Welcome to Benjamonster's TV - a place that covers broadcast networks with reviews, ratings, and other features!

Monday, October 31, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, November 1

November is here! Hard to believe.

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing #5 "Co-Ed Softball"
8:30 Man Up! #3 "Digging Deeper"
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 Body of Proof #16 "Hard Knocks"
ABC is all new with its regular lineup. Last Man Standing has been erasing a bit of its audience each week but I think it will stabilize this week. Man Up! on the other hand had a troubling Week 2 drop and could drop again in Week 3 as it gets closer to the chopping block. Dancing with the Stars could be up slightly with Justin Bieber performing while Body of Proof may be steady but its demo should be concerning to ABC.
Prediction: Last Man - 9.5 million, 2.7/Man Up - 5.9 million, 1.8/Dancing - 15.1 million, 2.9/Proof - 9.5 million, 1.8

CBS
8:00 NCIS #193 "Devil's Triangle"
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #55 "Honor"
10:00 Unforgettable #7 "Road Block"
CBS has its trio of dramas and they should all be slightly up or slightly down from last week, just like always.
Prediction: NCIS - 19.0 million, 3.9/Los Angeles - 15.5 million, 3.5/Unforgettable - 11.2 million, 2.4

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
10:00 Parenthood #42 "Forced Family Fun"
NBC has its usual combo of The Biggest Loser and Parenthood. The Biggest Loser went up last week but it may drop back down this week while Parenthood should be steady with its last airing.
Prediction: Loser - 5.2 million, 1.9/Parenthood - 5.2 million, 2.1

FOX
8:00 Glee #48 "Pot O' Gold"
9:00 New Girl #4 "Naked"
9:30 Raising Hope #27 "Killer Hope"
After three weeks off, FOX's lineup is back and FOX is hoping that New Girl picks up where it left off. I'd expect it to come back slightly down from its last new airing but it could go up in coming weeks. Same might be true for the other two shows.
Prediction: Glee - 8.1 million, 3.5/Girl - 8.2 million, 4.0/Hope - 6.0 million, 2.7

PILOT REVIEW: Rock Center with Brian Williams

ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS










Hosted by Brian Williams
Featuring Harry Smith, Kate Snow, Ted Koppel, Meredith Viera, Richard Engel, Nancy Snyderman, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Natalie Morales

Rock Center with Brian Williams is the first new primetime newsmagazine to debut in years. Featuring NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and pretty much every other NBC correspondent, Rock Center features a mishmash of serious stories, human interest stories, and in-studio guests (Jon Stewart on the pilot tonight).

THE GOOD: Brian Williams is likable and a personality that's fit for a primetime newsmagazine as he always wants to be looser than he is on the Evening News. Plus, he loves to be on TV and that's apparent from this debut. Like any show, it will rise and fall in quality based on the intrigue of the story and that will be the case here. It was smart to get Jon Stewart as an interview guest because he can always make for interesting TV.

THE BAD: There seemed to be a little too much packed into the pilot. They didn't seem to have time to explore everything with as much depth as they might have wanted to. Brian Williams is likable but his mocked arrogance sometimes wears thin (talking about Rock Center's 25th anniversary in 25 years). And just as this was a good thing, the show will rise and fall based on the stories of the week.

BOTTOM LINE: TV has seen some throwback success this year with sitcoms, Tim Allen, etc. Maybe a newsmagazine may work. But more than likely it will skew old as the TV landscape is not the same as it was in the 90s when newsmagazines were all the rage. With the constant cable TV news available, it may not be able to make much of a dent.

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, October 31

Check below this post for The Top 9 Shows of the 1970s and a review of Allen Gregory!

Also Happy Halloween! Enjoy my Weekend Rewind from last year of the Top 10 Halloween/Haunted Episodes

ABC
8:00 Scared Shrekless (SPECIAL)
8:30 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle #65 "Cops & Robbers"
ABC is starting its Monday off with the Shrek Halloween special that premiered on NBC last year to good numbers. It should get a pretty decent showing. At 8:30pm, a 90 minute Halloween Dancing with the Stars could be up without having the lower HUT 8:00 half hour. Castle could also be up slightly.
Prediction: Shrek - 8.1 million, 2.4/Dancing - 18.1 million, 3.4/Castle - 11.3 million, 2.6

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother #144 "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns"
8:30 2 Broke Girls #7 "And the Pretty Problem"
9:00 Two and a Half Men #184 "Those Fancy Japanese Toilets"
9:30 Mike & Molly #30 "Happy Halloween"
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #31 "Ka Iwi Kapu"
CBS's Monday lineup includes Halloween episodes of How I Met Your Mother (with guest star Katie Holmes) and Mike & Molly as well as a haunted theme to Hawaii Five-0. Mother could go up with a Halloween bump and that might trickle down the lineup for slight increases across the board.
Prediction: Mother - 10.3 million, 4.5/Girls - 11.8 million, 4.6/Men - 15.6 million, 5.6/Mike&Molly - 12.8 million, 4.4/Hawaii - 11.2 million, 3.3

NBC
8:00 The Sing Off
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams (SERIES PREMIERE)
NBC is starting things off with a Halloween themed Sing Off, but it probably won't experience the Halloween bump. At 10pm is the series premiere of new newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams. It might do ok in total viewers but it's hard to imagine the demo having much of an impact in a competitive timeslot.
Prediction: Sing Off - 4.4 million, 1.5/Rock Center - 6.2 million, 1.6

FOX
8:00 Terra Nova #5 "Bylaw"
9:00 House #159 "Risky Business"
FOX is all new with its regular lineup and this might be the network to suffer with all the competition and whatever outside competition from Halloween festivities that might keep people away from their TVs. It wouldn't be surprising to see drops from the last new episodes.
Prediction: Nova - 7.6 million, 2.5/House - 8.0 million, 2.9 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

WEEKEND REWIND: Top 9 Shows of the 1970s

Two weeks ago, I counted down my Top 10 Shows of the 1960s. Now it's time for the 1970s. While I was making this list, I realized there are far fewer shows I like from the 1970s than the 1960s therefore there will be no close calls and only a Top 9. Once again, for a show to qualify, it must have had the majority of its episodes during the 1970s.

9. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
I'm not as big a fan of this show as many are but it is still a classic from the era. I also haven't seen as many of the later episodes, but from what I can tell, the early years with Hawkeye and Trapper John McIntyre and Henry Blake are far superior as the show started to take itself too seriously when it became "The Alan Alda Show." Those early episodes are really strong though and the friendship between Hawkeye and McIntyre plays like a very genuine friendship. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe this was as big a hit as it was, but it's still a well-written, well-acted show.
Episodes you should see: #12 "Dear Dad" (12/17/72), #23 "Ceasefire" (3/18/73), #29 "Dr. Pierce and Mr. Hyde" (10/18/73), #53 "O.R." (10/8/74), #72 "Abyssinia Henry" (3/18/75)

8. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
This technically should be on the 80s list since a slightly higher number of episodes aired in that decade, but all the good ones were in the 70s as this show was at its strongest in its first several years, so I'll put it here. You will not see me put its parent show All in the Family on this list because I think that show is one of the most overrated shows of all time. The Jeffersons isn't great either but it doesn't try to be groundbreaking like Family, it's just fun. Sherman Hemsley is so over the top as George Jefferson, he can be quite funny and the show is very broad. But some shows should be appreciated for not being anything too serious or deep and that is the case here. Plus, how often is a spinoff better than its parent series? Hardly ever.
Episodes you should see: #5 "Mr. Piano Man" (2/15/75), #21 "Movin' on Down" (11/1/75), #38 "George and the President" (9/25/76), #76 "984 W. 124th Street, Apt 5C" (12/24/77), #115/116 "Now You See It, Now You Don't" (10/21-28/79)

