Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Friday 9/28/12

  •  It's been a hellish premiere week for pretty much everybody, so why would a lineup that was already collapsing late last season buck the trend? CSI: NY and Blue Bloods both returned down 25%+ year-to-year and only barely above the low points of their late-season meltdowns, but the worst news came sandwiched between the two with newbie Made In Jersey. Looks like we've found a spot for CBS to put their mid-season replacements.
  • Grimm had a pretty strong return to Friday, basically hitting its August Monday level, topping the night and seemingly helping boost Dateline.
  • ABC managed to tie CBS for the nightly lead at probably a fraction of the cost, sandwiching their unscripted shows with an encore of Last Resort that actually tied for second at 9:00. That's the same number that Pan Am and Revenge got in their Friday pilot encores last year.
  • The final season of Fringe debuted in predictably soft fashion, not even holding all of its The X Factor repeat lead-in.

SpotVault - Elementary (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - Person of Interest (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Person of Interest
Thursdays, 9/8c, CBS

SpotVault - Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Two and a Half Men
Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS

SpotVault - The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

The Big Bang Theory
Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - Scandal (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC

SpotVault - Grey's Anatomy (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Grey's Anatomy
Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - Last Resort (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Last Resort
Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Question Week Three Results

Here are the results and individual standings through three weeks of the ratings prediction game The Question:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spotted Ratings, Thursday 9/27/12

  • CBS' Power Hours were mostly pretty powerful, though I did expect better out of the first hour. The Big Bang Theory ended up narrowly up year-to-year and should be the week's #2 entertainment show. That's of course a good number, but I expected low-to-mid 5's based on its big gains late last season. But once-beastly Two and a Half Men was the real disappointment, only holding onto about 70% of the Big Bang audience. You know when CBS PR is saying, "We solidly beat last year's How to Be a Gentleman premiere!" that there is a problem. Person of Interest did pretty "meh" and Elementary had arguably the first genuinely strong series premiere of the week to date. It tied what POI did on premiere night last year, and that show had a 5.1 lead-in.
  • On ABC, Last Resort  brought much better critical reviews to the Thursday 8/7c hour but not really meaningfully better ratings. It was just another old-skewing low-2's entry like last season's Charlie's Angels (2.1) and Missing (2.1). As with those shows, it could be OK if it holds up well. Those didn't. The really good news on ABC came later in the evening. Grey's Anatomy may have been the hottest show on TV at the very end of last season, and it parlayed that into an exceedingly rare up year-to-year premiere. Scandal couldn't even hold half of the Grey's demo and was a tick below last season's finale. That still makes it the second-biggest episode in the show's short history and a little ahead of last year's premiere, but it is not much of a start.
  • As first predicted on the fall preview (gotta take the victories where I can get 'em at this point), Glee took it in the chin against Grey's Anatomy, dropping by an ugly 17% in week three. The X Factor held up a little better.
  • NBC was inflated by local Thursday Night Football telecasts, and after finals the comedies all ended up within a tenth of last week. The only real significance is that the gain by Up All Night perhaps alleviates the notion that the show could get pulled in the super-short term.
  • As for Thursday Night Football, the seemingly weak Browns/Ravens matchup (3.3) may have drawn a little extra interest due to the return of the regular referees.

The Question, Sunday 9/30/12: How Much Firepower in ABC's Young Guns?

In recent years, Sunday night has not been one of the more exciting evenings on broadcast TV. NBC has the predictably beastly Sunday Night Football, Fox has the predictably fine Animation Domination block, and overrun-muddled CBS seems content to phone it in with The Amazing Race and lower-tier dramas. For awhile, ABC was just as predictable; their Extreme Makeover: Home Edition/Desperate Housewives/Brothers & Sisters lineup stayed intact for five full seasons! This fall, all three of those veterans are dunzo and ABC's Sunday situation becomes a whole lot more interesting. Once Upon a Time had a pretty smashing debut season in the 8:00 slot last year, and they're hoping that will continue through to a couple more young shows: decent-rated sophomore Revenge and rookie 666 Park Ave. How much firepower will ABC's lineup of young guns have? That's The Question for Sunday, September 30, 2012.

The Question, Friday 9/28/12: Is She Made for Friday?

Tonight brings the last and (by almost all accounts) least of CBS' three drama premieres this week, the legal drama Made in Jersey. Before CBS Friday became a haven for New York City procedurals, it was a place where shows like Joan of Aracdia and Ghost Whisperer with young female leads could exceed their low expectations and run for awhile. They'll try to combine those two trends with Made In Jersey, a New York City procedural with a young female lead! She's made in Jersey, but is she made for the tough Friday landscape? That's The Question for Friday, September 28, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Wednesday 9/26/12

  • ABC finally had some decent news to report this season as The Middle and Modern Family were both down 10% or less year-to-year. Modern Family launched much-reviled newbie The Neighbors at a respectable but uninspiring level. Considering how the other networks' comedies are doing and how far down the shows got late last season, this is something of a win. I expected this lineup to be about 0.2 lower, and I have not exactly been over-predicting shows this season. ABC rounded out the night with a Revenge recap special.
  • NBC basically flopped with the premieres of Animal Practice and Guys with Kids. They did close to what I expected for the hour, but I figured the ratings would be reversed. (In other words, I thought Guys would drop at 8:30.) This kind of relationship perhaps opens the door to the Whitney / Guys with Kids pairing that some are yearning for, and these results certainly improve the odds that the Friday comedy block ain't happening. (Especially not as currently constructed.) Despite these results, NBC looks to finish as the only network on the year-to-year upside for the third straight day as the two-hour Law and Order: SVU premiere vastly outrated the Harry's Law/SVU two-hour average last year. (But a program ratings comparison sees SVU down 13% from last year's premiere.)
  • For the second time in three days (and maybe the third time depending on your Vegas expectations), the most disappointing result of the night came from a CBS drama. Criminal Minds lost a full point from the year-ago premiere, and CSI was down just about as much percentage-wise. Survivor upticked in finals to end up down just a tenth from last week's premiere and from last year's second airing.
  • On Fox, The X Factor lost about the same amount week-to-week as the primary night of The Voice against the return of full-fledged competition.

Question Two, Thursday 9/27/12: Is This Really the Last Resort?

ABC used Revenge to successfully plug one of its two historically "cursed" timeslots last season. (They've since moved it, but that's a story for another day.) This year, they'll try to solve the other one with thriller Last Resort, the network's fifth new drama in just 3+ seasons here since moving Ugly Betty out of the hour. None of the others have made a season two. Will ABC have to shuffle in yet another new effort at midseason, or is this truly the timeslot's Last Resort? That's Question Two for Thursday, September 27, 2012.

The Question, Thursday 9/27/12: How Much Power in the CBS Power Hours?

Note: Another The Question on Last Resort going up at 2:30 ET, so stay tuned!

The CBS promo monkeys are using my "Power Hour" phrase for The Big Bang Theory / Two and a Half Men block. (I'm sure they got the idea from me!) But the reality is that CBS has potential for Thursday power that extends well beyond the first hour. Person of Interest is a sophomore drama with a likely much better lead-in, and Elementary seems like one of the better bets among the fall 2012 new crop. And in the second half of the 2011-12 season, this CBS lineup was one of the few genuinely hot evenings on all of TV. It's all pointing in CBS' direction; how much power in the CBS power hours? That's The Question for Thursday, September 27, 2012.

SpotVault - Law & Order: SVU (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Law and Order: SVU
Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC

SpotVault - Animal Practice (NBC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Animal Practice
Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC

SpotVault - CSI (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Wednesdays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - Criminal Minds (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Criminal Minds
Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS

SpotVault - Modern Family (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Modern Family
Wednesdays, 9/8c, ABC

SpotVault - The Neighbors (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

The Neighbors
Wednesdays, 8:30/7:30c, ABC

SpotVault - The Middle (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

The Middle
Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Question, Wednesday 9/26/12: Who Ya Got in Sitcoms vs. Singing Round 2?

The second of the big showdowns between a primary night of a singing competition and a potent two-hour sitcom block goes down tonight, as week three of The X Factor duels with the return of ABC's Wednesday comedy block. This could end up a pretty tight three-way race for #1 from 8:00 to 10:00, with ABC and Fox probably somewhere in the low-to-mid-3's and CBS lurking in the shadows with Survivor and a premiere of Criminal Minds that's coming off a strong finale for that show. It's round two of Sitcoms vs. Singing. Who ya got? That's The Question for Wednesday 9/26/12.

Spotted Ratings, Tuesday 9/25/12

  • Fox had a mediocre start to their two-hour comedy block, as New Girl only managed to finish on par with last season's finale at 8:00 and at 9:00, and of course it was a shadow of last season's massive premiere. Ben and Kate at 8:30 and The Mindy Project at 9:30 weren't big surprises retention-wise, but since New Girl did about 15% worse than I expected, so did they. While Mindy may look stronger out of the gate, True2 argues they're almost identical because there was so much more competition (and less viewing) at 8:30 than at 9:30. Underwhelming, but they're not The Mob Doctor. So Fox is probably going to be pretty patient because they don't have much choice.
  • CBS at least had one sigh of relief, as NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles were very close to year-ago levels. So there's some consolation that the procedural isn't dead following the previous night's Hawaii Five-0 debacle. But the premiere of Vegas skewed ancient, edging the year-ago Unforgettable premiere in viewers but 14% weaker in the demo. It also took an atypically ugly drop at the half (preliminary 2.7 -> 2.2).
  • NBC took a larger week-to-week hit on Tuesday than on Monday, especially with Go On, which lost about 20% in its first duel with New Girl. The Voice was also down double-digits, but its massive timeslot improvement helped NBC again finish as the night's only year-to-year gainer. The New Normal and Parenthood held up a little better against less intimidating opposition.
  • On ABC, the Dancing with the Stars problems continue, as the show was again down in the one-third range year-to-year. (Though it's worth noting it was only down 16% when compared against the two-hour timeslot average, which last year included an hour designated a DWTS "special." My understanding is the programming wasn't all that different from what it was last year, so make of that what you will.) Private Practice came back at about its spring Tuesday average (but way behind its Thursday post-Grey's Anatomy premiere).

