TV Ratings: CBS and FOX Split Monday - 3-D 'Chuck' posts season...

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Emily Procter of 'CSI: Miami' Fast National ratings for Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 CBS and FOX waged a tight ratings battle Monday night, with each network claiming a share of victory.
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41 - 58 of 58 Comments Last updated Feb 14, 2009
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Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#42
Feb 10, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
Any show, especially a serial drama is better watchin it on the DVDs b/c u can watch it one after the otha.
All shows are better on DVD because of the logos and other on-screen annoyances.

The networks don't seem to realize that the more of these they put on, the harder it becomes to launch a new show.

One of the reasons it was easier to launch a show 20 years ago is that the show used to be sacrosanct and not a frame of it was touched by the network's promo department.

A mediocre show had a much better chance to keep an audience than now where the promos actively try to prevent you from watching the show and treat the show as a background (like the terrible USA Monk and Psych promos).
Thorny

Decatur, IL

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#43
Feb 10, 2009
 
Studio 60 failed because it made presumptions about their audience that turned out to be false...namely, that folks would tune in just because it was an Aaron Sorkin show; that they would be satisifed with outstanding writing in episodes that essentially covered the same ground every week; that mediocre storylines are still mediocre, even if inhabited by fine actors; and that behind the scenes of any show is really not that interesting to people who aren't in the business. For that last one, I worked for a scene/set construction business for three years while in college, and while I could tell you numerous stories about how difficult it was to put a show like Oklahoma! on, unless you had a frame of reference, you'd likely be bored out of your minds.

Studio 60 was a great concept, with great writing and acting, but with a built-in, limited shelf life. Where The West Wing had thousands of possible storylines to delve into, Studio 60 would have gotten stale after a couple seasons anyway. It was one of the few shows in recent memory where quantifiable quality fell victim to a limiting premise. Plus, putting it on after an ADHD-inducing show like Heroes was just dumb.

As for The Burning Log Show, if it gets developed, I want screen credit. Wonder which union the log would belong to. Lumberjacks United, perhaps?:P
Dan

West Babylon, NY

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#44
Feb 10, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
How about putting a good show there? I guess I'd count Studio 60 as a good show, but if you look back, it was getting the same ratings Heroes is getting now.
To be fair, NBC hyped Studio 60 almost as much as Heroes way back then (but not with the same flair) and Studio 60 suffered from Aaron Sorkin's tendency to over-extend stories over many more episodes than is really needed. I don't mind it so much because I really like his writing but I think the very slow pace of a lot of the stories didn't help keep more people watching.
Studio 60 was a well written show and acclaimed but was very expensive to produce. Which is why it was eventually cancelled in favor of Heroes and the similarly ratings challenged Friday Night Lights. Studio's ratings were better than most current shows in that slot (Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy) but after it was moved, the series continued to sink. It seemed anything NBC put in the slot after Studio left would continue the tradition of falling ratings, except good old Medium.
Alan 59

United States

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#45
Feb 11, 2009
 
In your enthusiasm for "Medium," most of you are missing the main point here. It's not that it is doing so well - it's down from last year when it followed "Deal Or No Deal." The key is how far "Heroes" has fallen; it's no longer NBC's top-rated show of the night. Even during the generally-reviled second season, "Heroes" averaged around 6.6/10, compared to 5.2/8 for the beginning of this arc.

This ties into what Fakeem commented on, too. These are the numbers:
"Heroes"...5/14/07.. .6.9/10
"Criminal Intent"...5/14/07...4.9/8 (against a new "CSI: Miami" and "The Bachelor")
"Heroes"...5/21/07.. .7.8/12 (first season finale)
"Criminal Intent"...6.1/10 (lost to "The Bachelor's" season finale, but beat a "Miami" repeat)

Despite competing for the same audience as the established "CSI: Miami," "Criminal Intent" could probably do a little better than "Medium" (it's hard to know exactly how much to subtract to account for NBC's continuing decline as a destination for viewers). "Heroes" was leading up to its apocalyptic finale (and CBS obligingly ran repeats on 5/21/07), so it performed well, despite coming in third behind "The Bachelor" and a pair of "Two And A Half Men" reruns.