7. The Odd Couple (1970-1975)
The Odd Couple is an underrated show from the 1970s. It wasn't a huge hit at the time and hasn't been a huge hit in syndication but it has some really good moments. The dynamic between Tony Randall's Felix and Jack Klugman's Oscar was the heart of this show and it  has been imitated on sitcoms ever since (including this year's short-lived How to Be a Gentleman). When the show premiered, there were still a lot of silly 1960s sitcoms on the air but this show had a feeling of sophistication to it with its adult characters and urban setting. And the comedy has held up well. I think the thing is that there's nothing amazing about this show but there's still a lot to like.
Episodes you should see: #27 "Hospital Mates" (10/1/71), #33 "Fat Farm" (11/12/71), #58 "Password" (12/1/72), #93 "The Rain in Spain" (9/12/74), #100 "The Subway Story" (10/31/74)

6. Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)
Another buddy comedy from the 1970s - Laverne & Shirley was a spinoff from Happy Days and played broader and sillier than the parent series. Much like I Dream of Jeannie in the 1960s, it has to be appreciated for what it is - a funny, slapstick comedy. The writing isn't great, the acting isn't great, yet it was immensely popular in its heyday and has been loved for many years by its fans. Penny Marshall is a scene stealer who carries the show as Laverne even when the others don't carry their weight. It's still fun though... and it has a great theme song.
Episodes you should see: #1 "The Society Party" (1/27/76), #19 "Excuse Me, May I Cut In?" (10/26/76), #31 "Steppin' Out" (2/8/77), #54 "The Second Almost Annual Shotz Talent Show" (1/31/78), #79 "Supermarket Sweep" (2/6/79)

5. Rhoda (1974-1978)
One of the most successful sitcoms of all time - Rhoda allowed one of the best second bananas in TV history the chance to shine on her own show. And it started great. The first two years of Rhoda are a lot of fun as Rhoda has found love in NYC and interacts with her mopey sister Brenda and nosy mother Ida. But then the writers decided they weren't finding interesting enough stories for Rhoda and divorced her from husband Joe. While the divorce process produced some good episodes, the result was a show that was a shell of its former self. This show was headed in the right direction and then it lost its way, but through it all, how can you not love Rhoda the character? Valerie Harper is a thrill to watch no matter what.
Episodes you should see: #8/9 "Rhoda's Wedding" (10/28/74), #25 "Along Comes Mary" (3/10/75), #37 "Friends and Mothers" (11/24/75), #50 "The Separation" (9/20/76), #55 "Two Little Words: Marriage Counselor" (10/25/76)

4. The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)
One of the iconic 1970s shows, The Brady Bunch is very much a product of its time. It's cheesy beyond belief and yet there's something relaxing and calming about watching it. It's not how the early 1970s were yet it makes you feel that way. It's one of those shows that's easy to mock for its campy-ness but yet deep down, you still love to watch it. It was maybe the last sitcom that really wrapped everything up in a neat little package with a bowtie by the end of the episode, a staple of 1950s sitcoms. It was squeaky clean and super cheesy but it was real fun, and of course, groovy.
Episodes you should see: #34 "The Not-So Ugly Duckling" (11/20/70), #61 "Getting Davy Jones" (12/10/71), #65 "Dough Re Mi" (1/14/72), #73 "Hawaii Bound" (9/22/72), #88 "Amateur Nite" (1/26/73)

3. The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978)
A wonderful yet underrated sitcom from the decade, The Bob Newhart Show never got the accolades it deserved. Unlike nearly all of its contemporaries or the shows that came before it, it focused on an urban couple with... no kids! Bob Newhart didn't want there to be kids on the show and it gave the show a tone that most didn't have. Couple that with the unique profession of Newhart's character - a psychiatrist - and it managed to have some absurd moments with a great cast in a grounded world. But above it all was Newhart's deadpan comedic delivery. He was the king of subtle comedy and it stood tall on this great sitcom.
Episodes you should see: #1 "Fly the Unfriendly Skies" (9/16/72), #25 "Last TV Show" (9/15/73), #39 "I'm Dreaming of a Slight Christmas" (12/22/73), #81 "Who is Mr. X?" (11/8/75), #83 "Over the River and Through the Woods" (11/22/75)

2. Happy Days (1974-1984)
A classic for all decades, Happy Days was in many ways a 1970s classic and a 1950s classic. Happy Days is pure nostalgia for two different eras. From its midwest setting to the malt shops, leather jackets, poodle skirts, and motorcycles, it's all things 50s in a love letter to the decade. Sometimes the writing and acting was over the top and of course, this show created the term "jumped the shark" but in its early days, it was such an authentic look at the 1950s. And in its heyday, it was a great vehicle for a classic character - Henry Winkler's The Fonz. With more catchphrases than you can count and a great soundtrack, Happy Days is a slice of Americana from the era it was made in and the era it is set in.
Episodes you should see: #22 "Haunted" (10/29/74), #27 "Guess Who's Coming to Christmas?" (12/17/74), #49 "A Date with Fonzie" (11/11/75), #71 "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They" (11/16/76), #110 "My Favorite Orkan" (2/28/78)

1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
But the best sitcom of the decade (and it's not even close) is the all time classic The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When looking back at all the sitcoms in the history of television, is there a show with a better mix of writing, acting, directing, and character development? Every single character on this show is beloved and with good reason. Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Gavin McLeod, Ted Knight, Cloris Leachman, Georgia Engel, and Betty White joined forces to create the ultimate TV sitcom. The show never focused on the jokes, it focused on the characters and the story. Because of that, these characters felt like real people and we cared about what happened to them. Like any show, there are some down episodes, but there is nothing, I mean nothing that I don't love about this show. Mary Tyler Moore certainly made it after all.
Episodes you should see: #1 "Love is All Around" (9/19/70), #6 "Support Your Local Mother" (10/24/70), #71 "Put on a Happy Face" (2/24/73), #73 "The Lars Affair" (9/15/73), #168 "The Last Show" (3/19/77)

PILOT REVIEW: Allen Gregory

ALLEN GREGORY










Starring: Jonah Hill, French Stewart, Nat Faxon, Christina Puccelli, Joy Osmanski, Renee Taylor, Leslie Mann
Created by Jonah Hill, Andrew Mogel, and Jarrad Paul
Written by Jonah Hill, Andrew Mogel, & Jarrad Paul, Directed by Bernard Derriman

Allen Gregory is an absurd new cartoon addition to FOX's Animation Domination lineup created by and starring Jonah Hill as pretentious 7 year old Allen Gregory. Homeschooled by his gay dads (French Stewart and Nat Faxon), he must attend a regular elementary school when his dads get in money trouble. However, he doesn't quite fit in - bringing pinot grigio to lunch, calling his teacher (Leslie Mann) by her first name, and developing a crush on his elderly principal (Renee Taylor).

THE GOOD: I'm not a big fan of cartoons but Allen Gregory does have his funny moments. The little comments that Allen Gregory makes under his breath that make him such a pretentious snob had me chuckling (lines such as "here comes this trainwreck" when his teacher approaches him or his constant putdowns of adopted sister Julie). It has some funny writing and some of the other depictions of the kids were good as evident in the cafeteria scene. Jonah Hill has good delivery as Allen Gregory and the writing shows potential.

THE BAD: It's all just a little too absurd though and it veered down the wrong course when it introduced the plot of Allen having a crush on the principal. That's when I realized, after enjoying the first part of the show, that this probably isn't going to hold up episode after episode. The things that were amusing - Allen's shtick - will get old quickly and then what do we have? A very strange cartoon that might be a one joke pony. The parts that made the pilot funny might just seem annoying by episode 4 or 5.

