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Friday, September 30, 2016

RATINGS RECAP: 9/29/16

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4
9:00 Notorious
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:30 Kevin Can Wait (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:30 Kevin Can Wait (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Bull (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 Superstore
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:30 The Good Place
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Chicago Med
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 The Blacklist
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 Rosewood
Viewers: 3.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Pitch
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CW
8:00 The Flash (Repeat)

Viewers: 1.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Supernatural (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

It was another pretty rocky Thursday night with the lone bright spot once again being Grey's Anatomy (especially with no football on CBS). Grey's was down just four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo and was even year-to-year. It continues to be such a beast. After a horrible first week, Notorious managed to stay even in the demo while dropping nine tenths in viewers. This isn't going to change its long term prospects, which are incredibly bad, but it probably buys it a little more time airing at 9pm and not getting sent to 10pm or yanked entirely. At 10pm, How to Get Away with Murder was down eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo for a series low. On FOX, Rosewood was down a tenth in viewers but actually up a tenth in the demo from its horrible premiere number last week. At 9pm, week two of Pitch was down half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo. It still built on its lead-in so that helps its case but it needs to show some life in the weeks to come.

It was a weak night for NBC's new lineup. At 8pm, Superstore was down 1.1 million viewers and two tenths in the demo, tying a repeat of The Big Bang Theory in the slot in the demo. Probably the best news for NBC came from The Good Place, which was down just eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. So far, it seems like a very good fit with Superstore, building on its lead-in in total viewers and equaling it in the demo. At 9pm, Chicago Med was down two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo for a series low. Time to get these Chicago crossovers happening quickly before Med falls apart on Thursday! At 10pm, The Blacklist had a rough week, dropping four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for a new series low. Last week was a mildly encouraging performance from The Blacklist in its new slot but this was far more troubling. And they're planning to do a spinoff this year?

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Blacklist (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1

FRIDAY
Friday night has the same lineup as week 1 so there should be similar results, maybe a bit down with possible bigger drops for MacGyver and The Exorcist since they're new.

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing #110 "Gameday Forecast: Showers"
8:30 Dr. Ken #24 "Ken and Allison Share a Patient"
9:00 Shark Tank
10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 MacGyver #2 "Metal Saw"
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #145 "No Ke Ali'i Wahine A Me Ka 'Aina"
10:00 Blue Bloods #135 "Good Cop Bad Cop"

NBC
8:00 Superstore (REPEAT)
8:30 The Good Place (REPEAT)

9:00 Dateline NBC

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 The Exorcist #2 "Chapter Two: Lupus in Fabula"

CW
8:00 Masters of Illusion (Season Finale)
8:30 Masters of Illusion (REPEAT)
9:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us (REPEAT)


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 College Football: Louisville at Clemson

CBS
8:00 Scorpion (REPEAT)
9:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 This is Us (REPEAT)
10:00 Saturday Night Live (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 College Football

Thursday, September 29, 2016

FULL SEASON ALERT: Speechless, Designated Survivor

ABC handed out full seasons to their successful new Wednesday freshmen: comedy Speechless and Designated Survivor. Both had solid debuts last week. Speechless had a very solid week two hold while Designated Survivor held up OK in week two and had a major DVR lift for its premiere episode. Wednesdays is working best for ABC right now with unknown quantities coming up on Mondays (Conviction) and Tuesdays (comedy lineup). a major weakness on Thursdays (Notorious) and all around weakness on Fridays and Sundays.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/28/16

ABC
8:00 The Goldbergs

Viewers: 6.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
8:30 Speechless
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:30 Black-ish
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 Designated Survivor
Viewers: 8.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 9.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 8.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 Code Black
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

NBC
8:00 Blindspot
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

FOX
8:00 Lethal Weapon
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 Empire
Viewers: 9.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7

CW
8:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Whose Line is it Anyway?
Viewers: 1.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:30 Whose Line is it Anyway? (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

On Wednesday night, two shows had season premieres (a rare occurrence this week). Survivor started things out down three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo from last week's premiere. The season premiere of Criminal Minds followed and did OK with a 1.9 demo. I wonder if it will go up for Thomas Gibson's unexpected final episode next week and the upcoming return of Paget Brewster. At 10pm, the season premiere of Code Black delivered a modest 6.4 million viewers and 1.2 demo. This show got a surprise renewal when they had an underwhelming freshman class last year but with stronger newbies like Bull and MacGyver, they may not have room this year. However, it was in the winter when Code Black actually started to have a chance to return so we'll see what happens.

On ABC, everything was down some from premiere week but only one performance I would label "disappointing." The Goldbergs started things out down three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It could probably be doing better than a 1.9 but I think that may happen when the 8:00 half hour is a little higher viewed in a couple weeks. At 8:30pm, week two of Speechless had a promising showing, dropping just a million viewers and two tenths in the demo. It got a full season order from ABC tonight. At 9pm, Modern Family was down eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. It's already starting to creep towards levels it was getting in the spring. But the disappointing performance belonged to Black-ish which fell eight tenths in viewers and a rough four tenths in the demo. A show following Modern Family and with some critical heat should be doing better than a 1.6 demo in week two. It led into the second week of Designated Survivor, which fell two million viewers and four tenths in the demo. I don't think this is a bad showing for a second week of a show that had a heavily hyped premiere. I thought it might get a 1.7 or even 1.6 demo. Just like Speechless, Designated Survivor was given a full season today by ABC.

FOX looks like it has a more legitimate hit as a lead-in to Empire this year with Lethal Weapon. It was down seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo and came within a tenth of tying Survivor to lead the hour. It was even with Rosewood's performance a year ago despite Empire being down a whopping 33% year to year. Empire fell 1.2 million viewers and a rough six tenths in the demo from its premiere. It is definitely coming back to the pack now even as it remains one of the top shows on TV. Finally on NBC, Blindspot was down half a million viewers and even in the demo. It's early but I would call this an overachiever in the 8pm timeslot so far considering it could have completely collapsed. It still could but it hasn't yet. At 9pm, Law & Order: SVU was hit hard by the return of Criminal Minds, falling 1.7 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. At 10pm, Chicago PD was down eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Lethal Weapon (FOX)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Code Black (CBS)

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, September 29

Thursday was a rough week for the broadcast networks last week and I don't see it going any better tonight even though CBS does not have Thursday Night Football (it is only on NFL Network this week so CBS is just airing repeats). Notorious could have another rough go of it and sadly, Pitch could easily dip into fractional ratings. Rosewood doesn't seem like it can go down much further but I guess it could. The lineup I think that will be most interesting to see results for is NBC after an OK week last week. If it can hold close to that, they might have something here.

