UPDATED: Fringe got lucky to score an early renewal because no other bubble show got a reprieve at Fox. The network tonight axed all others: the Tim Roth-starring procedural Lie To Me, sophomore drama Human Target and freshmen The Chicago Code, Traffic Light and Breaking In. That is in contrast with last May, when it renewed all three of its bubble dramas, Lie To Me, Human Target and Fringe. While Human Target and Lie To Me had been long shots after soft second- and third-season runs and Chicago Code and Traffic Light‘s fate had been sealed for a while, especially with Chicago Code creator Shawn Ryan moving from 20th TV to Sony, the yanking of Breaking In was very surprising as the comedy launched strong behind American Idol, posting Fox’s highest ratings for live-action comedy series in three years. It has since slipped but was considered a solid contender for renewal as it had shown promise and had done much better than two other freshman live-action Fox comedies, Traffic Light and Running Wilde. Breaking In beat the odds once, when Fox passed on the pilot last season, before getting resurrected with a midseason order. But its luck ran out. And so the Christian Slater curse continues …
3RD UPDATE: Fox Cancels Comedies ‘Breaking In’ & ‘Traffic Light’ And Dramas ‘Lie To Me’, ‘Human Target’ & ‘Chicago Code’
This is a good way for a bubble show to finish the season. Fox’s Human Target popped up on Monday last night and drew a 2.1/6 in 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers at 8 PM, up 75% in the demo from its last telecast in the Friday 8 PM slot and up 24% from its last airing in its former regular Wednesday 8 PM berth. Fox had several extra original episodes of the comic book adaptation series left, so it put 2 on Fridays and then subbed a House repeat with another one last night. That last stint proved surprisingly successful, lifting Human Target to season highs in 18-49 and total viewers. And those highs may soon be surpassed as the show’s last 2 episodes of the season are set to air behind American Idol on Wednesdays. Fox’s Lie to Me (2.2/5) had a solid season finale. It was down 12% from last week’s inexplicable season high when the show posted 39% week-to-week ratings jump but Lie to Me had an original House as a lead-in then that almost doubled Human Target‘s numbers from last night. It was Lie to Me‘s second highest-rated episode this season (a tie), and the drama was up 16% from its Season 2 finale, which aired in August.
NBC’s midseason series Harry’s Law (2.1, 10.8 million) held steady in Week 3, even with its Week 2 demo rating, off only by a tenth from its premiere …
David E. Kelley’s new legal drama Harry’s Law (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.6 million) held up well in its second week, down only a tenth from last week’s premiere to score the best Week 1-to-Week 2 retention for a new drama this season.
Only ABC and Fox served originals last night. ABC’s The Bachelor (2.8/7 in adults 18-49) was on par with its season premiere last week, down just a tenth. Recently renewed dramedy Castle (2.1/5) was down 13%. ABC won the night in 18-49 (2.6/6) and total viewers (8.7 million). Fox’s back-to-back Lie to Me episodes (1.6/4 and 1.5/4, respectively), were down 27% and 32% from the show’s last original in Nov. 29. The network settled for 3rd place (1.6/4, 5.5 million), behind CBS (2.0/5, 7.7 million), whose all-rerun lineup was led by Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother (both averaging a 2.4/6 in the demo). NBC aired repeats of Chuck (0.8/2) and new drama The Cape (1.0/2).
Fox will not be giving a back-nine order to crime procedural Lie to Me, whose current third season will consist of 13 episodes. Sources at the network stress that the show has not been canceled, with final decision expected to be made in the spring. The rationale for the order cutback is that Fox won’t need more episodes from the Tim Roth-starring series because, according to the network’s recently announced midseason schedule, Lie To Me is only slated to run through Jan. 31, with midseason drama The Chicago Code taking over its Monday 9 PM slot on Feb. 7. Last season, Fox ended up with 12 episodes of Lie to Me in the can after ordering 22 and only using the series for the fall. The network ended up airing those 12 episodes over the summer.
NBC is making changes on Monday in midseason and they can’t come soon enough as the network had another dismal ratings performance last night, with none of its series crossing the 2 demo rating mark. Chuck (1.8/5, 5.5 million) came the closest, down 10% from its last original 2 weeks ago (it was preempted for Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush last Monday) and tying its series low. In total viewers, it drew its largest audience since premiere week. Freshmen The Event (1.7/4) and Chase (1.2/3) were both flat, tying last week’s all-time lows. NBC (1.6/4, 5.3 million) finished a distant fourth for the night.
ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (4.0/10, 20.6 million), which switched from a two-hour to a 90-minute format, was flat with last week’s season low for a performance show but will probably adjust up in the finals. With Dancing shrunk to 90 minutes, ABC ran a rerun of The Middle (2.3/6) at 9:30 PM to get additional exposure for the underrated sophomore comedy, which has been doing solid business at 8 PM on Wednesday. Castle (2.5/7) was flat with last week and currently tying its season low.
Fox and NBC’s Monday dramas returned after preemptions to different results. There was no good news for NBC as freshmen The Event (1.7/4) and Chase (1.2/3) were down 15% and 8%, respectively, from their last originals 2 weeks ago. Both hit all-time lows. The Event didn’t get much help from Matt Lauer’s interview with former President George W. Bush (1.7/4), which finished fourth in the 8 PM hour, down 15% from Chuck‘s delivery in the time period last week. Meanwhile, Fox’s dramas House (3.7.10) and Lie To Me (1.8/4) were slightly up, by 3% and 13%, from their last pre-baseball originals on Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, respectively.
ABC and CBS’ numbers may have been inflated by NFL preemptions. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (4.2/10) was up 5% from last week, Castle (2.8/8) up 4%. At CBS, How I Met Your Mother (3.5/9) was down 5%, Rules of Engagement (3.1/8) down 9%, Two and a Half Men (4.4/11) down 6%, while freshman Mike & Molly reversed the trend, up 3%. At 10 PM, Hawaii Five-0 (2.9/8) was down a tenth, barely edging ABC’s Castle. At the CW, Gossip Girl (1.8 million, 1.4/4 in 18-34) was steady in viewers and 18-34 and slightly up in the female demos.
The big Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants on ESPN had an impact on the broadcast networks last night, with male-skewing shows down across the board, including series lows for recently renewed freshmen The Event, Chase and Hawaii Five-0, while female-friendly fare did just fine, with ABC’s Dancing with the Stars up week-to-week and CW’s 90210, scoring its most watched episode of the season. As for MNF, it drew a 12.3 metered market rating, its best this fall, peaking at 10 PM when it was up 93% from last week’s game.
Dancing (4.2/11) was up 5%, while Castle (3.0/8) posted another fast national inflated by a Dancing overrun. Expect Castle to go down by a couple of notches and Dancing to possibly go up a tenth in the finals.
Some disturbingly low numbers for NBC, whose Monday night is unraveling. At 2.0/5 The Event, which was down 9%, actually ranked as the network’s highest-rated telecast last night, ahead of Chuck (1.9/5), which was flat in 18-49 and saw an uptick in total viewers, and Chase (1.3/4), which was down a steep 19% to ratings levels that doomed fellow newcomers Lone Star, My Generation and The Whole Truth. Both The Event and Chase hit series lows.
UPDATE 1 PM: As they normally do, CBS’ HIMYM (3.3/9) and Two and a Half Men (4.4/11) each went up .1 in the finals. Good news for Mike & Molly — it also added .1, pulling even with last week’s delivery. Also even with last week is Fox’s House after a .1 bump in the finals. ABC’s Castle (2.5/7) went down .2 with the Dance overrun taken out.
Viewers must have settled into their viewing habits for the fall because one could play “Spot the Difference” with last night’s fast nationals and the ones from last Monday — that’s how close they were. Facing similar competition to last week: football on ESPN and baseball on TBS — broadcast series mostly hung tough after posting across-the-board ratings drops last week, with CBS the only network that saw declines for freshman series last night (albeit pretty modest). That despite the fact that overall TV usage last night was down 2% from last Monday.
UPDATE 2PM: With Nielsen’s final numbers in, as expected, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (4.0/10) and Castle (2.7/7) were adjusted downward, with Castle tumbling 16% from the fast nationals and finishing second the 10 PM hour behind Hawaii Five-0. Meanwhile, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother (3.5/10) and Two and a Half Men (4.5/11) were adjusted up.
PREVIOUS 9 AM: It’s no longer carried by a broadcast network, but Monday Night Football continues to wreak havoc on the broadcasters’ Monday lineups. Last night’s Minnesota Vikings vs. NY Jets on ESPN as well as the MLB playoffs on TBS (Braves vs. Giants) were probably responsible for some of the ratings declines on the major networks which continue as we enter Week 4 of the season.
