One Chicago ratings decline again in shows’ return from break

ONE CHICAGO -- Pictured: "One Chicago" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
ONE CHICAGO -- Pictured: "One Chicago" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

One Chicago was back on the air this week, and continued to lead Wednesday night for NBC—even as significantly less people were watching.

The Jan. 27 episode of Chicago Fire recorded 6.8 million live viewers, which was down from the 7.06 of the last new installment on Jan. 13. The show lost 0.26 million eyeballs, or 260,000 from its last time out.

Chicago PD came home with 5.85 million people watching live. Compared to the prior mark of 6.4 from the last episode, that was a more significant drop of 0.55, or 550,000—over a half-million.

Even Chicago Med experienced a decrease in live audience. This week the medical drama brought in 7.07 million people, but on Jan. 13 it had 7.41. It dropped 0.34 which means 340,000 fewer live viewers.

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That’s not the first time that live numbers have dropped this season, and we’re only four episodes in, so that’s concerning.

However, the shows are still easily winning Wednesday nights as the other broadcast TV networks don’t have anything that can really compete with the Chicago franchise.

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Even with the losses mentioned above, Med, Fire and PD were the three most-watched shows on broadcast TV this Wednesday (in that order). They also ruled the adults 18-49 demographic favored by advertisers, with all three shows scoring a 0.9 share of that age group.

For comparison, the next most popular series on Wednesday night was CBS‘ primetime version of game show The Price Is Right—which had 4.79 million live eyeballs.

That’s 1.06 million less people than the least popular One Chicago show. There’s simply nothing else on the air right now that can come close to cutting into NBC’s audience.

It can happen (we’ve seen the franchise face challenges from programs like The Masked Singer before), but in the spring where there aren’t as many new shows, and especially in a TV season where it’s been difficult just to get anything on the air, the Chicago trilogy is a proven commodity with not a lot of competition.

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It’s worrying that the live audience is continuing to shrink, but based on the numbers of the other shows that the franchise is going up against, that decline isn’t going to have much effect. There’s just too much of a gap between Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD and everyone else.