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy #271 "Catastrophe and the Cure"
9:00 Notorious #2 "The Perp Walk"

10:00 How to Get Away with Murder #32 "There are Worse Things Than Murder"

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (REPEAT)
8:30 Kevin Can Wait (REPEAT)
9:00 The Big Bang Theory (REPEAT)

9:30 Kevin Can Wait (REPEAT)
10:00 Bull (REPEAT)


NBC
8:00 Superstore #14 "Back to Work"
8:30 The Good Place #4 "Jason Mendoza"
9:00 Chicago Med #20 "Win Loss"
10:00 The Blacklist #69 "Mato"


FOX
8:00 Rosewood #24 "Secrets & Silent Killers"

9:00 Pitch #2 "The Interim"

CW
8:00 The Flash (REPEAT)
9:00 Supernatural (REPEAT)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

RATINGS RECAP: 9/27/16

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

CBS
8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 15.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 Bull
Viewers: 13.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans
Viewers: 10.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 12.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
10:00 This is Us
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6

FOX
8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 New Girl
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Scream Queens
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

CW
8:00 The Flash (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 MADtv 
Viewers: 0.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2

On Tuesday night, NBC had good news for its new freshman drama This is Us. First up though, The Voice had a great second Tuesday, dropping just two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo from last Tuesday. Then at 10pm, week two of This is Us was down 1.3 million viewers but just two tenths in the demo with a very solid 2.6 demo. It has earned its full season that was announced yesterday. NBC probably wishes they didn't have to preempt it next week for the Vice Presidential Debate, but it will get to return still following The Voice, but at the higher viewed 9pm hour so it should continue to do well. On ABC, another results edition of Dancing with the Stars was pretty low with a 1.3 demo. I know these bloated results editions were added because of the debate next week but they're not worth it for ABC. The new comedy lineup begins in two weeks after next week's debate. At 10pm, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was down four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo, tying a series low in the demo.

On CBS, NCIS was down half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo from last week's season premiere. The show tragically had their showrunner die in his sleep last night so there will be some upheaval with the CBS stalwart. At 9pm, week two of Bull took a typical week two drop, dropping two million viewers and three tenths in the demo. It would have been better if it could have stayed in the 2s but we'll have to see where it stabilizes. Next time it airs, it will face the ABC comedy lineup and This is Us instead of The Voice. There was good news at 10pm where NCIS: New Orleans was down three tenths in viewers but up a tenth in the demo. So far, this looks like a pretty good 10pm performer. Finally, it was an ugly second week for FOX Tuesday. Brooklyn Nine-Nine held up the best, dropping a tenth in viewers and the demo. New Girl was down three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo and Scream Queens completely fell off the map, dropping half a million viewers and three tenths in the demo to a horrible 0.7 demo. There's got to be a point where the other values of this show for FOX don't make up for the terrible same day ratings.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Scream Queens (FOX)

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, September 28

This is a very quiet week as far as premieres go with no series premieres and few season premieres but there are two tonight with the return of Criminal Minds, which has been in the news a lot this summer with cast comings and goings, and Code Black, which was a surprise renewal and brings in some new faces including Rob Lowe. The CBS dramas and NBC dramas face each other and tend to cause each a bit of pain though I could see Criminal Minds garnering some extra attention. Another big show to watch this week is week two of Designated Survivor, which seems like it could be a candidate for a bigger week two drop than some new shows. I think Speechless will hold up better nestled in the comedy lineup. FOX has week two of their best night of the week and it will be interesting to see how Lethal Weapon does after its promising start.

ABC
8:00 The Goldbergs #73 "I Heart Video Dating"
8:30 Speechless #2 "N-E-NEW A-I-AIDE"
9:00 Modern Family #168 "A Stereotypical Day"
9:30 Black-ish #50 "God"
10:00 Designated Survivor #2 "The First Day"

CBS
8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds #256 "The Crimson King" (Season Premiere)
10:00 Code Black #19 "Second Year" (Season Premiere)

NBC
8:00 Blindspot #26 "Hero Fears Imminent Rot"
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #391 "Making a Rapist"
10:00 Chicago PD #63 "Made a Wrong Turn"

FOX
8:00 Lethal Weapon #2 "Surf N Turf"
9:00 Empire #32 "Sin That Amends"

CW
8:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us (REPEAT)
9:00 Whose Line is it Anyway?

9:30 Whose Line is it Anyway? (REPEAT)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

FULL SEASON ALERT: This is Us

We're barely a week into the season and NBC has already handed out a full season to one of their freshman, This is Us. The show got a five episode add-on for a total of 18 episodes. That is often a kiss of death to not get the full 22 episodes, but this was a request by the creator, Dan Fogelman, not the network as the show is envisioned as a shorter episode run each season. This is Us is a candidate for a breakout hit, premiering to 10.1 million viewers and a 2.8 demo. When 3 day DVR was added, it went all the way up to 13.5 million viewers and a 4.2 demo. The demo is tops for any new show. Episode two airs tonight at 10pm and then it moves to 9pm starting October 11.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/26/16

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 10.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 ABC News: Presidential Debate
N/A
10:39 ABC News: Debate Analysis
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 14.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
8:30 Kevin Can Wait
Viewers: 10.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
9:00 CBS News: Presidential Debate
N/A
10:39 CBS News: Debate Analysis
Viewers; 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
9:00 NBC News: Presidential Debate
N/A
10:39 NBC News: Debate Analysis
Viewers: 12.8 million, 18-49 demo: 4.0

FOX
8:00 Gotham

Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 FOX News: Presidential Debate
N/A

CW
8:00 Supergirl (Repeat)

Viewers: 1.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2
9:00 Supergirl (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

On a night where over 80 million people tuned into the Presidential debates on multiple networks, it was only the 8pm hour that was worth noting for entertainment purposes. The schedule varied depending on what part of the country but the 8pm shows had generally good weeks. Whether there was pre-debate tune-in or this is a good sign, we'll see next week. On NBC, The Voice was down four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. NBC's debate coverage also easily led the broadcast networks. CBS saw The Big Bang Theory drop 1.6 million viewers and two tenths in the demo from last week's season premiere but there was a great week two performance for Kevin Can Wait, which was down half a million viewers and actually up a tenth in the demo. Make no mistake, this was a great performance but next week will be a truer test without the debate craziness. On ABC, Dancing with the Stars was up a tenth in viewers and the demo. Finally on FOX, Gotham was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. It was a series low in total viewers and tied a series low in the demo.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Kevin Can Wait (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Gotham (FOX)

WEEKLY RECAP: September 19-25, 2016

As I have done the last two years, this will recap the week that was. It won't appear until Tuesday nights when the Sunday final ratings come in. Everything has been reset as far as number of weeks on each chart.

Please note these will only cover regularly scheduled shows - not sports, not specials, not repeats, and not Saturday shows (too many burn-offs/oddities). I will also not be including CW at least for this year so the comparisons to past years are more accurate. I will include them if they are winners/losers for the week or in my favorite episodes.

