Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Word About The 2011 Fall Season Openings (Wednesday, September 21, 2011 Premieres)

I'm back for day three of the fall TV season ratings review.  Last night was very interesting, for a lot of shows, and this will be the first official blog post where I eat crow.  I haven't seen it, yet, but Revenge looks like it's very likely to be a breakout hit, based on its first night of ratings, against two ratings stalwarts.  The buzz is good for the series, and the ratings were outstanding.  Here's my link to the TV by the Numbers article about last night's ratings.

TV by the Numbers ratings article for Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Notable for good ratings:

Revenge (ABC)

10.15 million Overall Viewers
3.4/9 in the 18-49 demo

I wasn't planning on watching this series, and I was predicting that this would be one of the first canceled series of the 2011-12 TV season.  It looks like I'm going to be wrong on both counts.  When a show opens this well, against CSI and Law & Order: SVU, it deserves a look.  It's a series with an arc, so that's always potentially problematic, but the buzz is good enough that I'm willing to give it a look.  It did have a strong lead in from Modern Family, but if the show is as good as I hear it is, it will likely pick up more viewers via word of mouth, as opposed to losing them.  This is a good, developing story for the new TV season.

Notable for not so good ratings:

Up All Night (NBC)

6.04 million Overall Viewers
2.3/7 in the 18-49 demo

Do you remember what I wrote about the problem with a good lead in?  No, you didn't read that post?  Well, shame on you, because you would know this is exactly what happened here.  This series lost over half of the viewers it had from the Pilot.  That's really bad, even though it was in a perfect storm of other stuff to watch.  Nothing in this time slot performed great, but not that many people watched this episode.  The ratings are still high enough that I think the show is okay, for now, but I will be keeping a close watch on the ratings for this series.

Free Agents (NBC)

3.86 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 demo

Unless something else really crazy happens, with other series, Free Agents is going to be in a dogfight with The Playboy Club for the first series canceled for the 2011-2012 TV season.  These ratings are a disaster, and no single camera (it is single camera, right?) sitcom, that I can remember, has ever been allowed to stay on for more than 8 episodes, with ratings like this.  I'll let you know if it's any better, this week, but even if it is, it's not likely to matter, with ratings like these.

Harry's Law (NBC)

7.3 million Overall Viewers
1.2/3 in the 18-49 demo

If you're learning a quick lesson, it's that NBC is a network in a heap of trouble, when it comes to ratings.  The good news for shows, like Harry's Law, is that the bar is so low at NBC, for success, that even shows with a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo have a chance for renewal.  The problem with this series is that it attracts a lot of viewers, but it doesn't attract anyone the advertisers care about.  This was a major problem last season, and it contributed to many people thinking it was on the bubble, even though it had very high overall viewership numbers.  It will be interesting to see how Prime Suspect premieres, because if it does anything better than 2.0 in the 18-49, Harry's Law will probably not have enough to overcome the threat of cancellation (barring any scheduling moves). 

Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

7.60 million Overall Viewers
2.3/6 in the 18-49 demo

L&O franchise fans, love up on SVU while you can, because I would be shocked if this series gets another season.  These numbers are positively anemic, and the series is so expensive that it's not in the economic best interests of NBC to continue with it.  I find it very strange that people weren't even interested in tuning in to see what the show will be like without Stabler.  Dick Wolf, it's time to wrap it up, but don't feel bad, you had a good run with this franchise.

In scripted TV, I think just about everything else is right around where it was expected to be.  Reality TV hopefully got a wake up call with the less than stellar opening of a series that I shall not name.  Modern Family looks to have gotten a bit of an EMMY bump, but I don't think the numbers were outlandishly higher than last season, though I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head.  If you're interested in that, you can do the research.  I'm just gonna write.  I'll be back tomorrow with numbers for the most important night of television (in my home, at least).  Thanks for reading.

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