For the first time in a week, ABC finished on top of the primetime ratings on Monday. Beginning at 8P, ‘The Bachelor’ drew 7.96 million viewers and finished the same as it did on the comparable day last season. At 10P, ‘Castle’ really was the star of The Alphabet Network in one of the most competitive time periods on the television schedule. The episode brought back the incredible presence of James Brolin in the role of Rick Castle’s father. Besides being another thriller, Kate learns his real identity and the wedding is set for next September. ‘Castle’ drew 9.03 million viewers, good for #2, a position it is not usually in.
CBS wanted to challenge on Monday evenings. At 8P, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ did just that by pulling in 8.59 million viewers and led CBS to the top in this time period. And at 830P, ‘2 Broke Girls’ did its job increasing CBS’ leadership with 8.95 million viewers. At 9P, the greatest pinch hitting show of all-time, ‘Mike & Molly’ has secured this time period and increased CBS’ lead and drew 9.84 million, the top program of the evening. But it was at 930P where it began to fall apart. ‘Mom’ drew 8.5 million folks, that’s a 1.28 million drop in an instant and the grease was set which began the slide to the newest program, ‘Intelligence’ at 10P which could only draw 6.2 million viewers. A great episode, further cleaning up the past of the lead star while he is going to make this show a contender if the viewers give it a chance, wasn’t able to capture the hour and by falling so far behind, lost the night. And they should have won. Its on CBS. But the hole that ‘Hostages’ dug in this time slot may be more than this program can handle. ‘Intelligence’ while it appears to be like throwing a bandaid on a mortal wound, performed much better than the horrible ‘Hostages’. ‘Hostages’ pulled 3-4.5 million in viewership. At least this program cracked into the 6+ million mark on the overnights. Question: Is America ready for an all night comedy lineup?
One further note on CBS. Last year, and the year before that, ‘Hawaii Five-0’ was a perfect fit on Monday night. A year ago this comparable day, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ drew 9.367 million viewers and was the #1 program at 10P, ahead of ‘Castle’ which drew 9.096 million. What possessed the suits at Black Rock to change a power lineup, which pulled in 10.735 million viewers for the evening (compared to 7.983 million this Monday) is not comprehensible. This move created a 3 million viewer loss for The Tiffany Network. To top it off, last year on this same day, David Letterman won late night over Jay Leno. This year he didn’t.
FOX was the surprise as ‘Almost Human’ had a tremendous episode that began with anger management and ended in building a stronger relationship between the two stars. It drew 6.88 million viewers at 8P and was #3. At 9P,’Sleep Hollow’ pulled in slightly less with 6.46 million viewers and The Animal Network of Broadcast had a good night leading into what it hopes will be a series of good nights now that ‘American Idol’ begins tonight with Harry Connick Jr. But there is doubt about whether the new blood and the return of Jennifer Lopez can pull this program back up to its former dominant position.
So what is the head suit of FOX saying about his network’s performance this year? At an executive session of the Winter Press Tour in California, with Fox President Kevin Reilly, ratings, he admitted, are not where the network would like them to be. “We are flat for the season, a little flatter in some ways than I want to be,” said Reilly. “Some of our mature shows are down a little deeper than I would have hoped. So it’s been a mixed bag, but the positive side is our new shows have actually performed quite well, and I’m very, very happy about that.” But it was this salvo that has caught the press. Part of the network’s frustration is Nielsen’s antiquated measurement system. “The standard Nielsen measurement is unfortunately outdated, and it is a mere fraction of the television viewing universe,” he noted. “Here’s what we are seeing this season. VOD is up 44%. Streaming on Hulu is up 55%. These are for Fox shows. If you look at our total roll-up across all of the platforms, while we are flat in the Nielsen numbers, we would actually be up season to date by eight percent once you roll up all platforms.” He also stated that FOX would not have a pilot season. Nikki Finke tweeted ‘Doesn’t Fox’s Kevin Reilly remember what happened when Jeff Zucker cancelled NBC’s 2008 pilot season? Disaster.’ She has a real point here. One might think that he is blaming everyone else for FOX’s ‘disappointing’ season rather than to look into a mirror.
NBC was a disappointment and a surprise. At 8P-10P, ‘America Ninja Warrior: USA vs Japan’ was thought up by the suits at 30 Rock and came up with a bigger, better rock. It drew only 5.54 million viewers. Then at 10P, one of their better entries in the past few years, ‘The Blacklist’ had little to work with. Against the new programming on CBS and the powerful ‘Castle’ on ABC, ‘The Blacklist’ drew 9.35 million viewers, to bring 30 Rock to the top in this time period and #2 show on the night. Part of that may be the really bloody plots that have driven the dark side of the James Spader character. He personally committed five or six murders on Monday evening. Even by US standards of NRA, that is a bit excessive. But James Spader has created one of the great, dark complex characters in television history, as evidenced by some of the great lines of the night he delivered. ‘Janice. My sincerest apologies. I’ll take a rain check on the on the stroganoff. It smells delicious.” he stated to the woman he was talking to, through a closed closet door he had put her in, while her husband lies withering on the floor with a flesh wound made by a bullet courtesy of Spader’s character. James Spader for President of NBC. He pulled the network into third place for the evening, all by himself.
