Ratings: State of the Union at 15-Year Low, Flash and Parks Tick Down

State of Union Ratings 2015

President Barack Obama’s Sate of the Union address on Tuesday night amassed 31.7 million total viewers across the broadcast and cable networks that covered it, down 5 percent from a year ago and thus marking a 15-year low.

Elsewhere on the night….

THE CW | The Flash returned to 3.7 mil and a 1.3, down 21 percent and two tenths from its midseason finale. Supernatural (2.5 mil/1.0), however, held steady.

NBC | This week’s Parks and Recreation double-pump averaged 3.9 mil/1.4, up 10 percent in audience but down a tenth in the demo from its final season premiere night.

FOX | MasterChef Junior (5.4 mil/1.7) added some eyeballs while steady in the demo, topping the night in the latter measure.

CBS | An NCIS rerun drew the night’s largest, non-SOTU audience, with 11.9 million total viewers.


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  1. Hannah says:

    Last night’s Parks and Rec was so good! Ron and Leslie rearranging the Parks department and getting drunk is definitely a highlight of the series! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the season!

  2. Drew says:

    The Flash was a solid episode. I’m sure those numbers will go up once DVRs are factored in.
    Supernatural had strengths (Dean and Claire’s stories) and weaknesses (angel and demon elements that are kinda played at this point). I think that there is some mystical force preventing Supernatural from dropping in the ratings. Nothing seems to harm it.
    After the elections, the dip in the State of the Union Address is not surprising. The President made snarky comments about having won two elections, which just made him seem completely out of touch with the present day situation… the exact opposite of what a SotUA is supposed to show.

    • Boiler says:

      I would say he is totally in touch with the situation but just my opinion. Most people I saw loved what you thought to be snarky.

    • ... says:

      So, you’re just going to ignore everything substantive he said in order to focus on one off-hand comment? Typical Republican. Maybe you should be more concerned with the obstructionist bigots that currently litter your party.

      • Drew says:

        I’m not ignoring anything of substance. Do you want to have a big political debate here? I didn’t really think that this was the site for it.

      • hud says:

        This is not 1940. Network coverage of events of this nature no longer have any merit. Was a person interested in the USA who was not already briefed on the content. One more reason to revisit some of the outdated concepts of the constitution.The President should lead by example, not resort to witty one liners.Doubt this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

    • jj says:

      the snarky comment was in response to disrespectful/immature clapping didn’t see what was wrong with it

      • Drew says:

        I love a good zing as much as the next guy. If it was founded, snark would be fine. But taking pride in winning two elections right after his party and his policies just lost an election in a pretty massive way tells me that he is out of touch. He doesn’t have the points to be cocky at this point. Certainly not to gloat about winning elections.

        • L says:

          Since President Obama was elected, some of the Republicans have been nothing but disrespectful to the Executive Office (remember the “gentleman” that yelled you lie) and low key racist to the Commander in Chief. Their inability to see beyond his politics in addition to their absolute disgust with his race has resulted in very little actual work being done to improve the lives of Americans. The legislative branch of the government is supposed to work WITH the executive branch, not do everything they can to torpedo bills that can help Americans quality of life improve. President Obama had every right to respond to their childish laughter and applause after he stated that he had no more elections to run. You mentioned him being out of touch. Are you saying that the Republicans are in touch when they couldn’t even bother to clap for equal work for equal pay and sick days for Americans? Those should be bipartisan issues. Republicans went into the SOTU with a mission to be ignorant and I for one, applaud President Obama for reminding them that he is still their boss, and that the American people voted twice to make him our President. He doesn’t have to remain silent in the face of ignorance.

          • Drew says:

            You lost me at “racist”. It is such a crutch of a complaint and has no basis in reality. Anyone who dislikes Obama is racist? That doesn’t even make sense and it tells me that you don’t know enough about actual issues or policy to come up with a rational argument.
            And if you disagree with that, you are racist.Obviously.

          • L says:

            One thing I love about the internet is that trolls have a place to voice their biased opinions and feel (in their heads) like they are actually worthy. Ha! Multiple people have told you no, and yet here you are thriving on the negative attention. Congrats and I hope you have a great day!

          • Drew says:

            They’ve told me “no” what? You’re not even making sense. I’m not a troll… I’m not the one who came in and started insulting people randomly and throwing around flashy words like “racist” and then ran away like a scared little puppy the second someone questioned me. And now you’re calling me a troll in order to avoid having to explain why exactly people are racist. You don’t know. You’re just saying it because it’s what the people who feed you news have told you to believe.

          • Lucifer says:

            @L: I cannot speak for Drew, but I renounce any and all political ideology as they all have their issues. Democrats are not much better than Republicans. Nearly every policy Bush had in place has remained so within these last 6 years, yet the outcry has oddly died down. Respect is earned and when you continuously lie to your country, people are going to lose that respect. By pushing the narrative that the only people who dislike him are racist is a shameful and disgusting tactic. Yes, there are those who dislike him based on his race, but there are also many who dislike him for his actions. Let’s not forget that Democrats in the senate recently tried to shut the government down because they did not agree with Obama’s policies. And the group “Blacks Against Obama” which may be a surprise, but is made up of black people who do not like Obama. So, for many Obama critics, race is not an issue. It appears to be more of an issue for people on his side, apparently.

          • Drew says:

            I do absolutely agree that the republicans are as bad as the democrats. That’s why I favor term limits. They should not be allowed to make a life-long career of this, because they all end up sacrificing the citizens in favor of keeping their own power and status. John McCain’s presidential campaign was a joke. He didn’t even want to be President, he just want his turn to have the nomination. The good of the people never entered his mind, just like it never entered Obama’s.

