‘Monarch’: Did Move to Tuesday Time Slot Help or Hurt the Ratings?

by Suzanne Halliburton

Tuesday’s episode of Monarch was all about the fancy farewell to country queen Dottie Cantrell Roman. But Dottie probably wouldn’t be pleased with the ratings.

Monarch premiered on a Sunday night, back on Sept. 11, the network placed its new series about the first family of country music right after the late afternoon NFL game. But its regular night is Tuesday. And the series struggled mightily to maintain the viewership numbers when it switched nights.

The Tuesday episode, called “There Can Only Be One Queen,” averaged 1.72 million viewers. It posted a .21 rating in the key advertising demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds. Contrast that to the premiere stats: On Sept. 11, Monarch pulled in an audience of 4.03 million with a .91 in the key demo.

Maybe viewers lost interest between Monarch episodes one and two once they saw that Dottie (Susan Sarandon) committed suicide. The Monarch buildup through the summer always featured Sarandon, the Academy Award winner. But after Dottie’s death, show producers said that Sarandon, the show’s biggest name would appear in about half the episodes of season one.

The Tuesday episode was loaded with Dottie scenes. She even appeared at her own funeral, via hologram, to perform a duet with her sister, Nellie (Faith Prince). The two sang “Love will Build a Bridge.” And there was another Dottie performance, via flashback. That’s when she sang “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” with her daughter, Nicky, and husband Albie (Trace Adkins).

Monarch Met the FBI Franchise, Bachelorette and The Voice

Monarch also felt the sting on FBI Tuesdays. After NCIS, FBI is the most watched scripted network drama. The Tuesday premiere garnered an audience of 6.81 million. Its spinoffs also fared well. FBI: International, which shares a time slot with Monarch, attracted 5.44 million. Then FBI: Most Wanted posted 5.27 million. All the numbers were basically the same as last season’s averages.

Plus, Monarch also contended with a three-hour finale of The Bachelorette. The show averaged 3.57 million viewers with a .91 rating in the key demo.

Then there was The Voice, the powerhouse singing competition on NBC. Its audience was 6.19 million,

Meanwhile, Fox medical drama The Resident is the new lead-in to Monarch. Its season premiere pulled in 2.71 million.

Preview of Monarch episode three.

Fox now will need to see how well Monarch does with streaming and DVR numbers. The Hollywood Reporter says that first-day numbers usually represent only about half of a show’s total viewing audience.

The next Monarch episode is “Show Them Who You Are, Baby.” Here’s the plot summary:

“As Nicky prepares to perform at the “Queens of Country” concert, she learns of Clive’s affair and is determined to turn the tables on him. Meanwhile, Luke is told the devastating truth from Nicky; Catt celebrates Ana’s signing with Monarch with a party at the Brambles, where Ana and Ace connect.”