September 15, 2011

THE SKED: THURSDAY Ratings This Fall

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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THURSDAYS this Fall officially start September 22, with virtually all series debuting or returning on that night.  The main exception is The CW, with Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle premiering tonight and a few late premieres (CBS’s How to Be a Gentleman and ABC’s Private Practice on September 29 and FOX’s Bones in early November).  Click “read more” to see the latest ratings projections for Thursday nights.

At ABC, we have lowered the night by one-tenth of a rating point.  We just aren’t feeling it for Charlie’s Angels and the returning soaps are another year older, after all.  On CBS we have raised Big Bang Theory one-tenth to a 4.0, given strong repeat performance this summer.  Despite the stronger lead-in, we have reduced How to Be a Gentleman a full three-tenths, making the half-hour decline one of the steepest on the schedule (sliding from 82% retention in May to 72% projected in September).  NBC comedies from 8-9 pm are unchanged from May’s estimates, although we have lowered The Office and Prime Suspect one-tenth and Whitney two-tenths.  FOX estimates remain unchanged.

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. 

THURSDAY FALL 2011  Estimates         Episode Rating     
                    May   Sep   #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6   Avg
 800 Charlie’s Ang  2.3   2.2   9/22

 900 Grey’s Anatomy 3.7   3.6   9/22
1000 Private Practi 2.6   2.5   9/29 
 800 Big Bang Theor 3.9   4.0   9/22
 830 How Gentleman  3.2   2.9   9/29
 900 Person Interest3.5   3.5   9/22

1000 Mentalist      3.3   3.3   9/22
 800 Community      1.9   1.9   9/22
 830 Parks & Rec    2.1   2.1   9/22
 900 The Office     3.1   3.0   9/22

 930 Whitney        2.6   2.4   9/22
1000 Prime Suspect  2.5   2.4   9/22

 800 X-Factor       3.4   3.4   9/22   
 900 Bones          2.5   2.5   11/3
 800 Vampire Diar   n/a   n/a   9/15
 900 Secret Circle  n/a   n/a   9/15

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

                      MON      TUE      WED      THU      FRI      SAT      SUN     

Click below to read the ORIGINAL RATINGS PROJECTIONS for the other nights of the week (from May):  

                      MON      TUE      WED      THU      FRI      SAT      SUN      FULL WEEK

Click below to find out what to watch this fall:

                      MON      TUE      WED      THU       FRI      WEEKEND

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."