Friday, April 27, 2012

NBC Yanks A Show From The Schedule

Good thing this isn't about Awake, for the fans, but Best Friends Forever has been yanked from NBC's schedule.  It only made it to the fourth episode, but the ratings writing was on the wall from episode 1.  Best Friends Forever had better ratings than Awake (identical 18-49, except more overall viewers), so that should give you a very good indication of what Awake's ultimate fate is going to be.  Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Notes For Thursday, April 26, 2012 (Touch, Scandal)

It's Friday morning, so you know I could write a few paragraphs about a bunch of shows that are not performing up to expectations, or shows that are doing great.  However, I've already done that, over and over, about shows like Missing, Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Person of Interest, Parks and Recreation, and Awake, so I won't be doing it again.  What I will say is that the toughest scripted time slot on TV (9pm ET) finally filled up, this week, with all new episodes.

Touch (FOX, 9pm ET)

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

Last night was the first night, since Touch moved to Thursdays, that I had to make a choice.  I didn't choose this.  I'll gag myself with a spoon, later, and watch it on FOX Video On Demand, where they force you to watch all of the original commercials.  My favorite shows, right now, are Person of Interest (CBS, 9pm ET), and Parks and Recreation (NBC, 9:30pm ET).  I can only record two shows at once, so Touch is the odd man out.  It's at least good enough that I am still willing to suffer through FOX's revolting Video On Demand.  These ratings are below the FOX Monday-Thursday bubble line, but, against the competition it's facing, it could have been a lot worse.  Another interesting thing to point out is that it has one one of the best lead ins on TV, but in a slot like this, a lead in means next to nothing. 

Unfortunately, for Touch, the type of show that normally wins its time slot, it brought up the rear, finishing 4th in the hyper competitive 9pm time slot.  In case you were wondering what won the slot, it was Grey's Anatomy (ABC), and it did so handily.  Even Person of Interest's numbers were down significantly from its last original episode.  I still think Touch will get renewed, because FOX has to make a pity renewal (oh wait, Fringe was renewed yesterday, does this count?), and this show is getting relatively decent numbers (lower than FOX's traditional renewal ratings) in a horrible time slot. 

The question that might become relevant now, to Alcatraz fans, like me, is, "Which is cheaper?" I think it's pretty easy to determine that Alcatraz is cheaper, but tilting the scale in favor of an Alcatraz renewal, over Touch, may be harder than it looks on the surface.  The other big factor is whether FOX wants to set a below 2.0 renewal precedent, for a drama, something I'm fairly sure it has never done in the modern era.

Scandal (ABC, 10pm ET)

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

Yes, Scandal will probably get adjusted down in the final ratings, but I'm ready to make a prediction of its fate.  I believe Scandal's ratings have stabilized, and that it will be renewed.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

FOX Announces Another Renewal

As reported by TV by the Numbers, Fringe (Fridays, 9pm ET) has been renewed for one final 13 episode season.  I know the fans of the show will be ecstatic to hear this news.  I can now only hope that this is somehow good news for either The Finder or Alcatraz.  Come on Alcatraz, use your muscle to get another season to share Friday nights with Fringe.  You cain do ait!  Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Notes For Wednesday, April 25, 2012 (Revenge, Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23)

Revenge (ABC, 10pm ET)

6.826 million Overall Viewers
2.0/6 in the 18-49 Demo

Uh oh.  Revenge's ratings have fallen into bubble land.  I wasn't expecting this big of a fall, after last week's ratings, but I had been expecting numbers sort of near this, since seeing the plot twist that Daniel was not who died on the beach.  We probably would have seen numbers similar to this shortly after the twist, had the show not gone into two hiatuses.  Now that it's back, it has one more week to re-establish its audience.  Taking a somewhat soapy show, and turning it into an almost farcical soap, while completely getting rid of all the things the non soap watching audience liked, was a bad move.  Stay tuned for next week's ratings, when I'll finally make a prediction about this show's fate, no matter what.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC, 9:30pm ET)

4.885 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Remember what I have said about the problem with a good lead in?  Without a Modern Family original, it was no surprise that Apt. 23's numbers were down significantly.  These numbers are significantly better than the no Modern Family lead in ratings for Happy Endings (Happy Endings season finale had a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo, and 3.67 million viewers, without a Modern Family lead in).  Since I'm predicting a renewal for Happy Endings, there's no reason why I won't still be predicting a renewal for this show...for now.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GIRLS (HBO): The (Wrong) Voice Of A Generation, Or A (Wrong) Voice Of A Generation

I watched the first two episodes of HBO's new "comedy" Girls (Sundays, 10:30pm ET), but never planned to write about it.  After thinking about it for a bit, as I have decided to cancel it from my TV viewing, I have now found the voice of my generation, or a voice of a generation, or something.  Here are my thoughts, and hopefully they will sum up why I think this show doesn't really work as the voice of anything.  Yes, it's early in its run, but it doesn't appear to quite understand what it's doing wrong. 

First things first, I am a male who recently turned 40.  I am not in the demographic for this show.  I did not grow up rich, so I can't relate to the idea of a parent supporting me.  However, in order to make my initial career dreams happen, my Mom did offer to rent a two bedroom apartment with me, and just charge me what I could afford.  I passed on the offer, and decided to move into a different area, as opposed to working as a glorified janitor, for minimum wage ($4.25 an hour in 1994), in a major recording studio.  My initial plan was to become a Recording Engineer/Mixer/Producer in the music business.  My internship showed me some cold hard facts about how undesirable that job really is.  I had lots of other skill subsets that allowed me to explore other avenues without feeling stifled creatively.  In high school, I knew I would never want to work a 9 to 5 job, and nothing has changed for me, in that regard, in my 18 years in the belly of the Hollywood beast. 

The places, where I most relate to Girls, are my career, and in dealing with dysfunction.  I won't elaborate on any of the dysfunction part, but I actually found the Pilot to be a really "nice" depiction of realistic dysfunction on television.  We see dysfunction, all the time, portrayed in television and movies.  Dysfunction is "the new black".  The problem is that nearly every single show portraying dysfunction is a complete caricature of actual dysfunction.  Shameless (Showtime) is a prime example of this over dysfunctionality (if that's not a word, it should be).  Based on only watching the Pilot for Shameless, as I just couldn't get into the show, somehow everything still works out, even though the family situation is a disaster.  When you tell the audience how effed up the characters are, it doesn't seem realistic, to me.  We should be on a path of discovery, with the characters, showing us why they are so messed up, not seeing obviously dysfunctional people, and sort of glorifying it.  In a perfect world, we would be watching characters grow out of this dysfunction into real contributors to society.  However, the world isn't perfect, and a lot of people don't grow out of this dysfunction.  It hangs over their lives like a cloud, ruining many aspects of what could be an enjoyable life in the future.

This is where I really think Girls worked, at least in the Pilot.  It's realistic dysfunction, and I don't have any confidence that these people will change their lives.  I don't think there will be any wake up calls, they'll just trudge through life hoping everything works out, while doing nothing to make that happen.  The problem with the show, for me, is that I think it's probably supposed to be a form of satire or parody.  However, that line is so blurry, that I have no idea whether we are watching a documentary of these people's lives, or a microcosm of lives Lena Dunham is making fun of, one of which would be her own.

