RATINGS RATE RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Don’t Trust The B’ Open Soft, ‘Emily Owens’ Drops In Week 2, ‘Vegas’ Hits Low

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 10:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was the first edition of the “comedy sigalert” three-way Tuesday face-off last night as ABC launched its new comedy block of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 to face NBC’s Go On and The New Normal and Fox’s New Girl and The Mindy Project (Mindy was pre-empted last night for a relocated The X Factor).

Fox’s New Girl (2.7/7) came out the dustup unscathed, on par with its last original two weeks ago. It also topped its now two comedy competitors in the 9 PM slot: NBC’s Go On (2.5/7, down 11% from its fast national two weeks ago, 4% from the final) and Happy Endings (1.9/5), finishing right behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.8 from 9-9:30 PM) in the half-hour.

It was a slow start for Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— (1.7/4), which have been left to fend for themselves this fall after alternating for a run behind hit Modern Family last season. Not surprisingly, both comedies were down sharply from their most recent season/series debuts behind Modern Family last season: -39% for Happy Endings and -41% from Don’t Trust The B—-, which hit a series low. On the bright side, Happy Endings was up 12% from its April season finale. Of the other comedies last night, Fox’s Raising Hope (1.7/5) was even with last week; Ben And Kate (1.4/4) showed some spark, up 17% from last week, while NBC’s The New Normal (1.8/4) was down 10% from two weeks ago. (The presidential debate pre-empted the networks’ 9-11 PM programming last Tuesday). Read More »

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October Surprise: NBC Tops Broadcast Nets In 18-49, ‘Walking Dead’ No.1 Show On TV

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 7:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ANALYSIS: With cable steadily gaining on broadcast, a cable show rising to the top of the ratings charts was just a matter of time. But who would’ve predicted just a coupe of years ago that it won’t be a series on established basic cable networks like TNT, TBS, USA Network or FX, which have been nipping at broadcasters’ heels, to do it but a drama on the once-obscure AMC? Yes, the highest-rated non-sports telecast among adults 18-49 on all of television this fall was the Season 3 premiere of AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead, which drew 7.3 million 18-49 viewers in Live+Same Day, with no carriage on major satcaster Dish Network no less.

Speaking of fall surprises, who would’ve predicted even a couple of months ago that NBC would leapfrog from fourth to first place this fall to dominate competitors among adults 18-49 by winning each of the first four weeks of the season for the first time in 10 years? That’s since fall 2002, when NBC’s Thursday lineup was anchored by Friends, Will & Grace and ER. NBC has now won seven weeks in a row in 18-49. The rise of NBC to the top of the broadcast standings and cable dramas’ ratings breakthrough highlight the fall season so far.

Related: FRESHMAN SERIES REPORT: Who Got Back Orders, Who Got Scripts, Who Got The Ax?

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UPDATE: 59.2M Watch Final Presidential Debate; NBC Wins Coverage Battle

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 2:49pm PDT

UPDATE, 2:49 PM: The third Presidential debate of 2012 pulled in 2.7 million more viewers last night than watched the third debate between Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. Pulling in 59.2 million total viewers, last night’s debate was down 10% from the 65.6 million viewers who watched the second meeting between Obama and Mitt Romney on October 16 and down 12% from the 67.2 million who watched their first debate October 3. NBC led the night Monday with 12.39 million viewers (5.84 million in the adults 25-54 demo) watching the third face-off between President Obama and Romney. ABC came in second with 11.73 million viewers. Fox News Channel was third with almost 11.5 million viewers, an all-time viewership high for the 16-year-old news network. CBS was fourth with 8.43 million viewers overall. ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, PBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Current TV and CNBC all aired the 9-10:30 PM ET debate live last night. Telemundo played it on tape delay. Fox did not broadcast the debate, instead airing Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, which drew 8.1 million viewers. ESPN aired Monday Night Football to 10.7 million viewers. Both sports events were beaten in viewership by NBC, ABC and Fox News’s debate coverage.

Obama’s “Bayonets” Zingers Generated Debate’s “Most-Watched” Moments
Presidential Debate #3: Your Thoughts? Read More »

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FRESHMAN SERIES REPORT: Who Got Back Orders, Who Got Scripts, Who Got The Ax?

