Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/29/11: The Royal Winning

  • All of the big three had some form of royal wedding coverage on this first Friday of sweeps. The standout was CBS' "The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty", which not only led the evening outright but was also one of CBS' best performances at 8:00 this season and helped send all other shows in the 8:00 hour down double digits from their last originals. That meant outright series lows for Kitchen Nightmares and Friday Night Lights along with a season low for Smallville just two weeks from its series finale.
  • Later in the evening, it was ABC's royal wedding 20/20 over NBC's coverage on Dateline. Everything else was about on par with recent originals.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Demos Year-to-Year, Thursday 4/28/11

It's sweeps, so this blog's oldest tradition returns! Only one tweak this time around: to save time on data entry, I've programmed this into my big daily ratings spreadsheet. This means that like the daily ratings posts, this will compare timeslots despite my lack of half-hour breakdowns. (In past iterations, I bunched shows together to ensure nothing ever overlapped. So all comparisons were accurate, but many were fairly useless. It's debatable which approach is better, but this one was more easily programmable.) I'll try to remember to put comparisons with overlap in blue as I do on the daily posts.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 4/28/11: Sweep Carell

  • Sweeps begins, Steve Carell's The Office run ends. His final episode pulled a 4.2 demo in the finals, one of the season's bigger numbers but not a season high and frankly a mild disappointment for such a big episode, though some people who predicted much higher than I (my guess was 4.8) may feel even more strongly. Still, Carell does at least go out winning the 9/8c hour against a full complement of competition. 30 Rock rounded out the NBC evening with a weak showing at 10:30.
  • Probably the ugliest night was had by CBS, which saw The Big Bang Theory score its lowest demo since early season 2, Rules of Engagement hit its lowest demo in almost two years, CSI hit a series low and The Mentalist hit its second-lowest rating ever. All were down double digits from their last originals.
  • Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were also near lows, though the drop from the last original is quite misleading because of the huge spike the last original Grey's got for the musical. Grey's was right at its pre-musical levels.
  • Rounding out the 9/8c carnage, Bones had easily its worst post-Idol showing and Nikita hit an outright series low.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Opinion Five-Spot Extra - Remembering Michael Scott

Most people interested in something big start with an interest in something small, and their appreciation of that thing is so deep that it makes them more interested in everything else around it. For me, that small thing was The Office. I'd watched shows regularly in primetime before it, but never that many. As of the mid-2000s, the only shows I really watched in primetime were Lost and Desperate Housewives, and I didn't know a thing about how they fit in the TV industry and I didn't care. The Office was the show that made me a superfan, so much so that I started posting about it online, reading spoilers and even checking its ratings each week. To figure out what its ratings really meant, I then started trying to figure out the ratings of everything else, and then I became fascinated with that landscape. Though I still like the show a lot, and I still get kinda defensive when people simply dismiss the last few years of the show, I've sort of drifted away from Office superfandom and spread my attention across more shows. But it's probably safe to say this blog wouldn't be here today if not for The Office. I'd probably also be watching a lot less TV, so I'd likely be more active and healthier and stuff. Hmm... thanks a lot, The Office.

Anyway, Steve Carell and his character Michael Scott are leaving the show tonight. As seemingly part of the minority on the Internet that still digs the show, I'm hopeful for the future. The ratings are likely to get ugly either way, but the ensemble of this show has been so strong that I want to see what they can do without him. That said, Carell's impact has been undeniable. He's provided the sort of big, dynamic performance that has helped this show to stick out among so many other low-rated comedies of its ilk. So I'm gonna take a look at five of my own memorable Michael Scott moments. Some are really common "best episode ever" nominees, and others are less common but tie in closely with my experience watching the show. This is far from my top 5 episodes ever; in fact, I think only one (maybe two) of the eps discussed herein would make that cut. This is more of a "remembering Michael's run on The Office and my own run watching it" thing. Maybe I'll list my actual top 5 perhaps when the series finale rolls around.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 4/27/11