Don't try to feed me this "everything's better on DVD" argument. I come from the comic book industry, so I KNOW what "waiting for the trade" really means - "I'm not buying it now, and I'm probably not buying it later, but I'm not ready to admit that to myself." When you get out of the weekly habit of consuming serial entertainment, it is very easy to put it off endlessly.
Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#46
Feb 11, 2009
 
Thorny wrote:
Studio 60 failed because it made presumptions about their audience that turned out to be false...namely, that folks would tune in just because it was an Aaron Sorkin show; that they would be satisifed with outstanding writing in episodes that essentially covered the same ground every week; that mediocre storylines are still mediocre, even if inhabited by fine actors; and that behind the scenes of any show is really not that interesting to people who aren't in the business. For that last one, I worked for a scene/set construction business for three years while in college, and while I could tell you numerous stories about how difficult it was to put a show like Oklahoma! on, unless you had a frame of reference, you'd likely be bored out of your minds.
Studio 60 was a great concept, with great writing and acting, but with a built-in, limited shelf life. Where The West Wing had thousands of possible storylines to delve into, Studio 60 would have gotten stale after a couple seasons anyway. It was one of the few shows in recent memory where quantifiable quality fell victim to a limiting premise. Plus, putting it on after an ADHD-inducing show like Heroes was just dumb.
As for The Burning Log Show, if it gets developed, I want screen credit. Wonder which union the log would belong to. Lumberjacks United, perhaps?:P
The log is of course a proud SAG member burning with rage at the Man and demanding its meal penalty. ;)

For those of you who don't know that, not only do you get fed when making a movie, but if you are not fed at appointed times, you get paid extra. People tell me it makes sense, but I have trouble getting past the "they've giving you free food and you are unhappy if they don't pay you for eating the free food too?!" ;)

About Studio 60, I agree with you. For a great example of a behind-the-scenes show that really worked, look at Slings and Arrows.

Of course each season was only six episodes. Aaron Sorkin would have taken two seasons to get through the same storyline.
Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#47
Feb 11, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
Studio 60 was a well written show and acclaimed but was very expensive to produce. Which is why it was eventually cancelled in favor of Heroes and the similarly ratings challenged Friday Night Lights. Studio's ratings were better than most current shows in that slot (Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy) but after it was moved, the series continued to sink. It seemed anything NBC put in the slot after Studio left would continue the tradition of falling ratings, except good old Medium.
NBC moved Studio 60 and made sure not to advertise the move. The intent was to burn off the episodes at the lowest possible cost (Aaron Sorkin probably has a clause whereby all produced episodes had to air in prime-time).

Overall I think the best way to sum it up (with a tip of the hat to Thorny) is that it was a very faulty premise for a TV show that was executed very well.
Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#48
Feb 11, 2009
 
Alan 59 wrote:
In your enthusiasm for "Medium," most of you are missing the main point here. It's not that it is doing so well - it's down from last year when it followed "Deal Or No Deal." The key is how far "Heroes" has fallen; it's no longer NBC's top-rated show of the night. Even during the generally-reviled second season, "Heroes" averaged around 6.6/10, compared to 5.2/8 for the beginning of this arc.
This ties into what Fakeem commented on, too. These are the numbers:
"Heroes"...5/14/07.. .6.9/10
"Criminal Intent"...5/14/07...4.9/8 (against a new "CSI: Miami" and "The Bachelor")
"Heroes"...5/21/07.. .7.8/12 (first season finale)
"Criminal Intent"...6.1/10 (lost to "The Bachelor's" season finale, but beat a "Miami" repeat)
Despite competing for the same audience as the established "CSI: Miami," "Criminal Intent" could probably do a little better than "Medium" (it's hard to know exactly how much to subtract to account for NBC's continuing decline as a destination for viewers). "Heroes" was leading up to its apocalyptic finale (and CBS obligingly ran repeats on 5/21/07), so it performed well, despite coming in third behind "The Bachelor" and a pair of "Two And A Half Men" reruns.
Don't try to feed me this "everything's better on DVD" argument. I come from the comic book industry, so I KNOW what "waiting for the trade" really means - "I'm not buying it now, and I'm probably not buying it later, but I'm not ready to admit that to myself." When you get out of the weekly habit of consuming serial entertainment, it is very easy to put it off endlessly.
You're entirely right. The slide in Heroes' audience goes generally unreported and people are shocked when they realize how far down it's gone.

