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Friday, October 31, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: The McCarthys

THE MCCARTHYS

Starring: Tyler Ritter, Joey McIntyre, Kelen Coleman, Jimmy Dunn, with Jack McGee, and Laurie Metcalf

Created by Brian Gallivan
Written by Brian Gallivan, Directed by Andy Ackerman

THE PREMISE: The McCarthys is a new family sitcom centered on a very close Boston family that loves their sports. When gay son Ronny (Tyler Ritter) wants to move to Rhode Island, the family bands together to try to keep him in Boston. Leading the charge is his mother, Marjorie (Laurie Metcalf), and father, Arthur (Jack McGee). Rounding out the main cast are Arthur's brothers Sean and Gerard (Jimmy Dunn and Joey McIntyre) and sister Jackie (Kelen Coleman).

THE GOOD: There were a few decent performances in a very formulaic sitcom. It's good to see Laurie Metcalf again and she can sometimes rise above the tired writing. The funniest part of the pilot was the scene where she was claiming to be sick as a reason why her son couldn't move to Providence. Tyler Ritter was likable in the lead role and it's easy to tell that he's a Ritter. He has the same charm and humor that his father did and brother does. And I know it was a stereotype, but the line from the gay man at the party "it's a struggle" made me laugh. You have to see it in context.

THE BAD: This show is one of the broadest new sitcoms that I have seen in my time doing this blog, and that is not a complement. It further perpetuates the idea that multi-cam sitcoms can't be witty or well-written. There were far to many set-up-joke, set-up-joke moment and there were too many punch lines broadly delivered to the studio audience without even realistically being a part of the scene. The jokes were tired too. A Dynasty reference in 2014?! I also think the writers of the show think that repeating a line makes it funnier because they did it multiple times throughout the pilot. I'm here to say that is not the case. As usual with shows like this, the quick flashbacks added next to nothing to the plot or humor.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite my many misgivings, I actually may give The McCarthys another chance. It was bland and broad, but there was something in there that I liked a little bit - most of it coming from Metcalf and Ritter. It's on a short leash with me, but I'm not done with it yet. CBS may make that decision sooner rather than later for me though.

CANCELLATION ALERT: Bad Judge, A to Z

Two more comedies have bit the dust today with NBC cancelling their low-rated Thursday night pair Bad Judge and A to Z. Both shows seemed like dead shows walking when they got the slot that NBC has planned for The Blacklist's big move in February. They will be able to finish their order because NBC doesn't want to start something new there with their spring plans.

With mediocre to bad reviews, both shows had trouble getting any traction. At least initially, it looked like Bad Judge might do OK as it had a surprisingly solid premiere and then dipped just a bit and held for the next weeks. But things have gone south in the past two weeks as it fell to a 0.9 demo last night. A to Z has been pretty much doomed from the start with significantly weaker numbers than Judge. It fell to the dreaded 0.7 demo last night, which almost always is the end of the line for a struggling show.

These two comedies join ABC's Manhattan Love Story on the cancellation pile. NBC gave The Mysteries of Laura a full season while Marry Me is struggling and it's too early to tell for Constantine. State of Affairs premieres November 17.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/30/14

ABC
8:00 It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Scandal
Viewers: 9.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 16.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1
8:30 Mom
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5
9:00 Two and a Half Men
Viewers: 10.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4
9:30 The McCarthys
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 Elementary
Viewers: 7.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Bad Judge
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:30 A to Z
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Parenthood
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 Bones

Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Gracepoint
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

Thursday night had the first Thursday of the season without football on CBS, allowing them to premiere their regular lineup. The first half went alright while the second half was a disaster. At 8pm, The Big Bang Theory was down half a demo point from its Monday airing over a week ago but it had very similar total viewers. I'm not sure what happened here, but I wouldn't be surprised if it goes up next week. At 8:30pm, the season premiere of Mom easily hit a series high in total viewers and tied a high in the demo. Retention was better out of Big Bang than The Millers, but it wasn't great. I would still call this a promising performance. Two and a Half Men had a pretty good night at 9pm, falling just a tenth behind Mom. The news turned for the worse at 9:30pm where there was very little interest in The McCarthys. The new comedy was a big disappointment and I can't see CBS keeping it here too long when it has Mike & Molly and the new The Odd Couple on the bench. At 10pm, Elementary collapsed to a new series low with no interest. This show has been trending downward, but it returned pretty terribly even by the low CBS 10pm standards.

Over on ABC, the annual Charlie Brown special did alright but wasn't as strong as Grey's Anatomy in the hour. It didn't impact Scandal though as that show was down seven tenths in viewers but up a tenth in the demo. The news wasn't as good for How to Get Away with Murder, which was down 1.3 million viewers and three tenths in the demo, easily hitting series lows. This was a definite disappointment but it is still TV's top 10pm show. NBC hit or tied series lows across the board with The Biggest Loser down two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo, Bad Judge down half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo, A to Z down six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo, and Parenthood down a tenth in viewers and the demo. The carnage was enough to get Bad Judge and A to Z cancelled, but they will finish their initial orders. Finally on FOX, Bones was down a million viewers and four tenths in the demo for a rough showing. Gracepoint was down two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. A pretty rough night for a lot of shows.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Scandal (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Elementary (CBS)

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, October 31 & Saturday, November 1

Happy Halloween! No time for predictions today but I expect most or all shows to drop thanks to the holiday.