Based on her upbringing, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say Girls is at least a somewhat autobiographical view of Dunham's life.  Sure, the parents have been turned into college Professors, and Dunham's character is into the literary, as opposed to film, side of writing, but it hits really close to the kind of stuff I've read about her background.  I don't have the faintest idea whether a painter or photographer would be rich, and if it would give Dunham a life of privilege.  What I do know is that it would give her a somewhat connected life to the artistic community, and probably gave her the money to make Tiny Furniture.  That has certainly helped her career advance forward, at a rate most creative people can only dream of.  No matter what you think of her work, it is extremely impressive for her to be where she is in her career at such a young age.

As an aside, right now, I'd like to break down what I feel is a myth.  I don't believe a lack of connections in the industry is a barrier to entry.  Money is.  If you have money, and are talented, you CAN make it in Hollywood.  There are tons of extremely talented people who never had the money to make a feature film, or a short film, or anything else that helps get a foot in the door.  If you have money, and are an aspiring filmmaker, just use that money to make something.  If it's good, people will probably hear about it.  You can't show people how talented you are without product.  If you ain't got money, chances are you don't have product.  And now back to the show.

The place where Girls deviates from being autobiographical (apparently), is that, in real life, Dunham would have to have worked very hard to get where she is at such a young age.  I don't know if this is a re-telling of how Dunham got to where she is, but I sincerely hope it is not, as it is an extremely unflattering portrayal of trying to "make it".

As I said above, the two places I identify with the show are being in a creative field, and the dysfunction.  Everywhere else is a no go.  As a creative person, with many years of experience, I can identify with Dunham's character Hannah's quest to get her first real job in a creative industry.  There have been seismic shifts in the entertainment industry, over the last 3 years or so, and if you're not already working a full time job in this job market, you might not ever be able to get a full time job, again (I'm specifically speaking of creative talents like Editors, Mixers, Colorists, etc.), or at least not until the economy has completely recovered.  If you're working in the industry, today, and not employed full time for a company, you are well versed in the "freelance" lifestyle.  You know, the lifestyle where you don't know when and where the next time you will work will be, and sometimes if.  It's a rough life, and the kids coming out of college today have it similarly rough.  There aren't jobs out there waiting for them, and they have to figure out how to make do until they get something.  For me, I took an extremely low paying job in the industry, out of college.  It took me about 2 months to land the job, after graduating from Emerson College.  It was barely enough to cover the tiny amount of bills I had, but I made it work.  I have been at the mountaintops, and I have been in the lowest valleys, in my career.  No one said working in this industry is easy, and I accepted that the moment I decided to be in it.  I don't think the lead character in Girls understands how hard it is to get a job in a creative field, or appears not to understand it.

As for Hannah, she's been living off of her parents, while pursuing her dream of being a writer.  As she says, as a slight paraphrase, as I don't want to look it up, "I think I might be the voice of my generation...or, a voice, of a generation."  She tells her parents this, who earlier had dropped the bombshell of immediately cutting her off, in hopes of getting them to resume paying for her listless lifestyle.  Needless to say, it didn't go over well.  This scene occurred after she asked her boss, at the Publishing house she interned for, to give her a job.  Her presentation was poor when bringing it up, and she had been working for free in this place for 2 years.  The moment she asks to be paid, her boss tells her that it was nice working with her.  When reminding her boss that another person had been promoted into a paying job, he retorts, "She knows Photoshop."  This guy is only interested in exploiting people for free (as he tells her there are many people waiting to occupy her chair for free), and has no interest, at all, in their advancement.  This was her first cold hard wake up call to the tough times we are living in.  I also worked my internship, in the recording studio, for 40 hours per week, for free, while attending college full time, and working another 20 hour a week College Work Study job.  I was rewarded with a $4.25 per hour job offer.  So, I could easily relate to the exploitative nature of some internships.  The dangling carrot of a job is often not there, or not what the person was expecting.

We then find out that just about everyone else, inside Hannah's inner circle, is similarly maladjusted, or at least maladjusted in some way.

The Characters:

Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham)-I've described our lead above.

Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams)-Marnie is the most together of all the people inside Hannah's inner circle.  She has a real job as an art gallery assistant.  She also has a problem...her boyfriend.  She basically can't stand the sight of him, and feels like he is more like a brother.  As opposed to telling him that she's not into him, she just continues going through the motions of a really bad relationship, while giving him no real indication that they are in a bad relationship.  She tells Hannah about her feelings, to which I don't think Hannah gives her any kind of constructive response (such as telling her to break up with him, as it will clearly never work out).  I could be wrong about the lack of advice, as I've probably blocked anything from that scene out, by now.

Jessa Johannson (Jemima Kirke)-I don't know anything about that hipster s**t, but from everything I've read, this is the hipster character.  This is the character that is supposedly the most polarizing on the show.  Okay, if you say so.  She's obviously the daughter of very well off parents, who allow her to travel the world doing whatever she wants, on their dime.  She's irresponsible, and doesn't appear to have any real future.  We find out she's a "real" person, though, when we learn, after Marnie yells at her for her irresponsible ways, that she is pregnant.  She will eventually attempt to have an abortion, but ends up not showing up to the appointment, so that she could get drunk and have sex with a total stranger inside a bar.  When the guy touches her in her yay area, he comes up with blood on his fingers.  That's as much as I'll ever learn about that storyline, as I've stopped watching the show.  It seems pretty clear, however, that she has likely had a miscarriage.

Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet)-This is our wide eyed character.  She seems extremely naive, and probably believes that NYC is the fantasy land portrayed in Sex and the City.  She desperately wants to fit in with the cool kids, but she has never actually ventured into "being cool".  In the second episode, while attempting to lie about her sexual exploits, we find out that she is a virgin, and that she is quite embarrassed about that.

Adam Sackler (Adam Driver)-This is a disgusting and vile human being, who Hannah somehow manages to have some kind of bizarre attachment to.  He treats her like a piece of meat, and basically only uses her for sex (and only in the ways he wants her).  There is no way this character could be thought of as sympathetic, and he really demonstrates how low Hannah's self esteem is. 

Charlie (Christopher Abbott)-This is the most well adjusted character on the show, and he is weird.  He's the over sensitive guy who ends up smothering Marnie.

By portraying these characters the way Dunham has, we get the appearance of realistic dysfunction.  That was very evident in the first episode of the series.  The second episode became a much different animal, and, to me, it became far less realistic.  The second episode starts out with an EXTENDED, and extremely disturbing sex scene between Hannah and Adam.  One of my real problems with the show is Dunham appearing to want to put herself on sexual display as often as possible.  It's just not necessary, and if you're going to do that, try not to be so disgusting, degrading, and repulsive about it.  Also, make the scenes shorter.  The sex scene between these two in the Pilot was equally detestable, but mercifully short.

The main stories of the second episode were Hannah's first job interview and Jessa's abortion.  Another place where the show just absolutely does not work for me is how insanely idiotic Hannah is.  She's basically a frumpy blob of apparent submissiveness (while at the same time being arrogant and manipulative), but yet she can go into a job interview, and blow it by being extremely inappropriate.  She starts the interview by really hitting it off with the interviewer.  As the interview progresses, it gets gradually more personal and inappropriate, but not before basically being told she was getting the job.  After things appear to be progressing fine, though a little over the line, Hannah turns into a blithering idiot, spouting off several inappropriate jokes.  Her topper is basically accusing the interviewer of being a serial date rapist.  Yeah, that's not a funny joke, at all, and yet the whole scene is certainly played for laughs.  The interviewer immediately gets extremely uncomfortable with her, tells her what she's done wrong, and basically tells her the job is not going to work out.  I find it amazing that someone could be this IDIOTIC on a job interview.  Scenes like that make her character extremely unbelievable (where are the self preservation and survival instincts?), and extremely unlikable.  It just doesn't seem like she's going to be able to move forward in her life, at this rate.

