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Ad Rates and Ratings--ABC 2017-18


If you missed it, AdAge has posted the ad rates for all fall shows and some midseason shows (click here to see them). In the case of ABC, nearly all midseason shows are listed. Between the ad rates and the shows listed, I have a few guesses as to what happens going forward.

First, though, it's important to put these ad rates into context; for convenience, here are the show's ad rates in terms of percentage of the average; meaning, if a show has a 120 next to it, its ad rate is 120% of the average ABC show's ad rate.

Show Relative Ad Rate
Modern Family
187
Grey’s Anatomy
167
Scandal
152
American Idol
150
Designated Survivor
136
Roseanne
130
How to Get Away with Murder
129
The Goldbergs
125
Dancing with the Stars
109
Speechless
109
The Bachelor
109
Blackish
105
American Housewife
101
The Middle
100
The Good Doctor
98
The Crossing
98
Fresh Off The Boat
93
The Mayor
92
Ten Days In The Valley
91
Splitting Up Together
90
For the People
84
Quantico
84
Bachelor Winter Games
82
Shark Tank
78
Alex Inc
77
Marvel’s Inhumans
75
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
74
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
65
Once Upon a Time
63
To Tell The Truth
54
20/20
49
America’s Funniest Home Videos
45

Looking at a show's relative A18-49 rating versus its ad rate has been very effective at predicting renewals and cancelations of marginal veteran shows. I'll be keeping a close eye on if if Once Upon a Time's A18-49 ratings are at least 63% of ABC's average ratings to determine whether or not I think it will return for a seventh season.

Here are some other key takeaways:

The Crossing Will Air After American Idol
I think it's interesting that none of ABC's midseason dramas have above-average ad rates; what's even more interesting is how far ahead The Crossing is from 2nd place For the People. With the latter a Shondaland show that will probably air on Thursdays, I think The Crossing is a very safe bet to air after American Idol, a show which advertisers seemingly appreciate.

Roseanne Is Not Friday-Bound
Before seeing these ad rates, it was a very plausible theory that Roseanne was meant to fill the Friday at 8pm time slot in the spring, finishing Once Upon a Time early and bringing back the comedy hour. Since its ad rate is at 130% of the average, the 6th-highest on the network, a Friday time slot seems hard to believe. Maybe they air it Sundays at 8pm followed by 90 minute Idols, but it will probably go to help out Tuesdays. My prediction is The Middle will run more or less rerun-free, its finale will air after the premiere of Roseanne, and then either Fresh Off The Boat or Splitting Up Together will air at 8:30pm.

But Which One?
The Middle is pretty widely-accepted to be the most compatible show on ABC's schedule with Roseanne, but if they use it on another show, Fresh Off The Boat would probably be the next-most-compatible. Splitting Up Together's ad rate really isn't that far behind Fresh Off The Boat's, and while it won't be as compatible with Roseanne, advertisers seem to like it more than Alex Inc, which I think may be this season's Uncle Buck/Downward Dog.

Another plausible option for Splitting Up Together would be after a Bachelor-franchise show; wherever it ends up, it seems it will be in a higher-priority time slot than Alex Inc.

Bachelor Winter Games Isn't Supposed to be A Hit
The ad rate for Bachelor Winter Games is far lower than that of The Bachelor, which tells me that it's not supposed to be the next Bachelor, but that they'd rather air it against The Olympics than have The Bachelor (possibly) get hurt in the ratings.

Quantico Is Hanging In There
While Quantico's ad rate isn't as high as that of The Crossing, it's still much higher than one would expect given it was doing mid fractionals in a great time slot last winter and spring. This ad rate indicates that it will still get decent treatment this season. I would bet against post-Idol or post-Bachelor, but Wednesday at 10 in the winter probably isn't out of the question.

Poor America's Home Videos
The time slot AdAge listed next to its ad rate was Sunday at 7pm, so it must have went up when it moved to 8pm...right? I'm guessing it will perform better than 45% of ABC's average, even when you factor in the big DVR boosts some shows enjoy that it doesn't. Which, speaking of DVR boosts, it likely a portion of why How to Get Away with Murder and Designated Survivor are so high up the list.

What do you make of these ad rates and my forecasts? Let me know in the comments below!