Previous Week 1s: 2015   2014

TOP 10 SHOWS (18-49 DEMO)
1. Empire (FOX, Wednesday 9:00pm) - 4.2
2. The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Monday 8:00pm) - 3.8
3. The Voice (NBC, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 3.4
4. The Voice (NBC, Monday 8:00pm) - 3.3
5. This is Us (NBC, Monday 10:00pm) - 2.8
6. Kevin Can Wait (CBS, Monday 8:30pm) - 2.6
    Modern Family (ABC, Wednesday 9:00pm) - 2.6
    60 Minutes (CBS, Sunday 7:51pm) - 2.6
9. Grey's Anatomy (ABC, Thursday 8:00pm) - 2.5
10. The Good Place (NBC, Monday 10:00pm) - 2.3
     Survivor (CBS, Wednesday 8:00pm) - 2.3

TOP 10 SHOWS (TOTAL VIEWERS)
1. NCIS (CBS, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 16.0 million
2. The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Monday 8:00pm) - 15.8 million
3. Bull (CBS, Tuesday 9:00pm) - 15.6 million
4. 60 Minutes (CBS, Sunday 7:51pm) - 14.4 million
5. The Voice (NBC, Tuesday 8:00pm) - 12.3 million
6. The Voice (NBC, Monday 8:00pm) - 12.1 million
7. Kevin Can Wait (CBS, Monday 8:30pm) - 11.1 million
    NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, Tuesday 10:00pm) - 11.1 million
9. Empire (FOX, Wednesday 9:00pm) - 10.9 million
    MacGyver (CBS, Friday 8:00pm) - 10.9 million

BOTTOM 10 SHOWS (18-49 DEMO)
1. Rosewood (FOX, Thursday 8:00pm) - 0.7
    20/20 (ABC, Friday 10:00pm) - 0.7
3. Match Game (ABC, Monday 10:00pm) - 0.9
    Dr. Ken (ABC, Friday 8:30pm) - 0.9
    The Last Man on Earth (FOX, Sunday 9:30pm) -0.9
6. Scream Queens (FOX, Tuesday 9:00pm) - 1.0
    Dateline NBC (NBC, Friday 9:00pm) - 1.0
    The Exorcist (FOX, Friday 9:00pm) - 1.0
    Secrets and Lies (ABC, Sunday 9:00pm) - 1.0
    Quantico (ABC, Sunday 10:00pm) - 1.0

BOTTOM 10 SHOWS (TOTAL VIEWERS)
1. Scream Queens (FOX, Tuesday 9:00pm) - 2.2 million
    The Last Man on Earth (FOX, Sunday 9:30pm) - 2.2 million
3. New Girl (FOX, Tuesday 8:30pm) - 2.3 million
4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX, Tuesday 9:00pm) - 2.4 million
5. Bob's Burgers (FOX, Sunday 7:30pm) - 2.6 million
6. Son of Zorn (FOX, Sunday 8:30pm) - 2.7 million
7. Family Guy (FOX, Sunday 9:00pm) - 2.8 million
8. The Exorcist (FOX, Friday 9:00pm) - 2.9 million
9. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Tuesday 10:00pm) - 3.4 million
    20/20 (ABC, Friday 10:00pm) - 3.4 million
    Hell's Kitchen (FOX, Friday 8:00pm) - 3.4 million
    The Simpsons (FOX, Sunday 8:00pm) - 3.4 million

WINNERS OF THE NIGHT
Monday - The Good Place (NBC)
Tuesday - This is Us (NBC)
Wednesday - Lethal Weapon (FOX)
Thursday - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Friday - MacGyver (CBS)
Sunday - 60 Minutes (CBS)

LOSERS OF THE NIGHT
Monday - Gotham (FOX)
Tuesday - Scream Queens (FOX)
Wednesday - NONE
Thursday - Rosewood (FOX)
Friday - Shark Tank (ABC)
Sunday - The Last Man on Earth (FOX)

MY TOP 5 EPISODES OF THE WEEK
1. This is Us #1 "Pilot"
2. Pitch #1 "Pilot"
3. Speechless #1 "Pilot"
4. Superstore #13 "Strike"
5. The Goldbergs #72 "Breakfast Club"

RATINGS RECAP: 9/25/16

ABC
7:00 Once Upon a Time: Evil Reigns Once More
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:00 Once Upon a Time
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Secrets and Lies
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 Quantico
Viewers: 3.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CBS
7:00 NFL Overrun
Viewers: 17.7 million, 18-49 demo: 5.3
7:51 60 Minutes
Viewers: 14.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
8:51 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 10.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
10:51 MacGyver (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
8:22 Sunday Night Football
Viewers: 20.6 million, 18-49 demo: 7.6

FOX
7:00 Family Guy (Repeat)

Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
7:30 Bob's Burgers
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
8:30 Son of Zorn
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:30 The Last Man on Earth
Viewers: 2.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

On Sunday night, the FOX lineup was back in full force but it didn't have a direct football lead-in, which seems odd that FOX would choose to launch them this week, so the results were pretty weak. The Simpsons and Family Guy did OK but the news was bad for the second episode of Son of Zorn, which dropped a lot of the Simpsons audience (and of course its preview audience). The Last Man on Earth was especially weak at 9:30pm and well below even last fall's non-football Sundays. CBS had the NFL overrun and 60 Minutes having its usual post-football strength. It led into a two hour premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles on its new night. It delivered a solid 1.5 demo and 10.3 million viewers for its best performance since January. I actually thought it could have had a little more strength since it was following football and a strong 60 Minutes but this is still a solid Sunday start. Madam Secretary and Elementary return next Sunday.

As expected, it was a rough night for ABC with their drama lineup. The season premiere of Once Upon a Time topped the night for the network but at a meager 1.3 demo, which tied the season finale. After not being seen since May 2015, Secrets and Lies returned to a series low. This show had genuine momentum towards the end of its freshman season but then ABC left it on the bench for a year and a half and the momentum has completely evaporated. Unless it has an improbable rise like the first season, it's probably two and done. At 10pm, Quantico also only managed to tie its season finale with a weak 1.0 demo. It will be interesting to see if DVR numbers remain strong for this show. Finally, NBC had a Cowboys-Bears game which was up a bit from the first Sunday of the TV season last year.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: 60 Minutes (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: The Last Man on Earth (FOX)

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, September 27

The second Tuesday looks exactly like the first Tuesday of the season as ABC's comedy lineup and Chicago Fire are waiting to premiere until October 11 due to the Vice Presidential Debate next week. Because of that, Bull and This is Us get another week separated before they face off against each other. I think everything will finish in the same order as last week but most shows will be down a bit from premiere week. The biggest ones to watch are of course This is Us and Bull after their strong first weeks. The CW has the season finale of summer's madTV before The Flash and No Tomorrow premiere next week.

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #68 "Meet the New Boss"

CBS
8:00 NCIS #308 "Being Bad"
9:00 Bull #2 "The Woman in 8D"
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans #49 "Suspicious Minds"

NBC
8:00 The Voice
10:00 This is Us #2 "The Big Three"

FOX
8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine #70 "Coral Palms" Part 2
8:30 New Girl #118 "Hubbedy Bubby"
9:00 Scream Queens #15 "Warts and All"

CW
8:00 The Flash (REPEAT)
9:00 MADtv (Season Finale)

Monday, September 26, 2016

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, September 26

Week two kicks off in a very atypical way because it's the first of three presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As a whole, the debate should get huge ratings - most likely topping any in recent memory. But it won't mean much to an individual network because they're all airing it and the ratings don't count since there are no commercials. So the only thing to really watch is the 8pm hour. Most interesting will probably be how week two of Kevin Can Wait holds up. Will there be any pre-debate tune-in or will people be watching pre-debate stuff on the cable news networks?

