Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/29/12 - Touch, CSI, The Big Bang Theory, The Finder, Chuck

This week's Ratings Five-Spot at SpoilerTV looks at Fox's preview of Touch, the final CSI for Marg Helgenberger, the way shows like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory are wearing away at American Idol's "Death Star" label, the odd pair of increases from The Finder and the series finale of Chuck. Check it out!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 1/26/12: Finder an Audience (FINALS)

  • What an interesting story this is becoming. The Finder made huge week-to-week strides once again. This time, there's another "excuse" (ABC and CBS went into repeats, plus no The Office and an Up All Night repeat on NBC) but the extent of the increase is still pretty shocking.
  • So much for the 100th episode bump. The Big Bang Theory ticked up week-to-week in episode 101 to a new Thursday high and widened its gap with American Idol (preliminary 4.8 at 8:00, final 5.5 overall). Rob was flat in week three, but its 36% drop from TBBT would be worse than any of Rules' data points after Big Bang in the last two seasons.
  • Parks and Recreation had a rough night with no The Office original. It was sandwiched by a couple 30 Rock originals (1.6 at 8:00, 1.9 at 9:00).

SpotVault - Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC) - 2010-11

Primetime: What Would You Do?
Fridays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC) - pre-2010-11

Primetime: What Would You Do?
Tuesdays, 10/9c and Fridays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Shark Tank (ABC) - 2010-11

Shark Tank
Fridays, 8/7c, ABC

SpotVault - Shark Tank (ABC) - 2009-10

Shark Tank
Sundays, 8/7c, Tuesdays, 8/7c and Fridays, 9/8c, ABC

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 1/25/12 (FINALS)

  • Though the problems continue for American Idol, once again down about 30% year-to-year, Fox got a solid preview out of Touch, which dropped only about 40% of the Idol lead-in. It's the season's second-biggest drama premiere in raw 18-49, though it may end up Truly behind some of the 3.0+ self-starters. (If the prelim holds, it'd be behind both Terra Nova and Alcatraz.)
  • CSI said goodbye to Marg Helgenberger with its biggest numbers since about halfway through last season. The 21% increase is actually a bigger week-to-week bump than a few notable recent procedural departures brought. The last episode of William Petersen on CSI (6.6 on 1/15/09) was up 14% and Jesse L. Martin's Law & Order departure (3.7 on 4/23/08) was up 12%, though both of those came after long hiatuses.
  • NBC's Happy Hour keeps getting unhappier, with further double-digit drops for Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea?.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 1/24/12 (FINALS)

  • Things were rather messed up by the State of the Union address, but the CW got a little bounce. The Biggest Loser hit a season low but fairly normal 8-9:00 numbers. (Most telecasts are two hours.) IMPORTANT NOTE: the SOTU numbers below are approximations based on the prelims to fill out my table, but they will not be counted elsewhere and shouldn't be taken as official.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The True Top 25, Week Ending 1/22/12 (2011-12 Week 18)

Welcome back, Death Star. Fox's NFC Championship Game towered over everything, but American Idol then occupied the next three spots both in 18-49 and in TRUE, despite the show being down over 20% year-to-year on both nights. But as I've said, this could be the year it joins the "mere mortals" of television; the Thursday edition lost head-to-head with The Big Bang Theory but did well enough in the 8:30 half-hour to beat it out overall. It doesn't seem ludicrous to think Big Bang could out-TRUE the Thursday Idol show by season's end (though I do think it got a bit of a bump this week from the 100th episode stuff).

The originals facing the NFC Championship will be an interesting case study for the off-season. The number typically cares more about overall viewing than competition, and the game brought a huge overall viewing inflation. Once Upon a Time feels like it "deserves" more than a 2.61 for going against a game of that size, but it's not that dissimilar to its December and early January TRUE numbers. So we'll see what it does in subsequent results.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 1/23/12

  • Fox capitalized against repeats on CBS as House hit its best numbers since October and Alcatraz lost an encouraging 9% of last week's premiere audience.
  • NBC was above average with Who's Still Standing? and "Rock Center," which was actually a two-hour Republican debate. If you count that as an actual Rock Center episode (I'm not), it'd be a series high.
  • As is the case almost every year, The Bachelor is that rare reality TV franchise that grows over the course of the season. This result was 0.3 higher than any of its first three.

Spotted Ratings, Sunday 1/22/12: The Nielsen Football Giants (FINALS)

  • This Sunday will likely be the second-highest viewed primetime of the year thanks to the massive NFC Championship Game. (Highest-viewed will be Super Bowl Sunday in two weeks.) Over 45% of adults 18-49 were watching TV from 7:00 to 10:30, and nearly half of those were watching the NFC Championship Game. The game did nearly two points better than last year's primetime AFC Championship Game (19.7). American Idol followed the game at 10:57 ET with its biggest ratings of the season.
  • ABC held up swimmingly against the game, led by Once Upon a Time. Last year, their scripted originals sat out this week, so there's no great comparison.
  • Most affected by the proceedings was CBS' Undercover Boss, down huge from last week's premiere but also mixed into a lineup of repeats. We saw what that did for Once Upon a Time back in December, so let's wait a week before we make too much of this.
  • NBC bid adieu to Prime Suspect with its two lowest-rated episodes.

Spotted Ratings, Saturday 1/21/12 (FINALS)

  • Expect particularly quiet Saturdays moving forward. ABC ran its first of what'll be many winter/spring Saturday movies. A double-dose of Cops originals were the top programs, but Fox as a whole was dragged behind ABC and NBC thanks to their final Terra Nova repeat.

Spotted Ratings, Friday 1/20/12

  • ABC took control of Friday with the return of Shark Tank hitting its best Friday ratings ever and Primetime: What Would You Do? premiering a tick down from its September 2010 premiere but ahead of pretty much all of the back half of last season. Both shows improved their timeslots vs. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, at least on premiere night (especially Shark Tank, up 50%). 20/20 posted its second straight great number thanks to its coverage of the cruise ship story.
  • NBC also got great numbers as Chuck hit a season high and Grimm was up drastically to its best number since its second episode in early November. I wonder if there were basketball preemptions I guess the shows just benefited that much from no CBS/CW originals! Deeper analysis also indicates it was highest overall-viewed Friday of the season, which couldn't have hurt.

SpotVault - Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC) - 2011-12

Primetime: What Would You Do?
Fridays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Shark Tank (ABC) - 2011-12

Shark Tank
Fridays, 8/7c, ABC

SpotVault - Remodeled (CW) - 2011-12

Wednesdays, 9/8c, The CW

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/22/12 - Alcatraz, Justified, Royal Pains, Archer, Grimm

This week's Ratings Five-Spot at SpoilerTV has one "spot" for each of the first five days of the week. We visit Monday's Alcatraz premiere, Tuesday's cable drama smackdown between Justified, White Collar and Southland, Wednesday's soft Royal Pains premiere, Thursday's Archer/Unsupervised block and Friday's big upswings from Chuck and Grimm. Check it out!

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2010-11

    American Idol
    Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2009-10

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2008-09

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2007-08

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2006-07

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2005-06

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2004-05

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2003-04

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2002-03

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - Summer 2002

    American Idol
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox

    SpotVault - American Idol (Fox) - 2011-12

    American Idol
    Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    The Big Network Season-to-Date Report, WE 1/15/12

    This year, I've started putting in markers with my program listings that indicate the type of show (regular original, regular repeat, special, movie or sports). I did this for a variety of reasons which are already in use around here, but it's dawned on me earlier this week that this allows me to pretty easily generate some other really interesting stats that we don't really see anywhere else.

    So here's my first stab. This post will look at the A18-49 demo average of each network overall but also at the average of each network by show type. We all know NBC is only competitive in the network averages because of football, but how big a deal is it really? Who runs the most repeats, the most specials, etc.?

    This won't be a weekly thing, but the week before American Idol's arrival seems a good time to start. It will be back at the end of the season if not before. As always with this kind of thing, I feel the need to note a few disclaimer-type things, but I'll save that for the bottom except for these important ones: all of this stuff is based on Live + Same Day where most of the Nielsen-supplied versions of this are Most Current (mostly Live + 7). And all of these go from premiere Monday (September 19) through the most recently ended week (January 15).