On DVD vs. Live TV, there's a couple shows that I just waited for the DVD on. Those are shows I kinda like but don't care about enough to submit myself to the many annoyances of watching them of regular TV.

Network executives have no clue of how many viewers they chase away with their animated bugs and endless on-screen promos.

One of the ways CBS stays on top is by having fewer of them. It'd do even better if it had none and got rid of its bug altogether, but of course it's unthinkable for executives not to make at least some of the mistakes their counterparts also make. Maybe it's professional courtesy! ;)
Thorny

Decatur, IL

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#49
Feb 11, 2009
 
More like celebs who go out and buy a pair of shoes made out of bronzed cow patties just because Paris Hilton wore them first. :P
Dan

West Babylon, NY

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#50
Feb 11, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
NBC moved Studio 60 and made sure not to advertise the move. The intent was to burn off the episodes at the lowest possible cost (Aaron Sorkin probably has a clause whereby all produced episodes had to air in prime-time).
Overall I think the best way to sum it up (with a tip of the hat to Thorny) is that it was a very faulty premise for a TV show that was executed very well.
The show was never highly rated anyway. The move didn't help and in the end they burned off the remainiung episodes in ER's old spot. Also they already hhad a similiar premised show, 30 Rock, and that seemed a lot cheaper and easier to keep. It was smart for NBC to drop it, but they didn't have any higher rated series in the following season. They just used the strike to their advantage. But it actually hurt NBC a lot this year.
Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#51
Feb 11, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
The show was never highly rated anyway. The move didn't help and in the end they burned off the remainiung episodes in ER's old spot. Also they already hhad a similiar premised show, 30 Rock, and that seemed a lot cheaper and easier to keep. It was smart for NBC to drop it, but they didn't have any higher rated series in the following season. They just used the strike to their advantage. But it actually hurt NBC a lot this year.
The problem for NBC (and others) is that they used the strike as a smokescreen to hide how bad their year was.

This year's bad results ensued.

Interestingly, last week NBC was down below 7 million viewers for the week.

But everything is A-OK because they convinced the Hollywood Reporter that actual viewers do not count...
Dan

West Babylon, NY

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#52
Feb 12, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
The problem for NBC (and others) is that they used the strike as a smokescreen to hide how bad their year was.
This year's bad results ensued.
Interestingly, last week NBC was down below 7 million viewers for the week.
But everything is A-OK because they convinced the Hollywood Reporter that actual viewers do not count...
The strike hurt ABC and NBC the most out of all networks but its hard to say which one was hurt more. NBC's ratings with their new shows and old are even crappier than last year yet ABC has already cancelled most of their returning sophomore shows and their holding up because of Housewives, Grey's, and Dancing among other things. Both networks also could not find a single hit (or well performing show) in any of their new series this year.
Rena Moretti

North Hollywood, CA

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#53
Feb 13, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
The strike hurt ABC and NBC the most out of all networks but its hard to say which one was hurt more. NBC's ratings with their new shows and old are even crappier than last year yet ABC has already cancelled most of their returning sophomore shows and their holding up because of Housewives, Grey's, and Dancing among other things. Both networks also could not find a single hit (or well performing show) in any of their new series this year.
Mostly it's for lack of trying, and a poor strategy in what they're trying (for example doing a "re-imagining" of Knight Rider this year or ordering a show from the the producers of Bionic Woman next year shows NBC doesn't still realize what a disaster Bionic Woman was and is still trying to justify this costly flop by making more like it instead of moving on).
Dan

