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Ratings Clack – Terra Nova not exactly Jurassic in debut

'Terra Nova' didn't bring the numbers that the $20 million pilot suggested were expected, while 'Two and a Half Men' continued to lead all shows and ABC had a good debut for 'Suburgatory'. On cable, 'Boardwalk Empire' is back for HBO.

FOX - The big premiere last week was Terra Nova (9.22m/3.1). Unfortunately, much like X Factor, the show fell short of the lofty expectations the network might have had. That number isn’t a disaster. But you can’t imagine anyone signed off on a $20 million pilot in the hopes of finishing third in the 8 o’clock hour. The one piece of good news from the Terra Nova ratings is that the show was steady throughout the two hours. That suggests that the expected second week drop won’t be severe, but it will probably land the show in third place again.

Earlier in the week it was a good start to the year for The Simpsons (8.08m/3.9), Cleveland (6.13m/3.1), Family Guy (7.69m/4.1), and American Dad (5.83m/3). The news was also good for Glee (8.6m/3.7) and New Girl (9.28m/4.5) on Tuesday. Both held up well. Raising Hope (6.14m/2.9) looks a bit ‘one of these things is not like the others’, but is doing well enough. The biggest surprise of the week is that New Girl is the #1 demo show for the network. That’s much to Simon Cowell’s chagrin, I’m sure. X Factor (11.86m/4.1 – 12.17m/3.9) had another solid week. The week wrapped with Kitchen Nightmares (3.99m/1.6) and Fringe (3.14m/1.2) on Friday.

ABC - Another big premiere arrived on Sunday with Pan Am (11.06m/3.1). That’s a good start for the show, especially if you consider that it gained viewers out of the Desperate Housewives (9.93m/3.2) premiere. Or, if you compare it to the other period drama, Playboy Club. There was nothing too exciting to report on Monday and Tuesday, with Dancing With The Stars (16.23m/3.3), Castle (11.67m/3.1), and Body Of Proof (9.19m/1.8) around the expected totals.

Wednesday was more interesting as it brought the premiere of Suburgatory (9.81m/3.3). That’s a good start. It’s also worth noting that it grew in both measures out of The Middle (8.68m/2.7), and was higher than the premiere of Happy Endings (7.25m/3.1) following Modern Family (13.45m/5.7). Revenge (8.54m/2.7) took a sizable dip without the benefit of Modern Family. Thursday brought a fall to fourth in the demo for Charlie’s Angels (7.11m/1.5) and ok numbers for Grey’s Anatomy (10.2m/3.6) and Private Practice (7.79m/2.8).

CBS - The week started with expected numbers for the new CBS Sunday of Amazing Race (10.18m/3), The Good Wife (10.66m/2.2), and CSI Miami (9.89m/2.3). The really interesting bits were still to come, on Monday. Two And A Half Men (20.52m/7.4), as expected, dropped in week two. That is still an amazing number. We’ll have to continue to wait to see where the show will settle. Perhaps more surprising was the result for the premiere of 2 Broke Girls (11.75m/4.6) in the 8:30 slot. That was above How I Met Your Mother (10.5m/4.5). Mike & Molly (13.86m/4.8) got off to a good start following Men. And Hawaii Five-O (11.26m/3.3) again split the night with Castle.

NCIS (19.51m/4.2) and NCIS LA (16.26m/3.6) continued to cruise right along, but the jury is still out on Unforgettable (12.43m/2.5). Still good, but we’ll see where it finds its level. Survivor (10.71m/3.2) and Criminal Minds (12.58m/3.6) both looked fine on Wednesday. And CSI (11.76m/3.1), despite being well below what it once was, easily won the night at 10. If there was a black mark on the week for CBS it was the premiere of How To Be A Gentleman (8.98m/2.7). That’s not an encouraging number for the premiere when coming out of Big Bang Theory (14.74m/4.9). Person of Interest (12.51m/2.7) and The Mentalist (12.92m/2.6) both had expected second week dips. I remain a bit skeptical about the future of PoI. Friday finished with A Gifted Man (8.14m/1.2), CSI NY (9.96m/1.6), and Blue Bloods (11.16m/1.8).

NBC - Well… at least they have Sunday Night Football (20.36m/8.3). The rest of the NBC schedule remains pretty dismal. Clearly, The Sing Off (4.45m/1.7) was not a great idea for fall. And that still looks to be a better decision than Playboy Club (3.97m/1.3). I’d say that Playboy Club is on the verge of being canceled, but that would be ignoring the impossibly bad results for Free Agents (3.07m/1). Up All Night (5.32m/2.1) looks good by comparison. Earlier, the slow decline of Biggest Loser (5.87m/2.3) continued to eat a two hour hole in the schedule, while Parenthood (5.53m/2.2) continued to be just good enough to not cancel yet.

