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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/30/15

Please note these are based on preliminary results. This post will be updated to reflect final numbers when available.

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 In an Instant (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

CBS
8:00 Person of Interest (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

NBC
8:00 NHL Hockey
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

RATINGS RECAP: 5/29/15

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 What Would You Do?
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Bullseye (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

RATINGS RECAP: 5/28/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
8:30 The Odd Couple (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Mom (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Aquarius
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 Bones

Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Wayward Pines
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

On Thursday night, NBC had the two hour series premiere of Aquarius. It did alright in total viewers but skewed very old, which isn't too surprising for a period crime drama. The numbers did slip as the night went on. On ABC, the finale of 500 Questions was on par with what it's been getting. I think we'll see this again for a holiday run or next summer. Finally on FOX, Bones is still continuing its season and it was up seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo with less competition. At 9pm, Wayward Pines held on to its week two bump as it was down six tenths in viewers but even in the demo.

Friday, May 29, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: Aquarius

AQUARIUS











Starring: David Duchovny, Grey Damon, Gethin Anthony, Emma Dumont, Claire Holt, with Michaela McManus, and Brian F. O'Byrne

Created by John McNamara
Written by John McNamara, Directed by Jonas Pate

THE PREMISE: Aquarius is a period drama set in 1967 Los Angeles where veteran police sergeant Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny) teams up with an undercover cop, Brian Shafe (Grey Damon) in the hippie world in an attempt to find the missing Emma Karn (Emma Dumont). What they don't know at the outset is that Emma has actually joined up with a young Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony). Rounding out the main cast are Emma's parents, Grace and Ken (Michaela McManus and Brian F. O'Byrne). Grace has a past with Hodiak while Ken is connected to Manson.

THE GOOD: I love the period setting (as I always do) and I like the idea of a backstory to a story that everyone knows quite well. David Duchovny is the strongest part of the cast, coming off as the veteran that he is in the cast. Grey Damon is solid as the undercover cop while Emma Dumont is interesting in her role. The show manages to bring in some other 60s elements like the Civil Rights movement

THE BAD: The biggest problem I have with Aquarius is Gethin Anthony as Charles Manson. He doesn't do a horrible job but he's not nearly as dynamic as I feel like he needs to be. He's underplaying it too much. There's nothing wrong with doing a show where you know the ending but if you're going to do that, you need dynamic performances. When there's a character as notorious as Charles Manson, you better make sure you have someone who can just dominate every scene he's in. And Gethin Anthony does not. Whether the story is always about him or not, he needs to be the biggest presence in the show. I don't know a ton about the real Charles Manson but he was a cult leader so there has to be an element of charisma and I don't see that here. The pilot was also a little slow moving at times.

BOTTOM LINE: NBC is trying a new programming approach but putting the entire season of Aquarius online right after airing the pilot. But unfortunately there was nothing here that made me want to binge the season. It's not bad, but it's not compelling enough. That's not to say that I may not give it another shot, but it's not appointment TV.

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 29, Saturday, May 30, & Sunday, May 31

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)
9:00 What Would You Do? (Season Premiere)

10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (REPEAT)

10:00 Blue Bloods (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent (REPEAT)
10:00 Dateline NBC

FOX
8:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (REPEAT)
9:00 Bullseye (REPEAT)


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy (REPEAT)
9:00 In an Instant (REPEAT)


CBS
8:00 Person of Interest (REPEAT)
9:00 Elementary (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 American Ninja Warrior (REPEAT)
10:00 The Island (REPEAT)


FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball

SUNDAY
Sunday night has the primetime premiere of FOX's Golan the Insatiable, which has aired in 15 minute installments in their late Saturday night block. I will not review since it's not really a series premiere and I don't have high hopes for it in a difficult summer slot.

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Anniversary Special (SPECIAL - REPEAT)
9:00 The Middle (REPEAT)
9:30 The Goldbergs (REPEAT)

10:00 Modern Family (REPEAT)
10:30 Black-ish (REPEAT)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 Madam Secretary (REPEAT)
9:00 The Good Wife (REPEAT)
10:00 CSI (REPEAT)

NBC
7:00 Dateline NBC (REPEAT)
9:00 A.D. The Bible Continues #9 "Saul's Return"

10:00 American Odyssey #10 "Figmo"

FOX
7:00 Bob's Burgers (REPEAT)
7:30 Bob's Burgers (REPEAT)

8:00 The Simpsons (REPEAT)
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (REPEAT)
9:00 Family Guy (REPEAT)
9:30 Golan the Insatiable #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/27/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions

Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:30 Black-ish (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 The Briefcase
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 CSI: Cyber (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

NBC
8:00 I Can Do That (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 iHeartRadio Country Music Festival
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX
8:00 Masterchef

Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Bullseye
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

Wednesday night had two series premieres. On CBS, The Briefcase had a surprisingly decent premiere in a slot where CBS hasn't had much summer success with its early, pre-Big Brother offerings in May and June. On FOX, Masterchef started things up a promising 1.3 million viewers and four tenths in the demo. Less competition, I guess? At 9pm, the series premiere of Bullseye didn't make much of an impression with a weak 1.1 demo, especially considering how Masterchef over-performed. Finally on ABC, 500 Questions, was on the low end as far as its ratings have been going. Still, this has done alright for how it was set up. I wouldn't be surprised to see it back in the future. At 10pm, Celebrity Wife Swap was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/26/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Extreme Weight Loss
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

CBS
8:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 8.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 48 Hours (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 I Can Do That!
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

FOX
8:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

On Tuesday night, NBC had the season premiere of the strongest summer series, America's Got Talent. With a 2.6 demo, it was below last year's premiere number but well above anything else we've seen (and probably will see) this summer. At 10pm, NBC got very solid numbers from the series premiere of I Can Do That! which proved to be compatible with Talent and got a 1.8 demo which is very positive for 10pm in the summer. Over on ABC, 500 Questions was on par with what it's been doing so far but the season premiere of Extreme Weight Loss was a huge disappointment with a mere 2.9 million viewers and a 0.9 demo. It's been an OK summer player before but that might not be the case this summer. Finally on FOX, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? flopped in its first return to primetime in six years. It was ignored with a 0.8 demo. Looks like people were not clamoring for this to return (shocking, I know). At 9pm, Hell's Kitchen was down two tenths in viewers and the demo, tying series lows.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 27 & Thursday, May 28

WEDNESDAY
Wednesday night has two reality premieres: The Briefcase on CBS and Bullseye on FOX. I'm not feeling too confident about either of these premieres but Bullseye might have a better shot as its paired with Masterchef.