    Spotted Ratings, Thursday 1/19/12: Big(ger-than-Idol) Bang Theory (FINALS)

    • The Thursday premiere of American Idol should end up down year-to-year by a similar amount as the Wednesday premiere. After finals, it's at -27% from last year's 7.8. Amazingly, it actually lost head-to-head to other entertainment programming, as the 100th episode of The Big Bang Theory barely edged it head-to-head and, like Modern Family, was virtually unaffected by the Death Star week-to-week.
    • CBS had more good news as the evening continued, with Rob down just 15% in week two despite the drastic increase in competition. Person of Interest fell in finals but was still steady at last week's high, and then The Mentalist broke 3.0 for the first time this season.
    • Week two of The Finder, as predicted, was up a good bit from its 1.7 premiere last week thanks to a 3.2-point bigger lead-in. That's the good way to put it. The bad way to put it is that it retained an ugly 39% of the Idol demo (and just 35% of the 8:30 number). Comparing preliminary numbers, it was Truly down by 17%.
    • The crumbling of ABC continues, as Winter Wipeout continues a long tradition of fellow unscripted shows being most affected by the Death Star. The Shonda Rhimes dramas Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were then each down nearly 10% more.
    • Aside from a post-premiere drop from 30 Rock, NBC was mostly unaffected, though The Firm (0.9) did officially tie Prime Suspect's series low in the timeslot (and said series low came with a sub-1.0 lead-in...).
    • CDub's dramas The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle both hit outright lows.

    First Two Weeks, Are You There, Chelsea?


    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 1/18/12: Death Stumble (FINALS)

    • As American Idol begins its second decade on television, is it finally on its way to joining the rest of the mere mortals of TV? It's certainly not quite there yet, but the 24% drop for this season's Idol premiere is the biggest year-to-year drop for an Idol premiere. A couple things to keep in mind: 1) I'm a little surprised the drop was this big, but it continues what has been a really soft year for competition reality in general; and 2) last year's 18% drop on premiere night was the previous biggest ever, and yet that season ended up down only mid-single-digits as a whole. So don't write off the show just yet.
    • As for the franchise's potency as a "Death Star"? As usual, almost everything dropped, but for the most part it feels like it could've been worse, and most regulars avoided outright lows. The biggest drops came on the CW and from NBC's comedy "Happy Hour," but that was largely because they were premiering there last week. Whitney, week two of Are You There, Chelsea? and One Tree Hill were all down 20%+. The only other outright season lows came from Criminal Minds (even though it was up from last year's vs.-Idol debut) and Law and Order: SVU , and the only other regulars down double-digits were ABC's 8:00 hour offerings The Middle and Suburgatory.

    Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 1/17/12 (FINALS)

    • Fox's Tuesday lineup was one of the last scripted lineups on TV to return from holiday hiatus, and it did so in a less than newsworthy fashion, as all three show came back around pre-holidays numbers.
    • Almost everything else original on the big four was about steady, too, with a notable exception being the surging Last Man Standing, which posted its highest number in the last four episodes. The Last Man Standing repeat at 8:30 actually tied the series premiere of Work It from two weeks ago and vastly outrated last week's second and final episode. In other words, good move ABC!
    • Death, taxes and midseason CW reality flops. But Remodeled may outdo 'em all in terms of ineptitude. They've had a couple premiere at 0.4 before (remember Plain Jane, Fly Girls? No?!) but this is the first 0.3 premiere I can find. The show got no help from a really weak return from 90210, but as I like to say, you can't really blame your lead-in when you're losing half of it.

    The True Top 25, Week Ending 1/15/12 (2011-12 Week 17)

    Football's domination of the True Top 25 certainly continues during playoff season. Tebow Time on Saturday may have been a blowout, and it may have even been a ratings disappointment because of that, but it was still over twice as big as any of the entertainment options.

    With CBS Monday in repeats, there were fewer of the 3.00+ shows than usual even though many other entertainment options re-entered the picture. The Big Bang Theory actually won the entertainment week even in raw numbers, so of course its lead on Modern Family in TRUE was fairly substantial. Fox put its animated players high on this list thanks to the NFL halo effect, which seemingly can't totally be accounted for in the shows that aren't direct lead-ins. (The Simpsons as a direct lead-out to football was fairly close to its average TRUE, but Family Guy was well above average).

    TRUE pretty much liked the opening performances of Napoleon Dynamite and Rob, but expect it to grade harshly in subsequent weeks if there are big drops.

    Spotted Ratings, Monday 1/16/12: Welcome to Alcatraz (FINALS)

    • Fox got a solid start from Alcatraz, which slightly outdid both Fox's fall premiere of Terra Nova (3.1) as well as the series premiere of fellow JJ Abrams offering Fringe (3.2 on 9/9/08). Only Once Upon a Time (4.0) had a stronger start among dramas this season.
    • Despite skewing quite old, NBC still got massive timeslot improvement in the demo from Betty White Night, with her 90th birthday special and the preview of Off Their Rockers doing about 70% better than The Sing-Off's average in the same timeslot. And Rock Center followed with an outright series high, for whatever that's worth. (It still dropped 50% from Off Their Rockers.)
    • Among the timeslot incumbents, The Bachelor swung back up to its premiere rating, while the only big mover on all-original CBS was the up-double-digits How I Met Your Mother. It is frankly kind of unbelievable that we now live in a world where HIMYM is just 0.2 demo points behind Two and a Half Men and 2 Broke Girls is tied with it. Will they both make the pass later this season?