  • Leading out of below-average repeats of The Middle and Modern Family respectively, originals of Better with You and Cougar Town built slightly but were way below average. It's a disheartening result for Better considering its decent post-Dancing showing earlier in the week, but yet another notch in favor of my "don't make much of special airings" creed. The soft 8:00-10:00 returns didn't stop Happy Endings from having a pretty nice result at 10:00, up three ticks from last week (and five ticks from the 10:30 ep compared below) despite facing bigger competition. That's why I wanted to see one more result last week; it was close, and this may be a game-changer back in its favor.
  • A repeat of last night's huge The Voice premiere did some solid business for a repeat. Does that mean another of these two-hour repeats airs next Wednesday at 8:00 (leading into the returning Law & Order: SVU)? Maybe. It'd definitely improve on Minute to Win It, but I tend to think this result might be a bit deceptive as to how much. It only got a 1.7 in the half-hour when it faced Idol, and HUT is lower at 8:00. We'll see which way NBC goes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 4/26/11: Very Loud Voice

  • The Voice (5.1) scored the 2010-11 season's biggest series premiere rating. It was the biggest series premiere rating since Undercover Boss after the Super Bowl in February 2010 and the biggest without a ginormous lead-in since V in November 2009. It was NBC's biggest series premiere and biggest regular entertainment telecast since The Jay Leno Show's premiere in 2009. (Sorry, messed that stat up a couple times! Thanks to TVBTN for finally getting it right.) Riding the coattails was The Biggest Loser, rallying 13% week-to-week from last week's lows despite airing for just one hour.
  • In spite of the big competition, Dancing with the Stars: The Results was up 20% week-to-week. Give the Dancing recap lead-in some of the credit there; does the show's 100%+ timeslot improvement and clear aid to Dancing mean we won't see Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution again in the hour?
  • Somebody had to be left behind, and it was Fox. Glee and Raising Hope both hit outright season lows and were over 25% below their season averages. Also hitting a new low was Hellcats on the CW, whose results are getting downright ugly. Three months ago, this was one of the steadiest new shows on TV, pulling a 0.9 almost every week. Now, a 0.4 that finishes an abominable 53% below average. My goodness.

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 4/24/11 - Game of Thrones, Treme, The Killing, Audrina, Sanctuary

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending April 24, 2011:

Game of Thrones - The premiere ratings for Game of Thrones on April 17 weren't exactly breakout; it pulled 2.222 million viewers and a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49. That significantly trailed the last heavily hyped HBO drama premiere (Boardwalk Empire, which got 4.809 million viewers and a 2.0 A18-49). The good news is that while Boardwalk tumbled 25% in week two, Game of Thrones kept all but 20,000 of its week one audience (2.202 million) and actually ticked up to a 1.0 A18-49. Season two's already in the bank anyway, but this was a good sign for the long-term prospects.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Monday 4/25/11: Better with Better

  • In a somewhat interesting development for barely-on-the-bubble Better with You, its special airing after Dancing with the Stars pulled an outright series high 2.6. That's 18% better than what Cougar Town did in the half-hour last week, but Cougar Town had a little more competition and a smaller lead-in (Dancing was up 18% week-to-week as well). The retention (55% for both shows) is almost identical, but I'd give the slight edge to Better with You in comparing the performances. So what does it mean? I doubt it's a renewal clincher, but it might make the show look better for some hypothetical situation apart from the Wednesday comedy block. Let's not get carried away; it's basically the same kind of performance as week 2 of Surviving Suburbia and Romantically Challenged in this situation, and those two shows aired a combined four more regular season episodes.
  • Most other originals were up but not meaningfully so. The Big Bang Theory in a special Monday repeat did a little better than the last couple Two and a Half Men encores.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 4/24/11

  • With CBS airing Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie Beyond the Blackboard and Fox airing The Simpsons Movie, most of the original entertainment programs on ABC and NBC rose a little bit week-to-week. The biggest week-to-week movers were Celebrity Apprentice and Desperate Housewives (each up 15%).

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 4/24/11 - Chaos, Game of Thrones, Sonny with a Chance, FX Summer, The Paul Reiser Show

Just missing the cut: NBC's 12-minute late night preview of The Voice last Thursday. An unconventional piece of scheduling there. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending April 24, 2011:

Chaos - CBS has axed Chaos after three episodes despite the third episode actually ticking up from the second in A18-49. That said, the initial ratings were so bad that it isn't much of a surprise. The move means that perennial utility player Flashpoint will be showing up a little earlier than originally scheduled; it'll premiere on May 6 now. Can we expect an improvement on the 1.0 demo pulled by week three of Chaos? Probably not a big one; the summer 2010 season averaged just a 1.16 demo.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 4/23/11

Happy Easter!