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
9:00 Modern Family (REPEAT)
9:30 Black-ish (REPEAT)
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap

CBS
8:00 The Briefcase (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Criminal Minds (REPEAT)

10:00 CSI: Cyber (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 I Can Do That! (REPEAT)
9:00 iHeartRadio Country Festival (SPECIAL)


FOX
8:00 Masterchef

9:00 Bullseye (SERIES PREMIERE)

THURSDAY
Thursday night has the series premiere of NBC's new Charles Manson period drama Aquarius. A two hour start will then lead to the unconventional (for broadcast networks) method of putting the entire series up on the internet on Friday morning. The show has gotten some decent promotion but it's hard to launch scripted shows in the summer. Still, NBC had some success last year so we'll see. Elsewhere, 500 Questions is airing its finale after airing for over a week straight. It hasn't done too bad and could be back next summer. FOX has another episode of Bones (which still hasn't finished its season!) and Wayward Pines, which surprisingly rose last week.

ABC
8:00 500 Questions (Season Finale)
10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live (REPEAT)

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (REPEAT)
8:30 The Odd Couple (REPEAT)
9:00 Mom (REPEAT)

9:30 Mike & Molly (REPEAT)
10:00 Elementary (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Aquarius #1/2 "Everybody's Been Burned/The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game" (SERIES PREMIERE)

FOX
8:00 Bones #210 "The Woman in the Whirlpool"
9:00 Wayward Pines #3 "Our Town, Our Law"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/25/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Scorpion (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 American Ninja Warrior
Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
10:00 The Island
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

FOX
8:00 Masterchef (Repeat)

Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

On Memorial Day, NBC saw a strong season premiere for American Ninja Warrior, which delivered a very impressive 1.8 demo on the holiday. This is becoming a pretty strong and reliable summer show for NBC as it was up from last year's Memorial Day launch. At 10pm the premiere of the new Bear Grylls show The Island delivered an OK 1.2 demo. On ABC, 500 Questions delivered decent numbers at 8pm. This hasn't been a colossal disaster for a summer premiere. At 9pm, week two of The Bachelorette was down 1.7 million viewers and half a demo point. It'll probably recover next week when it's not Memorial Day.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/24/15

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:00 500 Questions (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 Fresh Off the Boat (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:30 Fresh Off the Boat (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
10:00 Castle (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes

Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
8:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Madam Secretary (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
10:00 Battle Creek
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

NBC
7:00 Dateline NBC (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 A.D. The Bible Continues
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 American Odyssey
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

FOX
7:00 NASCAR Racing

Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

Monday, May 25, 2015

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 25 & Tuesday, May 26

Happy Memorial Day!

MONDAY
Monday night has the premiere of NBC's thrills night with the season premiere of reliable summer option American Ninja Warrior and the series premiere of the new Bear Grylls show The Island. It's Memorial Day so it could see a muted premiere that will get better in the weeks to come.

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
9:00 The Bachelorette

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (REPEAT)
8:30 Mike & Molly (REPEAT)
9:00 Scorpion (REPEAT)

10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 American Ninja Warrior (Season Premiere)
10:00 The Island (SERIES PREMIERE)

FOX
8:00 Masterchef (REPEAT)

TUESDAY
Tuesday night has many premieres. ABC has annual summer series Extreme Weight Loss, which does OK. NBC has the biggest premiere with summer's top show, America's Got Talent followed by the series premiere of another reality show, I Can Do That! FOX has the return of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? which hasn't aired on FOX since 2009. But we're getting reboots all over the place, so why not this one!

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
9:00 Extreme Weight Loss (Season Premiere)

CBS
8:00 NCIS (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent (Season Premiere)
10:00 I Can Do That! (SERIES PREMIERE)

FOX
8:00 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Season Premiere)

9:00 Hell's Kitchen

Sunday, May 24, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/23/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 In an Instant
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

CBS
8:00 Madam Secretary (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 NHL Hockey Playoffs
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

RATINGS RECAP: 5/22/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 The Blacklist (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Dateline NBC (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 Bones (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

Saturday, May 23, 2015

THE RUNDOWN: Saturday, May 23 & Sunday, May 24

Check below this post for a Special Commentary on David Letterman and late night TV!

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 500 Questions (REPEAT)
9:00 In an Instant (REPEAT)


CBS
8:00 Madam Secretary (REPEAT)
9:00 Blue Bloods (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours


NBC
8:00 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 4: Anaheim at Chicago

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball: Los Angeles Angels as Boston


SUNDAY

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
8:00 500 Questions (REPEAT)
9:00 Fresh Off the Boat (REPEAT)
9:30 Fresh Off the Boat (REPEAT)

10:00 Castle (REPEAT)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes

8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Madam Secretary (REPEAT)

10:00 Battle Creek #13 "Sympathy for the Devil" (SERIES FINALE)

NBC
7:00 Dateline NBC (REPEAT)
9:00 A.D. The Bible Continues #8 "The Road to Damascus"

10:00 American Odyssey #8 "Kmag Yoyo"

FOX
7:00 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Friday, May 22, 2015

SPECIAL COMMENTARY: David Letterman and the State of Late Night TV

I don't typically write about late night TV but I'm a regular watcher of it so I wanted to say a few things that have been on my mind with the retirement of David Letterman this week.

I've been a casual Letterman viewer for years. I'm too young to remember his beloved and groundbreaking NBC show or his highly publicized move to CBS. But I've seen enough youtube clips and read enough articles to know he was a true innovator. His departure this week felt nostalgic for many, especially those late Baby Boomers and the Gen Xers, and he was TV's last link to the legendary Johnny Carson. I read somewhere about someone saying that even though he didn't watch Letterman regularly anymore, it was comforting knowing he was still there. It's weird to me that I can't just flip his show on at any given weeknight. Following the departure of the mainstream Jay Leno and the truly unique Craig Ferguson last year and with the impending exit of the voice of the era, Jon Stewart, in August, it truly feels like a seismic shift in late night.

Before Letterman announced his retirement and had a well-deserved swan song including a star-studded final month, the general consensus was that the genre had passed him by. Newer talents like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel were creating viral sensations. Fallon, Seth Meyers, and the new James Corden are bringing a genuine happiness and "good guy" feel to late night in contrast to the often curmudgeonly Letterman. In recent weeks, writers have lamented these changes with statements along the lines "Dave was the last genuine star" or "he didn't rely on gimmicks like lip sync battles." There was the famous saying that people watched The Tonight Show for the guests but they watched The Late Show for Dave.

The truth is somewhere in-between what people felt about Dave vs. the rest of late night a little over a year ago and what we've read recently. There is not one right way to do a late night talk show but what hosts need to do is play to their strengths. No one thinks that Letterman's CBS show was quite as good as his NBC show because Dave didn't quite have the passion he once did over the last decade plus. But he never lost his skill for monologues and especially for interviewing and he adjusted to a new network, a new timeslot, and aging. He may not have been velcro-ing himself to a wall or throwing things off buildings anymore (which, by the way, would have been viral if there had been such a thing in the late 80s and early 90s), but he was still worth watching. He evolved over the years and that's normal.

