Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Tuesday Ratings Wrap Up (The River, Body of Proof, Cougar Town, Unforgettable, Parenthood)

The River (ABC, 9pm ET)

4.088 Overall Viewers
1.5/4 in the 18-49 Demo

As much as they keep dragging The River in search of audience members, they can't seem to find many.  It was done when it started, it was done the next week, and it's charred this week.  This won't be back.

Body of Proof (ABC, 10pm ET)

6.749 Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

I heard they found the Body of Proof they were looking for in The River.  In a few more episodes, this beast of burden on my DVR will be done.  Did anyone notice the re-tool last week?  Jeri Effing Ryan gets demoted, and Curtis gets promoted.  Will they keep this hierarchy?  Did you see that I suggested that exact change LAST year (well, I wanted Jeri Effing Ryan gone, but I got the promotion I wanted)?  This re-tool came about 30 to 37 episodes too late, but at least they changed something.  Matthew Gross, if you're reading this, can you please implement all of my changes before your show goes away?  I'll list them, again, below.  K thx bye.

Excerpted from this blog post:

Body of Proof is a Medical Examiner police procedural.  This show could be something.  I'm not going to lie.  The first episode was basically a third rate Quincy, mostly with a 4th rate cast.  However, the show is so poorly developed that it might be at least one more full season before it actually becomes good.  I'm hoping it will be re-tooled extensively in between the seasons (FIRE JERI RYAN! sorry Jeri Ryan, nothing personal, but your casting and dress just makes zero sense for this show), but I really don't have a lot of hope for that.  It almost seems like ABC just sees a show idea, and then rushes it to air.  How else can anyone explain why nothing seems like it's even been thought out?  I'll list a few of the issues below, and then we can get to the fun part of the blog post.

1. The basic premise behind the show is that Dana Delany's character is a completely unlikable tool, who alienates everyone so much that they all hate her.  However, either they're not writing her this way, or she's not playing it right.  The way she's coming across is just the personality of a driven person, who might be a little prickly.  That's how I see it anyway.  Quincy was basically more of an a-hole than she is, and he was pretty damn likable, in his own way.

2. There is a very confusing character on the show.  Just to confuse you more, I won't even tell you the character's name.  He was portrayed, in the first episode, as kind of being like Quincy's assistant, Sam.  However, we never saw him sit at a microscope, or even do any kind of M.E. type work.  By the next episode, he was acting completely like a cop, even interrogating suspects by himself.  It is imperative that the show figures out how to clearly explain what this character is.

3. Every week, it seemed, one of the two homicide cops was not on the show.  I'm figuring ABC was testing which one would have a more positive audience reaction.  What it ended up looking like was that one cop was investigating every case, which is luuuudicrous.  I also felt they were testing the idea of the subject of number 2, above, becoming a partner to one of the homicide cops.  I think this will be resolved by the start of season 2.

4. There's this thing called Miranda Rights.  This show acts as if they don't exist.

5. The M.E. interrogates suspects, BY HERSELF.

6. The M.E. goes to suspect/witness interviews, and then will accuse the person of committing the crime, in addition to stomping all over the cops' questions.

7. No suspect ever asks for a lawyer, or is even offered a lawyer.

8. The formula has typically been that three suspects are accused of the crime, before the fourth accusation is the actual person.

9. The idea of a Medical Examiner's office being located on higher floors, with windows everywhere, including the autopsy rooms, is horrifying to me.  To think that this is not thought of as weird, is very very weird to me.  High production value does not trump the fact that all of this super gross stuff is going on basically out in the open.

10. The casting is very uneven in the show.  Delany has become better, as the show has progressed, but I think the casting needs to be re-organized significantly, in between the seasons.  Here are my suggestions.

b. Make the Curtis character the Chief M.E. (he is currently the Deputy Chief, I think).
c. Make the confusing character the partner of the Sonja Sohn homicide detective character.
d. Turn the Geoffrey Arend character into the Sam of the show.
e. Get rid of as much of the family b.s. back story, as possible.

This is one of the few times that I recommend shrinking a cast, but it needs to be done, in my opinion.

Today's suggestion:

Please drop all of the romantic relationship b.s. immediately!  I hate that literally more than any other thing about the show.

Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30pm ET)

4.296 million Overall Viewers
1.5/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Stick a fork in it.

Unforgettable (CBS, 10pm ET)

9.931 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Trust me when I tell you that no one will have any problem forgetting this show, once it's gone, at the end of the season.

