September 23, 2011

THE SKED: THURSDAY Ratings September 22


Thursday night is off and running, and the highest rated show on the night is Big Bang Theory on CBS with a 4.9 Adult 18-49 rating (4.8 the first half hour and a 5.0 from 8:30-9:00).  The highly anticipated Person of Interest at 9 pm did not take full advantage of this sterling lead-in, settling for a 3.1 rating (fourth place in the hour and below the ShowBuzzDaily ratings projection for the fall).

At ABC, Charlie’s Angels opened tepidly with a 2.1 demo rating, about where we expected it to be.  Grey’s Anatomy showed some life in its two-hour season premiere (doing a 3.9 rating in its regular 9-10 pm hour and a time-period dominating 4.2 from 10-11 pm).

NBC is pretty much dead from 8-9 pm, with the vastly over-rated Community fourth in the time period and not too far above The CW’s Vampire DiariesParks & Recreation rises to a 2.0 rating but keeps the Peacock in fourth place from 8:30-9:00.   Both Community and Parks are slightly below our ratings forecast.  But the news was good at 9 pm — the Carrell-less Office logged a 3.9 rating (tied for second in the slot) as viewers came to see who the new boss will be.  Whitney premiered to 82% retention of The Office, a respectable percentage that will be watched very carefully in the next few weeks.  If it starts dropping into the low-70% range, eyebrows will be raised.  But anything in the high-70% range or above will speak to patience.  But the mostly bad news this week for NBC returned at 10 pm with the rejection of Prime Suspect.  56% retention of the Whitney lead-in, a distant last place in the hour, and below a 2 rating.  Not good news for the network or the local NBC stations who live and die off the lead-in to their late local news. 

And what about FOX?  Well, they quietly won the night with The X Factor.  Yes, it is much lower than American Idol, about which there has been much gnashing of teeth.  But television is about winning time periods and winning nights — by that measure The X Factor is getting the job done on a very competitive evening. 

On The CW, the two dramas drifted down a few tenths after coasting the first week with repeat competition. 

Through the first four days of Premiere Week, CBS is leading with a 4.1 demo rating, followed by FOX at a 3.8, ABC at a 3.4, and NBC all the way down at a 2.1.  The CW is averaging a 0.7.

THURSDAY FALL 2011  Estimates         Episode Rating     
                    May   Sep   #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6   Avg
 800 Charlie’s Ang  2.3   2.2   2.1

 900 Grey’s Anatomy 3.7   3.6   4.1
1000 Private Practi 2.6   2.5   9/29 
 800 Big Bang Theor 3.9   4.0   4.9
 830 How Gentleman  3.2   2.9   9/29
 900 Person Interest3.5   3.5   3.1

1000 Mentalist      3.3   3.3   2.8
 800 Community      1.9   1.9   1.7
 830 Parks & Rec    2.1   2.1   2.0
 900 The Office     3.1   3.0   3.9

 930 Whitney        2.6   2.4   3.2
1000 Prime Suspect  2.5   2.4   1.8

 800 X-Factor       3.4   3.4   4.2   
 900 Bones          2.5   2.5   11/3
 800 Vampire Diar   n/a   n/a   1.5  1.2
 900 Secret Circle  n/a   n/a   1.3  0.9

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.  CW shows are not currently estimated because we have incomplete historical data for the network’s time periods.  CW estimates should be available later this season or early next season. 

Click below to read the LATEST RESULTS and UPDATED RATINGS PROJECTIONS for the other nights of the week:

                      MON      TUE      WED      THU      FRI      SAT      SUN     

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.