Which is why I don't get the recent swipes at somebody like Jimmy Fallon, who is to millenials what Dave was to Gen X-ers. I've read articles that almost sound bitter that Fallon is the new face of late night because he's not as "real" as Dave was. Sure, Jimmy may not be as thoughtful as Dave is about issues of the day, but he's also 28 years younger. Jimmy is a showman, more than Dave ever was, and he is absolutely playing to his strengths with his Tonight Show more of a variety style. He's not making viral video moments just to make them or to be gimmicky, he's doing that because that's what he's good at. Getting celebrities to do silly games and impressions. Sure I wish he was a little better of an interviewer, he still fawns a bit too much, but he's such a genuinely nice guy and that shows. When Dave aired after Johnny Carson, Dave was a huge contrast with his irreverent bits. Now, Jimmy is a contrast to Dave and that's OK. Jimmy is making a show that fits his personality and the era we're in. Just as Dave did in the 80s on NBC and again in the 90s on CBS.

Kimmel, Meyers, and Corden are also playing to their strengths to varying degrees of success. Kimmel is probably the most true successor to Dave with more of a biting wit than the others. Meyers is topical and a "nice guy" while Corden is bringing his goofy personality to his new show. Kimmel and Corden are nearly as good as Fallon at creating viral moments and that's pretty essential for today's TV watchers. Even though I wasn't a Leno fan, he played to his strengths of punchlines and simplicity and it clearly worked since he won the ratings battle for decades.

When Carson left, people said late night would never be the same and it wasn't. Letterman switched networks and there were suddenly two voices with their own ideas and very different personalities. Late night will also never be the same as it was with Dave and we have many voices in the genre. Many owe a degree of success to Letterman, who in turn owes success to Carson. As long as hosts continue to embrace the era they're in and play to their strengths, they'll have success. Johnny did it. Dave did it. Jimmy's doing it. Late night isn't dead by any means, it's just evolving. It may seem like we'll never mourn a goodbye like we did for Letterman but I have a feeling 20+ years down the road when Jimmy Fallon leaves The Tonight Show, we'll have the same wistful feelings we have now, which are the same ones we had when Johnny Carson left. So whether you like Fallon, Kimmel, Corden, Stewart, Meyers, Conan, or the upcoming Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, enjoy them while we have them. Because we'll miss them when they're gone.


RATINGS RECAP: 5/21/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
8:30 The Odd Couple (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Mom (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 Red Nose Day
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 Wayward Pines (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Wayward Pines
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

The summer season is here and that means quiet ratings nights. Tops on Thursday night was a repeat of The Big Bang Theory with a 1.5 demo. On ABC, night two of 500 Questions wasn't too far the Wednesday premiere numbers. Over on FOX, week two of Wayward Pines took advantage of less competition and was up eight tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo from its series premiere. Looks like this will be acceptable for now. Even though the competition was much lighter, a second week gain is never something to scoff at. NBC's Red Nose Day charity event didn't get much interest but has raised a nice amount of money.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/20/15

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:30 Black-ish
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 9.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
10:00 Survivor: Worlds Apart Live Reunion Show
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

NBC
8:00 The Mysteries of Laura
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 Chicago PD
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

FOX
8:00 Masterchef
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

The final night of the 2014-15 season had season finales and summer premieres. ABC had both with the series premiere of game show 500 Questions getting a decent 1.2 demo. It will air for seven nights in a row. At 9pm, the season finales of Modern Family and Black-ish crashed to series lows. Modern Family was down nine tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo for a series low. Its previous worst performance was a 2.5 demo on Thanksgiving Eve, 2009. Black-ish fell seven tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. It was three tenths lower in the demo than its previous series low. Did people think their season ended last week with the other comedies? I don't really understand why ABC scheduled it the way they did. At 10pm, the season premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap was pretty low but not disastrous for summer filler expectations.

On CBS, Survivor ended a solid edition by not spiking for the finale as it was up just a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. It was a solid season but this was a bit of a disappointing end. The Live Reunion show was on par with the fall reunion show. NBC had a small rally for The Mysteries of Laura, which was up nine tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. The other two crime dramas were down though. Law & Order: SVU was up two tenths in viewers but down the same in the demo. Chicago PD was up three tenths in viewers but down two tenths in the demo. FOX had Masterchef start out OK at a 1.2 demo. As hard as it is to believe, that was only half a demo point down from the American Idol finale last week.

Although I don't cover late night, it's worth noting that the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman delivered the best total viewer count for the show since February 1994!

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Survivor (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Modern Family (ABC)

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, May 21 & Friday, May 22

Summer is here which means I'll only be doing the rundowns three days per week and covering multiple days with each updates. Also, no predictions for the summer but they'll return for the fall!

THURSDAY

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live (SPECIAL)

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #176 "The Colonization Application" (REPEAT)
8:30 The Odd Couple #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
9:00 Mom #23 "Hepatitis and Lemon Zest" (REPEAT)

9:30 Mike & Molly #93 "The Book of Molly" (REPEAT)
10:00 Elementary #49 "Enough Nemesis to Go Around" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Red Nose Day (SPECIAL)

FOX
8:00 Wayward Pines #1 "Where Paradise is Home" (REPEAT)

9:00 Wayward Pines #2 "Don't Discuss Your Life Before"

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 500 Questions
9:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)
10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #96 "Kanalu Hope Loa" (REPEAT)
10:00 Blue Bloods #92 "Burning Bridges" (REPEAT)


NBC
8:00 The Blacklist #44 "Tom Connolly" (REPEAT)
9:00 Dateline NBC (REPEAT)


FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (REPEAT)

9:00 Bones #201 "The Psychic in the Soup" (REPEAT)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/19/15

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
9:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 13.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3

CBS
8:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 9.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 The Voice Recap Special
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

On Tuesday night, the finales of The Voice and Dancing with the Stars squared off against each other. On NBC, The Voice was down four tenths in the demo from its fall finale but it was up significantly from recent weeks. On ABC, Dancing with the Stars was down significantly from the fall finale in November. After a strong year, this was a pretty weak finale but they may have had to do with The Voice. Earlier in the night, The Bachelorette had another solid hour in what's looking like a promising year for it. Finally on FOX, two episodes of Hell's Kitchen were up slightly from last week's 8pm episode.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: The Voice (NBC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Hell's Kitchen (FOX)

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2014-15 Miscellaneous Awards

Here is my final look at the 2014-15 season with a few miscellaneous awards, including some fun ones. This summer, keep checking back for pilot reviews of scripted shows & ratings recaps (when worth writing). It'll be quieter than it is during the season but it'll still be worth checking!

Past Seasons: 2013-14   2012-13   2011-12   2010-11

BEST RETURNING COMEDY
The Goldbergs (ABC) - After a very promising first season that did have some growing pains, The Goldbergs moved to Wednesday nights and hit its stride in a big way from the very beginning. The characters are becoming less caricatures and more real solid performances. The show is both funnier and sweeter than it was in season one. It is a truly great family comedy that has allowed the 80s to be so integral to the show without defining it. It's a gem.

The Runner-Up: Mom (CBS)

BEST RETURNING DRAMA
Blue Bloods (CBS) - It may not be as thrilling as Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder or even Chicago Fire can be, but no show is consistently high quality like Blue Bloods. In many ways, it's comfort food. But a show that is often made fun of for being so old-skewing actually seemed awfully relevant in a year where tensions with police were all over the news. If only every city had a Police Commissioner like Frank Reagan. Blue Bloods is to police what The West Wing was to politics - it shows the best a world can be and a world we wish we lived in.

The Runner-Up: Chicago Fire (NBC)

THE "REVENGE" AWARD (BIGGEST SEASON 2 DISAPPOINTMENT)
The Blacklist (NBC) - After I did it last year (for a third year show), the revised award for biggest disappointment for a second season of a show shall forever be named after Revenge. The recipient this year is The Blacklist. It was one of my favorite shows last year but I was worried about where it was headed and understandably so. This is a show that could have benefited from being simpler and just got too bogged down it is mythology. It was losing me in the fall and then I gave it one more chance with the Super Bowl episode before dropping it permanently.

THE "WHY CAN'T I GET INTO YOU" AWARD
Chicago PD (NBC) - Chicago PD was another sophomore show I stopped watching this year (except for the crossovers) except I truly can't understand why I don't it. I like the cast, I like police shows, and I like the Chicago franchise. It should be one of my favorites but I just can't get into it. Maybe I will give it one more chance next season or maybe it'll just crossover with Chicago Fire, Law & Order: SVU, and Chicago Med so much that I'll be forced to watch it.

THE REBOUND AWARD
New Girl (FOX) - After receiving my "Best Returning Comedy" award in 2012-13 and then my "Revenge" award in 2013-14, New Girl was a bit of a mystery heading into the season. Would it be the quirky, sharply written show from season two or the aimless and lost season three show? Well, it ended up being somewhere in-between but it was more to the positive. New Girl corrected a lot of the errors that allowed it to fall apart last year. And they got more back to basics by dropping the Nick and Jess relationship and focusing on the friendship among the roommates. I think it's heading one more step forward next season with Damon Wayans Jr. leaving after he never really worked for me. This show may not have much life left but at least it's good again.

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 20

It's the final day of the season and several more shows have finales as well as a couple summer premieres. I could see most shows up from their recent airings because that seems to be the trend for finales for the most part. I think Masterchef will start OK and 500 Questions will start softly.

The big event on Wednesday does not happen in primetime, but in late night when the legendary David Letterman signs off after over three decades.

ABC
8:00 500 Questions (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Modern Family #144 "American Skyper" (Season Finale)
9:30 Black-ish #24 "Pops' Pops' Pops'" (Season Finale)
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap (Season Premiere)
Prediction: 500 - 5.5 million, 1.5/Modern - 8.6 million, 2.8/Black-ish - 6.5 million, 2.2/Wife - 4.3 million, 1.2

CBS
8:00 Survivor (30th Edition Finale)

10:00 Survivor: Worlds Apart Live Reunion (SPECIAL)
Prediction: Survivor - 10.5 million, 2.5

NBC
8:00 The Mysteries of Laura #22 "The Mystery of the Corner Store Crossfire" (Season Finale)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #366 "Surrendering Noah" (Season Finale)
10:00 Chicago PD #38 "Born Into Bad News" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Laura - 6.2 million, 1.0/SVU - 7.3 million, 1.6/PD - 7.0 million, 1.6

FOX
8:00 Masterchef (Season Premiere)

Prediction: Masterchef - 4.8 million, 1.3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/18/15

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 14.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:00 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls
Viewers: 7.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
8:30 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
9:00 Stalker
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 9.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 The Night Shift
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

FOX
8:00 The Following

Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 The Following
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

On the final Monday of the season, ABC had the performance finale of Dancing with the Stars, which was up nine tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo for its best spring number yet. It was followed by a two hour premiere of The Bachelorette, which had its best premiere number since 2012. A solid start to ABC's summer season. On CBS, the comedies rallied for their season finales. 2 Broke Girls was up a good six tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. Remind me why this isn't on the fall schedule again? At 8:30pm, Mike & Molly was up a tenth in viewers and two tenths in the demo. The series finale of the cancelled Stalker was up four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. At 10pm, the season finale of NCIS: Los Angeles was up 1.1 million viewers and a tenth in the demo.

On NBC, the performance finale of The Voice had a nice spike as well. It was up 1.2 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. It didn't help the season finale of The Night Shift, which was up three tenths in viewers and even in the demo. We may not see this show again until summer 2016. Finally, FOX aired the final two episodes of The Following and they were down just slightly from last week. The 8pm episode was down a tenth in viewers while the 9pm episode was down a tenth in the demo. And to think this was FOX's prized new show just two years ago. It was a quick fall for a once promising show. I stopped watching after last season while many more followed me out the door this season.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: The Voice (NBC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Following (FOX)

WEEKLY RECAP: May 11-17, 2015

Here's my weekly recap for Week #34. Please note this only covers regularly scheduled shows (no sports, specials, repeats, or Saturday shows)

TOP 10 SHOWS (18-49 DEMO)
1. Modern Family (ABC, Wednesday 9:00pm) - 2.7    23rd week
2. The Voice (NBC, Monday 8:00pm) - 2.4    25th week
3. Survivor (CBS, Wednesday 8:00pm) - 2.3    16th week
    Scandal (ABC, Thursday 9:00pm) - 2.3    22nd week
5. Dancing with the Stars (ABC, Monday 8:00pm) - 2.2    8th week
    Grey's Anatomy (ABC, Thursday 8:00pm) - 2.2    13th week
7. The Voice (NBC, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 2.1    24th week
8. NCIS (CBS, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 2.0    19th week
    The Goldbergs (ABC, Wednesday 8:30pm) - 2.0    13th week
    Black-ish (ABC, Wednesday 9:30pm) - 2.0    15th week

TOP 10 SHOWS (TOTAL VIEWERS)
1. NCIS (CBS, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 14.9 million    24th week
2. NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, Tuesday 9:00pm) - 13.6 million    23rd week
3. Dancing with the Stars (ABC, Monday 8:00pm) - 13.5 million    19th week
4. Dancing with the Stars (ABC, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 10.2 million    Special Airing
5. The Voice (NBC, Monday 8:00pm) - 10.1 million    25th week
6. Survivor (CBS, Wednesday 8:00pm) - 9.6 million    10th week
7. The Voice (NBC, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 9.1 million    21st week
8. 60 Minutes (CBS, Sunday 7:00pm) - 9.0 million    21st week
9. CSI: Cyber (CBS, Tuesday 10:00pm) - 8.7 million    2nd week
10. Castle (ABC, Monday 10:00pm) - 8.4 million    4th week

