Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week 4 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did; Blog DVD Review - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eighth Season

Week 4 numbers (first three nights, Mon-Wed):
NOTE: Thursday is not in this week in our averages once again, but we do have final program numbers in the analysis below:

Households: CBS: 7.7/11.9; ABC: 7.0/10.9; Fox: 5.3/8.2; NBC: 5.0/7.8; The CW: 1.7/2.5; MNT: 0.9/1.4.
Total Viewers: CBS: 12.0 million; ABC: 10.63 million; Fox: 8.29 million; NBC: 7.86 million; The CW: 2.43 million; MNT: 1.37 million.
Adults 18-49: CBS: 3.4/8.7; NBC: 3.1/8.1; Fox: 2.9/7.6; ABC: 2.6/6.8; The CW: 1.2/3.0; MNT: 0.5/1.3.

Analysis: Week 4 saw the final Presidential Debate, but it was on Wednesday this week. I apologize for the second week in a row we only have final averages for the first three days (thru Wednesday). But I do have Thursday final program numbers and network averages, just not four day averages. I don't have time to go through and recalculate so, I'll give you the final Thursday averages in HH: CBS 9.2/15, ABC 6.9/11, NBC 5.1/8, Fox 2.3/4, The CW 2.2/3, MNT 0.6/1, so you an determine yourself. So looking at those numbers and the first three days averages on the top, for the first four days, CBS has the lead in all categories, with ABC second in all categories (but possibly third in 18-49), NBC in third in HH/viewers (but possibly second in 18-49) and Fox in fourth in all categories thanks to a terrible Thursday.
Last week, CBS won week 3 in all categories for the second straight week (ABC won the first week), ABC was second in all categories, Fox nipped by NBC for third across the board, so NBC was fourth (but it did tie Fox for third in 18-49).
Monday ABC was on top thanks to of course Dancing with the Stars. The 90-minute episode did 17.77 million and a 4.0/10 in 18-49...again down from previous week, but that was two-hours. It should start picking up again soon when we reach the halfway mark and the good dancers are left. The season premiere of Samantha Who did solid with 11.45 million. A new Boston Legal followed with 8.01 million, down from the previous week. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 9.34 million, just down a tad from previous week and How I Met Your Mother followed with 9.25 million, up from the previous week but the show again didn't build on the lead-in in viewers...but it did in 18-49. Two and a Half Men and new single-camera sitcom Worst Week followed with 14.72 and 9.75 million. Men was up from previous week, while Worst Week was also finally up but still lost a lot from the lead-in in both viewers and 18-49. Too bad, it is a good show. At 10pm a new CSI: Miami did 13.22 million, down again from previous week...is that new sitcom before it, it has gone down every week. NBC followed with its drama line-up. Chuck started it off with 6.17 million, up a bit from previous week, Heroes followed with 8.75 million...up from previous week's series low. New series My Worst Own Enemy premiered at 10pm with 7.27 million...not too good, but not that bad either, needs to do something similar each week to be a player. Fox was fourth with the NLCS Game #4 with 7.71 million (7.1 million in primetime)...much better than the usual live numbers for Sarah Connor and Prison Break, as both of those return tomorrow. The CW had its usual decent numbers with Gossip Girl doing a solid 3.31 million and the resurgent One Tree Hill did 3.47 million.
Tuesday it was all CBS in viewers and Fox in 18-49. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 18.04 million, up over a million from previous week, new drama The Mentalist followed with a solid 14.94 million and Without a Trace did a decent 11.05 million, but seems low for this show. Fox was next this week with House doing 13.27 million, followed by new drama Fringe at 9.16 million. This show is pretty disappointing, as The Mentalist is doing much better. ABC was next with the very weak Opportunity Knocks at just 5.15 million and an even worse 1.318-49 rating. ABC has pulled it and this week a Dancing with the Stars Recap Show will air instead. Dancing with the Stars: The Results followed with 14.82 million...below normal, but that horrific lead-in has a lot to do it with it. Expect a boost this week. Season premiere of one of the written series, Eli Stone did 8.39 million, but with losses in the second half-hour. Viewers need to watch. Katie Holmes guest stars this week, look for better numbers this week. NBC was fourth with a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 7.64 million, up from previous week, followed by an all-new Law & Order: SVU at 9.51 million, but it dominated the hour in 18-49. The CW aired repeats of 90210 doing 1.73 million and a repeat of Privileged did 1.22 million.