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
9:00 ABC News: 2016 Presidential Debate #1

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #209 "The Military Miniaturization"
8:30 Kevin Can Wait #2 "Sleep Disorder"
9:00 CBS News: 2016 Presidential Debate #1

NBC
8:00 The Voice
9:00 NBC News: 2016 Presidential Debate #1

FOX
8:00 Gotham #46 "Burn the Witch"

9:00 FOX News: 2016 Presidential Debate #1

CW
8:00 Supergirl (REPEAT)
9:00 Supergirl (REPEAT)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, September 25

Sunday night has lots of season premieres but no series premieres. ABC has its premiere lineup except for 7pm which is another Once Upon a Time special, which is a usual move for the beginning of the season. At 9pm is the long awaited return of Secrets and Lies, last seen in May 2015. It could be a rough night for ABC with little buzz for this lineup. CBS has the NFL double-header so they will use it to launch the new season of NCIS: Los Angeles on its new night with a two-episode premiere. NBC has the Bears-Cowboys game while FOX has a night of premieres that could be pretty low with no NFL doubleheader.

ABC
7:00 Once Upon a Time: Evil Reigns Once More (SPECIAL)
8:00 Once Upon a Time #112 "The Savior" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Secrets and Lies #11 "The Fall" (Season Premiere)

10:00 Quantico #23 "Kudove" (Season Premiere)

CBS
7:00 NFL Overrun
7:30 60 Minutes
8:30 NCIS: Los Angeles #169/170 "High-Value Target/Belly of the Beast" (Season Premiere)
10:30 TBD

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
8:20 Sunday Night Football: Chicago at Dallas

FOX
7:00 Family Guy (REPEAT)

7:30 Bob's Burgers #108 "Flu-ouise" (Season Premiere)
8:00 The Simpsons #597 "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus" (Season Premiere)
8:30 Son of Zorn #2 "Defender of Teen Love"
9:00 Family Guy #270 "The Boys in the Band" (Season Premiere)
9:30 The Last Man on Earth #32 "General Beast Theme with Cobras" (Season Premiere)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

RATINGS RECAP: 9/23/16

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 Dr. Ken
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 Shark Tank
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

CBS
8:00 MacGyver
Viewers: 10.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 Blue Bloods
Viewers: 10.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

NBC
8:00 Superstore (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:30 The Good Place (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen

Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 The Exorcist
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CW
8:00 Masters of Illusion

Viewers: 0.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2
8:30 Masters of Illusion (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2
9:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

On Friday night, MacGyver arrived with a splash and a very impressive premiere. With a stunning 10.9 million viewers and a 1.7 demo, it had the best Friday premiere in the demo since Malibu Country in 2012 and the best Friday premiere in total viewers since Blue Bloods in 2010. To put this in perspective, it beat every single Thursday show in viewers and every Thursday show except Grey's Anatomy in the demo. This was a huge premiere for CBS and shattered most people's expectations. CBS promoted this show a lot and it paid off. We'll see where it goes from here but it gave itself an awfully big cushion. It also helped Hawaii Five-0, which was one of the few returning shows up year-to-year, rising an impressive four tenths in the demo from last year's season premiere. The always steady Blue Bloods started its seventh season on par with last season at a solid 10.6 million viewers and 1.3 demo.

FOX had an OK start to its Friday lineup, or at least better than their Thursday start. At 8pm, Hell's Kitchen did OK for an 8pm Friday show with 3.4 million viewers and a 1.1 demo. It smashed the 8pm performance of Rosewood on Thursday and tied Last Man Standing and Shark Tank in the demo. It led into the series premiere of The Exorcist. At 2.9 million viewers and a 1.0 demo, it's the lowest performance yet for a newbie but it really could have been worse. However, I don't think the long term prospects for The Exorcist are good at all. This is a show that is inevitable to drop so I think we'll be seeing 0.6 and 0.7 demos before too long for this show. As I said before, I would still swap Hell's Kitchen and Rosewood so Pitch has a better lead-in on Thursdays.

It was a rocky night for ABC. At 8pm, Last Man Standing delivered an OK 6.0 million viewers and 1.1 demo for its season premiere. It was better than what followed because the season two of Dr. Ken tied a series low with a 0.9 demo. This seemed like it deserved to return last season but this is a weak start so ABC may have some problems with its Friday comedy lineup. Then at 9pm, Shark Tank returned very weakly to tie a series low in the demo set way back in 2009. This was showing some signs of age last year and it seems to have accelerated rapidly. It might be time for ABC to consider giving this show the Undercover Boss treatment and letting it rest for awhile before becoming a fill-in show. It has had a great run on Fridays for a long time but this is a bad sign. 20/20 was beaten by Dateline at 10pm.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: MacGyver (CBS)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Shark Tank (ABC)

PILOT REVIEW: The Exorcist

THE EXORCIST













Starring: Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Hannah Kasulka, Brianne Howey, Kurt Egyiawan, with Alan Ruck, and Geena Davis

Inspired by the Novel by William Peter Blatty
Created by Jeremy Slater
Teleplay and Television Story by Jeremy Slater, Directed by Rupert Wyatt

Yes, we have another remake! FOX has an updated version of the iconic 1971 novel and 1973 film The Exorcist. The TV version is centered on a Hispanic priest, Father Thomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) and his dealings with people in his church like Angela and Henry Rance (Geena Davis and Alan Ruck) and their family as well as otherworldly issues like demons and the mysterious Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels).

I will admit I have never seen any of the movies so I have nothing to compare it to (I am much more well versed in TV shows than movies) but isn't The Exorcist supposed to be scary? I mean, I'm not really a horror fan, but if I'm going to watch a show called The Exorcist, I at least hope it will scare me a little bit and give me some thrills. Instead, this was a very slow-burn pilot with far more set-up than any actual thrills and I think that's a bad idea. Even if this show gets scarier as it continues, they needed to have more of that in the pilot so fans of the genre or the originals will come back.

The Exorcist did a decent job of mood-setting early on. There was an uneasy feeling to the show in the church and in the dark, gray-skied street scenes. The opening before the title screen seemed to not connect to the rest of the show for quite awhile and left me confused, maybe that was the point? As for the performances, I liked Alfonso Herrera in the lead role and there was some potential with the storyline involving Geena Davis and Alan Ruck. Ben Daniels was playing a type of character we see on any sort of eerie show like this, and they almost always seem to be British too!

The Exorcist was never going to be a show for me. I knew going in that it wasn't going to be my type of show and nothing in the pilot made me change that opinion. I would be curious to see what people who love that genre or the original thought of the remake. After all, it's not been getting horrible reviews. I just wondered why there were so few scares in a pilot called THE EXORCIST?

