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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘CSI’ & ‘Whitney’ Rise, ‘Idol’ Holds Steady’ On Night Of Declines

By | Thursday February 16, 2012 @ 9:44am PST
Nellie Andreeva

The down trend this week continued with another night of steep declines. The entire ABC lineup was down from last week to tie or post new season lows (except Thanksgiving eve): The Middle (2.5/7, off 4%), Suburgatory (2.4/6, down 8%), Modern Family (4.7/12, down 15%), Happy Endings (2.5/6, down 14%) and Revenge (2.4/6), which was off 4% for one of its most pivotal episodes to date.

CBS’ Survivor (3.0/8) started its new season on the low side, down two tenths from last year’s February premiere, though it may trim the gap to one tenth in the finals. Criminal Minds (3.0/7) was down 9% from last week for a season low, while CSI (2.7/7) perked up, increasing 8% from last week to win the 10 PM hour. Is new star Elisabeth Shue behind the gains? Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Solid Start For ‘Touch’, ‘Idol’ & NBC Comedies Slip, ‘CSI’ Hits Highs

By | Thursday January 26, 2012 @ 9:28am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Last night marked the return of one TV star, Kiefer Sutherland, and the departure of another, Marg Helgenberger. Sutherland’s new Fox series, Touch, drew a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49 and 11.9 million viewers in a preview behind American Idol. It matched the demo rating for the preview of Glee behind Idol in May 2009 despite a much weaker lead-in; American Idol was still in its prime in 2009, and Glee followed the performance finale, while Touch was behind an auditions episode of a declining Idol. Touch‘s retention, 61%, was the highest ever for a drama debut after Idol. Despite not being labeled as a premiere, if treated as one, Touch would rank as the second-highest-rated new drama series this season behind ABC’s Once Upon A Time (4.0, 12.8 million viewers), and as Fox’s highest-rated drama opening in three years. Idol‘s Aspen auditions episode (6.4/18) was down 11% from the fast national for the two-hour season premiere last Wednesday (vs. the 8-9 PM hour only, the drop was 7%). Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘CSI’ Rises, ‘Survivor’ & ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter’ Slip

By | Thursday December 15, 2011 @ 9:43am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Fox and CBS had the primetime field all to themselves with all original lineups against predominantly repeat competition. Fox’s The X Factor Top 4 performance show (3.4/9) was up a tenth from the fast national for last week’s episode, even with the final. New multi-camera comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter continues to fade, down 10% from last week to a 1.9/5.

The penultimate episode of CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.1/9) was down 6% from last week. Criminal Minds (3.4/9) was flat, while CSI (3.0/8, 12.8 million) spiked 20% and drew its largest audience since the season premiere. CBS (3.1/8, 11.9 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, edging Fox (3.0/8, 9.3 million) in the demo. The only other original offering on the broadcast networks last night was ABC’s Barbara Walters: 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2011 with the Kardashians (2.3/6), which was down 28% from last year.

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Survivor’ Up, Everyone Else Down As CBS Tops Night In 18-49

Nellie Andreeva

Fox and ABC, which have alternated at the top of the Wednesday 18-49 rankings this season, finished tied last night — but for second place, not first . Paced by Survivor, CBS (3.1/8) posted its first Wednesday demo win this season, edging Fox and ABC (3.0/8). Heading toward its season finale, Survivor: South Pacific (3.3/9) was up 6% from last week. Criminal Minds (3.4/8) was down 8% from its last original two weeks ago and CSI (2.5/7) was down 4%, with both series tying their season lows.

ABC’s series were up from the depressed ratings levels for their Thanksgiving Eve episodes, though those segments were labeled as specials and won’t count towards the shows’ season averages. Versus the most recent regular episodes on November 16, The Middle (2.8/8) was down a tenth fast national-to-fast national and Suburgatory (2.8/8) was flat (down a tenth from the final). Modern Family (5.0/13) was down 9% (11% from the final) to log its lowest-rated regular telecast to date, Happy Endings (2.9/7) was also down 9% and Revenge (2.4/6) was down 8%. Read More »

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‘CSI’s New Leading Lady: Elisabeth Shue To Replace Marg Helgenberger On CBS Series

By | Friday November 18, 2011 @ 1:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

