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).


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest