I want to copy a format I've seen for TV ratings, namely where I list some winners and losers, ratings wise. This lets me highlight a few shows whose ratings have stood out to me.
Winners Fox Sunday Night - the season premiere of the Fox cartoons always do well, but it's still worth pointing out. The Simpsons opened up below last year's premiere (4.5), but Family Guy had it's highest rated show since January 2008 (McStroke). Then came the premiere of The Cleveland Show, which got a higher rating than King of the Hill has ever gotten since I started keeping track. In turn, that lead into the highest rated American Dad since I started keeping track as well.
The Big Bang Theory - opening in its new timeslot after Two And A Half Men, BBT was up 20% over its premiere last year. Not only that, it actually did better than TAHM itself did. As a fan the episode worried me though. Two years of sexual tension between Leonard and Penny was cast aside in a 30-minute episode. It almost felt like they wanted to adjust the show's premise because they knew people would be watching for the first time. I could be wrong, and tonight's show will be more like the first two seasons. Only time will tell. I also forced myself to watch Accidentally On Purpose even though I had prejudged it to be horrible. I was probably right the first time. Though I will say it does have Ashley Jensen, from Ricky Gervais' Extras in it. Good for her. I lol'd when she said condom in the British manner. Sadly that was probably the only thing I laughed at all show. I also tried to watch Cougar Town after hearing someone comment that the frank depiction of oral sex in the premiere was a little too racy for prime time. But I got bored halfway through and never made it to that point. Luckily the good old Parents Television Council is around to turn a 30 minute episode into a 1 minute clip.
Losers The Jay Leno Show. As you can see below, it fell quite a bit in the second week, averaging about a 1.9 in 18-49 year olds. But according to NBC (via the New York Times), it only needs to stay above a 1.5 to be profitable, because it's so much cheaper than scripted TV. And sure enough, on Friday it fell to a 1.5.
The CW as a whole, except for Vampire Diaries. America's Next Top Model is down 30%. Gossip Girl is down 30%. Smallville is down 40%. And one of the new shows on The CW this year, The Beautiful Life, fell to a 0.5 rating this week and became the first cancellation of the season.
But it might very well be joined by Brothers pretty soon. It opened to a 1.0 rating, and was followed by Dollhouse, also at 1.0. I don't blame Dollhouse. As it gets moved around and keeps airing after less watched programming, it continues to fall. It premiered in February with Terminator: The Sarach Connor Chronicles as its lead in. It averaged a 1.6 rating for those 9 weeks, building by an average of .3 over what Terminator was doing before it. Then the last 3 episodes of the season aired ahead of Prison Break, and once again built slightly on it. Both Terminator and Prison Break got canceled, but at least they were shows that seemed to be compatible with Dollhouse. How is Brothers compatible?
Law & Order. Look, I understand that they want to make Law & Order the longest running scripted primetime drama in US history (Gunsmoke ran for 20 seasons, 1955 to 1975; and L&O likewise just had its 20th season premiere), but this isn't working. This is part of the residual fall-out of The Jay Leno Show. Law & Order has always aired at 10 pm (Eastern), but with Leno there, it forced it to move to Fridays at 8:00 pm. And the result was that it lost 40% of it's 18-49 audience from last season. The only other show that aired at 10 pm on NBC last year that is currently airing is Law & Order: SVU, and that fell 30% in 18-49 viewership.
NEW THIS WEEK Lie To Me and Trauma premiere on Monday, on FOX and NBC, respectively. Shark Tank moves to its new Tuesday night timeslot on ABC. Hank and The Middle both premiere Wednesday on ABC. Private Practice premieres on ABC Thursday Night. 'Til Death is back on FOX Friday night. America's Funniest Home Videos makes its 20th season premire Sunday night on ABC. Three Rivers also premieres on Sunday, though it's on CBS.
TV Ratings 9/21 to 9/27 - the last numbers is how they ranked for the 2008-2009 broadcast season. #1 and #2 were the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of American Idol.