This is a pretty big get for CBS, which has been trying to lure Elisabeth Shue for years. The actress, an Oscar nominee for Leaving Las Vegas, is joining the cast of CBS’ veteran crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as the new female lead opposite Ted Danson. Shue will play the newest CSI, fresh off an anger management course, amid rumors that D.B. Russell (Danson) fired her when she worked for him in Seattle. She will succeed Marg Helgenberger, who is departing her full-time gig on CSI in January but is expected to return for occasional guest sports, reprising her role as Catherine Willows. Shue, who will make her first appearance in the Feb. 15 episode, will be a new regular on CSI, her first major series role since she co-starred on the short-lived 1984 ABC drama Call To Glory, produced by Paramount Television, the predecessor to CSI producer CBS TV Studios. Shue’s biggest TV stint since then had been a two-episode arc on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, though she has been getting pilot offers by the networks every year, with CBS particularly aggressive in its pursuit of the Hollow Man and The Karate Kid actress. The casting of Shue completes a lead overhaul on CSI, now in its 12th season. The series, which started off with William Petersen and Helgenberger as the stars and had Helgenberger subsequently partner with Laurence Fishburne and Ted Danson, will now have 2 … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘X Factor’ Slips, ‘Revenge’ Climbs, ‘Up All Night’ Hits Low

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s newly renewed The X Factor returned to Wednesdays for its second live show, which delivered  a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49 and 11.5 million. That was down 10% in the demo from the fast national rating for the series’ first live-performance episode last Tuesday (X Factor usually gains a tenth in the finals, which it did again last night per data just released by Fox; its 4.0 final rating is down 9% from the final for last week’s live show). The two-hour X Factor led Fox to a decisive nightly victory in 18-49 and a very close No. 2 finish in total viewers behind CBS (3.3/9, 11.8 million).

CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.5/10, 11.9 million) was up a tenth from its fast national demo rating last week, putting the reality veteran on track to post new season highs in 18-49 and total viewers for a second straight week. Last week, Survivor climbed from a 3.4 to a 3.5 in the demo to clear a new season high and will likely be adjusted up to a 3.6 today to post a new season best. Criminal Minds (3.6/9, 12.8 million) was down 8% in the demo from its last original two weeks ago, while CSI (2.7/7, 10.6 million) was up a tenth. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: World Series Opens Lower, ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Revenge’ Slip

Nellie Andreeva

The lackluster baseball postseason on Fox continued last night with Game 1 of the World Series. Time-adjusted ratings for the game won’t be available until later today, but in the fast nationals the face-off between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals is tracking lower than the comparable numbers for last year’s Game 1 between the Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. Still, Fox is projected to win Wednesday night in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

It was a case of ratings gods giveth and taketh away for ABC’s Happy Endings (3.0/7, 6.9 million) and Revenge (2.5/7, 7.9 million). After posting demo-rating increases of 14% and 8%, respectively, last week, both series gave back most of the gains, down 9% and 7%, respectively, from their fast nationals last Wednesday. (Happy Endings was adjusted down last week.) The rest of the ABC lineup was mostly status quo: The Middle (2.9/9, 9 million) and Suburgatory (3.1/8) were each up a tenth from their fast nationals last week, and Modern Family (5.6/14, 12.9 million) was down a tenth but still ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Revenge’ Rise, ‘Up All Night’ & ‘CSI’ Slip

Nellie Andreeva

With baseball games on Fox and TBS, the other broadcast networks faced rather atypical competition but survived mostly unscathed. Most series were flat or very close to their levels from last week, with four exceptions. On the plus side, ABC’s sophomore Happy Endings (3.3/8 in adults 18-49), which featured Megan Mullally as a guest star, grew 14% from its fast national number last week, while its lead-in, Modern Family, was virtually unchanged. ABC’s gains carried over to the 10 PM hour where Revenge (2.7/7, 7.9 million viewers) was up 8% from its 18-49 fast national last week. (Both series were adjusted in the finals.) In the negative column, NBC’s rookie Up All Night (2.0/6) was down 9% from last week’s fast national, while CBS’ veteran CSI (2.6/7, 10.8 million) was down 10% to a season low and slipped to second place in the 10 PM hour among 18-49 behind ABC’s Revenge. CSI still topped the time period in total viewers.