Wednesday it not a normal night as the final Presidential Debate took center stage. NBC won the coverage of the debate beating ABC, who won the previous 3 debates. CBS started with sitcoms, Old Christine did 7.61 million, up a bit from previous week and a season high again, followed by new sitcom Gary Unmarried at 7.53 million, also up from previous week and a series high again. These are slowly going up...do to lack of competition primarily. CBS missed Criminal Minds and CSI: NY big time as their debate coverage did 9.16 million, which doesn't count in the ratings...the 30-minute analysis at 10:31pm does though and it did 7.19 million only. Fox was the only network of the big four not to air the debate because of the NLCS Game #5 doing 8.08 million (but 7.49 million in primetime), as Bones and 'Til Death were preempted. ABC aired the best Pushing Daisies yet and it did 6.11 million, up week to week, but needs to do better. How good of an episode was that? Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money were preempted for the debate coverage as ABC's coverage did a solid 10.6 million, for second place, though it doesn't count in the ratings (no ads). The analysis does and it did a solid 8.86 million. NBC opened the night with the new cheesy Knight Rider doing 7.47 million...also up week to week, followed by NBC's coverage of the debate at a first place 11.3 million, as NBC won for the first time in debate numbers, but it doesn't count in the ratings. The analysis does and it did a first place 9.09 million, edging ABC. The CW had a clip show of Top Model doing 3.21 million, so obviously it was down from previous week...a repeat of 90210 followed with 1.65 million, down a bit from previous week.
Thursday CBS won again. CBS opened with Survivor: Gabon at 12.81 million, down from previous week. A new CSI followed with 19.26 million, down four million from previous week's season premiere. It dropped from a 7.1 18-49 rating the previous week to 5.2 this week, for second place. The new Eleventh Hour followed and did 11.91 million, actually up a bit week to week. How?? There was so much bad reception from viewers watching last week. I don't get it. ABC opened the night with Ugly Betty doing 8.33 million, down a bit from previous week. Grey's Anatomy followed with 14.8 million and a first place 5.9 18-49 rating. I knew it would beat CSI in 18-49, as I said last week. The second episode Life on Mars did 8.22 million, down three million from its premiere. I don't understand it at all. NBC was third with a new My Name is Earl doing 6.72, down from previous week, new sitcom Kath & Kim followed with 6.1 million, didn't build on from the lead-in like it did last week, not good so far. The Office followed with a solid 8.28 million, but down a million from previous week. The second SNL Thursday Update special did 8.83 million, down two million from previous week, but still better than NBC would have done with 30 Rock by a lot. ER benefited again from that higher lead-in and did 8.96 million, down from previous week a bit. Fox had a Thursday to forget with two episodes of Hole in the Wall at a big hole doing 3.56 and 3.7 million, losing to The CW. A new Kitchen Nightmares was a nightmare with just 3.5 million. Smallville on The CW did 4.18 million, up a bit from previous week, followed by Supernatural at a decent 3.06 million...down a bit from previous week.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas, as Ghost Whisperer did very solid as usual but The Ex-List dropped more and fell out of the lead at 9 with NBC's Crusoe premiere beating it. NUMB3RS won 10pm but again saw year-to-year declines.
Saturday numbers saw CBS win in the preliminaries overall and Fox and ABC in 18-49. NBC had terrible numbers for America's Toughest Jobs on Saturday with a prelim 2.49 million.
Tonight should be a victory for ABC Sunday (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters) and they will win the night in viewers. CBS will be solid, thanks primarily to the NFL lead-in tonight, and NBC's SNF game will do way below normal with Seattle-Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay viewers will flock to TBS to see Game 7 of the MLB ALCS instead. Fox will air its animated comedies but should be down thanks to baseball on TBS.
As for the week, CBS should win in HH, viewers and even 18-49. ABC will be second across the board. Followed by NBC, Fox, CW and MNT. Fox's terrible numbers on Thursday will probably cost them third place. This week everything will be back to normal...no more debates. Let's see how the networks do with regular stuff in their normal nights. My pick of the week is Eli Stone with guest star Katie Holmes...I've seen it already and I'll be watching again, and so should you! Tuesday at 10/9 central on ABC!

