September 20, 2011

THE SKED: MONDAY Ratings September 19

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Two and a Half Men premiered with a 10.3 Adult 18-49 rating, about equal to a good Sunday Night Football game but not at the level of an AFC Championship game, as CBS head Les Moonves boldly predicted.  Nonetheless, this is a great number to welcome Ashton Kutcher to the show.  Can the show maintain this level for the season?  Of course, not.  We estimate Two and a Half Men will settle into a high-5 rating next week and a high-4 in subsequent weeks, still well above our projected rating for the quarter. 

The news is not good for NBC.  Both The Sing-Off and Playboy Club were under a 2 rating and below our meager forecast for the entire quarter.  The Sing-Off was a moderate success in December (against mostly repeat competition), but it just couldn’t stand up to real competition of season premieres.  And Playboy Club looks DOA, a 1.6 demo rating and only 5 million viewers 2+ (Castle attracted over 13 million viewers on ABC in the time period and Hawaii Five-O had 12 million).  In all probability, the NBC numbers will remain the same in coming weeks or drift down slightly.

2 Broke Girls is off to a terrific start with a 7 demo rating.  It should go down a high-3 rating next week in its normal 8:30 time period, but a low-4 rating is not impossible.On ABC, Dancing with the Stars opened about where we expected, while Castle continue to impress (only one-tenth of a rating point behind time period leader Hawaii Five-O).  ABC’s patience with Castle is admirable, and the show has slowly and increasingly taken good advantage of its Dancing lead-in.

MONDAY FALL 2011    Estimates         Episode Rating      
                    May   Sep   #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6   Avg
 800 Dancing        3.7   3.6   3.9
 900 Dancing        4.4   4.2   3.9
1000 Castle         2.6   2.6   3.3
 800 How I Met      3.3   3.3   4.9
 830 2 Broke Girls  3.0   3.2   7.0 (special 9:30 time)
 900 2.5 Men        4.1   4.2   10.3
 930 Mike & Molly   3.4   3.6   9/26
1000 Hawaii Five-O  2.7   2.7   3.4
 800 The Sing-Off   2.2   2.3   1.9
 900 The Sing-Off   2.4   2.5   1.8
1000 Playboy Club   2.1   2.1   1.6
 800 Terra Nova     2.7   2.5   9/26
 900 House          3.4   3.3   10/3
 800 Gossip Girl    n/a   n/a   9/26
 900 Hart of Dixie  n/a   n/a   9/26

An important note:  the ratings estimates are for original episodes across the entire Fall (from mid-September through mid-December).  Generally, a series will premiere at a high level and then settle into a more normal number by week four-six.  The important number to look at as the season unfolds is the average-to-date column at the far right.  By the time episode four rolls around, look at the average of episodes one-four and you should have a pretty good idea how the fall — and the entire season — will sort out. 

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.