Ratings: Once Upon a Time Dips to New Lows, Golf Delay Clubs CBS Dramas

Talk about your final battles: ABC bubble drama Once Upon a Time this Sunday drew 2.6 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, dipping on both counts to mark new series lows.

Leading out of that, Match Game (3 mil/0.7) ticked up from its midseason premiere, while American Crime (1.7 mil/0.4) held steady.

Over on CBS, a sizable golf delay (that buried poor Elementary in a veritable sand trap) knocked NCIS: LA (9.2 mil/1.1) and Madam Secretary (6.5 mil/0.7) down to respectively match and hit their series lows.

NBC’s Little Big Shots (8.6 mil/1.3), Chicago Justice (5.5 mil/0.9) and Shades of Blue (4 mil/0.7) all held steady.

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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84 Comments
  1. LizWebberFan says:

    ABC just needs to go with a completely brand new Sunday line up in the Fall.

    • Dottie says:

      No. Their line up is good. CBS needs to do something about all the sports that ruin the ratings. Especially Golf. Do you know anyone who watched. Elementary needs another night. Sunday at 10:00 means cancellation. It is a classic case of….sports brings in more money than regular shows.

      • Ann says:

        I wish CBS had never moved Elementary to Sundays. I used to really like that show. I had to stop watching the show because of all of the sports overruns. I don’t have enough DVR space to block out three hours each Sunday night to make sure I catch the show.

      • Steven says:

        Do we know anyone who watched The Masters? Uh, yeah.

        • drhenning says:

          Masters over run was the top rated show on Sunday night.. The late night drew lower but still top ratings for NCISLA and Madame Sec. Elementary was kicked to next week..

      • Pedro says:

        Their line up is not good if all they can muster is a 0.7.

        • BM says:

          Normally, Madam Secretary airs an hour earlier and the demo hovers around 1.0. The line-up is not the problem, the delay is.

      • dan says:

        Football in the Fall, college basketball in the winter and golf in the Spring all bring sizeable numbers to CBS on Sunday afternoons, otherwise they wouldn’t spend huge amounts of money for the broadcast rights. Typically a small overrun into prime time (5-10, maybe 15 minutes) helps the ratings, but the longer the overrun the more non-sports viewers tune out. It’s a double-edge sword: a playoff at The Masters probably gets great numbers from golf fans (who are typically wealthier viewers), but then the prime time audience tunes out.

        • Piers says:

          My local CBS pre-empts prime time shows for high school basketball!

        • CBS is absolutely the worst at managing sports overruns, and we record all three CBS shows, only to end up deleting them or trying to catch them on Comcast but CBS is also the worst at streaming/replay of their shows. It’s like they don’t want anyone to watch their Sunday night shows at all. Just schedule 30 minutes of filler after sports and stop messing up the main schedule.

      • KLS says:

        Advertising during sporting events bring in more money. Period. Sunday timeslots are tough. Against sports, TWD, GOT, etc. that’s why NCIS:LA’s success was such a surprise. If it stayed on Monday, it would have been on the bubble for sure. ABC’s Sunday lineup needs a lot of work.

      • TMJ says:

        CBS should deal with this the same way FOX does. They should just schedule “60 Minutes” at 8:00pm, followed by two dramas (not three). The 7:00pm hour can be filled with a sports wrapup show and/or repeats of “60 Minutes” segments. If everyone knows that the night starts with new shows at 8:00pm, the problem will be solved.

    • Ray says:

      Absolutely. OUAT has run its course and should have been cancelled a season and a half ago. It’s beyond embarrassing at this point. Glad I quit watching because things seem to have only gotten worse, both creatively and from a numbers standpoint.

  2. Billy meacham says:

    So there’s never a delay when they have a freaking awards show every other dang Sunday, but when sports is on every dang Sunday it’s freaking delayed. So annoying!!

  3. Silvy says:

    Yeah I’ve given up hope trying to catch NCIS:LA & Madam Secretary on Sundays. Crap sports dragging on then half my DVR recordings of 60 Minutes instead of my shows. Both shows deserve better time slots elsewhere.

  4. JenE says:

    Re OUAT: perhaps all of Adam and Eddy’s lies are finally biting them in the ass (year of Snowing, CaptainSwan adventure only to separate them again etc) plus backstories of characters we could give a crap about.

    • Andrew says:

      @ JenE – I agree. After last week’s fiasco of an episode, I’m not surprised the show lost more viewers. Aladdin, Jasmine, and Ariel are NOT needed.