  • ABC won with Easter classic The Ten Commandments (1.6, but subject to finals adjustment since almost half the movie aired out of primetime). Fox's Cops (1.3) and America's Most Wanted (1.4) returned to below average numbers. Chase (0.6) started its burnoff run obviously well behind any of its other originals and in the vicinity of recent encores of Harry's Law and LOLA in the hour.
 Above based on preliminary adults 18-49 ratings unless otherwise noted. | Full table forthcoming later.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/22/11

  • Good Friday was led by CBS country music special Girls' Night Out (1.6), which scored about the same demo as usual occupants CSI: NY and Blue Bloods.
  • ABC's lineup took a big week-to-week dive starting at 9/8c as Primetime: What Would You Do? and 20/20 were just above season low levels. Another noticeable week-to-week dropper was Fringe, down two ticks to an outright series low.

Friday, April 22, 2011

First Two Weeks, The Paul Reiser Show


Spotted Ratings, Thursday 4/21/11

  • The Paul Reiser Show dropped 18% from its premiere and so did its The Office lead-out, though Office's 267% build from the lead-in is one of the largest for any show this season. Don't expect Paul to air another episode in this timeslot, as I doubt NBC will want anything dragging down the next few pivotal Office episodes. (Parks dropped in the finals nixing my earlier spin comment about its best retention of the season.)
  • Other noticeable original droppers include American Idol (-9%), Bones in its spinoff's backdoor pilot (-9%) and The Vampire Diaries (-8%). Vampire Diaries tied a series low.
  • Among ABC and CBS, both of which were totally in repeats on this last pre-sweeps Thursday, the standout was The Mentalist, which is gaining steam as a repeater lately. This was a repeat season high.

First Two Weeks, Happy Endings


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 4/20/11

  • Cougar Town returned to the 9:30 half-hour on ABC about on par with its recent 9:30 airings, and down a tick from the last time in aired after an original Modern Family on January 19. (But that was against Idol...) Happy Endings followed with two originals, down on average by 32% from the two originals last week (which led out of Modern Family rather than Cougar Town). That's a brutal drop, but the 10:00 average was still better than most recent occupants of this timeslot, so we'll hold off before completely writing it off.
  • Breaking In continued to struggle in week three considering its Idol lead-in. It dropped one tick week to week with Idol dropping two ticks.
  • Though Law & Order: SVU has been winning when the two clash in originals, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior won this repeat battle with SVU. Probably another decent sign for that show.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 4/19/11: Parent-Good!

  • The big winner of the evening by far was the season finale of Parenthood, scoring easily its highest number since September 21. Even "better" (for the show, not the network) was that it came out of a season-low outing for The Biggest Loser. Renewal seemed highly likely even before today, but this probably makes it a formality.
  • Like LOLA yesterday, the fate of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution was probably completely sealed with its 27% week-to-week drop.
  • Returns from hiatus didn't go well. Glee was down 10% and hit an outright season low, One Tree Hill tied season/series lows and Hellcats and Raising Hope hit outright series lows.
  • Called it! (Or at least called the possibility...) A repeat of NCIS: Los Angeles at 10:00 outperformed last week's original rating for The Good Wife. I think The Good Wife is coming back, but it does not have a strong ratings case.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Monday 4/18/11