The news isn’t much better for Harry’s Law (7.63m/1.2) or SVU (7.24m/2.1). And Thursday remains a night with only one actually successful half hour, in The Office (6.7m/3.5). And, unfortunately, that number suggests that the exit of Michael may be showing in lowered numbers for that old warhorse. The rest of the night looked pretty rough with Community (3.98m/1.8), Parks & Rec (4.33m/2.1), Whitney (5.4m/2.5), and Prime Suspect (5.69m/1.5).

CW - The most interesting result to me was that Hart of Dixie (1.88m/.8) managed half a million more viewers than Gossip Girl (1.37m/.7) despite the former squaring off against Two and a Half Men. It’s not a great premiere, but given the results for the rest of the network, that qualifies as a solid debut. Ringer (1.98m/.8) had a similar result, besting 90210 (1.58m/.8). The biggest surprise of the week for CW was the sudden growth for H8R (1.37m/.6), but I think we can chalk that up to the appearance of Kim Kardashian and look for it to drop again. Next Top Model (1.76m/.8) remains well off the historical pace. Vampire Diaries (2.74m/1.3) continues to lead the network while Secret Circle (2.12m/1) is looking like a reasonable companion. Finally, the Friday combination of Nikita (1.78m/.6) and Supernatural (1.77m/.7) was again below the Smallville/Supernatural combo from last year.

CABLE - The big premiere for the week was HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (2.91m/1.3). That was well below the results for the season one premiere (4.81m/2). It’s not exactly cause for alarm, but it does certainly bring to mind the HBO shows from the past that have ended sooner than fans might have liked.

  • Drop Dead Diva (2.11m/1.7)
  • Breaking Bad (1.55m/.7)
  • The Lying Game (1.06m/.4)
  • Alphas (1.16m/.5)
  • Sons of Anarchy (3.28m/1.7)
  • Death Valley (.51m/.2)
  • Awkward (2.24m/1.2)
  • It’s Always Sunny (2.03m/1.3)
  • Archer (1.19m/.8)
  • Monday Night Football (17.1m/7.2)
  • Project Runway (2.73m/.9)
  • Jersey Shore (7.06m/3.8)
Photo Credit: FOX

7 Responses to “Ratings Clack – Terra Nova not exactly Jurassic in debut”

October 3, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I’m very interested in seeing how the ratings play out for Terra Nova. Given the cost, I’m slightly concerned because I love this show.

But, @Fox_Research is reporting it is the highest rated new show in the demo when factoring in 3 day DVR at 4.1 (source:!/FOX_Research/status/120886805624131585)

The replay also didn’t do too bad on Saturday night (2.87m/.9).

Will ratings go up tonight? Hmm…

Interesting- Prime Suspect was (5.69m/1.5) for original airing. The Saturday repeat was (4.56m/.6).

October 3, 2011 at 2:13 PM

That’s one way to look at I suppose. Although, I think that stat says more about the rest of the drama premieres than it does about Terra Nova. I wouldn’t expect ratings to go up, but given how well it held its audience, I don’t expect them to drop very far either.

October 3, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Although, I think that stat says more about the rest of the drama premieres than it does about Terra Nova.

An interesting perspective. I’m just not sure that Monday night is the night for this show with Football to compete with. I know you normally stay away from perspectives like that, but you also recognize Football for the juggernaut that it is.

October 3, 2011 at 5:20 PM

That’s a fair point, and last Monday was an exceptionally big audience for MNF. But I would also point out again, nobody spends $20 million on a pilot to get a show that has to dodge other shows. And, despite also facing Monday Night Football, everything else on ABC and CBS beat Terra Nova, putting it in 9th place for the night if we include MNF.

I lean more toward the line of thinking that this kind of show is just a really hard sell on network television. But, just to play along, where would you put it instead? Do you sacrifice the established success of Glee and the new-found status of New Girl? Or toy with what is obviously a much safer long term bet in X-Factor? Because, after that, all that’s left is Friday. And I think we all know how that story goes.

October 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Well, you know me. I was watching MNF. Though I probably should have bailed on that enterprise. But I think there was demo crossover between the two anyways. Not enough to have significant impact, but likely enough to notice.

And I could give a flip where XFactor goes. Monday seems like a good bet :)

October 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM

I agree about crossover in the demographics. Especially since this is the kind of show, like football, many people might want to watch on the good, big tv.

October 3, 2011 at 6:38 PM

HBO shows do have a history of being canceled after two seasons….

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