      Last night was good, though, but only because it focused on the main arc and not side stories.

    • Brennan says:

      Honestly, another sleeping curse? Emma and Hook separated? And who can keep count of all the dropped storylines? Not to mention no clear focus this year at all; first Jekyll was the big bad, then the Evil Queen, then Gideon, now the Black Fairy – but are we sure they won’t change their minds again and make Jafar the big bad of the season? I had high hopes for this season since they wouldn’t be trapped in another realm or under another curse, but it turns out the split arcs gave the writers focus – except it was handled so poorly last season with the entire Camelot arc being dropped like a hot potato once Hook became a second dark one (their worst twist imho). I think season 4 handled the split arc perfectly, if only the guest stars wouldn’t have taken over the show. Camelot had such promise too. The Underworld was jumping the shark. They’ve exhausted all the popular stories and characters to the point where the two big bads this season (Gideon and Black Fairy) are original characters. What would be smart on the writers front if they were rewarded a seventh season would be to dedicate it entirely to bringing back forgotten characters and wrapping up dropped storylines, there’s enough to fill two seasons at this point. But we all know they won’t do that, they’ll introduce 15 new characters and a new realm and more magical deus-ex-machina’s than anyone can keep count of, creating more plot holes, and all the new characters will be forgotten before the end of the season with only 5 of their storylines properly wrapped up and the other 10 put in the pile of “We’ll get to it one day”

  5. fernando933 says:

    Once needs to end this season. That’s terrible ratings.

  6. Boiler says:

    ABC continues to show that its new programming head has no clue. Feel bad for OUAT though.

  7. justsomeguy says:

    This could be good news for Timeless. Sorry, OUAT fans, I just like Timeless more lol

  8. Gerald says:

    Well the ominous warning from the old author on OUAT says it all… This is the last chapter.

  9. fernando933 says:

    So this is what I think might be good for ABC for Sunday in the fall, just my brainstorming/ opinion : 8/7pm: Blackish/New Comdey, 9/8: Inhumans, 10/9: Agents of Shield (Inhumans could boost the show up)

    Also I feel like even Designated Survivor can boost sundays ratings, it makes 9 million viewers in DVR and above 2.0 demo. Think Wednesday might be to hard for people to choose it over other shows

  10. Davin says:

    Elementary got pre-emptied due to the Gold overrun. CBS should never have moved it off of Thursday night. The ratings are low and this show is in danger of being canceled.

  11. Ana says:

    OUAT is so over. They got beat in the demo by the Simpsons. They got beat in viewers by a game show. ABC should should give up on the scripted series on Sunday night, they should go with competition and game shows.

    • A. Johnson says:

      Game shows in the fall and comedies/reality after football is over. NBC owns the night with sports. CBS has drama covered. And FOX is comedy. They shouldn’t waste time and money developing/marketing anything new in fall on Sundays. Maybe a FOTB/Speechless/Sharktank combo? Blackish belongs on Tuesday’s at 9 and you could throw anything at the wall after the Goldbergs and hit decent ratings.

  12. Alex says:

    OUAT started being primarily about Regina and Emma along with a lot of Snow and Charming, it should be ending the same way. Hook should have just remained a love interest in the background, instead they have pretty much placed him front and center and no one cares. And honestly, who wants to watch Gideon and Emma, it is all just such a waste. The stories are best when R&E are working together.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I care about Hook. A lot of viewers do. If anything, I tired of the Regina/Snow flashbacks.

      • Alex says:

        A Hook episode always kills the ratings and season 5 with so much Hook killed the series.

      • 221bsam says:

        I do too, I don’t think Once would’ve survived this long without Colin O’Donoghue, I really don’t (just my opinion)

        • Brennan says:

          It’s true, whether his haters like it or not he’s a fan favorite along with Regina and Rumple, and Emma is the main character. Once can’t lose any of those four without half their fans leaving. The fandom is one of the most divisive I’ve ever seen, claiming they only watch for a certain character, and skipping anything revolving around guest stars like Aladdin and Jasmine, trying to force Emma into any other relationship but with Hook, and bitching that Regina’s happy ending revolves around a man but when she doesn’t get the man saying “why doesn’t she get a happy ending?” When she spoke to EQ about the town, Henry, and her friendships being her true happiness. It’s toxic and the reason the show is failing.