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
No, I'll have to find out second-hand if it got scarier than the pilot.

PILOT REVIEW: MacGyver

MACGYVER













Starring: Lucas Till, George Eads, Sandrine Holt, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires

Based on the series "MacGyver" created by Lee David Zlotoff
Developed by Peter M. Lenkov
Story/Teleplay by Peter M. Lenkov and Paul Downs Colaizzo, Directed by James Wan

In the category of "reboots we never needed," we have MacGyver this year. Based on the hit 1980s show that became a punchline (and popular SNL skit) over the years, CBS for some reason thought we all wanted to have a new version on TV. Maybe some do but I don't. I never watched the original so I don't have anything to compare it to but there is nothing here that's for me. It was an OK pilot for what it is, but what it is is a completely unnecessary remake. MacGyver this time is played by Lucas Till who follows up on an incident involving a virus and his girlfriend as seen in the cold open. His team includes CSI's George Eads and House of Cards' Sandrine Holt. Rounding out the main cast is his buddy and cover story, Wilt (Justin Hires), who knows very little about what MacGyver does.

My favorite part was actually the first scene before the credits but then it was downhill and repetitive after that. The opening reminded me a bit of Get Smart with the need to get through sticky situations but this show felt the need to be completely transparent about everything it was doing, whether it was the narration by MacGyver telling us exactly what he was doing or the labeling of everything he was "macgyvering." As if this show doesn't already appeal to the lowest common denominator, it then left nothing up to the imagination of the audience. It had to be completely obvious.

There are so many things that annoy me about TV reboots. Very few of them are successful and the ones that are like Hawaii Five-0 are just kind of there. But one thing I always like about reboots is we usually get the theme song back in an era where the sad fact is very few shows even have theme songs. So imagine my surprise when there was a theme song but it bared very little semblance to the cheesy but fun original song. I didn't expect it to be the exact same but I at least wanted the main melody in a new arrangement (beautifully down by shows like Hawaii and Dallas) and that didn't happen. So the one thing I like about TV reboots was not present here and that was really disappointing.

I didn't mind Lucas Till in the title role and George Eads showed he's a veteran of procedural dramas with a nice element of comedy. Sandrine Holt and the other characters didn't make much of an impression on me. I get the feeling every episode is going to feel pretty much the same as the pilot did: lots of action, a little bit of funny banter, and very transparent explanations of what's going on. That's about all there is to say about this show.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
I've never seen a full episode of the original MacGyver and I have no desire to watch another one of this one.

Friday, September 23, 2016

RATINGS RECAP: 9/22/16

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy

Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5
9:00 Notorious
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

CBS
8:00 Thursday Night Kickoff

Viewers: 8.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
8:27 Thursday Night Football
Viewers: 17.6 million, 18-49 demo: 6.1

NBC
8:00 Superstore
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
8:30 The Good Place
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Chicago Med
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 The Blacklist
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX
8:00 Rosewood
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Pitch
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CW
8:00 The Flash (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2
9:00 Supernatural (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2

After three days of promising performances from newbies, it was a different story on night four of premiere week. On Monday, four shows went above a 2.0 demo followed by four more on Tuesday and a whopping nine on Wednesday. On Thursday, there was just one - the ever reliable Grey's Anatomy, which remained the jewel of the ABC Thursday lineup and was down just three tenths in the demo from last year's premiere. But then things got ugly, starting with the series premiere of Notorious. The Scandal placeholder followed up terrible reviews with an embarrassing performance, delivering just 5.4 million viewers and a 1.1 demo, retaining just 44% of Grey's in the demo. This was major rejection from the audience and ABC has a problem already on this night. They might want to consider flipping it with its lead-out, How to Get Away with Murder, very soon. Murder tied a series low but built on its lead in by three tenths in the demo. A flip of the two shows might salvage the fall until Scandal comes back.

While Notorious was a disaster, FOX perhaps had a bigger bomb with the return of Rosewood on its new night. The second year drama was completely ignored with a 0.7 demo, confirming what everyone already knew: it was nothing but a timeslot hit last year when it led into Empire. FOX has had a rough week outside of Wednesday but this was just abysmal. It also gave absolutely no support to the premiere of Pitch which followed. It wasn't a good performance but Pitch's 1.1 demo looks a whole lot better than the 1.1 for Notorious does. It built on its lead-in by four tenths in the demo and at least showed a semblance of a pulse. The problem is it's likely to drop from here. I'm not always a fan of knee-jerk schedule moves but FOX needs to move Rosewood ASAP. I would send it to Fridays and bring Hell's Kitchen over here as a lead-in to Pitch.

Despite nothing topping a 1.5 in the demo, the network that may have shown the most promise with their scripted lineup was NBC because nothing bombed completely. Yes, this lineup wasn't anything special but they were launching a brand new lineup on a night where they have had a horrible time for years now. So the fact that Superstore had an OK 1.5 demo leading the night off (it was the second best demo of the whole night besides football) is a good thing. So is the fact that The Good Place showed good retention, Chicago Med delivered decent total viewers, and The Blacklist was a big improvement on previous 10pm shows is a good thing. The question is can it stay somewhere close to these numbers? If it can, NBC will have at least stabilized a very troubled night and that is no small task. Finally on CBS, Thursday Night Football had good numbers for a Patriots blowout of the Texans.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Rosewood (FOX)

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, September 23 & Saturday, September 24

Check below this post for reviews of Pitch and Notorious!

FRIDAY
Premiere Friday has two more series premieres and they are both tall orders for their networks despite a good week for the newbies. The MacGyver reboot kicks off the CBS lineup while The Exorcist airs at 9pm on FOX. There are lower expectations for Friday night but these two shows could crash and burn easily. The rest of the night includes many Friday staples such as Last Man Standing, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, and the newsmagazines. Dr. Ken is back as the ABC Friday sitcom lineup actually looks the same as last year.

ABC
8:00 Last Man Standing #109 "Papa Bear" (Season Premiere)
8:30 Dr. Ken #23 "Allison's Career Move" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Shark Tank (Season Premiere)
10:00 20/20


CBS
8:00 MacGyver #1 "The Rising" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #144 "Makaukau 'ce e Pa'ani" (Season Premiere)

10:00 Blue Bloods #134 "The Greater Good" (Season Premiere)

NBC
8:00 Superstore (REPEAT)
8:30 The Good Place (REPEAT)
9:00 Dateline NBC


FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen (16th Edition Premiere)

9:00 The Exorcist #1 "Chapter One: And Let My Cry Come Unto Thee" (SERIES PREMIERE)

CW
8:00 Masters of Illusion

8:30 Masters of Illusion (REPEAT)
9:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us (REPEAT)


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 College Football

CBS
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS: New Orleans (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
10:00 This is Us (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 College Football

PILOT REVIEW: Pitch

PITCH











Starring: Kylie Bunbury, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mark Consuelos, Mo McRae, Meagan Holder, Tim Jo, with Dan Lauria, and Ali Larter

Created by Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer
Written by Dan Fogelman & Rick Singer, Directed by Paris Barclay

Is it too obvious to call it a home run? Or is it too soon to call Dan Fogelman, creator of both Pitch and This is Us, the MVP of the TV season? Pitch is a fantastic new drama with an intriguing premise. Pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) has been called up to the San Diego Padres and becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. Surrounded by handlers including Amelia Slater (Ali Larter), skeptics including manager Al Luongo (Dan Lauria) and catcher/captain Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), and the weight of trying to impress her father (Bill Baker), she has to navigate enormous pressure on and off the field.

