September 21, 2012

The Sked: Thursday Ratings September 20 — NBC Thursday…Yikes

NBC Thursday premiered last night, landing in third place with a 1.5 Adult 18-49 rating from 8-11 pm.  A premiere night is often one of the highest rated nights of the year, especially when facing two networks in repeats like last night.  It’s not going to be a pretty season for NBC on this important night.  Back in May, we forecast NBC would average a 1.6 for the entire fall on Thursdays.  Last night already puts them in the hole toward even hitting that anemic goal, as they could slide down even further when CBS and ABC come on line with originals next week.  

The SNL Election Special short series kicked off with a 1.6 rating at 8:00, about what we forecast 30 Rock will do the rest of the fourth quarter (1.5).  Up All Night premiered to a 1.3 rating at 8:30 — usually a show settles down a tenth or two the rest of the fall, which would eventually put it slightly below our estimated 1.3 for September-December.  The Office opened last night with a 2.1 rating at 9:00, already below our 2.3 estimate for the entire fall.  And Parks & Recreation premiered with a 1.7, also below our full quarter forecast of 2.1.  I guess if you really want to stretch to find a tiny silver lining in the gigantic thunderstorm cloud, Rock Center (1.1 last night) was slightly above our 1.0 forecast.

FOX won the night with a 3.2 rating.  The X Factor scored a 3.4 rating, up one tenth from last Thursday and exactly hitting our fall forecast for the hour.  Glee averaged a 2.9 last night, down two tenths from last week’s premiere (normal for a scripted show) and one tenth above our fall forecast for the musical comedy.

CBS averaged a 1.8 rating from 8-11 pm with all repeats, beating NBC and ABC.  Big Bang Theory repeats trounced NBC original comedy in the first hour (2.0 at 8:00 vs 1.6 for SNL; 2.4 for another Big Bang repeat at 8:30 vs 1.3 for Up All Night).  Two and Half Men repeats were much closer to original NBC comedy in the 9 pm hour (1.8 for Men at 9:00 vs 2.1 for The Office; 1.7 at 9:30 for both a Men repeat and Parks original).  Person of Interest won the 10 pm hour with a repeat.

ABC cobbled together a 1.2 for the night from the finale of Wipeout (1.4) and repeats of Grey’s Anatomy (1.3) and Scandal (1.0).

Next week, everyone comes to play on Thursday, a night which will include the premiere of perhaps the highest-rated new show of the season, Elementary on CBS.  If our forecasts are right, CBS will take command of the night with about a 3.6 rating, FOX will edge down to a 3.1, ABC will be a fairly respectable 2.6, and NBC will be an ignominious 1.5 or lower.

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.