BOTTOM 10 SHOWS (18-49 DEMO)
1. American Odyssey (NBC, Sunday 10:00pm) - 0.4    6th week
2. Battle Creek (CBS, Sunday 9:00pm) - 0.6    Special Airing
    Battle Creek (CBS, Sunday 10:00pm) - 0.6    11th week
4. A.D. The Bible Continues (NBC, Sunday 9:00pm) - 0.8    2nd week
5. Dateline NBC (NBC, Friday 9:00pm) - 0.9    5th week
    Bob's Burgers (FOX, Sunday 7:30pm) - 0.9    8th week
7. The Following (FOX, Monday 8:00pm) - 1.0    Special Airing
    The Following (FOX, Monday 9:00pm) - 1.0    6th week
    The Mysteries of Laura (NBC, Wednesday 8:00pm) - 1.0    6th week
    American Crime (ABC, Thursday 10:00pm) - 1.0    6th week
    Dateline NBC (NBC, Thursday 10:00pm) - 1.0    6th week
    Bones (FOX, Thursday 8:00pm) - 1.0    4th week
    Wayward Pines (FOX, Thursday 9:00pm) - 1.0    1st week (NEW SHOW)
    60 Minutes (CBS, Sunday 7:00pm) - 1.0    6th week

BOTTOM 10 SHOWS (TOTAL VIEWERS)
1. Bob's Burgers (FOX, Sunday 7:30pm) - 2.0 million    18th week
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX, Sunday 8:30pm) - 2.4 million    15th week
    Bob's Burgers (FOX, Sunday 9:30pm) - 2.4 million    Special Airing
4. American Odyssey (NBC, Sunday 10:00pm) - 2.6 million    5th week
5. The Simpsons (FOX, Sunday 8:00pm) - 2.8 million    12th week
6. Family Guy (FOX, Sunday 9:00pm) - 2.9 million    9th week
7. The Following (FOX, Monday 9:00pm) - 3.1 million    10th week
8. The Following (FOX, Monday 8:00pm) - 3.2 million    Special Airing
9. Hell's Kitchen (FOX, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 3.3 million    18th week
10. Wayward Pines (FOX, Thursday 9:00pm) - 3.8 million    1st week (NEW SHOW)

WINNERS OF THE NIGHT
Monday - Dancing with the Stars (ABC)    7th week
Tuesday - NCIS (CBS)    5th week
Wednesday - Survivor (CBS)    6th week
Thursday - The Odd Couple (CBS)    1st week
Friday - Beyond the Tank (ABC)    1st week
Sunday - America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)    1st week

LOSERS OF THE NIGHT
Monday - The Following (FOX)    5th week
Tuesday - American Idol (FOX)    Special Airing
Wednesday - CSI: Cyber (CBS)    3rd week
Thursday - Wayward Pines (FOX)    1st week (NEW SHOW)
Friday - The Amazing Race (CBS)    5th week
Sunday - American Odyssey (NBC)    3rd week

TOP 5 EPISODES OF THE WEEK
1. The Middle #144 "The Graduate"    12th week
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine #45 "Johnny and Dora"    6th week
3. Black-ish #23 "Elephant in the Room"    9th week
4. The Goldbergs #47 "Goldbergs Feel Hard"    14th week
5. Scandal #69 "You Can't Take Command"    14th week

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2014-15 New Dramas

Yesterday, I tackled the new comedies of the season. Today it is onto the dramas. While I liked some of the comedies a lot, I feel like this was perhaps the best year for new dramas since 2011-12. There were three that came out of the season as regular viewing options for me and a handful more that were pretty good. Plus there was nothing dreadfully horrible. Not a bad year for the dramas.

Check back tomorrow for my final season in review post!

Past Years: 2013-14   2012-13   2011-12   2010-11

BEST NEW DRAMA
How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - I went back and forth between this and Gotham for the Best New Drama but I ultimately chose Murder because I was always more excited to watch it each week. It wasn't perfect, but it was fun. The academic setting added a lot to the feel of the show and it stayed twisty and suspenseful right up to the end. With a strong ensemble led by a star turn from Viola Davis, I'm curious to see where the show goes next. It certainly added to the Shonda's night of thrill rides.

The Runners-Up
Gotham (FOX) - I thought Gotham was very strong during the first half of the season but it got a little bogged down in the second half of the season as it delved into the mob bosses story and lost its way. However, there are a lot of great performances and the second half of the season centered on Penguin in control and the rise of the Joker sounds awfully promising to me.

Madam Secretary (CBS) - This show isn't as thrilling as How to Get Away with Murder or Gotham and it's not as classy as The West Wing, but it's comfort food for a Sunday night. The two leads (Tea Leoni and Tim Daly) are very strong and the show was capable of finding good world stories to tell that are relevant for now. My biggest complaint is the sometimes forced inclusion of family storylines with the kids.

Worth Mentioning: Empire (FOX), Red Band Society (FOX)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
Ben McKenzie, Gotham (FOX) - As a young James Gordon in a world that's falling apart, Ben McKenzie does a good job at playing the stoic hero. He's a do-gooder but not infallible and that's important for the show because if he was perfect, there would be no need for Batman and this show is all about how Batman came to be. Ben McKenzie could stand to loosen up just a bit but he was a strong force in season one of Gotham.

The Runners-Up
Tim Daly, Madam Secretary (CBS) - Tim Daly has had several successful turns on TV from Wings to Private Practice. As Henry McCord, he plays an interesting role in the power couple on Madam Secretary. Though he is extremely accomplished, he seems secondary to his brilliant, globe-trotting wife. It's an interesting play on traditional structures and Daly never seems inferior or superior to his on-screen wife (and now real life girlfriend). They are partners.

Timothy Hutton, American Crime (ABC) - I didn't stick with American Crime all the way through season one even though I enjoyed the episodes I watched. Timothy Hutton was very strong as the father of the murdered victim at the center of the crime. It was a slow-burn drama that I didn't quite have the patience for but Hutton was so believable in his role.

Worth Mentioning: Terrance Howard, Empire (FOX), Scott Bakula, NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - The star turn of the season belonged to Viola Davis and her dynamic portrayal of Annalise Keating. While critics have been mixed on the show itself, Davis has received near universal praise and deservedly so. Her character has required her to jump between completely in charge and completely vulnerable and she did it with amazing ease. I can't think of another show on TV that is so reliant on its star, that would be nothing without them. Kerry Washington on Scandal comes close but her ensemble is better. Viola Davis makes this show.

The Runners-Up
Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX) - If it wasn't for Davis, Taraji P. Henson would be very deserving of this distinction and she has already captured the public even more thanks to Empire's mega-hit status. As the fast-talking, scheming, manipulative Cookie, Henson had a year's worth of great quotes and moments in an abbreviated first season for FOX's hit drama. Her character has been compared as a modern day version of Joan Collins from Dynasty and though I haven't seen much of Dynasty, that seems quite fitting.

