With the inaugural launch week of the new fall season well underway we already have a handful of both winners and potential losers. So which shows look like locks to thrive and which ones may need a miracle to survive? Here’s how the numbers fell!
It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce the latest retelling of a classic literary legend would be a hit as CBS’ “Elementary” easily won its Thursday premiere. The Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy Liu mystery series debuted to just over 13 million and a 3.1 demo rating in the important 18-49 group. Both numbers are better the 2011 premieres of former timeslot inhabitant “The Mentalist” and lead-in “Person Of Interest.” Interestingly enough though the show did slip slightly from its first half hour to its second, which is something executives will be watching for next week. Overall it was a good night all around for CBS with record premieres from both “The Big Bang Theory” (15.3 million) and “Person of Interest” (14.3 million), however the newly relocated “Two and a Half Men” sputtered with 12.3 million viewers marking a series low, yet easily topping last year’s “How To Be A Gentleman” (8.6 million) misfire, which lasted only a few weeks.
Loser: Made In Jersey
Let’s be honest, critics saw the failure of CBS’ “Made In Jersey” coming a mile away. Last night the new drama featuring rising star Janet Montgomery earned the distinction of being the lowest-rated new series of this young season in the advertiser friendly 18-49 demo. Simply put it had 7.7 million viewers, but just barely registered above a 1.0 in the key demographics. It fell 15% from its “CSI: New York” lead in and was down 28% from what the “CSI” spin-off did in that timeslot last year. Making matters worse “Jersey” did 20% worse than last year’s defunct drama “A Gifted Man” and that series had the misfortune of having to open the night on its own with no lead-in support. By comparison “Jersey” tied with the final season premiere of FOX’s “Fringe” in the demo and was the lowest performing program of the night for CBS which also had the aforementioned “CSI: NY” (9 million viewers) and the night’s champ “Blue Bloods” (11 million), which itself was down 25% from last year’s opener.
Surprisingly the biggest winner to start the season was NBC. The Peacock’s “Revolution” fell a slight (but expected) 15% in its second week on the air with 9.3 million and a 3.5 in the all-important 18-49 demo. The reason that’s impressive is because both ABC and CBS brought back their 10 p.m. heavy hitters “Castle” and “Hawaii Five-0,” but only “Castle” delivered. In fact “Hawaii’s” 8 million viewers opening was 34% less than of that of its second season bow last year. “Castle” on the other hand pulled in 11.4 million viewers, easily winning the hour, but losing to “Revolution” in the demo (with a 2.5) and slipping 14% from its prior opener.
Loser: Partners & The Mob Doctor
While “Revolution” rocked Monday, CBS had a rare miss that night when its new comedy “Partners” premiered to just 6.5 million (and a 2.4 in the demo). Granted it didn’t help that its “How I Met Your Mother” lead-in plunged 21% (8.7 million/3.4 in the demo) from last year’s bow. Adding insult to injury lead-out’s “2 Broke Girls” (10 million/3.7 in the demo) and “Mike & Molly” (9.3 million/3.0) also suffered double digit drops, but all still performed better than “Partners.” FOX also had a rough go as its “Mob Doctor” is now officially on life support dropping 22% to 4 million viewers and just staying above water in the demo with a 1.3.
Loser: The Mindy Project & Ben and Kate
FOX’s new comedies unfortunately got off to a rough start as “The Mindy Project” and “Ben and Kate” despite strong critical backing couldn’t do anything with its “New Girl” lead-ins. Of the pair, “Mindy” fared slightly better with 4.7 million viewers (with a 2.4 in the demo) while “Ben and Kate” was sampled by 4.2 million viewers (with a 2.0 in the demo). “New Girl” also saw a decline as each of the two new episodes pulled in 5.3 million viewers, which is (understandably) down from its series premiere last year which had 10.3 million viewers. However this is one case where experts would love to see an improvement next week as all three series are among the best comedies on TV; hopefully more people will tune in during week two.
In a shock to nobody the night was won by “NCIS” as it continued to show why it is TV’s most-watched drama as the Mark Harmon fronted procedural killed the competition on premiere night with over 20 million viewers and a 4.1 rating. Both are right on par with last year’s premiere. Spin-off “NCIS: Los Angeles” also held steady with 16.7 million and a 3.4 in the demo. As a result, the success of “NCIS” helped propel CBS’s new drama “Vegas” to a ratings win. The Dennis Quaid/Michael Chiklis Western opened to 14.7 million and a 2.5 in the demo. The end result put it ahead of all rivals and gave CBS its biggest timeslot season debut since “Judging Amy” held court there a decade ago. Critics though will point last year’s cancelled then resurrected “Unforgettable” had a better launch in the demo with a 2.9 (but 700,000 less viewers).
Winner: The Neighbors
The biggest surprise belongs to ABC’s critically reviled “The Neighbors” which had a fairly solid start with 9.3 million viewers and a 3.3 in the demo. However the jury is still technically out on the alien comedy as it was goosed by a minute overrun from lead-in “Modern Family,” which had a big night in its first post-Emmy airing of the season. The three-time reigning Best Comedy winner had 14.2 million viewers with a 5.5 in the demo, which was on par with last year’s premiere. “The Neighbors” also dipped by nearly 1.5 million viewers from its first half to its second which is some cause for concern. Still nobody expected it to even come close to those numbers, so for the moment it’s a victory.
Loser: Last Resort
It’s hard to call ABC’s “Last Resort’ a loser because despite lower than anticipated numbers it does has a lot working in its favor. With just over 9 million viewers (and a 2.2 demo rating), the critically acclaimed show matched the now defunct “Charlie’s Angels” remake which bowed in the timeslot last year, but it was up sharply from midseason replacement “Missing.” It also added viewers over the hour, which is always an impressive feat for a rookie series. In addition, lead-out “Grey’s Anatomy” got a boost from the sub drama as its had 11.5 million return visitors, marking a 11% season-to-season gain. “Grey’s” was actually one of the few returning series to get a boost, which means if “Resort” can hold off a significant second week swoon, it could have a fighting shot a survival. ABC’s “Scandal,” which concluded the night, also saw a strong season to season increase.
Winner: Sons Of Anarchy
Speaking of season increases, it’s very rare a cable series is mentioned in ratings reports about broadcast series, but FX’s “Sons Of Anarchy” deserves special attention as this week’s episode beat both ABC and NBC to win the Tuesday at 10 p.m. time period demos. In the adults 18-49, the biker drama pulled in a 2.1 rating and 2.6 million viewers, which is more than ABC’s “Private Practice” (1.9 demo/2.37 million viewers) and NBC’s “Parenthood” (1.8 demo/ 2.28 million viewers). The only series that did better was CBS’s “Vegas” which has a 2.5 in the demo (and considerably more viewers). The next highest cable series was Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0) which pulled a 1.3 in the demo.
Remember, don’t forget to subscribe to this column for all of the latest news coming out of the new TV season and in the meantime you can go to TVByTheNumbers.com for a full ratings breakdown.
What’s your take New York? Which new shows did you get behind? Did anything completely win you over? Hit the comments and let us know.
For previews of the 2012 Fall TV season you can click on the below:
“The New Normal”
“The Mob Doctor”
“Ben and Kate”
“The Mindy Project”
“Made In Jersey”
“666 Park Avenue”
“Sons Of Anarchy”
“The X Factor”
“Dancing With The Stars”
“The Good Wife”
“Once Upon A Time”
2012 Fall Preview Week Coverage:
–Most Promising Comedies
–Most Promising Dramas
–Least Promising Series
–Celebrities To Watch
-Ratings Winners & Losers