Although, for the third straight day, CBS finished on top of the total viewers chart, there were troubling signs. ‘Big Bang Theory’, the evenings top program with 17.8 million viewers at 8P, led off the evening, well ahead of everything else and nearly doubled the next closest competitor among of viewers on the competing networks. ‘The Millers’ at 830P maintained the networks leadership with 12.27 million but it began getting dicey after that. At 9P, Robin Williams’ ‘The Crazy Ones’ edged to the top post with 9.53 million but aging giant, ‘Two and a Half Men’ fell to 8.59 million at 930, allowing the slide to continue and giving ‘Elementary’ little momentum and came in 2nd at 10P with 8.52 million, over a million behind the surprising surge of ABC’s ‘Scandal’. ‘Elementary’ was in top form with an episode so upside down (‘So, your client is saying she can’t possibly be guilty of murdering her husband because at the time, she was planning to murder her husband.”) it was the perfect jigsaw puzzle.
ABC traveled another route during this Thursday evening. It climbed a mountain from third to first. ‘Once Upon A time’ at 8P could only muster 4.53 million viewers while ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ registered 8.78 milion for second place at 9P. Then came ‘Scandal’. What ever happened to this program, one thing is for certain, it dominated the important 10PM time slot with 9.51 million. Smiles all around for The Alphabet Network’s brass and affiliates.
Yet it was FOX, which for the second straight night, finished #2 with baseball. The Major League ALCS which saw the Boston Red Sox defeat the Detroit Tigers in the Motor City with strong pitching again leading the way and keeping Prince Fielder in the park, finished with 8.57 million viewers and a 5.4 rating and a 9 share national household share, up 23% over last year’s NLCS game featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. Thursday’s game reached a high of 9.63 million at 830P. The Animal Network is scoring big time with baseball this Fall finishings 71.43% in A18-49 ahead of last year’s time slot on this comparable day.
The NFL Network with the game between the Seattle Seahawks beating the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix drew a cable high and #4 overall for the evening with 6.047 million viewers. The Cardinals, who have difficulty executing an offense even against the Sisters of the Poor, were simply no match as the former Wisconsin quarterback, Russell Wilson moved Seattle to victory.
NBC finished fourth at 8P (‘Parks and Recreation’ with 3.27 million); fifth at 830P (‘Welcome To The Family’ with 2.42 million) which has been cancelled by NBC; fourth at 9P (‘Sean Saves The World’ with 3.36 million); fourth at 930P with the ‘Michael J. Fox Show’ at 3.56 million) and mercifully fourth at 10P with ‘Parenthood’ pulling in a network high for the evening with only 4.02 million. The Peacock Network was fortunate not to finish fifth for the evening as Univision was only 100,000 viewers behind it.
The CW at 8P with ‘The Vampire Diaries’ finished with 2.93 million while at 9P ‘Reign’ had its season premiere and drew 1.98 million viewers.
The History Channel finished second on cable with 3.565 million viewers as ‘Pawn Stars’ ran back-to-back for the entire prime time schedule.
Of interest on this evening, the anatomy of 10P is interesting. In the first half hour, ABC’s ‘Scandal’ held a 300,000 lead on CBS’ ‘Elementary’ but at 1030P, ‘Scandal’ gained significant viewership at it increased its lead to 1.78 million viewers. This is a substantial shift while all of the other networks dropped in viewership. This is where ‘Scandal’ won the time slot.
For the record, CBS finished #1 with 10.707 million viewers which generated a 6.7 rating and an 11 share but finished 2.3 million less than the comparable Thursday last year. FOX was #2 with 8.386 milion viewers and a 5.2/8 finished nearly 2.8 million greater than last year; ABC #3 with 7.523 million and a 5.1/8, down 200,000 from last year; NFL Network with 6.047 million viewers finished #4; NBC #5 with 3.415 million and a 2.3/4 down 120,000 from last year; Univision #6 with 3.4 million viewers and a 1.7/3; The History Channel #7 with 2.565 million viewers; The CW #8 with 2.421 million and a 1.5/2 finished 40,000 ahead of last year while at #9 Telemundo finished with an average of 1.1 million and a 0.7/1.
In late night, perhaps on the heels of ABC’s strong 10P showing, ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ won the 1135P slugfest with a 2.7/7 while CBS’ ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ featuring a smiling and softer Donald Trump finished with a 2.6/7. NBC’s ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ in a rerun finished last with a 1.8/5, ABC’s ‘Nightline’ finished with a 1.7/6 while CBS’ ‘Craig Ferguson’ finished with a 1.3/5 beating NBC’s ‘Jimmy Fallon’ in rerun (1.1/4). Late late late saw ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ finishing with 0.7/3 with a rerun.
This was definitely a prime time night of change. We absolutely saw people….