Parenthood (NBC, 10pm ET)

5.134 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm too timid to make a full prediction, but, Parenthood fans, I think your show might be headed toward renewal, if it can hold these numbers.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Monday February 20, 2012

I just have two things to talk about, today, and the ratings are supplied by TV by the Numbers.

Notable for uh-oh ratings:

Smash (NBC, 10pm ET)

6.47 million Overall Viewers
2.4/9 in the 18-49 Demo

Fans of Smash, the audience is beginning to walk out on this show.  It's getting so bad that I think it might close after its first run.  We'll see if there's any stabilization next week, but, if it continues to fall like this, I think it will not be renewed.  Serialized network TV is just not having a good season, at all, outside of a couple of bright spots (one which may not be so bright after the next episode).  The key number here is 1.9.  If you see any number below that, this show is done.  The show has already lost over 5 million of its premiere viewers, in two weeks.  That's not a good sign.  I always predicted that episode 4 would be Smash's crucial ratings episode, and we'll soon find out how correct that prediction was.

Notable for not so good ratings:

Alcatraz (FOX, 9pm ET)

5.96 million Overall Viewers
1.8/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Unless there is a major recovery for Alcatraz, next week, I think it's time to say goodbye (it has shed about 4 million viewers since its premiere).  I just don't think it will return at such anemic numbers.  I enjoy the show, outside of the dangling carrot syndrome (new TV term?), but fans have already mostly tuned out.  Two of my favorite shows (Lie To Me and Human Target), that FOX canceled last season, had ratings better than these.  It's kind of disappointing, because it's not at all a bad idea for a show.  Does this help Terra Nova's prospects?  It damn well better not!

Last night, we saw two shows that appear to be inching toward cancellation.  I'm less certain of Smash's demise, but its numbers are falling disturbingly rapidly.  Alcatraz is already in "done" territory, so it's more about whether the show can right the ship, before it is canceled.  I'm about ready to predict Alcatraz's demise, and I think I will predict that, next week, unless something radical happens.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For February 14-16, 2012

Again, I have put off doing another ratings post, because, well, they're getting kind of boring for me.  That doesn't mean ratings are boring for me, it's just that writing about them is.  There is a pretty decent amount to talk about here, in a week that has been filled with series lows.  In fact, the across the board lows have the networks wondering exactly what's going on over at Nielsen.  I'll report as I've read, and not worry about any of the kind of strange speculation that has swirled around all of the strange drops, across the board.  As always, ratings are taken from TV by the Numbers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012:

Notable for not so good ratings: 

Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30pm ET)

4.880 million Overall Viewers
1.8/5 in the 18-49 Demo

If these ratings stay the same, or drop further, next week, fans of this show can kiss its butt goodbye.  These numbers are comparable to several series that have already been canceled on ABC.  I can't imagine this would be an exception.

The River (ABC, 9pm ET)

4.960 million Overall Viewers
1.7/4 in the 18-49 Demo

It was DOA last week, and this week it has maggots seeping out of its flesh.  The saving grace for ABC is that the first (and only) season is only 8 episodes.

Body of Proof (ABC, 10pm ET)

6.260 million Overall Viewers
1.2/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Body of Proof is ABC's Harry's Law (NBC).  Those two shows couldn't be more canceled if they tried.  Episode 22 can't get here fast enough for ABC.  I would like to have Jack Klugman do a post-mortem on what went wrong with this show.  There are so many problems that he probably wouldn't be able to find an actual cause of death.

Wednesday, February, 15, 2012:

Notable for bizarre ratings:

Whitney (NBC, 8pm ET)

4.48 million Overall Viewers
1.7/5 in the 18-49 Demo

No folks, this show is not about that Whitney.  This was just another fake out on Revenge's night of the fake out.  I expect these ratings to drop right back down to a 1.5 or lower, next week, unless some of the accidental viewers actually enjoyed the show.  Is there really a chance of that?

Notable for not so good ratings: 

Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

3.42 million Overall Viewers
1.4/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Stick a fork in this show.

Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10pm ET)

5.90 million Overall Viewers
1.7/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Law & Order: Series Low strikes again.  I have heard rumblings and rumors about Law & Order: Criminal Intent possibly getting another shot.  As it is my favorite show in the franchise, I would have no objections.  I do think SVU needs to go away, and a large portion of its once large audience agrees with me.  I wouldn't mind SVU staying if Criminal Intent comes back, but if SVU goes, it's really just best to let the Law & Order franchise go.

