It's time for the post-February sweeps True Power Rankings! For this edition, I'm averaging the 10 most recent TRUE results, then I'm dropping both the biggest and the smallest result from that group. Not sure 10 is the magic number for the best possible analysis (as many shows are still somewhat inflated by fall numbers), but I think it will serve us better in the last two editions.
Other networks: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | The CW
1. The Big Bang Theory (6.69)
The Anchor-Worthy Division
2. How I Met Your Mother (4.47)
3. Two and a Half Men (4.11)
4. 2 Broke Girls (4.11)
What a photo finish, as 2.5 Men edges 2 Broke Girls by a score of 4.11329 to 4.11325! Unfortunately, Men just keeps looking weaker by the week, including a shockingly low 3.6 demo (3.30 TRUE) in the last week of sweeps against the Daytona 500. Still anchor-worthy, but I'm wondering if maybe it should be the show to move next season so CBS can better cover their Monday bases long-term. If it continues to sag into the spring, I also think it ups the odds that CBS leaves all three shows on Monday.
5. Mike and Molly (3.20)
6. Rob (3.03)
7. Rules of Engagement (2.92)
If you believe the buzz, at least one of these shows (ROE and/or Rob) will not be returning, and if that's the case, it'll almost certainly be 2011-12's Truly biggest cancellation (as $#*! My Dad Says was in the same timeslot last year). I still don't really believe either of them should be cancelled.
Rob rounded out its eight-episode first season on a particularly mixed note. Its penultimate episode was, to me, a very cancel-worthy effort, a 2.9 demo out of a 5.3 for Big Bang. (But even that was a Truly stronger performance than pretty much all the bubble dramas.) The finale then dropped by 0.3 as its BBT lead-in went into repeats and lost 2.1. At least compared to the previous episode, that's a much better performance than $#*! My Dad Says (which dropped 0.5, from 2.8 to 2.3, with a similar lead-in drop). I guess the question is whether an "admirable" hold of a probably cancel-worthy performance really means anything.
8. How to Be a Gentleman (1.83)
1. NCIS (4.08)
2. Criminal Minds (3.26)
They're still the elite dramas of the network, but both these shows pretty much limped through February sweeps, with NCIS losing demo each week and Criminal Minds stuck at a 3.1 even after the return of Survivor.
The Identical Quintuplets
3. Person of Interest (2.73)
4. NCIS: Los Angeles (2.68)
5. Hawaii Five-0 (2.64)
6. The Mentalist (2.63)
7. CSI (2.62)
Wow, what a packed group! If you'll recall, the first one of these I did back in December had Person of Interest closer to the bubble than to the second tier. Now, it's actually on top of the second tier, and since its better results are more recent, it's likely to keep growing. It's not exactly a Criminal Minds-level program yet (at least not consistently), but if the current trend continues, it may end up closer to Minds than to the rest of this tier. Renewal is now a formality.
The Friday-at-Best Division
8. Blue Bloods (2.14)
9. Unforgettable (2.08)
10. CSI: Miami (1.94)
11. CSI: NY (1.85)
12. The Good Wife (1.47)
13. A Gifted Man (1.35)
To reiterate what I said last time: if I'm running CBS, I keep Blue Bloods and can all the rest to make more room for comedies. What will happen? I'm guessing probably two of the other five survive: The Good Wife and one of the CSIs. But I wouldn't rule out only one making it. That goes double if upcoming NYC 22 has any pulse at all.
1. Survivor Fall (3.51)
2. Survivor Spring (3.30)
3. Undercover Boss (2.54)
4. The Amazing Race Spring (2.44)
5. The Amazing Race Fall (2.18)
6. 60 Minutes (1.71)
7. 48 Hours Mystery (1.33)
Since last we spoke, Undercover Boss has moved to Friday and become the top program of the evening, even if that's come at about two-thirds of its last Sunday rating. This Friday, we get to see just how powerful a truly "good faith" CBS can be on Friday, as they give legit second-tier drama The Mentalist a tryout on the evening. As problematic as the net still is on Sunday, I have to wonder if this is all leading up to an upfront in which CBS really attacks Friday again and kinda shrugs off Sunday, in much the same way the cable version of CBS (USA Network) recently has. Perhaps Friday just feels like more fertile ground to them.
But there is something good happening on Sunday: it seems The Amazing Race is that one reality franchise you can never really give up on. All three of its data points to date have been up year-to-year, and if it can keep it up, that'd basically make it the only one of its kind among reality competition shows in the 2011-12 season.