  • Monday wasn't quite as freaky as Sunday in terms of underperformance, but it was still another generally rough day. Dancing with the Stars dropped 11% week-to-week (though that's more like 5% if you just compare the 8-9:30 periods), while a special 9:30 airing of Cougar Town hit its second-lowest number of the season. As I like to stress, don't read too much into special airings. We'll have a better sense of the show when it returns to its regular period tomorrow night. But it is just a tick better than a repeat of The Middle in a similar role back on 11/15/10. A special 20/20 on the royal wedding did worse than any original Castle this season.
  • CBS' lineup was close to flat week-to-week but at disastrous levels as the lack of Two and a Half Men continues to wear on everything. (Hawaii Five-0 rose in the finals, benefiting from the stronger Mike & Molly lead-in and the absence of Castle.) How I Met Your Mother tied its series low number from about five years ago.
  • Any hope for Law & Order: LA was probably crushed with that number, down 27% from its already weak return.
  • In more "return from long hiatus" news, 90210 was up a tick from its last original while Gossip Girl was even.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 4/17/11 - Breaking In, Happy Endings, The Paul Reiser Show, Fringe, Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending April 17, 2011:

Breaking In - This is very much the opposite of the next two new sitcoms I'll discuss in that I find it pretty endearing (I like Bret Harrison) but generally lacking in the laughs department, especially episode two. I will say that this Jack Nicholson impression that Christian Slater's doing is way better than anything I saw out of him in his previous two returns to TV (My Own Worst Enemy and The Forgotten), and he actually seems to be an asset to the show this time around. It's yet another underwhelming-yet-not-awful midseason comedy, but I think I'll stick for a bit since it has a likable foundation.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 4/17/11: Extreme Meltdown: Ratings Edition

  •  "What matters" can be best summed up as "everything completely tanked." Only one show (American Dad!, mostly because it aired at 8:30) was even within 10% of its season-to-date average. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition returned from a long hiatus down 17% from its last original. Only three shows - Celebrity Apprentice, Family Guy and Undercover Boss - actually hit outright season lows, but several others tied or were close. In Family Guy's case, it was its lowest number since before its cancellation in the early 2000s.
  • The biggest meltdown of them all by far was Undercover Boss, which had not gone below a 2.6 demo all season and suddenly posted a 2.0. That means it's down thirty-five percent from its last original just seven days ago and a ridiculous 37% below average. That is pretty inexplicable.
  • This does not come alongside some massive downturn in overall viewing. In fact, it was the opposite; the rating/share for Brothers & Sisters indicates that a bare minimum of 36.7% of adults 18-49 were watching TV in the 10:00 hour. (And the admittedly rough calculation based on the ratings/shares has it at 38.2%.) That'd be among the highest Sunday 10:00 viewing levels since Super Bowl Sunday, and the 8:00 and 9:00 numbers seem average if not a bit above. That means something on cable made up for this. The biggest cable possibility would seem to be the huge NBA doubleheader, both of which were well above a 2.0 A18-49.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 4/17/11 - The Office, Working Class, Happy Endings, The Game, Syfy Summer

I typically try to limit my Scheduling Five-Spots to primetime first-run programming because that's where my ratings data is strongest, but there were a few big stories outside of that arena but still in the general "scheduling" arena this week, like the overhaul of ABC daytime (including the cancellation of One Life to Live and All My Children) and TNT's syndication deal for Hawaii Five-0 (whose dollar amount I've added to my "List of Cable Syndication Deals" post). Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending April 17, 2011:

The Office - NBC's been out of the "supersizing" game for almost four years now, but they're gettin' back in for the Steve Carell finale of The Office. That episode will now be 50 minutes long (from 9/8c to 9:50/8:50c) and followed by a 40-minute episode of Parks & Recreation. A regular-length 30 Rock caps off the evening at 10:30/9:30c. Don't expect it to mean much ratings-wise since it's part of such a huge Office event, but I do observe that several supersized season 3 eps of The Office were among the season's lowest-rated, including a 3.2 on 4/5/07 which was easily the season's low.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 4/16/11

  • Typical Saturday winner Fox finished a distant fourth thanks to made-for-TV movie Truth Be Told, which did well less than half of the typical Cops/America's Most Wanted numbers.
  • The only other original was a below-average 48 Hours Mystery, the night's highest-rated program. Yawn.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/15/11

  • Shark Tank (1.5) took a noticeable step up from the 1.2's and 1.3's of its Friday season so far. This showing was better than any Supernanny result in the timeslot this season and better than most of the Supernanny results from last season (along with all of last season's Wife Swap results).
  • The final season premiere of Friday Night Lights (0.9) was down 25% from its season 4 NBC debut and tied the lowest number of its NBC run to date. Smallville (1.0) and Supernatural (0.9) returned from long hiatuses a little below average.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 4/10/11 - The Comedy Awards, Khloe & Lamar, WWE Tough Enough, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Deadliest Catch