As Hannah begins to realize that Adam really is a scumbag, effing anything that moves, usually without a condom, she begins to get worried about sexual diseases, specifically HIV leading to AIDS.  She repeats a very bad joke about the "stuff around the condom" several times, and is worried about what diseases she can get from it.  This culminates with her telling the woman examining her that she is very afraid of AIDS, which must mean that she secretly wants to get AIDS.  The doctor was very disturbed by this, and explains to her why she doesn't want AIDS.  Again, this scene is played for laughs, but it's very disturbing in the context of a real life.

I titled this piece "The (Wrong) Voice of a Generation, Or a (Wrong) Voice of a Generation", and now I'll get to why I have a problem with the "voice" this show is creating.  I am a very progressive guy, on just about everything.  It disheartens me to think that the generation that Dunham is a part of has regressed so far, in relation to women's issues, racism, and probably just about everything else.  As I said, if this show is a satire, or parody, it's lost on me.  It's not obvious enough that this is the case.  When it's not obvious what's going on, you almost have to take it at face value.  The show degrades Hannah's character so much, sexually, that it's nearly impossible for me to watch (this is probably the main reason why I don't want to watch it anymore).  I don't see any social commentary on the degradation, or on the so called "entitlement generation", I just see their lives.  If anything, it appears that Hannah feels like she's been wronged, when she's really had so much right in her entire life.  She may realize, too late, that she's taken everything in her life for granted.  The other big issue floating around about this show is that it is basically whitewashing a very multicultural part of New York City.  Its apparent treatment of this diversity, so far, is to make it invisible, even though I have read that Dunham says that is accidental.  I haven't heard any racist dialog, or any overt acts, yet, by any of the characters (unless I've missed something), but rumor has it that it's coming (won't be around to find out, and I certainly would check out of the show at the first hint of this).  One of the writers for the show (Lesley Arfin) has gotten into recent trouble (article detailing the trouble), because of some very troubling statements she made on Twitter, and also some of her past behavior.  These are developing stories for the show's universe, and how they progress will show us how disturbing, or satirical, this show really is.  For now, I see no empowerment of any of the characters, all I see is a depressing and often degrading experience for most of them.

To wrap up this mess of words that probably didn't go where I wanted it to, I don't get the show.  I don't think it's funny.  It's funny in the way people laugh when someone falls down.  I haven't laughed at a single thing in the show, because its parody (if that's what it is) is disturbing.  We have no indication that any of the characters will grow, and I'm not even sure that would be a proper direction.  The characters are a lot like children (with Marnie as the Mom), whose growth has been stunted by the over protection from reality that their parents delivered in the form of money.  They're about to find out there's a cruel, cold world out there, but I can't see how it's any kind of a lesson to this generation.  Is the message, "Yes, everything's messed up.  Our parents threw us out, or cut us off, but this is our show now.  We'll show our parents how messed up it was for them to cut us off."?  If so, oops, that message is going to get lost in translation, if it was intended to be parody, or in some way was trying to encourage the people this show is about to get up off their butts and do something about it, instead of feeling sorry for themselves.  The real problem is that the jobs economy is bad, and it's not improving fast enough.  That's why I feel it's nearly impossible for this to be parody.  There is no simple way out, or up, for these people.  They're trapped, and wondering if they will ever "make it after all".  I have no idea what message Girls is trying to send, but whatever message it is sending is likely to ultimately be lost in translation.  I am repulsed enough, by what I've seen, so far, that I can't take the journey with anyone else who watches the show.  I'm worried about where the show's headed, and very worried about the ultimate messages that might be taken from it.  It actually does have the power to be somewhat influential to that generation, but, to me, it doesn't seem to be going about it, at all, in the right way.  I have real concern that the best years of that generation's lives have been taken away, by how things are in the world today.  It's not something I feel should be laughed at, or made light of.  It's a real problem, and one that I have sincere hope will be repaired one day.

My generation inherently identified with Beavis and Butt-Head, because we all knew someone who reminded us of them (I can still remember Stephen J. and Erik H. in my 8th grade homeroom sitting in the back of the class saying, "Chris Crawley, huh huh huh", when my name was called for roll).  The difference is that Beavis and Butt-Head was clear parody/satire (that went over the heads of a lot people, leading to a ridiculous, and humorous, disclaimer at the top of the show), and it allowed some sort of catharsis for everyone who had to deal with people who were like that.  There was no mixed message, these guys were destructive idiots, who were likely going to end up in jail.  I just can't see whatever messages Girls is attempting to send coming across correctly.  There's nothing to laugh at.  It's just a sad, disturbing take on that generation's problems, that is trying to play for some amount of what should be uncomfortable laughs, if any laughs are deserved at all.  I'm now done writing about and watching this show.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 20, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Thursday, April 19, 2012 (Parks And Recreation, Rules Of Engagement, Touch, Scandal)

Parks and Recreation (NBC, 9:30pm ET)

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

I wouldn't call it a triumphant return, but it did a lot better than Up All Night did, for quite awhile, following The Office.  No matter what, these two shows should always stay together, and it's a shame that NBC hasn't recognized that, even as The Office's ratings continue to dwindle.

Rules of Engagement (CBS, 8:30pm ET)

7.730 million Overall Viewers
2.2/7 in the 18-49 Demo

Without The Big Bang Theory lead in, the ratings for this show went down quite a bit, this week.  After this season, Rules of Engagement will be pretty close to the episodes needed for syndication, so that will probably help its cause toward getting at least a time shared season, next season.  If it stayed at these numbers, without the potential for syndication, it would be canceled in a Hollywood minute.  Good thing it has The Big Bang Theory to bail it out almost every week.

Touch (FOX, 9pm ET)

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

Fans of this should begin getting concerned.  Person of Interest (CBS) was a rerun, and the ratings for Touch have now fallen to what I consider to be the absolute bubble, especially following American Idol.  When Person of Interest comes back, I fear we might start seeing numbers in the high 1s for this show.  It will be really interesting to see what FOX does with this show, if it falls to those numbers.  If this fails, as well as the others that have already failed, I can't imagine a lot of heads won't be rolling over there.

Scandal (ABC, 10pm ET)

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

This show is unabashedly soapy.  I've watched the first two episodes, and I have to admit that I find it kind of enjoyable, even though the pacing is a little brisk for my taste.  The worst thing about the show is that it has some of the most annoying shooting I have ever seen.  Harry's Law (NBC) was the most annoyingly shot show on TV, for me, this season.  It has constantly moving dolly shots in dialog scenes, and completely distracts me from the stories.  Well, Scandal has now taken its mantle, because it shoots exactly the same way as Harry's Law, except it likes to shoot these same scenes through blurry windows that reflect light as the camera moves by.  A blurry window every once in awhile is a nice touch.  Used in every single interior dialog scene, it becomes voyeuristic and completely annoying.  Effing stop it, please.

