Modern Family Ratings Low

Ratings: Modern Family Hits Series Low

On a Wednesday when all but one broadcast program at best held steady, ABC’s Modern Family (with 6.2 million total viewers and a 1.9 rating, per finals) slipped 9 percent and two tenths to record its second-smallest audience ever and tie its all-time demo low — not good when cast contracts are expiring and you’re looking expensive to renew.

The Goldbergs opened ABC’s night with 5.6 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating, down a tenth in the demo. Speechless (4.8 mil/1.4) ticked up, but Black-ish (4.6 mil/1.3) was down two tenths, flirting with its demo low of 1.2. Come 10 pm, Designated Survivor (5.2 mil/1.1) held rock steady.

Elsewhere on the night….

CBS | Survivor (8.4 mil/1.7) dipped a tenth, Criminal Minds (7 mil/1.3) ticked up and Beyond Borders (4.6 mil/0.7) sliped two tenths.

FOX | Shots Fired (3.7 mil/1.o) was steady, while Empire (6.4 mil/2.2) dropped 9 percent from last week’s series lows.

NBC | Bubble drama Blindspot (4.3 mil/0.9) held steady, while SVU (5.1 mil/1.2) and Chicago PD (6.5 mil/1.3) each rose a tenth.

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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42 Comments
  1. Schunjo says:

    Modern Family hasn’t been funny or even well-written for years. Time to move on

    • Kevin Tran says:

      Agreed. How many more seasons does Modern Family have left? ABC better do something right.

      • Patrick says:

        MF’s problems is that every week the show is very similar. It isn’t that the show is less funny now than in the past. It is, in fact, the same level of funny. That is because it is the same show week to week. They barely change the settings, plots, and wordings of the various jokes. Years ago, it was fresh. Now it is the same old, same old, and you think it isn’t funny because you’ve seen it before. That is why the show doesn’t do well in syndication. Friends, Seinfeld, and BBT all do very well in syndication. Those shows hold up to repeated viewings. Heck, some improve with repeated viewings and watching numerous shows in a row, or back to back over a week. With MF, familiarity breeds contempt, because binge watching, or seeing several eps in a week, highlight the similarity of the shows. It won some awards early because of the subject matter, weak comp, and decent performances by long suffering supporting actors finally getting starring roles (the rank and file in Hollywood love it when this happens). It was never great, but when it was new it was NEW. Now it is stale. Still enjoyable, but less so than it was.

        • Butch says:

          I agree the characters are stuck and haven’t grown. This episode they added Cam’s sister as a new mother living upstairs from them. Hopefully that will add something to the show. If Haley and Andy had stayed together with them becoming a junior Claire and Phil that may have been funny. The episode from last season? that took place entirely on Claire’s laptop was funny. They need to add new elements. If it means losing some characters to add new ones, they should do it. Reduce some of the current cast to recurring. They have already done this with the younger cast who do not appear on every episode.

          • JaneLane says:

            I find Cam’s sister very annoying, so I really hope she’s not sticking around, although it looks like she will be.

  2. A. Johnson says:

    Lol! Modern Family is not on the bubble. It’s the second highest rated comedy on network tv. And one of the few bright spots at ABC. They will move heaven and earth to renew it.

    • We are not sure if Modern Family will get another season because the actors contracts are up and have to be re-negotiated. This is show is owned by FOX not ABC

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      For the purpose of this narrative, “on the bubble” means “not yet renewed and facing at least one major stumbling block.” But I have edited the language to add clarity and avoid further consternation among the readership.

    • KLS says:

      Very high salaries for most of the cast are making it a bubble-show. Otherwise, a 1.8 demo number would be a sure fire renewal in today’s market.

      • georgee says:

        Looking back at last year as this time ABC had another good show. The lead signed a new contract for a season 9, and on April 15th they fired the lead actress because of budget cuts. Is ABC going to make the same mistake again? Maybe she wanted equal pay.

