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Thursday, September 30, 2010


8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5
8:30 Better With You
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 11.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.6
9:30 Cougar Town
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8
10:00 The Whole Truth
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 12.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 14.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
10:00 The Defenders
Viewers: 10.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

8:00 Undercovers
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8
10:00 Law & Order: Los Angeles
Viewers: 10.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2

8:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8
9:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 6.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0

Wednesday night was another busy night but all the networks were down from their premiere week numbers. ABC kicked things off with its comedies. The Middle was down a bit from its premiere but it will probably be right around these numbers all season. Better With You dropped about 12% in viewers and the demo in Week 2. If it can level off here or climb a bit, it will be fine. If it drops again next week, it could be in trouble. Modern Family slipped from its series high last week but was still powerful and easily had the best demo of the night. Cougar Town dropped significantly from its series premiere and seems to be settling back into its usual ways of bleeding Modern Family's audience. It had the same total viewer numbers as Better With You but after a much stronger lead-in. Finally, the second week of The Whole Truth only dipped a bit from its premiere but the premiere was a big disappointment. It did nothing to keep from being on the death watch list.

Over on CBS, things were down from a powerful Wednesday last week. Survivor dropped a surprising .5 in the demo but still easily won the hour. Criminal Minds was powerful again but also down in the demo. It was a full point behind Modern Family in the demo at 9pm. The Defenders dropped 15% in viewers and close to that much in the demo and may be CBS's biggest concern among new series as it is well below the relocated CSI: NY. Any further drops will be a red flag for CBS.

NBC saw a mix of good and bad news. The bad news was at 8pm where Undercovers dipped heavily (18% in viewers and over 20% in the demo). It might cut it for awhile for NBC but this is one of the bigger Week 2 drops and the first week wasn't that strong to begin with. Law & Order: SVU followed at 9pm was down a bit from its two hour premiere last week which is to be expected. Law & Order: Los Angeles had a strong debut for NBC, building on SVU and easily winning the demo while nipping The Defenders for the total viewer crown as well. Now how many people will come back next week? And finally, FOX had two episodes of Hell's Kitchen, the first was up slightly from last week and the second was down slightly. It remains a viable Wednesday option for FOX. FOX also announced yesterday that Human Target will air at 9pm Wednesdays in November, replacing Lie to Me, which itself replacing the cancelled Lone Star on Monday nights starting this coming week.

PILOT REVIEW: Law & Order: Los Angeles


Starring: Skeet Ulrich, Corey Stoll, Regina Hall, Wanda De Jesus, and Alfred Molina
Created by Dick Wolf
Teleplay by Blake Masters, Story by Dick Wolf, Directed by Allen Coulter

Law & Order gets a fifth installment in the franchise (of the first four, two remain on the air after NBC cancelled the mothership last spring). This really truly is Law & Order in a new setting. Against the glitzy backdrop of Los Angeles, the first half focuses on the "law" with Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll). The second half deals with the "order" featuring Deputy District Attorneys Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina) and Evelyn Price (Regina Hall). The pilot episode focused on a very Hollywood episode featuring a young starlet and her mother.

There isn't much to review here if anyone has seen an episode of the New York version of Law & Order over the last 20 years. It is a standard procedural that will rise and fall in quality from week to week based on the "ripped from the headlines" plot. The team of detectives and attorneys is serviceable with Corey Stoll an early standout. The LA backdrop gives it a bit of a fresh look but I found myself missing the gritty streets on New York. It's a solid show and a reliable formula, but it may be a bit tired by now. What was once an incredibly innovative TV drama style has become the standby. It's fine, but it's nothing special. I'll watch it when I'm bored and nothing else is on but that's about it.

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, September 30

Later today I will have a pilot review for Law & Order: Los Angeles as well as the ratings recap for Wednesday. Here's what's on tonight, with predictions:

8:00 My Generation #2 "Home Movies"
9:00 Grey's Anatomy #128 "Shock to the System"
10:00 Private Practice #56 "Short Cuts"
ABC is holding its breath on My Generation which had a poor debut last week. Expect a pretty good sized drop for this drama and its death watch will be on. Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice may fall a bit from their premieres but not too much.
Prediction: Generation - 4.1 million, 1.1/Grey's - 13.8 million, 5.1/Practice - 8.5 million, 3.1 