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 2:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CBS this morning was the latest broadcast network to weigh in on freshman series back orders, giving full-season pickups to dramas Elementary and Vegas. The first wave of episodic orders typically goes to the strongest ratings performers, with the next echelon getting additional script orders while the networks decide whether to keep them around. This is the case again this fall with one notable exception: Fox’s modestly rated new comedy Ben And Kate, the only new series with a back order to get fewer than nine episodes (six), as its pickup was more of a statement by Fox that it is committed to nurturing its fledgling Tuesday comedy block than a testament to the show’s strength. The full-season 22-episode orders to date went to the six highest-rated new series among adults 18-49: NBC’s Revolution (4.3/11 in most current ratings*), CBS’ Elementary (3.5/10), NBC’s Go On (2.9/8), CBS’ Vegas (2.7/8), Fox’s The Mindy Project (2.6/7) and NBC’s The New Normal (2.5/7). Ben And Kate (1.8) is six slots down, below ABC’s Nashville (2.4), ABC’s Last Resort (2.3), ABC’s 666 Park Ave, CBS’ Partners (2.3) and ABC’s The Neighbors (2.1). The CW’s sole pickup so far, Arrow, is the network’s highest-rated series this fall with a 1.3 in 18-49. (Note: Full Freshman Series Status Report chart after the story.) Interestingly, the only freshman show to get a larger-than-22-episode pickup this season was not the highest-rated (Revolution), but Mindy Project, for reasons in the vein of those for Ben And Kate‘s back order. (Fox also is pre-empting Mindy for three of the current four weeks, so the extra order served as a vote of confidence to the Mindy Kaling series.) I hear there are discussions for an extra episode of Arrow, which would push the order to 23.


Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Presidential Debate Battles Football, Baseball; ‘Voice’ Drops

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 9:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night, President Obama and Mitt Romney faced their biggest debate challenge yet. No, it wasn’t moderator Bob Schieffer’s questions or trying to restrain themselves from punching each other when seated within arm’s reach. For the first time in three Presidential and one Vice Presidential debate, it aired against football: Monday Night Football on ESPN. To make things even more competitive, the San Francisco Giants needed a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series to clinch a spot in the World Series, so the debate faced that face-off too on the East Coast. Because the NCLS went the distance, Fox did not carry the debate last night, the first time it’s done so this fall. Because of that, cume ratings for the third Presidential debate on the broadcast networks are running down double digits from the second debate in early estimates. Time-adjusted ratings for the debate will be available in a few hours. (UPDATE: Fox News set a viewership record.)

To accommodate the debate, NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars were condensed to an hour, running from 8-9 PM. For Dancing (2.4/6), that actually boosted ratings as the dancing competition rose 14% from last week’s two-hour edition. However, ABC carried an NFL game in Detroit, so the the network’s fast nationals are likely inflated. The Voice (4.2/11) suffered from going down to one hour, dropping 29% from last Monday’s 8-10 PM telecast. It also was down 10% from its Tuesday edition last week, which, like last night’s episode, aired from 8-9 PM. Read More »

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Network TV Ratings Drop Emerges As A Big Concern For Wall Street

By | Tuesday October 23, 2012 @ 7:49am PDT

Analysts have stopped telling clients to wait for more data before they worry about the lousy early ratings for the major networks’ primetime shows. Although “it is probably too early to panic, there are several areas of concern,” Nomura Securities’ Michael Nathanson says this morning. That’s a shift from a few weeks ago when he called the initial ratings figures “disappointing” but possibly the result of quirks in this year’s schedules. The new conventional wisdom is that the major broadcast networks have a serious problem as the latest so-called C3 ratings (those who watch a show’s commercials live and as much as three days after they air) show ABC -15% this season vs the same period last year with CBS -23% and Fox -28% — but NBC +12%. RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank said last week that “our best ‘experts’ tell us that it’s realistic to expect ratings for the Broadcast Year 2012/2013 to decline ~5%-10%.” And all eyes are on CBS, which depends on the performance of its broadcast network more than its rivals at Disney, Comcast, and News Corp. CBS shares are down 10.5% over the last 30 days, far more than the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 which is -1.8%. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ’666 Park Ave’ And ‘The Good Wife’ Up

By | Monday October 22, 2012 @ 9:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was good news all around for ABC on Sunday. The only major broadcast network not to air live sports in primetime last night saw its entire scripted lineup post week-to-week ratings increases. Once Upon A Time (3.3/8) was up 10%. Revenge (2.8/6) was up a tenth for a second consecutive week, while rookie 666 Park Avenue reversed its downward ratings trend since the series premiere, up 20%. The only show in the negative column for ABC last night was America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.3/4), which was down a tenth facing an hour of NFL overrun on CBS.