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of October 6-12)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted for the NLCS.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted for the NLCS.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted for the NLCS.
  • American Dad (Fox) - preempted for the NLCS.

Monday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.34 million for a new episode, down just a bit from previous week. Excellent again, nothing else can be said!
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 9.25 million for a new episode, up week-to-week again, but it didn't build on the lead-in in viewers once again.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.72 million...up from previous week, besting any sitcom.
  • Worst Week (CBS) - 9.75 million...not good retention at all but up from previous week. But it did better than the 8-9pm sitcoms this week, after it didn't the previous week. This is a good show.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - 11.45 million for the season premiere for first place in its slot. 18-49 rating it did a 3.0 rating, but held more of Dancing's numbers (4.0 rating) than Worst Week did with Two and a Half Men's 18-49 numbers (5.3).


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - 7.61 million for a new episode...up a bit from previous week and a season high again. Not great, but good enough in this very weak slot.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 7.53 million, a series high again. Has gone up on all four airings.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - Preempted but Fox certainly is happy it was.
  • Under One Roof (MNT) - Repeat airing did 870,000 viewers...up week to week, it aired after an all-new Tony Rock Project which did 1.04 million.


Thursday Sitcoms

  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 6.72 million for a new episode, down from previous week.
  • Kath & Kim (NBC) - 6.1 million for its second airing...down a lot from the premiere and it didn't build from the lead-in this time.
  • The Office (NBC) - New episode did 8.28 million and a solid 4.3 18-49 rating...but both down from previous week when it did one million better and .5 better in 18-49.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - Final numbers are not in yet...but the prelim numbers show just under 2 million. That's the best it will do I think.
  • The Game (The CW) - No final numbers yet for Friday, but just under 2 million and it did build from the lead-in so far.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are no sitcoms.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Samantha Who, The Office, were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Worst Week, Gary Unmarried) or just plain old terrible (such as Kath & Kim, Everybody Hates Chris).




Welcome to a special Sunday edition of Blog DVD Reviews! Today we head out west to Las Vegas for C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eighth Season. This season starred William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads, Jorja Fox, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall. See my Blog DVD review of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eighth Season:

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eighth Season

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Eighth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $84.98)

Follow the evidence... again and again. One beloved character departs--and another dies--in the shocking eighth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. This bonus-filled collection includes crossover episodes, an episode directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and CSI's most devastasting scenes ever.

This 5-disc set contains all 17 episodes from the eighth season (2007-08) plus a bonus crossover episode of Without A Trace. The episodes are presented in Anamorphic Widescreen enhanced for 16:9 tvs with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio. It has a total running time or approximately 12 hours, 12 minutes. The attractive packaging has a large photo of William Petersen (with the beard) on the front with Las Vegas in the background. At the bottom of the box, there is an embossed CSI: Crime Scene Invesigation logo. Nine cast members are featured on the back of the box with some Las Vegas hotels/casinos in the background. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the special and the DVD specs are given. The inside case is in a book format that you can flip through to get to the discs. Thee is a photo of Petersen and Helgenberger on the cover and Eads, Fox, Dourdan and Szmanda on the back. A content locator lists the episodes by disc and the special features on the inside cover. Each disc lists the episodes and has the show logo and an x-ray/fingerprint type background. It was interesting to see that they stuck to this type of packaging when CSI: Miami and CSI: NY switched to slimcases for their recent releases. They still even include the crime scene tape around the packaging. That is a nice touch.

The menus are very slick looking and easy to navigate. They have a montage of video clips that run a little over a minute, with some of the wonderful instrumental music by composer John M. Keane in the background. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1) and the Special Features on select discs. On the Set Up menu, you can choose either Dolby Digital 5.1 English Surround or EspaƱol. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The show looks stunning. They do a lot of nighttime shooting and make the show look dark and like a theatrical film. I did notice that there is a disclaimer on the bottom of the box that says "some episodes may be edited from their original network versions." This is the first time that I can recall such a disclaimer on any of the CSI franchise releases. Hopefully it is nothing major. While the episodes are numbered by their production number, they are presented in the order of their original airdates. Running times are between 41 and 43 minutes in length.

