Matt Buckler: Strong start for 'Abbott Elementary'

·3 min read

Sep. 23—If you are promoting a TV show, here's the best kind of publicity — win a couple of Emmy Awards. It's guaranteed to get you noticed.

That formula is working for ABC's "Abbott Elementary," which won three Emmys this month, including a comedy writing statue for the show's creator and star, Quinta Brunson.

Variety is reporting the series opened its second season Wednesday and was ABC's highest-rated show in the 18-49 adult demo, pulling in 2.8 million viewers — about the same number that watched the season finale in May.

That means that the show didn't lose many viewers over the summer. After all, those three awards reminded viewers that "Abbott Elementary" is a quality show.

Wednesday's most-watched show was NBC's "Chicago Med," which pulled in 6.3 million viewers, while its companion Chicago shows, "Chicago Fire" and 'Chicago P.D.," lost viewers from last year.

"The Masked Singer" also made its debut on Fox Wednesday and was watched by 3.5 million viewers, the show's lowest-rated installment of all-time.

Perhaps it should have been revealed earlier that William Shatner was going to be one of the singers and more people would have watched.

Amazon activity

Apparently if there's a big National Football League game being played, viewers will figure out a way to watch it — even if it's on a streaming service.

"Thursday Night Football" made its premiere on Amazon Prime Video Sept. 15 and the ratings turned out to be overwhelming.

The Nielsen Ratings Service reported that more than 13 million watched the game, even though it only was on broadcast TV in two markets, Los Angeles and Kansas City.

Throw out those two markets, and the game between the Chargers and the Chiefs still drew 11.8 million, which is equivalent to what the Thursday night package did on the Fox Network last season.

Apparently more people are wired to Prime Video than expected, and most of them are football fans.

Amazon claimed it received a huge number of sign-ups before the game, an indication that a big ratings night was on the way.

It was bigger, however, than almost anyone expected.

Tonight, streaming will be put to the test again tonight when the Yankees play host to the Red Sox on Apple TV. With Aaron Judge remaining one home run away from tying Roger Maris' American League record, interest will be peaking.

The game, however, is unavailable on the team's two cable outlets, YES and NESN.

During the Michael Kay radio show Thursday on ESPN Radio in New York and the YES Network, co-host Don La Greca, said he didn't think potential viewers would be inconvenienced by the move to streaming.

Viewers, especially those unfamiliar with streaming, would have to jump through hoops to find the game.

Tonight is a big game with historic consequences. Major League Baseball should forget about its deal with Apple TV for one night and allow as many people to see the game as possible.

Baseball can always strike another streaming deal. But the excitement that will exist tonight if Judge ties Maris' record will only happen once.

Super switch

This year's Super Bowl halftime show, scheduled for Feb. 12, is expected to be the most-watched concert event of the year.

But there will be a new sponsor attached — Apple Music takes over from Pepsi as presenting sponsor.

The content of the show should remain the same, however — as outrageous as they can get away with.


Matt Buckler is television and radio editor of the Journal Inquirer.

Follow Matt Buckler for more television, radio, and sports coverage on the JI's Twitter @journalinquirer, and see his articles on the Journal Inquirer Facebook page.