Thursday, February 16, 2012:

Notable for not so good ratings:

30 Rock (NBC, 8pm ET)

3.604 million Overall Viewers
1.4/4 in the 18-49 Demo

NBC might give this show another season, but it absolutely does not deserve one at these ratings.  When you're competing with Are You There, Chelsea? for the worst rated sitcom on NBC, you should be in trouble, no matter how good people think you are.

The Office (NBC, 9pm ET)

4.339 million Overall Viewers
2.2/6 in the 18-49 Demo

This is NBC's highest rated sitcom.  That is really scary, both for NBC and The Office.  The audience is roaring at NBC for them to pack it in.  They've had enough.  How much lower will it go?  How much lower can it go, before it gets canceled?

Up All Night (NBC, 9:30pm ET)

3.011 million Overall Viewers
1.5/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Never has a show fallen so far, so fast.  If this show gets renewed, every executive, in charge of the decision to renew it, at NBC needs to be committed, and not in the way that Tyler from Revenge was.

As a final note, Grimm (NBC) reruns did not do well in the Thursday night at 10pm dead zone.  This does not bode well for Awake's prospects once it begins airing in March.  Speaking of which, the Pilot is now available on NBC's website.  I'm going to try to watch it today, and if it's worth writing about, I'll do a breakdown of it.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Word About The 2012 Mid-Season Follow Ups (Sunday, February 12, 2012 and Monday, February 13, 2012 Episodes)

I just have three things to write about, today, so this will be pretty short.  All ratings numbers are pulled from TV by the Numbers.

Notable for good ratings:

The Walking Dead (AMC, Sundays, 9pm ET)

8.1 million Overall Viewers
4.2 in the 18-49 Demo

The new era (officially without Frank Darabont) of The Walking Dead began with the second half, of the second season, on Sunday.  The ratings, once again, were spectacular, and should easily come in as what would be a top 10 rated network TV show, by the time this week's ratings are all in.  Its quality defies these ratings, but this show ain't going no place, and, if I never said so, it's already been renewed for a third season.

Smash (NBC, Mondays, 10pm ET)

8.09 million Overall Viewers
2.8/7 in the 18-49 Demo

Yes, you're reading that right.  NBC's new hit, Smash, didn't even scratch the ratings surface of The Walking Dead, that little old cable show on AMC.

As was expected, there was quite a significant drop from the first to second week ratings of Smash.  I don't know if there's any kind of cause for concern, yet, but we'll have a pretty good idea whether fans of the show should be concerned, with next week's ratings.  This show still has to fall very far, to have a chance at cancellation, but the Monday numbers weren't so great (still killer for NBC, though), in comparison to the rather stellar (and inflated) premiere numbers.

Notable for not so good ratings:

Alcatraz (FOX, Mondays, 9pm ET)

6.19 million Overall Viewers
1.9/4 in the 18-49 Demo

For the last couple of weeks, there have been adjustments to FOX's early numbers, so I'm expecting this to get adjusted up to a 2.0.  However, it's very disturbing that these ratings just will not stop falling.  This is also the first week the numbers were significantly down from House's ratings (2.4 in the 18-49 Demo and 7.15 million overall viewers). 

For last week's episode of Alcatraz, for the first time, I began to notice the feeling that a carrot was being dangled in front of the audience, every week.  It's okay to have storylines you don't resolve immediately, but dropping important storylines, in favor of new ones, and then having more interest in new cliffhangers than resolutions, is a bad move.  If the show continues to have dozens of dangling carrots out there, I won't be back for a second season (if it even gets a second season).  If the numbers are down again, next week, I'll be willing to call this one, even with the loss of House.  In fact, if the final numbers for next week are a 1.7 or below, I think that I will officially announce that I think it's done.  So, Nielsen households, make sure you tune in next week to save it. ;)  I wonder how many people will get that reference.

This was a disturbing turn of events for Alcatraz.  All I want to do is remind you of this, before I go.  Just say no to Terra Nova.  Do your duty.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Classic TV Watchers Rejoice In Your New Choice!

I know I've mostly written about new and recent TV shows on this blog, but the heart of my love for TV no doubt belongs many eras removed from today.  For many years, I watched Nick at Nite, reminiscing over the TV shows I used to love watching as a kid.  Through the years, the shows on there just got newer and newer, causing me to stop watching it (outside of a handful of TV shows that were worthy of watching).  As Nick at Nite got newer, they released the "more classic" TV Land.  It was somewhat like the old Nick at Nite, though with a lot of TV shows I never enjoyed (the old westerns).  It took a few years for TV Land to hit its stride, and then it became something I could watch for a number of hours in a row, each night.  By the mid-2000s, as Nick at Nite got newer, so did TV Land.  Consequently, I haven't watched Nick at Nite or TV Land in a number of years.