8:00 The Big Bang Theory #65 "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification"
8:30 $#*! My Dad Says #2 "Wi-Fight"
9:00 CSI #231 "Pool Shark"
10:00 The Mentalist #48 "Cackle-Bladder Blood"
CBS had solid numbers across the board and clearly made a good move in putting The Big Bang Theory on Thursday. Big Bang may even rise this week. CBS will be watching to see how $#*! My Dad Says holds up in Week 2, I expect a bigger drop than Mike & Molly experienced on Monday. CSI and The Mentalist should be about the same as last week.
Prediction: Big Bang - 14.3 million, 5.1/$#*! - 11.4 million, 3.7/CSI - 14.5 million, 3.3/Mentalist - 15.6 million, 3.5

8:00 Community #27 "Accounting for Lawyers"
8:30 30 Rock #82 "When it Rains, it Pours"
9:00 The Office #128 "Counseling"
9:30 Outsourced #2 "The Measure of a Manmeet"
10:00 The Apprentice
NBC had a solid sampling for Outsourced in Week 1 but will it keep holding on to the audience from The Office or will it drop to the levels of 8pm comedies? I predict the latter eventually but maybe not quite yet. Community and 30 Rock will probably be about the same while The Apprentice could (gasp) drop even more.  
Prediction: Community - 4.9 million, 2.2/Rock - 5.8 million, 2.5/Office - 8.1 million, 4.2/Outsourced - 6.7 million, 3.3/Apprentice - 3.5 million, 1.2 

8:00 Bones #108 "The Couple in the Cave"
9:00 Fringe #45 "The Box"
Bones will be steady as always for FOX but Fringe is the show that has FOX concerned - but it's not their main concern with freshman failures. Still, Fringe can't keep bleeding Bones' audience the way it has.
Prediction: Bones - 9.7 million, 2.7/Fringe - 5.6 million, 2.0

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


8:00 No Ordinary Family
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
Viewers: 17.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.8
10:00 Detroit 1-8-7
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 19.1 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 16.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
10:00 The Good Wife
Viewers: 12.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

8:00 The Biggest Loser
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
10:00 Parenthood
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

8:00 Glee
Viewers: 13.5 million, 18-49 demo: 5.9
9:00 Raising Hope
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
9:30 Running Wilde
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

Tuesday night brought a very crowded lineup at 8pm and some mixed results for freshmen series. ABC kicked things off with the series premiere of No Ordinary Family which had the best debut of any new ABC series but didn't knock it out of the park. It would have been perfect for Sunday at 8pm but could get lost in this crowded timeslot when it levels off. The results edition of Dancing with the Stars was down some from last week as to be expected but still powerful. It just barely nipped CBS to win the demo. Detroit 1-8-7 was off only about 7% from its premiere and managed to get second in the demo. If it levels off around here or even a bit lower, it will be significantly outperforming The Forgotten and V in this timeslot last year.

CBS had another strong night. The NCIS franchise was powerful - the original series dominated in total viewers and took second, as expected, in the demo. The spinoff at 9pm came in a very close second to Dancing on ABC, which is good news. Finally, The Good Wife returned at 10pm to respectable numbers. It dominated total viewer numbers and managed to win the demo by a good margin. It wasn't too far off from its series premiere a year ago, particularly in total viewers.

NBC saw very disappointing numbers for its lineup of The Biggest Loser and Parenthood. Loser may be hitting its expiration date as a reality series as it is down a lot from previous years. Parenthood hit a series low in viewers and managed a very disappointing third in the demo. Many thought that Parenthood could win the 10pm demo even with low viewership numbers, but this is not a good sign at all for the sophomore series. Below 5 million is a red flag.

FOX kept the Glee train rolling as it built on its powerful season premiere in viewers and the demo and came close to hitting a 6 in the demo, which would be outstanding. Raising Hope slid just a bit in total viewers and stayed the same in the demo. Although its retention behind Glee is bad, it is decent news that it barely slipped at all. FOX has much more to worry about in Running Wilde. Even with Glee rising and Hope steady, Running Wilde dipped about 20% in viewers from its premiere last week and fell below a 2 in the demo. With FOX already having cancelled Lone Star, is Running Wilde next?

