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CBS Axes ‘Defenders’, ‘$#*!’ & ‘Mad Love’

By | Sunday May 15, 2011 @ 12:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It is not last year’s bloodbath when CBS canceled seven series, but the network did some bloodletting today with the demise of freshmen The Defenders, $#*! My Dad Says and Mad Love. They join midseason drama Chaos, which was canceled after a couple of weeks on the air. From the freshman class of 2011, still fighting for its life is spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, while Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are locks to return. Not being featured on the cancellation list today is certainly an encouraging sign for the chances of Suspect Behavior, which may undergo some retooling if renewed.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Sci-Fi Dramas Lead Friday Rebound, ‘Blue Bloods’ Returns

Nellie Andreeva

After a depressing Thursday ratings report riddled with declines and season/series lows, things looked much brighter on Friday with most shows posting week-to-week gains.

After two alarming drops, Fox’s sci-fi series Fringe (1.5/5, 4.1 million) rebounded, up 7% from last week. Its lead-in, Kitchen Nightmares (1.7/6, 3.9 million) was up 13% after slipping by about that much last week.

CBS’ The Defenders (1.3/5, 8.5 million) also reversed a down trend, up 18% in 18-49. CSI: NY (1.8/6, 10.6 million) was up 13%. Blue Bloods (1.6/5, 11.1 million) returned to its regular Friday slot close to the levels of its ratings performance there before it moved to Wednesdays for a trial run. In its last original airing on Fridays on Dec. 3. Blue Bloods drew  a 1.7/6 and 11.4 million. The cop/family drama failed to carry over a demo ratings bump from its extra exposure on Wednesdays where it averaged a 2.1/6 and 11.8 last week. However, it is clear the Tom Selleck drama has a strong base as its viewership numbers stay virtually the same no matter the time slot or the length of the hiatus. CBS and Fox finished tied in 18-49 (1.6/5) for the night, with CBS (10.1 million) dominating the total viewer race.

Supernatural (2.3 million, 1.0/4 in 18-34) was up 25% in 18-34 and 27% in total viewers from last week, while Smallville (2.2 million, 0.9/4 in 18-34) was up 13% in 18-34 and down a fraction in total … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Fringe’ Takes A Hit

Nellie Andreeva

After encouraging first 2 weeks on Friday, Fox’s Fringe (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers) dropped 16% in the demo in its third airing against an original Supernatural and a Super Bowl commercials special on CBS. At 8 PM, Kitchen Nightmares (1.7/6, 4 million) held steady and won the hour in the demo. Read More »

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CBS Announces Mid-Season Schedule: ‘Mad Love’ To Monday And ‘Chaos’ To Friday

Nellie Andreeva

My colleague Michael Ausiello already scooped CBS’ biggest scheduling change this midseason: freshman cop family drama Blue Bloods will get a four-week trial run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Jan. 19, while the current occupant of the Wednesday 10 PM time period, freshman legal dramedy The Defenders, will relocate to the Friday 8 PM berth on Feb. 4, following the series finale of veteran paranormal drama Medium. No surprise in the launch strategy for CBS’ midseason drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, which will succeed Blue Bloods in the Wednesday 10 PM slot beginning Feb. 16 when Blue Bloods will return to its Friday 10 PM home. The Criminal Minds spinoff was widely expected to air behind the mothership series the way NCIS: LA follows NCIS on Tuesday. But somewhat unexpected was the harsh treatment of CBS’ other midseason drama series Chaos. CBS brass fought hard for the series, whose midseason pickup originally fell through after a deal with producing studio 20th Century Fox TV could not be reached. The project was later resurrected, picked up and made a co-production with CBS TV Studios. But now, the comedic drama about a group of rogue CIA spies has been assigned the tough Friday 8 PM slot where it will succeed The Defenders on April 1 when the freshman will have completed its reduced first-season order. (I’m sure the producers of the series starring Freddy Rodriguez are hoping … Read More »

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CBS Gives ‘Blue Bloods’ Wednesday 10 PM Trial Run, Shifts ‘The Defenders’ to Fridays

