Conviction Ratings

Ratings: ABC's Conviction Premiere Delivers Sub-Castle Numbers

ABC’s Conviction premiered on Monday night to 5.2 million total viewers and a 0.9 demo rating (per finals), eroding more than 20 percent over the course of the hour and debuting below time slot predecessor Castle‘s most recent premiere (6.8 mil/1.2), series finale (7.7 mil/1.3) and final-season average (6.2 mil/1.1). TVLine readers gave the Hayley Atwell starrer an average grade of “B.”

Opening ABC’s night, Dancing With the Stars (10.6 mil/1.7) ticked down week-to-week.

Monday’s other big launch, NBC’s Timeless, did 7.6 mil and a 1.8, winning the 10 o’clock hour though down from every apres-Voice Monday launch of the past few years (Revolution‘s 11.7 mil/4.1, Blacklist‘s 12.6 mil/3.8, State of Affairs’ 8.7 mil/2.2, Blindspot‘s 10.6 mil/3.1 and the Good Place preview’s 8 mil/2.3). It was up sharply, though, from Blindspot‘s 13 most recent Monday outings (since late November). TVLine readers gave it a “B+.”

Leading things off for the Peacock, The Voice (11.8 mil/3.0) was steady week-to-week in audience while dipping a bit in the demo.

Elsewhere on the night….

FOX | Gotham (3.2 mil/1.0) slipped to series lows, while Lucifer (3.7 mil/1.1) ticked down to match its all-time demo low.

CBS | Big Bang (14.3 mil/3.5) was steady, while Kevin Can Wait (9.6 mil/2.4) slipped 19 percent. Scorpion ‘s double-episode premiere averaged 8.3 mil/1.5, on par with its May finale (9 mil/1.6), and with a “B” grade from readers.

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

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. analog says:

    Well that sucks. I actually liked Conviction. Seems like it’s DOA.

    • Mike says:

      While the numbers don’t look great I’m not sure you can call it DOA this soon.

      • Dysturbed says:

        Pretty much can unfortunately, though anything is possible. Generally speaking these days, when a show starts with really good or decent numbers, there is wiggle room for it to lose some viewers, or there are already enough viewers to possibly mean good word of mouth and then more viewers in following weeks. When a show has low numbers from the start, the chances of enough viewers tuning in in following weeks to make it worth saving is usually slim. Of course there are exceptions.

    • Lange says:

      For me the problem is Haley Atwell. I disliked her in Mansfield Park and Pillars Of The Earth and just can’t warm up to her. Certainly not enough to give her an hour every week.

      • Simon Jester says:

        Whereas I *love* Haley Atwell… but couldn’t get past how truly awful this show looked and didn’t bother to watch.

        • CIP says:

          The show was OK but the lead actress American accent is a little distracting (it comes and goes). The lead plays a former first daughter…

    • You never know. ABC renewed The Catch. ABC is all over the place and really needs a breakout hit. Until then who knows, they can’t cancel everything…. yet.

      • KLS says:

        Regular rules don’t apply to The Catch. It is under the Shondaland protective shield. (Up to a point)

      • Lucifer says:

        Shondaland shows are under protection, now more than ever because the new president is Shonda’s best friend. That’s also why American Crime was renewed, despite worse ratings than shows like Castle and Nashville – ABC prez is friends with the creator. Those shows would have to get CW-like ratings to lose protection. And Marvel shows are given some leniency, but as we have seen with Agent Carter, there is a stricter limit.

      • shir says:

        Oh yes they can, just watch-em.

  2. Glenda Shearman says:

    Hey, Matt. Is there any news on Castle going into syndication? It seems TNT has let it slip through the cracks and CW may not be far behind.
    I loved and miss Castle, but it was never going to be the show it once was without Stana and Tamala just as it wouldn’t be the same without Nathan or the other ensemble cast.
    Castle was the only show on television that I watched and enjoyed. Kinda lost without it. So hope another channel or channels pick it up for syndication.

