UPDATED: Pickup news flashes are flying fast and furious today, so some have fallen through the cracks as I try to stay afloat. Here are some notable renewal/cancellations: As expected, Body of Proof became the second ABC freshman series after Happy Endings to make the cut for a second season. Better With You, Off the Map, No Ordinary Family and Mr. Sunshine are canceled. Also dead is NBC’s freshman comedy Outsourced.
In Other News: ‘Body Of Proof’ Picked Up, ‘Better With You’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’, ‘No Ordinary Family’, ‘Off The Map’ ‘Outsourced’ Dead
Bubble shows are getting their final chance to make a case for renewal this week, and ABC’s comedy Better with You did its best last night. The multi-camera comedy, considered a long shot for renewal, drew a 1.9/6 in adults 18-49, up 19% from last week for the biggest week-to-week gain among all programs last night. ABC’s Wednesday comedy block was up across the board last night except for the other series that needed it, freshman Happy Endings (1.7/4) at 10 PM, flat with last week despite a stronger lead-in. At 10:30 PM, the comedy pulled a 1.4/4, also even with last week. The Middle (2.1/7) was up 5%, Modern Family (4.2/11) up 8% and Cougar Town (2.4/6) up 9%.
Fox’s American Idol (6.9/20, 22.4 million) was up 8% from last week’s fast national demo number (because of Idol‘s rise in the finals, the apples-to-apples comparison is with its fast national results.) Breaking In (2.4/6) held steady, even with last week. The network once again won the night in all key measures. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was down a tenth from last week for a series low but may bounce back a tenth in the finals. Criminal Minds (3.3/9) was up a tenth while Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.1/6) was down 5%. Following a new Minute to Win It (0.9/3, down 10%) and a Minute to Win It repeat (1.1), which actually did better than the original, Law & Order: …
After a promising 17% week-to-week ratings increase last week, ABC’s 10 PM comedy Happy Endings dropped alarmingly last night just as the networks are getting close to making their pickup decisions for next season. The midseason series (1.7/4) was down 19% from last week despite its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.2/6), being up a tenth. The difference? Happy Endings faced original competition in the 10 PM hour vs. repeats last week. The second Happy Endings original at 10:30 PM did worse, 1.4/4. Like Cougar Town, Better With You (1.6/5) was up a tenth from last week when both series followed repeats. A new The Middle (2.0/6) was up 5% from April 20, while a fresh Modern Family (3.8/10) was flat.
Law & Order: SVU‘s first original in a month, which guest starred John Stamos, did a 2.5/6, up a tenth from April 6. The veteran NBC crime drama won the 10 PM hour against ABC’s Happy Endings and CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.2/6), which was also hit by facing a new SVU, down 15% from April 16. Criminal Minds (3.2/8) was down 8%, while Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9) was flat with its fast national number last week. (Both Survivor and Fox’s American Idol always rise in the finals, so comparing fast nationals to finals is not completely fair.)
Speaking of Idol (6.4/18, 24.8 million), the reality series was down 7% from its fast national demo result last week, once again dominating the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
Nice Week 3 bump for ABC’s midseason comedy series Happy Endings (2.1/5 in adults 18-49). After falling 30% in its move from 9:30 PM to 10 PM last Wednesday, the new comedy bounced back, up 17% in the demo from last week. And that despite the fact that its lead-in, Cougar Town (2.1/5), was down 9% from last week as it followed a repeat Modern Family vs. an original last Wednesday. Happy Ending also held 100% of its Cougar Town lead-in vs. 75% last week. The only other original offering on ABC was freshman Better With You (1.5/4) at 8:30 PM, which was down a tenth from last week when it aired behind a new The Middle.
Fox (5.8/16 in 18-49, 18.2 million) once again dominated the night with American Idol (6.9/19), which was up a tenth in the demo from last Wednesday’s fast national number (the reality juggernaut is always adjusted up in the finals, so vs. that it was down 3%). Idol was also on par with the comparable telecast last season. New Fox comedy Breaking In (2.6/6) was flat with its fast national rating last week and up 4% vs. the final.
CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.0/9), even with its fast national demo result and down 3% from the final, was followed by reruns of Criminal Minds and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. NBC aired an NBC News Royal Wedding special (1.2/3) and a rerun of the promising two-hour premiere …
How underperforming is NBC Monday’s lineup? Even if the other networks air color bars in primetime, it probably won’t crack the 1.5 demo rating mark. With CBS and Fox largely in reruns last night, NBC’s originals The Event and Law & Order: Los Angeles both drew a 1.3/3 in 18-49. On the bright side, that was up 18% from the 1.1/3 the two dramas posted last week, and The Event jumped 27% from the first half-hour, when it faced ABC’s Dancing With the Stars performance show, to the second half-hour, when it ran against comedy Better with You. But even against all-rerun competition at 10 PM, LOLA still finished distant third in adults 18-49 (1.3/3) total viewers (5.8 million). Such low levels of viewership last night certainly wouldn’t help NBC’s new reality series The Voice, which launches tonight.
ABC’s Dancing (4.5/13) was up 13% from last week’s season low. A new Better Than You (2.6/6) at 9:30 PM was up also by 13% from what an original Cougar Town did in the slot last week in the fast nationals (the shows following Dancing tend to drop a tenth in the finals because of overrun.) CBS’ only fresh offering last night was comedy Mad Love (2.0/5) at 8:30 PM, which was flat with last week. CBS continues to do tryouts in the 9 PM slot given the uncertain future of Two and a Half Men. Last night, a Big Bang Theory rerun (2.3/6) did 15% better than the Two and a Half …
RATINGS RATE RACE: Solid Debut For ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff, ‘Survivor’ Premiere Hurt By ‘Idol’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Takes Dive
The premiere of CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior drew a 3.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers last night. It dominated the 10 PM hour, built slightly on its lead-in, mothership Criminal Minds series (3.2/9, 12.8 million) and ranked as CBS’ top-rated program of the night. Vs. the premiere of The Defenders in the same slot in September, Suspect Behavior was up 14% in the demo.
CBS’ Survivor was impacted by its new regular competition, Fox’s American Idol. The debut of Survivor: Redemption Island (3.2/9, 11.2 million), the first season premiere of the veteran reality show to face Idol, was down 29% from the show’s spring premiere last season in its old Thursday 8 PM slot. It was Survivor‘s lowest-rated opener and lowest-rated regular telecast ever. Survivor didn’t go down without a fight. It dinged Idol a bit, with the 8-9 PM portion of the singing competition slipping 14% from last Wednesday.
Fox’s American Idol aired a two-hour episode (8.1/23, 22.8 million), which was down 4% from last week’s hourlong show. Vs. the comparable episode last season, Idol was down 21% but that episode was highly promoted as it featured the debut of Ellen DeGeneres as new judge. Extending Idol from an hour to two-hour this week pushed the 9 PM shows down. For instance, Criminal Minds was down 11%.
ABC’s new Matthew Perry comedy series Mr. Sunshine had a promising debut last night, drawing a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers at 9:30 PM. It was helped by a hot Valentine’s Day episode of Modern Family (5.0/13, 13.11 million, up 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19). In the battle of the former Friends stars, the premiere of Mr. Sunshine couldn’t quite match the series premiere of Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town in the same slot (4.3/11, 11.4 million on Sep. 23, 2009 with a 4.3/12, 12.7 million Modern Family lead-in). Still, Mr. Sunshine marked ABC’s best series debut this season in 18-49, retained solid 74% of its Modern Family demo lead-in and posted the best numbers in the slot in total viewers and 18-49 since the series premiere and second episode of Cougar Town, respectively. Modern Family‘s numbers are even more impressive given its weak lead-in last night, freshman comedy Better with You (2.0/5), which was down 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19 to hit a series low. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.6/7) was even with its last original. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.9/5), which finished last in the 10 PM hour.
NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7, 8.1 million) once again won the 10 PM slot in the demo, but it was down 10% from last week. Meanwhile, CBS’ Blue Bloods (2.3/6, 12.5 million) …
After taking a break on Tuesday where it would’ve clashed with Glee, the scripted series that helped it get on the air, NBC’s reality series The Sing-Off returned last night for its second airing. It averaged a 2.6/7 in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall from 8-10 PM, down 7% from the Monday premiere but a season high for the network in the slot. The a cappella singing competition was up 24% from the same Wednesday night last year and flat with its second episode, which aired on Tuesday last December. A rerun of Law & Order: Special Victim Unit (1.8/5, 6.2 million) ran at 10 PM, the series’ new permanent home as of Jan. 5.