This was a beautiful pilot and it's very cool that the MLB gave them so much access so it really felt like something real happening which doesn't always happen when a movie or TV show very clearly can't use certain sports trademarks. The scenes in the ballpark were just stunning to look at visually and the pilot had a crisp and cool feel to it. The show threw a lot of balls in the air but caught them nicely (too many puns?) Between scenes in the ballpark, in Ginny's apartment, in the locker room, in the offices, and the flashbacks, there was a lot the pilot tried to accomplish but it moved well and was well-structured. The integration of the flashbacks was meaningful and the twist at the end of this one? While not as creative as This is Us, it caught me more off guard and gave the story and premise an interesting wrinkle.

The cast is absolutely top notch. Kylie Bunbury is a revelation in the main role. She was easy to root for and could be a breakout star of this season. It is great to see Dan Lauria back on TV and he brings his usual gravitas and strength. I really enjoyed Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his instant charm and chemistry with Bunbury (but don't hook them up, Pitch!) I enjoyed Ali Larter as well and I hope there's a fair amount of Bob Balaban in a recurring role, but I could have used less Joe Buck in the pilot. I have enough of him watching football games.

This is a show that has places to go and many stories to tell. It has the potential to develop into a ripe character drama that will eventually have as many meaningful scenes off the field as it does on should it be given that chance. I'm a sucker for inspirational sports stories and even though I'm not a baseball fan, I was completely engrossed. Baseball dramas have been attempted by the networks before and failed but Pitch deserves to succeed. If This is Us is filling the Parenthood void this year, Pitch may fill the void of the other great Jason Katims drama, Friday Night Lights. It has a tough task ahead of it but I'll be rooting for Pitch all the way.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
I can hardly wait.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

PILOT REVIEW: Notorious

NOTORIOUS











Starring: Piper Perabo, Daniel Sunjata, Kate Jennings Grant, Kevin Zegers, Aimee Teegarden, J. August Richards, Sepideh Moafi, Ryan Guzman

Created by Josh Berman and Allie Hagan
Written by Josh Berman & Allie Hagan, Directed by Michael Engler

Is it a requirement for a show like this to have to start with a steamy love scene followed by a quick return to an intense job? Well that was the first of many, and I mean many, cliches that were used in the pilot of Notorious. The salacious (a less generous word would be trashy) drama is about the relationship between the media and the law. At the center of this back and forth is high powered newsmagazine producer Julia George (Piper Perabo) and hot-shot lawyer Jake Gregorian (Daniel Sunjata). Julia works for a Nightline-type show hosted by Louise Herrick (Kate Jennings Grant) and Jake works at a law firm with his brother, Bradley (J. August Richards). What seemed like it might be a case of the week involving tech billionaire Oscar Keaton (Kevin Zegers) is actually part of a larger story.

I'm sure there are people out there who will enjoy a show like this. Those are the same kinds of people who probably check TMZ daily and revel in tabloid stories. Early on, I felt like this might be trashy fun but it soon devolved into a troubled show that ran in circles and it got nauseating before too long. I love watching shows with troubled anti-heroes like Don Draper or Frank and Claire Underwood. But these two leads were just plain unlikable, manipulating others and each other left and right for the sake of a quick fix. There wasn't much redeeming or complicated about the two lead characters so they were more annoying than anything else. And the acting was pretty bad too.

This was a show that seemed to look at the TV landscape and think "wow, people really love twisty shows like Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder" and then they proceeded to put approximately a zillion twists in the pilot. The problem with that is there was no time to care about anything or anyone in the pilot before it was a "gotcha again" moment. This is a show that has no interest in character building or slow build drama. It is all gloss and frills with no substance.

From characters hooking up with each other left and right to the aforementioned twists and turns that happened every 30 seconds or so, it almost felt like a parody of a show like Scandal. It was a waste of Perabo and Sunjata, who actually could be decent in a better-written show. I wouldn't say they gamely made the best of the material but they weren't the main problem here. This isn't quite as terrible as another steamy, twist one word show from ABC a couple years ago (Betrayal) but it's quite a weak placeholder until Scandal comes back. I wish ABC had used this slot for season two of The Catch, which had a cat and mouse feel too but was far more captivating (and oh by the way, it is a Shondaland show not a cheap knockoff). It's ironic that the show is called Notorious, because I have a feeling it's going to be forgotten pretty quickly.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
It is very unlikely.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/21/16

ABC
8:00 The Goldbergs
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
8:30 Speechless
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:30 Black-ish
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 Designated Survivor
Viewers: 10.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:30 Big Brother
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

NBC
8:00 Blindspot
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
10:00 Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

FOX
8:00 Lethal Weapon

Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Empire
Viewers: 10.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2

CW
8:00 Penn & Tell: Fool Us (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Whose Line is it Anyway?
Viewers: 1.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:30 Whose Line is it Anyway? (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

Premiere week continued with another positive night for newbies. On FOX, the pre-tune for Empire as well as genuine interest in Lethal Weapon gave the new show a very solid start with 7.9 million viewers and a 2.2 demo. This was just two tenths behind the Rosewood premiere last year when there was a much bigger Empire audience so I think that means there was actually more interest in this show as its own entity than Rosewood. It was a very positive start. Then Empire returned. Its 4.2 demo will certainly be the tops of the week among scripted programming but it felt a little lower than it should have been. Of course it was never going to get back to last year's 6.7 premiere but the winter premiere of 4.8 seemed attainable. This is a show that has clearly peaked at this point but it's still TV's #1 show in the demo and has a long way to go before things are troubling. It's just become one of TV's biggest hits, not a monster towering above everything else and any network/show would be happy to have that.

ABC debuted its new comedy lineup and though the lineup was down, it was promising that their big moves are going to work. The Goldbergs inherited the 8pm slot and was down just a bit from its 2015 start with a 2.0 demo. This was probably about what The Middle would have gotten here so that's a great sign. The premiere of Speechless followed at 8:30pm and fit like a glove into the lineup, equaling The Goldbergs in the demo and building on it in total viewers. Its 2.0 demo is the lowest for a new show so far but the fact that it fit so nicely into the comedy lineup is a really good sign. People who watched The Goldbergs followed that show to 8pm and then stayed for Speechless at 8:30. At 9pm, the season premiere of Modern Family was still the best of the comedy block but down from last year's 3.2 premiere. I'm fairly sure this will be the year that Modern Family sees 1s in the demo but it's still the class of ABC comedies when it comes to ratings. At 9:30pm, the season premiere of Black-ish was at a 2.0 like the 8pm comedies, posting the best results for that show since January 6. Overall, a strong start for the ABC comedy night. At 10pm was the series premiere of Designated Survivor to 10 million viewers and a 2.2 demo. This was the best Weds 10pm performance ABC has seen in a long time. I still think given the hype, it could have premiered stronger and this show is ripe for drops in the weeks to come, but it was still a positive sampling. ABC was at a 2.0 demo or above for the entire night and that hasn't happened on Wednesday since premiere week of 2013.

