Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ratings of Summer, Tuesday

It's part 2 of my weeklong series on summer TV and the ratings it gets!


Wipeout - For awhile, ABC was a complete disaster area in the summer, but two things really changed that: the resurgence of the Bachelor franchise (leading to a strong Bachelorette in the summer) and the greenlighting of Wipeout, in which contests traverse a difficult obstacle course and look really silly doing it. The show was pretty big by summer standards both of its first two years, averaging mid-3's for much of summer '08 before fizzling into the low 2's down the stretch, then averaging upper-2's for much of summer '09 before fizzling to around a 2.0 down the stretch. Sensing a trend? Yes, it's kind of the opposite of the Bachelor franchise in that people seem to get tired of it as the summer wears on. (And I'm not just saying that because it's how I feel about the show, even though that happens to be the case!) Yet they come back for the next summer; it premiered to another 3.0 on June 1 of this year and returns on June 22 after the NBA Finals. It looks to have another solid run.

Downfall - I don't know a lot about this show, but it will run in the 9pm slot post-Wipeout and follow suit with the whole "action game show" thing. This doesn't mean guaranteed success, as former efforts like I Survived a Japanese Game Show and Crash Course fit into that same genre and didn't hold the Wipeout audience too well. We shall see. Shaq Vs., a returnee from last summer that sees Shaq competing with great athletes of other sports on their home turf (sorta), will take over the hour for the second half of the summer.

Primetime - A lot of iterations of ABC newsmagazine Primetime will air in the 10pm hour and probably do OK business. One of those iterations, What Would You Do?, has been a surprisingly strong Friday performer of late, posting upper-1 demos and leading the entire night.

America's Got Talent - This show is kinda like The Closer in that it's really considered to be the runaway number one master of its domain due to its big total viewer numbers, but in reality it's not far ahead of stuff like So You Think You Can Dance and Hell's Kitchen where it counts. That said, it's still a biggie, averaging a little over a 3.0 last summer and returning to a very healthy 3.6 on premiere night this year before dropping to a 2.9 the next night. This will continue to be the best thing NBC has going for them in the summer, by a long shot. (Not to mention better than quite a bit of what they have going for them in the fall...)

Losing it with Jillian/Breakthrough with Tony Robbins - Originally skedded for the 8pm hour, Losing it with Jillian, Yet Another Weight Loss Show featuring one of the Biggest Loser stars, pulled a reasonable 2.7 in its 10pm "preview" last week, and NBC liked that number enough to keep the show there. The 10pm hour may not seem like the best spot for a feel-good inspirational type of deal, but the big Got Talent lead-in is likely to outweigh (pun) being in the "appropriate" hour. Another summer reality show called Breakthrough with Tony Robbins is gonna show up later on in the summer, and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up at 10pm as well.

Hell's Kitchen - This show is one of Fox's most versatile players, as it can wear both a Summer Powerhouse hat and a Respectable Regular Season Counterprogramming hat and do either one in seemingly almost any hour. This summer, it's back to the former hat for what should be a pretty tough battle with Wipeout at 8pm, especially if the premiere ratings are any indication. After averaging a 3.4 demo in summer 2009, the show managed just a 2.9 for its 2010 premiere. However, that isn't far from where it premiered last summer, so positive trends may be ahead.

Masterchef - In late July, Fox shall trot out Yet Another Gordon Ramsay Show called Masterchef. I don't know much about it. My impression is that it's another cooking competition, but not a serialized one. Beyond that, I got nothing, but if you watch any of the billions of cooking competitions shows that Food Network airs in primetime, there's a reasonable chance you'll find one that is similar to what Masterchef is. Law of averages.

USA - The net is wrapping up Law & Order: Criminal Intent's season at 10pm right now, and July 13 will see the return of White Collar for season 2. It averaged a pretty solid 1.3 demo in its Tuesday run in early 2010. It'll be followed by Piper Perabo-led newbie Covert Affairs.

TNT - On June 22, Jada Pinkett-Smith medical drama HawthoRNe returns to this hour after a summer 2009 run. That first season averaged somewhere in the 1.0 vicinity. Then at 10 is a new show, Memphis Beat starring Jason Lee.

Syfy - Also returning to the 9pm hour will be sophomore sci-fi procedural Warehouse 13, which averaged a 0.9 demo in season one. It premieres on July 6.

Other - On ABC's "secondary" night, they'll trot out new teen soap Pretty Little Liars starting tonight and then new sitcom Melissa & Joey in August. FX offers season 6 of Rescue Me, while Bravo tentpole Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List also airs on this evening.

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