September 22, 2011

THE SKED: WEDNESDAY Ratings September 21

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Two massively-promoted programs premiered last night, both to strong but not groundbreaking ratings.  FOX’s The X Factor opened to a 4.2 Adult 18-49 rating (4.0 in the first hour and 4.4 at 9 pm).  This is above the ShowBuzzDaily projection for the quarter on a fiercely competitive night.  However, this is below the 6-7 rating that American Idol routinely achieved last spring, but still a decent start and enough to make a mark on the night.

ABC’s Revenge took advantage of its Modern Family lead-in and won the 10 pm hour.  Modern Family’s one-hour season premiere logged a 6.0 demo rating, and Revenge debuted to a 3.4, a good number for a 10 pm drama these days.  This is a case where the next few weeks will really tell the tale.  Was the 3.4 rating a result of massive on-air promotion, or is it a reliable base that the soap can rely on each week?  We will know by week three or four.

CBS had its usual performance from its players, above a 3 rating throughout the night and above a 4 at 9 pm.  Survivor drifted down to a 3.1 (below our quarter-long forecast), while the 9-11 dramas were above our forecast.  Criminal Minds hit a 4.1, and the new and improved CSI starring Ted Danson hit a 3.1 and will continue to challenge Revenge each week going forward.

NBC’s Premiere Week from Hell continues.  Up All Night came back down to Earth to a 2.3 demo rating, close to our fall projection for the show.  The 3.7 rating the preview achieved after America’s Got Talent‘s finale last week appears to be illusory.  The news only got worse at 8:30.  Free Agents cascaded down to a 1.3 rating, already below our quarter projection for the comedy.  This is a strong candidate for first cancellation of the season.  The comedy crown for the 8 pm hour went to incumbent The Middle on ABC, as expected.  At 9 pm, Kathy Bates in Harry’s Law weighed in at a light 1.2 rating, a truly tough number to swallow.  This made it almost impossible for Law & Order: SVU to compete at 10 pm.  Although SVU rose to a 2.3, it remained a distant third in the time period.  While CBS took CSI up a notch with the addition of Ted Danson, SVU did not take the opportunity to replace Chris Meloni with an exciting, A-list star in order to revive the show.

The CW’s reality shows drifted down a few tenths of a rating point into further irrelevance on the night.  

WEDNESDAY FALL 2011 Estimates         Episode Rating     
                    May   Sep   #1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6   Avg
 800 The Middle     2.7   2.7   3.0

 830 Suburgatory    2.3   2.4   9/28
 900 Modern Family  4.6   4.6   6.0
 930 Happy Endings  3.0   2.9   9/28
1000 Revenge        2.2   2.3   3.4 

 800 Survivor       3.6   3.6   3.4  3.1 
 900 Criminal Minds 3.7   3.7   4.1
1000 CSI            2.6   2.6   3.1
 800 Up All Night   1.9   2.1   3.7  2.3 
 830 Free Agents    1.6   1.6   2.1  1.3

 900 Harry’s Law    2.2   2.2   1.2
1000 L&O SVU        2.3   2.3   2.3
 800 X-Factor       3.3   3.3   4.0   
 900 X-Factor       3.7   3.7   4.4
 930 Hate My Teenge 2.6   2.5   11/30

 800 H8R            n/a   n/a   0.6  0.4 
 900 Next Top Model n/a   n/a   0.9  0.7

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.