EXCLUSIVE: CBS is about to find out how big a hit it has on its hands with Blue Bloods. I’m hearing the freshman Tom Selleck drama — which has been averaging a healthy 12.3 million viewers on Fridays at 10 PM — will get a four-week trial run on Wednesdays at 10 PM beginning Jan. 19. Fellow freshman series The Defenders, which is currently occupying the Wednesday 10 PM slot, will shift to a new regular time slot, Fridays at 8 PM, starting Feb. 4. There, the legal dramedy will succeed departing paranormal crime drama Medium. Beginning Feb. 16, spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior takes over on Wednesdays at 10 PM where it will follow Criminal Minds. This is the same strategy CBS successfully used for the launch of spinoff NCIS: LA, which also followed  the mothership NCIS series on Tuesdays. Blue Bloods, meanwhile, reclaims its Friday 10 PM post on Feb. 11. CBS, which declined to comment for this story, is expected to announce its midseason plans later today.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Sing-Off’ Tops ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Finale

Nellie Andreeva

Reality dominated the broadcast landscape last night with four hours of original unscripted fare vs. 3 of first-run scripted programming. The penultimate episode of CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua (3.5/11 in 18-49, 12.4 million viewers) was the top program in the adult demo for the night. It was down a tenth from last week while hitting a season high in total viewers. Criminal Minds (3.2/9) was down 9%, while The Defenders (2.0/6) was flat. CBS (2.9/8, 12.2 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, with all of its series winning their time slots. But Defenders was tied in the demo with NBC’s rerun of Law & Order: SVU (2.0/6, 6.9 million), which is not a good sign as The Defenders would soon have to face SVU originals as the veteran NBC cop drama is shifting to 10 PM in midseason. There has been a lot of talk that CBS would move Defenders out of the Wednesday 10 PM time slot, possibly to Fridays, and last night’s performance would certainly further fuel that speculation.

NBC’s limited reality series The Sing-Off (2.9/8, 8.4 million) continues to do very well, up 7% from last Wednesday in 18-49 to post a season high for NBC in the 8-10 PM slot. (It was down 12% from Monday’s telecast.) The second hour of The Sing-Off edged the season finale of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (3/8 vs. 2.6/7). Fox’s Human Target (1.5/5) was down a tenth, while the Hell’s Kitchen‘s  finale (2.6/7) was up 13% from last week but … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Wins, ‘Modern Family’ & ‘Cougar Town’ Hit Season Lows

Nellie Andreeva

After taking a break on Tuesday where it would’ve clashed with Glee, the scripted series that helped it get on the air, NBC’s reality series The Sing-Off returned last night for its second airing. It averaged a 2.6/7 in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall from 8-10 PM, down 7% from the Monday premiere but a season high for the network in the slot. The a cappella singing competition was up 24% from  the same Wednesday night last year and flat with its second episode, which aired on Tuesday last December. A rerun of Law & Order: Special Victim Unit (1.8/5, 6.2 million) ran at 10 PM, the series’ new permanent home as of Jan. 5.

ABC’s comedy block was down across the board: The Middle (2.5/7) was down 11% to tie its season low, Better With You (2.2/6) was down 4%, Modern Family (4.1/11) was down 15% for a season low and Cougar Town (2.6/7) was down 13%, also a season low. Modern Family still ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in the 18-49 demo. Like NBC, ABC’s lineup in the 10 PM hour was a dry run for midseason when it will feature comedies. Repeats of Modern Family (1.9/5) and Cougar Town (1.3/4) last night outperformed significantly the original Whole Truth (0.9/3) in the hour last week.

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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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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RATINGS RAT RACE: Big ‘LOLA’ Rebound

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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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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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Modern Family’ Flies High, ‘Undercovers’ Soft & ‘Truth’ In Danger

Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of its best series Emmy win, ABC’s comedy Modern Family hit all-time highs in its return for a second season. But also in the ABC column was the most disappointing premiere last night, that of new legal drama The Whole Truth (1.5/4 in adults 8-49, 4.9 million viewers). Another night of no breakout freshman shows ala Modern Family last year, with CBS’ 10 PM dramedy The Defenders (2.9/8, 12.1 million) and ABC’s 8:30 PM comedy Better with You (2.5/7, 8 million) showing some promise, while the debut of NBC’s Undercovers (2.0/6, 8.6 million) at 8 PM was pretty underwhelming.

But while the pecking order at 8 PM and 9 PM on Wednesdays seems to have been established, with CBS’ Survivor dominating the 8 PM hour and Modern Family shining at 9 PM with CBS’ Criminal Minds running solid second, the 10 PM period is still up for grabs. So the solid showing of Law & Order: SVU, which dominated the hour last night, is encouraging news for NBC that the new Law & Order: Los Angeles would also do well when it premieres there next week. Here is a network-by-network rundown:

Need more proof that no scripted series can launch successfully at 8 PM on the Big 4 these days? How about J.J. Abrams’ spy romp Undercovers opening to a 2.0 rating last night. That was down 13% from what … Read More »

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