        • Shar says:

          Since Hook was pushed front and centre with Emma the show has tanked and that is a cold hard fact not an opinion.

    • fernando933 says:

      I agree Hook is given way too much screen time & story. The show should always stick to Emma, Regina, the charming, & Henry with the more focus screen time and story. Everyone else need to be less on the show even Gold, he hasn’t had any character development

  13. David Hess says:

    I hope Andrew J. West and Alison Fernandez’s storyline on OUAT doesn’t turn into an “Untold Story”, if they can do a 13 episode Wonderland story that had a proper ending, surely these new characters could too. I want a seventh season, but I don’t want season 7 to feel too detached from the first six seasons, especially since it would likely be the last.

  14. laffeytaffey says:

    Why do all the good shows have to be on Sunday nights? What is going on?

  15. kmw says:

    Poor OUAT I still see it getting a short order of episodes for one more year but those aren’t good numbers. But then again nothing was really good last night or in general lately. No surprises with the golf interruptions on CBS and NBC at least was steady

    • fernando933 says:

      I just think at this point there’s no way Once can get a final season, maybe had it kept the ratings it was making at the start of this season but 2 million live viewers & .7 demo there’s no way anymore.

      • Brennan says:

        ABC said the show is very important to them and regardless of if and when they decide to end it they wanna do it right and give fans a proper ending with closure, so if they didn’t give the writers a heads up to wrap it up then we’ll definitely get a shortened final season. But in my opinion it’s either-or.

  16. fernando933 says:

    The smart move ABC can make is cancel Quantico, Once, Agents, & American Crime. A clean slate will be better then bringing back these shows and have another season with demos below 1.0. I believe if anything Shield should be the only one giving a final season to wrap up for the simply fact that Once will pretty much end the season wrapping up this chapter.

  17. Jana says:

    Explain to me again how exactly Shades of Blue got an early renewal…

  18. 221bsam says:

    Ginnifer Goodwin & Josh Dallas told a fan watching filming that they would return to “guest star” if asked. Just because they’re not series regulars, if season 7 goes ahead, I don’t think we’ll see the last of them.

  19. 221bsam says:

    Adam & Eddy are playing their cards pretty close to their chest but I’m pretty certain, given how the stories unfold on this show. They would know, why would you tease a season 7 narrative (casting information) & then end it? You may as well just wrap it up in a neat package, it would be a bit pointless otherwise..?

    • Nadhville when it aired on abc last season hired new Showrunners,staffed a writers room ,cast a couple new charcters yet ABC cancelled it

    • Brennan says:

      Adam and Eddy are in denial of it ever ending, any other showrunner would be saying things like “We’ve made sure the finale works both ways” or “We’ve filmed two endings”, but not those two. They’re all, “There’s so much more stories to tell that we hope we get the chance to tell them. Some stories are ending this year but not all” and introducing two new characters in the finale almost guarentees a cliffhanger.

  20. mehs says:

    Once is a must for me. I’d wouldn’t care if it moved to diff night. I like because of the possibilities. I like the scenes, sets, and clothing. Tired of the relationships constantly being torn apart. Hook & Blackbeard in Neverland. That could be interesting. One character finally getting interesting: Henry. Much potential there. This show is for well read intelligent people. You know the kind that read books (paper and ink) when they were kids. Knowing the stories and getting a grown up version is what makes it interesting.

  21. NP20 says:

    Why can’t CBS just schedule 2 hours of prime time programming when they have these dumb sporting events on? It’s so annoying that they won’t do anything about the problem.

    Plus doesn’t it mess up their numbers when DVR viewing gets added? Like my DVR thinks I recorded and watched Elementary

  22. Cobra says:

    CBS regularly screws over Elementary with these overruns. And they’ll probable end up cancelling it, too, despite of basically being the only drama on CBS worth watching.

  23. Loli says:

    At this point, Once Upon A Time would have higher ratings if it just aired a 43 minute supercut of Regina Mills.

  24. Shar says:

    OUAT needs to go, this hitting new series lows every week business confirms it, it’s not an audience draw anymore.

  25. Getting tired of Once Upon A Time, end it.

  26. Steve Franks says:

    my wife and U stopped watching OUAT several weeks ago. it has been dying a slow death for two years.

  27. Brennan says:

    Looking back, Once Upon a Time has always been renewed a few days before the season finale airs so at least if it’s canceled we’ll know either way as we’re watching the finale.