Here is one problem with the current broadcast comedy series — there are too many “hammock” shows that do respectable business with a strong lead-in but not enough tentpole comedies to hold those comedy tents that are popping up all over the schedule. CBS has that problem with its Monday lineup. 2 Broke Girls, which was red hot airing in the hammock 8:30 PM slot in its first season, was promoted to the 9 PM anchor slot last fall. It gradually lost steam. Its decline was accelerated this fall to a point where CBS decided to put the show back at 8:30 PM for much needed rehab. The move has worked well for 2 Broke Girls, which immediately rebounded. Last night, it inched up another tenth to a 2.7 in adults 18-49, only a tenth from its season high posted by the September opener. That despite its lead-in, How I Met Your Mother (3.1), being down 9% week to week. It still was CBS’ highest rated program of the night. Therein lies the problem. Another comedy, which has done perfectly fine as a “hammock” show at 9:30 PM, Mike & Molly, was assigned the 9 PM slot. In its season premiere last week, Mike & Molly logged its lowest-rated opener but still held onto its 2 Broke Girls lead-in. Last night, the comedy starring Melissa McCarthy (2.2) fell 15% from last Monday’s debut and 19% from its lead-in. The ratings slide continued with Mom (1.9, down 5% to tie its lowest fast national to date) and Hostages (1.1, flat and tied for series low).
The Mindy Project showrunner appears to be fed up with notes from the Fox Decency Police, and has tweeted one such memo — presumably to embarrass the division. In its pre-shoot memo about one of the comedy’s episodes, The Fox Decency Police made these requests:
Page 13: Please substitute for Peter’s “balls” reference.
Page 28 Please substitute for Mindy’s “penis” reference.
Please substitute for Mindy’s “69″ reference.
Decency Police and their “We’ll trade you one penis for two vaginas” memos are always good for a laugh on a slow day, which may explain why today The Reporters Who Cover Television glommed on to showrunner Matt Warburton‘s tweet of several days ago (you know how it is: TV critic re-tweets it, Defamer posts it, more media pick it up). In the Twitter post, he took a photo of the memo and added, “The Mindy Project is a classy show for grown ups”, like he meant it to sting. And yet, ask someone attached to the show’s production or broadcast why it’s still on the air with the numbers it’s getting these days and you probably ARE going to get an earful of “Mindy is a very upscale show, with a 142 index in the demo in $100K+ homes, ranking No. 9 among major broadcast network shows in this category, and the highest indexing of any Fox entertainment series.”
Still, you can’t help but feel for Warburton. His series is getting clobbered by NBC’s The Voice in its time slot (last season NBC had little-watched comedies Go On and The New Normal in the second hour of primetime on the night).
NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.
Fox’s The X Factor has declared this The Season Of The Contestant (after having little luck when it focused on its revolving door of judges). NBC’s The Voice, which has been thumping X Factor in the ratings, announced today, meanwhile, that Cher, Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder and Miguel have joined the show as this season’s “advisers.” Cher will work with coach Blake Shelton; Sheeran with Christina Aguilera, Tedder with Adam Levine, and Miguel with CeeLo Green. “This group of wildly successful musicians will add their distinctive talents to their respective teams,” NBC’s alternative programming president Paul Telegdy said Monday. “I know Christina, Adam, CeeLo and Blake are very much looking forward to having them come aboard.”
For the uninitiated: Sheeran’s debut album + was certified 2x-platinum in the U.S. and the album’s single “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the most recent Grammys. Tedder is founder of OneRepublic and producer of artists such as Adele, Beyonce, Leona Lewis, Maroon 5 and Carrie Underwood. Miguel’s sophomore release, Kaleidoscope Dream, featured his third U.S. #1 hit single “Adorn”, which garnered his first Grammy for best R&B song and resided at the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hip Airplay chart for more than 23 weeks. In April, Miguel was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and was also included as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. And Cher is, well Cher.
EXCLUSIVE: The Voice coach Adam Levine continues his producing efforts with a single-camera comedy in development at NBC. The project, from Universal TV and Levine’s 222 Prods, is based on the real-life relationship between the Maroon 5 frontman and late-bloomer writer-producer Gene Hong (Community), who have been best friends and roommates since before they found success. Hong will write the pilot and executive produce with Levine, along with Levine’s childhood friend and longtime manager/producing partner Jordan Feldstein of 222 Prods. The project, whose development team includes Josh Gummersall, stems from the first-look deal Levine inked with NBC Entertainment in May. Feldstein is the brother of Jonah Hill, on whose Fox animated series, Allen Gregory, Hong worked before joining Community.
The point of NBC’s singing competition series The Voice is not to find a recording star, the show’s celebrity judges and host Carson Daly said, by way of dismissing a TV critic’s observation that the hit show had yet to turn one out. Things got tense during The Voice Q&A session at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 when the celebrity judges and Daly seemed to take issue with having to take questions from TV critics in the room. When one critic asked about the show’s practice of bringing in ringers, Adam Levine called that critic a “shit stirrer.” Another critic wondered whether Levine could not be spontaneous on the show after last season saying “I hate this country” on national TV when two of his singers got the hook, and he had to issue a statement saying “I obviously love my country very much.”
“I think people can see through stupid media hype,” he shot back, adding later, “No offense.”
Andy Patrick is an AwardsLine contributor.
Considering that upstart docureality series like Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo are dominating ratings and pop culture, reality-competition series have largely been overshadowed. NBC’s buzzy singing contest The Voice last year injected some fresh blood into the Emmy reality-competition field, which had mostly been filled by the same shows for the past decade. In fact, CBS’ The Amazing Race has snagged the Emmy every year but one since the category’s inception in 2003. However, The Voice is coming in strong in ratings and challenging Amazing Race’s hold on the title. So while you contemplate whether the reality-competition category is primed for a shakeup this year, here’s our assessment of the competitors.