I'm still not willing to make a prediction on this show's fate, due to the fact that The Mentalist (CBS) was a rerun.  However, this show has defied gravity, so far, and I am impressed by that.  The characters are drawn fairly similarly to the ones in Damages (FX/DirecTV), though all of these have a decidedly soapy edge.  That makes two ABC shows that appear to be send ups of that show.  Revenge used the storytelling convention of an event happening, and then telling us, throughout the season, how we got to that event, and Scandal has the naive, but ambitious newbie who really has no idea of what she has just gotten into.  I think there has to be at least some chance, if Scandal's ratings hold at this level, that Private Practice could get canceled in favor of this show, especially if Private Practice's ratings continue to be bad in its Tuesday slot.  I'll make an official prediction of this show's fate as soon as it's not up against any reruns.  Stay tuned.

I could continue to write about the dismal ratings for Awake (NBC), and the sure to be canceled ratings for Missing (ABC), but these ratings notes are about what I think are out of the norm things, or things that you should be paying attention to.  Nothing's changed with either of those show's ratings, in any meaningful way, for weeks, and the same can pretty much be said for 30 Rock (NBC) and Community (NBC).  The ratings we've been seeing have no impact any of these show's renewal chances, in my opinion.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Wednesday, April 18, 2012 (Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23, Revenge, Best Friends Forever)

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC, 9:30pm ET)

6.593 million Overall Viewers
2.6/7 in the 18-49 Demo

These are pretty modest drop offs, for this show.  If it can stick around in this area, it should be a guaranteed renewal.  I can't wait to read the ABC press release, to see if they bash a show that should get renewed, Happy Endings, while pumping up Apt. 23's numbers, its time slot time sharer.

Revenge (ABC, 10pm ET)

7.583 million Overall Viewers
2.3/6 in the 18-49 Demo

After what has seemed like a three year hiatus, Revenge finally has returned, and we will now get to the end of the season with NO MORE BREAKS.  The fans have been loyal to this show, all season, and I think it took a relatively small ratings hit in the return.  As long as it doesn't get adjusted down, in the final ratings, these numbers look just fine for a renewal.  I'll wait to make my official final prediction, for Revenge, until I see the ratings for next week's episode.  If they stay here, you should be able to count on a season 2.

Best Friends Forever (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

3.151 million Overall Viewers
0.9/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Still dead.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ABC Publicity, What Are You Smoking Over There?

As expected, ABC has brought us some marvelous spin about the terrible ratings for last night's episode of Private Practice.  I'm telling you, these people should be writing natural disaster press releases, as they can find a silver lining in just about anything.  To steal a pretty tasteless "too soon" joke from a friend of mine, who knows who he is, they would likely spin Whitney Houston's death into it being a boon for her sobriety.  Let's get to dissecting the best written sitcom on TV, ABC Press Releases.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - ENTERTAINMENT -
ABC's "DWTS Results Show" is Up and "Private Practice" Opens at No. 1 in its New Slot (BAHAHAHAHA.....BAHAHAHAHAHAHA)




April 18, 2012

Quick Take for Tuesday, April 17, 2012
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)


ABC Finishes as Tuesday's 2nd-Most-Watched TV Network (Aim low, right?)

Boosting its Slot by Wide Margins Year Over Year, ABC's "Last Man Standing" 
Stands as Tuesday's Most-Watched Comedy Over Fox's "Glee"-Driven "New Girl" (ROFL, yeah, in that crucial demo, otherwise known as "not 18-49")

ABC's "Cougar Town" Improves its Half-Hour by Double Digits in Adults 18-49 (What? I thought this was a series low, or are you comparing it to another canceled show?)

Up Week to Week, "DWTS Results Show" Tops its Slot for the 4th Straight Week (OMG, I wonder if Idol wins its slot, as well)

ABC's "Private Practice" Opens at No. 1 in its New Tuesday 10 O'clock Time Slot (Against a rerun, and a reality show, congratulations on losing 7 million of the lead in's viewers!)


Tuesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With "Last Man Standing," "Cougar Town," "DWTS Results Show" and the premiere of "Private Practice" on its new night, ABC (8.7 million) was Tuesday's 2nd-most-watched TV network to CBS, outpacing NBC by 2.0 million viewers (6.7 million) and Fox by 3.3 million viewers (5.4 million).  (What is this, 18-49 numbers?)

"Last Man Standing" (8:00-8:30 p.m.)
At 8:00 p.m., up against CBS' top-rated "NCIS," ABC self-starter "Last Man Standing" (6.4 million) once again qualified as Tuesday's most-watched comedy overall, drawing 1.1 million more viewers than Fox's "Glee"-assisted "New Girl" (5.3 million) in the 9:00 p.m. half-hour. (Of course its 18-49 ratings suck, but those don't matter anyway, right?)

* Continuing to generate big year-over-year improvement for ABC, "Last Man Standing" grew its slot by 39% in viewers (6.4 million vs. 4.6 million) and by 45% in Adults 18-49 (1.6/5 vs. 1.1/3) over original programming on the same night a year ago. (Yay for beating shows that were canceled!  At least we know it has some shot of being renewed!)

"Cougar Town" (8:30-9:00 p.m.)
In the 8:30 p.m. half-hour, ABC's "Cougar Town" boosted its time period by double digits year to year in Adults 18-49 (+17% - 1.4/4 vs. 1.2/3).  (Yay for beating shows that were canceled, with even worse ratings than the terribly rated Cougar Town!)

"DWTS Results Show" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Jumping over its lead-in at 9:00 p.m., ABC's "DWTS Results Show" (13.8 million) stood as the most-watched TV show in its slot for the 4th week running, outdrawing its unscripted competition on NBC ("Voice Results" = 8.8 million) by an increasing 5.0 million viewers (up from a 4.4 million viewer advantage the prior week).  ABC's dancing results program stood as Tuesday's No. 2 TV show overall, behind only "NCIS."  In addition, the broad-appealing ABC unscripted series ranked No. 2 in the hour with Adults 18-49 (2.4/6) and Adults 25-54 (3.5/8), while holding the No. 1 position with Women 25-54. Singer Gavin DeGraw was the fourth celebrity eliminated from the dance competition this season  (But, how did it do with kids 2-11??)

* ABC's "DWTS Results Show" was up week to week in Total Viewers (+3%) and Adults 18-49 (+4%).  In addition, with a performance by Disney star Selena Gomez, the show spiked 20% over the prior week with Teens 12-17.  (All right!)

"Private Practice" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
In the 10:00 p.m. hour, ABC's "Private Practice" opened at No. 1 on its new day among Adults 18-49 (1.7/5) and Adults 25-54 (2.3/6).   In fact, ABC led the hour for the 3rd week in a row with key Adults (AD18-49/AD25-54) and won for the 4th consecutive week with key Women (W18-49/W25-54). (I heart when my show is against reruns, as well.)

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 43% currently, from 40% at the same point in 2011. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings), 04/17/12. 



Contacts:
Jeff Lindsey (818) 460-5095 jeffrey.s.lindsey@disney.com /Salima Merchant (818) 460-6847 salima.merchant@disney.com / Pons Rongavilla (818) 460-5615 ponciano.rongavilla@disney.com (Always bringing the funny)

Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Note For Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (Private Practice And Impact On Body Of Proof Renewal Chances)

Private Practice (ABC, 10pm ET)

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

Is the perfect storm about to collide with ABC?  Wow, I am shocked to see Private Practice have numbers this bad, after a Dancing with the Stars lead in (0.7 down in the 18-49, and 7 million viewers lost).  How in the world will ABC's cracked up Publicity department spin this?  I'll be keeping an eye out for any press releases today.  Right now, I'm going to post something else that should be of great interest to any Body of Proof fans who might be reading this.