ABC’s comedy block was down across the board: The Middle (2.5/7) was down 11% to tie its season low, Better With You (2.2/6) was down 4%, Modern Family (4.1/11) was down 15% for a season low and Cougar Town (2.6/7) was down 13%, also a season low. Modern Family still ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in the 18-49 demo. Like NBC, ABC’s lineup in the 10 PM hour was a dry run for midseason when it will feature comedies. Repeats of Modern Family (1.9/5) and Cougar Town (1.3/4) last night outperformed significantly the original Whole Truth (0.9/3) in the hour last week.
Fox’s Human Target (1.8/5) had a quiet second season premiere last night in the Wednesday 8 PM slot it was upgraded to after Lie to Me was summoned to Mondays. It is unfair to compare the premiere to the show’s series debut after a big football game last season (it was down 38% from that), but the season opener was down from what Hell’s Kitchen has been doing in the hour this fall and down a tenth from its first season finale. Hell’s Kitchen (2.6/7), now abbreviated to one hour, was flat with its two-hour edition last week.
ABC’s comedy block returned after a preemption for the American Music Awards a tiny bit lower. The Middle (2.8/9) was down a tenth, Better with You (2.3/7) was down 8%, Modern Family (4.7/13) was down a tenth and Cougar Town (3.0/8) was flat. The Kim Kardashian-hosted special People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive did a 1.5/5.
CBS’ Wednesday lineup rebounded after taking a hit against the AMAs last week when all series posted season lows. Survivor: Nicaragua (3.5/10) was up 9%, Criminal Minds (3.7/10) up 19% and The Defenders (1.9/6) up 6%. CBS locked another Wednesday win in adults 18-49 (3.0/9) and total viewers (11.9 million)
Fox’s coverage of Game 1 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants (4.7 rating in 18-49) was down 25% from last year’s Phillies/Yankees matchup, but that was to be expected with the most popular baseball team, the Yankees, out this year. The game was on par with ith the opening game of the most recent non-Yankees World Series in 2008 (4.8). Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
Just like its family-friendly Monday lineup posted week-to-week gains against the monster Monday NFL game on ESPN, the network’s Wednesday comedy block last night logged ratings rises. The Halloween-themed quartet was led by Modern Family (5.1/13 in 18-49, up 9% from last week’s fast national; 13.1 million viewers), which hit a series high in total viewers and matched its series high in 18-49 from earlier this fall. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.8/9, up 8%; 9.4 million) logged its most-watched telecast and its second highest 18-49 delivery ever. Freshman Better with You (2.5/7) had a nice 19% post-full season-pickup bounce to match a series demo high.
Full Seasons For ABC’s ‘Better With You’ & ‘No Ordinary Family’, More ‘Detroit 1-8-7′ & ‘Brothers & Sisters’, No More ‘Whole Truth’
ABC today became the latest broadcast network to make its full-season pickups, handing out back-nine orders to freshman comedy Better With You and drama No Ordinary Family. Additionally, the network has picked up 5 additional episodes from freshman cop drama Detroit 1-8-7 and 4 from veteran family drama Brothers & Sisters. Missing from the list is new legal drama The Whole Truth, which already has been on shaky ground and is preempted again next week. The series will stay on the air but the network doesn’t plan to order more episodes beyond the original 13. The episodic orders follow the pickup of 4 additional scripts each for No Ordinary Family and Brothers & Sisters 2 weeks ago. It brings the order for Brothers & Sisters to a full-season 22 episodes, up from the 18 ordered in May, meaning that ABC is probably considering a change in its launch plans for midseason drama Off the Map, which was to premiere in Brothers & Sisters Sunday 10 PM slot. (Off the Map also recently received an order for an additional script.)
There are four freshman series on Wednesday that are still awaiting decision on full-season orders: ABC’s Better with You and The Whole Truth, NBC’s Undercovers and CBS’ The Defenders. None of them made a case for itself one way or another last night, with the first 3 staying flat and The Defenders giving away last week’s solid ratings gains.
Much needed good ratings news for NBC which recently handed back orders – episodic or script – to all of its freshman series still on the air. One of them, Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.4/7 in adults 18-49), was up 26% after 2 consecutive weeks of 20%+ declines. It won the 10 PM hour and improved its retention of Law & Order: SVU to 92% from 83% last week. In fact, the entire NBC Wednesday lineup was up. SVU (2.6/7) was climbed 13%. Undercovers (1.5/5), the only new NBC series to only get script order this week, was flat with the show’s fast national number last week and up 7% vs. the final.
Good news for ABC freshman No Ordinary Family — the supernatural family drama just received an order for 4 additional scripts from the network, the only new fall ABC series to get such an order. The network also picked up 4 more scripts from veteran Sunday family drama Brothers & Sisters, which was given a reduced 18-episode order in May but has performed solidly in the ratings this fall. The third ABC series to get an additional script order is Shonda Rhimes/Jenna Bans’ midseason medical drama Off the Map with one extra script picked up. Additional script pickups are usually a precursor to firm episodic orders. The script order to No Ordinary Family is not surprising as the Greg Berlanti-produced drama has emerged as ABC’s most promising hourlong fall series, mostly because the others have all struggled mightily.
God is proving to be a ratings god this week. After a religion-themed Glee dominated Tuesday with a 4.6/13 demo rating, an episode of Modern Family tackling the same subject ruled the demo roost last night with a 4.5/12. It was mostly an uplifting night with all networks able to brag about something except for NBC whose entire lineup was down.
New NBC drama Undercovers continues to fade at 8 PM. It managed a 1.5/4 in 18-49 last night, down a notch from last week. On the same night last year, the now-defunct medical drama Mercy drew a 1.9 in the hour, and NBC averaged a 1.7 in the time slot last season. At 9 PM, Law & Order: SVU (2.5/7) was down 11%. Even worse, new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.4/7) was down a steep 25% from its premiere last week. On the positive side, it still won what is shaping up to be a very weak Wednesday 10 PM hour this season and held 96% onto of its SVU lead-in.
The new Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles did OK in its debut on what was a down night all around, with all other series except Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen posting double-digit declines from last week. Topping the list was NBC’s freshman spy drama Undercovers, which was down an alarming 24% from its soft premiere last week. (the rest of the drops were between 10-19%) Also hitting dangerously low levels is ABC’s new 10 PM legal drama The Whole Truth.
Law & Order: LA (3.1/9 in adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall), won the 10 PM by a wide margin but was down 11% in the demo from what Law & Order: SVU did in the slot last week, while matching its total viewer delivery. Still, LOLA was up 19% from SVU‘s premiere in the slot in March and up 63% vs. what Jay Leno did in the hour last fall. As for SVU (2.7/7, 9.2 million), it was down 16% at 9 PM from last week despite featuring a publicized guest appearance by Jennifer Love Hewitt. The J.J. Abrams-produced Undercovers opened the night with a 1.6/5 and 7.1 million viewers, finishing distant fourth in the hour in 18-49.
On the heels of its best series Emmy win, ABC’s comedy Modern Family hit all-time highs in its return for a second season. But also in the ABC column was the most disappointing premiere last night, that of new legal drama The Whole Truth (1.5/4 in adults 8-49, 4.9 million viewers). Another night of no breakout freshman shows ala Modern Family last year, with CBS’ 10 PM dramedy The Defenders (2.9/8, 12.1 million) and ABC’s 8:30 PM comedy Better with You (2.5/7, 8 million) showing some promise, while the debut of NBC’s Undercovers (2.0/6, 8.6 million) at 8 PM was pretty underwhelming.
But while the pecking order at 8 PM and 9 PM on Wednesdays seems to have been established, with CBS’ Survivor dominating the 8 PM hour and Modern Family shining at 9 PM with CBS’ Criminal Minds running solid second, the 10 PM period is still up for grabs. So the solid showing of Law & Order: SVU, which dominated the hour last night, is encouraging news for NBC that the new Law & Order: Los Angeles would also do well when it premieres there next week. Here is a network-by-network rundown:
Need more proof that no scripted series can launch successfully at 8 PM on the Big 4 these days? How about J.J. Abrams’ spy romp Undercovers opening to a 2.0 rating last night. That was down 13% from what …
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The new multi-camera comedy Better With You (formerly called Better Together) — about 3 couples of different ages at different stages of their relationships — will launch during the successful ABC Wednesday comedy block. At TCA, exec producers Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Greg Malins talked about how a traditional sitcom will compare to ABC’s single-camera hit Modern Family.
ABC just announced the premiere dates for all of its fall series with the exception of freshmen Body of Proof and Secret Millionaire, whose dates will be released later. No surprises, with the bulk of the series unspooling during the traditional premiere week. Additionally, the name of new comedy Better Together has been changed to Better With You.
Monday, September 20
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Castle”
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