Since moving to the Las Vegas area, I have noticed a couple of cable channels that show older programming.  Some of it is good, some of it is not.  However, last night, after watching the Oklahoma City Thunder win an NBA basketball game (Thunder Up baaabe), there was nothing on TV.  So, I started channel surfing.  I was pleased to find The Odd Couple on a channel I had never heard of, called Me-TV.  Then, I saw The Odd Couple was followed by The Twilight Zone and Perry Mason.  Needless to say, I was intrigued to find out more about their programming, and looked through the entire week's schedule.  I came away decidedly impressed with what they were offering, though there are still so many more I wish would come to their airwaves.

Me-TV Shows I would watch (in alphabetical order, bolded make me happiest):

The Beverly Hillbillies
The Bob Newhart Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Dobie Gillis
Get Smart
Gomer Pyle
Hawaii Five-O
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Mission: Impossible
The Odd Couple
Perry Mason
The Rockford Files
The Twilight Zone

The full list of shows is available here:

Me-TV Network Programs

There are 19(!) shows I would watch on that channel.  It's not scheduled particularly well for my viewing habits, but it makes me happy to see that these shows are back in some form of syndication.  Here's their mission statement, and it's one I can easily get behind (if they weren't based in Chicago, I would seriously want to work for them):

"Me-TV stands for Memorable Entertainment Television. The network showcases classic shows from the 50s through the 80s. You will see some of the best shows ever made for television, all in one place, presented with respect for the programs and its viewers."

If you've made it this far, and have become excited at the amount of choice you now have in classic TV viewing, I'm not done yet.  Listed two channels above Me-TV, in the guide, was Antenna TV (also based out of Chicago).  While its schedule is not quite as impressive as Me-TV's schedule, it is a great complement to it.  At the time The Odd Couple was showing on Me-TV, Antenna TV was showing a block of The Benny Hill Show.

Antenna TV shows I would watch (in alphabetical order, bolded make me happiest): 

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Benny Hill Show
Good Times
Leave It To Beaver
Married...with Children
The Monkees
News Radio
Sanford & Son
Three's Company
Too Close for Comfort

There are 13 shows on Antenna TV that I would check out, at this time.  That means there are 32 classic TV shows that are worth me checking out between Antenna TV and Me-TV.  While I may not end up watching all that much of this stuff, I love that I now have such an abundant amount of choices.  I was beginning to feel like a lot of this classic TV would never end up in any kind of syndication, again, but I'm very happy to find that there are like minds out there, who still appreciate the past.  The full list of programs for Antenna TV is available here:

Antenna TV Programs

If you long for watching classic TV, between these two channels (if available in your area), you should easily be able to get your fix.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A GIFTED MAN (CBS): You Are On The Clock (As Next To Be Canceled)

This week, during 2 Broke Girls commercials, I saw that CBS was touting that they are going to run 5 new episodes in a row of A Gifted Man (Fridays, 8pm ET).  My guess is that is the entire balance of the series, and that they are getting ready to shove it off a cliff.  There may not be an official announcement about it, until May, but I think it's safe to assume this show is getting ready to have a good old heave-ho off the schedule at CBS.  Thanks for reading.

Jennifer Coolidge Is Like One Of The Funniest People Ever And Now She's On 2 BROKE GIRLS (CBS)

The payoff to this scene was so LOL

2 Broke Girls doesn't need my help getting viewers (CBS, Mondays, 8:30pm ET), as it is the breakout scripted hit of the 2011-2012 TV season, but now there's actually a real reason to watch it.  Scene stealer and show stealer extraordinaire, Jennifer Coolidge, joined the cast two episodes ago.  She is nothing short of amazing in a truly bizarre part.  One of my biggest gripes about 2 Broke Girls is that it doesn't make me laugh.  Well, with the addition of Jennifer Coolidge, that is no longer a problem.  I get huge laughs every time she is on the screen, and believe me when I tell you that she has NO shame.  If you're a regular viewer of 2 Broke Girls, you know it's one of the dirtiest written sitcoms on network TV, and she is not afraid to get dirty. 