Tea Leoni, Madam Secretary (CBS) - In a weaker year, Tea Leoni (or even the actresses "Worth Mentioning" below) would be worthy winners. But this was such a phenomenal year for drama actresses. Tea Leoni was very strong as Elizabeth McCord, a strong but often stressed Secretary of State. In a more passive way than Viola Davis' character, she still got exactly what she wanted and didn't give up until she did.

Worth Mentioning: Octavia Spencer, Red Band Society (FOX), Felicity Huffman, American Crime (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
Robin Lord Taylor, Gotham (FOX) - Even as Gotham went through some growing pains in season one, there was no denying that Robin Lord Taylor's performance as a young Penguin was perfect. He has the mannerisms, the awkwardness, and the evilness down pat. It's very easy to see the type of criminal he will become and the show is wisely letting him have the run of the crime in the city next season where I'm sure he will shine. What an excellent casting choice.

The Runners-Up
Donal Logue, Gotham (FOX) - Another strong supporting actor in Gotham is Donal Logue's Harvey Bullock. A much more gruff and seasoned counterpart to Jim Gordon, Donal Logue brings a lot of humor to an othewise pretty dark show. He is needed to balance out both the villains and the stoic Gordon.

Alfred Enoch, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - As Wes Gibbins, Alfred Enoch was the most prominent of the "Keating Five" in season one of How to Get Away with Murder. He seemed so earnest yet he made some decisions that made you question if he really was any better than the other schemers on the show. Time will tell, I guess!

Worth Mentioning: Jussie Smollett, Empire (FOX), Charlie Rowe, Red Band Society (FOX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Liza Weil, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - While the Lead Actress in a Drama category was exceptionally strong this year, I thought the Supporting Actress category wasn't nearly as strong. My top three choices are all from How to Get Away with Murder, but none of them blew me away. The strongest of the three was Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom. Weil was not very memorable at first but became increasingly important and layered as the season went on. I think she'll figure prominently next season.

The Runners-Up
Katie Findlay, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - At the center of the murder all season, Katie Findlay also became an increasingly important part of the show as the accused Rebecca Sutter. It wasn't clear until the very end of the season whether she was innocent or not and I went back and forth all year on whether I believed she was or not.

Karla Souza, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) - I didn't really have a great third person to put here so I went with Karla Souza as Laurel, perhaps the most mysterious and reserved of the "Keating Five." As I said before, this show was all about Viola Davis but Souza was solid and I hope they give her more to do next year.

Worth Mentioning: Jada Pinkett Smith, Gotham (FOX), Bebe Neuwirth, Madam Secretary (CBS)

WORST NEW DRAMA
Constantine (NBC) - There wasn't a new drama that I thought was just horribly bad this season although there were plenty that weren't any good. I went with the show that was least appealing to me and that was Constantine. This is as much about me not caring about this type of show at all as it is about anything else. But a good show can transcend its genre and Constantine certainly didn't do that. It was dark and depressing and I just didn't even get it.

The Runners-Up
The Slap (NBC) - NBC's "mini-series" about a child getting slapped has to be one of the dumbest premises for a show. I'm not suggesting that it isn't an important topic but it just struck me as gimmicky how they approached the topic. It didn't come up organically in a well-written drama, it was the premise. That didn't work.

State of Affairs (NBC) - I was hopeful for State of Affairs but that quickly evaporated when I realized Katherine Heigl couldn't act and the show couldn't deliver the thrills of The Blacklist or the insider-DC feel of Madam Secretary. The pilot was just so boring and it should have been packed with intensity.

Worth Mentioning: Gracepoint (FOX), Secrets and Lies (ABC)

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, May 19

Tuesday night has a showdown between Dancing with the Stars and The Voice with their finales. As has been the case all season, Dancing will probably take the viewer crown while The Voice will win the demo. Elsewhere, ABC has another hour of The Bachelorette following up on Monday's two hour premiere while FOX has two hours of Hell's Kitchen.

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette
9:00 Dancing with the Stars (20th Edition Finale)
Prediction: Bachelorette - 5.8 million, 1.4/Dancing - 15.2 million, 2.8

CBS
8:00 NCIS #271 "We Build, We Fight" (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans #14 "Careful What You Wish For" (REPEAT)

10:00 NCIS #266 "Sempter Fortis" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 The Voice Recap (SPECIAL)
9:00 The Voice (8th Edition Finale)
Prediction: Voice - 10.8 million, 3.0

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen

Prediction: Hell's - 3.1 million, 1.2

Monday, May 18, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/17/15

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
8:00 2014 Billboard Music Awards
Viewers: 11.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.8

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:00 I Love Lucy Special
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 Battle Creek
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Battle Creek
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

NBC
7:00 Dateline NBC (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 A.D. The Bible Continues
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
10:00 American Odyssey
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

FOX
7:00 The Simpsons (Repeat)

Viewers: 1.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
7:30 Bob's Burgers
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:30 Bob's Burgers
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

On Sunday night, ABC had the Billboard Music Awards. The buzzy event had a lot of big names performing and the debut of a Taylor Swift music video. It resulted in the best numbers for the show in over a decade. Earlier in the night, Tom Bergeron's final episode as host of America's Funniest Home Videos was up half a million viewers and even in the demo. It's 1.4 demo was the second best of the night besides the awards. Over on CBS, 60 Minutes started things out even in viewers and down a tenth in the demo. Another I Love Lucy special aired. It didn't quite get the numbers the Christmas special did and it skewed old but the total viewer count wasn't bad. Two episodes of the cancelled Battle Creek followed and saw a new low with a terrible 0.6 demo for both hours. The series finale is next week.

It was a quiet night for the FOX finales. Bob's Burgers bookended the finales and the 9:30pm edition was down a tenth in viewers and the demo. At 8pm, The Simpsons was even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. Brooklyn Nine-Nine followed and was down two tenths in viewers and the demo. This is the second straight season it has gotten a 1.1 demo for its season finale. At 9pm, Family Guy was down eight tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo from its last new episode two weeks ago. Finally, NBC continued to inch downward. A.D. The Bible Continues was up three tenths in viewers and down a tenth in the demo while American Odyssey was down a tenth in viewers and the demo to a horrible 0.4 demo. NBC is going to keep these shows on for several more weeks? Especially American Odyssey?

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: American Odyssey (NBC)

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2014-15 New Comedies

Here is my Season in Review of the new comedies this year! The 2014-15 saw less comedy premieres than the crazy amount of last season, but there were a couple real gems (mostly on ABC), some of which seem poised to have great runs.