This got delayed by a combination of factors, but enough interesting things happened on cable this week that I felt it was worth powering out. Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the "week ending April 10, 2011" (more like April 10 thru April 12):

The Comedy Awards - I didn't watch this event, so I can't comment on how it actually went down, but I can't say I typically associate most of the typical awards show trappings with what the Comedy Central men 18-34 demo is looking for. While the inaugural Comedy Awards did skew young, they didn't find much of an audience: 1.37 million viewers and a 0.7 in adults 18-49. The best frame of reference for me is the Comedy Central Roasts, and this show paled in comparison to those; it managed less than half of the ratings for Comedy Central's latest roast of Donald Trump.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 4/14/11: Paul Not a Riser

  • Atrocious start for The Paul Reiser Show, which ties Chaos for the weakest series premiere rating of the season. That performance is worse than all but the last two eps of Perfect Couples (1.0), which is no accomplishment considering those episodes were mixed in with repeats. It didn't get much help from its Community lead-in which took a huge dive from its last original to a series low.
  • With CBS and (most of) ABC in repeats, most other stuff did decently. In the prelims, the Will Ferrell-fueled The Office, 30 Rock, Outsourced and Nikita were all up double-digits from their last originals. Bones also rose and had its best post-Idol retention this season. The Mentalist tied its strongest repeat of the season.

First Two Weeks, Breaking In


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 4/13/11: Happy Beginnings?

Busy day!

  • The 9:30 episode of Happy Endings dropped 28% out of Modern Family. That's obviously a much weaker raw-numbers start than Mr. Sunshine (3.7 out of Modern's 5.1), but the lead-in retention (72% here vs. 73% then) was similar. However, there was no drastic decrease in competition in Mr. Sunshine's case as there was here (on 2/9/11 neither Modern nor Sunshine faced American Idol, while here Modern did but Happy didn't).
  • The third hour of comedy did all right, with the 10:00 Happy Endings dropping a could-be-better-could-be-worse 18% from the 9:30 edition and the repeat of Modern Family scoring a 1.8. I'd generally judge Happy Endings as a less promising start than Mr. Sunshine's, but not so bad that it can't succeed from here. The Modern repeat was about on par with the best NBC's Outsourced has done in the thankless 10:30 sitcom role (and ahead of its recent ratings). If this hour continues to average around a 2.0 demo, that will be a pretty big win compared to other recent occupants. But this is premiere night.
  • The first half of the ABC night was ugly. The Middle dipped below the 2.0 threshold for the first time since November 2009 and Better with You followed it to a new low. Both were a whooping 30%+ below average. Modern Family went below 4.0 for just the second time (and first non-holiday time) this season.
  • Breaking In dropped 26% in week two despite American Idol  maintaining last week's rating. After finals, it may actually be worse than the performance of the post-Idol airing of Traffic Light (which got a 2.8 out of an Idol that was only a little stronger).
  • On CBS, the always interesting Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior picked up a lot of steam week-to-week. Though its lead-in and competition size were about the same (due to ABC being stronger), the main catalyst for this was probably Law & Order: SVU being a repeat. Elsewhere, Survivor rose in finals to tie the series low 3.1 it's already hit three other times this season.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Updates to "About" and "Intro to Nielsen Ratings" Pages

The two pages that sit atop the "Previously on SpottedRatings" bar on the left have been overdue for an update, and after much consideration, I've finally come up with versions that I think I like. The "About" page hones in on what makes this place different, and in the "Intro to Nielsen Ratings" page I've added in thoughts about some of the more common complaints about the Nielsen game.

Any feedback about either or both of those pages is very much welcome, as I really want them to be the best they can be. They're both among the most-viewed pages on the site, so I feel it's important I get them right. (That's partly why I made a separate post for this "news," as "About" is a standalone with no comments section.)