Also noteworthy last night — both repeats of freshman series slated in the wake of last week’s cancellations did better than the shows they replaced: NBC’s Whitney (1.3 vs. 1.0 for Free Agents last week) and Ringer (0.4 in 18-34 and 18-49, up 33% in 18-34 and flat in 18-49; 1.2 million viewers, up 9%). Here are the numbers for the rest of the rest of the series. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Suburgatory’ Opens Well To Seal Comedy Genre’s Comeback

Nellie Andreeva

Comedy’s hot streak this fall continues with another solid opening for a new half-hour show, ABC’s Suburgatory. The comedy starring Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto drew a 3.3/9 among adults 18-49 at 8:30 PM, up 27% from the premiere of Better With You in the slot last fall for ABC’s biggest comedy debut in the half-hour in eight years. It also grew significantly from its lead-in, The Middle (2.6/8), which was down 16% from its season premiere last week. Suburgatory joins Fox’s New Girl, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC’s Up All Night and Whitney as the latest new comedy this season to open well. That gives every major broadcast network at least one promising new comedy in a single season — something we haven’t seen in ages — sealing the comedy genre’s comeback after a long drought. And comedy is not done for the season, with at least two more buzzworthy new half-hour entries — ABC’s Tim Allen-starrer Last Man Standing and Apartment 23 – showing potential to break out.

In its third week, Up All Night (2.1/6) shed two tenths vs. its time-slot premiere last week. It still performed better than all other NBC series on the night: doomed freshman Free Agents (1.0/3, down 23%), equally endangered sophomore Harry’s Law (1.2/3, flat with its season premiere last week) and Law & Order: SVU (2.0/5, down 17%). Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘X Factor’ Premiere Falls Short, ‘Revenge’ Off To Strong Start

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: The premiere of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor drew a modest (by mega talent competition series standards) 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers. That fell short not only of the January season premiere of American Idol (9.7/26, 21.6 million viewers in the fast nationals) but also the April debut of NBC’s The Voice (5.1/13, 11.8 million) in the demo. It also fell well short of Cowell’s publicly stated expectations of beating Idol and attracting 20 million viewers. In the 9 PM hour, X Factor was beaten by ABC’s Modern Family in both 18-49 and total viewers and CBS’ Criminal Minds in viewers. Still, by virtue of Fox’s long history of low fall ratings, X Factor delivered Fox its first premiere week Wednesday win in 18-49 in 18 years and its highest-rated Wednesday in 13 years.

ABC (4.1/11, 11.4 million) had a great night against X Factor, with its returning series The Middle and Modern Family both growing from last fall and hitting demo series highs, and new drama Revenge launching well at 10 PM. The hourlong season premiere of The Middle (3.0/9) at 8 PM was up 11% from last September when the show’s season opener was a half-hour. At 9 PM, off its sweep at the Emmys, Modern Family (6.0/15, 14.3 million) opened its third season up 18% from the Season 2 premiere and ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in both the demo (by a wide margin) and total viewers. It also provided a strong lead-in for new soap Revenge (3.4/9, 10.1 million), which gave ABC its best debut in the Wednesday 10 PM time period in four years, outpacing last fall’s debut of The Whole Truth in the hour by 127% and topping the hour in 18-49. Read More »

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CBS Chief Les Moonves Says Ad Sales Should Stay Strong Into 2012

By | Wednesday September 14, 2011 @ 1:26pm PDT

CBS chief Les Moonves joined the chorus of media execs telling analysts today that they aren’t feeling any pain from the anemic economy. “We don’t see a slowdown,” he told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. Ad pricing in the TV scatter market is strong, he says. Also, “people who bought (ads) in the upfront are increasing their orders.”  Even radio and billboards are holding up. Indeed, Moonves expects the television network to be “very much in demand in the first quarter. Our schedule is very strong. The other guys have a lot of new shows. I know we’re the boring network, but we’re the stable network and we just win.” Stations also will benefit from what he says will be a record level of spending for the 2012 elections. “It may not be good for the country, but it’s going to b good for CBS.” Read More »

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‘CSI’ Creator Anthony Zuiker Moves To ABC Studios With 3-Year Deal

