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Alternate Reality: ‘LOLA, ‘Outsourced’ Listed As Returning Series In NBC Press Materials

By | Sunday May 22, 2011 @ 10:07pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There was chatter at NBC’s upfront presentation that isolated 2011-12 NBC Primetime Preview press binders included a page for Wonder Woman as a new series. Everything was fine in the New Series section of the NBC binder I found waiting for me when I came back from New York, but the Returning Series section included two intriguing entries: freshman drama Law & Order: Los Angeles and comedy Outsourced. Both were canceled last Friday, so their glossy pages, accidentally included by the fulfillment house contracted for the binders, provide an eerie peek into what could have been. “Fusing the classic ripped-from-the-headlines storytelling with the distinctive backdrop of LA, the newest addition to the Law & Order franchise is back to delve further into the unique attitudes, cultures and crimes of the West Coast,” is the opening line in the LOLA profile. Outsourced‘s writeup provides a glimpse at some of the producers’ ideas for the now-scrapped Season 2 of the workplace comedy. “After surviving his first year managing the call center in India, Todd’s ready for some bigger challenges — should he try to make his relationship with Asha a bit more than work-related? Is his team ready for a trip to America for training and some good ol’ USA traditions like beer pong?” We’ll never know …

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In Other News: ‘Body Of Proof’ Picked Up, ‘Better With You’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’, ‘No Ordinary Family’, ‘Off The Map’ ‘Outsourced’ Dead

Nellie Andreeva

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.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Office’ Drops Without Carell, ‘American Idol’ Up

Nellie Andreeva

Apologies for not filing a rating story earlier, it was a pretty big busy morning in TV news today. With the final ratings for last night in, here are the biggest highlights:

NBC’s The Office (3.5/10 in 18-49) was down 17% from last week’s episode, which marked the departure of star Steve Carell. It did better than the Carell’s penultimate episode.

NBC’s Parks and Recreation (2.5/7) was up 9% percent, while the season finale of 30 Rock (2.1/6) rose 11 percent. The paintball episode of Community (1.5/5), directed by the Russo brothers and guest starring Josh Holloway and Anthony Michael Hall, was up a tenth.

CBS’ and ABC’s scripted series were roughly on par, while ABC’s reality series Wipeout (1.4/5) tumbled 26% to a series low. On the flip side, Fox’s American Idol (6.3/20) was up 11%, and Bones (3.2/9) up almost as much.

In bubble-show watch, CW’s Nikita (1.9 million, 0.8/2) improved, while NBC’s Outsourced (1.5/4) was down 18%. Looking good for Nikita and not good for Outsourced.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Will Ferrell Lifts ‘The Office’, ‘Paul Reiser’ Bombs, ‘Nikita’ Rises

Nellie Andreeva

Will Ferrell’s debut on The Office (3.9/11 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers) last night gave a boost to the NBC comedy, which was up 15% from its most recent original March 24 in 18-49. The ratings gains carried over to Parks and Recreation (2.6/7, 5.2 million), up 8% for its best numbers in almost three months; 30 Rock (2.2/6), up 16%; and Outsourced (1.7/5), up 21% from last week, when it had a repeat as lead-in. But things were far less uplifting in the 8 PM hour. Community (1.4/5, 3.5 million) was down 22% in 18-49 from its last original March 24. Then there was the premiere of The Paul Reiser Show (1.1/3, 3.3 million) at 8:30 PM. It was down a whopping 48% from the January debut of Perfect Couples in the time slot to rank as NBC’s lowest-rated in-season comedy series premiere ever.

Fox’s American Idol (6.1/19, 21 million) matched its fast-national rating from last week (the reality juggernaut always goes up in the finals). At 9 PM, Bones (3.7/10, 11.9 million) was up 16% from last week to log its highest 18-49 rating in two months. It as also the second-most-watched program of the night behind Idol. Fox easily won the night in all measures. 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: ‘Bones’ Up, ‘Outsourced’ Flat, Everyone Else Down On Thursday

Nellie Andreeva

Once again, usage in the 8 PM hour was down week-to-week as viewers adjust to the switch to daylight saving time. Last night, the drop was bigger than usual, 12.4%. All 8 PM shows were impacted. Fox’s American Idol (5.6/18 in adults 18-49, 19 million viewers) was down the most, 16%, from last Thursday. ABC’s Winter Wipeout (2.0/7) was down 9% from its most recent original on Feb. 24. NBC’s newly renewed Community (1.7/6) was down 6% for a season low, while new comedy Perfect Couples (1.2/4) was down 14% from Feb. 24 for a series low.

