CliqueClack TV

Ratings Clack – Academy Awards and NASCAR shake things up

Our regularly scheduled programming was interrupted this week by the 'Academy Awards', the surprise prime-time appearance of the 'Daytona 500', and a triple shot of 'Idol'. That brought a few unexpected drops to the numbers. On cable, 'The Walking Dead' continues to rule.

FOX - It was a really good week for FOX. They had to take the night off on Sunday to dodge the Academy Awards, but the shinier side of the Sunday coin came from the inclement weather in Florida that pushed the Daytona 500 to Monday. Swapping out the slowing House and the sinking Alcatraz for the Daytona 500 (13.67m/4.5) made for a nice boost to the night. The gains continued as a triple shot of American Idol (16.11m/5.1 – 17.23m/5 – 18.27m/5.4) made for a huge bump to the Tuesday numbers. American Idol does remain down this year, but three nights at 5 or better in the demo still makes for a very good week.

ABC - The week started off very well with the Academy Awards (39.3m/11.7) easily knocking down the top spot for the week. That is right on pace with last year’s broadcast.   Monday, The Bachelor (8.05m/2.6) was more resistant to the siren’s call of NASCAR than most. Castle (9.1m/2.1) remained down, and in last place in the demo. That was much better than Tuesday, which is the real trouble spot in the ABC schedule.

Last Man Standing (7.5m/2.2) has settled at marginally acceptable levels, but Cougar Town (4.3m/1.6) is floundering. I suppose there is the Idol excuse. That was a lot more competition than normal. It all makes the next couple weeks very important for Cougar Town. The show will be facing the worst of the FOX comedy lineup (I Hate My Teenage Daughter), repeats of NCIS, and an NBC News special. If you would like your Big Carl half-full, Bill Lawrence doesn’t seem too concerned with the ratings. If you prefer your Big Carl half empty, he also says the show needs to average a 2.0 over the next six weeks. That seems like an awfully steep hill to climb. There is hope though, which is probably more than you can say for The River (4.04m/1.5) or Body Of Proof (6.83m/1.4).

Wednesday looked a little better, with the whole night — The Middle (8.23m/2.6), Suburgatory (6.85m/2.3), Modern Family (11.63m/4.8), Happy Endings (5.94m/2.7), Revenge (7.53m/2.4) — being up over last week. If there is a concern there, it’s Suburgatory, which seems to be slowly falling behind the rest of its Wednesday playmates.

NBC - The best news NBC had this week was the fancy press release declaring that they were the winners of the February sweeps in the coveted 18-49 demo. If you have been following along with the week after week pile of last place finishes, you may be asking yourself, “WTF?” That’s a fair, and well stated, question. You have to remember that the Super Bowl happened during sweeps, artificially inflating the network’s average to a 3.7. Unfortunately, if the Super Bowl is removed that number plummets to 1.9 and NBC is a distant fourth place. Perhaps more telling from the press release, even with the Super Bowl, NBC was still over 2 million viewers behind CBS.

With no Super Bowl this week, we were back to the reality of NBC’s situation, where they only have one hit show, The Voice (14.89m/5.4). That is notable because it beat both the Tuesday and Wednesday Idol broadcasts in the demo, and tied with the Thursday edition. Smash (6.64m/2.3) looks as if it may have stopped the bleeding, but it remains perilously close to destruction on our Event disaster scale.

Smash The Event
1 11.44m/3.8 10.88m/3.6
2 8.06m/2.8 9.06m/2.9
3 6.47m/2.3 7.56m/2.4
4 6.64m/2.3 6.5m/2.2

Celebrity Apprentice (5.2m/1.8) took a sizable hit from the Academy Awards. Not unlike what happened to The Biggest Loser (5.7m/2) with Idol setting up shop on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Parenthood (5.16m/1.9) still managed to make some gains over last week. Wednesday remains troublesome, with Whitney (4.13m/1.5) only looking good if you compare it to 30 Rock, and Chelsea (3.45m/1.3) only looking good if you compare it to something on the CW that isn’t Vampire Diaries. Even more concerning is the continuing crash of SVU (5.42m/1.6). It really is time to pull that plug. Perhaps the best news of the week came from Grimm (5.58m/1.7). Those aren’t stellar numbers, but the fact that the show is third in viewers, and tied for fourth in demo, among NBC’s scripted shows, while appearing on Friday, is notable.

