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Ratings Clack – Game of Thrones returns to series high numbers

Things are very good for the denizens of Westeros. HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' returned for season two at series high levels. The news wasn't so good for the other big cable premiere for the week, 'The Killing'. That was was down from the end of the first season.

CABLE - It would seem that absence made the heart grow fonder where Game Of Thrones (3.86m/2) is concerned. Season two opened well above the 3.04m/1.4 of the first season finale. On the other side of the coin… you find the season two premiere of The Killing (1.8m/.5), which was down from the 2.32m/.7 for season one finale. It would seem the ridiculous finale was a deal breaker for more than a few, and the recent zombie successes for the network didn’t transfer in this case. In week two news, Mad Men (2.94m/1) was down from the premiere, but remains above the previous season levels. And just for kicks and giggles, feel free to weigh all that against the latest from Swamp People (4.51m/1.7) and scratch your head accordingly.

  • Army Wives (2.6m/.8)
  • Breakout Kings (1.45m/.7)
  • Secret Life Of The American Teen (1.56m/.8)
  • Being Human (1.27m/.5)
  • Make It Or Break It (1.17m/.5)
  • Lost Girl (1.01m/.4)
  • Justified (2.47m/.8)
  • The Game (2.02m/1.1)
  • Let’s Stay Together (1.67m/.9)
  • South Park (2.69m/1.5)
  • Psych (2.64m/.9)
  • Monster Man (.68m/.2)
  • Shameless (1.45m/.7)
  • House Of Lies (.78m/.4)
  • Californication (.77m/.4)

CBS - The Tiffany network is almost boring in its consistency. Almost every show just motors through the season producing solid numbers. This week, with Country Music Awards (13.09m/3.1) and NCAA Basketball (20.87m/7.6) powering Sunday and Monday, CBS was able to top four of six nights in viewers and demo. The two losses were Tuesday, where team Gibbs was in all repeat formation, and Wednesday, where American Idol topped what was an otherwise solid night from Survivor (10.36m/2.8), Criminal Minds (11.34m/3), and CSI (12.06m/2.9).

That means that the Thursday combination of Big Bang Theory (13.29m/4.4), Rules Of Engagement (8.58m/2.7), Person Of Interest (13.69m/3), and The Mentalist (12.59m/2.4) was able to outpace FOX’s combination of American Idol and Touch. That’s a big win for the network. Friday was also an easy win, thanks to Undercover Boss (7.75m/1.8), CSI NY (8.96m/1.6), and Blue Bloods (10.76m/1.7).

FOX - The news was mixed for FOX this week. On the bright side, it looks like Bones (8.39m/2.5) has stopped the bleeding on Monday, and taken over as the likely replacement for House (6.67m/2.3) on the night. And, of course, American Idol (17.09m/4.9 – 14.34m/3.9) is still American Idol, even if it is down. Less encouraging is the continued decline for Touch (7.15m/2.3). The loss of another 1.8m viewers lands the show in a distant third place.

From the bad news that will get better department, the horrible Tuesday comedy experiment came to a crashing halt with Raising Hope (3.93m/1.6), New Girl (4.59m/2.3) and Breaking In (2.55m/1.3) all looking worse for it having happened. The return of Glee should bring the night back up, and will be welcomed by all. The Friday debut of The Finder (3.92m/1.1) was also rather iffy, even if it did land the show slightly above Fringe (3.08m/1). Earlier in the week, Bob’s Burgers (3.66m/1.7) and American Dad (4.18m/2) were ok flying solo.

ABC - The week started out well enough with Once Upon A Time (8.36m/2.8), Desperate Housewives (8.49m/2.6), and GCB (5.63m/1.9) on Sunday. GCB does leave a little to be desired in the numbers, but remains the best of the recent solutions for Sunday at 10. Monday and Tuesday were ok as well, with Dancing With The Stars (16.87m/2.9 – 15.61m/2.8) paired with Castle (11.69m/2.1) and Body Of Proof (10.51m/2). With the similar lead-ins, there really isn’t much difference between the two.

Things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday, where leaving Happy Endings (3.67m/1.7) to fend for itself is doing it no favors. Thursday was rather iffy as well, with Missing (7.24m/1.5) continuing to skew very old, while the premiere of Scandal (7.33m/2) was questionable at best. A normal week two drop will put it in cancelation territory, and that was following a new Grey’s Anatomy (8.19m/2.8)

NBC - The good news is that The Voice (10.83m/4.1 – 8.45m/3.2) is still a hit on Monday and Tuesday. The Tuesday number is probably a little lower than the network would like, but it’s hard to throw stones at the second best thing going on the network. Smash (6.03m/2.1) is also worth noting. Not great numbers, but it has held up well in the 10PM slot. I suspect it will flounder if taken away from the protection of the Voice lead-in, but for now it is what passes for a win on NBC.

Things get really ugly on Thursday. The night, which did include an Office repeat, averaged 2.69m/1.16. That number is mind-bogglingly bad. I suppose Community (3m/1.3) deserves some recognition for being the best of what is a horrible group. But really, it’s hard to say anything good about a show that finished in 10th place for the night among broadcast shows, with less than half the viewers of the 9th place show. For their part, 30 Rock (2.79m/1.2), Up All Night (2.58m/1.2), and Awake (2.56m/.9) were even worse. So bad, in fact, that they all placed behind the Big Bang Theory repeat on TBS at 10PM (2.96m/1.3) that night.