Body of Proof-finale (ABC, last week, same time slot)

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

Pay close attention to those numbers.  They are not good either, BUT they are better than the numbers for Private Practice, significantly better.  What does this mean?  Probably nothing, but, as I have said since the show's inception, Body of Proof greatly benefits from a DWTS lead in, and crashes and burns without it.  Now there is empirical evidence that, without the Grey's Anatomy lead in, Private Practice can't pull in viewers, anymore.  I should also remind you that CBS ran a rerun of Unforgettable, and an original episode of that would certainly take audience members away from Private Practice.  I'm guessing ABC was trying to prop up Private Practice, with DWTS, but they ended up getting a bad result they weren't expecting.  

These ratings either bolstered Body of Proof's renewal chances, or they potentially killed both shows.  This makes Scandal's ratings especially important, this Thursday.  If Scandal falls off the bubble, ABC has A LOT of thinking to do about next season's schedule.  I'll leave it to the Body of Proof fans (this is your ray of hope, if there is one) to decide whether what I've written here is enough for them to start packing their bags to renewalland.  My suggestion for them is to hope that Scandal bombs on Thursday, and that Private Practice continues to perform poorly in this slot.  ABC really should have given Scandal the DWTS treatment, but now they are probably going to have to deal with a significant amount of unpleasant situations, if the ratings for Private Practice don't go back up next week.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Sunday, April 15, 2012 (GCB, NYC 22)

GCB (ABC, 10pm ET)

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

There are no excuses left, for the ratings, for GCB.  This show is done.  I'm moving it to the "cancel it" pile in my pointless predictions blog post.

NYC 22 (CBS, 10pm ET)

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

Yep, that's a DOA start to a CBS drama.  It had much lower ratings than the show it has taken over for, in the slot, CSI: Miami.  Its fall next week will tell us where this show is really headed.  I don't need that much time.  I'm ready to make a prediction, and that prediction is dunzo.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Friday, April 13, 2012 (The Finder, Fringe)

The Finder (FOX, 8pm ET)

3.37 million Overall Viewers
0.9/3 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm sorry to say this, but stick a fork in The Finder.  My old neighbor (Michael Clarke Duncan) will soon be looking for a new gig.  Hopefully this show has given him some new prospects.  I love seeing him on TV.  I was really hoping this show would find an audience on Fridays.  It was getting a pretty consistent 2.2 after American Idol, so I just don't understand why so few of the viewers have followed it to its new day.  That might say more about the average FOX viewer than it does about The Finder.

Fringe (FOX, 9pm ET)

2.90 million Overall Viewers
0.9/3 in the 18-49 Demo

I did a little research on the show's prospects, before writing this.  It appears that FOX should be giving a decision about the show sometime next week.  There have been tons of rumors that the show is going to get another 13 episodes, to wrap it all up.  The makers of the show are relatively confident they will get that wrap up season.  The actors (lol) are confident they will get another season.  The fans are confident they will get another season.   I also read that they have shot two endings for the (season) finale.  One will wrap it up, and one would set up a cliffhanger to take you into the final season.  My thinking, based on what I read, is that the cliffhanger is just a tag.  If it goes for another season, they will keep the tag.  If it gets canceled, they will remove the tag.

Now that you've seen all of the potential good news, here's where I might upset the fans of the show.  The ratings for Fringe are ABYSMAL.  They have been for at least two seasons, and none of the reasons for it staying around, last season, are here, this season.  FOX says they are losing money by making the show.  It has enough episodes for syndication.  It's also taking up real estate that could help save another show.  Fans, you've gotten more than you would have gotten with just about any other network.  FOX has been ESPECIALLY nice to this show, considering how brutal it has been to 99 percent of their dramas.  The fact that the show has lasted this long is a great story for Fringe, but...it's time to go.  Check here for my final "prediction" of what will happen to this show, since a lot of signs point to yes, but the realistic signs point to no.  I'm sure the fans will be really happy if my prediction gets proven wrong.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

FOX Cancels A Show Again

Breaking In has been pulled from the schedule, effective immediately, which immediately means it's effectively canceled.  If you have forgotten, Breaking In was famously canceled, at the end of last season.  Then, it was renewed.  Now it is canceled.  Good job, FOX, you should have listened to your gut.  Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Notes For Wednesday, April 11, 2012 (Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23, Best Friends Forever, Revenge Recap, Law & Order: SVU)

Don't Trust the B---- In Apt. 23 (ABC, 9:30pm ET)

6.98 million Overall Viewers
2.9/7 in the 18-49 Demo

I read a little bit about the ratings, on this show, and it's uniformly thought to just be an "okay" start.  I think it had a little better than okay start, but these ratings could present some future problems for ABC.  I think they thought it would tank from its lead in (it did a little, but not nearly as bad as it could have), and that they'd have some kind of excuse to get rid of it.  Instead, they have a show that looks like it's going to retain good enough 18-49 ratings to come back next season.  At these ratings, it certainly would, as these are higher ratings than several sitcoms that I have predicted will get renewed. 

I'm going to check the show out, later today, but I don't think it's going to appeal to me.  I remember watching the trailer for it, last Spring, and thought it looked absolutely terrible.  They had a lot of time to re-tool the concept, since then, so it might have turned out okay.  One thing is certain about this show, it's not pulling in anyone outside the 18-49 demo, which means it definitely does not appear to have any kind of broad appeal.  A little piece of trivia regarding ABC's programming, this season, is that they now have two shows in the schedule featuring the word B***h.  That's pretty strange, to me.

Best Friends Forever (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

2.94 million Overall Viewers
0.9/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Well, that'll do it folks. This show is done.  I heard the second episode was atrocious, but I haven't seen it, yet.  So, I'll reserve judgment on the quality until then.  I will not reserve my judgment on its renewal prospects.  It has none.

Revenge-Recap Episode (ABC, 10pm ET)

5.57 million Overall Viewers
1.6/4 in the 18-49 Demo

After pulling the rug out from Revenge fans multiple times, in the last 2 months, we have been "treated" to a recap episode.  I believe that will make it 7 weeks since an original episode has aired.  Maybe if they didn't go on an extended hiatus every few weeks, we wouldn't have to see an effing clip show.  Clip shows, like this, are always the best way to re-write the narrative, and make us forget about anything we should be remembering.  I have it in the DVR, but I'm not planning on enjoying it.

Lots of people think these numbers bode well for next week's return, but I don't see it.  Nearly every viewer of Revenge should be wanting to see this recap, and I think it bodes pretty poorly for next week's ratings.  The ratings should certainly be higher than this, but I have a feeling many of the fans are going to be disappointed by the drop that I think is coming.  After the twist, I really felt that ABC rushed the show off the air, so that we couldn't get any real metrics of audience loss.  They'll just blame it on the hiatuses, if it comes back weakly.  I'll blame it on story development AND hiatuses, if it comes back weakly.  Next week is pivotal to this show's renewal chances.  If it comes back at the same ratings it's had all season, it's definitely getting renewed.  If it drops to anywhere near a 2.0, I think it's in big trouble, unless ABC wants to lead it in with DWTS, on one of the days, next season.  I should be giving my prediction for whether it gets renewed next Thursday morning.