BOTTOM LINE: This doesn't seem to have nearly as much broad appeal as the shows it is sandwiched between - The Simpsons and Family Guy. The tone of the show and sense of humor make it seem like it should be airing late at night or on the weekends on Comedy Central. Again, I'm not an expert on cartoons but I don't think this has what it takes to be the next long running animated FOX cartoon.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/29/11

ABC 
8:00 College Football
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:30 How I Met Your Mother (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 48 Hours Mystery
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

NBC
8:00 Chuck (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Grimm (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
10:00 Law & Order: SVU (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9 

FOX
8:00 America's Most Wanted Special
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, October 30

Check back later today for a Weekend Rewind on the Top 10 Shows of the 1970s as well as (hopefully) a review of Allen Gregory!

ABC
7:00 Once Upon a Time #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
8:00 Once Upon a Time #2 "The Thing You Love Most"
9:00 Desperate Housewives #163 "Witch's Lament"
10:00 Pan Am #6 "The Genuine Article"
On the heels of last week's great debut for Once Upon a Time, ABC is opting to rerun the pilot at 7pm ahead of the new episode at 8pm. Many are predicting a huge fall but I don't think it'll be terrible though it will be noticeable. I think people liked what they saw and might come back for more. Still, it will be down some and Desperate Housewives might be down a bit as well. If Pan Am follows suit, it could hit another series low and I think that will happen.
Prediction: Time 8:00 - 10.8 million, 3.5/Housewives - 8.8 million, 2.8/Pan Am - 5.2 million, 1.7

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 The Good Wife #52 "Affairs of State"
10:00 CSI: Miami #219 "By the Book"
CBS has a doubleheader so expect these shows to be delayed. They could post similar numbers across the board to the last time CBS had NFL overrun and perhaps even higher with most of the country seeing a Patriots-Steelers game but some of it will of depend on how much it overruns.
Prediction: 60 Mins - 14.8 million, 3.6/Race - 10.1 million, 2.9/Wife - 10.1 million, 2.1/Miami - 10.5 million, 2.4

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
8:30 Sunday Night Football: Dallas at Philadelphia
NBC has a really strong Sunday night game with two popular teams so expect it to be way way up from last week's game which was a Saints massacre of the Colts against the World Series

FOX 
7:00 The Cleveland Show #34 "A Short Story and a Tall Tale" (REPEAT)
7:30 The Simpsons #484 "Homer Scissorhands" (REPEAT)
8:00 The Simpsons #489 "Treehouse of Horror XXII"
8:30 Allen Gregory #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Family Guy #168 "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q"
9:30 The Cleveland Show #46 "Nightmare on Grace Street"
FOX has new episodes of its cartoons for the first time since October 2 including the annual Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons and the series premiere of Jonah Hill's Allen Gregory. It will have its audience but it could get lost in the crowd. Don't expect a great premiere for Gregory.
Prediction: Simpsons - 6.8 million, 3.3/Gregory - 5.9 million, 2.9/Family - 7.3 million, 3.6/Cleveland - 5.2 million, 2.5

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK: Week 6

GOOD WEEK: FAIRY TALE DRAMAS
Many TV experts weren't sure these shows could work for mainstream audiences and they still might not but ABC and NBC's attempts at supernatural fairy tale dramas had awesome starts for their respective networks in the past week. First up, ABC's Once Upon a Time premiered to a huge 12.9 million viewers and 4 demo. The demo is the best premiere for any network drama so far this season and it came in a difficult Sunday 8pm timeslot. It had positive buzz too as reaction to the pilot has been strong. Then just last night, NBC's Grimm posted a surprising 6.5 million viewers and 2.1 demo (preliminary). This is NBC's best drama premiere this season and it came against Game 7 of the World Series. Buzz hasn't been as good but NBC did a good job promoting this show and it could have been higher if it wasn't for the MLB competition. It will be very interesting to see how both shows do in Week 2 but maybe, just maybe, they are tapping into an audience that's been out there.

BAD WEEK: "MAN UP!"
This is the year of the sitcom, right? Except for Free Agents and How to Be a Gentleman, every new sitcom is off to a good, if not great, start. New Girl, 2 Broke Girls, Suburgatory, and Up All Night are hits for their respective networks. Last Man Standing has been a strong self-starter and Whitney isn't totally tanking by NBC standards. But ABC's final new sitcom to premiere - Man Up! - may soon be headed for the scrap pile. After a so-so premiere, it experienced one of the bigger Week 2 drops for comedies this season and might even be bringing down Dancing with the Stars Results at 9pm. Expect it to be gone by the new year.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/28/11

ABC 
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 CSI: Miami (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 CSI: NY (Repeat)
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

NBC
8:00 Chuck
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Grimm
Viewers: 6.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
10:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 7
Viewers: 25.4 million, 18-49 demo: 7.4

FOX was easily on top with Game 7 of the World Series on Friday night as the series picked up steam thanks to some great games but the bigger news for TV fans was NBC's results. Grimm stunned most observers with a solid 6.5 million and 2.1 demo premiere. While those numbers may not look great, they are great for a Friday (especially against a World Series) and they are good for NBC. In fact, it premiered higher than The Playboy Club and Prime Suspect in a much more difficult timeslot. We'll see how things hold up but this was a great and surprising start for Grimm. Earlier in the night, Chuck's final season premiere hit an embarrassing series low. Good thing it's the final season. At 10pm, Dateline NBC was up a nice 1.1 million viewers and three tenths in the demo from last week's two hour edition. Elsewhere, ABC saw big drops for the second Friday of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We should wait and see how it does against normal competition though. At 10pm, 20/20 came back to Earth as it was down 2.9 million viewers and eight tenths in the demo.

Friday, October 28, 2011

RATINGS RECAP: 10/27/11

ABC
8:00 It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
10:00 Private Practice
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 14.5 million, 18-49 demo: 4.6
8:30 Rules of Engagement
Viewers: 10.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
9:00 Person of Interest
Viewers: 11.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 12.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

NBC
8:00 Community
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
8:30 Parks and Recreation
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 The Office
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9
9:30 Whitney
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 Prime Suspect
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 6
Viewers: 21.1 million, 18-49 demo: 6.5

An epic Game 6 of the World Series dominated the ratings on Thursday night but the other networks didn't fall apart in the wake of the competition (except, of course, NBC). ABC started off with the special It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown which easily outperformed Charlie's Angels in this slot. In fact, it seems like Charlie Brown specials are the only thing that works for ABC in this slot. At 9pm, Grey's Anatomy was up four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo which is great considering the competition was heavier. Private Practice followed suit as it was even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo.

CBS held up well against the competition as well. The Big Bang Theory started things off and was down four tenths in viewers and half a demo point but that's pretty understandable because of tougher competition on ABC, NBC, and FOX than last week. At 8:30pm, Rules of Engagement was down nine tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo from its season premiere, but it posted better retention in the demo this week. At 9pm, Person of Interest was down eight tenths in viewers but even in the demo as it is getting closer and closer to passing The Office in the demo. At 10pm, The Mentalist was down just a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. All in all, this is a good night for CBS with much tougher competition than last week.

NBC was just pathetic across the board - these total viewer numbers are embarrassing. At 8pm, Community tied a series low in the demo as it was down four tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo from its last new airing two weeks ago. 3.4 million viewers and a 1.4 demo in the slot that used to host The Cosby Show and Friends... sad. At 8:30pm, Parks and Recreation hit a series low in total viewers as it was down a tenth in viewers and three tenths in the demo. At 9pm, The Office posted its worst numbers since the season finale of the low rated season 1 way back in April 2005. Though still the high point of NBC's night, this show is far past its peak. It was down six tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. At 9:30pm, Whitney was down a tenth in viewers for a series low and even in the demo, posting better retention. At 10pm, Prime Suspect was down six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for series lows. This show didn't benefit from all the encore airings and it is now doing as bad as The Playboy Club, yet NBC sees much more invested in it. This entire night is a huge mess, just like most of NBC's lineup.