At 9 PM, Fox’s Bones (3.4/10, 11.9 million) bucked the down trend, up 6% in 18-49 and 13% in viewers from last week. ABC tried out 10 PM medical drama Private Practice in the tentpole 9 PM position occupied by the series that spawned it, Grey’s Anatomy. The result was not pretty: Private Practice drew a 1.9/6, down 17% from its most recent original for a series low. Following an Office rerun, NBC’s Parks and Recreation (1.8/5) was down 25% from its last original, which followed a new Office, to tie its series low. NBC had the only original offerings in the 10 PM hour: 30 Rock (1.7/5), down 26% for a series low, and Outsourced (1.4/4), flat and tied as a series low. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Tops Thursday While NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ Gains

Nellie Andreeva

CBS’ improbable run of 3 consecutive nightly wins in both adults 18-49 and total viewers with lineups featuring some or all repeats came to an end last night when ABC won the 18-49 race with a 3.1/8. CBS, which aired all-repeats, was still tops in viewers with 9.1 million. ABC started things off with the holiday special Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (2.3/7) which was down 12% from its last year telecast, a tenth up from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special (2.2/6) ABC aired in the hour two weeks ago and way higher than the Grey’s Anatomy reruns the network had been running in the slot. But Santa proved to be less compatible with Grey’s than Charlie Brown as the medical drama (4.0/10, 10.9 million) was down 7% from its last original telecast two weeks ago. It still ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49, a title it had relinquished to CBS’ The Big Bang Theory this season. Grey’s was only No.1 in total viewers, position usually held by CBS’ The Mentalist. Private Practice (2.9/8) was flat with its last original on Nov. 18 and dominated its 10 PM time slot in the demo.

NBC’s The Apprentice (1.4/4, 4.1 million) till finished a distant 3rd at 10 PM but delivered its largest audience since the season … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS, Fox & ABC Up While NBC’s ‘Apprentice’ Hits Series Low

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has got to give Grey’s Anatomy a better lead-in. With the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special (2.2/6, up 10% from last year, 7.4 million) at 8 PM vs. a Grey’s return (1.0) last week, the veteran medical drama (4.3/11, 11.4 million) was up 8% to reclaim the No.1 spot for the night among adults 18-49 for the first time in five weeks. It was tied with CBS’ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory (4.3/13, 13.1 million), which marked its fifth consecutive week as the top-rated program on Thursday among 18-49. Big Bang was also up, by a tenth, as was the rest of CBS’ lineup after slipping across-the board last week. $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9, 10.3 million) was up 11% from its series-low fast national result last Monday, which was adjusted up by a tenth in the finals. CSI (3.1/8, 14.2 million) was up 11% in the demo, while The Mentalist (3.0/9, up 7%, 14.7 million) rebounded from its season low last week to regain the top spot at 10 PM in 18-49, which it lost to ABC’s Private Practice for the past 2 weeks. Practice (2.9/9) was flat with last week, but helped ABC post its best  Thursday numbers in adults 18-49 and total viewers since premiere week. CBS once again won the night in 18-49 (3.3/9) and total viewers (13.5 million).

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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: CBS And ABC Down, CBS’ ‘$#*!’ & ‘The Mentalist’ Hit Season Lows

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2PM: As expected, NBC’s series were adjusted down in the finals which the NFL game in Baltimore was taken out. Community, The Office and Outsourced slipped a tenth each to 2.0, 3.6 and 2.6, respectively; 30 Rock and The Apprentice dropped two tenths each to 2.4 and 1.4, respectively. Adjusting up was $#*! (2.9/8), up a tenth from its series-low fast national number. Private Practice and The Mentalist were unchanged, keeping Private Practice as the winner in the 10 PM hour among 18-49.  

PREVIOUS 9 AM: What goes up must come down. After posting double-digit gains last Thursday, ABC’s dramas and CBS’ comedies slipped last night. With its lead-in, a Grey’s Anatomy rerun (1.0/3), down 17%, the Grey’s Anatomy (4.0/10) original at 9 PM was down 7%. And after surging by 44% last week with the heavily promoted episode dealing with the sexual assault of Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland), Private Practice (2.9/8) was down 26% but still edged CBS’ The Mentalist (2.8/8), at least in the fast nationals, for the top spot at 10 PM among adults 18-49.