NBC’s The Event (2.2/5) was down 8% from last week, finishing third in the 9 PM hour and posting its lowest rating to date. That is in no way a good number for a high-end drama like The Event. But on the positive side, the show has been logging significant DRV numbers (27.8% increase in Live+7 numbers for premiere week), it is still running ahead of last season’s slot occupant Trauma (1.8) and posted the lowest week-to week decline among freshman series last night. Chase at 10 PM did a 1.5/4 in 18-49, down 12% from last week. That’s below the 1.6 rating NBC logged in the hour with the Jay Leno Show a year ago. Meanwhile, Chuck (1.9/5) at …
In its ratings pattern, NBC’s new serialized drama The Event begins to resemble more ABC’s last season sci-fi misfire FlashForward than the network’s long-running mystery drama Lost. In its third airing last night, The Event drew a 2.4/6 among adults 18-49, down 17% from last week and 33% from its series premiere 2 weeks ago. The sci-fi-tinged conspiracy thriller is among the biggest gainers from time-shifted viewing, so its ratings will go up a bit but still, those are not declines you want to see week after week. Also sliding precipitously is NBC’s new 10 PM drama Chase (1.7/5), down 19% week-to-week and 26% from the premiere. NBC’s 8 PM dramedy Chuck (1.9/5) was down 5%. With all the declines, NBC finished distant fourth on what was expected to be one of the network’s strongest nights this season built around new tentpole The Event.
Despite most of its Monday line-up being down week-to-week, CBS had a big reason to smile this morning: its new 9:30 PM comedy Mike & Molly (3.8/9) was up 3% from last week despite its lead-in, Two and a Half Men (4.5/11) being down 6% (That is an excellent hold of more than 84%.). Overall, all declines for CBS’ series last night were pretty minimal, How I Met Your Mother (3.4/10, -13%), Rules of Engagement (3.0/8, -6%) and Hawaii Five-0 (3.5/9, -3%).
In the fallout of the Lone Star cancellation, Fox’s drama Human Target will move from Fridays to Wednesdays, taking over the slot originally given to Lie To Me. Lie to Me was to premiere on Nov. 10 and run in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, leading into an one-hour Hell’s Kitchen. But as the crime procedural was summoned yesterday to take over the Monday 9 PM period vacated by the cancelled Lone Star staring next week, Human Target will now take its place on Wednesdays. It will premiere Nov. 17. A two-hour Hell’s Kitchen will air on Nov. 10. Instead of launching Human Target‘s second season this past Friday as first planned, Fox held back, airing a Human Target rerun instead, followed by the season debut of The Good Guys. The network will now run House repeats in the Friday 8 PM hour.
UPDATED: We have the first cancellation of the 2010-2011 season. No big surprise here – Fox today pulled the plug on the critically praised new soap Lone Star after 2 low-rated airings. Starting next Monday, Lone Star will be replaced by procedural Lie to Me, which has been called to duty earlier than planned. Lie To Me‘s third season will launch next week in the Monday 9 PM slot, which the crime drama once occupied. Following Fox’s cancellation, 20th Century Fox TV decided to immediately cease production on the show, which was filming Episode 6. It is not clear what will happen with the 3 produced episodes that have not aired yet.
The writing was pretty much on the wall after the much-hyped Lone Star opened with a 1.3 rating in 18-49 last week. It got a reprieve but, instead of rebounding, it actually slipped from its disastrous premiere last night to a 1.0 rating, tied with the CW’s Gossip Girl in the 9 PM hour. That’s how, armed with strong reviews, solid cast and a big marketing campaign, Lone Star, became one of the biggest series misfires in recent TV memory. The consensus was that it was a series better suited for cable. But, since Lone Star was developed and budgeted as a broadcast series and in light of its quick demise on Fox without any devoted following, an afterlife for the series on cable appear extremely unlikely.
The season premieres of CW’s Monday dramas 90210 (2.0 million viewers, 1.2/4 in 18-34) and Gossip Girl (1.9 million, 1.3/4 in 18-34) were down double-digits from last year. It total viewers, 90210, which aired Tuesdays at 8PM last season, was off 19%, while the heavily hyped Paris opener of Gossip Girl was down 27%. On a more positive note, this was 90210′s highest-rated episode in total viewers and 18-34 since December 2009, and Gossip Girl was
It looks like the summer TV season will wrap the way it started, with CBS’s all-rerun Monday lineup easily topping the night. The network’s comedies The Big Bang Theory (2.8 rating/7 share among adults 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and Two and a Half Men (2.6/7, 9.0 million) were the top programs of the night. Despite featuring the much-hyped announcement of the next Dancing with the Stars cast, ABC’s Bachelor Pad (2.0/6) didn’t get a boost and finished flat with last week. Dating in the Dark (1.5/4) was up a tenth. Following a House rerun (1.3/4) on Fox, an original Lie To Me (1.7/5) was down a tenth from last week. NBC aired an America’s Got Talent repeat (1.3/4) and Dateline (1.3/4), which was down 7% from its last original on Aug. 16.
