SVU Ratings Low

Ratings: SVU, Chicago P.D. Return From 5-Week Break to Series Lows

Absence makes the heart grow… what?

NBC’s 17-year-old Law & Order: SVU this Wednesday returned from a five-week break to 5.26 million total viewers and a 1.1 demo rating (per finals), down 15 and 21 percent from its last fresh outing to tie and hit series lows. Similarly, Chicago P.D. (6.3 mil/1.3) slipped 8 and 14 percent vs. March 30, hitting a series low in the demo.

Opening the Peacock’s night, Heartbeat (4.2 mil/0.8) was steady.

Elsewhere in the ratings….

THE CW | Arrow (2.08 mil/0.7) slipped to series lows, while Supernatural (1.5 mil/0.6) dipped to at least a season low in the demo.

FOX | Rosewood (4.4 mil/1.2) was down 10 percent and a tenth. Empire (9.4 mil/3.6) dipped 7 percent and two tenths to its lowest digits since Thanksgiving Eve.

CBS | Survivor (9.5 mil/2.1) and Beyond Borders (6.8 mil/1.2) were steady, while bubble drama Criminal Minds‘ finale (8.8 mil/1.8, average reader grade “B+”) ticked up a tenth, matching its previous season ender.

ABC | The Middle (7 mil/1.7), The Goldbergs (6.7 mil/1.9), Modern Family (7.4 mil/2.2) and bubble drama Nashville (3.9 mil/0.8) were steady, while black-ish (5.6 mil/1.6) ticked up.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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29 Comments
  1. mc says:

    There was a time Thursday mornings are about checking out if Empire’s numbers rises. Now, at least for me, it’s about seeing if Nashville gets enough numbers to stick around.

  2. Kate says:

    LOL SVU. Can’t wait for Warren Leight’s and his stans excuses.

    • Dysturbed says:

      While there willl always have to be a total of a few months with no new episode between September and May, in this case having five weeks of no new ones possibly did it and PD no favors.

    • Zoe says:

      Warren Leight is leaving after this season. Thank GOD.

  3. Tori says:

    5.2 million for SVU??? Hahahahahhahahahahahahahhaha what bus this, the CW?

  4. Becky says:

    Am I the only one who thinks NBC has a serious problem with the scheduling? SVU’s numbers were probably down because no one ever knows when it’s coming on! They’ll play one new episode and take a 4 week break, then play another new one and go on another haitus! Just play the show already! I have the same complaint with ABC and Modern Family… Get it together networks…

    • iakovos says:

      Agreed, Becky. Broadcast nets worry about declining audiences, yet they are so erratic about their scheduling, either with consistent new episodes or time slots. Gave up on SVU long ago. It is a shadow of its former self.

    • slowride says:

      Do you have good hair? #stillinvestigating

    • Dysturbed says:

      The problem with “just playing the show already” is that airing 22-24 episodes of a show over a 36-39 week period means a few months off with no new episodes during that period. That either means splitting seasons in two with a big break in between, having a few separate month or so breaks, or doing the new, then repeat, then new, then repeat thing once the seasons are half over.

      • Becky says:

        There are enough holidays that they can take the necessary breaks to fill the time period…

        It would be one thing if they were airing something “special” or some kind of “limited series event” but they’re not… There is no reason for a 5 WEEK break 3 episodes before the finale…

      • ScottJ says:

        The problem is it seems to now be impossible to make an episode a week. Many shows have an 8 -10 day shooting schedule per episode. I don’t know why this keeps going up as the actual episode length goes down, but it means that even starting a few months early doesn’t give shows any room to move later in the season. The solution should be quite simple, although I suspect actor contracts might then become a problem. Either drop the 22 episode series, or get the bulk of a series filmed before its scheduled. The accountants would have heart failure at the latter idea – if a show is suddenly cancelled its money down the drain. But you would think its a safe bet with shows that are beyond their first season.

      • So? Every network TV show is under the same constraints and none of them completely disappeared like this. I know many people who thought SVU was done for the season and had no idea it was coming back on because of this.

    • Thank you, we have so many finales and breaks that I never know when a show is finally over. What happen to the good old fall, spring and summer seasons. As for SVU, I love that show but I had the current writers or producers thinking. Leave Benson alone and stick to solving new cases revolving around current day cases. The writers are bored or think they know what is best and they don’t anymore. The ratings is theirs and the producers’ faults for overthinking what sells a show. They are so out of touch with the audience.

  5. Bwhit says:

    I think Chicago PD suffered because they randomly took a four week break so close to the end of the season. I get that they were working on the backdoor pilot for Justice but they probably should have planned better. Next week should be better given that they are introducing the characters for the next spin off.

  6. George H. says:

    Problem is, the networks are slicing up the seasons so bad now you don’t know when a new episode is going to air or if it’s just another rerun. I really hate when there is a break, then the show comes back for a couple of weeks, then goes on another multi-week break. It’s dumb.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      The networks used to work together to make TV watching a national past time, similar to political parties used to help each other pay the bills after state elections. That was the 50’s and 60’s folks.

  7. JaysonMarks says:

    Not enough people watch live TV, other than sports, for next day ratings to still be valid in 2016. I’ll watch Chicago PD, Arrow, etc on Hulu adfree this weekend or so. Plus these shows take too many hiatus Breaks. Sometimes they come back for 2 weeks off 3. Back 1 week off 4. People lose track n prefer to binge on their own time.

    • Lisa says:

      I agree, I hardly ever watch live tv anymore. I just wait for the new episodes to get added to my hulu queue and I can watch them commercial free when I have time.

  8. Big momma says:

    NBC scheduling sucks….seems like the Chicago shows are on a couple weeks, off, who knows when the heck they are coming on. And then you uave lost the continuity of the story…and more importantly don’t care. Chicago Fire has turned into a poor mans soap opera, would actually like to see a little more “fire” action and a lot less of Dawson and that endless will they wont they…I don’t care anymore. Has the lowest value to tape on dvr, doesn’t matter if we see it or not.

    • FrankieStarr says:

      Thank you for saying that about Dawson, I am so tired of that character and she dominates every episode and makes me not want to watch any more.

  9. VJ says:

    I agree with the previous comments. If I wouldn’t follow SVU and PD on twitter I probably didn’t know when it is one and when it is off. I think ABC is doing it right: air one half of the season, then nothing during winter until April and then the rest. I like that I can watch a show without these little breaks. And SVU und PD were pretty sliced up this year. Also: they have a bad lead-in and tough competition.

  10. kahy B says:

    Of course it is coming in lower, these networks are dumb, in the “old” days so to speak, shows ran till the summer, then either reruns or possible new shows until the fall when the shows would start up again, The finales left you hanging, but you knew what shows were coming back BECAUSE you were told. This BS of mid season, fall, summer, winter, etc. finales is for the birds. Plus this other BS about 18 -49 year olds holding all the power in watching, is disgusting. There are probably more people 50 and older that are home watching TV than 18 – 49!!!! So smarten up networks.

  11. Hey, let’s take a show off for 5 weeks in the middle of the season for no reason and see what happens!!!

  12. Zoe says:

    Aaaand this is why you don’t take a five-week break in the middle of the season. The heck, NBC.