SpotVault - The Mindy Project (Fox) - 2012-13 Ratings

The Mindy Project
Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c, Fox

SpotVault - Ben and Kate (Fox) - 2012-13 Ratings

Ben and Kate
Tuesdays, 8:30/7:30c, Fox

SpotVault - New Girl (Fox) - 2012-13 Ratings

New Girl
Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox

SpotVault - Vegas (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

NCIS: Los Angeles
Tuesdays, 9/8c, CBS

SpotVault - NCIS (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Tuesdays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - Private Practice (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Private Practice
Tuesdays, 10/9c, ABC

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The True Top 25, Week Ending 9/23/12 (2012-13 Week Negative One)

In the last week of the summer season, it was again Sunday Night Football on top, and NBC in fact took the top four spots thanks to a double-dose of The Voice and an impressive start from Revolution.

With most of the summer staples out of the mix for this week, there were a lot more repeats on the list. The Big Bang Theory remains the only really elite repeater on broadcast TV, with Family Guy and then Modern Family and other CBS sitcoms making up the second tier.

Spotted Ratings, Weekend Roundup 9/21-9/23/12

  • On Friday, the three ABC unscripted originals continued to dominate the mostly repeat competition but all were down a little more than 10% from last week's premieres.
  • Saturday brought the first three-pronged football matchup on broadcast this fall. Though NBC has in recent years put up some pretty embarrassing ratings with their Notre Dame primetime turns, this time the undefeated Irish and Michigan did more than twice as well and edged ABC's Florida State/Clemson game.
  • On the last day before the start of the regular season, the Primetime Emmys on ABC were down 7% from last year. A wild Patriots/Ravens game dominated but was Sunday Night Football's lowest-rated game of the season to date.

SpotVault - Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Hawaii Five-0
Mondays, 10/9c, CBS

SpotVault - Mike & Molly (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

Mike & Molly
Mondays, 9:30/8:30c, CBS

SpotVault - 2 Broke Girls (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

2 Broke Girls
Mondays, 9/8c, CBS

SpotVault - Partners (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

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

SpotVault - How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 2012-13 Ratings

How I Met Your Mother
Mondays, 8/7c, CBS

SpotVault - Castle (ABC) - 2012-13 Ratings

Mondays, 10/9c, ABC

SpotVault - Dancing with the Stars (ABC) - Fall 2012 Ratings

Dancing with the Stars
Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Question Two, Tuesday 9/25/12: Viva Las Vegas?

I really wanted to hold myself to one The Question per day, but there are a few select dates when I find it impossible. I think Fox's sitcom lineup and CBS' Vegas are each big enough deals to warrant their own post. So here we go; CBS will launch its third new series in four years in the Tuesday 10/9c slot after NCIS: Los Angeles. Dennis Quaid's Vegas probably has the most hype of any of those shows at least at the beginning. Is this show destined to be a little too different for the CBS audience, or will it be Viva Las Vegas for CBS? That's Question Two for Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

The Question, Tuesday 9/25/12: Will Sitcoms Be Fox's Salvation?

Last fall, Fox had the highest-profile new show in The X Factor and the highest-profile new drama in Terra Nova. And yet it was their new comedy, Zooey Deschanel's New Girl, that out-premiered the both of 'em. With The X Factor fairly slow out of the gate and their drama Monday looking even more problematic, Fox again looks to Tuesday to provide some much-needed good news. Tonight, Fox gives New Girl the "Grover Cleveland" treatment, airing it non-consecutively at 8:00 and 9:00 to launch two new sitcoms, Ben and Kate (8:30) and The Mindy Project (9:30). Will the sitcoms be Fox's salvation? That's The Question for Tuesday, September 25, 2012.

Spotted Ratings, Monday 9/24/12: Peacock-blocked

I don't think I'm being too dramatic when I say that 2011's premiere Monday was something of an affirmation about the power of broadcast TV. The season that followed was one of the strongest in recent years. Premiere Monday 2012 sets a pretty different tone.

First Two Weeks, The New Normal

The Tuesday 9:30/8:30c debut of The New Normal scored a 2.5 demo, representing a loss of 26% from its lead-in, the fairly solid start of Go On (3.4). That's not much of a number from The New Normal, but it's not a totally DOA situation either. As with Go On, I have to note there was very little competition on the pre-pre-premiere Tuesday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Question, Monday 9/24/12: Sitcoms vs. Singing Round One: Who Ya Got?

Welcome, one and all, to the 2012-13 season. Last season, Monday night was one of the busiest evenings of the week, and the two biggest players on broadcast were CBS' red-hot Monday lineup and NBC's megahit reality series The Voice. Despite some promise in week two, The Voice remains way down in the opening weeks of its fall 2012 season. Meanwhile, uncertainty abounds in the CBS lineup as they'll open the season without Two and a Half Men on Monday for the first time in a decade! They have newbie Partners at 8:30 and 2 Broke Girls debuting as the 9:00 heir apparent. Tonight, the rivalry is rekindled. Sitcoms vs. singing: who ya got? That's The Question for Monday, September 24, 2012.

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