Once again, there is a nice amount and variety of special features. Unfortunately, there are only 2 audio commentaries on this set compared to 7 from last season. That seems to be a recent trend on the CSI franchise releases. There are 6 featurettes that total approximately 63 minutes. A bonus crossover episode of Without A Trace is included. Here is the breakdown by disc:

Disc 2
Without A Trace episode: "Where & Why" (42:56) - This crossover episode aired after the CSI episode "Who & What" on November 8, 2007. It was nice that they were able to include this episode, since Warner Bros. doesn't seem very interested in releasing this excellent series on DVD. It's too bad CBS decided to move it again to another night. I think it's a perfect fit airing after CSI.

Disc 3
Commentary on "You Kill Me" by Writer/Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Wallace Langham, Liz Vassey, Archie Kao, Sheeri Rappaport and David Berman - The "Lab Rats" return from last season on this funny and lively commentary.

Commentary on "Cockroaches" by Director William Friedkin, William Petersen and Writer Dustin Abraham - William Friedkin and William Petersen reunite for this episode. Friedkin helped launch Petersen's career by giving him the lead in To Live and Die in L.A. in 1985.

While The Cast's Away, The Rats Will Play (13:58) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Writer Doug Petrie, Archie Kao, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Wallace Langham, Liz Vassey, Jon Wellner, Gerald McCullouch, Paul Guilfoyle, George Eads, Sheeri Rappaport and David Berman. This featurette focuses on the episode "You Kill Me." This was the 9th episode of the season and aired on Thanksgiving night. It had a lot more humor than the typical episode. There was a similar "Lab Rats" episode last season. This is a nice companion featurette with the audio commentary.

William Friedkin: A Different Take (9:28) - This featurette includes interviewss with William Petersen, Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Paul Guilfoyle, Director William Friedkin, Producer/Writer Dustin Lee Abraham and Gary Dourdan. It focuses on the "Cockroaches" episode. They talk about how the idea was pitched to Friedkin, the mob storyline and finding the strip club location.

Disc 4
Deleted Scene for "Grissom's Divine Comedy" (2:16) - A funny scene where Catherine goes to Grissom's house and does a little snooping and investigating. It was probably just cut for time, so it is nice that they were able to include it on the DVD.

Disc 5
So Long, Sara Sidle (15:20) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, George Eads, William Petersen, Jorja Fox, Robert David Hall, Marg Helgenberer and Gary Dourdan. Among the topics covered are how they wanted to give her a dignified and graceful exit, how Jorja Fox originally got the part, her character, her favorite part of the show and what she will miss the most. There are some clips shown from previous seasons and some behind-the-scenes shots from her last day of shooting. They obviously left open the possibility of her returning for more episodes. She's already been in the first couple of episodes this season but probably not many more when William Petersen departs the show.

What Happened In Vegas... (21:12) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Gary Dourdan, William Petersen, Paul Guilfoyle, George Eads, Marg Helgenberger, Eric Szmanda and Robert David Hall. This provides a good overview of the eighth season. They talk about how the end of season seven defined the eighth season, their first cliffhanger with Sara trapped under the car, the 7 episode goodbye Sara arc, Sara and Grissom's relationship, Warrick's divorce and personal drama, the Lou Gedda/mob storyline, Brass' character, Nick's maturation, how they keep it fresh, and how they always find new and exciting ways to kill people.

Shot In The Dark (9:22) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer/Director Kenneth Fink, Director of Photography Nelson Cragg, Directory of Photography Nathan Hope, and Co-Executive Producer/Director Richard J. Lewis. They talk about the look of the show, how they give it a theatrical look with the lighting, how the look has evolved, how shooting at night takes a lot of planning, making Los Angeles look like Las Vegas, and their favorite part of working on CSI. Each of the looks on the CSI franchise shows is unique, but the original is still my favorite.