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, September 29

8:00 The Middle #26 "Homecoming"
8:30 Better With You #2 "Better with Firehouse"
9:00 Modern Family #26 "The Kiss"
9:30 Cougar Town #26 "Let Yourself Go"
10:00 The Whole Truth #2 "Thicker Than Water"
ABC's comedy lineup had a fairly strong return last week but The Whole Truth was disappointing and it seems unlikely anything will change this week. ABC's comedies could go either way but my guess is we see slight increases from The Middle and Modern Family and decreases from Better With You (after the pilot) and Cougar Town (no Jennifer Aniston). The Whole Truth will probably see a drop that will have the cancellation clock watchers on edge.
Prediction: Middle - 9.0, 2.8/Better - 7.6, 2.5/Modern - 12.6 million, 5.8/Cougar - 7.7 million, 3.0/Truth - 4.0 million, 1.1

8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds #116 "JJ"
10:00 The Defenders #2 "Las Vegas v. Reid"
CBS has had great success with Survivor back on Wednesdays and Criminal Minds should have another strong outing in AJ Cook's final episode. But it's The Defenders ratings that they will be watching. A normal drop from the pilot is to be expected but anything over 15% would raise major red flags for the new dramedy.
Prediction: Survivor - 12.8, 4.0/Criminal - 14.3 million, 4.2/The Defenders - 11.2 million, 2.7

8:00 Undercovers #2 "Instructions"
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #251 "Behave"
10:00 Law & Order: Los Angeles #1 "Hollywood" (SERIES PREMIERE)
NBC has some things to pay attention to tonight. First, how bad will Undercovers drop? Underwhelming numbers for the pilot and mixed reviews could mean a steep drop. Law & Order: SVU will be solid as usual but probably down some from the two hour premiere last week. The new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles debuts at 10pm and should be able to win the hour with a Defenders drop on CBS.
Prediction: Undercovers - 7.2 million, 1.7/SVU - 9.5 million, 2.9/Los Angeles - 11.6 million, 3.1

8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Hell's Kitchen
FOX has found successful cheap alternative programming for a busy Wednesday night. Expect more of the same tonight and the rest of the season from Hell's Kitchen numbers.
Prediction: 8:00 - 5.9 million, 2.5/9:00 - 6.9 million, 2.8

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PILOT REVIEW: No Ordinary Family


Starring: Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Christina Chang, Kay Panabaker, Jimmy Bennett, Autumn Reeser, with Tave Donovan, and Romany Malco
Created by Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman
Teleplay by Jon Harmon Feldman, Story by Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman, Directed by David Semel

No Ordinary Family is a new big-budget drama from ABC about a family who acquires superhero powers. When the Powell family takes a trip to Brazil to reconnect, their plane crashes and they are thrown into some strange water. When they come back home, they begin to discover superpowers one by one. Patriarch Jim (Michael Chiklis) has Superman powers - massive strength, ability to leap tall buildings, and won't get killed by a gun shot (unless it was very very close). His busy and highly successful wife Stephanie (Julie Benz) has the power of speed and for a woman who doesn't have enough time in the day, this proves very helpful. Teenage daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker) discovers she is a telepathic and with her powers finds out that her boyfriend is sleeping with her best friend. Son JJ (Jimmy Bennett) initially believes that he didn't get any powers until he suddenly discovers he has an insane amount of intelligence, a welcome relief for someone who was considered an underachiever. Among the others who know is Jim's buddy George (Romany Malco) who is assisting him in his new plan to fight crime with his powers.

This is a stellar effort for a new and different new drama series. The pilot doesn't hit on all cylinders but it hits on enough to give hope for the future episodes. The acting and premise are strong, the dialogue is good for the most part, and there were some good twists towards the end. It has the feel of a movie and once it got past some early canned dialogue and an abrupt cut to the plane turbulance, it found its groove. Chiklis and Benz are solid as the married Powells and it's an interesting role reversal from traditional married roles as wife Stephanie is the successful breadwinner and husband Jim is saddened by the lack of family time. Kay Panabaker had some poorly written dialogue towards the beginning but got better as the episode went on and Malco is great as Jim's friend George. The interview style of the first episode from Jim and Stephanie's point of view but it shouldn't get overdone.

No Ordinary Family is a promising pilot. Hopefully it will be able to find an audience on a crowded Tuesday night. Yes, the premise is similar to the Pixar film The Incredibles, but this, as a serialized drama for adults, can explore deeper themes and problems that come with super powers. The first rate cast and the few twists at the end of the pilot give it enough to be an intriguing start to the series. I will be coming back for more.


8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 21.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.8
10:00 Castle
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8

8:00 How I Met Your Mother
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.9
8:30 Rules of Engagement
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
9:00 Two and a Half Men 
Viewers: 13.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.8
9:30 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
10:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 12.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6

8:00 Chuck
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 The Event
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9
10:00 Chase
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

8:00 House
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.8
9:00 Lone Star
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0 

The second week of the season got underway last season and there was good news for ABC and CBS, bad news for FOX, and so-so news for NBC. On ABC, Dancing with the Stars was dominating and managed to retain nearly all its viewers who turned in for the premiere while dipping slightly in the demo. The news was even better for Castle which rose in both viewers and the demo even with Dancing's slight drop.