This was a particularly tough week for the Thursday comedies. Quite simply, if ever they were going to perform, this was the week. ABC was all repeats, and the only new programming on CBS was Rob. Conditions don’t get much better than that. Despite that, 30 Rock (3.77m/1.4), Parks & Rec (3.77m/1.7), and Up All Night (3.47m/1.6) all continued to disappoint. The Office (4.95m/2.5) deserves some acknowledgement for being able to get to 2.5, but still… In other news, Thursday also brought the premiere of Awake (6.24m/2). That’s not good. It is two tenths better than the premiere of Prime Suspect in that spot, but being slightly better than a show that has already been round-filed is not really anything to crow about. Add in the usual post-premiere drop, and the fact that it didn’t face new episodes of Private Practice or The Mentalist, and the future doesn’t look good for Michael.

 CBS - The Amazing Race (7.7m/2.2) was the only show sacrificed to Billy Crystal on Sunday, and the result was expected. More surprising were the Monday results for How I Met Your Mother (9.07m/3.6), 2 Broke Girls (10.18m/3.8), Two And A Half Men (11.92m/3.6), Mike & Molly (10.12m/2.9), and Hawaii Five-O (9.58m/2.5). The night as a whole was down over a million viewers and nearly a half point in the demo, making CBS the hardest hit by the Daytona shenanigans. I wouldn’t have thought there was that much crossover between the Barney and Biffle demographics.

By comparison, the Tuesday lineup of NCIS (18.2m/3.5), NCIS LA (15.85m/3.1), and Unforgettable (9.93m/1.9) held up much better versus the appearance of Idol. But then, NCIS has a long history of doing just fine against Idol. Wednesday was by the book for Survivor (10.65m/2.9), Criminal Minds (12.54m/3.1), and CSI (11.3m/2.6). And Thursday found Rob (8.99m/2.6) down, but not out, without the benefit of a new Big Bang leading the way. Unfortunately, it looks like Friday’s episode of A Gifted Man (9.7m/1.4) was probably a series finale. The silver lining there is that the best part of the show, Rachelle Lefevre, has been signed as the lead for Applebaum. The rest of the Friday lineup included Undercover Boss (9.55m/2) and Blue Bloods (11.4m/1.7).

CW - For the past few years, as we’ve watched the CW network circle the drain, the constant has always been that they had Next Top Model to prop things up. That’s no longer the case. The latest premiere (1.17m/.5) was as bad as everything else. And, again, I’m fascinated by the fact that One Tree Hill (1.57m/.7) is still able to lead the network in both measures. Could they bring it back again? The rest of the rather disappointing week included Gossip Girl (1.11m/.5), Hart Of Dixie (1.41m/.5), and Ringer (1.15m/.4).

CABLE - USA had the big premiere of the week with the return of Psych (2.46m/.8). That is off the pace of where it left off in December (3.03m/1.1), but not entirely unexpected given the competition. Despite the best efforts of Shawn and Gus, the big story on cable remains The Walking Dead (7.04m/3.8). From the crazy numbers department: That 3.8 demo would tie the show for second place for the week among scripted programming on the broadcast networks. I also have to wonder… does the crazy success of The Walking Dead put us one step closer to finally getting somewhere with the oft-delayed Preacher project?

  • Pretty Little Liars (2.49m/1)
  • The Lying Game (1.2m/.5)
  • Being Human (1.36m/.6)
  • Lost Girl (.97m/.4)
  • White Collar (2.55m/.7)
  • Justified (2.15m/.9)
  • Southland (1.9m/.7)
  • Switched At Birth (1.5m/.7)
  • Jane By Design (.96m/.4)
  • The Game (2.62m/1.3)
  • Let’s Stay Together (1.92m/1)
  • Archer (1.07m/.6)
  • Unsupervised (.5m/.3)
  • Comic Book Men (1.26m/.7)
  • Full Metal Jousting (1.24m/.5)
  • Pawn Stars (5.02m/1.9)
  • Top Shot (1.47m/.6)
  • Top Chef (1.85m/1)
  • Face Off (1.78m/.9)
  • Jersey Shore (5.3m/2.7)
  • Project Runway (1.78m/.7)
  • After The Runway (1.04m/.3)
  • Eastbound & Down (1.1m/.7)
  • Luck (.5m/.2)
Photo Credit: FOX

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