PILOT REVIEW: Grimm

GRIMM










Starring: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee
Created by Stephen Carpenter, David Greenwalt, and Jim Kouf
Written by David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, and Stephen Carpenter, Directed by Marc Buckland

Grimm is a dark new fantasy crime drama on NBC. The pilot played like a twist on a procedural drama but the overall premise is much more complicated. Nick Burnhardt (David Giuntoli) is a homicide detective who discovers he is a descendant of the Grimms who are hunters that fight the supernatural. He can see through the supernatural villains in their everyday appearance. In the pilot, he discovers his identity and that he is the last one left of his kind as he and his partner (Russell Hornsby) investigate a murder case that parallels Little Red Riding Hood in many ways.

THE GOOD: Grimm does a great job of creating a moody world and ambiance which is fitting for the dark tone of the drama. It's always good when a series picks an appropriate setting for the mood of the show and the misty Portland, Oregon is perfect for this one. Grimm had a slow start which I'll get to later but it picked up as the show went on. The scene in the "Wolf"'s cottage was intriguing and suspenseful and the very final scene at the hospital did a good job of leaving a hook for viewers to come back. There were definitely some things to like about the pilot and if the show strengthens those, it could be a really good show.

THE BAD: That's a big if though because the pilot really dragged until about the last 15 minutes. I was so bored during the middle part of the show. They set up the crime and the story and then it felt like they twiddled their thumbs throughout the middle of the episode. It also is going to have to stay authentic and dark to not end up looking like a campy concept in a serious crime drama. The cast is good but I kept wondering what exactly this show is trying to be - a fantasy drama? A crime procedural? The mix worked for the pilot but can it keep working like that?

BOTTOM LINE: If Grimm can do anything on Friday night in the ratings, it's worth checking out again. It's not as instantly engrossing as ABC's fellow fantasy drama Once Upon a Time yet it had some interesting moments. The pilot really ended on a high note. If it can pick up there for episode 2, this could be a good show. If it acts like most of the pilot and drags its feet, it will be a real bore on a sleepy Friday night.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, October 28 & Saturday, October 29

Check back on Friday night or Saturday for a review of NBC's new drama Grimm!

FRIDAY

ABC 
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
10:00 20/20
ABC is once again double pumping Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Numbers could be down slightly from last week with more competition plus 20/20 had abnormally high numbers last week and that will probably come back some.
Prediction: Makeover 8:00 - 4.9 million, 1.1/Makeover 9:00 - 5.8 million, 1.6/2020 - 5.2 million, 1.5

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man #6 "In Case of Memory Loss"
9:00 CSI: NY #168 "Get Me Out of Here!"
10:00 Blue Bloods #28 "Black and Blue"
CBS has its all new drama lineup including a Halloween themed episode of CSI: NY. It's hard to know if NBC's new lineup will provide any competition but my prediction is things hold pretty steady for these three dramas which have a different audience than the genre shows.
Prediction: Gifted - 8.2 million, 1.2/CSI NY - 9.9 million, 1.7/Bloods - 10.5 million, 1.7

NBC
8:00 Chuck #79 "Chuck Versus the Zoom" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Grimm #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
10:00 Dateline NBC
Despite all their troubles, NBC is not giving up on Friday. They will premiere two genre shows - the supposed final season of cult favorite Chuck and the dark new Grimm. These shows will have a tough go of it on Fridays but it's hard to know what NBC's expectations are. Don't expect much. It will be surprising if they can bite into a share of the limited Friday night audience especially with male viewers tuned into the World Series.
Prediction: Chuck - 4.8 million, 1.7/Grimm - 4.3 million, 1.6/Dateline - 5.1 million, 1.4

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 7
With the World Series going to a Game 7, FOX will preempt Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe. After a great Game 6, this should easily dominate on the night.

SATURDAYS

ABC
8:00 College Football

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother #132 "The Exploding Meatball Sub" (REPEAT)
8:30 How I Met Your Mother #135 "Landmarks" (REPEAT)
9:00 Criminal Minds #117 "Remembrance of Things Past" (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours Mystery

NBC
8:00 Harry's Law #17 "Bad to Worse" (REPEAT)
9:00 Prime Suspect #5 "Regrets, I've Had a Few" (REPEAT)
10:00 Law & Order: SVU #276 "Double Strands" (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 America's Most Wanted: 50 Fugitives, 50 States (SPECIAL) 

RATINGS RECAP: 10/26/11

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
8:30 Suburgatory
Viewers: 9.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.4
9:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 11.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.5
9:30 Happy Endings
Viewers: 8.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
10:00 Revenge
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 11.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 11.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8
10:00 CSI (Repeat)
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

NBC
8:00 Up All Night (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 Whitney (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Harry's Law (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
10:00 Prime Suspect (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 Glee (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Glee (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

With a Halloween lineup and lots of repeats as competition, ABC soared in the ratings and had a great performance. At 8pm, The Middle hit a series high as it was up 1.1 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. This show has come such a long way from its early days on ABC two years ago and is a rock solid lead-off. At 8:30pm, freshman Suburgatory also hit a series high in the demo as it was up nine tenths in viewers and a strong three tenths in the demo. Modern Family did not have a Halloween episode this year and instead aired last year's episode number but it had an incredible performance for a repeat, getting numbers that many shows can't come close to with new episodes. But can you imagine what a new Halloween episode would have gotten? Finally the Halloween magic continued with Happy Endings which also hit a series high and was up a very big 1.5 million viewers and a half a demo point despite a lower lead-in. I've given Endings a lot of grief but this was a really strong performance. This is two years in a row that the sitcoms have seen huge gains for Halloween episodes. At 10pm, freshman drama Revenge took advantage of repeat competition to post its best numbers since the premiere. It was up seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo.

The only other new show on the night was Survivor on CBS which also took advantage of less competition and was up six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for a season high. Repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI were solid as well. Not surprisingly, NBC did very little with repeats of their lineup while Game 6 of the World Series was pushed back due to rain and they instead aired very low rated episodes of Glee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, October 27

November Sweeps is here!

ABC
8:00 It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (SPECIAL)
9:00 Grey's Anatomy #155 "Put Me In, Coach"
10:00 Private Practice #81 "Step One"
ABC is starting off with the class It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, which always does well and should be way up from Charlie's Angels numbers. This may help Grey's Anatomy a bit too though Private Practice may not see any bounce and could be down against the end of Game 6 of the World Series.
Prediction: Pumpkin - 6.8 million, 2.1/Grey's - 9.8 million, 3.7/Practice - 6.2 million, 2.2

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #94 "The Good Guy Fluctuation"
8:30 Rules of Engagement #74 "Bros Before Nodes"
9:00 Person of Interest #6 "The Fix"
10:00 The Mentalist #76 "Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien?"
CBS is all new as well. The competition is strong so Big Bang will have a hard time holding its huge numbers from last week while Rules of Enagement will probably drop some from its season premiere. These possibly lower numbers might continue for Person of Interest and The Mentalist.
Prediction: Big Bang - 13.8 million, 4.7/Rules - 10.1 million, 3.2/Person - 11.9 million, 2.6/Mentalist - 12.2 million, 2.5

NBC
8:00 Community #54 "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps"
8:30 Parks and Recreation #51 "Meet 'n' Greet"
9:00 The Office #157 "Spooked"
9:30 Whitney #5 "The Wire"
10:00 Prime Suspect #5 "Regrets, I've Had a Few"
NBC is back with new episodes after last week's repeats. It is Halloween episodes from 8-9:30pm which could be up s Halloween last year seemed to boost show's numbers. Whitney and Prime Suspect could follow suit but not by much even though NBC has run Prime Suspect every night this week to try to get people to watch.
Prediction: Community - 4.3 million, 1.9/Parks - 4.5 million, 2.3/Office - 6.6 million, 3.5/Whitney - 4.5 million, 2.1/Suspect - 4.9 million, 1.4

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 6: Texas at St. Louis
Game 6 of the World Series was postponed Wednesday night due to rain and it will air Thursday instead. Though there is some competition, it should do well. 

