September 27, 2012

The Horse Race: Three Days into the New Season

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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With three nights of official national ratings counted, CBS is in front with a 2.99 Adult 18-49 rating, down a dizzying 30% from the first three nights last fall (when CBS was a towering #1 at a 4.28 rating).  Remember, The Eye pulled a 10.7 rating for the season premiere of Two and a Half Men (the first Ashton Kutcher episode) and a 7.1 for the preview of 2 Broke Girls, admittedly tough acts to follow.  But up and down the line, shows are consistently down year to year all over the schedule.

NBC is a close second with a 2.92 rating Monday-Wednesday, up a whopping 50% thanks mostly to two nights of The Voice.  Last year at this time, NBC was averaging a 1.95 in distant fourth place.

FOX is in third with a 2.58 over the first three nights, down 30% from a second-place 3.66 last year.

And ABC is in fourth place currently with a 2.44 rating, down a similar 29% from a third-place 3.44 last year.

Remember this is only the first part of the first week of a 52-week marathon.  But aside from The Voice, there is a sizable initial rush to the exits from the traditional broadcasters.  A surprise hit or two (yet to premiere) could be lurking in the next several days, but it is going to take a big turnaround to create some momentum for this broadcast season.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.