As I usually do with my year-to-year posts, at the end of each week I take a look at the biggest of the big gainers and losers among adults 18-49. You can click the "y2y summaries" label to see the various forms those have taken in past sweeps. Usually I just look at the top 5 gainers and losers, but since premiere week is a one-week thing, I'll throw ya a bone and do top 10 this time! The year-to-year posts will return with November sweeps.
I made this change some time last season, but I should note that in the timeslot comparisons, I no longer count original-vs.-repeat or repeat-vs.-original comparisons unless they are in the counterintuitive direction (so if a repeat does much better than a year-ago original or an original does much worse than a year-ago repeat). All repeat-vs.-repeat comparisons are eligible, though!
Top 10 year-to-year show losers
1. America's Next Top Model (W 9-10pm vs. W 8-9pm) -46%
2. Nikita (F 8-9pm vs. Th 9-10pm) -45%
3. Supernatural -38%
4. 20/20 -38%
5. Dancing with the Stars Tuesday -34%
6. Cops (R) -31%
t-7. Fringe (F 9-10pm vs. Th 9-10pm) -29%
t-7. Glee -29%
t-7. Cops -29%
10. 60 Minutes -26%
Probably the worst news on the CW, where basically every hour of the schedule is bad news, is the absolute implosion of usual fixture America's Next Top Model. What is going to happen to this show? The netlet also has a presence on this list care of Friday exile Nikita and the weak second-season-on-Friday premiere of Supernatural. I'm catching some flak over at SpoilerTV for calling Supernatural a loser this week, and they have some valid points (especially how much weaker its lead-in is) but that percentage drop is undeniable. And another potentially big story nobody's talking about (probably because nobody would care even if they knew about it) is the big drops for Cops. With America's Most Wanted having recently ended on broadcast TV, we may not be too far from taking yet another step toward the official end of entertainment programming on Saturday.
Top 10 year-to-year show gainers
1. Two and a Half Men +118%
2. How I Met Your Mother (M 8-9pm vs. M 8-8:30pm) +38%
3. Dateline Fri (F 9-11pm vs. F 8-10pm) +25%
4. Modern Family +20%
5. Castle +19%
6. Saturday Night Football +15%
7. The Middle +15%
8. NCIS: Los Angeles +13%
9. NCIS +8%
10. The Simpsons +5%
It's nice to actually have 10+ shows up year-to-year, which hasn't always been the case for these! The two big show winners were the astounding premiere of Two and a Half Men and a show that was in its "halo." As ABC's big hits from the mid-2000s continue to fade away, the net can certainly at least boast that their "next generation" of scripted programs (The Middle, Modern Family and Castle) keep getting healthier. And after coming a tiny bit back down to earth last season, those NCIS shows start 2011-12 back on the upswing.
Top 10 year-to-year timeslot losers
1. H8R vs. America's Next Top Model (CW, Wednesday 8-9pm) -69%
2. Harry's Law vs. Law & Order: SVU (NBC, Wednesday 9-10pm) -63%
3. Nikita vs. Smallville (CW, Friday 8-9pm) -54%
4. Supernatural (CW, Friday 9-10pm) -38%
t-5. Free Agents vs. Undercovers (NBC, Wednesday 8:30-9pm) -38%
t-5. Hell's Kitchen vs. House (Fox, Monday 8-9pm) -38%
7. 20/20 (ABC, Friday 10-11p) -38%
8. Dancing with the Stars Tuesday (ABC, Tuesday 9-10pm) -34%
9. American Dad! vs. Family Guy (Fox, Sunday 9:30-10pm) -33%
10. The Sing-Off vs. Chuck/The Event (NBC, Monday 8-10pm) -32%
Important note: I left off the CBS Sunday shows because matching up timeslots is particularly tough due to last year's NFL overrun, but based on the inaccurate numbers I have, 60 Minutes (-62% from the overrun and part of 60 Minutes) and The Good Wife (-42% from the end of The Amazing Race) and CSI: Miami (-39% from Undercover Boss) would all be on this list. So you can chop off the last three if you want and put those in!
The top three shows on this list were all weak but also have the misfortune of going up against stuff that was relatively strong on the year-ago evening. Probably the ugliest one is Free Agents' big decline from the year-ago soft premiere of Undercovers. Barely making the list is The Sing-Off, which many people had figured would at least exceed the Chuck/Event numbers. However, the Chuck/Event numbers weren't that bad at the beginning of the fall, so Sing-Off gets off to a bad year-to-year start. Let's see where it's at in November.
Top 10 year-to-year timeslot gainers
1. Revenge vs. The Whole Truth (ABC, Wednesday 10-11pm) +120%
2. Two and a Half Men (CBS, Monday 9-9:30pm) +118%
3. Hell's Kitchen vs. Lone Star (Fox, Monday 9-10pm) +100%
4. 2 Broke Girls vs. Mike & Molly (CBS, Monday 9:30-10pm) +82%
5. The X Factor vs. Bones/Fringe (Fox, Thursday 8-10pm) +79%
6. How I Met Your Mother vs. Rules of Engagement (CBS, Monday 8:30-9pm) +68%
7. Fringe vs. The Good Guys (Fox, Friday 9-10pm) +67%
8. Revenge (R) vs. The Whole Truth (R) (ABC, Friday 9-10pm) +57%
9. New Girl vs. Raising Hope (Fox, Tuesday 9-9:30pm) +55%
10. The X Factor vs. Hell's Kitchen (Fox, Wednesday 8-10pm) +54%
Basically three big lessons from this list: 1) Revenge is doing a whole lot better than last year's The Whole Truth; 2) Two and a Half Men and all its companions did some good work; and 3) While The X Factor rated below most expectations, it did at least bring some really significant improvement to its timeslots (although you might counter that was kind of a given).
Here are this premiere week's daily posts, in case you missed any:
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Sunday
And here's last year's premiere week recap.