How’d They Do? Evaluating The Ratings of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star

Welcome to this edition of How’d They Do?. The ratings for 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star are here. Note that this does not include cancelations, but rather shows that were announce to be ending ahead of time.

9-1-1 (2018-Present)
9-1-1 is a drama hailing from Ryan Murphy, creator of series such as Glee and American Horror Story. It was originally scheduled on Wednesdays as a temporary midseason replacement, and quickly became a breakout hit. The drama continues to be one of TV’s most popular shows, and has been given a spin-off.

One figure that immediately sticks out is the 12.69% increase in same-day total viewers from the previous season. This could have to do with its shift from 9pm to 8pm, where it has the low-demo, high-viewed local programming as a lead-in. That is not to discredit the trends in the demos, with many seeing year-to-year increases, something very rare. Its steepest percentage decline comes in the seven-day viewing period among adults aged 18-49, down 8.57%. Still, gaining nearly a full ratings point from the same-day demo is extremely impressive.

9-1-1 also held up well among men aged 18-49 and 25-54 from its premiere to its finale. This is much to ask, especially given the wildly popular storyline that occupied the first three episodes of the season.

The show is also very much popular outside of the United States. In Canada, it averaged over two million viewers an episode in first week viewing, oftentimes being one of the highest-rated shows in the country. When combining the seven-day viewing in the United States with that of Canada, 9-1-1 rises 82% in total viewership from its same-day viewing.

There were a couple fluke lows, but it tended to rebound solidly from them. Between the high ratings and stability, 9-1-1 could easily go on to being a successful long-running show, even on a network that plans on drifting away from scripted programming.

Grade: A

9-1-1: Lone Star (2020-Present)
9-1-1: Lone Star’s average is clearly inflated by its series premiere, which aired after an NFL playoff game. While it did not have the same ratings as 9-1-1, that was not necessary to be considered a success. The DVR gains demonstrated it has an audience of its own, and has the potential to be a solid Monday night offering, airing either in the 9pm slot after 9-1-1 or being its midseason bridge show.

While 9-1-1: Lone Star also has a female skew, it is oftentimes less pronounced than 9-1-1’s is. There are instances where the M18-34 rating would be within a tenth or even tie the W18-34 rating, something 9-1-1 only did once, where both of those ratings were outliers.

The median age of viewers is also higher by over half a year on average, and more than that when excluding the premiere. This could mean older 9-1-1 viewers were more likely to view 9-1-1: Lone Star than younger viewers, or that Lone Star has an audience that 9-1-1 doesn’t have.

9-1-1: Lone Star may not be 9-1-1, but it’s still a solid offering with an independent audience that is capable of doing ratings higher than almost every other scripted show on FOX. 2019-20 was notoriously harsh on new shows, so its ratings should not be taken for granted at all.

Grade: A

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