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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Law & Order: LA’ Fizzles In Relaunch, Fox, NBC, CBS Series Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

It was a brutal night all around with most shows hitting lows, but it was especially disappointing for NBC, whose heavily promoted relaunch of Law & Order: LA bombed, drawing a paltry 1.5/4 among adults 18-49 for its two-hour premiere and 6 million viewers. That was down 32% from LOLA‘s most original telecast on Dec. 1 before its retooling hiatus. Leading into LOLA was Chuck (1.3/4), which also didn’t help its renewal chances by slipping 13% from its most recent original March 21 to a series low.

CBS’ lineup also hit the skids. How I Met Your Mother (2.7/8) was down 10% from March 21 for a season low. Mad Love (1.9.5) was also down 10% for a series low. As it contemplates a future without Two and a Half Men or with a Charlie Sheen-less Men, the network tried out freshman Mike & Molly(2.5/6) in the tentpole Monday 9 PM slot last night. The sitcom was down 17% from its most recent original at 9:30 PM for a series low but still ranked as the highest-rated CBS program in 18-49. Following a Men repeat (2.0/5), a new Hawaii Five-0 (2.4/6) was also down 17% from March 21 for a series low, and it was trounced by ABC’s Castle (3.1/8) in the 10 PM hour. Castle was the only series in a positive territory last night, up 11% from last week, but its fast national numbers are always inflated by a … Read More »

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‘Law & Order’ Co-Star Alana De La Garza Joins Spinoff ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’

Nellie Andreeva

Law & Order: Los Angeles is adding a touch of Law & Order. Alana De La Garza, who co-starred on the mothership series, will join the spinoff, reprising her character as A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa. On the show, from Wolf Films and UMS, Rubirosa will work with D.D.A. Jonah Dekker (Terrence Howard).

This completes the creative and casting overhaul of LOLA, which included the shift of Alfred Molina’s Ricardo Morales from a prosecutor to a detective partnered with TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) and the departure of Skeet Ulrich, Regina Hall and Megan Boone. There is no return date set for the show yet as NBC brass is giving the producers more time to work on the revamp.

SDB Partners-repped De La Garza was the most recent ADA on Law & Order. She joined at the beginning of Season 17 and was on the show for  4 seasons, until the veteran procedural’s end in May. Her addition creates a stronger tie between Law & Order: Los Angeles and Law & Order and makes the new series a more traditional spinoff, which features character(s) from the original series. “I hope fans of the ‘mothership’ will be happy to see the return of Alana’s character, Connie Rubirosa, one of the longest-running assistant prosecutors on Law & Order,” L&O creator Dick Wolf said. “Alana has a huge following and it will be interesting to follow her character as she comes to terms with Los … Read More »

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NBC Tweaks Its Midseason Schedule: ‘Parenthood’ Stays Put, ‘LOLA’ Benched

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is making changes to its midseason schedule. Dramedy Parenthood, which was slated to air 4 episodes in January in its regular Tuesday 10 time period, take a break and then move to the Monday 10 PM berth on March 7, will now remain in its Tuesday slot through the end of the season. Law & Order: Los Angeles, which was scheduled to take over the Tuesday 10 PM slot on Feb. 8, will now be held back, with its return date/slot TBD. The decision comes after two consecutive solid showings for Parenthood (2.3 and 2.2 Live + same day 18-49 rating), which came from winter hiatus 21% higher, as well as an OK premiere for Harry’s Law in the Monday 10 PM slot last night (2.1 demo rating and a time slot-winning audience of 11 million). NBC had planned to air only 6 of the 13 episodes of Harry’s Law on Mondays before Parenthood moved in; now it will extend the run of David E. Kelley’s newest legal drama. The move also won’t break Parenthood‘s current momentum. And last but not least, the decision to hold LOLA will give the Law & Order spinoff some breathing room as it is undergoing major creative changes.