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing #70 "Mike Advises Mandy"
8:30 Cristela #4 "Hall-Oates-Ween"
9:00 Shark Tank
10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #99 "Ha'oma'ike"
10:00 Blue Bloods #95 "Most Wanted"

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Grimm #68 "Octopus Head"
10:00 Constantine #2 "The Darkness Beneath"

FOX
8:00 Utopia

9:00 Gotham #5 "Viper" (REPEAT)

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 College Football: Illinois at Ohio State

CBS
8:00 College Football: Notre Dame vs. Navy

NBC
8:00 Horse Racing: Breeders' Cup Classic
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (REPEAT)
10:00 Saturday Night Live (REPEAT)


FOX
8:00 College Football: Stanford at Oregon

Thursday, October 30, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 10/29/14

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
8:30 The Goldbergs
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
9:30 Black-ish
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
10:00 Nashville
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 10.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
10:00 Stalker
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

NBC
8:00 The Mysteries of Laura
Viewers: 7.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
10:00 Chicago PD (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 7

Viewers: 23.5 million, 18-49 demo: 6.6

A close and compelling Game 7 of the World Series gave it a huge boost over the rest of the series and helped FOX to completely dominate Wednesday night. But now the World Series is over and FOX must go back to its regular programming. It seemed like ABC would get a boost from its Halloween sitcom lineup as it has in the past, but the World Series probably prevented that. At 8pm, The Middle was down three tenths in viewers and the demo for a season low. This show seems to be under-performing so far this year. At 8:30pm, The Goldbergs was down two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It built on The Middle by a strong four tenths in the demo, the most yet. At 9pm, Modern Family was down three tenths in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. Black-ish was down three tenths in viewers but up a strong three tenths in the demo despite the World Series competition. Finally, Nashville was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo.

CBS had Halloween episodes of its drama but first up, Survivor was down a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. The creepy dramas gave some Halloween offerings but were down in the ratings. At 9pm, Criminal Minds was up six tenths in viewers but down two tenths in the demo. Stalker closed out the night even in viewers and down a tenth in the demo after holding at a 1.7 for three straight weeks. NBC only had The Mysteries of Laura at 8pm as the rest of the night was in repeats. It was down eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo for a series low. It'll be interesting to see if it can pop back up next week when it has the full lineup new again.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Black-ish (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Middle (ABC)

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, October 30

Thursday night has the long awaited premiere of the CBS lineup after several weeks of football. It should start strongly with The Big Bang Theory, but get weaker as the night goes on. I'm not too high on new entry The McCarthys at 9:30pm. The show that stands to benefit the most is Mom in a very favorable timeslot. Elsewhere, ABC has annual special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown leading into Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. NBC and FOX will struggle to be on the map against the competition.

ABC
8:00 It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (SPECIAL)
9:00 Scandal #53 "An Innocent Man"
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder #6 "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole"
Prediction: Scandal - 10.2 million, 3.1/Murder - 9.9 million, 2.9

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #166 "The Misinterpretation Agitation"

8:30 Mom #23 "Hepatitis and Lemon Zest" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Two and a Half Men #247 "The Ol' Mexican Spinach" (Season Premiere)
9:30 The McCarthys #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
10:00 Elementary #49 "Enough Nemesis to Go Around" (Season Premiere)
Prediction: Big Bang - 16.8 million, 4.6/Mom - 10.7 million, 2.8/Men - 9.3 million, 2.4/McCarthys - 8.2 million, 2.1/Elementary - 7.5 million, 1.7

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
9:00 Bad Judge #5 "Judge and Jury"
9:30 A to Z #5 "E is for Ectoplasm"
10:00 Parenthood #96 "Too Big to Fail"
Prediction: Loser - 4.1 million, 1.1/Judge - 3.9 million, 0.9/A to Z - 2.9 million, 0.8/Parenthood - 3.9 million, 1.1

FOX
8:00 Bones #195 "The Corpse at the Convention"

9:00 Gracepoint #5 "Episode 5"
Prediction: Bones - 6.2 million, 1.6/Gracepoint - 3.2 million, 0.8

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 10/28/14

ABC
8:00 The Great Halloween Fright Fight

Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 Forever
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 17.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans
Viewers: 16.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
10:00 Person of Interest
Viewers: 9.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9
9:00 Marry Me
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:30 About a Boy
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Chicago Fire
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 6

Viewers: 13.4 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5

Tuesday night had Game 6 of the World Series. It was a blowout though and World Series numbers are very disappointing, but it was still a huge improvement over FOX's regular programming. Over on NBC, The Voice started things off down six tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. Monday's episode was up nicely from last week while Tuesday's dropped a lot... odd. Things are getting pretty bad pretty quickly for Marry Me at 9pm. It was down half a million viewers and another three tenths in the demo. It's looking pretty weak for a post-Voice comedy and I shudder to think what would happen without the lead-in. It's looking like we're going to see something else after The Voice in the spring. At 9:30pm, About a Boy was down half a million viewers and two tenths in the demo for another series low. This show was one of the least buzzed sophomores and it's proving that now. To close out the night, Chicago Fire was down three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. This show has its own audience, but NBC is not doing it any favors with such weak entries in front of it.