    • Miss Rozie says:

      Castle has been on TNT for a long while now – I just noticed that it is now relegated to a 3am start time – but for a LONG while, it started at 3pm and aired back to back episodes until at least 7pm. ACTUALLY, I liked this show, and I said out loud to the tv (silly, I know! ha!) THIS is where this show needs Rick Castle to be a part of it. These two shows are VERY similar.

    • Lange says:

      That’s why I find myself becoming more and more dependent on PBS. From their police procedurals to Masterpiece Mystery or Masterpiece Classic, it’s the cream of TV these days.

    • AJ says:

      It is in syndication. They just started airing season 8. Search you On Screen guide better

    • Mary says:

      Agreed! I’m done with ABC for allowing Castle to be messed up by the show runners and breaking up the cast. Why TNT doesn’t have Castle reruns in Prime time anymore is a huge disappointment because I would watch season 1-6 reruns every evening after work on TNT, but not now – why totally give up on a popular show without fixing it? I guess I’m done with both ABC and TNT!

    • Fran says:

      Loved Castle too Glenda! Wish there was another show as good!

    • Kathie says:

      Castle is still airing on TNT, but overnight in the wee hours. I knew it would eventually be dropped from the afternoon slot.
      Fortunately, I have 118 episodes on my recorder and can watch them anytime I want.

    • shir says:

      So agree with you. TNT had pushed it back to 3am. Don’t know why . I’m sure its a contract with ABC. Probably money. Usually is money. TNT had my viewership for a very long time. I’m moving away.from it. No Castle to watch so I’ll find another channel.

  3. Cat says:

    It was only the FIRST episode for Conviction…Give it a chance! Quit watching Gotham last season…way too dark and can’t stand that Fish is back. Scorpion has turned into a cartoon of itself…quit watching that one at the end of last season. Had to DVR Timeless, so can’t say one way or the other yet.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Pilots are, usually, lousy. I’ll watch it, no matter what…Agent Carter and Flack…sweet. They made a big mistake not getting it on-demand, immediately. I can’t be the only one that forgot to record it, and now they will never get those numbers.

      • John NYC says:

        I speculate it varies: pilots needed to pitch a show versus a pilot that simply is the first episode produced for a show that’s contracted for.

        One is an introduction while the other is a sales pitch. I’d construct them differently anyway….

  4. Gary says:

    Hahaha maybe abc should not have bowed down to an angry mob who demand castle be pulled and continued with its post becket plans just goes to show be careful what you wish for guys

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Wasn’t there a new boss? The same thing happened with Titus. It seemed more like cleaning house, looking for a different kind (and age) of viewers (Nashville and Castle).

    • Mary says:

      NO, maybe ABC should have spent the money to keep the successful cast of Castle TOGETHER like other popular shows do, and told the show runners to stop with the angsty plots and get back to what the audience loved in seasons 5 & 6! I’m done with ABC & TNT (unless they bring Castle reruns back during Prime Time)!

    • Lynn says:

      not really, the show without the Beckett character would have been DOA!

  5. wrstlgirl says:

    Doesn’t look like Conviction or Timeless did very well. Sad to see Lucifer doing so poorly. It ‘s just a silly, fun show.

  6. Kevin K says:

    Timeless was an awesome show last night. As for Conviction, poor excuse of a Scandal wannabe. No complaining

    • Sara says:

      It was nothing like Scandal…

      • Kevin K says:

        Conviction and Notorious are Scandal wannabes. Still you’re complaining. Remember the NO COMPLAINING RULE

        • KLS says:

          So, no one can comment on any of your comments? What’s the point of even posting in the first place? COMMENTS WELCOME.

        • Sara says:

          That wasn’t a complaint, it was an observation. You are the one breaking your “no complaints” rule by complaining about Conviction.

          • c-mo says:

            I just wish people would stop feeding the Kevin K beast and just ignore his comments altogether! I’m starting to think he’s a member of that family with the last name that begins with a “K”, he’s so annoying!

