Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 11/14/10: Conan, World Series of Poker, CMAs, Psych/Burn Notice, CBS Sunday

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending November 14, 2010:

Conan - The four-night adults 18-49 ratings track for the first week of Conan on TBS: 2.5 -> 1.6 -> 1.4 -> 1.0. While I think the old adage "It's a marathon, not a sprint" is becoming overused, the 1.0 is a lot more important than the 2.5 as far as gauging the show's long-term prospects. At a 1.0 (and it repeated the 1.0 this Monday) it'd still be competitive with the highest-rated broadcast late night. I'm unsure it will maintain even that number, though. For trivia purposes, gotta give props to the 2.5. Nice achievement on basic cable!

World Series of Poker - Is the TV poker craze winding down? The 1.5 million viewers and 0.6 demo for the WSOP final table was down about a third from last season's 2.2m/0.9. While the show did have Michael Mizrachi at the final table, he's not nearly as big a name as last year's Phil Ivey, and probably even more important was the late 10:00 start time thanks to ESPN airing a two-hour 30 for 30 movie before it. Expect a return to 9:00 for the show next year.

CMA Awards and the Wednesday bloodbath - It was the weakest CMAs ratings-wise (4.7 demo), but the bigger story of Wednesday was how every single broadcast show airing against hit or neared series lows (possibly excepting Hell's Kitchen, whose early ratings I don't know about). Just a 3.2 for Survivor, just a 3.1 for Criminal Minds, newbies like The Defenders and LOLA went south of a 2.0, and SVU only managed a 2.0, tying a 2.0 it got last season right before it was returned to 10:00. An all-around bloodbath.

Psych and Burn Notice returns - A rare USA Network misstep? Both Psych on Wednesday (1.0 demo) and Burn Notice on Thursday (1.5) quietly had relatively weak returns as the net ran eps in November for the first time in awhile. It was Psych's weakest premiere ever and Burn Notice's weakest since the series premiere almost three and a half years ago. A strike against programming November? As long as USA's scripted roster is so full, they may well have no choice but to keep doing it. We'll see if these shows grow.

CBS' crumbling Sunday - Less than three weeks ago, I wrote a returning show ratings roundup and praised the performance of Undercover Boss, at the time still healthily in the mid-3s demo-wise. Yeah... now that's more like mid-2's, down about a third from early season numbers. Perhaps the show is indeed the flash in the pan many feel it is. Still a ways to go before we start talkin' cancellation, though. Meanwhile, CSI: Miami hit a series low 2.3 demo at 10:00. Last year's highest-rated CSI may be this year's CSI on the bubble.

More Five-Spots can be found in the Index.

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