. While Eddie didn't get much screen time, this song ensured that he would become an iconic character. It's my pick for the best Rocky Horror song.

What did you think of my rankings? What's your favorite Rocky Horror song? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below. And don't forget: Don't dream it, be it.

SNL Throwback: The 10 Best Halloween Sketches

Throughout its 40+ year history, SNL has given us lots of Halloween gems. One of those gems has launched an animated special, while the others make their rounds in SNL's yearly Halloween collection. Some, unfortunately, have been forgotten about, left only for those willing to make the dangerous journey to NBC's website. No matter how they're viewed nowadays, all of these sketches have made a lasting impression.

Honorable Mentions: Martha Stewart on Halloween, A Girl's Halloween
I love these two sketches so much, but they don't quite make this list. One is a brand-new classic, while the other is a hilarious old favorite. They both fit the holiday in their own unique ways, and that makes them fun, festive treats that are great for the whole family. Okay, maybe not the whole family.

10- The Exorcist II
The Exorcist is a Halloween classic, and so is this parody. Laraine Newman plays a possessed girl who terrorizes priests played by guests Richard Pryor and Thalmus Rasulala. It's not as off-the-walls as it could be considering the premise, but it's effective parody at its finest. It's very entertaining to watch, and I love it. It's unfortunate that it seems lost to time and isn't featured on SNL Halloween specials, but at least it's on YouTube.

9- The Zimmermans: Halloween
The Zimmermans are fun and insane recurring characters, and this Halloween sketch might be the best of them all. It was fun and in the zany spirit of both Halloween and the Zimmermans. Plus, it features Ben Stiller, which makes it even better.

8- Rita DelVecchio's Halloween
I adore Cheri Oteri, and Rita DelVecchio is one of my favorite characters of hers. She's cranky, yet hilarious. Her hating trick-or-treaters just makes so much sense, because she is a miserable woman. She's definitely justified in some of her Halloween hatred, but that doesn't make this any less hilarious. Throw in Molly Shannon as one of her friends, and you make a great sketch even greater.

7- Geoff's Halloween Emporium
This thing is just so bizarre that it just works. Jim Carey as Geoff, the demonic owner of a Halloween shop, is comedic gold. Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer as workers that could care less that their boss is a demon is also great, and the ending of this is pretty perfect.

6- Happy Halloween... What?!
This is so great because it's unfortunately a very real (and uncomfortable) situation that happens in real life, taken to the extreme. Will Forte as someone who may or may not be a sexual predator is hilarious, and Jon Hamm's reaction to Forte's unclear message is great.

5- Clinton Halloween Party
The introductions of all of the Democrats at the Clinton Halloween bash like John Edwards and Mike on the cake here. It was an unexpected and hilarious appearance, especially with the buildup to it with the Obama mask. The Joe Biden/Chris Dodd bit was great too, because honestly, who wouldn't believe that Joe Biden would dress up as SpongeBob? Amy Poheler is one of two famous Hillary impressions, and this sketch definitely helps prove why that is true. Also, great witch costume.

4- Graveyard Song
Paul and Phil seem like nice guys. Also, really dumb guys. The scary residents of the graveyard are clearly annoyed with the not-at-all scary Paul and Phil's antics, but they don't really care and keep interrupting their spooky graveyard song. It's a pretty simple premise, but it works really well. Paul and Phil are super lovable and you can't help but feel bad for them here. The likability of both Jim Carey and Taran Killam really helps this sketch work, and I'm not sure it would have worked without them as Paul and Phil.

3- Vincent Price's Halloween Special
Bill Hader's Vincent Price is somehow the most sane person involved in this sketch, and that helps make it a Halloween classic. Vincent Price is a master of horror, yet is definitely more family friendly than Kristen Wiig's Gloria Swanson (who is a pirate, apparently), Jon Hamm's James Mason (who is not a spaceman), and Fred Armisen's Liberace. All of these impersonations are so great, and are varying degrees of over-the-top. It just works so well, and it's hard to pick a favorite out of them all. The sketch works so well and an SNL Halloween really isn't complete without it.

2- The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders
This parody of everything Wes Anderson is a perfect sketch. It's funny, it gives up Ed Norton's Owen Wilson impression, and it's just freaking over-the-top insane. All of the impressions packed into this sketch's short run time help make it one of their best Halloween sketches. It's a great parody of Anderson's bizarre (but effective) filmmaking style, and it's terrific from start to finish.

1- Haunted Elevator (David S. Pumpkins)
One question: were you expecting anything different to take the #1 spot? The newest sketch on this list takes the top prize easily, making a very lasting impression on me. While the others on this list are great, they couldn't hold a candle to Tom Hanks's lovable, grinning, pumpkin suit-wearing man (is he a man though?). Combine Hanks's enthusiasm with the hilarious reactions of Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett, and you've got comedy gold. And don't even get me started on the b-boy skeletons.

What did you think of the list? What's your favorite SNL Halloween sketch? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below!

Monday TV Ratings 10/30/17: Superior Donuts Returns at Series Low, Brave & 9JKL Sink

Analysis to come.
18-49 Ratings
Viewers (mil)
8 PMThe Voice1.9/79.43NBC

Dancing With the Stars1.5/610.06ABC

Kevin Can Wait1.2/56.31CBS


Supergirl0.5/21.83The CW
8:30 PM9JKL0.8/35.06CBS
9 PMThe Gifted1.1/43.49Fox

Superior Donuts (P)0.8/34.84CBS

Valor0.2/11.01The CW
9:30 PMMe, Myself & I0.7/23.98CBS
10 PMThe Good Doctor2.0/810.88ABC

The Brave0.8/34.69NBC


Saturday Cable Ratings, 10/28/17: Flint Performs Decently, Jeepers Creepers 3 Strong

Below are the Top 25 Programs on cable on Saturday, 10/28/17. Items of note include the movie Flint on Lifetime, Velshi & Ruhle on MSNBC, and Jeepers Creepers 3 on Syfy.
18-49 Viewers
Viewers (mil.)
College GamedayESPN0.631.81
College Football: WI v. ILESPN0.541.93
College Football: MS v. TX A&MESPN0.491.64
Live PDA&E0.491.51
Marry Me at ChristmasHallmark0.493.37
Jeepers Creepers 3Syfy0.471.37
College Football: USC v. AZ St.ESPN0.471.38
College Football: Miami v. NCESPN20.421.42
College Football AfternoonESPN20.341.02
College Football ScoreboardESPN0.321.19
Ghost AdventuresTravel0.290.73
College Football: MI St. v. NWESPN0.281.12
Liga MX: Monterrey v. AmericaUniv. Deportes0.270.57
Elena of AvalorDisney0.271.26
Ghost AdventuresTravel0.260.71
Power Rangers Ninja SteelNickelodeon0.251.07
TransformersCartoon Network0.250.55
Justice League ActionCartoon Network0.240.59
Fox & Friends SaturdayFox News0.232.11
The Pioneer WomanFood0.231.20
UFC Fight NightFS10.22
Off the chart, Velshi & Ruhle and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency were both steady, at 0.1 and 0.07, respectively.