NBC had good news of its own though their entire lineup wasn't quite as strong. Still, Blindspot made an OK transition to 8pm. Considering it only got a 1.6 following a highly rated America's Got Talent last week, a 1.3 to lead off the night is OK. We'll see how it does from here but the wheels haven't come off yet. At 9pm, the 18th season of Law & Order: SVU started exactly on par with last season's premiere. This show is still chugging along. At 10pm, the premiere of Chicago PD was down just a tenth in the demo from last year's premiere despite the big ABC competition. All in all, a positive night for NBC too. Finally, CBS went with its regular opening Wednesday plan, pairing the season premiere of Survivor with the season finale of Big Brother. Even in its 33rd edition, Survivor had another solid start, down just two tenths from last fall's premiere and up big from the spring premiere. Talk about a show with lasting power. The finale of Big Brother, which premiered back in 2000 like Survivor, was also down two tenths from its year-ago performance.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: Lethal Weapon (FOX)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: None

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, September 22

Check below this post for reviews of Designated Survivor, Speechless, and Lethal Weapon!

Thursday night has full fall lineups on every network except CBS, which is continuing to air Thursday Night Football for several more weeks and tonight there is an intriguing Texans-Patriots game. ABC, NBC, and FOX are airing their new lineups including series premieres of Notorious on ABC's non-TGIT Thursday night and Pitch on FOX, following the transplanted Rosewood. Notorious has gotten trashed in reviews and it's a placeholder for Scandal but it has gotten a lot of promotion and does get to follow Grey's Anatomy. Pitch has gotten some buzz but it'll be real tough for it to break out on FOX Thursdays. NBC has the time period premiere of The Good Place following the season premiere of Superstore and followed by the new night for Chicago Med and a new time for The Blacklist. This should be an improvement on the night for NBC but I still think the whole lineup is a big question mark. With the other nights in premiere week not fully unveiling everything for each network, this might be the most interesting night as this is how the night will look lineup-wise for awhile.

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy #270 "Undo" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Notorious #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder #31 "We're Good People Now" (Season Premiere)

CBS
8:00 Thursday Night Kickoff
8:25 Thursday Night Football: Houston at New England

NBC
8:00 Superstore #13 "Strike" (Season Premiere)
8:30 The Good Place #3 "Tahani Al-Jamil"
9:00 Chicago Med #19 "Soul Care" (Season Premiere)
10:00 The Blacklist #68 "Esteban" (Season Premiere)

FOX
8:00 Rosewood #23 "Forward Motion and Frat Life" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Pitch #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)


CW
8:00 The Flash (REPEAT)
9:00 Supernatural (REPEAT)

PILOT REVIEW: Designated Survivor

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR












Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, LaMonica Garrett, Tanner Buchanan, with Kal Penn, and Maggie Q

Created by David Guggenheim
Written by David Guggenheim, Directed by Paul McGuigan

One of my favorite moments in The West Wing is when President Bartlett talks to a low level cabinet member about his role as the "designated survivor" during the State of the Union address, educating both him and us. That was the first I had ever heard of such a thing and I thought it was very interesting. I wish I had been the one to think of making it into a TV show but props to David Guggenheim for creating one of the most original new shows of the fall season. Designated Survivor has an incredibly gripping premise: the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) suddenly becomes president when a devastating attack kills the President and the rest of the federal government. The pilot is uneven at times but there are some great performances to go with the great premise, which makes for a promising show.

Kiefer Sutherland is great in this and he's incredibly different than Jack Bauer though there's reasons to believe in this character just as much. It's nice to see Sutherland showing silent resolve and leadership rather than just torturing and killing all the bad guys in his sight. The rest of the large cast was introduced to varying degrees. I really enjoyed Kal Penn as speechwriter Seth Wright and Maggie Q was promising as FBI agent Hannah Wells. I liked Natascha McElhone as Kirkman's wife, Alex but I wasn't sold on the family scenes. I think those could come around eventually but it felt a little unimportant or a little too cliche in a pilot that was dealing with a major catastrophe.

While I continue to have high hopes for this show, I felt like it wasn't quite as strong or as sure of itself of my other favorites this week (Speechless and This is Us). For example, there was a longer than necessary flashback to earlier in the day and ultimately, did much happen in this episode beyond the first couple minutes? I kept waiting for a major plot turn to catapult the pilot forward after its intense and captivating opening but I felt like that never came. Sure, there was uncertainty about the attack and members close to Kirkman trying to undermine him, but those sorts of questions and conspiracies were completely expected. I am not one who needs a major twist at the end of every pilot, but I felt like this one needed it. Or if not a twist, at least something to lure viewers back to week two. This is Us, a relationship drama, was far better at doing so than this, an action packed conspiracy thriller. That just isn't right.

Yet, there are reasons to trust this show and come back. Chief among them is Sutherland. Although Touch was disappointing, he was brilliant in 24 no matter how outlandish the plot was. More than any other new show so far, I am really curious to see what this show looks like in 5 or 10 episodes because I had a hard time envisioning it. Will it settle into a political drama like The West Wing or will it be full of action and conspiracies? It has a fine line to walk and it didn't quite do so in the pilot. But just as many would argue in the show that the nation needs to give Kirkman a chance to lead, I want to give Kiefer Sutherland and this show a chance to grow into something really exciting. The potential is certainly there.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Definitely. But as much out of curiosity about what this show is going to become as anything else.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PILOT REVIEW: Speechless

SPEECHLESS













Starring: Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Cedric Yarbrough, Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, Kyla Kenedy

Created by Scott Silveri
Written by Scott Silveri, Directed by Christine Gernon

Speechless is a new comedy that fits brilliantly into the ABC stable of funny yet poignant family comedies that give voice to some underrepresented people in American life and entertainment. And this one may be the most important yet, giving a glimpse into a population that is even more ignored when it comes to pop culture. The DiMeos are a family led by a dominant mother, Maya (Minnie Driver), who could be sisters with Beverly Goldberg and Jessica Huang. The main reason she's as "crazy" as she appears is because she is a fierce advocate for her son, JJ (Micah Fowler), who can't verbally speak due to his cerebral palsy. They move to yet another school in the pilot, upending the lives of Maya's husband, Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) and other kids Ray and Dylan (Mason Cook and Kyle Kenedy). Rounding out the main cast is a school employee who befriends the family after a rough start, Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough).

