I'm a little late to the party, for this update, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I still haven't even had a chance to catch up on my TV viewing, yet, for this week, so it may be Monday or Tuesday before my next edition of "What I'm Watching Now". I'll go ahead and link to the preliminary ratings TV by the Numbers article about Thursday's premieres, and then talk a little bit about how things went. My ratings numbers below are the final numbers for Thursday.
TV by the Numbers ratings article for Thursday, September 22, 2011
Notable for good ratings:
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
14.6 million Overall Viewers (two episodes averaged)
5.0/14 in the 18-49 demo
I have never watched this series, but it seems to be popular with a lot of people. I think these numbers are up a bit from last season, so I'm including it here. Any scripted TV that gets a 5.0 in the 18-49 demo is performing extremely well, so you can bet this series is safe from anything bad happening.
Charlie's Angels (ABC)
8.76 million Overall Viewers
2.1/6 in the 18-49 demo
You're probably thinking, "Huh? You consider these to be good numbers for this series?" You're right, I don't think they're good numbers, but, evidently, ABC does. This series is up significantly from whatever was airing last season in this time slot, and that series didn't have any competition. As you can probably guess, that show's not around anymore, and I'm not going to play your nostalgist. That's what google is for.
What's interesting about this is that ABC has a very high bar for scripted dramas. I consider this open to be a flop, and if the numbers even drop a little bit, I think this show will be on the cancellation block. However, for now, ABC seems happy with the numbers, so I'll base it on what they're saying. If this series drops below a 2.0, and 7.5 million viewers, I think it's in trouble, but it might not even lose any viewers.
Person of Interest (CBS)
13.33 million Overall Viewers
3.1/8 in the 18-49 demo
This series debuted with very strong numbers. I think the series is going to be quite a bit better than the terrible previews I've seen for it. I thought it looked like it was worth a watch, when paired with the longer version of the "trailer" I saw. It lost a lot of its 18-49 lead in, but the overall viewership didn't change all that much. It just means its lead in is geared toward a totally different audience. I highly doubt CBS was counting on The Big Bang Theory to provide a lead in, and they're probably pretty happy with the start of Person of Interest.
6.84 million Overall Viewers
3.3/9 in the 18-49 demo
This is very similar to what I wrote about Charlie's Angels. The overall viewership for this episode is pretty low, but the 18-49 demo is very solid. When it comes to the low ratings bar of NBC sitcoms, I would classify the premiere as a moderate success. We'll take another look at it next week, to see how the ratings hold up. That will tell us where the series is headed. Parks and Recreation premiered to roughly the same ratings (4.11 million overall viewers and a 2.1 in the 18-49 demo) it always has, and it's likely safe to get another season. Whitney's ratings are much better than that, so it should be interesting to see what the future brings for the series.
Notable for not so good ratings:
I easily could have put Charlie's Angels and Whitney here, but based on network reaction (Charlie's Angels), and 18-49 demo (Whitney), I'll leave them in the good pile. It's been a really bad week for NBC, and Thursday night wasn't much different.
Prime Suspect (NBC)
6.05 million Overall Viewers
1.8/5 in the 18-49 demo
I was immediately turned off by this series, due to the casting of the lead (Maria Bello). She's one of a handful of actresses I can't stand watching, but I'll still be checking out at least a few episodes of this series. I don't think a police procedural has used the "Good ol' boy" system, or whatever that's called when men rule the roost, in a zillion years. I'm not saying it doesn't happen anymore, but the level of harassment present in the trailer seemed extraordinarily unbelievable. I'll probably be doing a full write up on the Pilot, once I see it, but don't expect it for a few days.
As for the ratings, police procedurals in this ratings area are almost always canceled. I think what will make it or break it, on these ratings, is the overall viewership of NBC. The bar is so low on this network, for ratings, that if the show is any good, and isn't terribly expensive, it might get another season. It's way too early to tell, but I am pretty sure this series would be considered to be in big trouble, already. The words in something TV by the Numbers wrote were pretty ominous for this series, " had the lowest-rated fall Thursday series premiere ever for NBC." Time will tell, but I think this is in my top 5 of most likely shows to get canceled, at the moment.
3.98 million Overall Viewers
1.7/5 in the 18-49 demo
I have yet to see an episode of this series, but the people who like this series, love this series. However, these numbers are awful. I was surprised the series was picked up for another season, at the end of last season. It probably has a similar cost factor to Parks and Recreation, which has certainly given it a much longer leash than most series. The problem is that the 1.7 is too low. Parks and Recreation usually gets at least a 2.0, and as long as the series routinely crosses 4 million viewers with those ratings, it's generally okay on NBC. I'll be keeping an eye on the ratings for this series, and maybe this year the low ratings will be too much for NBC to bear. This is a developing story.
Everything else, I didn't write about here, seemed to have performed similarly to their previous seasons. My DVR is filled with Thursday TV, so I look forward to finding out how the shows are. Thanks for reading.