          • B says:

            I find it hard to argue that either party is in touch when you have the lowest election turnout since WWII, both parties are a mess and seem to be more focused on actively working against each other instead of what is better for the country. However there does seem to be a growing racial divide in an almost tribal sense, while there were definite derogatory statements made during obama’s first term that seems to be a crutch that many democrats are now clinging to instead of recognizing what is wrong in the to government. However I think it’s too far to say that Obama is the most racist president and its naive to solely blame him for the growing tribal mentality

          • Drew says:

            Obama probably isn’t the most racist president in history, but he is racist. And he has not worked to repair the growing racial divide. He, like a lot of politicians, activists and media outlets, benefit from the anger that they have been brewing. It’s remarkably effective at keeping people herded like sheep, not thinking about actual issues or policies.

          • B says:

            While I agree that he benefits from a racial divide I don’t know if I’d call him racist, the only remotely racial comments I’ve seen are from his book and taken out of context, however the dnc seem to be actively targeting minorities in a way that exploits obama’s ethnicity and almost promotes tribal mentity. That is something I cannot get behind

        • jj says:

          I think its important to note that many dems were distancing themselves from obama while a number of republican candidates were moving more towards center (contraception, equal pay, increased minimum wage). While its debatable how involved POTUS should be in a midterm election the combination of distancing himself combined with dems distancing themselves from him made the party seem divisive. Not exactly the most inspiring way to improve voter turnout

    • lichcoin90 says:

      Yeah and that mystical force is called Supernatural Loyalists. It may have a relatively low fanbase compared to some big networks but i would argue there is no show in TV right now with a fanbase as obsessively loyal as Supernatural. And of course that factor makes it hard for ratings to drop.

      • Drew says:

        Agreed. Even though I think that the show has its issues at the moment, it is still a solid series, and the people making it make us want them to succeed. I think that their love for the show and the fans has generated a lot of good will from those who watch the show. (though you wouldn’t know it to read some of the comments posted on this site).

      • tabularasalocke says:

        I think this is where the loyal fans actually hurt the show. It doesn’t feel like the writers are adressing any of the show’s problems and have no endgame in sight because they and the network know, they’re going to get solid ratings and can just keep doing what they’re doing. I mean next year we’ll see season 11. 11! I love Supernatural, but it’s past it’s prime and it really needs to start wrapping storylines up. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll get that until either the ratings somehow decline or Jensen or Jared decide they’ve had enough.

        • Drew says:

          I disagree. I get the impression that Carver does know the end of the arc that started when he came on as showrunner. Not only because he’s said it, but because there is a pretty solid path being built. My major issue right now is the focus on Crowley and the angels. I know that they need to give Jared and Jensen more time to be with their families at this point, so there need to be other storylines going without them. But I would prefer to see more hunters and human stories. More Claire. More Cole. More Jody, Krissy Chambers, and people like that. Sam and Dean could be training the next generation of hunters, but they’re not.
          What I like about this year is that they are addressing how off the rails the brothers have gotten and how much they’ve lost touch with their humanity by palling around with Crowley and constantly making bad decisions. I see this arc as a way to get back to the humanity that they lost. I hope that’s where it’s going anyway.

    • Babygate says:

      I agree about SOTU. POTUS made some compelling remarks but calling climate change our biggest threat in the face of the rise of terrorism, a middle class that is doing worse financially and African-Americans having lost ground in every economic metric in the last 6 years feels a lot like Potus burying his head in the sand. He appears to be completely out of touch with reality. Ratings are down because people are tired of the lies and they are losing confidence in government at an alarming rate. IMO.

    • tabularasalocke says:

      Lol he made a joke after all the Republicans cheered that he wouldn’t have any more campaigns to run, acting like they were a bunch of high schoolers.

      • Drew says:

        It’s not that he joked. It’s the content of his joke. Gloating about winning elections to the people who just decimated you (in the sense of party and policy) in an election… maybe not the best zinger in the world?

  3. herman1959 says:

    I’m also waiting for the adjusted numbers on The Flash. The episode was great; sorry so many people missed it (if the numbers are correct).

  4. googly eyes says:

    While The Flash was a fun episode, was it not silly that before he battled it out with Captain Cold and Heatwave, the police didn’t just use a sniper to shoot the two bad guys standing in the middle of the street?

    • herman1959 says:

      The police were burned (literally) once and agreed with the plan to let The Flash handle things this time, AND it’s a comic-book show.

    • tabularasalocke says:

      This was so annoying. As soon as the Captain Cold and Heat Wave were distracted by Flash, the cops should have shot them in the legs and taken them down. The fact that they were just standing there until Eddie made a move to save Flash (wasn’t he trying to arrest him like 2 episodes ago??) just really took everything away from the fight. I know it’s a comic book show, but cops just standing around watching the fight was too much of a stretch for me.

      • Drew says:

        If a cop shoots someone, it won’t be in the leg, it would be center mass. But yeah, they probably could have taken the two bad guys out.

  5. Rt says:

    Supernatural didn’t even air in Chicago until 10:30. It airs on WGN here which airs the CW shows. They aired Obama.Is no one in Chicago watching this show? I think it’s odd they have the same rating as their last airing yet it didn’t air in one of the biggest markets in the country.

  6. Rick Katze says:

    But what if you divide POTUS ratings among each of the networks that he was on. Really, minimal. Those who missed The Flash missed a very good episode. POTUS was simply a regurgitation of previous speeches although Paul Ryan did comment that he felt that it was less combative then expected.

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  8. toni says:

    Is someone able to explain the numbers to me… i get the demos… but the million viewers is always split into total viewers and another number?

  9. DR says:

    How can ratings of #SOTU count for anything when **so many of us** watched it live online? What an irresponsible way to report numbers and use ratings systems. Shame on you, TVLine.