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

5.42 million Overall Viewers
1.6/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Whoever is in charge of renewal/cancellation decisions, at NBC, could sneeze and their heads fall off, and I wouldn't be concerned (thanks Kojak writers), but, really, it's time for the Law & Order franchise to die.  This show, for a procedural, has to be among the most expensive on TV.  The quality is not there, anymore, and the interest is definitely not there, anymore.  Where I like to read about this stuff, they say this is a certain renewal.  If that's the case, I think it's a certain mistake.  That is, of course, unless you bring Goren and Eames back.  Then, I'd get back on board the Law & Order bandwagon.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 9, 2012

FOX Announces More Renewals

As reported here, FOX has announced the renewals of Glee, New Girl, and Raising Hope.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

GRIMM (NBC): Sgt. Wu Has An Eating Disorder

Can I just say that I love this crazy show?  Well, I just did.  There's been a great expansion of the show's mythology in the last two episodes, and something funny happened on the way to unveiling what's going on.  Writers, pay attention, this is how you reveal something through fun exposition.  In the greater story, Captain Renard has asked Adalind to step up her "seduction" efforts in regards to Nick's partner, Hank (who wasn't all that interested in her to begin with).  So, she gets a "love" potion, and mixes it into a batch of chocolate chip cookies that she gives to Hank.  He finds them delicious, and the cookies begin to make Adalind look delicious to him, as well.  That's as much as I'm willing to spill about that story, but Sgt. Wu has thrown a wrench into this plan.

Sgt. Wu asked for a bite of the last love infected cookie, but Hank wasn't willing to share.  When Hank was called out on a case, he left the cookie on his desk.  Sgt. Wu saw that as a golden opportunity to steal it, and eat it.  The problem is that the cookies should only be eaten by the intended target (Hank).  Eaten by anyone else, and these cookies can cause certain disaster, usually leading to death.  Good thing for Sgt. Wu that he ended up in the local apothecary, as his violent side effects began.  His face began to boil, and he found out that all chocolate chip cookies are not good for you.  It led him on a trip that he won't soon forget, and, well, it gave him an eating disorder that hasn't been cured yet, even though his trip should have been over a long time ago.

Things Sgt. Wu has eaten that he shouldn't have:

1.  Chocolate chip cookies that didn't belong to him
2.  Couch stuffing
3.  A paper clip
4.  Chapstick
5.  Unidentified Object
6.  Coins
7.  A whole bunch of other stuff that was taken from his stomach after being rushed to the hospital
8.  Carpet

Those are some examples of why I love this show so much.  The good news is that Sgt. Wu's eating disorder has now been cured.  He had a rough go of it, on Friday, April 13, 2012's episode, but he's going to be okay now.  So is Hank.  Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Notes For Friday, April 6, 2012 (The Finder, Grimm)

Yesterday, I talked about the perceived religious holiday effect on TV watching this past few days.  We'll see next week whether that's true.  If it is, then maybe The Finder's numbers aren't as bad as they look.  Check in next Saturday to find out.

The Finder (FOX, 8pm ET)

3.92 million Overall Viewers
1.1/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Last night, The Finder moved to Fridays.  I don't know how heavily promoted it was, so hopefully fans of the show aren't seeing that information, for the first time, here.  I was hoping the show would be able to maintain around a 1.5, after consistently hitting a 2.2 on Thursdays.  However, if this start is any real indication of where the ratings are headed, I don't have a single bit of good news for the fans.  I'll make my official prediction about this show's renewal prospects next weekend.

Grimm (NBC, 9pm ET)

4.47 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

For the second straight week, Grimm's numbers have been pretty low.  I'm not really sure what's going on here, other than hoping it's a drop for the religious holidays (this week's numbers are slightly better than last week's).  Good thing the show's already been renewed, as these numbers a preeeeetty low.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 6, 2012

BODY OF PROOF (ABC) Makers Please Stop Messing With Me, I'm On To You

It's no secret that I've asked for some pretty big changes on Body of Proof (ABC, Tuesdays, 10pm ET).  In fact, many of them were addressed...sort of...this season.  Unfortunately, I have now come to the realization that the makers are reading this blog, and intentionally messing with me.  I'll give you a few examples, and you decide.  If you're looking for my criticisms of Body of Proof, they're not hard to find on this blog.  Here we go.

1.  I said that Jeri Effing Ryan needed to be fired (nothing personal Jeri, I just can't take you in the role you're playing).  So, almost everything is related to that request.  Early in the season, I gleefully cheered my TV set when it looked like Jeri's character was going to move away.  Nope, rug pulled out, didn't happen.

2.  In a later episode, Jeri got demoted, and one of my changes was implemented, making Curtis the Chief M.E.  Within two episodes, Jeri was restored.

3.  In the most recent 2 part episode of Body of Proof, the Outbreak "homage", Jeri Ryan's character contracts an incurable strain of some variant of the Ebola Virus.  Surely, she's a goner.  In fact, they were going to try a test drug on her, and the drug killed another patient, when she wasn't allowed to have it.  So, we think that Jeri is goan die.  Later, Dr. Hunt realizes that the vaccine didn't kill the guy, his used up liver did.  So, they try the vaccine on good ol' Jeri Effing Ryan, and she survives, just like Rene Russo.  There's only so much more of this I can take.  Touché, makers of Body of Proof, or shall I say, Summer's Eve?

The question now becomes who will have the last laugh, you or me?  Will the Dancing With The Stars lead in be enough to save you?  I already know the answer, but I...won't...tell...you. :P  Thanks for reading.

ABC Press Releases Will Give You Lulz Til You Die

All season long, I have been seeing the most ludicrous press releases coming out of ABC.  These people will spin their programming numbers unlike anyone else.  They will find a huge beam of light, where it was pitch black.  There are politicians who would be proud.  However, whenever I see something ludicrous come out of there, and have time, I have decided that I will try to entertainingly parse the entertaining data.  An example of their expert spinning was saying that an unnamed drama (I just can't remember it, probably Charlie's Angels) was the highest rated new drama, in its time slot, on a particular day.  The only other new drama "competing" against it was on the CW.  That's what I like to call masterful spin, and it creates a story out of nothing.  So, in the first of these, I will attempt to realistically spin their spin.  I'll give my responses to their outlandish words in (bold).  My bold cannot be anywhere near as bold as ABC's publicity department.  As always, ABC Publicity, thanks for the laughs, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE - ENTERTAINMENT -
ABC’S BODY OF PROOF DRAWS ITS BIGGEST AUDIENCE IN NEARLY 1 YEAR (CONGRATULATIONS, ABC, WASN'T THAT THE LAST TIME DWTS LED IT IN?)


Quick Take for Tuesday, April 3, 2012
(Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings)


ABC Finishes No. 1 on Tuesday Among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (Did you forget that CBS was in reruns?  Don't get used to it.)

ABC's "Dancing" Encore Tops NBC's "The Biggest Loser" by 3.2 Million Viewers (Wow! Who ever saw that coming?)

Tuesday's Most-Watched TV Program, ABC's "DWTS Results Show" Outdraws
NBC's "The Voice" Premiere by 7.0 Million Viewers and by 27% with Kids 2-11 (Which "The Voice" premiere?  Kids 2-11? LOL, WTF?)