On the unscripted side, NBC is moving series America’s Next Great Restaurant from Wednesdays to Sundays after good early feedback for the new series, including at last week’s TCA. It was supposed to premiere … Read More »

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Dick Wolf’s Plan Unveiled For Fixing ‘LOLA’, Alfred Molina Will Become A Detective

Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles is being revamped, and, in its new incarnation, it will closely resemble creator Dick Wolf’s original vision for the spinoff (as well as the setup of the mothership Law & Order series). There will be 2 cops, one D.D.A. and one ADA. As we first reported, Skeet Ulrich, who plays one of the cops on the show, Detective Rex Winters, will be leaving, with his last appearance slated for Episode 14. His place will be taken by Alfred Molina, who plays D.D.A Ricardo Morales. It will be revealed that his character was on the LAPD for 15 years, reaching the rank of Detective, and his level of frustration as a prosecutor has reached the tipping point so he has decided to return to the force as a Detective, partnered with TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll). Terrence Howard, whose character Jonah Dekker alternated with Molina’s Morales, will now be the sole D.D.A .on the show. Howard and Molina will both appear in each episode.

Having one D.D.A. was Wolf’s original plan for LOLA. But when he was able to land both Howard and Molina, he split the duties between the two. However, Wolf had been looking for a way to have both of them on the show full-time. “We have the fortune of two world class actors on LOLA, and it was frustrating to have one on the bench every week,” Wolf said. “It would be … Read More »

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More ‘LOLA’ Shakeup – Skeet Ulrich Out Too

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Earlier this afternoon, we broke the news about the ongoing creative overhaul of NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles that has led to the departure of two regulars, Regina Hall and Megan Boone, who play DDAs on the Law & Order spinoff. They have now been joined by Skeet Ulrich, the first actor to be cast on LOLA back in July, who will also be leaving the series as part of the the creative revamp. Ulrich plays Detective Rex Winters, one of the two cops on the Wolf Films/UMS-produced police-legal drama. I hear that Law & Order chief Dick Wolf, who has also tweaked his other Law & Order series during their first seasons, will make the changes on LOLA on the fly, without stopping production on the show that is now filming Episode 12.

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Shakeup On ‘LOLA’ – Two Actresses Out

Nellie Andreeva

RELATED: More ‘LOLA’ Shakeup – Skeet Ulrich Out Too
EXCLUSIVE: The ADAs on NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles will be without assistance for now. As part of a creative overhaul of the Law & Order spinoff, co-stars Regina Hall and Megan Boone are departing the series. Hall plays ADA Evelyn Price, who works for ADA Morales (Alfred Molina); Boone plays DDA Lauren Stanton, who works under Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard). Boone is exiting completely, while Hall may return for a couple of episodes. The departures follow the early exit of series regular Wanda de Jesus who left in early September, before LOLA had premiered. I hear LOLA‘s casting director has been reading actresses for a potential new female ADA role on the show, which is now filming episode 12 and is returning with originals next month. NBC and Wolf Films have been discussing tweaks to LOLA since its launch, with conversations still underway. After a solid debut, the series has been middling in the ratings and has drawn some criticism from die-hard Law & Order fans. But it has been the highest-rated new NBC drama this fall, averaging a 3.0 demo rating.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order’ Series And ‘Top Model’ Finale Up

Nellie Andreeva

CBS won a third consecutive night this week with a lineup that featured repeats. With ABC’s comedy block in reruns, CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua (3.6/10, 12.2 million) was up a tenth from its last original 2 weeks ago to rank as the highest rated program on the night by a mile in 18-49 and total viewers. Following a Criminal Minds repeat (2.2/6, 9.1 million) CBS aired a Grammy Awards nominations special (1.7/5, 5 million), which was down 26% from last year’s telecast. NBC’s Law & Order dramas benefited from the decreased competition to log their best numbers in more than a month. Law & Order: SVU (2.5/7, 9.2 million) was up 19% in the demo from its last telecast 2 weeks ago; Law & Order: Los Angeles (2.2/6, 9.1 million) was up 16% to top the 10 PM hour. Fox’s lineup was up from last week when it was impacted by the Thanksgiving holiday. Human Target (1.6/5) was up 14%, while Hell’s Kitchen (2.6/7) was up 18% and won its 9 PM time period. And two meaningless ratings results: NBC’s soon-to-depart Undercovers (1.3/4) was up 8% from its last original 3 weeks go, while, in its brief return before its permanent exit from the schedule, ABC’s The Whole Truth (0.9/3) was down 18% from its last original more than a month ago for an all-time low. ABC’s comedy repeats were led by Modern Family (2.3/6, 7 million). The CW’s America’s Next Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Dramas Up; Fox’s ‘Human Target’ Debut Soft

Nellie Andreeva

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)

NBC’s Law & Order dramas were also up from … Read More »