RATINGS RECAP: 10/25/11

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8
8:30 Man Up!
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
Viewers: 14.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 Body of Proof
Viewers: 9.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

CBS 
8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 19.4 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 15.9 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
10:00 Unforgettable
Viewers: 11.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 Prime Suspect (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

FOX
8:00 The X-Factor
Viewers: 12.1 million, 18-49 demo: 4.4

ABC had good news and bad news on Tuesday night. At 8pm, Last Man Standing was down four tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. While it dropped again, this seems like a self-starter and if it can stabilize here, that is a success story for the timeslot. A full season order should be coming soon. At 8:30pm though the news was not nearly as good as Week 2 of Man Up! was down a million viewers and four tenths in the demo from its premiere. It looks like this show will not be around for the long haul. At 9pm, the results edition of Dancing with the Stars was up three tenths in viewers and even in the demo. Finally at 10pm, Body of Proof was up a tenth in viewers but down a tenth in the demo which is disappointing with Parenthood being a repeat.  

Over on CBS it was more of the same from a very steady lineup. At 8pm, NCIS was even in viewers and up two tenths in the demo. NCIS: Los Angeles followed and was up a strong half a million viewers and three tenths in the demo, posting a season high in the demo. At 10pm, Unforgettable was down six tenths in viewers but even in the demo. All in all, another typical Tuesday night for CBS - good numbers but boring to report on.

Over on doormat NBC, The Biggest Loser finally ended its downward trend as it was up three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It is still down big year-to-year but perhaps the bleeding has stopped. Another repeat in Prime Suspect week was very very low. FOX aired a two and a half hour edition of The X-Factor that was its first live show. It was up 1.7 million viewers and half a demo point to its best numbers since the series premiere. This bodes well for upcoming episodes especially since this was on a special night.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, October 26

It's the final night before November sweeps with a mix of repeats and originals.

ABC
8:00 The Middle #55 "Halloween II"
8:30 Suburgatory #5 "Halloween"
9:00 Modern Family #30 "Halloween" (REPEAT)
9:30 Happy Endings #18 "Spooky Endings"
10:00 Revenge #6 "Intrigue"
ABC is airing Halloween episodes of its comedies with new episodes of The Middle, Suburgatory, and Happy Endings. Surprisingly, Modern Family is a repeat of last year's Halloween episode. Though that episode is great, a new one would have been nice. Expect The Middle and Suburgatory to be up and Happy Endings could be close to last week's numbers because the Family repeat should be strong. With repeat competition at 10pm, Revenge could go up.
Prediction: Middle - 10.1 million, 3.3/Suburgatory - 9.8 million, 3.3/Endings - 7.1 million, 2.9/Revenge - 8.8 million, 2.8


CBS
8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds #125 "25 to Life" (REPEAT)
10:00 CSI #241 "A Kiss Before Frying" (REPEAT)
CBS is only new in the 8pm hour and Survivor could be down with competition from ABC's Halloween lineup and the World Series as well as no new episodes following it.
Prediction: Survivor - 10.7 million, 3.1

NBC
8:00 Up All Night #4 "New Car" (REPEAT)
8:30 Whitney #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
9:00 Harry's Law #15 "Sins of the Father" (REPEAT)
10:00 Prime Suspect #4 "Great Guy, Yet: Dead" (REPEAT)
NBC is all repeats. It's scary to think how low these numbers will go.


FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 6: Texas at St. Louis
FOX has Game 6 of the World Series which could see Texas win it all or St. Louis even it. With only competition from ABC, it could be up from Game 5. 

FULL SEASON ALERT: Unforgettable, Person of Interest

Two freshman CBS dramas have been given full season orders in a move that's been coming for a couple weeks.

New procedural Unforgettable had the best debut of any drama to date this season with 14.1 million viewers. Taking over for The Good Wife on Tuesday night, it has skewed old like Wife but is doing better than Wife was last spring. While it doesn't seem like a long term player for Tuesday nights (could it head to Fridays eventually?), it probably will stay in this slot all year. The drama just wasn't a high priority for me and I haven't seen an episode since the pilot. Through five episodes, Unforgettable has averaged 12.3 million viewers and a 2.5 demo.

New Thursday thriller Person of Interest has also earned a full season order despite a start that was less powerful than expected. It inherited the Thursday 9pm slot that CSI held for a decade but it wasn't hot off the gate and routinely finishes fourth in the demo at 9pm behind Grey's Anatomy, The X-Factor, and The Office. CBS had to be expecting more with its most talked-about pilot. The good news is that the numbers have been fairly steady over the first five weeks which is good for a drama. Quality-wise, it got off to a decent start but has picked up steam. I haven't watched the most recent episode yet, but the one before that was stellar. It seems headed in the right direction. Through five episodes, Person of Interest has averaged 12.4 million viewers and a 2.8 demo.

With these shows joining 2 Broke Girls with full season orders and How to Be a Gentleman already gone, the only freshman show with undetermined status is A Gifted Man. Man has been steady but low on Fridays and it remains to be seen what will happen. I expect at least additional scripts to be ordered.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/24/11

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 17.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 Castle
Viewers: 10.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother
Viewers: 9.8 million, 18-49 demo: 4.3
8:30 2 Broke Girls
Viewers: 11.2 million, 18-49 demo: 4.5
9:00 Two and a Half Men
Viewers: 15.3 million, 18-49 demo: 5.5
9:30 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 12.2 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2
10:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1

NBC
8:00 The Sing Off
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
10:00 Prime Suspect (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 5
Viewers: 14.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2 

CBS Mondays are just not slowing down this fall as every show was up or even this week (last week all but one show was up or even). At 8pm, How I Met Your Mother was even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. New freshman hit 2 Broke Girls was down three tenths in viewers but up a tenth in the demo. This show is the real deal. Some think it should move to the 9:30 slot or with The Big Bang Theory on Thursday but why now? CBS finally has a hit, a big hit, in a slot that has been troublesome. At 9pm, Two and a Half Men grew for the first time this season as it was up two tenths in viewers and the demo. If this is where it is leveling off, it is up huge year-to-year. At 9:30pm, Mike & Molly was up a strong seven tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. To close out the night, Hawaii Five-0 was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. It doesn't do as well as the comedies but it has easily been winning the demo this week.

ABC started off with Dancing with the Stars which has settled into its audience after some early drops. It was down six tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo from last week. At 10pm, Castle was down four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. NBC wasn't even on the same field as ABC, CBS, and FOX as The Sing Off was down a tenth in viewers and the demo, hitting a series low in viewers. New newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams launches next Monday at 10pm for NBC. FOX had good numbers from the World Series, which has been very steady from game to game.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/23/11

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
Viewers: 6.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
8:00 Once Upon a Time
Viewers: 12.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.0
9:00 Desperate Housewives
Viewers: 9.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
10:00 Pan Am
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 12.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
8:00 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 9.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
9:00 The Good Wife
Viewers: 9.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 CSI: Miami
Viewers: 9.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
Viewers; 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
8:00 NFL Pregame
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
8:30 Sunday Night Football
Viewers: 12.5 million, 18-49 demo: 5.2

FOX
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT
Viewers: 24.3 million, 18-49 demo: 8.7
8:00 MLB World Series
Viewers: 15.2 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2

ABC had some really positive news on Sunday night as the series premiere of Once Upon a Time got off to a magical start. To start off the evening, America's Funniest Home Videos was up a tenth in viewers but down a tenth in the demo. At 8pm, Once delivered the best demo premiere for any new drama this season. While many think it will fall hard in the coming weeks, this is above most expectations and reaction has been mostly positive. ABC did a masterful job with promotion and their decision to hold off the premiere until the end of October looks genius. At 9pm, Desperate Housewives benefited from the better lead-in as it was up nine tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. To close out the night, Pan Am did not get any bump though it did level off as it was down a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. A demo below 2 is probably not going to cut it in the long run though there are rumors of a back 9 order.