Past Years: 2013-14   2012-13   2011-12   2010-11

BEST NEW COMEDY
Black-ish (ABC) - It was one of the most anticipated comedies of the new season and it didn't disappoint. In some ways, Black-ish is a modern day Cosby Show because it centers on an affluent black family. What sets it apart and makes it unique is it deals with the black culture directly and often hits controversial topics head-on: specifically, a black family's struggle to keep their identity in the more affluent, white world. It's a sitcom that has something to say about society, but it's never done in a preachy way. It's done in a very funny way. With a top-notch cast including an excellent group of child actors and tons of stories to tell, I expect Black-ish to be around for a long time.

The Runners-Up
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) - Another sitcom that fit ABC's push for diversity in its family sitcoms, Fresh Off the Boat was the first sitcom with an Asian American lead in 20 years. I felt like season one was up and down but the potential is there for a great show. With the unique setting of 1990s Orlando, this show is starting to find its voice and I think it'll be even more consistent next season.

The Last Man on Earth (FOX) - I had absolutely no interest in The Last Man on Earth before it premiered then its pilot shocked me with its very unique voice and premise. However, it hasn't always stuck to that premise and season one went a bit in circles. But the concept is there and the actors are strong. I'm excited to see where this goes next.

Worth Mentioning: Cristela (ABC), Marry Me (NBC)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth (FOX) - Audiences have been very opinionated on season one of The Last Man on Earth and specifically regarding Will Forte's character, Phil Miller. He started out as a lovable loser when he was all by himself and then turned into somewhat of a jerk as people started to populate his world. I think that's reflecting the show still working out where it wants to go but Forte's performance was magnificent. He was at his very best in the pilot when everything rested squarely on him and there were no other characters. It was a fascinating half hour. Since then, his character has been both funny and pathetic, but he's made the show.

The Runners-Up
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC) - As Andre 'Dre' Johnson, Anthony Anderson has taken a stereotype of a TV dad - a bit of a buffoon - but made him endearing and modern. With his lively narration and manic energy, Anderson brings so much life to the show and his rapport with both his on-screen wife and kids really helps make the show.

Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) - He's not always the most memorable part of an episode of Fresh Off the Boat because he is not the funniest character. But as Louis Huang, he's a steady presence and a great straight man to Constance Wu and the children on the show. He's well-meaning and an eternal optimist.

Worth Mentioning: Tyler Ritter, The McCarthys (CBS), Ken Marino, Marry Me (NBC)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) - Easily the breakout sitcom star of a new comedy this season, Constance Wu stole every scene she was in as Jessica Huang. A no-nonsense woman who is not quite understanding or appreciative of white culture, she delivers each line with sass and often bewilderment. Every great moment in this show so far has been connected to Wu and I'm excited to see what she does next season.

The Runners-Up
Cristela Alonzo, Cristela (ABC) - Cristela was an underrated show this season. It wasn't perfect but it was fun to watch and that was primarily due to Alonzo's bubbly personality and sense of humor. It was clear she put a lot of herself into the role. I hope she finds another vehicle soon because she seems poised to be a star.

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC) - As Bow Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross definitely channels her inner Clair Huxtable. A successful doctor, Bow is a bit crazy at home but plays so well off of her on-screen husband, played by Anthony Anderson. They have an undeniable chemistry and she has great comedic timing.

Worth Mentioning: Casey Wilson, Marry Me (NBC), Cristin Milioti, A to Z (NBC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Josh Gemberling, Marry Me (NBC) - I watched Marry Me for several episodes, but ultimately didn't stick with it even through its shortened first season. One of my favorite parts was Josh Gemberling's Gil, the pathetic, divorced best friend of Ken Marino's Jake. He got off quite a few funny one-liners and was a bit of a Zach Galifianakis type in the role and he has the same comedic timing.

The Runners-Up
Miles Brown, Black-ish (ABC) - One half of an excellent duo of child actors on Black-ish, Miles Brown is very funny as Jack, a boy who idolizes his father but is often outwitted by his twin sister. He is adorable and also very funny. Playing the cute but witty child role can be overdone, but he brings a freshness to it.

Forrest Wheeler & Ian Chen, Fresh Off the Boat (ABC) - Speaking of strong child actors, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen brought a lot to Fresh Off the Boat as the charming Every and do-gooder Evan. In fact, I enjoyed their stories more than the ones featuring their older brother, and the show's protagonist, Eddie.

Worth Mentioning: Mel Rodriguez, The Last Man on Earth (FOX), Marcus Scribner, Black-ish (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Kristen Schaal, The Last Man on Earth (FOX) - One of the most bizarre characters of the new season, Kristen Schaal's Carol initially annoyed me, but she became one of my favorite characters on the show. A perpetually sunny yet delightfully weird optimist, she's a bit of a blend of Sue Heck and Leslie Knope. While you can understand how other characters might be annoyed by her, you can't help but root for her because she's so well-meaning.

The Runners-Up
Marsai Martin, Black-ish (ABC) - The other half of Black-ish's fantastic six year old twins, Marsai Martin is absolutely hilarious as the wise beyond her years Diane. They give her lines that shouldn't be coming out of her mouth yet she delivers them with complete sincerity. I hope they give both her and Miles Brown even more to do next season.

Laurie Metcalf, The McCarthys (CBS) - The McCarthys has probably already been forgotten by most and that's understanding because it wasn't very memorable. But Laurie Metcalf was strong in her return to network comedy. She wasn't enough to save a bland show but she got off quite a few funny lines in the few episodes I saw, like a pro should.

Worth Mentioning: January Jones, The Last Man on Earth (FOX), Terri Hoyos, Cristela (ABC)

WORST NEW COMEDY
Manhattan Love Story (ABC) - There was plenty of competition for worst new show as a couple were instantly forgettable. The most annoying was Manhattan Love Story. What was conceived to be (and could have been) a mini Woody Allen movie set in a great city turned into a disastrous show with obnoxious voice-overs saying what was going on in the main character's heads. It was so gimmicky and stupid. It was like the writing and acting was capable of conveying inside thoughts any other way. A waste of a decent idea.

The Runners-Up
Mulaney (FOX) - There were some strong people attached to this show: Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, and promising young comic John Mulaney. But the Seinfeld knock-off was just stupid. Not funny, bad writing, you name it. Nothing worked here and it was a waste of the great cast it had.

Selfie (ABC) - The worst title of the season was a pretty bad show as well. I found the pilot, especially the first half, absolutely unbearable. Trying too hard in every sense of the word. It was so much "in the now," it would probably already seem outdated. I heard it got better before it was cancelled, but I didn't give it a chance.

Worth Mentioning: One Big Happy (NBC), Bad Judge (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 18

Monday night has the performance finales of both Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and both will try to end on a good note before the finales on Tuesday. Dancing is paired with the season premiere of The Bachelorette, which has a two hour debut and should be solid. There are also series finales of cancelled creepy shows Stalker and The Following as well as season finales for 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, NCIS: Los Angeles, and The Night Shift.

