October 28, 2011

The Sked: THURSDAY RATINGS October 27 — November Sweep Begins

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>The November Sweep began last night, and FOX is off to a rousing start.  One night into the 28-night “sweep” period (in which each of the 210 TV markets are measured demographically in addition to the normal national ratings), FOX is #1 with a 5.8 fast national 18-49 rating, up 41% over the same night last year (which featured Game 2 of the World Series between San Francisco and Texas).  CBS is down 12% the first night of the sweep, ABC is down a nominal 3% and NBC is off a steep 25%.

          2011 vs 2010 Day 1 of 28

                 2011    2010
          FOX     5.8     4.1     +41%
          CBS     3.0     3.4     -12%
          ABC     2.8     2.9     – 3%
          NBC     1.8     2.4     -25% 

UPDATED with results from all networks below. 

Last night was all about Game 6 of The World Series, a nail-biting 10-9 victory for the St Louis Cardinals in 11 innings.  The game ended at 12:40 am ET.  The Texas Rangers were poised to win at multiple points in the game (twice St Louis was down to its final strike), but the Cardinals kept coming back with timely home runs and extra-base hits.  FOX averaged a 5.8 Adult 18-49 rating in prime time from 8-11 pm (starting at a 4.1 from 8:00-8:30 and building to a 6.6 from 10:30-11:00 pm, the latest ratings available at this time).  The full program rating from 8-12:40 will be available later today, but it will surely skyrocket.  The metered market household ratings indicate that viewers stayed up late to see the end of the game (well into the late night daypart in most of the country), and the official ratings will correctly account for the Western time zones (which are undercounted in the fast nationals).  We are guessing the final rating for the full duration of Game 6 will approach a 7 demo rating, which would put the game close to recent Game 6 numbers.

                         RECENT GAME 6 RATINGS — Adult 18-49
          2001 ARI-NYY   7.3 (SAT)
          2002 ANA-SFG   6.4 (SAT)
          2003 FLA-NYY   7.6 (SAT)
          2009 NYY-PHI   7.4 (WED)
          2011 TEX-STL   5.8* fast national — 6.9 est. official

ABC aired the same schedule it did last year (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice) with very similar results.  The Charlie Brown Halloween special (2.3 fast national rating) is actually up from a 2.2 last year, while Grey’s Anatomy (3.7 rating, subject to its usual upward adjustment) was down two tenths from a 3.9.  Only Private Practice really lagged (2.4 rating last night versus a 2.7 last year).

CBS was up in the 8 pm hour versus last year but down significantly from 9-11 pm with the dramas.  Big Bang Theory was a 4.5 last night night (probably a 4.6 in the official nationals later today), up from a 4.2 last year.  Rule of Engagement was a 3.4 last night, up from a 3.1 for last year’s $#*! My Dad Says.  However, Person of Interest (2.6) badly under-performed last year’s CSI episode on this night (3.3 rating).  The Mentalist (2.5) also was down quite a bit from its performance last year (3.2), suffering from a much lower lead-in and strong older-male ratings on FOX in the hour with baseball.

NBC had a horrible night to kick off the sweep.  Community pulled a 1.4 at 8 pm (tied with the first half hour of The Vampire Diaries on The CW), down by almost half from the 2.6 rating turned in by the DreamWorks animated special Scared Shrekless last year.  At 8:30 Parks & Recreation earned a 1.8 for its Halloween episode, down from last year’s 8:30 time period entry, Community at a 2.4 rating.  The Office continued the downward trend at 9 pm (2.8 rating this year versus a 4.0 for last year’s Halloween episode), and Whitney (2.1 rating) lagged last year’s Outsourced episode (2.7).  The culmination of “Prime Suspect Week”, an original episode of Maria Bello’s Prime Suspect (1.2) failed to turn around the fortunes of that show.  The 1.2 is a season low, below the last original episode’s 1.3, and even below last year’s Apprentice episode on this night (1.4 rating).  

A scary night, indeed, at NBC.  Matters only get worse tonight as the return of Chuck for its final season and the premiere of Grimm must go toe to toe with Game 7 of the World Series. 

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.