In other comedy disaster news, Best Friends Forever (3.94m/1.2) premiered to horrible numbers before handing off to what amounts to the series finale of Bent (2.27m/.8 – 1.93m/.7). I remain completely confused as to why neither of these shows got a shot after The Office. Could they really have done any worse than Up All Night has been doing? Elsewhere, the shine seems to be off the current crop of Celebrity Apprentice contestants (5.96m/1.8), and Fashion Star (4.11m/1.5) isn’t gaining any ground despite following The Voice. Two other bright spots (NBC bright) came thanks to Off Their Rockers (7.4m/1.8) and Grimm (4.47m/1.3). That’s not a great number for Grimm, but it does put it ahead of eight other shows on ┬áthe network, despite airing on Friday.

CW – There were only three new entires for CW. The most notable was Gossip Girl (.97m/.5) which finally dropped below the million viewer line. It was joined by Ringer (1.05m/.4) and One Tree Hill (1.43m/.8).

Photo Credit: HBO

12 Responses to “Ratings Clack – Game of Thrones returns to series high numbers”

April 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I find that I truly enjoyed the six episode miniseries that was Bent. There was a piece on Vulture that posits some possible explanations for NBC’s shoddy treatment of a worthwhile show. Glad that Best Friends Forever crashed and burned, though.

I believe Community‘s final numbers this week were a 1.3 rating and a 5 share, not the 1.5 above. Is that correct? I remember because all the NBC sitcoms cratered around the same level, just above the The Office rerun that night.

April 9, 2012 at 12:56 PM

You are correct, Ryan. It seems that as I was crawling out of the grips of what could best be described as a case of the plague, I made a typo on the Community number. It was a 1.3.

And I completely agree with you about Bent. I would very much like to see more of it, but in the likely event that we never do, that last scene (plus a little imagination) wrapped things up rather nicely.

April 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

These numbers for Community make me sad.

This expresses my feelings.

April 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

. . . . .


At some point in time, I guess I’m going to have to find out what all this Game Of Thrones monkey business is all about. I’ven’t read the books, I’ven’t had any desire to see the series.

But … I know all the “cool kids” are “doing it” and that’s somewhat intriguing. But then … all the cool kids were doing Buffy … and Seinfeld … and BSG … and I have yet to do those. BSG I will end up viewing. The others? I don’t see that happening.

Meanwhile, in my grand “effort” to spurn the obvious (trust me … there isn’t an inkling of “effort” there), I may need to find out what all this Swamp People hoopla is all about …

April 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I’m on the other side of that particular coin. I got into the Song of Ice and Fire when all the ‘nerdy kids’ were doing it. And I just got so fed up with being jerked around by the bizarre whims of GRRM and the publishing (or not publishing) schedule of the books that I just washed my hands of it. The ten year break in the story killed what interest I had, and I haven’t been able to get back on the bandwagon, despite the newfound popularity the television series has brought.

And rather than Swamp People… might I suggest you set a DVR series recording for iCarly? Their recent April Fools episode was just the kind of crazy that should be right up your oddly skewed alley.

April 10, 2012 at 12:13 AM

I had pretty much stopped reading fantasy by the time A Song of Ice and Fire was released, as well as being weary of all the sex, violence, and despicable characters in Martin’s Wild Cards anthologies, so twice burned. After Season 1 finished, I skimmed the book summaries to see what would happen next, but was so bored by the genealogies, battles, and intrigues that I can’t imagine having to slog through the actual texts themselves. I’m quite content to wait and see everything play out on screen in a truncated, combined-character sort of way.

It’s not quite ten years, and the author didn’t string me along during that time, but I waited six years between books six and seven of Glen Cook’s The Black Company series, and still haven’t finished the story, even though it’s now complete and still in reprints. I still love the series, but I’ve forgotten the plot, and have never taken the time to go back and reread the first six books. It’s a street-level dark/epic 1980’s fantasy about the soldiers that do the Empire’s dirty work, and is so real and twisted that none of the depravity in Game of Thrones ever shocks me. Very highly recommended.

April 10, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Thanks, Ryan. The Black Company looks very interesting. Adding it to the list.

April 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I’m obviously on board the Game of Thrones, and would recommend it to anyone, but I recognize that a lot of people won’t be interested in it. But honestly, Mike, I don’t know enough about your likes/dislikes to know if it is for you or not.

Brett: I also get your frustration with the publishing schedule. Having read through the first four books only months before the fifth was released, I realize I have nothing to complain against compared to most. But knowing what I know about the past, I will adopt a simple “The next book will be here when the next book gets here” approach.

April 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I tried that Ivey, I did. But over the course of TEN YEARS, at some point I just couldn’t be bothered to try and kick that particular football again. And it wasn’t just the ten year gap. It was also the updates of it’s almost done… not really… it will be released on this date… not really… ok here it is, but the three characters you most want to read about aren’t in this book, but that book is almost done… not really… it will be released on this date… not really… Yes, I’m bitter, and probably somewhat less than rational, but that’s the way it is.

For kicks and giggles… Imagine, if you will, that HBO announced they were having issues with the scripts, so they were going to take a two year break between season two and season three. And, by the way, Jon, Tyrion, and Daenerys weren’t going to be in season three, but you’ll see them again in season four, in four years. What reaction would you expect from fans?

April 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Oh, I understand and sympathize completely.

I’m just glad I’m not burdened with that history :)

April 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

In a horrible bit of schadenfreude, I am kind of rooting for the television series to catch up to the books before GRRM gets the series completed, so I can watch the whole thing play out all over again on a much grander scale. :p

April 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Oh, you’re one of those people who wished that all people could experience your pain?

Good to know.


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