Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 12/5/10 - Holiday Specials, Sons of Anarchy/Terriers, Heat in Cleveland, The Walking Dead, Men of a Certain Age

Here's your Five-Spot of TV ratings news for the week ending December 5, 2010:

Holiday Specials - This is mostly a cable edition of the Ratings Five-Spot, as it was a fairly boring week in broadcast ratings. But of note were all the holiday specials, and here's a quick A18-49 ratings rundown: CMA Country Christmas (ABC) 1.4, How The Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) 2.2, Shrek the Halls (ABC) 2.4, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS) 3.9, Xmas at Rockefeller Center (NBC) 1.9, Santa Claus is Comin' To Town (ABC) 2.3. Might list a few of the current week's in next week's edition.

Sons of Anarchy/Terriers - Like most of season 3 of Sons, the 1.8 demo for the finale was down from the season 2 edition, though in this case the drop was more pronounced (-21%). And it was up just a tick from the 1.7 for the penultimate ep. Still, that number was six times the 0.3 demo for the finale of Terriers, which fans would sadly learn soon after was a series finale. Will mention Terriers again next week, but as an FX exec acknowledged, the ratings were not really even in the stratosphere of acceptability.

Heat in Cleveland - No, not the TV Land sitcom. If there's one thing people seem to show up for, it's sports legends returning home. Brett Favre's return to Green Bay set records, and the LeBron James return to Cleveland got a 7.1 million viewers and a 3.2 demo, putting it just a single tick behind the 3.3 that his Heat debut scored in the highest-rated NBA regular season cable game ever. Only Grey's Anatomy (4.0) and The Office (3.7) managed higher demos out of the broadcast nets on the evening. (CBS was in repeats.)

The Walking Dead - All right, folks. It's the last Five-Spot in which I talk about The Walking Dead for awhile, I promise. (I think.) But the fact that it cracked the 3.0 demo threshold has to be noted. That means its sixth episode did better than the sixth episode of any new broadcast drama, an absolutely unfathomable achievement on a network previously known for "critical faves with low ratings." The game for this network is completely changed. The final ratings track for Walking Dead s1: 2.7 -> 2.5 -> 2.5 -> 2.4 -> 2.8 -> 3.0.

Men of a Certain Age - It may be a Mr. Spotupj fave, but season 2 of Men of a Certain Age is not out of the gate on a strong note. On Monday of the current week its premiere managed just a 0.6 demo, way way down from its post-Closer airings last year and actually tying its series low from late season 1, long after it'd lost its The Closer lead-in. I felt fairly lucky to have gotten the season 2 renewal (it came before the show tanked into the 0.6 range last season) and it looks like I shouldn't hold out for a season 3.

More Five-Spots can be found in the Index.

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