    Spotted Ratings, Sunday 1/15/12: Nielsen Dynamite (FINALS)

    • As usual, Fox took advantage of its NFL playoff lead-in to create a huge evening of animation. It started with The Simpsons, up a silly 135% week-to-week and easily a season high but a bit weaker than the episode in the same situation last year (5.7). Then the first episode of Napoleon Dynamite was the season's third-biggest premiere. Seems impressive, but again, it was a bit weaker than Bob's Burgers (4.5) in the same situation last year. Family Guy joined the outright season high brigade (but, all together now, a little weaker than last year (4.7)), then episode two of Napoleon dropped a good bit.
    • The Golden Globes ended up down a couple ticks year-to-year but still dominated their three hours of primetime.
    • Also as usual, Globes night wasn't great to CBS and ABC, though a Once Upon a Time-led ABC took a smaller hit than usual
    • As for CBS, the big question coming into today was which Undercover Boss would show up, the 3.0 one that had persisted for most of the show's second season or the 2.0 one that mysteriously popped up in the last couple weeks of last season. At least on premiere night, it was the former, as Undercover Boss was way down from its September 2010 premiere but about on par with the 3.0 level it approximated for most of the 2010-11 season. But it was a pretty impressive start considering how far the rest of the CBS evening came back to earth with no NFL support.

      Spotted Ratings, Saturday 1/14/12 (FINALS)

      • A funny thing happened on the way to a 40+ million viewer Divisional Round game for CBS: Tim Tebow got blown out. The game looked like it had big potential in the early minutes, starting with a 13.5 demo in the 8:30 half-hour and peaking in the 9:00 half-hour with over 40 million viewers and a 14.5/38 demo. From there, though, the viewers quickly filed away. It pulled an 11.4 demo at 10:30 and may well have been even lower beyond that point.
      • Tebow's loss was Miss America's gain, as the pageant benefited greatly from the CBS exodus. It started with a 1.5 in the 9:00 half-hour but got up to a 2.2 by 10:30. Overall, the pageant finished up a couple ticks year-to-year.

      SpotVault - Alcatraz (Fox) - 2011-12

      Mondays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - Napoleon Dynamite (Fox) - 2011-12

      Napoleon Dynamite
      Sundays, 8:30/7:30c, Fox

      SpotVault - Undercover Boss (CBS) - 2011-12

      Undercover Boss
      Fridays, 8/7c, CBS

      SpotVault - The Finder (Fox) - 2011-12

      The Finder
      Thursdays, 9/8c, Fox

      SpotVault - Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC) - 2011-12

      Are You There, Chelsea?
      Wednesdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC

      SpotVault - Rob (CBS) - 2011-12

      Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS

      Tuesday, January 17, 2012

      Ratings Five-Spot, WE 1/15/12 - The Game, One Tree Hill, 30 Rock, Rob, The Finder

      The midseason shows are pouring in, and this week's Ratings Five-Spot at SpoilerTV examines the return of The Game on BET, the final season premiere of One Tree Hill, NBC's sitcom shuffling, last week's wave of critically-panned comedies and the weak start for The Finder on Fox. Check it out!

      The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

        Monday, January 16, 2012

        Schedule Five-Spot, WE 1/15/12 - Hot in Cleveland, Psych, Apartment 23, Work It, Mad Men

        Here's the Schedule Five-Spot for the week ending January 15, 2012:

        Hot In Cleveland - Happy 90th, Betty White! TV Land is celebrating with a 24-episode fourth-season renewal for Betty's sitcom Hot in Cleveland. It persists as the face of the network's original programming despite continued big ratings declines (because they still can't find anything that does better). Additionally, they're picking up Have Faith, the first Hot In Cleveland spinoff. It stars Cedric the Entertainer as a priest he played in a previous Hot episode.