West Babylon, NY

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#54
Feb 13, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
Mostly it's for lack of trying, and a poor strategy in what they're trying (for example doing a "re-imagining" of Knight Rider this year or ordering a show from the the producers of Bionic Woman next year shows NBC doesn't still realize what a disaster Bionic Woman was and is still trying to justify this costly flop by making more like it instead of moving on).
Hopefully next year they will stear clear of that. Knight Rider was ordered as a series b/c the TV movie did well and they believed another remake would be good too. The only reason it got a full season is because NBC's other new shows are doing terrible (My Own Worst Enemy, Crusoe, Kath & Kim).
Rena Moretti

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#55
Feb 13, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
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Hopefully next year they will stear clear of that. Knight Rider was ordered as a series b/c the TV movie did well and they believed another remake would be good too. The only reason it got a full season is because NBC's other new shows are doing terrible (My Own Worst Enemy, Crusoe, Kath & Kim).
And that's exactly where the logic of doing remakes fails.

Knight Rider got decent (I wouldn't call them good) ratings because enough people were curious to see a new version of a beloved show.

They hated it!(at least a lot of them did).

Actually the ratings of the pilot were hampered by the trailers which showed just how bad the movie was without having to actually see it.
Thorny

Decatur, IL

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#56
Feb 13, 2009
 
Casting has a lot to do with Knight Rider's failures, as well. I'm not saying that soap opera actors shouldn't make the jump, because a lot of them actually can act when given the opportunity, but Jason Bruening (don't know if that's how it's spelled, don't care) was horrible on All My Children, and he doesn't do much better on Knight Rider. He reminds me of an over-tall eighth grader trying to recite a Shakespearean monologue without saying "like" or "dude."
Dan

West Babylon, NY

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#57
Feb 13, 2009
 
Rena Moretti wrote:
<quoted text>
And that's exactly where the logic of doing remakes fails.
Knight Rider got decent (I wouldn't call them good) ratings because enough people were curious to see a new version of a beloved show.
They hated it!(at least a lot of them did).
Actually the ratings of the pilot were hampered by the trailers which showed just how bad the movie was without having to actually see it.
The ironic thing is out of all the new shows on NBC the only other new series that was renewed, Kath & Kim, was also a remake. Ratings are crap but it wasn't surprising that NBC would just basically give 9 more episodes to that show. In the words of Johnny Drama from Entourage, NBC will renew anything.
Rena Moretti

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#58
Feb 14, 2009
 
Thorny wrote:
Casting has a lot to do with Knight Rider's failures, as well. I'm not saying that soap opera actors shouldn't make the jump, because a lot of them actually can act when given the opportunity, but Jason Bruening (don't know if that's how it's spelled, don't care) was horrible on All My Children, and he doesn't do much better on Knight Rider. He reminds me of an over-tall eighth grader trying to recite a Shakespearean monologue without saying "like" or "dude."
I agree with you 100%. Actually, most of those bad actors are identifiable within ten seconds of seeing them on-screen.

It's quite an indictment of the "testing" system used by the networks that a truck-load of casting directors, casting executives, network executives and producers can't figure out that actors like Jason Buening need a lot more acting lessons before they are cast as the lead of a TV show.
Rena Moretti

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#59
Feb 14, 2009
 
Dan wrote:
<quoted text>
The ironic thing is out of all the new shows on NBC the only other new series that was renewed, Kath & Kim, was also a remake. Ratings are crap but it wasn't surprising that NBC would just basically give 9 more episodes to that show. In the words of Johnny Drama from Entourage, NBC will renew anything.
Funny line.:)

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