That overrun, whose exact duration was 56 minutes, pushed the start of CBS’ primetime. That was bad news for East Coast fans of The Mentalist, which started a couple of minutes before 11 PM, and great news for Steven Spielberg and his upcoming film Lincoln. 60 Minutes, which aired a segment on Spielberg and his new movie, shot up 75% from last week to a 3.5/9 in adults 19-49 following the football overrun. The gains didn’t carry over to the 9 PM hour where The Amazing Race (2.3/5) was down 12% from last week. But at 10 PM, The Good Wife (1.9/5) is currently running up 12% from last week. Is the female-skewing drama better suited for 10 PM where it doesn’t have to face ABC’s similarly targeted Revenge? Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Miley Cyrus Drives ‘Two And A Half Men’ To Season High, ‘Up All Night’ Also Up, ‘Beauty’ Dives In Week 2

By | Friday October 19, 2012 @ 9:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Miley Cyrus Two And A Half MenIn the spring of 2008, then-perennial bubble CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother got Britney Spears as a guest star. The episode shot up to series highs and fostered a turnaround for the show, which turned from an underperforming darling to a hit almost overnight. Four and a half years later, CBS this fall made a scheduling move that raised a lot of eyebrows: relocating long-time Monday anchor Two And A Half Men to Thursday. The veteran has struggled in its new environment, even falling below the delivery of utility player Rules Of Engagement in the slot at one point. Until last night, when the show featured another big teen draw: Miley Cyrus. With her, Two And A Half Men jumped 14% from last week to a 4.0/11 among adults 18-49, hitting season highs in adults 18-49, total viewers (13.6 million) and adults 25-54. Two And A Half Men already received a second lease on life with the introduction of new leading man Ashton Kutcher last season. Could Cyrus’ appearance be a “Britney” moment for the veteran comedy that would give it new momentum and help it age more gracefully in its new Thursday slot? The good news for Men is that Cyrus has already been booked for another episode, and given the ratings, she may be asked to do more. Unlike Spears, Cyrus is a sitcom pro, having started off on the Disney Channel hit Hannah Montana. Read More »

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Fox News’ ‘The Five’ Hits Ratings High

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 4:06pm PDT

The Five had the best viewership numbers in its 15-month history last night. Talking about the second presidential debate, Fox News Channel’s multi-host show pulled in 2.5 million total viewers Wednesday, with 576,000 in the adults … Read More »

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‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ Tops First Season, Draws 3.9 Million Viewers In Debut

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 10:58am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

FX‘s American Horror Story: Asylum got off to a strong start last night with 3.85 million total viewers. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology series was once again particularly strong in the younger demos, posting 2.78 million adults 18-49 (2.20 rating) and 1.78 million adults 18-34 (2.63 rating). Among 18-34, it was the top program at 10 PM last night on broadcast or cable, while in 18-49, it finished second behind only CBS’ CSI (2.39 rating).

Related: RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Nashville’ And ‘Chicago Fire’ Drop In Week 2 Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Nashville’ And ‘Chicago Fire’ Drop In Week 2, ‘Arrow’ Steady, ‘Suburgatory’ Modest In Return

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 9:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was a rather atypical Wednesday night, with usual demo winner Fox airing a mix of a little bit of baseball, rain delay-filling sitcom reruns and an hour of The X Factor that inadvertently ran simultaneously on both coasts. Or as Simon Cowell put it, “a total f up,” that will result in last night’s two-hour episode airing in its entirety on Tuesday night, pre-empting Fox’s fledgling comedy block and facing an all-new The Voice.