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NBC Shakes Up Midseason Schedule, Puts 6 Comedies On Thursday & Renews ’30 Rock’

Nellie Andreeva

With its entertainment lineup largely underperforming this fall, NBC is making wholesale changes for midseason with moves on every night, including a rarely-seen on broadcast TV 10-11 PM comedy block for an all-comedy Thursday. Additionally, the network  has given one of those Thursday comedies, 30 Rock, an early renewal for next season, the Emmy winning series’ sixth. It also represents a vote of confidence for the series, which is entering uncharted territory with a Thursday 10 PM slot midseason assignment. In addition to a 3-hour comedy block on Thursdays, which will include Community at 8 PM, followed by new series Perfect Couples, The Office, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock and Outsourced, NBC’s other major scheduling moves for midseason include shifting Parenthood to Mondays, Law & Order: Los Angeles to Tuesdays, Chase to Wednesdays and Law & Order: SVU to 10 PM on Wednesday. “The goal for our mid-season schedule was to keep us in original programming throughout the season and launch several promising new shows, said NBC’s EVP planning and scheduling Mitch Metcalf. “We were looking to add more comedy to our schedule and we believe the best way to do so is to expand our already successful Thursday night.” When NBC gave new Thursday comedy Outsourced a full-season order last month, it became clear that the network wouldn’t be able to contain its half-hours within its established Thursday 8-10 PM block as it also had Parks & Recreation and new entries Perfect Couples and Friends with Benefits on deck for midseason. The network brass explored the possibility of opening a second comedy night but reportedly felt it was not the right time to do so. And, unless it was to go on an assault against CBS’ Monday and ABC’s Wednesday comedy blocks the way CBS did against NBC on Thursday this fall or to bump established Tuesday performer The Biggest Loser, NBC had no real opening for a second comedy night. As for its new all-comedy Thursday, the network already flirted with the idea last spring when it launched comedy reality series The Marriage Ref at 10 PM and in May when it scheduled hourlong comedy Love Bites in the hour. (After a production start delay, the anthology series is now in production for a late spring launch). But airing half-hour comedies at 10 PM on broadcast TV has been very rare and has not fared well so far. However, a 10 PM comedy block is very common on cable TV with such series as HBO’s Entourage and Comedy Central’s South Park. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Wins With CMAs As The Big 4 Hit Lows, CW’s ‘Hellcats’ Up

Nellie Andreeva

It was a tough night all around. ABC did the best with the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards (4.7/13 in adults 18-49, 16.5 million viewers overall), winning the night in total viewers and all key demographics by a wide margin and posting its strongest Wednesday numbers in a year. Still, it was down 11% in adults 18-49 vs. last year for an all-time low. In total viewers, it was down 4%, logging its second most watched telecast since 2005. Things were much worse for NBC and CBS. At NBC, the recently canceled Undercovers (1.2/4) was down 8% to log its lowest rated telecast ever. It was followed by Law & Order: SVU (2.0/5, down 9%), and Law & Order:LA (1.7/5, down 11%), which also posted all-time series lows. (Last week, SVU hit a season low, while LOLA tied its previous all-time low.) The same happened to the CBS Wednesday series with even steeper week-to-week declines. Survivor: Nicaragua (3.2/9, down 14%) posted its lowest-rated regular telecast ever. Criminal Minds (3.0/8, down 23%) and freshman The Defenders (1.8/5, down 22%) tied their lowest-rated telecasts.

After a three-week hiatus for baseball preemptions, Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (2.7/7) returned 13% lower than its last original on Oct. 13 for a season low. At CW, without ABC’s 9-10 PM comedies to compete against, Hellcats (1.9 million, 1.2/4 in 18-34) shot up 20% from last week in adults 18-34, its best delivery in the demo in six … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: No Yankees Means No Big World Series

Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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It’s Official: NBC’s ‘Chase’ & ‘Chuck’ Get Full-Season Orders, 4 Scripts For ‘Undercovers’

Nellie Andreeva

It was UMS’ pickup day at NBC yesterday when the studio’s freshman series The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced all received back-nine orders. Today is Warner Bros TV’s turn. As expected, the studio and NBC closed deals for full-season orders to freshman drama Chase and fan favorite Chuck, now in its fourth season, which I hear received a super-sized 11 episode pickup. (Digital rights issues held up both deals from being announced at the same time as the other pickups yesterday.) Additionally, NBC and Warner Bros. TV have settled on the number of additional scripts for freshman spy drama Undercovers, 4. NBC primetime chief Angela Bromstad pointed to Chase‘s “potential to grow” and Chuck‘s loyal audience. Indeed, last night Chase delivered a small ratings uptick at 10 PM, while Chuck held steady. Both finished last in the hour among the major networks. Read More »