        • John NYC says:

          Scandal is a criminal procedural? Huh, didn’t know that as I never bothered watching it. I got a very soap opera vibe off the descriptions. Gag

  7. kmw says:

    Yes Conviction opened to below Castle’s numbers( and not good for a series premiere anyway) but really does anyone think a Stana Katic less Castle would have done much better? Maybe for a week or two at best. Also given the reviews of Conviction it is not surprising it started out this way. Timeless did alright but probably not as good as NBC hoped. Ouch for Gotham and Lucifer, didn’t see those drops coming so soon. As always no surprises with CBS.

    • Caitlin says:

      A Katic less Castle? Absolutely not. Not even for a week or two but that’s what happens when producers and ABC mess with a successful formula.

    • Mary says:

      True, I would not have watched Castle with either of the leads gone – totally against what the show creator intended – why mess so much with what was a good show with a winning formula? ABC messed up big time – should have given the show runners a kick in the butt to make them get back on the right track – seasons 4-6 were the best.

    • Lame says:

      I would have liked to have seen that attempt. It would’ve interesting to see the cast work around the void.

  8. ndixit says:

    I wish Timeless had done better. It was one of the ‘pure fun’ pilots of the season. With the current slate at NBC, it would have to hold extremely well to get another season. Conviction was crap and looked it so it’s no surprise it flopped.

  9. Steven says:

    Do they understand we don’t want anything to do with Haley Atwell yet, or will she have to tank three or four more network shows to get the point across?

    She’s a media darling for media darling reasons, but people don’t want to see that.

    • Penny says:

      Speak for yourself. I adore Hayley Atwell and so wish Agent Carter was still on! She’s fantastic and owns the screen when she’s on it

    • John NYC says:

      I happen to like her overall. Though other than this new character that’s largely been in her Agent Carter role.

      I also have liked the rest of the cast in other things so I’m on board with the casting choices.

    • Lange says:

      Why is she a media darling? I don’t get it. She’s cold, lifeless, unconvincing and only average in looks. What’s the draw? IMO there’s no there there.

  10. I like it. The first 15 mins were boring but the last 45 mins were great.

    • Doug Henning says:

      I felt the same way about Conviction but the last 15 minutes saved it for me.. I’ll be giving it a few more chances… Timeless was fun… Anything with Abigail Spencer is in for me.. Waiting for last batch of Rectify. Scorpion needs to deep 6 all the relationship stories and have the team do what it does without angst..

  11. Drb says:

    Bring back Agent Carter!

  12. Brian says:

    Poor Hayley Atwell. She deserves better.

  13. syl says:

    I really liked it, but starting so low I don’t think it has a chance. Obviously a Beckett-less Castle would have been worse.

  14. robgeo says:

    hey matt – i think you and michael should make an executive decision and stop reporting about ratings. its just stupid! fussing about ratings is like fleas arguing about who owns the dog – its meaningless. 30 years ago ratings meant something because an average show would draw 20 – 50 million viewers. now most shows are lucky to get 5 million and are happy with 2 million – from 5 -15% down to 1- 2% of the population. saying a show is down 1 million viewers from last years debut of some other show is double hand palm over 0.3% of the population – stupid!
    the whole landscape of tv is changing because of entities like netflix and hulu, amazon and itunes. networks cancel shows now, not because of ratings but because of how much it costs them to make the show. that is why so many actors are fired after 2 or 3 successful seasons because they start demanding more money.
    networks get advertising money but they get a lot more from other sources.
    remember in the early 00’s when networks were crying about “support your local station”? that was just another way of saying “we want us some of that there cable money!!” now all networks are owned by cable companies so that is no longer an issue …and cable companies are starting to stream their shows over the internet. people are cutting cable like crazy. if you are paying for cable tv and for internet you are paying twice for the same thing!
    that is why cable companies are begging you to come back to cable. i bet within less than 10 years and probably less than 5, traditional network ad-supported television will not exist. it will all be streaming!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      We’re good, but thanks.