By | Tuesday July 19, 2011 @ 1:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After 12 years at CBS TV Studios, Anthony E. Zuiker, creator and executive producer of the CSI franchise, is moving into a new TV home. Zuiker has signed a three-year first-look deal with ABC Studios for his  company, Dare to Pass. Under the pact, which starts immediately, Zuiker will be partnering on developing new scripted series with ABC Studios-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners, which recently reupped its deal with the studio for 2 more years. Zuiker has strong ties to the company as his longtime manager, Margaret Riley, works there. He also developed a project with Brillstein last season. Riley and recently appointed Brillstein Television’s President Joann Alfano will serve as Executive Producers alongside Zuiker on the projects he and Brillstein TV do jointly. With CBS having so few needs because of its solid schedule, “I just felt that to do something different, I had to go on different journey and possibly take the option of leaving,” Zuiker said. He met with several studios but quickly settled on ABC Studios where he will work with the studio’s new creative head Patrick Moran. “Patrick and his team were very passionate about character and about character-based procedural,” said Zuiker, adding that he is already working on ideas in the character-based procedural and crime arenas.

Zuiker is still keeping in touch with his CSI cohorts (he had some conversations with the producers of the mothership series over the search of replacement of Laurence … Read More »

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Why TV Procedurals Also Rule The World

By | Monday June 27, 2011 @ 8:32am PDT

As the 51st Monte Carlo Television Awards confirmed, TV procedurals remain the world’s most popular drama format. CSI was crowned the world’s #1 television franchise at the 6th International TV Audience Awards. It pulled in 65.3 million viewers worldwide in 2010. The only other shows that came near it were CSI Miami and House. And both of those are procedurals, too. According to TV consultancy TAPE, the various CSI strands were top of the U.S. imports in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Meanwhile procedurals NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, and House were among the most popular U.S. imports in Italy. So what is it about the format that makes it so appealing to international audiences?

For a start, procedurals are the TV equivalent of comfort food. By the end of each episode, justice is done, the disease contained, order restored. They’re reassuring for viewers. Crucially for foreign audiences, the format is easy to understand. Also, there’s hardly any serial component, so shows like CSI Miami and NCIS can be viewed in any order. Go on vacation, miss a couple of episodes? No problem, nothing has changed. That’s why Blue Bloods – a show which sounds a bit dull on paper — does so well internationally compared to a critics’ darling such as Mad Men. CBS Studios International president Armando Nunez has praised Blue Bloods as “perhaps not as sexy to talk about, but it has proven a success both on the network and in terms of global distribution”. Blue Bloods has sold around the world not just to tiny channels but to big ones like Sky Atlantic in the UK, Australia’s Network Ten, and Discovery Latin America. John Peek, director of TAPE, whose clients include ABC, NBC and cable channels A&E and TNT, says Blue Bloods’ popularity stems from mixing up a police procedural with a family drama. CBS recently tapped Law & Order veteran Ed Zuckerman to make the show even more procedural. Peek says: “The continuing trend is for procedurals because they use a predictable structure. You know what you’re getting, which makes them palatable when they’re dubbed. Shows that obey the basic rules are easier for audiences overseas to get to grips with.” Read More »

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CSI Most Watched Series In World – Again

So the world’s #1 television franchise is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The CBS/CBS TV Studios/CBS Studios International/Jerry Bruckheimer TV show was presented with the International Television Audience Award for a Drama TV Series at the 51st Monte Carlo TV Festival. It’s the fourth time that the series has been given this honor in the past six years based on stats from Eurodata TV Worldwide for the highest ratings worldwide in 2010 across five continents. This fall, the show is moving to Wednesdays on the U.S. network for the first time in its 11 years on air.

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Laurence Fishburne Leaves ‘CSI’

By | Tuesday June 7, 2011 @ 8:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After two-and-a-half seasons, Laurence Fishburne is leaving CSI. The Oscar-nominated actor’s deal on the show was up and he opted not to renew it. He is expected to return to features full-time. It was a major coup for CBS to land Fishburne as a successor to original star William Petersen who left the series in December 2008. But when he last renewed his contract for CSI last May, Fishburne only did it for one season. After ten-and-a-half seasons as CBS’ Thursday 9 PM anchor, CSI is moving to Wednesday 10 PM this fall. I hear CBS and the veteran crime drama’s producers were not surprised by Fishburne’s decision. “Nobody expected him to be on the show for 7 years, it’s Laurence Fishburne,” one insider said. Fishburne will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Contagion. With Fishburne gone and Marg Helgenberger only returning part-time, CSI is in a similar position to another veteran crime procedural, Law & Order: SVU where Chris Meloni left and Mariska Hargitay is coming back but not full-time.