Building its Audience for its 5th Straight Original to Draw its Biggest Audience in Nearly 1 Year, "Body of Proof" Wins the 10pm Hour in Viewers and Young Adults (So what if it was against reruns, anemic reality programs, and had the DWTS lead in?  It lost 5 million viewers of its lead in, as well.)


Tuesday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
Featuring a "Dancing" encore, "DWTS Results Show" and "Body of Proof," ABC ranked No. 1 on Tuesday in Total Viewers (11.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.2/6-tie).  (Can you say reruns?)

"DWTS: Encore Performance" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
From 8:00-9:00 p.m., ABC's "DWTS: Encore Performance" attracted 3.2 million more viewers than NBC's original "The Biggest Loser" (9.5 million vs. 6.3 million). (This was never in doubt, your mother must be proud.)

* The "Dancing" encore improved its hour by 3.8 million viewers (9.5 million vs. 5.7 million) and by 20% (1.8/6 vs. 1.5/5) year to year, topping original programming on the year-ago night ("No Ordinary Family" on 4/5/11).  (DWTS is kicking the butt of a show we had to cancel last season!)

"DWTS Results Show" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Tuesday's most-watched TV program, ABC's "DWTS Results Show" soared above NBC's premiere of "The Voice" during the 9 o'clock hour by 7.0 million viewers (15.4 million vs. 8.4 million).  The broad-appealing ABC unscripted series also finished No. 1 in the hour with Adults 25-54 (3.9/9-tie) and was the No. 1 broadcast program with Kids 2-11, beating "The Voice" by 27% (1.4/5 vs. 1.1/4) on the latter measure.  Actor Jack Wagner was the second celebrity eliminated from the competition this season.  (There is so much LOL in here.  They may have beat "The Voice" in overall viewers, but "The Voice" smoked it where it matters, the 18-49 demo.  So, they put up a bunch of demos that don't matter much, and then cause side splitting laughter by telling us the numbers of the demo with the most disposable income, Kids 2-11.  Wow, WTF?)

* Despite facing "The Voice" premiere, ABC's "DWTS Results Show" exhibited impressive retention of its week-ago season opener in Total Viewers (98%) and its core Women demos: W18-34 (91%), W18-49 (100%) and W25-54 (90%). (Wat? No duh.)

"Body of Proof" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
ABC's "Body of Proof" ranked No. 1 during the 10 o'clock hour, more than doubling the audience for NBC's "Fashion Star" (+163% - 10.8 million vs. 4.1 million) and leading by 33% in Adults 18-49 (2.0/5 vs. 1.5/4). In addition, the ABC drama dominated the hour by 61% over its nearest competition in Adults 25-54 (2.9/7 vs. 1.8/4 - NBC) and won its slot for the 2nd week in a row among key Women (W18-49/W25-54). (Kind sir or madam, may I remind you that CBS has been in reruns for the last two weeks? "Fashion Star" is a joke on the reality radar, and you are not in competition with it.  Does your professional soccer league play against 5 year olds?  That's the comparison you're making here....again, LOL.)

* Building its overall audience for its 5th straight original telecast, ABC's "Body of Proof" drew its largest audience in close to 1 year - since 4/26/11.  Additionally among Adults 18-49, the show equaled a best-since-premiere number - since its season opener on 9/20/11. (Oh really?  Was DWTS on 9/20/11?  Have you seen the numbers for Body of Proof when it doesn't have the DWTS lead in?  Yeah...)

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 43% currently, from 40% at the same point in 2011. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen. (Hey, it's no more distorted than these press releases.)

Source: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate Live + Same Day Ratings), 04/03/12. (This proves that all comedy, indeed, does have a source.)


Contacts:
Jeff Lindsey (818) 460-5095 jeffrey.s.lindsey@disney.com /Salima Merchant (818) 460-6847 salima.merchant@disney.com / Pons Rongavilla (818) 460-5615 ponciano.rongavilla@disney.com/Improv Comedy Club (323) 651-2583 improv01@improv.com

TV Ratings Notes For Thursday, April 5, 2012 (Scandal, Community, 30 Rock, Touch, Up All Night, Awake)

In a night where it appears the religious holidays have something to do with TV viewing habits, everything was down pretty much across the board.  The only notable exception I could see was Rules of Engagement (CBS), which had roughly the same numbers as last week.  Since everything was down, I'm not sure how much we can read into the numbers that came out today.  If we do need to read a lot into last night's numbers, then a lot of stuff is in beeeeg trouble.

Scandal (ABC, 10pm ET)

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

My wife wanted to see this show, so I will be watching the show this weekend, to see how it is.  Kerry Washington is a very good actress, which should dull the blow of a show that I can't see being great, solely based on the premise.  For the ratings, it started out just above the bubble.  It's good that some people are interested in the show, at the start, but not enough are, I don't think.  There's probably going to be a moderate drop next week (something like a 1.8), and any ratings drops are something this show is not going to be able to handle.  With the caveat of just about everything being low, last night, is it possible the viewership was worth closer to a 2.5?  We'll know next week, if the ratings go up.

Community (NBC, 8pm ET)

3.10 million Overall Viewers
1.3/5 in the 18-49 Demo

OMG, these numbers are SO low that I'm now going to predict that Community will be renewed.

30 Rock (NBC, 8:30pm ET)

2.82 million Overall Viewers
1.2/4 in the 18-49 Demo

In relation to salaries, this show has to be the most expensive, per viewer, on TV.  I've never seen a more obvious candidate for cancellation, in my life.  But, this is NBC, so they'll probably bring it back for another three or four seasons.

Touch (FOX, 9pm ET)

7.45 million Overall Viewers
2.3/7 in the 18-49 Demo

Touch fans, these ratings should be a pretty big cause for concern.  It's now right on the line that it can't really go below.  Couple that with the fact that The Finder was pulling 18-49 ratings very similar to this, and Touch might be in trouble.  If it drops ANY lower, I think it *could* get canceled.  I don't think that will happen, so I think the show is safe.  It still hasn't even faced its full slate of competition, so things could get worse, when The Office returns.  If any show needs to hope last night's ratings were an aberration, this is it.

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

2.62 million Overall Viewers
1.1/3 in the 18-49 Demo

The Ava 5 year episode caused me to turn this series off.  The loss of The Office lead in has buried this show, in the ratings.  If this show gets renewed, there is something terribly terribly wrong at NBC.  Cancel it, please.  Don't be stupid.

Awake (NBC, 10pm ET)

2.54 million Overall Viewers
0.9/3 in the 18-49 Demo

It's not any less canceled this week, than it was last week.  I'll continue to monitor these brutal ratings.  It will make no impact on the viewership of Scandal, which is probably good for that show.  I just looked at where we're at, in the schedule, and there are still seven episodes left.  This show could get yanked, any day now, and all we can hope is that it gets to move to Fridays or Saturdays to burn off the rest of the episodes.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Thursday, March 29-Wednesday, April 4, 2012 (Missing, Awake, Touch, Up All Night, Rules Of Engagement, GCB, Bones, House, New Girl, Breaking In, Body Of Proof, Best Friends Forever, Bent)

Did you miss me?  It's okay if you didn't, but I'll still try to catch you up on what I feel are the interesting TV ratings notes of the past week.  It will be going from oldest to newest, for continuity.