The cast is top notch here and Minnie Driver is so much better in this than she was in About a Boy, where I found her annoying at times. Here, her character is much more overbearing yet I found her to be much more enjoyable. She had great comedic timing. The rest of the cast is great including Micah Fowler who does so much without being able to speak. Mason Cook gives us another interesting young protagonist like other ABC sitcoms while Cedric Yarbrough had a couple very funny moments.

I loved the way this show opened and I love that there's not a narrator. Though I love many of the ABC sitcoms with a narrator, I feel as though it's getting to be overused. Plus, I feel like that would have taken away from the point of this sitcom which is literally and figuratively giving voice to the voiceless. The opening scene with the van seemed a little silly and stupid until they got to the restaurant and there was a great reveal of JJ in his wheelchair to put front and center that this show isn't afraid to go there and deal with things head on.

More than most shows I review, this show hit close to home to me because I work in the special education field. It was so educational without every having the feel of an after-school special or a "very special episode." It was glossed in humor from top to bottom but there were real issues explored: schools trying to be inclusive in superficial but not real ways, well meaning but completely clueless teachers and students (the scene in JJ's classroom was hilarious), and the way a child with special needs impacts the family and especially the siblings. There is no network that has a better sense of itself right now than the ABC comedy family. Every show is so unique yet they all fit nicely together. And many of them give so much strength to minority groups that could use the exposure in a natural, funny setting. They are not preachy or condescending by any means, they are real honest looks. And it may be my own personal connection to the subject matter, but I feel like Speechless maybe needs to succeed even more than the others. I hope it does.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Absolutely.

PILOT REVIEW: Lethal Weapon

LETHAL WEAPON













Starring: Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Keesha Sharp, Kevin Rahm

Based on the Screenplay Written by Shane Black
Teleplay by Matt Miller, Directed by McG

It wouldn't be a fall season without a couple adaptations from popular movies. This fall, there are three of them and Lethal Weapon was the first out of the gate. Based on the popular film series starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, the TV version is mostly buddy cop comedy but with a sobering back story. I will start by saying I've never seen one of the movies so I have nothing to compare it to in that way. The cops at the center of the show are Damon Wayans as Roger Murtaugh, a 50 year old cop returning to the job after a heart attack. The by the books cop is paired with the free spirited Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford), who is also returning to the job while working on overcoming terrible grief from the death of his pregnant wife. Rounding out the main cast is Jordana Brewster as psychologist Dr. Cahill, Kevin Rahm as Murtaugh and Riggs' boss, Captain Avery, and Keesha Sharp as Murtaugh's wife, Trish.

I was surprised at how many emotional moments were packed into a show that's conceived as and promoted as a buddy cop comedy. I don't mind the backstories and they were essential to pairing these two characters up but I felt like there were some depressing moments, especially with Riggs, that won't be what the show is like and it made for a downer pilot at times even with the requisite action and comedy scenes. It felt at times, especially in the hospital scenes at the beginning, that it was taking itself too seriously with those unnecessary and over-dramatic slow motion moments.

The sleek looking pilot took awhile to get itself going but once it did, it's clear that this show's strength is the two leads and the chemistry between them. Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford made for an interesting pair and the dynamics between them were enjoyable, especially in the first scene at the house and especially their explanation to their boss about what happened on the Grand Prix track. While he's playing it well, I certainly hope they let Clayne Crawford's character be a little less emotionally tortured in future weeks. Not that I plan to watch it, but I wouldn't be too interested in watching a character who wants to kill himself in a show like this. Jordana Brewster has been good in other things but she was barely used here. Keesha Sharp made more of an impression in the pilot with a warm personality and good chemistry with Wayans.

I know there are criticisms of shows that are all fun and no substance but that's really what people are looking for in a show like Lethal Weapon. People are looking for popcorn fun and that's what this show needs to provide on a weekly basis. It's basically a cop procedural but if they can play up the comedy and camaraderie between Wayans and Crawford, then the show will be in good shape. It looked like an expensive pilot with the elaborate car chase and big scenes. I would think it will be hard to sustain that in future weeks. Ultimately, this is the next in a long line of movies turned into TV shows. It's not the best, it's not the worst. It's one of those shows that's just kind of there.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Doubtful. Like Kevin Can Wait, I didn't hate it but I don't have the time to keep shows like this in my regular weekly lineup.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/20/16

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
Viewers: 8.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 16.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Bull
Viewers: 15.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 12.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.4
10:00 This is Us
Viewers: 10.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8

FOX
8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 New Girl
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Scream Queens
Viewers: 2.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CW
8:00 The Flash (Repeat)
Viewers: 0.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 MADtv
Viewers: 0.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.2

On the second night of the new season, the new shows continued to impress. CBS had a strong night with its new drama trio. At 8pm, the season premiere of NCIS delivered 16 million viewers and a 2.2 demo. This was down three tenths in the demo from last year's season premiere but still incredibly sturdy for a show now in its 14th season. It led into the series premiere of Bull and CBS has to love the sampling it got with 15.6 million viewers and a 2.2 demo. It's also impressive that it stayed essentially even with its lead-in. Two years ago, NCIS: New Orleans dropped four tenths from the NCIS lead-in for its series premiere as did NCIS: Los Angeles way back in 2009. So that is very encouraging. It will surely end the week as the top new show in total viewers. At 10pm, NCIS: New Orleans premiered in its new timeslot. It was a series low but I think it was an OK performance. It had to face a big premiere on NBC that it won't usually face and it could certainly have been worse. It's early but this looks like a solid lineup from top to bottom for CBS.

NBC had reasons of its own to be thrilled for the night and excited about what their Tuesday lineup might look like. Night two of The Voice was up slightly from Monday's premiere and just a bit behind last year's Tuesday debut. Still a beast. It led into the highly anticipated premiere of This is Us. The social media phenom delivered 10.1 million viewers and a 2.8 demo, which is a fantastic performance. I thought this actually could have possibly been even higher given the summer buzz but make no mistake, this was a huge showing. And given the glowing reviews, reaction from fans, and buzz about the twist, it could easily pick up many more in delayed viewing over the coming days. It will be at 10pm for one more week before taking a week off for a debate and then heading to 9pm on October 11.

It was another night of ABC getting lost in the crowd. A special results edition of Dancing with the Stars mustered only a 1.5 demo and 8.6 million viewers. This is why they trimmed this show to one night a week because these recap shows are too bloated and don't do very well. The season premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was up a little bit from spring episodes but still awfully low. The ABC Tuesday comedy lineup doesn't start until October 11. And then there was FOX, which had a pathetically low night as expected. With their Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and Scream Queens lineup, nothing topped 2.4 million viewers or a 1.2 demo. None of the shows hit series lows but these were premiere week numbers so it's only going to get uglier from here. FOX basically punted on this night and a show like Scream Queens did not get renewed because of its same day ratings but it's still going to be a rough fall on Tuesdays for FOX as they could easily get passed by the CW when their shows premiere in a couple weeks.

WINNER OF THE NIGHT: This is Us (NBC)
LOSER OF THE NIGHT: Scream Queens (FOX)