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Time For CBS To Move ‘CSI’ From Thursday?

By | Tuesday May 17, 2011 @ 10:11am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

This February marked the 10th anniversary of CBS’ overnight transformation into a major player on Thursday with the successful relocation there of Survivor and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But, after nine and a half seasons, Survivor was pulled from the Thursday 8 PM slot at the beginning of this season, when CBS opened a comedy block on the night anchored by The Big Bang Theory. Will CBS continue the rejuvenation of its Thursday lineup by replacing longtime anchor CSI this year? As usual, CBS is mum on its scheduling plans, but the buzz is that this may be the year that CSI vacates TV’s most lucrative night. CBS laid the groundwork for such a move last year. With the very risky decision to uproot red-hot Monday comedy The Big Bang Theory to Thursday to launch a comedy block, the network understandably opted for stability on the rest of the night, keeping its 9-11 PM drama block of CSI and The Mentalist intact. But now that the network has established a foothold on the night with Big Bang, it can focus on rebuilding the rest of the lineup, most importantly, addressing the continuous ratings decline of CSI, which hit several series lows this season. Also helping the case for a change is the fact that neither of the other Big 4 made a move at 9 PM, leaving three aging shows — ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Bones and NBC’s The Office — vulnerable to assault by an upstart. Read More »

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Elisabeth Harnois To Join ‘CSI’ As Regular

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 6:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Elisabeth Harnois, who co-starred on CBS’ Miami Trauma, will be joining the cast of another CBS/Jerry Bruckheimer drama as a regular, the mothership CSI series. She was originally signed to guest star in the May 5 episode as the estranged daughter of Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann), who works for the Los Angeles Police Department and helps the Las Vegas crew hunt down serial killer Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin). Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Shocking ‘Idol’ Result Show Down, CW Series Return Lower

Nellie Andreeva

The American Idol result show (6.1/19 in adults 18-49, 20.6 million viewers), which sent frontrunner (and fifth consecutive female contestant) Pia Toscano packing, was down 9% from last week in the adults 18-49 demographic. Bones (3.4/9) returned to the Fox lineup up 3% from its last original March 17.

Also offering all-originals last night were CBS and the CW. It was a ratings seesaw on CBS, with The Big Bang Theory (3.6/12) down 3% from last week, Rules of Engagement (2.5/8) up 4%, CSI (2.8/8) down 3% and The Mentalist (2.9/8) up 4%.

The CW dramas The Vampire Diaries (2.7 million, 1.2/4 in 18-34) and Nikita (1.8 million, 0.6/2) came back from another very long break down from their last originals. TVD was down 10% in total viewers and 14% in 18-34, Nikita slipped 14% in viewers and a tenth in 18-34.

NBC’s doomed freshman comedies Perfect Couples (1.0/3, flat) and Outsourced (1.3/4, down 13% from March 24 for a series low) were the only originals in a sea of reruns. We may have seen the last of Perfect Couples, which is being replaced by The Paul Reiser Show starting next week. Fox (4.8/14, 16 million) easily won the night, followed by CBS (2.9/8, 12.4 million) and Univision (1.6/5, 4.1 million)

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Dramas Up, ‘American Idol’ Down

By | Friday March 11, 2011 @ 10:17am PST
Nellie Andreeva

After the dramatic American Idol results show last week featuring the elimination of 11 semifinalists, which shot up 15% from the week before and 30% from last year, the show came back to Earth last night with a respectable showing as broadcasters faced big NBA games on TNT. The hourlong first Top 13 elimination round drew 21.7 million viewers and a 6.5/19 in 18-49. That was down 21% in the demo from last week’s highly rated two-hour episode but down only 4% in the demo and up 6% in total viewers vs. the corresponding telecast last season. At 9 PM, Bones (3.4/10) was up 3% from its last original Feb. 17. Fox dominated the night in viewers and 18-49.

CBS, the only other network to air originals, showed gains. The Big Bang Theory (3.8/11) was flat with its last original two weeks ago, but Rules of Engagement (2.8/8) perked up with a 17% ratings increase vs. last week when it followed a repeat Big Bang. CSI (3.1/9) was up 15% from Feb. 24, The Mentalist (3.0/9) was up 7%. (CBS had local preemptions for college basketball in smaller markers on the East Coast that are not expected to significantly impact ratings when the finals are announced.)

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