You can't teach comic timing, but if you watch her, you will learn a whole lot about it.  The only negative to her being in the show is that she is overwhelming it with her awesome, causing our stars to seem very low rent.  I'm looking for a reason to laugh, so I couldn't care less if the stars are upstaged by this kind of brilliance.  Anything that makes them funnier is a plus, in my opinion.  I just wanted to put this out there for anyone who might stumble upon this blog, and also to let anyone else know that Jennifer Coolidge officially makes 2 Broke Girls worth watching.  Thanks for reading.

Minor Ratings Notes For February 8, 2012 Programming

As I expected, Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? came back down to earth after last week's 1.7s (lol?) in the 18-49 demo.  Both had a 1.5 in the 18-49 demo, while Chelsea is really struggling to find an audience above or below 49 years old (3.68 million Overall Viewers).  The biggest question out of NBC is obviously whether they will be willing to blow up their entire schedule, at the end of the season.  If they aren't, these are really borderline ratings, but if they are, these shows are goners, for sure.  They certainly can't fall more and expect to return.

We also found out that while hiatuses are evil, the loyal audience of Revenge doesn't care about them.  For about the millionth week in a row it pulled in a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo, and, for that, I suppose I should be proud.  Thanks, as usual, to TV by the Numbers for supplying the ratings information.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Big News Out Of FOX

As reported here, by TV by the Numbers, this will be the final season for House.  Included in that article is a letter from the makers of the show. 

Now it's time to speculate about how House will die, and who he will take out with him.  This series has had me on a rollercoaster ride, ever since I finally decided to start watching it (devouring it after getting hooked during a Christmas marathon on USA), but, now that its demise is official, I think it makes me kind of sad.  The show has been struggling for quite awhile, but this season has been pretty enjoyable for me, overall.  I thank the makers of this show for making it an enjoyable ride, overall, even though there were points in the series where I wanted to slap you with a feather. 

As a last note, there is something they say in that letter that I absolutely do not believe, but it's pretty funny to see it mentioned.  I'll leave it to you to figure out what that is.  Thanks for reading.


Last night, The River, which appeared to be a highly anticipated Lost "clone", turned out to be nothing more than a water stain on your new carpet.  It premiered to extremely lackluster ratings, and it's very unlikely it will recover from the very bad start.  Here are the goods, and then I'll illustrate exactly how DOA it is.

The River (ABC, Tuesdays, 9pm ET)

8.20 million Overall Viewers (first hour)
2.5/6 in the 18-49 Demo

6.82 million Overall Viewers (second hour)
2.2/6 in the 18-49 Demo

I'll list the practical example of the Charlie's Angels premiere, just so you can get a true idea of how DOA The River is, by comparing its numbers to another notable DOA series.

Charlie's Angels (premiere episode ratings)

8.76 million Overall Viewers
2.1/6 in the 18-49 Demo

While it barely beats those numbers out of the gate, I can't imagine there wasn't a lot of money and time invested into attempting to make The River a success.  The difference between Charlie's Angels and The River is that Charlie's Angels wasn't serialized.  When a serialized TV show drops 1.4 million viewers in the second hour, that's just about as bad as it can get.  The good news for The River is that it only has an 8 episode first season, which will save ABC from another embarrassing early schedule pull, as they should have no problem airing all 8.  Fans of the show should contain their excitement, though, as it's extremely unlikely there will be another season.  Serialized TV fatigue is beginning to set in, and not even something that looks somewhat interesting is enough to grab the audience anymore, especially if it appears to be a "clone" of something else.  If it isn't an entirely new concept (Smash), the audience just won't buy in, and the jury's still out on whether Smash will be able to retain its audience.  In a few weeks, we'll see if Awake (NBC) can buck the downward trend of relatively traditional serialized TV.  I have a feeling I already know the answer, but I'm going to give it a fair shake anyway.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Word About The 2012 Mid-Season Premiere and Follow Ups (Monday, February 6, 2012 Episodes)

The most hyped day of the last couple of months happened last night.  Everyone who follows TV ratings has been eagerly awaiting Smash's (NBC) premiere numbers.  As of the writing of this, I haven't seen the half hour ratings, but it has gotten off to an excellent ratings start, especially for NBC.  There are several other interesting ratings notes, as well, which I'll also list below.