CBS had mixed results on Sunday night though the entire lineup skews old when there is no football lead-in. At 7pm, 60 Minutes was up 1.6 million viewers and six tenths in the demo for a good showing with no football lead-in. At 8pm, The Amazing Race was up four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. The Good Wife followed and was down half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo for a season low in both categories. Finally at 10pm, CSI: Miami was down eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo, also hitting a season low. Miami's numbers could be partly chalked up to the World Series but football was down and Pan Am was steady so this isn't a great showing. Nor is it a great showing for Wife. CBS may have to think about shaking things up if the demos start to skew much older.

With competition from the World Series and a massacre by the Saints over the Colts, Sunday Night Football hit easy season lows. It was actually beaten in the demo by both Two and a Half Men and Modern Family, which is a rare occurrence. Powered by a football lead-in, the World Series posted its best numbers of the series so far and outgunned football in total viewers though it was weaker in the demo.

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, October 25

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing #4 "Last Halloween Standing"
8:30 Man Up! #2 "Finessing the Bromance"
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 Body of Proof #15 "Second Chances"
ABC is all new on Tuesday night including a Halloween episode of Last Man Standing, the first of several sitcom Halloween episodes in the next week. Standing will probably be down some again though I don't think it'll be too much. The news may not be as good for Man Up! though which could see a sizable drop in Week 2. At 9pm, Dancing took a hit with a lesser lead-in and competition from The X-Factor and with the same competition and a likely lower lead-in, it could be down again. Body of Proof might be up a tick without Parenthood competition.
Prediction: Standing - 9.5 million, 2.9/Man Up - 6.4 million, 2.1/Dancing - 13.3 million, 2.5/Proof - 9.4 million, 2.0

CBS
8:00 NCIS #192 "Thirst"
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #54 "Lone Wolf"
10:00 Unforgettable #6 "Friended"
CBS's drama lineup is all new. NCIS with guest star Cheryl Ladd and NCIS: Los Angeles should be pretty steady with last week while Unforgettable, like Body of Proof, may benefit slightly from no Parenthood competition, particularly in the demo.
Prediction: NCIS - 18.9 million, 3.9/Los Angeles - 15.2 million, 3.3/Unforgettable - 12.1 million, 2.6

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
10:00 Prime Suspect #3 "Bitch" (REPEAT)
NBC will be a non-player on Tuesday as The Biggest Loser has continued to fall every week, though it could stabilize. A repeat of Prime Suspect on a special night will do nothing at 10pm.
Prediction: Loser - 5.3 million, 1.9

FOX 
8:00 The X-Factor
Once again, due to the World Series, The X-Factor is airing on Tuesday night. It did well last week and that should continue this week as the show has been remarkably stable after its underwhelming start.
Prediction: X Factor - 10.9 million, 4.0 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, October 24

Check below this post for a review of Once Upon a Time!

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle #64 "Demons"
ABC has its regular lineup to kick off Week 6. Dancing with the Stars grew for the first time this week and it should be fairly steady with last week's performance. Castle should follow suit as it rebounded from a bad performance two weeks ago. Still, I thought this show would be winning the demo in the fall and it's not. What happens when The Bachelor takes over?
Prediction: Dancing - 17.4 million, 3.3/Castle - 10.9 million, 2.4

CBS 
8:00 How I Met Your Mother #143 "Noretta"
8:30 2 Broke Girls #6 "And the Disappointing Bed"
9:00 Two and a Half Men #183 "The Squat and the Hover"
9:30 Mike & Molly #29 "Victoria Runs Away"
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #30 "Ka Hakaka Maikai"
CBS is all new and all the comedies except Two and a Half Men were even or up last week. They should be right around the same levels and I think tonight is the night we finally see Men level off (though I thought that last week too). At 10pm, Hawaii Five-0 features a crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles and that may help it go up ever so slightly if Los Angeles fans tune in.
Prediction: Mother - 9.5 million, 4.0/Girls - 11.1 million, 4.3/Men - 14.9 million, 5.2/Mike&Molly - 11.3 million, 3.8/Hawaii - 11.4 million, 3.2

NBC
8:00 The Sing Off
10:00 Prime Suspect #2 "Carnivorous Sheep" (REPEAT)
NBC has The Sing Off which should be very low as usual and then yet ANOTHER repeat of the second episode of Prime Suspect as it will air at 10pm Mon-Thurs this week. NBC is trying to make this show work but is overkilling the repeats of a show that only has had four episodes air. Just another mistake by NBC.
Prediction: Sing Off - 4.2 million, 1.6

FOX 
8:00 MLB World Series Game 5: St. Louis at Texas
The World Series is tied 2-2 which guarantees at least two more games. The first is Monday night and ratings have been pretty steady throughout the series so expect that to continue Monday night. 

PILOT REVIEW: Once Upon a Time

ONCE UPON A TIME











Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Jared S. Gilmore, Raphael Sbarge, Jamie Dorman, and Robert Carlyle
Created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, Directed by Mark Mylod

Once Upon a Time is a lavish new drama from ABC that blurs two worlds - the fantasy land of "Once Upon a Time" and modern day Storybrooke, Maine. The complicated plot involves a curse from an Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) on Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) that sent all the fairytale characters to the present day only none of them know they are fairytale characters. The Queen is the Mayor of the town, Snow White is a teacher, and Prince Charming - injured in a fight before the curse - is a comatose unknown patient at the hospital. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) tells Snow White and Prince Charming that their unborn daughter will return on her 28th birthday to battle with the Queen. Which leads us to the modern day where Emma (Jennifer Morrison), a bail bonds collector, is found by her biological son Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) who she gave up for adoption. He has discovered through a book from his teacher (present day Snow White) about the truth and brings Emma back to Storybrooke to fulfill Rumpelstiltskin's prophecy. By the way, Rumpelstiltskin is now a wealthy man and part owner of Storybrooke. Also in the main cast is Jiminy Crickett/Archie Hopper, a psychologist (Raphael Sbarge) and Storybrooke's Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dorman). Whew! That's the most difficult summary of any new fall show! And there's much more to it than what I just wrote.

THE GOOD: This show is unlike anything else on TV and it plays like an epic fantasy movie. There's a lot, I mean a lot of potential in this show if everything can fall the right way. The pilot was very promising. What might be an over-the-top concept is handled well with good production value and a really strong cast. Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jared Gilmore are all promising in their roles while Lana Parrilla's Evil Queen and Robert Carlyle's Rumpelstiltskin are early standouts from the premiere. Both the worlds they created are really well-developed. The fairytale land looks exactly as it should while Storybrooke has a mix of quaintness and intrigue. As of now, it's hard to tell which world is going to be more intriguing because both were set up well. For such a complicated plot, it was well drawn out in the pilot. It's almost more difficult to explain than it is to just watch because everything kind of makes sense when you watch the pilot. This show is full of potential.

THE BAD: Of course there have been many promising high-concept pilots that have flamed out quickly and that is the danger with Once Upon a Time. As I already said, the plot is drawn out very well in the pilot but can we expect that to continue every week? The jumps between the two worlds are going to be tricky to manage and the fantasy world needs to be careful not to veer into the ridiculous realm. Basically, "the bad" is about what this show might become, not what it was in the pilot. Let's hope the quality stays high and the story stays focused. My only complaint about the pilot was the Blue Fairy scene which looked somewhat cheesy considering the stunning visuals in the rest of the episode.