CBS's comedies got mostly good news. How I Met Your Mother managed to build on last week's premiere, reaching 9 million viewers and nearly a 4 in the demo. It also nipped House for #2 in the demo, very impressive. The weak link was Rules of Engagement which dipped slightly in overall viewers. It did rise by .1 demo point but lost more of Mother's audience than the first week and fell behind House. This is not what CBS hoped for when it finally let its pinch hitter get a full season. Two and a Half Men dipped just slightly from last week's big premiere and Mike & Molly saw slim declines for Week 2 (about 10% in viewers and 6% in the demo). If it can settle around its current levels, which I believe it will, CBS will have to be satisfied. It will never be The Big Bang Theory but it can be solid. Finally, Hawaii Five-0 also saw slight declines similar to Mike & Molly levels. It's not the breakaway hit CBS hoped for but those are solid Week 2 numbers.

NBC's results were so-so at best, but not horrendous. Chuck continued to die in its 8pm slot. It will probably hold steady around the low levels of just over 5 million and a 2 in the demo. The Event got mixed results. It dropped approximately 17% in viewers and about 20% in the demo which is ok for a Week 2 performance of a heavily hyped show. Still, any further drops would be very concerning. If it can level off here, NBC will be ok. If it continues to drop, especially at this rate, there will be trouble. Dipping below a 3 in the demo isn't promising. Chase saw close to a 15% drop in viewers, but under 10% in the demo. It didn't drop as much as I thought it would, but it still could be headed for Mercy/Trauma levels from last year.

FOX saw about the same from House. The show is definitely down from previous years and the drop to third in the demo in the 8pm half hour is concerning. Still, FOX has much bigger concerns as evident by the now cancelled Lone Star's 9pm performance. Lone Star tumbled about 22% in viewers from its already very low premiere numbers and the demo tied the low rated Gossip Girl on the CW. It was obviously an easy but probably painful decision to swing the ax for FOX.


The first casualty of the 2010-2011 season is in and it is FOX's Lone Star. One of the most critically acclaimed shows heading into the season, it did not make an impact and viewers seemed to reject it. The first episode tanked with an average of 4.1 million and 1.3 in the demo, losing viewers as the episode went on. The second episode fell further to 3.2 million and 1.0 in the demo.

It's a shame that viewers didn't buy into this. I personally watched both episodes one and two and was intrigued by the premise and the talented young cast. I thought there were a lot of interesting storylines they could explore but that will not happen now. From when it was announced for the schedule last May, it seemed like an odd fit for FOX's lineup but critics hoped FOX would give the series a chance to grow. They may have if it had received middling ratings but it was just too low. There was no justification in keeping something this low on the air. In its place will be the third season of Lie to Me beginning next Monday. Lie to Me was originally scheduled for Weds at 9pm beginning in November, but it has proven in the past it can hold its own on Monday nights at 9pm with solid but not spectacular ratings.


Here are the final ratings for Sunday night. Check back later today for ratings and commentary from last night and (hopefully) a pilot review for No Ordinary Family, which premiere tonight at 8pm on ABC!

7:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 8.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5
9:00 Desperate Housewives
Viewers: 13.1 million, 18-49 demo: 4.3
10:00 Brothers & Sisters
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9

7:00 NFL Overrun
Viewers: 23.1 million, 18-49 demo: 8.5
7:47 60 Minutes
Viewers: 14.4 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
8:47 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 11.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.8
10:17 Undercover Boss
Viewers: 11.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.8

7:00 Football Night in America
Viewers: 10.1 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1
8:20 Sunday Night Football Pregame
Viewers: 13.9 million, 18-49 demo: 5.2
8:30 Sunday Night Football
Viewers: 18.1 million, 18-49 demo: 7.3

7:00 The Simpsons (Repeat) (based on 7pm coverage in 66% of markets)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
7:30 The Simpsons (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
8:30 The Cleveland Show
Viewers: 6.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 4.5

Premiere week wrapped up with a busy Sunday night full of football and season premieres. As usual, the big winner was Sunday Night Football which dominated in viewers and the demo. This should continue all fall especially when major marquee games are on. There weren't any big losers on Sunday night but most concerning might be The Cleveland Show for FOX. It was down big from premiere numbers a year ago and was the weak link in a solid animation night. Perhaps it will get a rest when Bob's Burgers premieres in the spring?