ABC’s The Bachelorette capped a strong season with its highest-rated finale in 6 years. Last night’s two-hour closer drew 11.6 million viewers and a 3.7 rating/11 share among adults 18-49, up 6% from last summer’s finale and for the best finale numbers since 2004 when the reality series aired in-season and the finale was in February. Overall, this was Bachelorette‘s most watched season since 2004. The Bachelorette: After the Rose Ceremony special (3.8/11) was up 36% from last year when the special aired a day after the finale.
NBC’s Last Comic Standing (1.6/4) and Dateline (1.3/4) were down 6% and 24%, respectively, from last week. Fox’s Lie to Me (1.8/6) and The Good Guys (1.2/3) were up by 13% and 10%, respectively. CBS aired all repeats led by The Big Bang Theory (2.5/7). ABC easily won the night with a 3.7/11 and 11.5 million viewers.
With The Bachelorette, ABC posted its 8th consecutive Monday nightly win among adults 18-49, the network’s longest streak on the night in more than 10 years, since the heyday of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Nov. 1999 – Jan. 2000) The two-hour Bachelorette: Men Tell All special (2.8/9 in adults 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) from 8-10PM was the highest-rated program of the night. It slipped from the regular Bachelorette episode last week, which did 3.3/10 in the demo, but was flat with the Men Tell All special last summer in the demo and up in viewers. ABC also topped the 10 PM hour with a special Bachelor-themed 20/20, which posted a 1.8/5 in 18-49. It edged NBC’s Dateline (1.7/5), which is settling into its Monday berth, up 21% from last week. Its lead-in, Last Comic Standing (1.7/5) was up by a tenth. Fox’s Lie To Me (1.6/5) and The Good Guys (1.0/3) both slipped, by 11% and 9%, respectively. CBS aired all repeats led by The Big Bang Theory (2.6/7). In addition to the demo, ABC also won the night in total viewers for a 6th consecutive week.
Monique Curnen has landed a major recurring role on Fox’s drama series Lie To Me next season, while Warren Christie is set to co-star opposite David Strathairn in SyFy’s action-adventure 90-minute pilot Alphas, directed by Jack Bender.
On Lie To Me, Curren (The Unusuals) will play the attractive Detective Wallowski, a great cop with a street edge and a fast subversive mind who becomes a sexual interest for Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth), and drives a wedge between him and Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams).
Alphas follows a team led by Leigh Rosen (Strathairn) that includes ordinary citizens possessing extraordinary and unusual mental skills who take the law into their own hands and uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. Christie (Happy Town) will play Christian Hicks, a new recruit on the team with a history of psychological problems, drug abuse and an anti-authoritarian streak whose Alpha skill is hyperkinesis – near-perfect dexterity and hand/eye coordination.
The Bachelorette rebounded from the holiday weekend dip last Monday to draw a 3.1 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 PM. The ABC reality series was once again the top program of the night. Meanwhile, the network’s True Beauty (1.7/5) at 10 PM continued to hold steady, posting the same number for a third consecutive week, impervious to its lead-in’s fluctuations. The NBC’s 8 PM hour also rebounded now that that Persons Unknown is gone. The 1.3/4 rating for an America’s Got Talent rerun was a 63% improvement vs. Person Unknown‘s performance in the time slot last week. At 9 PM, a new hour-long Last Comic Standing (1.7/5) was down a tenth from last week’s two-hour episode, while Dateline Monday (1.3/4) at 10 PM was down 38% from the newsmagazine’s premiere in the time period last summer. Fox’s Monday dramas Lie To Me (1.7/6) and The Good Guys (1.1/3) continued the downslide in their return to originals after a week off, down 11% and 8%, respectively, from their last first-run airing. CBS aired wall-to-wall reruns. ABC won the night in 18-49 (2.6/8) and total viewers (8.0 million), the network’s 6th consecutive nightly win in the demo and 4th in total viewers.
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