Notable for good ratings:

Smash (NBC, 10pm ET)

11.50 million Overall Viewers
3.8/10 in the 18-49 Demo

Late last week, I thought Smash would probably get around a 3.5 in the 18-49 demo.  Before it aired, I began to think it might do better than that.  Based on some preliminary half hour numbers I have seen, it appears it did have a sizable drop from the first half hour, which I'm pretty sure will give it this 3.8 average.  These numbers are really good, especially for NBC, and as long as it doesn't crash badly, beginning next week, fans of the series should easily get to see a second season.  I think the key number to look for in the 18-49 demo, next week, is 2.7.  If it's below that number, fans should get nervous.  If it's above that, the fans can begin to rejoice.

2 Broke Girls (CBS, 8:30pm ET)

11.42 million Overall Viewers
4.3/11 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm hesitant to put this here, because we are still a long way from getting final adjustments, but 2 Broke Girls beat Two and a Half Men, last night, in the 18-49 demo.  If you didn't know it already, this is the biggest new scripted show hit of the season.  Beating Two and a Half Men, for the first time, is a milestone it can be proud of.

Notable for not so good ratings:

House (FOX, 8pm ET)

7.16 million Overall Viewers
2.4/6 in the 18-49 Demo

FOX had a brutal Monday night, with its ratings falling significantly from last week's also rather bad Monday ratings (against no competition).  The Voice obviously had a pretty big effect on these ratings, but I can't imagine numbers like these will be considered good news for the long running House.

Alcatraz (FOX, 9pm ET)

6.78 million Overall Viewers
2.2/5 in the 18-49 Demo

There has, unfortunately, been another huge ratings drop for Alcatraz.  If you're a fan of this show (I am), you should officially start being worried.  It still hasn't bottomed out, and these numbers are not better than Terra Nova's weekly averages (remember, my rooting interest is in Terra Nova going away).  I'm hoping it will pick up steam again, next week, once all the excitement around the Super Bowl has worn off, but this is a very worrying sign about this series.  I think it would be safe at a 2.5, and dead at a 2.0.  Come on, people, help pick this show up, if you're willing.

The other side note is that it appears Smash did, at least slightly, affect the ratings for Hawaii Five-O, and possibly Castle, which both had ratings at least slightly lower than normal (didn't do much research on this).  Tonight, we will be treated to the next Lost "clone", The River, and its ratings are definitely something I'm interested in following.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chris Colley's TV Blog* Is Now On Twitter

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, my username is @ColleyTVBlog.  I will be posting links there, for any new posts I write, and will possibly be making small comments about things that don't really warrant a full post.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Big Scheduling News At NBC

I'll link to the full article at TV by the Numbers below, and then give a few words about what's happened.

TV by the Numbers Scheduling Moves Article

If you read that article, you will find out that The Firm has officially been sent to burn out its 22 episode flame, on Saturday nights, beginning February 11, 2012, at 9pm ET.  Last night's 0.8 rating, and 2.97 million viewers was finally enough to get that executive, who must have been holding out hope for its ratings to rebound, sent off to rehab. 

This news gives us the opportunity to unveil one of the stranger storylines in this 2011-2012 TV season.  By most accounts, the TV show, Awake, has had positive buzz, based on its trailer.  However, it's had to wait forever to get a reveal about when it would be on the air.  I speculated that it was possible they were hoping to hold it until next season (if it's really good), and I've also speculated that it was so bad that they didn't really want to show it unless they had to.  At least now we will get the opportunity to find out what the truth is.  It will be really nice to see Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter franchise) playing a part that is very much against the type we have become accustomed to seeing him in.  When I watched the trailer, I had totally forgotten he was in the show, and it didn't dawn on me, until the end, that it was him.  It begins airing Thursday nights, at 10pm ET, on March 1, 2012.

If you'd like to see the trailer for Awake, you can see it, here:

Awake (NBC) Trailer

The final news revealed is that Grimm repeats will be airing in The Firm's time slot until Awake is ready to go.  Those repeats begin airing Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 10pm ET.  You, who read this blog on a regular basis, know that I enjoy Grimm quite a bit.  So, I hope you will get a chance, along with hopefully many other viewers, to check out that show, in the brief time it is in a good time slot.  I look forward to seeing if Grimm gets better ratings than The Firm had in that slot, as reruns.