TNT’s ‘Major Crimes’ pulled in 5.4 million viewers on Monday, and finished as cable’s #1 drama over the past four weeks. It has averaged 6.7 million viewers this season in Live+7. The finale should surpass that number.
The CW did what The CW does best. At 8P, ‘Heart of Dixie’ drew 1.19 million viewers while at 9P, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ drew 710,000 viewers. Both programs will be replaced in these time slots shortly.
In late night, ‘Jay Leno’ topped the evening, thanks to Mr. Spader, and won with 2.9/8. ‘David Letterman’ with Bill Cosby as guest pulled a 2.4/6. ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ did a 2.2/6. ‘Jimmy Fallon’ an hour later did 1.6/6 while ‘Nightline’ drew a 1.4/5 and ‘Craig Ferguson’ followed with a 1.2/4. ‘Carson Daly’ another hour later at 135A, pulled in a 0.8.4.
For the record, ABC finished with 8.237 million and a 5.7 rating and 9 share of available audience. It represented a 200,000+ viewer gain for the evening vs the comparable day a year ago. CBS was #2 with 7.983 million viewers and a 5.4/8, a loss of near 3 million viewers. NBC had 6.751 million viewers and a 3.9/6 a gain of 1.2 million viewers, thanks to ‘The Blacklist’. FOX drew 6.58 million viewers and a respectable 4.5/7, representing a lost of 1.1+ million viewers. Univision had 3.1 million viewers and a 1.6/3. The CW drew 1.048 million viewers and a 0.9/1. a loss of 210,000+ viewers vs comparable day a season ago. Telemundo had and a 0.7/1 but drew 1.7 million viewers to finish ahead of The CW.
DirecTV is arguing with The Weather Channel over retrains fees and thus has pulled The Weather Channel off the air until they cave. With 20+ million viewers signed onto its pay service, DirecTV dominates the pay platform in the US due to its exclusive stranglehold over regular season NFL games. Years ago,it was suggested to COX that along with the other big cable providers they go after the NFL package. In typical fashion, the folks at that cable provider felt it was too expensive. Now, DirecTV, as it has done with nearly every retrains deal uses the threat of being kicked off the platform or accept the payment deal DirecTV demands. CBS held out until DirecTV caved. But for most of the rest of broadcast and cable networks don’t have the power of The Tiffany Network. Of course, The Weather Channel will be allowed back on the platform but it will have to bend over and accept the DirecTV terms. But in the meanwhile, there is no weather in America.
Across The Pond:
Channel 4 began the evening at 8P with ‘Dogs: Their Secret Lives’ and it was seen by 1.43 million folks (5.8%), hardly an indicator of what was going to happen next. But at 9P, it had ‘Benefits Street’ and it won the time slot with 5.10 million viewers and a solid (20.8% share of available audience) and the evening.This was an increase of over 810,000 viewers versus last week’s opening episode. At 10P, ‘Dave: Loan Ranger’ brought in 1.34 million (8.0%).
ITV began the evening with ‘A Great Welsh Adventure’ at 8P and drew 3.44 million (14.2%). But it was at 9P ITV captured the second spot on the night and presented ‘Bletchley Circle’ which pulled in 3.97 million (16.2%).
BBC One at 830P brought ‘Fake Britain’ and it was viewed by 3.13 million (12.5%) real people. At 9P, Panorama special ‘I Want My Baby Back’ grabbed the attention of 2.17 million (8.8%).
BBC Two’s ‘University Challenge’ quizzed 3.09m (12.7%) at 8pm. At 830P, ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ drew 3.71 million (14.8%). At 930P, ‘Sacred Wonders of Britain’ drew 1.53 million (7.3%).
Channel 5 at 9P had ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ but it was watched by only 1.92 million (7.8%). At 10P, ‘Baby Face Brides’ was seen by 926,000.
There was also controversy in The UK as ITV went on the offensive against BBC. According to the Hollywood Reporter in an article by Georg Szalai, U.K. commercial TV networks giant ITV has criticized the BBC, saying the public broadcaster is at times too focused on ratings and even copies hit shows of commercial rivals. In a submission last week to the British parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, as part of a probe into the future of the BBC, ITV said, “The BBC’s pursuit of audience share regardless of distinctiveness or innovation has been evident where the BBC has rushed to commission or produce almost identical programs to those by ITV.” Without providing details, it said that this “on one occasion [forced] ITV to reschedule to avoid serious commercial damage.” ITV also criticized the BBC for airing the British version of The Voice, which had stronger ratings for the third-season opener this weekend. “We can see no obvious justification for the BBC commissioning existing formats, such as The Voice, for the U.K. audience, just as the BBC has recognized that there is nothing particularly distinctive about simply acquiring U.S. content,” it said. (For the full article, go to: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/itv-criticizes-bbcs-aggressive-ratings-670454
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As you can see, no matter where you watched television on Monday, people were …