Years ago, many wondered if cable was viable. It was always looked down upon by the big brothers of broadcast. It was that ‘splintered audience’ thing that couldn’t hold the big audiences together to win anything, let alone a night. With the help of the USA Network, TNT, TBS, A&E, Discovery, AMC, Discovery and yes, ESPN, cable can and is a major player in television life in America.
With little doubt, ESPN with ‘Monday Night Football’ featuring the Dallas Cowboys getting blasted by the Chicago Bears in Chicago on a freezing Lake Michigan evening in December, won the evening. With a substitute quarterback, the Monsters of the Midway took it to Romo’s team which finds it difficult to win in December, especially when they come up North into the ‘Black & Blue’ division.
Final ratings saw ‘MNF’ pull 16.192 million viewers.
Broadcast note: ‘Monday Night Football’ was simulcast on the ABC affiliate in Chicago. As a result, ABC numbers may be inflated and subject to more than typical adjustments in the final ratings.
ABC, the broadcast sister network to Disney’s ESPN, led off the evening with a rerun ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town’ and pulled in 6.42 million. At 9P, ‘The Great christmas Light Fight’ season premiere pulled in 6.621 million. At 10P, a rerun of ‘Castle’ drew 6.48 million viewers. But this was the episode to watch again and again as it brings everything into prospective on why America loves this program. Beyond well written, it contains everything a good show must have, including a superb cast that never lets you down. As a viewer, that is absolute. The Alphabet Network suits figured this out.
NBC at 8P had ‘The Voice’ which drew the biggest audience of the evening on broadcast with 12.85 million viewers. At 9P, the two-hour premiere of ‘The Sing-Off’ pulled in an average of 8.36 million good enough to win both of the hours on broadcast.
FOX has a new program a 8P that deserves a bigger audience. ‘Almost Human’ is terrific. Well written with a superb cast, this Monday it drew 5.98 million viewers (up 6% over the previous week) but if you didn’t see it, grab it On Demand, Netflix or whatever other platform you can view past shows. For half of a cast which is automatronic, this is anything but. Yes there are gimicky devices and twists and turns of plot. But there is something in this show that warms viewers to want to see more. As the characters are shaping into place, let’s hope The Animal Network of Broadcast suits gives this show the space it needs to develop before the ax comes down. It has a chance to succeed. Let it. At 9P, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ pulled in 6.52 million. It was a good night for FOX as it battled all evening with drama rather than reality, comedy or sports.
Then we come to CBS, once a power on Monday nights. Now an also-ran. At 8P, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ with another rerun, drew 4.69 million while at 830P, ‘2 Broke Girls’ rerun edged up a bit to 4.82 million. At 9P, the best pinch hitter in broadcast, ‘Mike & Molly’ with an actual original, first viewed show pulled in 7.637 million but at 930P, ‘Mom’ rerun grabbed 5.52 million viewers. Then at 10P, perhaps the worst ill-conceived show of the season, ‘Hostages’ with an original episode pulled The Tiffany Network down the chutes with 4.66 million viewers, the lowest of the evening on this one proud network. Last year on the comparable day, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ drew 10.38 million viewers. Whatever plan CBS is following on Monday’s, isn’t working. Affiliates unite. Tell the troops in LA, you need new thinking on Mondays.
The CW at 8P had ‘Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special’, a rerun, which pulled in 1.26 million and at 830P, ‘Merry Madagascar’, another rerun, 1.157 million. But that’s where the joy stopped at The Little Network That Could. At 9P, it put up ‘One Direction iHeartRatio Album Release Party’ and nobody watched. Well nearly nobody. 630,000 viewers found it but it pulled any hopes CW had down the tubes, so to speak.
For the record, ESPN was #1 for Monday with 13.994 million average viewers. NBC was #2 with 9.856 million viewers and a 6.1 average overnight rating with a 9 share, nearly 1.5 million more than on this comparable day last season while ABC came in #3 with 6.506 million and a 3.9/6. It was up nearly 900,00 over the comparable day last year. FOX came in a surprising strong #4 with 6.252 million and a tie with ABC’s 3.9/6, up over a million viewers from the comparable day last year. CBS dropped to the basement of the big broadcast members with a poor 5.332 million viewers and a 3.5/5. This was 5.2 million LESS than the comparable day last year. Univision drew 2.782 million and a 1.0/3 while Telemundo finished with a 0.7/1. The CW was viewed by 918,000 viewers and a last place 0.6/1 and finished in the basement.
ACROSS THE POND:
ITV ruled the roost in the UK on Monday evening with the #1 program for the evening, the ‘2013 Royal Variety Performance’ at 730P drawing 7.31 million viewers good for 31.3% share of the audience, a dominating performance.
BBC One brought out ‘Panorama’ which could only pull 2.44 million (10.1%) at 830P and the now cancelled ‘Ripper Street’, which was the #2 program of the evening throughout all of the UK, pulled 2.95 million viewers (12.5%).
BBC Two had ‘University Challenge’ draw 2.72 million (11.1%) at 8P and ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ pushed up the total to 2.84 million (11.8% share of audience) at 830P. At 9P, ‘The Choir’ dropped down to 1.95 million viewers (8.3%).
Channel 4 had ‘Dispatches’ at 8P with 1.53 milion (6.3%) while ‘Liberty of London’ pull in 1.12 million (4.8%) at 9P. At 10P, ‘Fresh Meat’ drew only 622,000 (3.6%).
Channel 5 had the ‘Gadget Show’ at 8P pull in 460,000 viewers (1.9%) while at 9P, ‘Monty Halls and Japan’s Lost Atlantis’ drew 594,000 (2.5%).
E4 at 10P had ‘Made in Chelsea’ pull in 446,000 (1.8%).
Sky 1’s ‘Arrow’, The CW program in the U.S. draw 415,000 (1.7%).
BBC Four at 830P had ‘Only Connect’ which drew 872,000 viewers (3.6%).
For the record in the UK on Monday evening, ITV was #1 with 5.51 million viewers on average good for a 25.7% share followed by BBC One with 3.59 million viewers (16.7%). BBC Two had 1.77 million viewers (8.2%) while Channel 4 finished with 887,000 viewers (4.1%). Channel 5 had an average of 530,000 viewers in the evening (2.5%).
No matter where you were watching television on Monday evening, people were…
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