October 12, 2011

THE SKED: Tuesday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 10/11/11


It’s taken this long for full ratings to be released from yesterday, mostly because of FOX’s baseball coverage.  And as Mitch Metcalf just reported, tonight is going to be a disaster for FOX as well, with a rain delay in what was supposed to be an afternoon game likely meaning the evening’s scheduled X FACTOR won’t air.  Before yesterday fades into memory, here’s how the networks fared.

ABC:  The network launched Tim Allen’s LAST MAN STANDING, and the results were… OK.  A 3.6 is certainly nothing to complain about, and if the show stays at that level, ABC will be very happy.  But this series has been a marketing priority for the network since the Upfronts back in May, and its premiere had the most carefully chosen date of any fall launch, designed to avoid competition from Glee for as long as possible.  After all that, the show managed a number only 0.3 higher than the premiere of the far less heavily promoted Suburgatory, and nowhere near the averages of New Girl or 2 Broke Girls so far this season, let alone their premieres.  The fact is that we won’t know where Last Man stands until November, when FOX’s regular schedule returns.  DANCING WITH THE STARS was up a bit, but we can’t know if that’s because of Last Man or the sharply reduced competition on FOX; BODY OF PROOF was down from last week.
NBC:  I believe (someone will tell me if I’m wrong) that last night’s PARENTHOOD was the first to ever build from its BIGGEST LOSER lead-in.  Part of that is because Loser continues to sink, of course, but it’s also true that Parenthood (which aired another superb episode last night–special kudos to cast members Peter Krause, Monica Potter, Dax Shepard, Mae Whitman and Max Burkholder) has been rock-solid in the ever-shrinking universe of NBC ratings, and is now one of their most reliable 1-hour shows.  
CBS:  Even with baseball as competition (which should theoretically affect CBS most due to its older audience), there was barely any movement in their numbers.  The question that the network will have to decide is whether they’re content with losing one-third of the NCIS LA audience at 10PM when millions decide not to watch UNFORGETTABLE, or if they think they can do better in that slot.
FOX  As Mitch Metcalf noted in his baseball piece, at some point FOX has to wonder why it’s still in the postseason baseball business.  Last night’s’ game with its 2.4 rating was 30% below the prior week’s episode of Glee, and almost 45% lower than New Girl, and that’s without even counting the mess that rain delays and extra innings have made of the network’s Sunday, Monday and now Wednesday schedules.  And the worst news for FOX is that with the teams left in this year’s postseason, there’s more than a small chance that this will be the lowest-rated World Series ever.
CW:  As noted elsewhere, CW seized the uptick in RINGER‘s rating to give it a full-season order, then gave them to HART OF DIXIE and THE SECRET CIRCLE as well.  None of which changes the fact that the network did an 0.7 last night with 90210 and 0.8 with RINGER, but it seems as though, for now at least, that’s good enough for this network.
Tonight’s numbers will be askew due to the last minute change in FOX’s schedule, but ratings to keep an eye on will include NBC’s UP ALL NIGHT (for the first time followed by a repeat of WHITNEY), the results of SUBURGATORY‘s Week 3, and the post-premiere number for FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY.  (We’ll have a Pilot + 1 review of the latter here later tonight.)

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."