Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First Two Weeks, Vegas

There was a lot of interest in the premiere of CBS' new period drama Vegas. Unfortunately, it was mostly age 50+ interest. The 14.85 million viewers on premiere night got CBS advertising the show as TV's #1 new drama, but in the all-important 18-49 demo, Vegas was not close to that title. It averaged just a 2.5, blowing about a fourth of its NCIS: Los Angeles lead-in (3.3 at 9:30). It also took a big drop in the second half (2.7 at 10:00 -> 2.3 at 10:30).

I guess the big second half drop was a sign of things to come, as Vegas tumbled by 20% in week two to just a 2.0 demo. Its NCIS: LA lead-in was also down, but not nearly as much (just 9%). The show skewed almost exactly as old in week two; only a little over 20% of its audience fell in the demo.

It is a sad year for broadcast TV when we have to talk about CBS making "face-saving" renewals, much less face-saving full season orders. Even though this show's done pretty poorly in the demo, I'm confident it's sticking around for the season unless it gets really ugly. I'm not into the idea that CBS genuinely "cares about total viewers," but they can certainly point to them when they justify keeping the show around in the press. There are too many big names involved to give up on Vegas when it's only the third-biggest problem on the CBS schedule among the new shows.

But renewal is a different story. Unforgettable was looking way better than this show and only scored what I'd call a "semi-renewal." It looks like CBS may be a much weaker network come decision time than when they ruled on Unforgettable, but I feel the CBS schedule is eventually going to stabilize enough that they'll be able to unload this one. Despite some early positive reviews, I just don't feel the show's strong enough creatively to fill an "awards bait" kind of role. A somewhat hesitant Cancel.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line up all of the premiere and week two drop numbers together.

1 comment:

Spot said...

I concur. That pilot didn't feel like the thing successful awards bait shows are made of, rather it felt like the TV equivalent of Cider House Rules (droll, smug in its superiority, practically begging people to talk ill of it in a misguided quest to prove them wrong), and that's never a formula for long term success. Hence why I stopped watching after said pilot.

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