Missing (ABC, Thursdays, 8pm ET)

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

I've already stated that I think the bubble drama line, on ABC, is a 2.0.  This show is nowhere near a 2.0, and it is nowhere near a renewal.  It's getting canceled.

Awake (NBC, Thursdays, 10pm ET)

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

When the audience can't even watch your show passively, when it really wants to, there's a problem.  This show is enormously confusing when you actually think about it, and the viewers just don't want to be confused, or have just stopped caring.  I read some message boards about the show, and most people seem to not enjoy the show mostly being a police procedural (do you really need to get me started about that not being the problem, and that the serialization is?).  It's no secret that I love police procedurals (the good kind), so I actually really dug the last episode, for the most part.  They're setting up a big conspiracy, and I really have no idea what it's all about.  I really feel like we are watching a continuation of The Event, and that the aliens have decided to blend in again.  Man, that would be an awful ending.  Still, this show is a lot better than The Event, even if it has a completely dissatisfying end. 

Touch (FOX, Thursdays, 9pm ET)

8.92 million Overall Viewers
2.7/7 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm still not caught up on the show, and the show's still not up against its real competition.  I think these numbers will drop quite a bit, tonight, but I still think it's safe for renewal, as long as it stays above a 2.2.

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

2.92 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

No lead in equals no ratings for this stinker and turd of a show.  I hope this is finally enough of a ratings dump to push it through the toilet hole of NBC cancellations.  Here's hoping.

Rules of Engagement (CBS, Thursdays, 8:30pm ET)

8.65 million Overall Viewers
2.7/8 in the 18-49 Demo

In the grey area sitcoms, Rules of Engagement has returned.  Theoretically, this show is competing for a slot with Rob.  Of course, they could both end up being canceled, which was what happened to two other shows in apparent competition, last season, Human Target and Lie To Me.  If the theoretical comedy block expansion happens on CBS, as has been speculated, both might return, but, if only one returns, I think Rob is the favorite.  The ratings were nearly identical, and I guess it all comes down to whether CBS can sell Rules into syndication, as I don't think it's close enough to get there, yet.  I found Rob to be a mostly enjoyable show, with a lot of potential, so I'd prefer it to come back.  If there's no comedy block expansion, neither show has an easy road to renewal.

GCB (ABC, Sundays, 10pm ET)

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

Well, GCB dropped below the bubble line, for me.  Of course, it was in competition with the Country Music Awards, which surely stole some of its viewers.  We'll see if there's a rebound next week, as I expect there will be.

Bones (FOX, Mondays, 8pm ET)

8.39 million Overall Viewers
2.5/7 in the 18-49 Demo

Bones was renewed before it came back, so its fate has never been in question.  These ratings were decent, if unspectacular, and I'm sure FOX will not regret its decision to renew the show.  They also could be doing a nice hedge, hoping that The Finder comes back decently on Fridays.  If that happens, can you say Bones at 8pm and The Finder at 9pm...on Fridays?  I think you might be able to say that.  I think you might.  Move that reality crap to the weekend.

House (FOX, Mondays, 9pm ET)

6.67 million Overall Viewers
2.3/6 in the 18-49 Demo

The final push for House is on.  It didn't get off to a good start.  I'm sure everyone will be looking forward to seeing how House dies...uh, I mean ends.  I expect the ratings to improve over the next several weeks.  This is, after all, the end of an era.

New Girl (FOX, Tuesdays, 9pm ET)

4.59 million Overall Viewers
2.3/6 in the 18-49 Demo

I haven't been closely following the ratings for this show, but this is troubling.  This show was a huge hit out the box, pulling in similar numbers to the top rated new sitcom, 2 Broke Girls2 Broke Girls has stayed strong, but this show's taking a big dump in the ratings.  Is Zooey fatigue setting in?  The numbers are good enough for it to get renewed, as FOX is a little more lenient with their sitcom ratings than they are with their drama ratings.  Still, these numbers are quite disappointing, and don't bode well for a third season, if it gets a second (it will).

Breaking In (FOX, Tuesdays, 9:30pm ET)

2.55 million Overall Viewers
1.3/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Yeah, this show should have stayed canceled.

Body Of Proof (ABC, Tuesdays, 10pm ET)

10.51 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

OMFG, look at that ratings resurgence!  The show must have improved exponentially for this many people to be tuning in!!!  This show is totally getting renewed for a third season!!!  What?  Dancing With the Stars came back?  Forget what I just said.  If ABC wants to prop this show up forever with DWTS, then, sure, renew it.  It can't make it on its own.  It's the same old story with this show.  If DWTS leads it in, it has decent ratings.  If not, it's almost like it's not even on the air.

Best Friends Forever (NBC, Wednesdays, 8:30pm ET)

3.94 million Overall Viewers
1.2/4 in the 18-49 Demo

NBC's marketing of sitcoms is way less than desirable.  I saw a few promos for this show, and it looked te-rri-ble (said in Spanish accent).  I have to say I watched it, just to see how it is.  My mind is open folks, at least for one episode, of most shows.  I thought the show was okay, and I'll stick around for at least three more to see how it develops.  I certainly thought it was much better than Bent, a show that I canceled after the first two episodes, and nearly turned off about 5 minutes into the second episode.  I only laughed maybe one or two times, but that's okay, the show's not played for big laughs, at least not in my opinion. 

Best Friends Forever has a very high production value, and Fred Savage did quite a good job directing the Pilot.  Some of the acting, and situations, are pretty hokey, but that's stuff that easily can get fixed as the show goes on.  One thing is certain, and that's that they do need some fact checkers on the show.  The whole college football on Sundays thing made them look kind of stupid, even though I didn't even consciously notice the reference, when I first watched the show.  Still, the show has believable characters, and a decent amount of potential, and I think it's worth at least a watch to see what you think.  I don't think the concept is fully formed, so the show could be quite different than what was seen in the Pilot, a few episodes from now.

If NBC makes this the style of future sitcoms (that aren't mockumentaries), there could well be a resurgence for them.  This season, it's a no go.  So, unless NBC gives this show a really long leash (they spent real money to make it look good, which is a good thing), there's very little chance of it being renewed.  I'll give my official prediction after next week's episode, but if it stays at these numbers, it's done.

Bent (NBC, Season Over, Show Over...Over, Over, Over)

2.27 million Overall Viewers (9pm episode)
0.8/2 in the 18-49 Demo

1.93 million Overall Viewers (Finale)
0.7/2 in the 18-49 Demo

Last, and certainly least, on this list, is the final night of Bent.  If nothing else, this show was quite polarizing.  I've seen many people say they like the show, and I've seen many people say they hate the show.  I was in the hate line.  I didn't think anything about the show was believable, and the forced nature of the show really bothered me.  It doesn't mean I didn't get an occasional laugh, in the two episodes I saw, but it certainly was not my type of show.  What makes sitcoms work, to me, is divergent personalities all somehow getting together and getting along.  You know, that's kind of what it's like in real life.  Everyone, on the show Bent, felt like slightly different versions of the same character, which made me not feel anything for any of them.  This show is easily the biggest scripted disaster of the Monday-Thursday 2011-2012 TV season, and even The Firm couldn't do worse than it during the week (it's doing much worse on Saturdays).  This might even be one of the biggest failures in TV history.  That's saying something, when NBC is doing nothing but lining up failures, or tepid successes, these days.  Thanks for reading.
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