BOTTOM LINE: Well, here it is. The big gamble of the fall season. Every year, there is one big production, high concept drama and while you sometimes get a Lost, it seems like you usually get a FlashForward or The Event. So where will Once Upon a Time fit in? It's going to require a commitment from the viewers and that is tricky, but it might be worth it because this show has a lot of stories to tell before happily ever after.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/22/11

ABC 
8:00 College Football
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 Two and a Half Men (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
8:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
10:00 48 Hours Mystery
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

NBC
8:00 College Football
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 3
Viewers: 11.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2 

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, October 23

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Once Upon a Time #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Desperate Housewives #162 "The Art of Making Art"
10:00 Pan Am #5 "One Coin in a Fountain"
ABC's fall lineup is complete now on Sunday night with the series premiere of Once Upon a Time at 8pm. ABC has gone into overdrive with promotion and that should pay off for the premiere though its long range chances seem iffy at best. Still expect a good premiere and that should help Desperate Housewives and possibly even Pan Am which seems to have leveled off for now.
Prediction: Videos - 6.7 million, 1.7/Time - 10.8 million, 3.2/Housewives - 9.1 million, 3.0/Pan Am - 6.2 million, 2.0

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race
9:00 The Good Wife #51 "Marthas and Caitlins"
10:00 CSI: Miami #218 "Killer Regrets"
Once again, CBS should be on time in most areas as they do not have the doubleheader for football. Expect similar numbers to last week across the board.
Prediction: 60 Mins - 11.3 million, 1.8/Race - 8.9 million, 2.6/Wife - 10.0 million, 2.1/Miami - 10.5 million, 2.5

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
8:30 Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis at New Orleans
NBC has what looked like a good game - a rematch of 2010's Super Bowl. But the Colts are terrible so this may not get the ratings it would have, especially with World Series competition.

FOX
7:00 NFL Overrun
7:30 The OT
8:00 MLB World Series Game 4: St. Louis at Texas
FOX has the NFL going right into the World Series which should be a strong ratings night for them. With the big lead-in, Game 4 should get the best numbers so far even with football on NBC as competition. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK: Week 5

GOOD WEEK: HIT SITCOMS
The year of the sitcom keeps marching along. Most of the attention has been towards new hit sitcoms like New Girl, 2 Broke Girls, Suburgatory, Up All Night, and Last Man Standing. But it's worth pointing out how well long-running sitcom hits are performing. Not one, not two, but three sitcoms posted a demo in the 5s this week. By comparison, no show did that during this same week last year. ABC's Modern Family was tops with a mammoth 5.7 (though that was actually down week-to-week). CBS's Two and a Half Men has come back from its heights at the beginning of the season but was still up year-to-year significantly with a 5.3. And CBS's The Big Bang Theory posted its best Thursday numbers ever with a 5.1. To be only the third best performing sitcom with a 5.1 demo means things are going well. Sitcoms are back in a big way this fall and these three are leading the pack.

BAD WEEK: "HAPPY ENDINGS"
ABC is trying desperately to make this show a hit but it's not working. Yes, a 3 demo looks good on paper but it is following the top rated sitcom on TV (Modern Family) and is struggling to keep half of its audience. Cougar Town was blasted for not holding the audience of Modern Family but it was actually doing better at this point last season and its lead-in was not as big. Take a look at this:

10/20/10
Modern Family: 12.0 million viewers, 4.7 demo
Cougar Town: 7.4 million viewers, 3.1 demo

10/19/11
Modern Family: 13.0 million viewers, 5.7 demo
Happy Endings: 6.8 million viewers, 3.0 demo.

That should tell you all you need to know, it's not working and it might even be hurting new drama hit Revenge at 10pm. ABC should find another family sitcom and make the entire block of comedies a family block.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/21/11

ABC 
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 7.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 CSI: NY
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
10:00 Blue Bloods
Viewers: 10.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

NBC
8:00 The Office (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:30 Parks and Recreation (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Fringe (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5 

ABC had its new lineup on Friday night with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition moving to the night after many years on Sunday. It got off to an ok start at 8pm but the 9pm episode posted very solid numbers for ABC Fridays. A 1.7 demo is not bad at all with lower expectations for Fridays. Now we'll see how new Sunday occupant Once Upon a Time does. The better lead-in (and engrossing stories) helped 20/20 to its best numbers since early 2011 as it was up a huge 3.3 million viewers and nine tenths in the demo. It had a 2.1 demo which was easily the best of the night on any network. After a slow start with its repeats, it looks like ABC will be a player on Friday nights.

Over on CBS, A Gifted Man started off the night up a strong million viewers but even in the demo. With its best total viewer numbers since the series premiere, CBS will probably start thinking about letting this show have some time to grow. At 9pm, CSI: NY was up six tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo while Blue Bloods was down three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. This was the first week this season that Bloods did not build on CSI: NY's audience but maybe part of that was due to the unusually strong competition from 20/20? Elsewhere, NBC's Dateline took a hit from 20/20 and was down a big 1.7 million viewers and half a demo point. Next week, Chuck and the new Grimm join the Friday night crowd. FOX only had a new Kitchen Nightmares which was down a tenth in viewers and even in the demo.

RATINGS RECAP: 10/20/11

ABC
8:00 Charlie's Angels
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
10:00 Private Practice
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 14.9 million, 18-49 demo: 5.1
8:30 Rules of Engagement
Viewers: 11.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
9:00 Person of Interest
Viewers: 12.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 12.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

NBC
8:00 Community (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
8:30 Parks and Recreation (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 The Office (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:30 Whitney (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Prime Suspect (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 2
Viewers: 14.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.0

CBS had a great start to Thursday night. At 8pm, The Big Bang Theory was up a big 1.3 million viewers and half a demo point, posting its best Thursday numbers ever. Maybe it benefited from no X-Factor, and to a lesser extent, no new Community. Still this is a mammoth performance for 8pm and CBS has to be thrilled that this show is still showing signs of growth. At 8:30pm, the season premiere of Rules of Engagement posted great numbers - much better than last spring (of course its lead-in was better). Looks like CBS made the right call in the quick ax for How to Be a Gentleman because that show would have never gotten these kind of numbers and Rules would have died on Saturday night. At 9pm, Person of Interest was up four tenths in viewers but down a tenth in the demo. The show is doing well enough to survive but not well enough for Thursday at 9pm so what will CBS do? Reports are that a full season order is coming soon. At 10pm, The Mentalist was up a tenth in viewers and even in the demo, but it seems to have hit a wall this season.

