September 30, 2011

The Sked: THURSDAY RATINGS September 29

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Metcalf
Tags: , , ,


With two Thursdays down in the young 2011-12 broadcast season, FOX is the #1 network on this important night (especially to heavy spending movie, retail and auto advertisers).  The X Factor is a not inexpensive show with a great pedigree.  Although it is not living up to its lofty expectations, it is getting the job done for the network by winning time periods.  In contrast, How to Be a Gentleman premiered last night on CBS and does not appear to be a keeper, and ABC’s Charlie’s Angels and NBC’s Prime Suspect continue to struggle mightily.  Whitney is not a failure, but it is hard to term it anything close to a success yet. 

CBS ranked #2 on the second Thursday of the season with a 3.0 Adult 18-49 rating, despite a killer performance by Big Bang Theory (4.8 rating, down only 0.1 from the strong premiere).  The news was tough at 8:30 as How to Be a Gentleman tumbled 44% to a 2.7 rating, below what $#*! My Dad Says did last year and below our bearish ShowBuzzDaily fall ratings forecast for the show.  This did not help the dramas Person of Interest (down 0.4 from premiere) and Mentalist (down 0.3).  This night last year (9.30.2010), CBS was #1 with a 3.3 rating: Big Bang Theory (4.4), $#*! My Dad Says (3.3), CSI (3.1), Mentalist (3.0).

ABC ranked #3 last night with a 2.6 demo rating.  Charlie’s Angels sunk to a 1.5 rating (down a scary 0.6 from last week’s debut), and the show is already below the fall ShowBuzzDaily forecast for the re-make.  Grey’s Anatomy declined a similar amount to a 3.5 rating, more than a full rating point below its delivery in the time period last year at this point.  Private Practice, however, premiered at the same level it turned in last year.  On this night last year, ABC was #2 with a 2.8 rating: My Generation — its final telecast (1.1), Grey’s Anatomy (4.6), Private Practice (2.8). 

NBC ranked #4 last night with a 2.1 rating.  The 8-9 pm comedies were actually up 0.1 from last week, but that was it for the good news.  The Office settled down to a 3.4 rating (down 0.5 from last week and not unexpected given the fairly heavily promoted premiere).  Whitney retained 73.5% of her lead-in, down substantially from 82% last week.  If the retention keeps dropping (especially from a smaller base), it will be a serious cause for concern.  Prime Suspect wilted to a 1.5 rating (down 0.3 from last week) and continues to be a distant third in the time period leading into late local news and the late night comedy line-up.  On this night last year, NBC was #3 with a 2.3 rating: Community (1.9), 30 Rock (2.6), The Office (3.7), Outsourced (2.8), Apprentice (1.3). 

FOX was #1 last night with a 3.8 rating for The X Factor.  The show started at a 3.1 from 8:00-8:30 and built to a 4.3 in the 9:30 half hour.  Nevertheless, the Simon Cowell property declined week to week as it did Wednesday, with the Thursday edition falling from a 4.2 to a 3.8 (although still above our fall ratings projection).  Despite not meeting other lofty expectations, The X Factor has turned around FOX’s fortunes on the night.  On this night last year FOX was #4 with a 2.2 rating: Bones (2.5 rating) and Fringe (1.9). 

Through the first 11 nights of the season, FOX leads the way with a 3.43 rating, followed by CBS at a 3.25, ABC at a 2.79 and NBC at a 2.34 rating.  The CW is averaging a 0.77 season to date. 

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  1.5

 900 Grey’s Anatomy 3.7   3.6   4.1  3.5
1000 Private Practi 2.6   2.5   2.8 
 800 Big Bang Theor 3.9   4.0   4.9  4.8
 830 How Gentleman  3.2   2.9   2.7
 900 Person Interest3.5   3.5   3.1  2.7

1000 Mentalist      3.3   3.3   2.8  2.5
 800 Community      1.9   1.9   1.7  1.8
 830 Parks & Rec    2.1   2.1   2.0  2.1
 900 The Office     3.1   3.0   3.9  3.4

 930 Whitney        2.6   2.4   3.2  2.5
1000 Prime Suspect  2.5   2.4   1.8  1.5

 800 X-Factor       3.4   3.4   4.2  3.8   
 900 Bones          2.5   2.5   11/3
 800 Vampire Diar   n/a   n/a   1.5  1.2  1.3
 900 Secret Circle  n/a   n/a   1.3  0.9  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. 

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.