Keep in mind, Smash airs its premiere episode on Monday night, February 6, 2012, at 10pm ET.  If we see much less than a 3.0 in the 18-49 demo, I think the show's in trouble.  My guess is that, with what will likely be a great lead in from The Voice, it will do just fine in its initial outing.  Audiences can be fickle, so we'll keep a close eye on the ratings for that series over the next four weeks.  The first question to ask is will Smash and Awake save serialized television on NBC?  If not, you probably won't see another completely serialized TV show on NBC for quite awhile.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Catching Up With The 2012 Mid-Season Lineups (The Overdue Edition)

I didn't really get down to it last week, and I am sorry for that, if you hold your breath for these pieces (I'm sure no one is).  I'll be having a few more in February, and a few more in March, but once those have been written, we'll just wait to see what the Networks do with their scripted programming.  It should come as no shock to anyone that things are pretty dicey over at NBC.  There will be some pertinent information delivered in this post about what I think should happen.  So, stay tuned for those thoughts at the end of this.  As always, I pull my ratings information from TV by the Numbers.  Just so you can understand how much pull I have in this town, after my decision to cancel House of Lies (Showtime), from my own TV viewing schedule, it came out today that it has been...renewed.  The in-house pervert at Showtime has won again, with the renewals today of Shameless, Californication, and House of Lies. ;)

This post is going to go back pretty far, all the way back to talking about Monday, January 23, 2012.  As the numbers keep rolling in, I'm finding it pretty easy to detect what's in trouble, and what's okay.  There is one show I'm beginning to get concerned about, that I feel needs to stop its drop pretty soon. 

Monday, January 23, 2012:

Notable for good ratings:

Alcatraz (FOX, 9pm ET)

9.03 million Overall Viewers
3.0/7 in the 18-49 Demo

In its second week, in its formal time slot, Alcatraz didn't lose much from its series premiere.  This was a good sign for the show, as these numbers are easily good enough to get it renewed for a second season.

House (FOX, 8pm ET)

8.76 million Overall Viewers
3.1/8 in the 18-49 Demo

House returned to its normal time slot that week, and it had its best numbers it's had in quite awhile (not willing to do the research to find out if this is true).  These are in the pretty easy to renew numbers, so I guess it's probably just about all up to Hugh Laurie, as to whether this show continues for at least one more season.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012:

Notable for good ratings:

Touch (FOX, Special Preview Only, begins airing Mondays, 9pm ET, once Alcatraz has finished airing in March)

12.01 million Overall Viewers
3.9/10 in the 18-49 Demo

The special preview of Touch was a hit.  This is good news for Terra Nova haters, like me, that just want that show to go away.  If Alcatraz can settle around a 2.9, I think there is some possibility that both Terra Nova AND House will go away (or at least House will go away more easily).

Notable for not so good ratings:

Whitney (NBC, 8pm ET)

4.40 million Overall Viewers
1.4/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Disaster cometh your way, oh evil overdoer of the role play.  This show will not be coming back, unless it has a major resurgence in the 18-49 demo, tonight.

Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

3.80 million Overall Viewers
1.4/4 in the 18-49 Demo

I still haven't seen the second and third episodes of this series, but I'm guessing it is terrible, based on how quickly the numbers fell from episode 2 to episode 3.  There's an envelope full of pink slips awaiting this series, unless it fixes its freefall, tonight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012:

Notable for good ratings:

Rob (CBS, 8:30pm ET):

11.50 million Overall Viewers
3.5/9 in the 18-49 Demo

After three episodes, Rob is still going strong.  This looks pretty good for a renewal, as of this writing. 

The Finder (FOX, 9pm ET)

8.44 million Overall Viewers
2.8/7 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm going to temper this for you.  Person of Interest was a rerun, and, in my opinion, that is the only reason this show had a significant uptick.  If I didn't have conflicts in my DVR, this series would certainly get a slot (Michael Clarke Duncan used to be my neighbor, like Mr. Rogers, except with a love for wrestling), but since I do, it doesn't.  My wife watched this episode, and she said it was a fun show, and that she'd watch it.  I guess I'm going to have to suck it up, and watch through FOX's terrible Video On Demand show set ups.  :(  It's not like I haven't gotten on board other shows FOX cancels, so I might as well see if I can find another enjoyable show, while I wait for its impending death.

Notable for not so good ratings:

30 Rock Part 1 (NBC, 8pm ET)

3.82 million Overall Viewers
1.6/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm sorry, but I will disagree with anyone who says this show is safe from cancellation.  It's already got plenty in the can, for syndication, and its ratings are, plain and simple, terrible.  It's also quite expensive, and NBC "signed" Alec Baldwin to a seventh and final season (potentially shortened), with close to no fanfare (generally not the kind of thing you do under wraps, if you are confident about a show's renewal).  Bob Greenblatt specifically made the point that while Baldwin is locked in for a potential season 7, it has not been renewed.  With that said...