      • MMD says:

        I actually am interested in the ratings especially the ones from cable channels if they stay consistent. It helps me discover gems that I might not bother with. My main viewing consists of British/Aussie/Canadian/Netflix shows and if I like a particular actor and they do a network show I will usually follow them and give the show a try.

        That’s how I discovered Justified, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, Better Call Saul, Rectify, none of which I thought received the love they deserved but their ratings were’t great but had very loyal viewership.

    • Nero tTVfiddler says:

      Just for clarity for the others here, I wanted to ensure we all have some basic information correct to help enhance our discussion about broadcast television ratings:

      1. Yes, NBC (Universal) is owned by cable company Comcast, but ABC is owned by Disney, CBS is a standalone company (may re-merge with Viacom), FOX is owned by 21st Century Fox, and the CW is co-owned by Warner and CBS.

      2. Actors most often sign 5 year contracts to work on a television series. That is why on year 6 and beyond, the networks and production studios begin to battle over who will pay for what as costs rise, as the actors have more leverage after the 5th season.

      3. The advertising revenue is still key to making the broadcast system work… both over night ratings, and now, L+3. The cable companies pay the networks to add their (the network’s) onto their channel systems, but most cable/satellite companies have ‘must carry’ rules enforced by local/state franchise laws to ensure the basic broadcast networks are carried on cable/satellite systems (although, those legacy laws may change someday… soon.)

      4. Cable cord-cutters and never-were viewers are everywhere now, so clearly, OTT/streaming services are here to stay, and cable companies are trying to figure out where they will fit it. But ad-supported television will survive at one end of the spectrum, and subscription based content (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.) will exist on the other. The networks will each have their own streaming service vi subscription, and ad-free choices. But somewhere, there will still be ad-based programming, for those who prefer not to pay (directly) for video content entertainment services. The money will be distributed to each of those tier services accordingly.

      5. Ratings/the numbers do matter in television. Yes, the numbers are not what they once were – 30 million viewers as recently as 2000 for AI and CSI, for example. But the numbers are relative – if series ‘a’ has 1.5 in the demo and 7 million viewers, and series ‘b’ has 1.0/4 million on a given network, the network will renew ‘a’ over ‘b’ and cancel ‘b’, all things being equal. That’s what all of us here are watching – which favorite show survives, and which doesn’t.

      • robgeo says:

        thanks for all this info. very concise and helpful.
        what i was wanting tvline to do was stop the continual reporting of ratings because they mean so very little to me and they annoy me. i don’t care about ratings. i much more enjoy reading the reviews and the analysis that tvline is so good at. they talk about the quality of acting, the directing, the writing and the cinematography. they talk about nuances in the shows, surprises, inferences. these things make the shows great, get us emotionally involved and cause us to love or hate the show. this is what i want to read about.
        tvline has a lot of influence in the media world and i think if they stopped reporting about ratings it could cause a trend to shift focus away from ratings which imo would be a good thing.
        i understand that many people like to see the ratings and i guess to some extent there is still some dependence on them when deciding a shows’ future, especially as you point out that its the relativeness of the rating, not the overall numbers.
        i still think though that many factors go into deciding a shows’ future, not just demos or viewer numbers. the whole system for income for content creators now is very complex with a lot of subjectivity and many more players than in the years gone by.
        i believe that in the 70’s and 80’s the nielsen system was based on total households with televisions at about 100 million. i think today the total number is still around 100 million. the difference is that back then on any particular night and at any particular time somewhere near half of those households would be watching tv. now that number has dwindled down to about a tenth or 10 milliion. so the sample used to determine ratings is drawn from a much smaller population.
        but the key is that the networks know that ultimately the total number of people who will eventually see the show is much larger than the live population used to generate ratings. so it must be that other factors besides ratings are used to determine a show’s future.
        i was reading a recent tvline article where i think the producer of body of proof was regretting the cancellation of that show and he said that at the time it was cancelled it had viewer numbers of 11 or 12 million. so why was it cancelled? as often as we can predict the success or failure of a show by its numbers, we are puzzled when the numbers fail as a predictor.

        • Nero tTVfiddler says:

          Good points. You are correct, back in the 1960s and 1970s (pre-cable television expansion), what networks looked at (and back then, there were really just three, plus PBS and the four networks’ many affiliates and local independents) was ratings and something called ‘share’. Ratings were indeed based upon number of households with television sets (100 million +/-) and Share, which was the number of televisions turned on at a given time. With just three networks back then dividing up the pie, on any given night you’d see shows (average shows) getting 30-40 ratings and 33-50+ shares … incredible numbers!
          Alas, those days are gone. 500 channels. Now, the game is not just ratings (you are correct there), but also ownership of the show and ‘the back end’ of getting revenue off syndication, and so forth – global. The networks want to not only be the distributors of the content, they want to own that content as well. So, if NBC owns a particular pilot, that pilot has a far better chance of getting onto the air than a pilot they have from another non-NBC production house. And canceling shows, the same way – owning a show makes it more difficult to cancel it, despite poor ratings.
          We are in 100% agreement…TVLine is the best at providing detailed reviews and recaps of televisions shows. I feel like I know what all the shows on TV are doing, without even needing to spend the time (which I don’t have!) to watch them all! TVLine is awesome!!
          Enjoy!! :)

  15. Penny says:

    in SoCal we didn’t get Quantico on Sunday night but instead got Conviction. Clearly a mess up with the network but that might have something to do with low ratings if people had already seen it the night before. Anybody else get that on Sunday?

  16. GraceM says:

    Big Bang needs better episodes like the season premiere.

  17. Maddie says:

    You all need to get over the fact that castle is canceled. Its ridiculous all the whining you guys are doing. I liked castle too but it was time for it to end. Now its time to give the new shows a chance. Conviction was good. Its obviously not going to be has good as castle was but then again there’s only been one episode. Give it a chance or don’t watch. Just stop complaining.

  18. SoMuchHope says:

    It gave me some Scandal and Closer. Notorious is missing something. I’ll give both a few more eps.

  19. Walkie says:

    Looks like Conviction will probably be the first show axed. Also looks like the last season of Gotham.

  20. marcus starkey says:

    it was just on to late for me to stay up with work and all but plan to watch later

  21. Boiler says:

    ABC royally messed itself. Hope the new program head a short timer. Nice for Scorpion but need more viewers. A Castle with Beckett and the revamped Nashville better than most of ABC dramas

  22. skrable2a says:

    I wonder how many comments there would be on this story if the headline had simply been about Conviction and kept the Castle comparison to the text of the story. The SEO-savvy folks at TVL know the Castle fandom will click on anything with the name in a headline (or NF’s pic in the recent “how much are they paid” story).

  23. K says:

    Yikes, was going to give Conviction a shot because of the cast, but just went ahead and deleted the series from my dvr. First show to get axed more than likely so not going to bother. Disappointing as it’s one of the few new fall shows I was interested in.

  24. kay says:

    noo. I liked it. hope it lasts..

  25. Debbi-C says:

    I hope ALL ABC shows bomb. They handled Castle in the wrong way. Favoring the male co-lead over the female co-lead and then firing her, the execs responsible should all lose their jobs.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      So because you feel that they mishandled the Castle situation that all actors and crew, etc. on any ABC show should be unemployed. That’s pretty harsh.

  26. BJ says:

    That is the problem Cat. They never leave a new show on long enough to build a core audience. After a few episodes if it doesn’t take off it’s finished. And please let the networks know that there are a lot of people who watch their programming who do not fit into their 18-49 demographics. We deserve good programming too.

  27. I won’t watch it because the same producer that ruined criminal minds with the firing of Thomas Gibson is part of this show, I will never watch any show that they are involved with, their lack of respect for the viewer has been dually noted and I’m done with them.