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
9:00 The Bachelorette (Season Premiere)
Prediction: Dancing - 13.2 million, 2.1/Bachelorette - 7.5 million, 1.8

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls #94 "And the Disappointing Unit" (Season Finale)
8:30 Mike & Molly #114 "The Bitter Man and the Sea" (Season Finale)
9:00 Stalker #20 "Love Kills" (SERIES FINALE)
10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #144 "Chernoff, K." (Season Finale)
Prediction: Girls - 7.2 million, 1.7/Mike&Molly - 7.6 million, 1.6/Stalker - 5.9 million, 1.2/Los Angeles - 7.9 million, 1.3

NBC
8:00 The Voice
10:00 The Night Shift #22 "Darkest Before Dawn" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Voice - 10.8 million, 2.6/Night - 5.3 million, 1.4

FOX
8:00 The Following #44 "Dead or Alive"

9:00 The Following #45 "The Reckoning" (SERIES FINALE)
Prediction: Following 8:00 - 3.0 million, 0.9/Following 9:00 - 3.1 million, 1.0

Sunday, May 17, 2015

RATINGS RECAP: 5/16/15

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars: Road to the Finals
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 Countdown to the Billboard Music Awards: An Insider's Guide
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
10:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

CBS
8:00 NCIS: New Orleans (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 CSI: Cyber (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 The Voice (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (Repeat)

Viewers: 0.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2
9:00 Bones (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, May 17

Sunday night has season finales of the FOX Sunday comedies and they should be low but skewing young as usual. ABC has the Billboard Music Awards which has a pretty good list of performers and should do alright. Leading into that is the season finale of America's Funniest Home Videos, which will see Tom Bergeron sign off after 15 years as host. CBS has enjoyed success with I Love Lucy Christmas specials so they are bringing two more episodes to colorized life with an 8pm special. It is followed by two episodes burning off Battle Creek. NBC has its usual lineup.

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Season Finale)
8:00 2015 Billboard Music Awards (SPECIAL)
Prediction: Videos - 6.3 million, 1.5

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes

8:00 I Love Lucy Superstar Special (SPECIAL)
9:00 Battle Creek #11 "The Hand-Off"
10:00 Battle Creek #12 "Homecoming"
Prediction: 60 Mins - 9.2 million, 1.1/Battle 9:00 - 6.5 million, 0.9/Battle 10:00 - 5.8 million, 0.7

NBC
7:00 Dateline NBC (REPEAT)
9:00 A.D. The Bible Continues #7 "The Visit"

10:00 American Odyssey #7 "Soup Sandwich"
Prediction: Bible - 4.2 million, 0.9/Odyssey - 2.6 million, 0.5

FOX
7:00 The Simpsons #573 "Bull-E" (REPEAT)

7:30 Bob's Burgers #87 "Hawk & Chick"
8:00 The Simpsons #574 "Mathlete's Feat" (Season Finale)
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine #45 "Johnny and Dora" (Season Finale)
9:00 Family Guy #249 "Take My Wife" (Season Finale)
9:30 Bob's Burgers #88 "The Oeder Games" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Burgers 7:30 - 2.3 million, 1.0/Simpsons - 3.0 million, 1.3/Brooklyn - 2.5 million, 1.2/Family - 3.1 million, 1.5/Burgers - 2.9 million, 1.3

RATINGS RECAP: 5/15/15

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:00 Beyond the Tank
Viewers: 6.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 ACM Presents Superstar Duets
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 Grimm
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

FOX
8:00 Movie: Scream 2
Viewers: 1.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

It was a quiet final Friday night of the season. On ABC, the season finale of Shark Tank was up three tenths in viewers and down a tenth in the demo. It's probably a good thing it's heading back to 9pm in the fall. At 9pm, Beyond the Tank ended its very short first season up six tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It will be back at some point next year. At 10pm, 20/20 was up half a million viewers and down a tenth in the demo. On CBS, the season finale of The Amazing Race was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. Finally on NBC, the season finale of Grimm was up half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo while Dateline NBC was down three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Beyond the Tank (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Amazing Race (CBS)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: Wayward Pines

WAYWARD PINES










Starring: Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Reed Diamond, Tim Griffin, Charlie Tahan, Juliette Lewis, with Melissa Leo, and Terrence Howard

Based on the Novel by Blake Crouch, Developed by Chad Hodge
Written by Chad Hodge, Directed by M. Night Shymalan

THE PREMISE: Wayward Pines is an eerie new mystery drama based on a novel and directed by famous (yet often ridiculed) spooky movie director M. Night Shymalan. The series centers on Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) investigating two missing agents in the sleepy and strange town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. He soon realizes nothing is as it seems including discovering missing agent and Burke's lover, Kate (Carla Gugino), in a different life. Meanwhile, we see his life at home with his wife and son (Shannyn Sossamon and Charlie Tahan), who don't know where Burke is. Burke's only friend appears to be another outsider in Wayward Pines, Beverly (Juliette Lewis). Rounding out the main cast is a psychologist (Toby Jones), a toymaker (Reed Diamond), a nurse (Melissa Leo), the sheriff (Terrence Howard), and Burke's boss (Tim Griffin).

THE GOOD: I haven't seen a Shymalan film in several years but this brought back the feelings of the few I have seen. It excels at creating a creepy ambiance and an unsettling feeling throughout the pilot. I felt more wrapped up in this show than I have other conspiracy/mystery dramas of late and I think it's because they kept it simple for the most part. Yes, there are a lot of characters and the potential is there for it to get convoluted. But it wasn't so far. There were a few questions answered and a few more raised but it never got overwhelming. The performances are good. I like Juliette Lewis more in this than I usually do and way more than I did in the Secrets and Lies pilot. Speaking of other stars from other shows this season, Terrence Howard seems solid and very different from Lucious Lyon. Matt Dillon spent most of the episode in a daze so I'll be interested to see what happens with his character.

THE BAD: Even though the early Shymalan films were great, recent ones have gotten a bad rap from fans for not really following through on its premise or delivering the thrills. I worry about that with this show. I worry it will go the way of something like Under the Dome quickly (and it's very reminiscent of that show but more eerie than sci-fi). Even though the pilot was fairly straight forward, I felt like the hops between Burke's experience in Wayward Pines and his wife & son elsewhere alongside flashbacks of certain moments made it a little confusing to understand what was happening in the present and what was happening in the past. This is especially important because there seems to be some sort of time element to the mystery and that can't get too confusing.

BOTTOM LINE: I'll be back for more of Wayward Pines. It hooked me more than recent mystery dramas including Gracepoint and Secrets and Lies. The feeling was creepier and the setting was more unique. Not to mention the performances were better. I'm just so leery of shows like this because I worry I'll devote 10 hours to watching all the episodes and feel unsatisfied at the end. Prove me wrong, Wayward Pines!