Among other returning shows, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had a very low 7pm debut but perked up significantly for the 8pm episode. Desperate Housewives continues to show its age but remained a force at 9pm. Brothers & Sisters dropped from Housewives as usual with a particularly concerning drop in the demo. It's somewhat surprising ABC didn't try a new drama here while Housewives still has some power left. CBS had overrun from dominating late football games. 60 Minutes had great numbers for its season premiere and is still a force when it has football as a lead-in. The season premieres of The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss were identical and strong. Undercover Boss was down from its huge spring run but still had good numbers especially considering that it didn't start until 10:17. And over on FOX, both The Simpsons and a one hour premiere of Family Guy saw good numbers and even eclipsed Housewives for second in the demo for the hour.

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, September 28

The full Tuesday schedule comes into place in this second week of the season as the critically acclaimed The Good Wife returns to CBS and the hyped No Ordinary Family premieres on ABC.

8:00 No Ordinary Family #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Detroit 1-8-7 #2 "Local Hero/Overboard"
ABC had disappointing numbers for its new shows during premiere week but it has big hopes for No Ordinary Family, which seemed to receive the bulk of their summer publicity. It should have viewer curiosity but it is in a very tough timeslot so it's hard to tell how the premiere will fare. Dancing with the Stars will continue to do big numbers while Detroit 1-8-7 will likely see erosion from its muted debut.
Prediction: Family - 11.9 million, 2.8/Dancing - 17.9 million, 4.2/Detroit - 8.1 million, 2.1

8:00 NCIS #164 "Worst Nightmare"
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #27 "Borderline"
10:00 The Good Wife #24 "Taking Control" (Season Premiere) 
CBS's powerful Tuesday lineup from last year is back in full now with the season premiere of The Good Wife. It had some demo problems as the season wore on last year but it should easily win the total viewer number. The NCIS franchise numbers should be down a bit but fairly steady.
Prediction: NCIS - 18.9 million, 3.9/NCIS LA - 14.6 million, 3.2/The Good Wife - 12.9 million, 2.5

8:00 The Biggest Loser
10:00 Parenthood #16 "I'm Cooler Than You Think"
NBC took a hit last week on Tuesdays and that will likely continue against series and season premieres. However, it will be interesting to see if Parenthood can win the demo tonight (and this year) as it's against old-skewing The Good Wife and wild card Detroit 1-8-7
Prediction: Loser - 7.4 million, 2.9/Parenthood - 5.9 million, 2.6 

8:00 Glee #24 "Britney/Brittany"
9:00 Raising Hope #2 "Dead Tooth"
9:30 Running Wilde #2 "Into the Wilde"
FOX will get big numbers for Glee, maybe even above its premiere with the hype of Britney Spears' guest role. However FOX will be more concerned about how their 9pm comedies hold up in Week 2. Running Wilde could see a big drop while Raising Hope may show a little more durability.
Prediction: Glee - 13.2 million, 5.8/Hope - 7.0 million, 3.0/Wilde - 4.8 million, 2.1

Sunday, September 26, 2010

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, September 27

Premiere week has ended and all eyes will be on the new shows in the coming weeks to see when and where they level off. Most new shows will likely drop in Week 2 but the amount they drop is key to their survival. All networks have their full regular lineup tonight. Here's what's on:


8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle #36 "He's Dead, She's Dead"

ABC can't expect numbers as big as last week for Dancing with the Stars but it should still easily win the night. Castle probably won't drop much and could get some viewers back who may have sampled Hawaii Five-0 or Chase last week.
Prediction: Dancing - 19.5 million, 4.8/Castle - 10.2 million, 2.5


8:00 How I Met Your Mother #114 "Cleaning House"
8:30 Rules of Engagement #50 "The Bank"
9:00 Two and a Half Men #163 "A Bottle of Wine and a Jackhammer"
9:30 Mike & Molly #2 "First Date"
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #2 "Ohana"

CBS should get about the same from its first three comedies but Mike & Molly may see a drop after sampling last week. CBS is hoping it's not a significant drop. Hawaii Five-0 will also likely see a drop but not a severe one. It got good numbers for an encore of its pilot on Saturday night.
Prediction: Mother - 8.6 million, 3.5/Rules - 8.3 million, 3.0/Men - 14.3 million, 4.8/Mike&Molly - 11.4 million, 3.4/Hawaii - 13.2 million, 3.6


8:00 Chuck #56 "Chuck Versus the Suitcase"
9:00 The Event #2 "To Keep Us Safe"
10:00 Chase #2 "Repo"

All eyes will be on NBC to see how The Event holds up in Week 2. The second episode is getting good buzz. It will be interesting to see how many have bought into the show. Chuck will be low as usual and Chase could see a big drop for its own second episode.
Prediction: Chuck - 5.6 million, 1.9/The Event - 9.6 million, 3.3/Chase - 5.8 million, 2.0


