Big Bang Theory-CBS

Winners and losers from the last month…

WINNERS

SCANDAL: It’s the little show that could! After an underwhelming first season last Spring that left the show on the ratings bubble, Scandal has been steadily building over the Fall – and hitting season highs.

Now in the New Year, Scandal has most definitely found its feet – hitting well over 8 million viewers and a juicy 2.8 in the 18-49 rating earlier in the month. That’s only slightly down on the show’s Grey’s Anatomy lead in – meaning Scandal has become a bona fide hit that’s able to stand on its own two feet. Heck – even the show’s REPEATS are rating well (5.57 million and a 1.7 demo is better than a lot of original network dramas are able to manage.)

Credit show creator Shonda Rhimes who knows how to fashion a true cliffhanger. Scandal’s assassination plot – and the ensuing fallout – has made Scandal a genuine water-cooler show. The show’s certainly not on the bubble any longer – and ABC’s Thursday nights are now a lot stronger (if only they could fix the 8pm slot!)

THE BIG BANG THEORY: Speaking of Thursday nights – check out the supersized ratings for The Big Bang Theory, which truly have gone through the roof in the last few weeks.

Big Bang has been a hit from day one, despite a slight ratings slip when the show first moved to Thursday night a couple of seasons back. But the show has been building momentum for months now – and earlier in January hit an all time high – a whopping 20 million viewers and a towering 6.4 18-49 share for the show’s Star Trek inspired episode.

It’s been years since we’ve seen a comedy show hitting those kind of numbers (think Friends in its heyday). And kudos to CBS who also hit the 20 million mark with long running drama, NCIS, the same week! Big Bang is now without a doubt the number one show on TV, even besting the returning American Idol, which while still a huge hit couldn’t match those kind of numbers.

Now two key questions remain – how high can The Big Bang Theory go in the weeks to come – and what will happen when Big Bang and Idol go head to head on Thursdays at 8pm?

The-Following-Fox

THE FOLLOWING: Let’s be honest, Kevin Bacon serial killer drama always looked like a likely hit for Fox – and sure enough the champagne corks are flying!

The Following launched strong this month with 10.38 million viewers and a 3.2 18-49 share. But week two was even more surprising – the show only lost a handful of ratings (10.10 million) and actually gained in the demo (a 3.3).

Sure The Following faced weaker competition in week two since the CBS comedies were in repeats – and there is a long road ahead – but no show actually IMPROVES in its second week! That just doesn’t happen these days. Plus The Following is essentially a self-starter of a show.

NBC’s Revolution may have started stronger as the number one series of the season – but the sci-fi drama owes most of its success to lead in The Voice which artificially inflates its ratings. The Following’s success is all its own – and audiences clearly like what they see.

LOSERS

REVENGE: I’ve been commenting for a while here at Remote Patrolled at how Revenge is experiencing a pretty severe sophomore slump this season and it seems I’m not the only one feeling that way…

Yep, after a decent start in the show’s Sunday at 9pm slot before the holidays, Revenge has been on a major slide this year. The last original episode pulled in just 5.75 million viewers and a 1.7 18-49 share, the show’s lowest ever rating to date. Sure that’s in part because ABC foolishly scheduled Revenge against the Golden Globes – but the Sunday night soap didn’t do all that well a week earlier either, managing just 6.17 million.

Most worrying of all is Revenge’s general downward trend this season. Back in October, Revenge was regularly pulling in well over 8 million viewers. But the show’s been losing viewers pretty much every single week since. Even a huge Revenge season 1 fan like myself is finding the confusing plotlines, excess characters and weak new cast additions a big problem this year. Come on ABC – get it together!

THE CARRIE DIARIES: I had a feeling The CW’s Sex and the City reboot was going to struggle – and sure enough I was right. For me Sex and The City without the sex, swearing and general envelope pushing was a bad idea from the start. And it seems like I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. The Carrie Diaries is a ratings disappointment, premiering with just 1.61 million viewers and a tiny 0.6 18-49 share, despite tons of hype and publicity.

But seriously, what did The CW expect? Carrie Bradshaw means very little to the average teen audience – just as the network’s Melrose Place reboot targeted an audience who simply don’t watch the CW. As I’ve said for a long time now, the CW needs to concentrate on what IS working – hunk heavy comic book style series (Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries) and move on from what clearly isn’t – girlie dramas (90210, Hart Of Dixie). Does anyone at the network actually look at their ratings patterns anymore?

TUESDAY NIGHT COMEDIES: Here’s a message to ABC, NBC and Fox. If you schedule several comedies in the same hour-long slot – guess what – half of them are going to fail. Badly!

Yep, after four months on the air the comedies in question: New Girl, Happy Endings, The New Normal, Go On and The Mindy Project are all in a pretty dire place (and Raising Hope an hour earlier isn’t doing much better either) We’ve already seen Ben and Kate and Don’t Trust The B**** In Apt 23 get cancelled… who else is heading for the chopping block?

Well to be fair New Girl is doing sort of okay… its overall ratings are horrible (4.74 million) but the demo is good (a 2.6). But Go On and The New Normal have crashed and burned now that The Voice isn’t on the air (3.95 million and 3.08 million respectively) – and both are now likely contenders for cancelation.

Meanwhile Happy Endings has had way too many chances now and is clearly not and never will be a hit – it too is a goner. And the Mindy Project (3.20 million and a 1.7) may scrape through – but only if Fox are desperate.

Crazy scheduling helped kill all these comedies.