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Pickup Time At NBC: ‘Event’, ‘LOLA’ And ‘Outsourced’ Get Full-Season Orders, ‘Chase’ Pending, ‘Undercovers’ Gets More Scripts

Nellie Andreeva

All remaining freshman series on NBC got some good news today. Three, The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced, have been picked up for the rest of the season with back-nine orders. A similar pickup for Chase is said to be pending, while I hear Undercovers is close to receiving an order for additional scripts, said to be in 4-6. All renewed series, The Event, LOLA and Outsourced, hail from sister studio UMS. Chase is from Warner Bros. TV, and deals with outside studios sometime take longer (In this case, it hear the holdup has to do with digital rights). Also close to a full-season order at NBC is the WBTV-produced spy dramedy Chuck, a fan favorite that has gone through its fair share of dramatic last-minute renewals. Its deal is being held up by the same rights issues, with both the Chase and Chuck pickups expected to be finalized tomorrow.  Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Defenders’ Rebounds While ‘Law & Order: LA’ Drops Big Again

Nellie Andreeva

There were big swings at 10 PM on a otherwise pretty uneventful Wednesday night. After declining for 2 consecutive weeks and last Wednesday logging CBS’ lowest-rated original telecast in the hour in 7 years last week, the network’s new light legal drama The Defenders (2.5/7, 9.9 million viewers overall) bounced back, up 14% from last week among adults 18-49 and winning its time slot in the demo for the first time. CBS’ series may have benefitted from having less legal drama competition in the 10 PM hour last night. ABC preempted its new court drama The Whole Truth to air a 20/20 special on the Chilean miners rescue (1.8/5, 6.2 million). The newsmagazine improved on The Whole Truth‘s last week ratings performance in the time slot by 29% in 18-49, logging ABC’s largest audience in the hour in 10 months. Meanwhile, things look grim for NBC’s new crime drama Law & Order: Los Angeles (1.9/6), which was down 21% from last week, following last week’s 25% drop from the series’ premiere. LOLA has not been helped by the fact that its lead-in, veteran Law & Order: SVU (2.2/6), has also been dropping fast, down another 15% last night. Meanwhile, the network’s new spy drama Undercovers (1.5/4) seems to have stopped the bleeding, flat with last week but only .1 ahead of CW’s America’s Next Top Model in the 8PM hour. Other highlights from last night:

Fox’s reality series Hell’s Kitchen (3.1/9) marked its … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ And ‘Defenders’ Drop

Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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Now I Know Why ‘L&O: LA’ Was Such Crap

UPDATE: Deadline commenters are so right: 2nd LOLA outing tonight was vastly improved story- and dialogue-wise. Plus, Terence Howard nailed it. That said, I do hope the next Hollywood plot will suck less…

Previous: Tonight is the 2nd episode of Law & Order: Los Angeles after the first one sucked. Following that unfortunate debut, Dick Wolf stopped by Kate Mantilini restaurant in Beverly Hills for breakfast and conversation with Los Angeles magazine about the series and the city. Look, I love all things Law & Order, and  René Balcer, and the franchise’s writing and plotting. But LOLA reeked bigtime. Now I know why: here’s what Wolf said about his desire to have the show portray LA stereotypes: “It is the way of fruits and nuts. We are trying to fulfill an expectation of what LA is about. The first episode was very deliberate — it’s not going to be Hollywood every week, but I thought it really was the best way to introduce the show, to show that it was really different from the New York version.” Well, Dick, you thought wrong. That was precisely the problem with the first show, and I fear it’s going to be the problem with the series’ view of Hollywood as it pertains to LA: You can be cynical. You can be subversive. But, jeez, you just can’t be so obvious and boring. There wasn’t one thing in that first crapfest that didn’t insult my veteran LA resident’s intelligence.

More excerpts courtesy of the mag’s website: Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order: LA’ Solid In Debut, ‘Undercovers’ Takes Plunge

Nellie Andreeva

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.

The truth about new legal drama The Whole Truth is not pretty. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series posted a 1.3/4 in 18-49 … Read More »

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