Parks and Recreation (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

3.49 million Overall Viewers
1.7/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Parks and Recreation is a relative lock to get renewed, even though it also has pretty bad ratings.  I think the bad ratings are more a product of its time slot than anything else, but this episode received the lowest ratings the show has had, in its run, to date.  The series is nowhere near as expensive as 30 Rock and The Office, so it will make it to syndication, no doubt about it.  Do not fear, fans of the show.  I know I won't, and you know how much I love this show.

30 Rock Part 2 (NBC, 9pm ET)

3.98 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

30 Rock was given a chance to see if it could pull in better numbers in a less competitive time slot, and it was a continuation of the previous episode, that had aired an hour earlier.  The good news is that it had more viewers than the 8pm episode.  The bad news is that it was up against Person of Interest (CBS) and Grey's Anatomy (ABC) reruns, and it didn't even come close to getting the kind of numbers The Office typically gets in that slot.  This is a very bad sign for this show, folks.  It is.  Disagree at your own peril.  You can't say you weren't warned, if it doesn't come back.

The Firm (NBC, 10pm ET):

3.80 million Overall Viewers
1.0/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Against reruns of The Mentalist (CBS) and Private Practice (ABC), this was all The Firm could do.  They must have some kind of deal where the show has to stay on Thursday nights, because this just doesn't make any sense, at all.  I also haven't seen any kind of announcements about an impending move.  I guess all we can do is nod and smile about what has happened to NBC's former "Must See TV" day.

Monday, January 30, 2012:

I'm not going to put any numbers here, but both House and Alcatraz had startlingly low numbers vs. reruns just about everywhere.  Their initial numbers were low, but both were adjusted up in the final ratings.  The adjustment means that Alcatraz didn't fall as far as initially feared, but I am very concerned this show hasn't leveled off in the ratings.  I'll continue to keep a close eye on the ratings, to see if there is any further cause for concern.  For now, it's okay, but it can't continue to drop much further.  Maybe this night was just some kind of weird TV aberration, because those numbers don't make much sense, at all, to me.

As for my thoughts on NBC, I keep hearing over and over how shows that should be canceled will be renewed on this Network, solely because of how bad the overall ratings are.  I have to disagree, because at some point you have to make the decision to stop the bleeding.  Last year, there was only one new series renewed on NBC, and that was Harry's Law (it has almost no chance of getting a third season).  I think their goal, and reasoning, for bringing back the low rated Harry's Law, was to not have a completely lost season.  This season, I don't really know what their goal is.  My personal feeling is that they should kill just about every underperforming show, and keep two of the critically acclaimed comedies, just so they can get enough episodes to get into syndication.  If I were the one making the decisions at NBC, here's what I would get rid of (and keep) for scripted TV shows, as of this writing.


Parks and Recreation


The Office
30 Rock
Up All Night
Are You There, Chelsea?
Harry's Law
The Firm
Law & Order: SVU

I'm sure that list may come as a surprise to some of you, but I think it is time to clean house at NBC.  On the renewal side, I think Parks and Recreation is as close to being a perfect spinoff of The Office as there can be.  It may not stay fresh much longer, but it's still a lot fresher than The OfficeCommunity is close enough to syndication that it should be allowed to hit that number.  Grimm is the only new "hit" on NBC, even though it can only loosely be defined as a hit.

As for the shows I'd like to get rid of, if someone approached me about doing another spinoff of The Office, I would be all up for that, provided it has a good enough concept that it could guarantee viewers.  I just think that show needs to go, in its current form, even though it is still a very enjoyable show.  It's just too expensive for its own good, and the ratings are stagnant.  You also might be surprised to see SVU show up in the list.  Well, I think the L&O franchise is dead, so it's time for it to go, as well.  Parenthood and 30 Rock fans will cry all day long about putting them on this list, but that's just the way it is.  These shows are not getting good ratings.  At the end of this season, Parenthood will only be at 55 episodes, which is nearly two seasons from syndication.  I just can't see them sticking with it for that long, with the anemic ratings it gets.  If it does somehow manage to get picked up for another season, then it's a shoo-in for making it to syndication.  I already stated why I think 30 Rock should go.  Everything else is a very easy decision for me.

I think it's time to clean house, at NBC, to restore that Network to its greatness from the days of old.  It can't sustain itself the way it's been going, so big changes need to be on the way.  Now we just have to see whether anyone will have the guts to do what I'm recommending.  I'm sure it's a lot easier to write, than it is to do.  Thanks for reading.
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