TOD: A Bug's Life (21:33) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, William Petersen, Dr. M. Lee Goff - Director of the Foresnic Sciences Program at Chaminade University of Honolulu, Dr. Neal Haskell - Associate Professor - Dept. of Biology at St. Joseph's College, Dr. Richard W. Merritt - Chairperson - Dept. of Entomology at Michigan State University and Olivia Klosternan - Student at St. Joseph's College. It focuses on forensic entomolgy, which is the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters. They talk about Grisson being an entomologist, the various techniques of how they study the decomposing of bodies and the sequence of colonization of bugs over time, how it is difficult for them to identify specific times of death and that's it's not an exact science, and the future of forensic entomology. They show various pig farms at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Michigan State University and in Renesselaer, Indiana. Some fascinating stuff. Gil Grissom's interest in bugs is not really a huge part of CSI, but it's always fun and interesting when they go back to it from time to time. Various clips from previous CSI seasons are also shown.

Final Comments: It was a sad and shocking season of CSI. First, we saw Jorja Fox's Sara Sidle depart from the show after a 7 episode story arc. Then we saw the shocking shooting of Gary Dourdan's Warrick Brown character in the season finale. The strike definitely hurt their momentum, as they made only 17 episodes this season compared to 24 in season seven. This season really had a bit of everything with a sad goodbye, some humorous episodes, an entertaining crossover episode with Without A Trace, and a shocking season finale. It remains the best crime drama on television.

This is another very good release, but I think it's a little overpriced because there were only 17 episodes this season. They cut back on the commentaries from 7 to only 2 this season. There are still 6 featurettes, but they around 30 minutes shorter than the previous season. You are basically paying the same amount as previous seasons to get less material. CSI is still going strong, but I wonder how many major characters they can continue to lose and still continue to draw a huge amount of viewers.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
(4/5 stars)

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SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS.com Official Site
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV.com Page

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 24

The Big Bang Theory - "The Discovery Dissipation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Amy help Sheldon cope with the shame he’s feeling after his accidental contribution to science is disproved. Meanwhile, Raj must stay with Howard and Bernadette for a week.

The Millers - "Driving Miss Crazy" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Nathan gets frustrated after he’s forced to drive Carol around town for errands once again, he demands that she either learn how to drive or find another chauffeur. But when Debbie volunteers Adam to drive Carol, everyone’s surprised when they form an unexpected bond.

Welcome to Sweden - "Proving Love/Lagenhet" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bruce (Greg Poehler) and Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) move into an apartment in Stockholm and Bruce tries his best to introduce himself to the neighbors. Meanwhile, the couple is forced to prove their relationship at the immigration office, but the interviews don’t go quite as planned. Elsewhere, Emma suspects one of Bruce’s former clients, Aubrey Plaza (guest starring as herself), may be stalking him, while another, Amy Poehler (guest starring as herself), is in desperate need of his professional assistance.

Working the Engels - "Jenna's Friend" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) gives their grandmother’s ring to a stripper, Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is forced to intervene to get it back – and makes an unlikely friend in the process. Meanwhile, Sandy (Azura Skye) wins free mother/daughter hip-hop classes and brings Ceil (Andrea Martin) along, but they quickly realize the class isn't meant for them. Ceil is ready to get out of there, until a former friend makes fun of Sandy, and then Ceil is determined not only that they stay, but that they win the dance competition. Rachel Wilson, Rebecca Dalton and Shawn Byfield guest star.

Married - "The Shower" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
A.J. and Jess hijack Russ and Lina's night out.

You're the Worst - "Insouciance" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jimmy attempts to take Gretchen on a date.

Love That Girl - "The Hot Seat" (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Imunique agrees to throw a bachelorette party for DeMiracle's fiance.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 21) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, July 24

  • David Duchovny (Californication) - Catch David on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman) - Mary Lynn stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Mo'Nique (The Parkers) - Mo'Nique appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Tune in to see Kristin on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben and Kate) - Judy and Nat talk about their new FX series Married on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. They will also be on HuffPost Live.
  • Adrienne Barbeau (Maude) - Adrienne discusses her role in the Hallmark Movie Channel original movie The Memory Book on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Greg Poehler (Welcome to Sweden) - Greg is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Leah Remini (The King of Queens/Family Tools) - Leah appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls) - Jennie and Tori are guests on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel at 7:45am. Jennie will also be on HuffPost Live.