  3. kmw says:

    What a bad night again. Good for all the shows that stayed steady. Empire truly is falling. May not fall below a 2.0 but they will flirt with it before end of season. Modern Family dipping isn’t a huge surprise given its age but given ABC’S other woes it is still decent

    • Ron says:

      Agreed, on both fronts. It really doesn’t matter whether you like Modern Family or not, or don’t think it’s nearly as good as it used to be (which, admittedly, it isn’t). As you said, ABC has several other problems, and MF is their highest rated comedy, and maybe the second or third highest rated comedy on network television. However, this will definitely work against the actors in contract negotiations, so we’ll see how that turns out. And Empire is falling, and fast. It’s easy to criticize a show like MF for hitting series lows and seemingly dipping week to week, or holding steady, but rarely rising significantly. But look at its age. MF and Empire hadn’t virtually the same amount of viewers, and MF’s demo last week wasn’t too far off from Empire’s. Empire is a show in its third season; MF is a show in its eighth. So say what you want about MF, but that’s legitimate staying power. Empire was dominating just a year ago, and now their pulling even with shows that have been on for nearly a decade or more. Fox also has significant problems with its lineup, so Empire is still doing a good job for Fox. But it’ll be interesting to see where its ratings are come end of next season.

  4. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    They could save some contract money by sending Alex, Luke and Manny off to college. Drop Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriguez down to recurring. Then only have them on a few episodes.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      LOL, OK.

      • Patrick says:

        The combined salaries of those kids is probably roughly that of one parent. If the actors have any brains, they’ll agree to a salary cut across the board. 50 to 100 k less, per ep, and the show continues. They’ll still make millions of dollars a year, it will just be slightly fewer millions. I’d ride this show as far as possible.
        .
        A smart move might be to peel off all the kids (excluding Lily) for their own spinoff. Spend next season setting up said spinoff, and get it going the next season.

  5. Haz says:

    I hope ABC is smart and if Modern Family is renewed it’s for a shortened final season. I’ve been a fan of the show since it’s first season but I went ahead and dropped it in January. It was becoming a chore to watch and I would laugh maybe once or twice. I hope they will let the show end with some dignity vs going out the way shows such as Glee did, with a whimper.

  6. As much as I enjoy Modern Family, I really think it’s time to wrap it up. I feel like all the story lines are repetitive. Something happens…Cam freaks out. Something happens…Jay feels old, but still wants to be loved. Something happens…Phil over reacts, the family doesn’t like it, and then change their mind because they love the fun loving lovable goof in him. It’s legitimately the same storyline-different scenarios…every week. I much prefer the original seasons.

  7. Curious says:

    Empire again hit a new series low too. More than two full points down year to year. Rather staggering and likely At least as notable for a show not even 45 eps in its run vs. an 8 year old show.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Empire’s low was headlined last week; at a certain point, it becomes bullying. Plus, it is already renewed.

  8. chadcronin says:

    I find your post a bit too negative. I wish you’d stop tearing down shows so much. Modern family is still a good show. People who say otherwise just are doing the normal love it then hate it crap. When you compare it to almost everything else that was on ratings wise for the night, it’s still kicking their butts. Look how fast Empire is deflating. The show is fine.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Reporting on a fact-based milestone is not “tearing down” anything. #Ratings #TeenLife

    • jj says:

      All he is doing is reporting the numbers. It’s not Matt’s fault if numbers are down. He still has to report them.

      • chadcronin says:

        I think adding the bit about renewal got to me most. Compared to the other shows I don’t see renewal being an issue. I think if ratings go down they can negotiate on terms but I think the show should go on through 10-12 seasons total

        • Nero tTVfiddler says:

          If you get a chance, please check out my post below… the cost of the show is an issue. The cast is large, it will be hard to write out any one or two cast members to cut costs without alienating the rest. ABC, at this point, has to pick up the bulk of the production costs.

          TCentury is making their money on the series now in syndication… adding another year or more to the overall syndication package really doesn’t make that much difference financially for them. Particularly if there is a perception (real or not) that the quality of the writing and show is going downhill. What’s better – 6 or 7 outstanding high quality seasons in a syndication package, or 7-8 good-to-high quality seasons in an off-network package and 3-4 sub-par seasons that only dilute the value of the ‘brand.’

          If it is over, TCentury is set. I don’t think TC cares one way or other… in fact, they might like to wrap things up with a short order next season and move on. It is ABC that has to make the determination of go/no-go and foot the bill. I like Modern Family, but sometimes it is better to go out with heads held high … not holding out for more money (what other reason to stay at this point?) and cranking out a couple of more seasons just because. That’s not good – for anyone. The series deserves a better end than that.

          Jerry Seinfeld said it best – sometimes you need to leave a bit early, and have the audience wanting more, and missing you. The alternative is not good.

  9. Wrstlgirl says:

    The Queen is dead and I couldn’t be happier. Survivor fans will get it.

  10. Maybe we should just say “television in general is matching its series lows”.

  11. Tom says:

    Modern Family was destroyed when they lost Andy and thought it would e hilarious to pair Haley with that sleazeball Rainer Shine. I would say it definitely rained.