Related: “Total F Up”: Baseball Rain Delay Pushes Tonight’s ‘X Factor’ To Tuesday

With Fox out of sorts, CBS swooped in and won the night in adults 18-49 (2.7/8), along with total viewers (10.8 million). Survivor: Philippines (2.7/8) and Criminal Minds (3.1/8) were both up a tenth from last week’s fast nationals, while CSI (2.4/7) was down two tenths. CSI‘s ratings fluctuations have been puzzling — it went up last week when it faced the premieres of ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire  and then retreated last night when its time-slot rivals dropped significantly from their debuts. (CSI still ruled the 10 PM hour.) Read More »

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UPDATE: Second Presidential Debate Draws 65.6 M Viewers; NBC Tops Broadcasters

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 2:45pm PDT

UPDATE, 2:45 PM: The second presidential debate was down 1.6 million viewers from the 67.2 million who watched the October 3 match-up between President Obama and Mitt Romney. NBC was No. 1 overall with 13.8 million viewers. The 65.6 million that watched the Candy Crowley-moderated town hall-style debate last night were 2.4 million more than watched the second similarly formatted debate between Obama and John McCain in 2008. ABC followed NBC in viewership with 12.46 million and then Fox News Channel with 11.1 million. CBS had 8.9 million total viewers, and the Fox network had 4.6 million, according to Nielsen. NBC also was tops in network post-debate analysis, followed by ABC and CBS. ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, CNN, FNC, MSNBC, Current TV and CNBC all ran the debate live from 9-10:45 PM ET on Tuesday, with Univision and Telemundo broadcasting coverage on tape delay. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Ben And Kate’ Drops, ‘Hart Of Dixie’ Up, ‘Emily Owens’ Debut Soft

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There was an hour of entertainment programming last night, followed by coverage of the second Presidential debate. (Although, with its testiness, the debate did rival such reality staples as the Real Wives franchise in bickering and fighting.) Reliable ratings for the debate won’t be available until later today (check Deadline for updates), but judging by the fast nationals, it seems to have drawn overall audience/demos on par with the first debate, with NBC leading coverage by a wider margin this time due to its big lead-in from The Voice.

The Voice (4.6/13 in adults 18-49) was up two tenths from its fast national last week, leading NBC to another Tuesday demo victory. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars results (2.1/6) matched its fast national last week despite moving from 9 PM to 8 PM to accommodate the debate. Fox’s Raising Hope (1.7/5) was down one tenth but freshman Ben And Kate (1.2/3) stumbled, down 20%. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Revolution’ & ’90210′ Up

By | Tuesday October 16, 2012 @ 9:34am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Revolution TV Ratings NBCAfter topping the list of Live+7 gains with a big 2.3 18-49 rating lift, NBC’s new series Revolution received more good ratings news this morning. The futuristic drama reversed its ratings downtrend since the premiere with a 3.4/9 in adults 18-49 last night, up 13% from last week (10% from its fast national last Monday) to match its best Live+Same Day demo rating since the series debut. Its lead-in, The Voice (4.8/12), held steady, up a tenth from its fast national last week and even with the final. NBC extended its Monday winning streak among 18-49 to four weeks.

ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.1/5) was even with its fast national last Monday, down a tenth from the final, while Castle (2.0/5) was down 9% in 18-49 while hitting a season high in total viewers (10.9 million). ABC won the night in total viewers. Read More »

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‘The Walking Dead’ Return Draws 10.9 Million, Sets More Basic Cable Ratings Records, Tops All Broadcast Series In 18-49

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 12:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Walking Dead Season 3 RatingsWhat Dish blackout? Last night’s Season 3 of AMC‘s The Walking Dead opened to 10.9 million total viewers, a big 50% increase vs. the show’s second-season premiere despite AMC’s loss of carriage on Dish Network systems. The Walking Dead’s Season 3 opener now ranks as the most-watched drama telecast in basic cable history. In adults 18-49 and 25-54, where the series already held the records, last night’s premiere set new benchmarks with 7.3 million adults 18-49, up 52% vs. the Season 2 premiere, and 6.1 million adults 25-54, up 46% (Live+Same Day). How staggering are those demo numbers? The Walking Dead‘s season premiere 18-49 average was higher than any broadcast series this season, excluding Sunday Night Football. The zombie drama topped Modern Family‘s season opener, which drew 7 million adults 18-49 in Live+ SD to lead the fall broadcast series pack.