        Saturday, January 14, 2012

        Spotted Ratings, Friday 1/13/12 (FINALS)

        • Most of the normal Friday competition filed back into play this Friday. It was mostly an unlucky Friday the 13th for the 9/8c dramas, with only CSI: NY at about average while Fringe and Supernatural tied lows and Grimm hit an outright low. At 8/7c, A Gifted Man came back to earth after its potentially promising surge last week.
        • Scripted's loss was generally unscripted's gain, starting with the series finale of long-running Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It signed off tying its best Friday performance in each hour. Kitchen Nightmares also tied a season high and 20/20 got its second-best Friday ratings this season (third-best overall).

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2011-12

        30 Rock
        Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2010-11

        30 Rock
        Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c and Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2009-10

        30 Rock
        Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2008-09

        30 Rock
        Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, NBC

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2007-08

        30 Rock
        Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC

        SpotVault - 30 Rock (NBC) - 2006-07

        30 Rock
        Wednesdays, 8/7c, Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c and Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

        Friday, January 13, 2012

        First Two Weeks, The Firm

        THE FIRM (NBC)

        ¡Spotted Ratings, Thursday 1/12/12! (FINALS)

        • The second week of January is always interesting on Wednesday and Thursday because it's the season's last week without American Idol. The Death Star's back next week, but for this week, it was all about CBS. They started with above-average Thursday ratings from The Big Bang Theory, which should be the week's top entertainment program, and followed with a strong, time-period improving premiere from Rob and series highs from Person of Interest. Rob got CBS' second-best 8:30 numbers since they started putting comedies here and was a tick stronger than fall 2010's $#*! My Dad Says premiere. But, again, Idol looms.
        • Fox debuted The Finder to shockingly weak results. The show dropped a whooping 29% of its Bones lead-in. The good news is that its lead-in will probably about triple next week, so it's tougher to give up on this show than it would be with most with results like this.
        • Hey, I guess timeslots really don't matter, as Up All Night opened up even with the previous night's Whitney and well below my apparently naive expectations. But I will just note in passing that Up All Night faced as much competition as it's pretty much ever gonna face, while Whit on Wednesday faced as little as it's ever gonna face.
        • Elsewhere on NBC, the return of 30 Rock also disappointed, down nearly a third from last year's 2.6 premiere at 8:30. It matched Community's high for the season and was 14% ahead of its average, but presumably it's not going to go up from here with Idol back next week. And The Firm posted absolutely mortifying ratings and dropped 29% in its Thursday 10/9c debut.
        • Against an onslaught of competition, ABC came back to earth in a big way. Winter Wipeout, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were all down 15%+ from last week.

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2010-11

        One Tree Hill
        Tuesdays, 8/7c, The CW

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2009-10

        One Tree Hill
        Mondays, 8/7c, The CW

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2008-09

        One Tree Hill
        Mondays, 9/8c, The CW

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2007-08

        One Tree Hill
        Tuesdays, 9/8c and Mondays, 9/8c, The CW

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2006-07

        One Tree Hill
        Wednesdays, 9/8c, The CW

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2005-06

        One Tree Hill
        Wednesdays, 8/7c, The WB

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2004-05

        One Tree Hill
        Tuesdays, 9/8c, The WB

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2003-04

        One Tree Hill
        Tuesdays, 9/8c, The WB

        SpotVault - One Tree Hill (CW) - 2011-12

        One Tree Hill
        Wednesdays, 8/7c, The CW

        Thursday, January 12, 2012

        Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 1/11/12 (FINALS)

        • NBC premiered their Happy Hour with Whitney and the series premiere of Are You There, Chelsea? At least for one week, they did vastly better than I expected and Chelsea drastically improved the timeslot (not hard considering it was mostly Free Agents), but American Idol looms next week.
        • The CW welcomed back One Tree Hill even with last fall's premiere (EDIT: was actually down two tenths from last fall's premiere; I was looking at the first episode of the traditional regular season) and last midseason's premiere. If it holds, that number would be higher than recent results for every CW scripted show not named The Vampire Diaries...
        • CBS had The People's Choice Awards from 9 to 11, down a couple ticks year-to-year.
        • The only big mover on all-original ABC was Modern Family, which dropped by 0.6 from last week.

        First Two Weeks, Work It

        WORK IT (ABC)

        Wednesday, January 11, 2012

        SpecTrulation, Whitney/Up All Night

        The third edition of SpecTrulation is a double feature, as we examine NBC's midseason comedy flip. Whitney moves to Wednesday 8/7c starting tonight, then tomorrow night comes the Thursday 9:30/8:30c debut of Up All Night.

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