On ABC, a new special The Great Halloween Fright Fight did not get much attention, but it was an improvement over their weak 8pm comedy hour that usually airs. At 9pm, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. Forever closed out the night even in viewers and down a tenth in the demo. It's still an improvement on this troubled timeslot. Finally on CBS, NCIS was up four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. NCIS: New Orleans was even in viewers and down a tenth in the demo. After tying last week, New Orleans was three tenths behind the parent show this week in the demo. At 10pm, Person of Interest was up three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for its best performance in a month.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: NCIS (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Marry Me (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, October 29

Wednesday is a busy night for three of the four networks. After the Royals won Game 6 last night, the World Series goes to a seventh and final game for FOX. ABC has a Halloween themed night with their sitcoms, which has led to big ratings boosts in the past. With a lineup that's clicking, I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen again. CBS also has Halloween themed episodes of its creepy pair of dramas. Only NBC is out of the loop with Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD in repeats. With repeats following it, The Mysteries of Laura could see a series low.

ABC
8:00 The Middle #125 "Halloween V"
8:30 The Goldbergs #28 "Family Takes Care of Beverly"

9:00 Modern Family #126 "Halloween 3: AwesomeLand"
9:30 Black-ish #6 "The Prank King"
10:00 Nashville #49 "Nobody Said It Was Going to Be Easy"
Prediction: Middle - 7.9 million, 2.3/Goldbergs - 7.7 million, 2.5/Family - 10.8 million, 3.7/Blackish - 8.6 million, 2.6/Nashville - 5.5 million, 1.4

CBS
8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds #216 "Boxed In"
10:00 Stalker #5 "The Haunting"
Prediction: Survivor - 9.4 million, 2.3/Criminal - 10.5 million, 2.6/Stalker - 7.9 million, 1.8

NBC
8:00 The Mysteries of Laura #7 "The Mystery of the Art Ace"
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #345 "American Disgrace" (REPEAT)
10:00 Chicago PD #16 "Call It Macaroni" (REPEAT)

Prediction: Laura - 7.5 million, 1.2

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 7: San Francisco at Kansas City

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 10/27/14

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars

Viewers: 12.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 Castle
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4
8:30 The Millers
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Scorpion
Viewers: 10.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

NBC
8:00 The Voice

Viewers: 12.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
10:00 The Blacklist
Viewers: 9.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

FOX
8:00 Gotham

Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Sleepy Hollow
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

On a night where ESPN's Monday Night Football delivered its best viewership since 2010 and best demo since 2011, the broadcast networks held up pretty well. CBS had the season premiere of 2 Broke Girls at 8pm. While it was understandably down big from what The Big Bang Theory was getting recently, it topped anything it was doing in the spring. I think this was actually a very solid performance for a show that many think can't lead things off at 8pm. The bigger problem was at 8:30pm where The Millers fell 2 million viewers and four tenths in the demo. Of course, the lead-in was way down but its retention out of Girls was pretty bad in an of itself. It's hard to imagine CBS keeping this here when they have a show like Mike & Molly on the bench. At 9pm, Scorpion was barely affected by the increasingly bad lead-in so that's a great thing. It was down just four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. NCIS: Los Angeles closed things out down a tenth in viewers and the demo to tie series lows.

NBC was on the upswing with The Voice up six tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo and The Blacklist up three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. On ABC, Dancing with the Stars was even in viewers and down a tenth in the demo while Castle was even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. I don't know what happened to Castle these last couple weeks. Finally, FOX had Gotham down two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. While its only going down slightly every week, it is a problem that it's still going down six weeks in. At 9pm, Sleepy Hollow was down four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for a new series low.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: 2 Broke Girls (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Millers (CBS)

FULL SEASON ALERT: The Mysteries of Laura

NBC has handed out its first full season order this year to dramedy The Mysteries of Laura. The Debra Messing show got a sneak preview after America's Got Talent and was sampled well. Since moving to the difficult 8pm slot, it has skewed old but held up pretty well. It also seems to fit nicely with Law & Order: SVU, which follows it. It does similar demo numbers to Revolution last year, but the total viewer count is much higher. With this news and the full season for Madam Secretary on CBS, it seems as though total viewer counts are more of a factor than they've been in recent years. Both those shows skew old but have been pretty solid and consistent with viewers.

None of the other NBC newbies are lighting the world on fire. A to Z is as good as dead on Thursdays and Bad Judge is not faring much better. Marry Me has done OK, but it seems very likely that it's due to its timeslot. It's too early to tell about Constantine yet. NBC has a big priority in State of Affairs premiering on Mondays in a couple weeks.