Related: Ratings Rat Race: Slow Start For Baseball On Fox; ’666 Park Ave’ & ‘Once’ Down Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: Slow Start For Baseball On Fox; ’666 Park Ave’ & ‘Once’ Down

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 9:57am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s hard to do a report on a night where ratings for the top attractions are incomplete (Sunday Night Football) or not yet available (the season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead). Still, it is clear that NBC dominated another Sunday night with football. The Green Bay-Houston matchup drew a 12.6/20 in metered-market households, up 8% from last week and 13% from the Week 4 game last fall. SNF towered over Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series between St. Louis vs. San Francisco on Fox. In the non-time-adjusted fast nationals, football won vs. baseball 6.9 to 1.9 among adults 18-49. Read More »

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UPDATE: VP Debate Ratings Down Big From Palin-Biden 2008; Fox News Tops Coverage

By | Friday October 12, 2012 @ 2:46pm PDT

UPDATE, 2:46 PM: The Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan last night pulled in 51.4 million viewers — 18 million less than the record-breaking face-off between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden in 2008, which drew 69.9 million viewers. Fox News won Thursday’s debate among all outlets with an audience of just more than 10 million. CBS was the most-watched broadcast network with 8.31 million viewers, just above ABC’s 8.29 million. NBC was third with 7.85 million. Overall, the viewership is down considerably from the numbers all three received in 2008 for Palin-Biden, when ABC drew 13.1 million viewers, NBC 12.8 million and CBS 11.1 million. Last night’s debate also drew 15 million viewers less than the first Presidential debate October 4 between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Related: The VP Debate: What Did You Think?

ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, CNBC, CNN, Current TV, Fox News and MSNBC ran the Biden-Ryan debate live from 9-10:30 PM ET; Telemundo and Univision broadcast it on tape delay. The debate was the third-most watched VP debate ever, following Palin-Biden and the 1984 debate between incumbent George H.W. Bush and Geraldine Ferarro, which drew 56.7 million viewers.

Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Solid Start For ‘The Vampire Diaries’ And ‘Beauty & The Beast’

By | Friday October 12, 2012 @ 10:07am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Between a live Vice Presidential debate and football pre-emptions on Fox and the CW, not much is certain about the broadcast networks’ ratings performances last night against NFL and baseball playoffs on cable. We will post reliable ratings for the debate when available, but in the fast nationals, the Biden-Ryan face-off is tracking significantly lower than the first Obama-Romney debate last week without a Sarah Palin-calliber audience draw.

The CW premiered its new Thursday lineup with solid showings for both flagship The Vampire Diaries and new drama Beauty And The Beast. Right now, Vampire Diaries (3.5 million total viewers, 1.7/6 in 18-34, 1.6/5 in 18-49) is running up 12% in total viewers, up a tenth in 18-49 and even in 18-34 vs. last fall’s opener. In adults 18-49, it beat NBC’s comedies 30 Rock (1.4/4, flat with last week) and Up All Night (1.2/3, down 14%) and tied ABC’s high-profile new drama Last Resort in the 8 PM hour. The CW also finished ahead of ABC and NBC among adults 18-34 at 8 PM. Beauty And The Beast (3.2 million, 1.2/3 in 18-34, 1.3/3 in 18-49) was on par with debut last fall of The Secret Circle, which opened well before losing steam. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: Strong Start For ‘Arrow’, ‘Nashville’ Debut OK, ‘Chicago Fire’ Low

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 9:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It felt like Premiere Week last night with three new series debuting as the major networks held back their rollouts to avoid a pre-emption from the first presidential debate last Wednesday and the CW opted for a late fall launch this year.

The CW received good ratings news for the premiere of Arrow, which drew a very big for CW standards audience of 4 million to become the network’s most-watched series premiere since flagship The Vampire Diaries. This was the CW’s largest viewership in the Wednesday 8 PM time period in three and a half years, since the May 2009 season finale of America’s Next Top Model, and the most watched CW telecast on any night in three years, since November 11 2009.

What’s more, Arrow (1.3/4 in adults 18-49, 1.1/4 in 18-34) tied NBC in the 8 PM hour in total viewers, 18-49 and 18-34. The higher 18-49 number for the superhero drama indicates a broader, older-skewing show in the vein of Nikita vs. the CW’s normal fare. Arrow also boosted its lead-out, veteran Supernatural (2.6 million, 1.0/3), which jumped 40% in viewers from its season premiere last week. Read More »

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