castle-abc

 

Winners and Losers From The Last 7 Days

WINNERS

CASTLE: We haven’t written about ABC’s Monday night crime series for a while now, but under the radar the show’s been steadily building up quite a following and some very nice ratings.

This week’s episode pulled in 12.60 million viewers and a 3.1 18-49 share – one of the highest broadcast ratings off the week. Sure Castle inherits a hefty audience from Dancing With The Stars (20.74 million, 4.2 18-49 share) but many shows benefit from a big lead in and squander the opportunity – just look at how badly many post-Idol shows fare (Breaking In looks like the latest casualty barring a last minute reprieve).

Plus Castle is thrashing the pants off its Monday night competition – the much hyped, but underperforming Hawaii Five-0 (9.44 million / 2.3) and now cancelled Law And Order: LA (5.05 million / 1.2). Does star Nathan Fillion finally have a hit on his hands!

EXTREME COUPONING: The good news keeps on coming for TLC, a network that’s really on the roll at the moment.

New hit Extreme Couponing is staying strong – even though it’s essentially the same show every week – and on Wednesday the bargain hunting show managed 1.73 million viewers and a 0.8 18-49 share. I do question how long the show can sustain these kind of numbers but with Next Great Baker, Say Yes To The Dress, Cake Boss, Strange Sex, My Secret Addiction and Sister Wives also doing great business the TLC brand is healthier than ever.

GAME OF THRONES: I’ll be giving my take on HBO’s fantasy drama very soon, but in terms of audience response the show is already a clear favorite. This week’s episode pulled in 2.45 million viewers and a 1.1 18-49 share. That’s up fractionally on last week and 200,000 on the show’s premiere a few weeks ago. Sure Game of Thrones is no True Blood – but it’s performing along the lines of Boardwalk Empire and is already a critical favorite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the show hitting the 3 million mark by the end of Season 1.

LOSERS

The Voice: Okay, first things first! With 10.45 million viewers and a 4.7 18-49 share NBC’s new music competition series is still one of the top 5 shows of the week and a huge hit for the struggling network.

However this week The Voice lost 2 million viewers and a full percentage point in the key demo. In part that was due to the show’s later start time (10pm versus 9pm) but I think there’s something else at work here.

As you probably know I got myself into a right old mess predicting how The Voice would fare in the ratings. However one of the points I made in my initial posting was that The Voice was a gimmicky series that hinged on the show’s ‘blind’ audition rounds. I wondered how the show would fare once that initial gimmick was over and the show became a more conventional, American Idol style series. And it looks like I may have been right…

The question now of course is how The Voice will fare in coming weeks. There are several more ‘battle rounds’ to come and the show’s timeslot won’t change for a few more weeks. Can The Voice stay above a 4.0 in the demo or will we see more ratings erosion in the weeks to come… hmmm?

Glee: Has Glee passed its peak? I’m starting to wonder if Fox’s high school musical has enjoyed its moment in the sun given how its been performing in recent weeks. Whereas the show used to confidently rate in the 11-12 million range, for the last 4 weeks Glee has failed to hit the 10 million mark, even scoring under 9 million on a couple of occasions recently.

Sure this week’s show did a bit better, hitting 9.29 million (a 3.7 18-49 share) but given that recent weeks have included some heavily hyped episodes – the return of Gwyneth Paltrow, a 90 minute Lady Gaga special and this week’s Prom night episode – I’m surprised by the slump.

Then again, considering that Glee’s quality control is erratic at best and one of the show’s key characters – Sue Sylvester – has devolved into a pure cartoon, maybe it’s not such a shocker after all?

PREGNANT IN HEELS: Finally a bit of bad news for Bravo, whose new ‘rich people living fabulous lives’ series, Pregnant In Heels is definitely underperforming. Tuesday’s show scored just 461,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 share, way down on the network average. With the failure of Heels and the Housewives franchise staring to feel stale I think Bravo might be heading for a Vh1 style fall fairly soon unless it starts to evolve as a network. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on this one…