8:00 House #134 "Selfish"
9:00 Lone Star #2 "One in Every Family"

FOX saw very disappointing returns for Lone Star's premiere last week and any type of drop could mean the ax for this promising drama. It's just getting lost in its timeslot and the premise doesn't seem to be winning over viewers although it is well done.
Prediction: House - 10.8 million, 4.1/Lone Star - 3.2 million, 1.0


8:00 College Football
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

8:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 48 Hours Mystery
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

8:00 The Event (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Chase (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Law & Order: SVU (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

8:00 Cops
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:00 America's Most Wanted
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6 



Starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, and Tom Selleck
Created by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
Written by Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
Directed by Michael Cuesta

TV veteran Tom Selleck returns to the small screen in the family cop drama Blue Bloods about a family that has NYPD blood running through their veins. Frank Reagan (Selleck) is the police commissioner, his father Henry (Len Cariou) is a retired cop. Son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is a detective with PTSD from Iraq and he has a penchant for taking matters into his own hands (he's accused of police brutality in the pilot). Daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is a District Attorney who clashes with Donny, has a teenage daughter, and is going through a divorce. Finally youngest son Jamie (Will Estes) is a newly graduated member of the Police Academy and is approached about cooperating with special agents who are looking into a secret society within the NYPD. It is revealed in the pilot that there was another brother who was killed while on duty and was cooperating with the Agents who approached Jamie.

Blue Bloods is one of the most intriguing, classiest shows of the new fall season. The hybrid between family drama and cop procedural is woven together very well. The case, so to speak, is solved halfway through the episode but family dynamics play out for the rest of it. The cast is first-rate - Selleck is a commanding presence as the police commissioner and Wahlberg was the star of the pilot as the tough cop who takes matters into his own hands. Moynahan, Estes, and Cariou also were promising and most importantly, they act like a family - it's a believable group. The Sunday Dinner scene was a highlight in the episode. It seems like there are many dynamics they can explore even as they have a basic case to solve each week.

Blue Bloods had a good debut in its sleepy Friday timeslot and CBS would be wise to nurture this show. Not everything was perfect - only three people in the world having the doll they found at the crime scene was a bit convenient. But still, the procedural aspect of this show is secondary to the family storylines. It will be interesting to learn more about the family's history and current relationship with each other. This is one worth coming back to.

PILOT REVIEW: Outsourced


Starring: Ben Rappaport, Anisha Nagarajan, Diedrich Bader, Parvesh Cheena, Pippa Black, Rebecca Hazlewood, Rizwan Manjt, Sacha Dhawan
Based on the movie "Outsourced." Developed for television by Robert Bordern
Written by George Wing and John Jeffcoat, Directed by Ken Kwapis

Outsourced is a new culture-clash comedy on NBC that focuses on Todd (Ben Rappaport) - a young new manager for an American novelties company whose call center is outsourced to India. When Todd reluctantly goes to India, he is met with a group of "B list" callers who know very little about American culture or why Americans would want such odd novelties such as fake vomit. Among the call center employees are a co-manager (Rizwan Manjt) who is eyeing Todd's job, Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan) who speaks so softly she can barely be heard, and Gupta (Parvesh Cheena) who will talk anyone's ear off.

To be honest, I actually expected Outsourced to be worse than it was. The timing is good, the acting is decent, but the content is not. The show managed to be mildly offensive to both Indians and Americans. It's too bad the content couldn't rise above culture jokes and sex jokes because the talent is there. Ben Rappaport is solid in the lead role and there were some promising performances from the call-center crew. There's also a nice rapport between Todd and his staff. It's a unique show in a unique setting but too often takes the easy way out with the jokes.

This is another niche show for NBC that is unlikely to be broadly appeal. And on top of that, it doesn't seem likely that many Americans in this time of economic troubles and high unemployment would want to watch a show about outsourcing to India. On top of that, the writing needs to get better. Outsourced is never going to be a big hit but it could be a cult favorite if it can find its voice. It's got a ways to go to even achieve that though but all hope is not lost.

PILOT REVIEW: $#*! My Dad Says


Starring: William Shatner, Jonathan Sadowski, Nicole Sullivan, Will Sasso
Created by David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, Justin Halpern, & Patrick Schumacker
Written by David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, Justin Halpern, & Patrick Schumacker, Directed by James Burrows

$#*! My Dad Says is a new CBS sitcoms based on the popular twitter feed created by Justin Halpern. In the TV edition, recently unemployed Henry (Jonathan Sadowski) needs money and stops by to see his estranged Dad (William Shatner) who is a grumpy 72 year old man. The show focuses on the inappropriate and outlandish things Dad says, hence the title. Rounding out the cast are Henry's brother Vince (Will Sasso) and his wife Bonnie (Nicole Sullivan).

