Millennials are not heavy broadcast primetime television watchers, but there are 18 shows whose weekly episodes are watched by more than 1 million adults 18-34. Since most of those shows are among the more heavily watched primetime series overall, it would be too expensive for marketers to buy them simply to target those harder-to-reach millennials. However, that prized demo represents a nice value-add for marketers who buy them based on 18-49 or 25-54 numbers.
The most-watched broadcast primetime series by millennials season-to-date, according to Nielsen data, is Fox midseason drama Empire, which recently completed its short run averaging 3 million adults 18-34 per episode in live-plus-same-day viewing. That viewership jumped to a total of 3.9 million over a live-plus-seven-day period.
The second-most-watched broadcast primetime series by that demo has been ABC’s Scandal, averaging 1.76 million adults 18-34 per episode, and an audience that jumps to 2.7 million over live-plus-seven viewing.
Scandal edges out third-place series, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which is averaging 1.73 million viewers live-plus-same-day and 2.7 million over seven days. Also close and tied for fourth among millennial viewers is Fox’s animated Family Guy and NBC’s Monday night version of singing competition The Voice. Both are averaging 1.67 million millennial viewers live-plus-same-day, with Family Guy increasing to 2.6 million over seven days and The Voice rising to 2.2 million viewers.
The Tuesday night version of The Voice and Fox’s The Simpsons are tied for sixth, both averaging 1.53 million 18-49 viewers with The Voice increasing to 2 million over seven days, and The Simpsons rising to 1.9 million.
In eighth place among millennial viewers is ABC’s The Bachelor, which also just ended its season averaging 1.46 million millennial viewers. Fox’s Wednesday edition of American Idol landed in ninth, averaging 1.39 million millennials, and rounding out the Top 10 is ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy, which is averaging 1.36 adults 18-49. Grey’s adds 1 million viewers going from live-plus-same-day to live-plus-seven, boosting its viewership to 2.4 million.
The eleventh-place show among millennial viewers also gets a huge boost in seven-day viewing. Modern Family (ABC) draws 1.32 million viewers live-plus-same-day, and that number jumps to 2.5 million in live-plus-seven viewing.
ABC drama Once Upon a Time is tied with Modern Family with 1.32 million millennial viewers per week in live-plus-same-day, and it also gets a nice boost in seven-day viewing, rising to 2.1 million.
Likewise, ABC freshman drama How to Get Away With Murder, which also recently completed its season, averages 1.28 million but increases that total to 2.1 million over seven days among millennials.
Five shows are tied for fourteenth place among millennial viewers, each averaging 1.1 million viewers live-plus-same-day. They include CBS midseason sitcom The Odd Couple, NBC drama The Blacklist and three Fox shows—American Idol Thursday and comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last ManOn Earth. Three of the scripted series sans The Odd Couple all get sizable boosts in millennial viewership over seven days, with The Last Man on Earth rising to 2.1 million, The Blacklist increasing to 2 million and Brooklyn Nine-Nine jumping to 1.7 million viewers.
Just missing from the series that draw more than 1 million millennial viewers each week is Fox’s freshman drama Gotham, averaging 992,000 viewers live-plus-same-day. Gotham nearly doubles its live-plus-seven-day millennial viewership to 1.8 million.
No CW network series draws over 1 million millennial viewers, including The Flash, however, The CW streams all of its series online each week so lots of viewers in that demo are watching on the network’s website.
By far, more millennial women are watching broadcast primetime than men, at least for entertainment series. Of Empire’s 3 million live-plus-same-day millennial viewers, 1.9 million were female and 1.1 million were male. Among Grey’s Anatomy’s 1.4 million millennial viewers, 1.1 million are female with only 300,000 male. Modern Family has a similar ratio of females to male viewers, as does The Bachelor, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.
TV’s most-watched sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, has a close ratio, with 900,000 female millennials watching each week, compared to 800,000 men. Another CBS series, The Odd Couple, is evenly split among male and female millennial viewers.
Fox series The Family Guy, The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and TheLast Man On Earth all have more millennial male viewers than millennial females.
Another way for marketers to reach lots of millennials on the broadcast networks is to advertise in live specials. On ABC, the Academy Awards drew 6.3 million adults 18-34 this year, while the CMA Awards pulled in 2.5 million.
On CBS, the Grammy Awards drew 5.2 million millennials and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show pulled in 2.5 million adults 18-34.
On NBC, the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special drew 4.1 million adults 18-34 and its Peter PanLive telecast drew 1.4 million millennials. The Miss Universe Pageant on NBC drew 1.2 million millennials.
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