Intro to Nielsen Ratings

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 4/12/11: Food Revo-LOW-tion

  • Weak start for season two of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, the show that wowed with its huge 2.6 Friday premiere a year ago but had lost most of that steam by the end of season 1. It didn't pick any of it back up in its Tuesday debut. It was basically on par with recent No Ordinary Family results in the hour (that is, not good).
  • No other rating distinguished itself except maybe Body of Proof, which is officially looking like a keeper as it ticked up week-to-week in its third Tuesday airing. It retained a stout (and best-yet) 81% of Dancing with the Stars.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Two Weeks, Chaos


Spotted Ratings, Monday 4/11/11: Law & Order: LAme

  • We'll start with Law & Order: LA, whose revamp and promotional blitz produced a mere 1.5 demo, lower than anything in the fall run. That would certainly seem to be a bad sign. And it's another strike against my seemingly well-thought out "Do hiatuses kill shows?" post. The Event dropped 26% across its hiatus, and now LOLA's gone down 32% from its last pre-hiatus original 131 days ago. (Though to be fair, most of LOLA's later episodes were lower than the 2.2 the show spiked to for its last ep.)
  •  But LOLA was far from the only show to receive bad news on the evening. House, The Chicago Code and Dancing with the Stars were all double-digits below average, but the real disaster areas happened on NBC (where Chuck (1.3) was at horrific series-low levels and a whooping 29% below average and, well, we already talked about LOLA) and CBS (where the entire lineup hit outright season lows and finished 20%+ below average). How I Met Your Mother and House both hit their lowest numbers since their first seasons.
  • The only remotely positive result in broadcast primetime was Castle, which dropped a tick in finals but still posted one of its strongest results of the season.

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 4/10/11 - Five Friday Night Delights

Fridays have been getting a bit of a bad rap lately; when USA Network abandoned original programming on Friday night due to depressed viewing levels and Syfy brought in pro rasslin', I had pretty much given up hope that it might ever become one of the truly elite nights of TV again. I was pretty sure the last time I'd ever call it my favorite TV night of the week would be summer 2008, when Sci-Fi was airing Doctor Who and then USA had their great Monk/Psych block.

I would never have guessed that it'd take less than three years for Fridays to get back on top. It certainly doesn't play out that way in the ratings, but this evening has quietly assembled a high-quality collection of programming that all deserves to do better.

Shark Tank - I don't watch a lot of unscripted TV, but this is one show that's must-see for me. It's neither a trainwreck nor a blatant tug at the heartstrings. In fact, sometimes it might seem to be setting up a tug at the heartstrings and then it turns around and rips it out. Such is life in the world of business sometimes. The "trainwreck" aspect has always sorta been there too, but this season seems to have toned that down in favor of what really made this show pop: the negotiations between the sharks and the promising businesses and especially the in-fighting among the sharks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

If "First Two Weeks" Existed in 2007-08

Last week, I took a look at the new shows of the 2008-09 season as if I'd been doing my "First Two Weeks" posts back then. Today, I've got the 2007-08 shows. Again, I'm just throwing these out there because it might be interesting and to use for some further evaluation this summer; I'm not really trying to "prove" anything about the shows or the networks or my "system."

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 4/10/11

  • Rough evening for ABC and Fox. America's Funniest Home Videos did well for a repeat, but beyond that it was a new low for the finale of Secret Millionaire and an almost-low for Brothers & Sisters, which (as predicted) continues to experience diminishing returns from its two-hour "events."
  • On Fox, The Simpsons almost certainly hit the outright lowest ratings of its 21-year run, and American Dad! also hit a probable series low. (Not 100% sure on those as I don't have some of their earlier results, but it seems a safe bet.) Bob's Burgers also joined the outright-lowest-ever parade on Fox, but the 9:00 animation did a little better (still below average).
  • A Masters overrun (3.9) pushed up CBS primetime by 12 minutes and helped 60 Minutes but didn't have much effect on the rest of the CBS evening.

