The cast and exec producers of CBS’ new cyber-cop-procedural drama Intelligence got the most dangerous assignment at the TCA Winter TV Press Tour today: wax optimistic about your show to a couple hundred TV critics two days after it did a ratings bellyflop. “Did something happen in the ratings?” creator/EP Michael Seitzman answered brightly when hit with the inevitable ratings question.
CBS is pinning great hope on Intelligence’s ability to regain the ratings ground the network once enjoyed Mondays at 10 with CSI: Miami and, to a lesser degree, Hawaii Five-0. Earlier this season, CBS unintentionally pulled a prince-and-pauper with NBC in the hour, putting the new, NBC-esque, heavily-serialized thriller Hostages in the hour, while NBC slotted its homage to CBS procedurals, The Blacklist, in the hour. NBC won.
Two weeks ago Intelligence got off to a terrific start in its out-of-timeslot premiere, clocking nearly 17 million viewers nestled between the most-watched scripted series on television, NCIS, and Person Of Interest, to become the most watched new series premiere this season. In adults 18-49, it posted a respectable 2.4 rating. But, this week, moved to its regular Monday night at 10 slot, Intelligence took a nosebleedingly steep plunge from its premiere to pick up where Hostages left off with a 1.1 in the demo. Intelligence’s soft performance was even more disappointing in that it followed solid performances by CBS’ Monday comedy block, and opposite a so-so Blacklist that lacked a Voice lead-in.