CBS’ Big Bang Theory (4.2/12, 13.1 million) was down 9% from its fast national demo result last week when it featured the return of star Kaley Cuoco and a guest appearance by Eliza Dushku. (The hit comedy always adjusts up by a tenth in the finals). Big Bang still ranked as the highest-rated series on Thursday among 18-49. After posting … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Comedies & ABC Dramas Up Led By Surging ‘Private Practice’

Nellie Andreeva

With leading lady Kaley Cuoco back from her injury break and fan favorite Eliza Dushku as guest star, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.6/14, 13.9 million) rose 12% from last week’s fast national demo delivery. (The hit comedy always adds another tenth in the finals.) Freshman $#*! My Dad Says (3.4/10, 10.9 million) was also up, by 10%, with both comedies posting their best demo and total viewer deliveries since the premiere and easily winning the 8PM hour. Big Bang maintained its status as the top program on Thursday night among adults 18-49 despite a challenge from a resurgent Grey’s Anatomy. The rating gains didn’t carry over to CBS’ dramas as they faced stiffer competition from ABC’s medical drama lineup. CSI (3.3/9, 13.9 million) was flat with last week, while The Mentalist (2.9/8, 14.3 million) was down 9% to tie its 18-49 season low. CBS still won the night in 18-49 (3.4/10) and total viewers (13.5 million).

Despite a weaker lead-in, a Grey’s Anatomy repeat (1.2/3) vs. the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special (2.2/6) last week, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (4.3/11) at 9 PM was up 10% from last week. With a heavily promoted episode that dealt with the sexual assault of one of the show’s primary characters, Charlotte King (KaDee Strickland), Private Practice (3.9/11) was up 44%. Both ABC dramas dominated their time slots in the demo.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins With Sluggish World Series, NBC Comedies Up

Nellie Andreeva

If it was up to TV executives, the Yankees would sail through to the World Series every year, with the rest of the teams squabbling for the other spot. This year’s World Series between the Giants and the Rangers on Fox continues to pace well behind last year’s, which featured the storied New York baseball franchise, but in line with the one in 2008 that didn’t feature them. Last night’s Game 2 (4.0 in adults 18-49, 14.1 million) was down 31% from last year’s Game 2 between the Yankees and the Phillies but matched the demo rating of the 2008 Game 2 between the Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays and was up 10% in total viewers. Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, ending CBS’ five-week streak.

With a Halloween theme and stronger lead-in, NBC’s Thursday comedies rebounded from last week’s drops with double-digit rating increases. Starting things off was the Scared Shrekless half-hour special (2.5/8, 8.2 million), which improved significantly (by 32%) on Community‘s performance in the 8 PM time slot last week. It also did better than the other kids-friendly Halloween special in the time slot, ABC’s It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (2.1/6, 6.6 million in its first half-hour). At 8:30 PM, Community (2.4/7) was up 26% from its 8 PM telecast last week for a season high. The Office (3.9/10) was up 15%, and Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bang’ Tops, ‘Mentalist’ Dips, NBC Comedies & ABC Dramas Down

Nellie Andreeva

There is a new ratings king on Thursday. For the first time, the new kid on the Thursday block, CBS’ transplant The Big Bang Theory (4.0/13, 12.9 million), ranked as the highest-rated program on the night in 18-49, supplanting perennial winner Grey’s Anatomy. The comedy accomplished the feat on its fifth airing on the night, a nice validation of CBS’ risky scheduling move. Big Bang was down a tenth from the comedy’s 18-49 fast national result last week, while its lead-out, newly picked-up freshman $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9) was flat, improving its 18-49 retention from last week to 78%. (Both comedies went up in the finals last week, Big Bang by .2, $#*! by .1) Both Big Bang and $#*! were up in total viewers from last week, by 3% and 7%, respectively. Veteran CSI (3.3/9, up 6%, 14.7 million, up 2%) continued its resurgence with a second consecutive week of ratings gains. But The Mentalist (2.9/9) was down 9% from its fast national number last week to post its lowest-rated telecast in the Thursday 10 PM slot, which it still won. (The Mentalist may gain a tenth of a rating point in the finals as it did last week.) CBS won the night by a wide margin in 18-49 (3.3/9) and total viewers (13.6 million), its fifth consecutive Thursday win. 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: Live ’30 Rock’ Episode Rocks, ‘CSI’ Up With Digi-novel Crossover

Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s 30 Rock got a big  boost from its star-studded live episode last night. The episode, which featured appearances by Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Liz Lemon in flashbacks as well as several SNL alums, drew a 3.0/9 in adults 18-49, up 43% from last week and a season high. There was a halo effect on the two series surrounding 30 Rock: its lead-in, Community (2.6/8) was up 22%, its lead-out, The Office (3.7/10), was up 6%. NBC’s gaines stopped at 9:30 PM, with new comedy Outsourced (2.5/7) and The Apprentice (1.3/4) both flat with last week. Outsourced’s retention (68%) dropped below 70% for the first time, while The Apprentice’s days in the high-profile Thursday 10 PM slot have got to be numbered after 3 consecutive weeks at a 1.3.