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 4/10/11 - Bob's Burgers, Homeland/House of Lies, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of D.C., USA Summer

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending April 10, 2011:

Bob's Burgers - Fox has given a second season to animated rookie Bob's Burgers. The show had TV's biggest A18-49 premiere (4.5) of the 2010-11 season thanks to a huge NFL playoff lead-in, then it dropped so big that I predicted it wouldn't stick around. Fortunately for the show, it stabilized in the low 2's soon after and has had retention similar to that of Fox's other second-tier animation shows (American Dad! and The Cleveland Show). The bad news is that it only scored 13 episodes, so it may not get a chance to shine in fall when the animation is always much stronger.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 4/9/11

  • NASCAR dominated an otherwise really boring evening. An original 48 Hours Mystery had a weak showing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/8/11

  • After an 18% week two drop, already-DOA Chaos may now be hurting the rest of the CBS night; both CSI: NY and Blue Bloods were down double digits week-to-week and significantly below average. (Both CSI:NY and Blue Bloods rose in finals to numbers that have me less concerned that Chaos is killing the evening.)
  • The only other notable was a pretty nice showing for the 2001 pilot of Smallville (0.7). Both that and Supernatural (0.6) hit repeat season highs. EDIT: But the CDub was supposedly preempted in Chicago, so those numbers may come down in finals. These repeats plummeted in finals to not-notable levels.

Friday, April 8, 2011

If "First Two Weeks" Existed in 2008-09

I started looking at the First Two Weeks of all new scripted broadcast shows back in the 2009-10 season, but since I've been doing a little more ratings archiving lately, I've found I have the data to do this at least two more years into the past. Here's 2008-09, and I'll have 2007-08 next week. I'm not doing this to "reinforce" the current system or anything, mostly just to have the data on hand for a more thorough re-evaluation during the off-season.

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 4/7/11

  • A tough evening for pretty much everything at 8:00. American Idol dominated but tied its second-lowest number of the season. The Big Bang Theory tied a season low and lead-out Rules of Engagement was just two ticks ahead of its season low. The Vampire Diaries returned from a six-week hiatus at an outright series low, while Perfect Couples tied its series low in its last scheduled ep.
  • Beyond the 8:00 hour, the return of Nikita tied a series low and unlikely returnee Outsourced also tied a series low with most of the rest of NBC in repeats, but everything else did OK. Bones had its second-best post-Idol retention this season. And Grey's Anatomy, The Office, Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock all had some of their strongest repeats of the season.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 4/6/11: Breaking Out?

  • Decent start for Breaking In, which dropped a little over half the American Idol demo but did noticeably better than Raising Hope did a little over a month ago (3.3 out of a 7.6), not to mention way better than Traffic Light (2.8 out of 7.8).
  • Mr. Sunshine's last airing picked up a little steam from not facing Idol for the first time in quite awhile, but that's still not much of a number. 
  • Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior hit a new low despite facing a below-average Law & Order: SVU. It's gotta be in trouble, in my opinion; dropping 40%+ from the mothership isn't exactly what you expect when you greenlight a spinoff.

First Two Weeks, Body of Proof


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 4/5/11

  • Body of Proof was down 23% from its premiere last Tuesday but up 20% from its 2.0 on Sunday. Not a bad number considering the 26% week-to-week drop for Dancing with the Stars results, but not a great one either.
  • CBS' odd scheduling of an NCIS: Los Angeles repeat between originals of NCIS and The Good Wife was kinda notable and the results were pretty mixed. NCIS tied a season low, LA had its biggest repeat number of the season, and The Good Wife ticked up despite the smaller lead-in. Some people may have come back to the program who were watching Body of Proof last week.

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 4/3/11 - The Game, Army Wives, Camelot, The Killing, March Madness

Here's your Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending April 3, 2011:

The Game - The season finale of The Game perked up from the show's typical upper-1's level to a 2.2 A18-49 and 4.43 million overall viewers. It ensured the show would finish its amazing first season on BET without ever posting a result lower than its best of its three years on the CW (1.4). Despite all this, the show still hasn't yet been renewed, but I'd definitely expect that to happen. Even though at its worst it lost more than half of the staggering 7.68m/3.6 A18-49 from its premiere, its transition to cable exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Monday 4/4/11: Harry's Fall

  • The big ratings on Monday belonged to the NCAA basketball title game between Connecticut and Butler, whose 7.1 demo in finals finished down 13% from last year's 8.2 for Duke/Butler.
  • Harry's Law had all the makings of one of those "the season can't end fast enough" shows, as it had gone from solid ground to kinda bubbly ground. Now it's dropped to a level where it wouldn't be renewed if it were steady here. The good news is that it isn't steady here; it's just had one data point at a 1.4. So while this easily series low number certainly doesn't help, I don't think it takes it out of the discussion or anything. But the six weeks till the upfront definitely got a little less comfortable...

