Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week 1 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 1 numbers (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: ABC: 9.3/14.5; CBS: 8.2/12.9; NBC: 5.1/8.0; Fox: 4.4/6.7; The CW: 2.1/3.2; MNT: 0.9/1.4.
Total Viewers: ABC: 14.46 million; CBS: 13.17 million; NBC: 8.14 million; Fox: 6.95 million; The CW: 3.12 million; MNT: 1.32 million.
Adults 18-49: ABC: 4.3/11.1; CBS: 3.8/9.8; NBC: 3.4/8.8; Fox: 2.8/7.2; The CW: 1.5/3.8; MNT: 0.5/1.3.

Analysis: We're back with another all-new TV season! The 2008-09 season has begun and most of the shows debuted this past week, with still some shows debuting in the next few weeks. Through the first four days, ABC has the lead in all categories as they did last year, with CBS second, NBC in third and Fox in fourth. ABC and CBS are just a tad down or on par really from last year's premiere week, but NBC and Fox have been down more. CBS remember didn't have CSI this week and it won't launch until Oct. 9. So that will cost them.
Monday was the first night of the 2008-09 season and it was all ABC thanks to the big return of Dancing with the Stars. The two-hour season premiere, with all the contestants dancing including the wild Cloris Leachman, did an impressive 21.34 million and a 5.3/13 in 18-49...viewers were up from last year but the 18-49 rating was down a bit. The season premiere of Boston Legal on a new night followed with its usual numbers, 8.82 million. No lead-in will help this show...it has its own fans. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did a nice 9.32 million, similar to its series premiere last year and How I Met Your Mother followed with 9.79 million way up from last year's premiere. Two and a Half Men and the series premiere of single-camera sitcom Worst Week followed with 14.88 and 10.87 million. Men was up over a million from last year's premiere, while Worst Week was down from Rules of Engagement in the same slot last year. Disappointing start. The season premiere of CSI: Miami did 17.23 million, way up from last year's premiere. Nice Monday for CBS with one hiccup. NBC followed with an all-night Heroes. Quite frankly it didn't deliver in the ratings as promised. The one-hour clip show did only 6.0 million, that spelled bad news for the premiere. The two-hour premiere followed with 10.09 million...while that is decent, it dropped in each half-hour. The premiere was down over 4 million from last year as well, but the half-hour drops were more of concern. Fox was a distant fourth with Sarah Connor continuing to fall with just 5.89 million, though up a bit week-to-week, and Prison Break did a similar 5.84 million...cancel this already Fox. The CW is on its game this year on Mondays with Gossip Girl doing a solid 3.33 million and the resurgent One Tree Hill at 3.14 million.
Tuesday, CBS edged ABC in HH/viewers, while Fox beat ABC in 18-49. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opened the night off with 18.03 million, up nearly 5 million from last year (thought it faced Dancing last year in the slot), followed by the series premiere of The Mentalist which did a nice 15.6 million...has CBS found a hit here? And the once again moved Without a Trace did 11.28 million, way down than usual...that was actually on par with the canceled Cane's premiere a year ago. Not good news. ABC was next with the series premiere of family game show Opportunity Knocks at 6.56 million, disappointing indeed, but it is on the watch list because it did grow in its second half-hour...but needs to do better this week. Dancing with the Stars did 18.3 million from 9-11pm, on par with its Tuesday premiere last year (which was 8-9:30pm). Fox was third with House doing 12.38 million, which is not good for House. Did the 8pm move hurt or is the show on a downward trend? Fringe was next with 9.42 million for its third episode...down from episode two by a lot. Fringe might be lead-in dependent. NBC was fourth with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 7.36 million, down a bit from its season premiere the previous week, followed by the Law & Order: SVU season premiere at just 9.68 million, down nearly three million from last year, while last year's premiere was off already by a lot from the year before. The CW aired the fourth episode already of 90210 with its lowest ratings yet with 2.94 million...should be doing better, the third episode of fellow rookie Privileged did just 1.81 million.
Wednesday again it was a battle between CBS and ABC. CBS had the season premiere of Old Christine on a new night and time do just 6.52 million followed by the series premiere of Gary Unmarried at just 6.82 million. Both were off from canceled Kid Nation's 7.62 million the same week last year. However veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were up big (thanks to weaker competition) doing 17.01 and 14.59 million, after Bush's 15 minute speech at 9pm ET. This week Private Practice premieres its new season for ABC, so it should dent a bit of that. ABC had a special night and time of Dancing with the Stars, this time the Results. Bye bye to Ted McGinley (he didn't deserve to go yet!), as 15.87 million tuned in for the hour results show at 8pm. The special David Blaine: Dive of Death followed President Bush from 9:16-11:16 doing 7.13 million. Blame Bush for the weak ending and disappointing numbers. Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money premiere this week for ABC. So that is what to watch this week. NBC opened the night with the series premiere of the new Knight Rider doing just 7.35 million...not even close to the TV-movies numbers last winter, followed by the second to last episode of summer series America's Got Talent at 10.3 million which was abbreviated from 9:15-10pm thanks to Bush. At 10pm NBC aired the season premiere of Lipstick Jungle at just 6.25 million. Why was this brought back? I see it going down more this week with the return of similar audience but higher rated Dirty Sexy Money. Fox was fourth, but started well with Bones at a strong 9.73 million, but then Bush aired and the sitcoms followed with just 3.72 and 3.58 million. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a decent 4.13 million, it's down but not out...a repeat of 90210 followed with 2.27 million.
Thursday it was ABC on top. ABC opened the night with Ugly Betty doing a solid 9.81 million, for second place...down a bit from last year's premiere. The two-hour Grey's Anatomy season premiere followed with 18.47 million, down about 2 million from last season's premiere...still a powerhouse. CBS opened with the two-hour premiere of Survivor: Gabon at 13.06 million. A repeat of last season's CSI season finale at 10pm did 9.28 million. NBC was a distant third with the one-hour episodes of My Name is Earl and The Office doing 6.4 and 9.34 million, but Earl was way down from last year's premiere. Is this show dead? ER closed the night with a low rated season premiere of just 8.03 million, down nearly two million from last year. Fox had a forgetful Thursday with two episodes of Kitchen Nightmares doing just 4.18 and 4.46 million. Smallville got a nice season premiere on The CW with 4.18 million, but down a million from last year, followed by Supernatural at a decent 3.18 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but ABC won Friday as their coverage of the first Presidential Debate was by far #1. NBC and CBS were battling for second, but NBC edged them. ABC's special 20/20 and CBS's encore of The Mentalist premiere at 8pm also did decent.
Saturday numbers saw CBS win in the preliminaries, and ABC in 18-49 for college football.
Tonight are the season premieres for ABC Sunday (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters) and they will win the night in viewers, but CBS and NBC should have something to tout about, as NBC has a shot for 18-49 if the NFL game does big. CBS has two weaklings though in Amazing Race and The Unit which will not allow them to win in HH/viewers. Fox will do well in young adults.
As for the week, ABC will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. This week last year, CBS was first in HH and viewers, with ABC first in 18-49. Will it be a clean sweep for ABC? They've got a good shot.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of September 15-21)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) 3 episodes - three repeat episodes starting at 7:30 to 9pm did 4.56, 5.16, and 5.15 million ...season premiere is tonight
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted...season premiere tonight.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 1-hour star repeat did just 5.32 million...season premiere is tonight. Can it top 10 million like last year's premiere?
  • American Dad (Fox) - A special 7pm repeat did nothing with just 2.04 million against the NFL in many markets.

Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - The season premiere did an impressive 9.32 million, better than the timeslot premiere of How I Met Your Mother last year and just under last season's series premiere, which was at 8:30pm, of 9.52 million. Great start, hopefully it can maintain 9 million for the rest of the season.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 9.79 million for the season premiere is way higher than last year's 8.12 million premiere, which was at 8pm, and it built on everything from the lead-in, making it a great season premiere. 4.0 18-49 rating!
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.88 million...up from last season's season premiere of 13.58 million. How does this show do it?
  • Worst Week (CBS) - 10.87 million for the series premiere, but this was the weak link of the sitcoms. Why? It dropped quite a bit from the lead-in and last year Rules of Engagement did 12.23 million for its season premiere and had nice retention from the lead-in, not to mention Men was lower last year. Not a good start.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - Season premiere on a new night and time didn't do so well. Only 6.52 million makes it a disappointment. I thought it would do 7 million, and it came short of that.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Series premiere only mustered 6.82 million, it built from the lead-in...but I'm guessing it won't this week.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - Only 3.72 million...but blame Bush for it being that low as Bush's speech aired from 9-9:15pm ET delaying this show everywhere but out west by 15 minutes. Would have done probably close to 5 million otherwise, I think.
  • Do Not Disturb (Fox) - The last airing of this dismal sitcom did just 3.58 million...and Fox has canned it after just three low rated airings. Repeats of 'Til Death will air the next two weeks.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - The two-episode season premiere did just 6.4 million, down even from last year's 8.66 million. This show is not what it used to be. Expect it to go downhill from here.
  • The Office (NBC) - Building on the lead-in, the one-hour season premiere did 9.34 million, down a tad from last year's 9.65 million, but still a decent start. It's sad that this show is among NBC's highest rated shows now not counting the NFL.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are season premieres of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10PM.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Worst Week, Gary Unmarried) or just plain old terrible (such as 'Til Death, Do Not Disturb).


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.