  28. Nero tTVFiddler says:

    There is a theory (?) that says network shows don’t compete against each other in a time slot (inter-network) as much as they compete against each other within a network (intra-network)… particularly around Upfront season in spring.
    If that is true, Conviction may not be competing for survival (ratings wise or otherwise) against its 10pm Monday competition of Timeless and Scorpion (it is third in that three horse race) as much as it is competing with other similar new ABC dramas like Nortorious and upcoming Time After Time.
    ABC will need schedule space for a drama like Time After Time mid-season: 10pm Sunday night is not an option – no broadcast network wants to place a new show in that slot. Scandal will take over 9pm slot from Notorious in winter, so at some point, Notorious, Conviction and Time After Time will all compete for a single hour in the schedule – Monday, 10pm. If Timeless does well for NBC at 10, might ABC go a similar route with Time After Time at 10pm Mondays? In any eventuality, Conviction must perform reasonably well and quickly, because by January, competition within ABC for 10pm slots (particularly Mondays) will intensify… Quantico, perhaps in the mix as well.

  29. TvLover says:

    That’s too bad. I haven’t watched it yet, so I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt before I judge it. I enjoyed Hayley Atwell in Agent Carter. I watched Timelsess instead and that was alright for a first episode so far. Hope that Conviction improves though.

  30. jericho says:

    Its sad, I love the people in the show, but the show has so many “ticks” and “cliches” that it took away from my enjoyment. Makes me wish ABC just kept Agent Carter around.

  31. I hope abc is happy it reigned castle the best show they had by trying to break up cast and keeping Andrew Marlowe maybe the can correct the mistake and wise up and TNT should bring castle back in prime time hope soon

  32. laura c says:

    While I like the premise of the show, I don’t like the lead character which for me is important. I DO like the supporting cast though so I will give the show another try before I make final judgment– which won’t matter since it looks doomed already.

  33. Mari says:

    I watched Timeless which I thought was interesting. The lead character was actually on Castle.

  34. Tahoe Mike says:

    Love Haley Atwell, still miss Agent Carter, probably won’t watch this. I have three basic rules for picking the shows I watch: No Cops, No Doctors, No Lawyers.

  35. SherryB says:

    Shows such as Lucifer started out of a different night, thats what people are use to , THAT NIGHT..Then the network changes it and expects viewers to find said shows and soar ratings..Leave the damn shows alone, they find a following there. I sometimes think its just the networks way of justifying cancelling a show, move it all up and folks can’t find it..Poof, its gone..

  36. Ashley says:

    I watched Conviction with low expectations due to the negative reviews, but I actually liked it. I don’t get all of the negativity. Sorry to see it didn’t do well in the ratings.

  37. michael feeney says:


  38. JMark (formerly JM) says:

    Wasn’t thrilled with ‘Conviction’ but will give it another try. I’m really worried about ‘Gotham’. Love the show, but I must say that I don’t like this new ‘I don’t give a —-‘ Gordon. I much prefer him as the hero of the show to counterbalance all the villains.

  39. Courtney says:

    Conviction is going to be a hot mess. I don’t like to see a show with a female lead tank, but I don’t see this show being renewed.

  40. jim says:

    I sincerely apologize for drooling over Agent Carter in her new role. I love her.

  41. Me says:

    Just put the word Castle in your title and you get your most commented publication! Love it. Am going to miss it.

  42. Oldwillow says:

    Three episodes into the Conviction series, the show has been getting stronger and stronger. There are many twists and turns in each episode. Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell) and Conor Wallis (Eddie Cahill) are showing a lot chemistry. Hayley Atwell is great. I really want to know what Hayes is thinking next. Conor Wallis seems to have a genuine concern for Hayes’ wellbeing, and he seems to be a fair man who wants to do right by the cases that pass through the DA’s office. The supporting cast has become more fleshed out with each episode. Shawn Ashmore’s, Sam Spencer, has been a stand out. Liking this series a lot. Hope it stays on ABC.

  43. Mary says:

    Too bad ABC didn’t keep Castle healthy, it was a good show!