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 4/3/11 - Army Wives, Body of Proof, Chaos, Shark Tank, The Killing

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending April 3, 2011:

Army Wives - I've defended this show for most of its run as... well, maybe not great, but at least above the Lifetime "stigma" that a lot of people probably attach to it. That said, I've found the whole death of Jeremy situation kind of... slimy. From their promotion of the event two weeks before it actually happened to the fact that he was the most "convenient" person to kill for drama (almost anyone else in combat would've rendered somebody Not An Army Wife), I just haven't been a fan of the decision. But there's no denying it's made HUGE ratings for the show. That almost makes it worse.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 4/3/11: Body of Oof

  • As has been typical this season, Desperate Housewives proved it doesn't have much game anymore against big live events (or even mediocre-rated live events like last night's Academy of Country Music Awards (3.3) on CBS). That 2.9 is its second-lowest rating this season, beating only the 2.7 it managed on 2/13/11 against the Grammys. That makes this probably the show's least impressive showing considering the Grammys were about three times the size of this awards show.
  • Lead-out Body of Proof  then dropped 31% from its Housewives lead-in, a similar retention percentage to what it did after Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday, but the raw number is down a pretty stout 35% from the promising 3.1 premiere. I'm not a big believer in making judgments based on special airings, but this seems like a particularly weak one. We'll see how it holds up on Tuesday.
  • With Fox's big animation guns in repeat mode, American Dad! tied a season low (and actually tied last week's repeat!) while The Cleveland Show hit a season low

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 4/3/11 - Amazing Race/Undercover Boss, Justified/Archer, Mad Men, Off Their Rockers, Mobbed

Didn't get the last two Five-Spots done last week due to health issues. Slowly getting back to full speed, and should definitely have a full trio this week with a lot going on. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending April 3, 2011:

The Amazing Race/Undercover Boss - CBS has renewed reality properties The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss for next season. The Race has been on Sunday nights for over five years now, but it was last year's breakout performance of Boss post-Super Bowl (along with this season's move of CSI: Miami to the evening) that finally got CBS back in the mix on previously troublesome Sunday. Race has been off to a rough start this spring, averaging just a 2.7 demo, but it's on the upswing. Boss's 2010-11 eps have averaged a 3.2 demo, down from last year but still rock solid.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 4/2/11

  • It was all about the NCAA Men's Final Four, which easily outshone the combined broadcast competition. Against this bigger than usual competition, Fox's lineup was well below average. And Transformers, even though it seems ABC has played it a million times, remains one of the net's stronger theatrical options.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Friday 4/1/11: CIA is DOA

  • CBS' CIA dramedy Chaos was dead on arrival at 8:00, tying the worst rating posted by both of this timeslot's previous occupants (Medium and The Defenders) this season. It finished behind all three of the reality shows it faced on the evening, though just 0.1 behind in each case. I guess CBS knew what they were doing in putting it here. It's also the season's worst series premiere rating for anything scripted on any big-five net. (Yes, worse than Hellcats and Nikita too!)
  • NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? and Dateline lineup came back down to earth after well-above average showings last week. (WDYTYA? rose in finals and ended up even week-to-week.) Dateline plummeted 28% week-to-week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 3/31/11

  • Howie Mandel-hosted reality special Mobbed pulled an impressive 3.8 demo. That marks the best post-Idol retention for anything this season, and in raw numbers it's better than all but one post-Idol airing this season (Bones on 1/27/11). The performance was good enough for Fox to greenlight an eight-episode series order for the show this afternoon.
  • The other standout on the evening was the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy, which pulled its second-best numbers this season and best since premiere week back on 9/23/10. It tied premiere Thursday's Big Bang Theory for the second-biggest showing by any scripted episode on Thursday this season, and it's in the top ten scripted performances by anything this season. Yes, there was a stunt, but this is a big-time showing for a late-March episode.

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