Sunday’s ratings race is too close to call in the fast nationals, but one thing is certain — NFL football will deliver the nightly win for the network that will come up on top in the finals, CBS or NBC. …
Fox and ABC, which have alternated at the top of the Wednesday 18-49 rankings this season, finished tied last night — but for second place, not first . Paced by Survivor, CBS (3.1/8) posted its first Wednesday demo win this season, edging Fox and ABC (3.0/8). Heading toward its season finale, Survivor: South Pacific (3.3/9) was up 6% from last week. Criminal Minds (3.4/8) was down 8% from its last original two weeks ago and CSI (2.5/7) was down 4%, with both series tying their season lows.
ABC’s series were up from the depressed ratings levels for their Thanksgiving Eve episodes, though those segments were labeled as specials and won’t count towards the shows’ season averages. Versus the most recent regular episodes on November 16, The Middle (2.8/8) was down a tenth fast national-to-fast national and Suburgatory (2.8/8) was flat (down a tenth from the final). Modern Family (5.0/13) was down 9% (11% from the final) to log its lowest-rated regular telecast to date, Happy Endings (2.9/7) was also down 9% and Revenge (2.4/6) was down 8%.
Fox hasn’t been able to successfully launch a comedy series behind American Idol. Can The X Factor do the trick? Results from last night’s debut of new multicamera comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter after the singing competition are inconclusive. The sitcom drew a 2.8/7 in adults 18-49. That was down 20% from the last comedy to launch behind Idol, last spring’s Breaking In. (That series ended up being canceled by the network before getting miraculously resurrected over the summer.) Of course, Breaking In had a stronger lead-in from Idol (6.8 demo rating) than IHMTD had from X Factor (3.7/10), which was even with its last Wednesday edition two weeks ago and up 16% from the Tuesday outing last week. With ABC’s lineup led by megahit Modern Family (2.6/7) in repeats and CBS off-pattern, Fox (3.4/9, 9.9 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Meanwhile, ABC’s Happy Endings (2.1/5) scored its best repeat numbers.
ABC’s CMA Awards (4.8/12 in adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers) was unshaped last night by going head-to-head with another music performance program, Fox’s The X Factor. The CMA Awards were actually up a tenth (2%) in 18-49 from last year …
Fox’s newly renewed The X Factor returned to Wednesdays for its second live show, which delivered a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49 and 11.5 million. That was down 10% in the demo from the fast national rating for the series’ first live-performance episode last Tuesday (X Factor usually gains a tenth in the finals, which it did again last night per data just released by Fox; its 4.0 final rating is down 9% from the final for last week’s live show). The two-hour X Factor led Fox to a decisive nightly victory in 18-49 and a very close No. 2 finish in total viewers behind CBS (3.3/9, 11.8 million).
CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.5/10, 11.9 million) was up a tenth from its fast national demo rating last week, putting the reality veteran on track to post new season highs in 18-49 and total viewers for a second straight week. Last week, Survivor climbed from a 3.4 to a 3.5 in the demo to clear a new season high and will likely be adjusted up to a 3.6 today to post a new season best. Criminal Minds (3.6/9, 12.8 million) was down 8% in the demo from its last original two weeks ago, while CSI (2.7/7, 10.6 million) was up a tenth.
With all broadcast networks featuring repeats on their schedules last night, the originals perked up. ABC got the biggest lift with three shows posting double-digit gains from last week: Happy Endings (3.5/9) was up 17%, despite following a repeat Modern …
The lackluster baseball postseason on Fox continued last night with Game 1 of the World Series. Time-adjusted ratings for the game won’t be available until later today, but in the fast nationals the face-off between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals is tracking lower than the comparable numbers for last year’s Game 1 between the Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. Still, Fox is projected to win Wednesday night in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.
It was a case of ratings gods giveth and taketh away for ABC’s Happy Endings (3.0/7, 6.9 million) and Revenge (2.5/7, 7.9 million). After posting demo-rating increases of 14% and 8%, respectively, last week, both series gave back most of the gains, down 9% and 7%, respectively, from their fast nationals last Wednesday. (Happy Endings was adjusted down last week.) The rest of the ABC lineup was mostly status quo: The Middle (2.9/9, 9 million) and Suburgatory (3.1/8) were each up a tenth from their fast nationals last week, and Modern Family (5.6/14, 12.9 million) was down a tenth but still ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49.
With baseball games on Fox and TBS, the other broadcast networks faced rather atypical competition but survived mostly unscathed. Most series were flat or very close to their levels from last week, with four exceptions. On the plus side, ABC’s sophomore Happy Endings (3.3/8 in adults 18-49), which featured Megan Mullally as a guest star, grew 14% from its fast national number last week, while its lead-in, Modern Family, was virtually unchanged. ABC’s gains carried over to the 10 PM hour where Revenge (2.7/7, 7.9 million viewers) was up 8% from its 18-49 fast national last week. (Both series were adjusted in the finals.) In the negative column, NBC’s rookie Up All Night (2.0/6) was down 9% from last week’s fast national, while CBS’ veteran CSI (2.6/7, 10.8 million) was down 10% to a season low and slipped to second place in the 10 PM hour among 18-49 behind ABC’s Revenge. CSI still topped the time period in total viewers.