Over on ABC, the cancelled Charlie's Angels was down three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. ABC has a few more episodes left of Angels to air but it's unknown what they will fill the timeslot with as Thursday 8pm continues to be a problem for them. At 9pm, Grey's Anatomy was down half a million viewers but even in the demo. Though it's numbers have fallen very far from its peak, a 3.6 demo is pretty good for a drama on any network. Finally at 10pm, Private Practice was down a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. NBC was in repeats to pathetically low numbers while FOX got a decent performance (but down year-to-year) from the World Series.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, October 21 & Saturday, October 22

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
10:00 20/20
After years on Sundays, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition moves to Friday nights, at least for now, to make room for Once Upon a Time. The total viewer count may not suffer too much but the demo probably will. Obviously it will be lower but it might be able to improve ABC Friday night this season and help 20/20.
Prediction: Makeover 8:00 - 5.9 million, 1.5/Makeover 9:00 - 6.5 million, 1.6/2020 - 5.8 million, 1.5

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man #5 "In Case of Memory Loss"
9:00 CSI: NY #167 "Air Apparent"
10:00 Blue Bloods #27 "A Night on the Town"
CBS has its usual lineup. Will it suffer from more competition on ABC? Maybe a little but probably not much. Expect more of the same.
Prediction: Gifted - 7.5 million, 1.2/CSI NY - 9.7 million, 1.6/Bloods - 11.3 million, 1.9

NBC
8:00 The Office #155 "Lotto" (REPEAT)
8:30 Parks and Recreation #49 "Born & Raised" (REPEAT)
9:00 Dateline NBC
NBC has one more week of comedy repeats and a two hour Dateline as Chuck and Grimm arrive next week. For now, expect really low numbers for the comedies and perhaps a dip for Dateline.
Prediction: Dateline - 5.4 million, 1.4

FOX
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 Fringe #66 "Neither Here Nor There" (REPEAT)
Kitchen Nightmares should be pretty steady with last week while Fringe is a repeat and could be terribly low.
Prediction: Nightmares - 3.5 million, 1.4

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 College Football

CBS
8:00 Two and a Half Men #179 "People Who Love Peepholes" (REPEAT)
8:30 Mike & Molly #15 "Jim Won't Eat" (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #15 "Kai e'e" (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours Mystery

NBC
8:00 College Football

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 3 

RATINGS RECAP: 10/19/11

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
8:30 Suburgatory
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 13.0 million, 18-49 demo: 5.7
9:30 Happy Endings
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
10:00 Revenge
Viewers: 8.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 11.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 13.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.9
10:00 CSI
Viewers: 10.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6

NBC
8:00 Up All Night
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
8:30 Whitney (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Harry's Law
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Law & Order: SVU 
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 1
Viewers: 14.2 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2

ABC had another really strong Wednesday night with its lineup of comedies and Revenge. At 8pm, The Middle was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. A 3 demo is great considering this show was getting high 1s and low 2s in its first season. At 8:30pm, Suburgatory was down a tenth in viewers but even in the demo for a third consecutive week. This show has displayed an extremely good hold in its first couple weeks as The Middle and Modern Family fans have responded well to this show. At 9pm, Modern Family was down seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo but it will certainly be the top demo draw of the week for scripted programming, finally surpassing Two and a Half Men this week. The weak link though continued to be Happy Endings which was down half a million viewers and two tenths in the demo, losing a huge chunk of Family's audience. A 9:30pm sitcom that follows the biggest hit comedy on TV should not be getting the same demo numbers as an 8pm sitcom. At 10pm, fresh off a full season pickup, Revenge was up a tenth in viewers but down two tenths in the demo. This is a huge improvement over anything ABC has put in this slot in recent years. 

Over on NBC, Up All Night was up four tenths in viewers and even in the demo with last week. As I keep saying, a 2.1 demo at 8pm against tough competition is a win for NBC. At 8:30pm, a repeat of Whitney was almost equivalent in total viewers to its new episode performance last Thursday. Maybe NBC will move the show here so they can try something else after The Office. At 9pm, Harry's Law was up six tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. After starting the season with four straight 1.2 demos, it went up this week. Even though the demo is terrible, NBC should not move Harry's Law because they couldn't do anything close to this in total viewers last year at this time. At 10pm, Law & Order: SVU was up four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. So at least NBC was up.  

On CBS, the ever steady Survivor led off the night and was up half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo. At 9pm, Criminal Minds was up three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. 9pm on Wednesday is such a fiercely competitive hour! I didn't figure it out but I'd bet this might be the most watched hour of the entire week (excluding football). And Minds is an always solid performer there. At 10pm, CSI was down a tenth in viewers but even in the demo as it has been an improvement on the night over The Defenders and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior for the most part. FOX had Game 1 of the World Series which did solid but not spectacular numbers. About the same as what The X-Factor probably would have gotten in the demo while doing better in total viewers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, October 20

ABC
8:00 Charlie's Angels #5 "Angels in Paradise"
9:00 Grey's Anatomy #154 "Poker Face"
10:00 Private Practice #80 "Remember Me?"
ABC has an all new lineup including burn-off episodes of Charlie's Angels. It could be down to a series low as some people will not bother watching knowing that it won't continue. Grey's Anatomy was way down in Week 3 but then perked back up in Week 4. I expect it somewhere inbetween this week while Private Practice should be pretty steady.
Prediction: Charlie's - 5.2 million, 1.1/Grey's - 9.6 million, 3.4/Practice - 6.4 million, 2.3

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #93 "The Rhinitis Revelation"
8:30 Rules of Engagement #73 "Dirty Talk" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Person of Interest #5 "Judgment"
10:00 The Mentalist #75 "Blood and Sand"
CBS is all new including the season premiere of Rules of Engagement. Originally planned for Saturdays, Rules benefited from the instant failure of How to Be a Gentleman. It should do alright but not as well as the Big Bang repeat last week. Person of Interest and The Mentalist could be pretty steady.
Prediction: Big Bang - 14.1 million, 4.8/Rules - 10.3 million, 3.1/Interest - 12.4 million, 2.8/Mentalist - 12.9 million, 2.7

NBC
8:00 Community #50 "Biology 101" (REPEAT)
8:30 Parks and Recreation #48 "Ron and Tammys" (REPEAT)
9:00 The Office #154 "The Incentive" (REPEAT)
9:30 Whitney #2 "Silent Treatment" (REPEAT)
10:00 Prime Suspect #2 "Carnivorous Sheep" (REPEAT)
NBC is in repeats already. Expect even lower numbers, which could get ugly.

FOX
8:00 MLB World Series Game 2: Texas at St. Louis
FOX has night two of the World Series. We can see how the series is doing based on Wednesday's ratings but it will most likely be below the usual X-Factor.  

PILOT REVIEW: Man Up!

MAN UP!










Starring: Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler, Christopher Moynihan, Teri Polo, Amanda Detmer, Henry Simmons, Jake Johnson
Created by Christopher Moynihan
Written by Christopher Moynihan, Directed by Beth McCarthy Miller

One of the last fall shows to premiere - ABC's Man Up! - is a new sitcom paired with Tim Allen's Last Man Standing in a sort-of "revenge of the man" hour. In this show, three friends - Will, Kenny, and Craig (Mather Zickel, Dan Fogler, and Christopher Moynihan) deal with the "challenges" of being a man in 2011 where they bow down to their wives and girlfriends and can't act like real men. Rounding out the cast is Will's wife Theresa (Teri Polo) and Kenny's ex Bridgette (Amanda Detmer).

THE GOOD: Not that I judge books by their covers, but I went in to this show expecting to hate it. And the truth is, I didn't hate it. I didn't like it either but we'll get to that in a bit. It had a few funny moments - Dan Fogler had some funny moments as Kenny, who is reminiscent in look and behavior of Zach Galifinakis' character in The Hangover. The basketball scene was the best part oft he episode. The whole "fluffin'" in replace of the f-bomb was funny the first time it was used but then overused in the rest of the episode. The three guys do seem like real friends and that's a plus as it didn't play completely fake. So, like I said, I didn't hate it.

THE BAD: But it's not great. There have been way too many shows like this in recent years (Traffic Light, Perfect Couples, Happy Endings, etc) and none of them really work. They all have the same problems too - they overuse flashbacks (which has been overdone in general on sitcoms since shows like How I Met Your Mother made them popular), the lines seem to just be set ups to jokes, and the recurring jokes aren't funny (the Tobey Maguire line). The two worst parts were Bridgette's new boyfriend Grant, a completely unreal character, and the wedding scene (how many times can that be done?) With good writing, this cast could work. But that's not happening.

BOTTOM LINE: Man Up! seems like an odd fit with the traditional (in many ways) Last Man Standing. ABC doesn't seem too committed to this show and it's easy to see why. It's not dreadful but there's nothing about this show that really makes me want to watch this again next week. It's a shame though, because it does have a good cast.