Promising uptick for freshman CBS comedy $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9, 10.1 million), which was up 7% from last week in 18-49 despite its lead-in, The Big Bang Theory (4.1/13, 12.5 million) being flat. (Big Bang still dominated the 8 PM half-hour and ranked as No.2 for the night behind ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in the demo.) CBS’ ratings gains carried over to 9 PM, where CSI (3.1/9, 14.3 million) was up 15% with the introduction of Sqweegel, a CSI-proof serial killer from CSI creator Anthony Zuiker’s digi-novel Level 26: Dark Origins, and to 10 PM where The Mentalist (3.3/9, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: All-Time ‘CSI’ Low

Nellie Andreeva

The generational transition on Thursday continues. The 3 series that had been the anchors on the night for years, CBS’ CSI, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and NBC’s The Office, all hit lows last night. No great reason for concern for Grey’s (4.5/12) and The Office (3.4/9) just yet as they led their networks’ lineup by a wide margin and finished No.1 and No.3 for the night overall. But CSI (2.7/7) was the lowest-rated program on CBS last night, which featured ratings declines on the CBS and NBC and gains on Fox and CW. Since male-skewing shows were hit harder than the female-skewing ones, the baseball playoffs probably played a role, and some of the declines will probably be offset in DVR viewing. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ’30 Rock’ Keeps Steady In Sea Of Double-Digit Declines

Nellie Andreeva

It’s a new time slot and much smaller lead-in, but that has had little effect on NBC’s 30 Rock. While it never became a broad hit, the Emmy-winning comedy held steady behind The Office, and now it’s doing the same at 8:30 PM. Last night, it kept its entire 18-49 audience from premiere week while almost every series posted double-digit declines. The worst drops came for the three freshmen, My Generation (31%), Outsourced (22%) and $#*! (20%).

30 Rock (2.6/8) finished tied for second place at 8:30. Its lead-in, Community (1.9/6) was down 14% from last week’s season premiere featuring Betty White. In its second week in the Thursday 8 PM slot last year it did a 2.0. The Office (3.7/10) was down 16%, Outsourced (2.8/7) down 22%. It’s retention was 76% vs. 74% for Community in the same slot for the same week last year. The Apprentice (1.4/4) was the only show besides 30 Rock that didn’t slide week-to-week. Like 30 Rock, it also matched last week’s performance but that still is at an all-time low for the show, and The Apprentice finished dead last in the 10 PM slot.

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.3/14) was down 12% from its Thursday premiere last week, followed by rookie $#*! My Dad Says (3.2/10), which held onto a so-so 70% of the Big Bang demo lead. (In total viewers, retention was 80%, which … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Big Bang’ Shines, ‘CSI’ & ‘Grey’s’ Slip, ‘My Generation’ Flops

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 1:30 PM: With final Live+Same Day numbers in, several series got a .1 demo rating boost from DVR viewing: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (now 4.9/16 among 18-49) and The Mentalist (3.4/10), and NBC’s The Office (4.4/12) and Outsourced (3.6/10). Meanwhile, ABC’s Private Practice went down .1 to a 3.2/9, so now The Mentalist is winning the 10 PM hour by a comfortable margin after being tied with Practice in the fast nationals.

9:30 AM: The biggest scheduling gamble this fall has paid off: The Big Bang Theory kicked-off its Thursday run, well, with a big bang. Of the newbies, CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says and NBC’s Outsourced did solid business, while ABC’s new documentary-style drama My Generation was pretty much D.O.A. Besides The Office, all returning series were down year-to-year led by veteran Thursday anchors CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, which continued their ratings erosion with second consecutive year-to-year double-digit ratings drop in premiere week. The Apprentice continued to flatline, while NBC’s comedy block wasn’t bang-ed up too much (get it?) by the new comedy competition. Here is a network-by-network rundown:

The fourth season premiere of The Big Bang Theory scored a 4.8/15 among adults 18-49 and 14 million viewers. That was up 4% in the demo from the series’ premiere behind Two and a Half Men on Monday last fall and a whooping 37% in the demo from the season … Read More »

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