Also noteworthy last night — both repeats of freshman series slated in the wake of last week’s cancellations did better than the shows they replaced: NBC’s Whitney (1.3 vs. 1.0 for Free Agents last week) and Ringer (0.4 in 18-34 and 18-49, up 33% in 18-34 and flat in 18-49; 1.2 million viewers, up 9%). Here are the numbers for the rest of the rest of the series.
We’ve yet to see the ratings growth on The X Factor that Simon Cowell keeps promising, but at least the show is maintaining its ratings levels. The first 90-minute edition of the singing series, which entered the boot camp phase …
Comedy’s hot streak this fall continues with another solid opening for a new half-hour show, ABC’s Suburgatory. The comedy starring Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto drew a 3.3/9 among adults 18-49 at 8:30 PM, up 27% from the premiere of Better With You in the slot last fall for ABC’s biggest comedy debut in the half-hour in eight years. It also grew significantly from its lead-in, The Middle (2.6/8), which was down 16% from its season premiere last week. Suburgatory joins Fox’s New Girl, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC’s Up All Night and Whitney as the latest new comedy this season to open well. That gives every major broadcast network at least one promising new comedy in a single season — something we haven’t seen in ages — sealing the comedy genre’s comeback after a long drought. And comedy is not done for the season, with at least two more buzzworthy new half-hour entries — ABC’s Tim Allen-starrer Last Man Standing and Apartment 23 – showing potential to break out.
In its third week, Up All Night (2.1/6) shed two tenths vs. its time-slot premiere last week. It still performed better than all other NBC series on the night: doomed freshman Free Agents (1.0/3, down 23%), equally endangered sophomore Harry’s Law (1.2/3, flat with its season premiere last week) and Law & Order: SVU (2.0/5, down 17%).
UPDATE: The premiere of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor drew a modest (by mega talent competition series standards) 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers. That fell short not only of the January season premiere of American Idol (9.7/26, 21.6 million viewers in the fast nationals) but also the April debut of NBC’s The Voice (5.1/13, 11.8 million) in the demo. It also fell well short of Cowell’s publicly stated expectations of beating Idol and attracting 20 million viewers. In the 9 PM hour, X Factor was beaten by ABC’s Modern Family in both 18-49 and total viewers and CBS’ Criminal Minds in viewers. Still, by virtue of Fox’s long history of low fall ratings, X Factor delivered Fox its first premiere week Wednesday win in 18-49 in 18 years and its highest-rated Wednesday in 13 years.
ABC (4.1/11, 11.4 million) had a great night against X Factor, with its returning series The Middle and Modern Family both growing from last fall and hitting demo series highs, and new drama Revenge launching well at 10 PM. The hourlong season premiere of The Middle (3.0/9) at 8 PM was up 11% from last September when the show’s season opener was a half-hour. At 9 PM, off its sweep at the Emmys, Modern Family (6.0/15, 14.3 million) opened its third season up 18% from the Season 2 premiere and ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in both the demo (by a wide margin) and total viewers. It also provided a strong lead-in for new soap Revenge (3.4/9, 10.1 million), which gave ABC its best debut in the Wednesday 10 PM time period in four years, outpacing last fall’s debut of The Whole Truth in the hour by 127% and topping the hour in 18-49.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Survivor’, ‘Top Model’ Down In Return, ‘Up All Night’ Solid In Preview, ‘Free Agents’ Not So Much
Pre-fall launches continued last night with the season premiere of CBS veteran Survivor and previews of new NBC comedies Up All Night and Free Agents, while two summer staples, NBC’s America’s Got Talent and CBS’ Big Brother, wrapped their seasons.
Encouraging news for NBC’s new Christina Applegate-starring comedy Up All Night, which opened with a 3.7/10 at 10 PM, following the season finale of Talent (3.5/10 in adults 18-49). It built on its lead-in and ranked as the top program of the night in the demo. Up All Night can use the sampling as it has been tasked with anchoring a new Wednesday 8-9 PM comedy block for NBC starting next week. It is not clear how much help it will get from its companion, the Hank Azaria-starring Free Agents, which faltered in the preview last night, posting a 2.1/6 and dropping almost half of its Up All Night lead-in. Overall, the rookie comedies (average of 2.9/8 in 18-49) performed better than the now-defunct legal drama Outlaw (2.4/7), which NBC previewed behind the Talent finale last September. As for Talent (3.5/10), it was down 10% vs. last year’s finale, but comparing fast nationals-to-fast nationals, it was down 5%. NBC (3.3/9, 12.3 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
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