  12. SJ says:

    Is there no fact-checking done on this website? The Goldbergs’ series low is a 1.3 while black-ish’s is a 1.2. Neither hit a series low last night.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      All fixed, Stefan! I didn’t go back far enough for Goldbergs (so rare a show does worse in its early seasons, slap me on the forehead!), and black-ish was a simple case of my eyes playing tricks on me. (I am a very old man.) Have a great afternoon!

  13. TvLover says:

    Hmm, I felt myself just wondering what was going on in the last two episodes of MF. I mean they just seemed random. And sadly, the addition of Nathan Fillion didn’t really improve it either, i probably expected him to be much funnier than he was I think but his character just was annoying.
    The stories aren’t even that funny anymore. But The Middle i think is actually really great this season.

  14. Jana says:

    Happy to see Blindspot remain steady, and the half-hour split was also 0.9/0.9, which means there was no drop off during the show. #RenewBlindspot

  15. nyb@hotmail.com says:

    I have always hated Modern Family. Just a crappy show, no matter how often I try to watch some of it. Nails on a chalkboard.

  16. Nero tTVfiddler says:

    Modern Family is near the end – if they can get another contract signed for next (shortened) season, that’s probably a ‘win’ for all involved, and let it go at that point. Nine seasons. The end.
    .
    Remember, at this point, ABC will be footing the bill… or at least the majority of the contract increases for 2017-18. So, the question becomes, can ABC gain value from this series for one more year?
    .
    If Modern is gone next season, I assume, Blackish moves up to the 9pm slot, and a new show is slotted at 9:30. Modern is getting 1.9 in demo, Blackish a 1.3. Maybe ABC does a big promotion for Blackish this fall, maybe a cast-stunt addition, and demo moves up to 1.6. If ABC can swing that, then keeping Modern around (financially) maybe doesn’t make that much sense at 1.9 demo when the replacement has 1.6-1.7 potential, and is less expensive.
    .
    My guess? Modern comes back for a final (shorten) season – maybe 13 episodes to keep costs in line, and wrap up the story. It is incumbent upon ABC to take full advantage of that final MF season (launch a new comedy series behind it?) and get Blackish ready for the 9pm Wednesday slot once MF is gone by winter’18.

    • chadcronin says:

      I guess you can’t expect 10 plus seasons of shows anymore, especially with a large cast. I’m not gonna fully count this out yet. I still think the show is good for brand. It would be neat if they signed everyone for a final deal for 2 seasons 9 and 10 but perhaps that’s wishful thinking

  17. George says:

    MF has been really STUPID, not funny. Phil is annoying and a jerk, Clair is stupid dumb, kids are fools. Cam is getting on EVERYONES nerves. NOT funny and just needs to be over. No one cares anymore.

  18. Marie58 says:

    Sincerely doubt that the show is in any kind of danger. BUT the writing sure isn’t as good as it used to be. Check out some reruns on local Fox stations (most 3ps are laugh out loud funny) and compare with this season… well, there is no comparison.

  19. MelodyAZ says:

    Is Sarah Hyland well? Didn’t she have a kidney transplant a few years ago? Something seems off with her. I hope she is not ill.

  20. Lisa Echerd says:

    If ABC would stop promoting those ridiculous shows Imaginary Mary and the new kids toy show and get back to promoting their regular shows, their viewership would increase. With every other week a rerun and few if any promos, no one knows if something will be new this week or not.

  21. Tonia says:

    I think Elizabeth Banks and all her offscreen political antics brought down ratings, Look what happened to the Academy Awards this year. They hit an all time low in ratings. Don’t bring your politics out to try and influence people because you are a TV star..

  22. blue4t says:

    I loved Modern Family, but then they started stepping on Christian toes. There was the Christian band singing the homophobic song. I did decide to give them a second chance but I couldn’t shake the feeling when this season started. When Mitch was rude during Onward Christian Soldiers I just gave up. This is a big reason why the show has fallen in ratings.

    (I searched the internet for an idea on how Modern Family was doing this season and that’s how I ended up on thi

  23. Steve H says:

    Not that I expect anyone to care about my humble opinion, but I just thought I’d throw it out there that I really miss watching Modern Family since I had to stop watching on principle. That show is the only one that I watched that now prevents me from skipping commercials on my DVR. I refuse to be held captive by sponsors or Directv by having to sit through their advertising. I have too may other options.