There was not much to like about this pilot. After promising new multi-camera sitcoms in Mike & Molly and Better With You, this was more reminiscent of the many multi-camera flops in recent years. The writers seemed too focused on coming up with outlandish and funny things for Shatner to say that they failed to build a plot or story around those statements (which aren't that funny anyway). Every actor in this show is over the top, most of all Shatner. He seems to deliver his lines for the sole purpose of eliciting a response from the studio audience. Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan, both Mad TV alums, are also disappointing and overact. The pilot had many painful jokes and scenes including an unfunny recurring joke about the cot Henry is sleeping on and the final scene had a horrible back-and-forth between Shatner and Sadowski ("when" "now" "why" "because" "I see") that they did not once, not twice, but three times.

I didn't expect much from a sitcom starring William Shatner or from a sitcom based on a twitter feed but yet it even failed to meet those low expectations. There's nothing to see here that hasn't been seen a hundred times on sitcoms and the performances only make the already bad material worse. Multi-camera sitcoms may be making a comeback and that would be a good thing, but this is not part of the revival.

PILOT REVIEW: My Generation


Starring: Michael Stahl-David, Jaime King, Kelli Garner, Keir O'Donnell, Mehcad Brooks, Daniella Alonso, Julian Morris, Sebastian Sozzi, Anne Son, Elizabeth Keener

Based on the Swedish Television Series "Blomstertid"
Teleplay by Noah Hawley
Directed by Craig Gillespie

My Generation is a new ABC mockumentary with a unique premise. In the year 2000, nine seniors at a Texas high school were followed around by a camera crew and talked about their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. Now it's ten years later and the film crew has caught up with the nine students to see how they are as adults - how they've changed, their broken dreams, their new lives. The kids were all the high school stereotypes - overachiever Steven (Michael Stahl-David), brainiac Brenda (Daniella Alonso), jock Rolly (Mehcad Brooks), punk Dawn (Kelli Garner), beauty queen Jackie (Jaime King), rich kid Anders (Julian Morris), nerd Kenneth (Keir O'Donnell), rock star Falcon (Sebastian Sozzi), and wallflower Caroline (Anne Son).

I wanted to like this show, I really did. Even when I saw the bad reviews I still had some hope because I thought it was a unique and interesting premise. But it's bad. It's really bad - maybe the worst of the new season. I can't think of a show that has been more contrived. These people don't even seem real - from their fake shock at the camera crew and what they were like 10 years ago ("wow that's right but then the world changed so dramatically after high school") to the all too convenient way that they were all brought back together right at the right time. It started bad and got worse. The writing is bad, the acting is bad, and it comes off awkward. Plus, isn't it convenient that every major event of the 2000s seemed to directly impact one of these nine Texas high school students? I'm not going to detail each cast member, they were all bad.

This may not be the first cancellation of the young season but it should be. The premise deserved better, it could have been a unique and different show unlike anything on TV. But it failed spectacularly. Instead, it's a melodramatic drama that has a weird gimmick. The characters are supposed to resemble factions of a population but they don't even come across as real people. It's bad, it's very bad. Stay away!

PILOT REVIEW: The Defenders


Starring: Jim Belushi, Jerry O'Connell, Jurnee Smollett, Tanya Fischer, Gillian Vigman
Created by Kevin Kennedy and Niels Mueller
Written by Niels Mueller and Kevin Kennedy
Directed by Davis Guggenheim

The Defenders is a new lighthearted legal drama that takes back in the glitzy setting of Las Vegas. It centers on a team of defense lawyers - Nick Morelli (Jim Belushi) and Pete Kaczmarek (Jerry O'Connell). If the pilot if an indication of how the series will be, the episode focuses mainly on a case but also delves into the personal lives of the partners. Nick is estranged from his wife and has a young son while Pete is a Vegas playboy. Both enjoy the glamor and glitz of Vegas while passionately doing anything they can to defend their clients.

There are good things and bad things about The Defenders. The filming is slick and the Vegas backdrop makes for a lot of fun elements in the show. Jim Belushi is a standout as Morelli. His charisma and performance in the courtroom was fun and enjoyable to watch. He was responsible for some of the best moments of the pilot including spilling the water on the doctor in court and the manipulation of the judge in the Judges Chamber. On the other hand, Jerry O'Connell was flat as the one dimensional Vegas playboy. Unlike Belushi who made an impression immediately, there seemed to be no substance to O'Connell's character. He is the weak link of the two and that will hurt the series in the long run if he can't pull it together. Also, the case and defendant wasn't given a proper introduction in the pilot so it was hard to get invested in the case or its outcome.

There's enough good in The Defenders to come back for more but there are some glaring weak spots, namely O'Connell. Also, the show can't quite seem to decide its tone as it is sometimes very serious, sometimes very comedic, and sometimes melodramatic. It's not a bad thing to have different styles but the tones need to blend together more. It seemed like sudden jumps from funny anecdotal scenes to serious courtroom scenes. There's some promise but it's not there yet.


8:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
8:30 Better With You (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 The Whole Truth (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

8:00 Medium
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 CSI: NY
Viewers: 10.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 Blue Bloods
Viewers: 13.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2

8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00  Outlaw
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

8:00 Human Target (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 The Good Guys
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

Friday night of premiere week saw a mixed bag with CBS having the most to write home about. The big winner of the night was the series premiere of the Tom Selleck drama Blue Bloods. The well-received drama saw over 13 million viewers, a number not seen on Friday in a long time. It was old-skewing as expected but CBS will be very happy if it can stay close to those numbers. On the flip side, FOX's The Good Guys crashed and burned as expected. After low numbers on Mondays this summer with originals, it was DOA out of a Human Target rerun. We'll see how Target does but FOX may be headed back to reruns on Fridays soon. 

CBS also had positive news from the returning drama CSI: NY in its new timeslot. Although it was obviously down from its previous Weds 10pm numbers, it got over 10 million viewers which is commendable. However, Medium saw low returns at 8pm and doesn't seem capable of anchoring the night as it is below what the now-cancelled Ghost Whisperer was receiving last year. NBC had solid numbers for Dateline which is a cheap way to get 7 million viewers on Friday. However, episode two of Outlaw crashed from its solid sample over a week ago. The cancellation clock is ticking on this series as viewers clearly flocked to Blue Bloods instead. ABC aired mostly repeats to low numbers but more exposure for new series Better With You and The Whole Truth while 20/20 had very mild numbers at 10pm. And FOX saw typical low numbers for a rerun of Human Target before the aforementioned The Good Guys.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE RUNDOWN: Saturday, September 25 & Sunday, September 26

There may not be a Weekend Rewind this weekend as I still have pilots to review and other things to do, but I'll get one up if I can. Hopefully more pilot reviews later tonight or tomorrow!

Here's what's on tonight and tomorrow!


8:00 College Football: Oregon State at Boise State


8:00 Hawaii Five-0 #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
9:00 Blue Bloods #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours Mystery


8:00 The Event #1 "I Haven't Told You Everything" (REPEAT)
9:00 Chase #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
10:00 Law & Order: SVU #249 "Locum" (REPEAT)


8:00 Cops
9:00 America's Most Wanted



7:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Season Premiere)
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Desperate Housewives #135 "Remember Paul?" (Season Premiere)
10:00 Brothers & Sisters #88 "Homecoming" (Season Premiere)


7:00 NFL Overrun
7:30 60 Minutes
8:30 The Amazing Race (17th Edition Premiere)
10:00 Undercover Boss (Season Premiere)


7:00 Football Night in America
8:15 Sunday Night Football: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins


7:00 The Simpsons #462 "Moe Letter Blues" (REPEAT)
7:30 The Simpsons #460 "The Squirt and the Whale" (REPEAT)
8:00 The Simpsons #465 "Elementary School Musical" (Season Premiere)
8:30 The Cleveland Show #22 "Harder, Better, Faster, Browner" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Family Guy #148 "And Then There Were Fewer" (Season Premiere)

Saturday is the usual mix of reruns, college football, and cheap shows. The final night of premiere week wraps up with a whole slew of returning shows but not one new show as none are scheduled for Sunday nights this fall. ABC kicks things off with two episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which should be about the same as always. Desperate Housewives follows at 9pm and has some tough competition but should take second in viewers and the demo. Brothers & Sisters will likely continue to bleed some of Desperate's lead-in. CBS has an altered schedule due to football overrun and a longer The Amazing Race. Veteran 60 Minutes starts things at 7:30pm followed by a 1 1/2 hour debut of The Amazing Race. Both will probably be old skewing especially against football. The spring hit Undercover Boss follows but it has never had to compete against football before. NBC of course has football that will dominate with a marquee AFC East matchup. FOX brings back three of its toons as Family Guy airs a 1 hour episode. NFL overrun could affect the reruns of The Simpsons in some areas. Expect more of the same from these shows.