THE WALKING DEAD: Wow – who saw this one coming?
We all knew The Walking Dead was a monster size horror hit, but after a rocky Fall season (admittedly redeemed by a terrific end episode) and limited promotion for its February return I was expecting diminished returns for the return of the AMC zombie saga.
And yet The Walking Dead came back stronger than ever last week – roaring back to life with a terrific 8.10 million viewers and a 4.2 18-49 share. To put that in context, that’s better than EVERY show on NBC and The CW last week, barring The Voice. It’s also The Walking Dead’s best ratings to date – besting the season 2 opener which scored 7.26 million back in October. And the fact that the show aired during the second most watched Grammy Awards ever makes these figures even more impressive…
Now the question becomes – how big can The Walking Dead go… 9 million? 10 million? Who knows…!
UNDERCOVER BOSS: Friday night has long been a dead-zone for the broadcast networks but what do you know – suddenly the night is starting to show sparks of life…
THE VOICE: Watch out American Idol, you’ve got some serious competition now!
Yep, while the long running Fox music competition show continues to hit new lows in its troubled 11th season, NBC’s hot new hit came back scorching.
Obviously The Voice got a LOT of help from its plum post-Super Bowl slot, which attracted over 37 million viewers, predictably higher than last year’s Glee extravaganza. But to be honest, post Super Bowl inflated numbers don’t count for a huge amount in the long run – aside from bragging rights.
Nope, the real test for The Voice came on Monday when the 2nd season ‘officially’ debuted. And the numbers were great – 17.84 million viewers and a 6.7 18-49 share. To put that into context that’s nipping at the heels of Idol’s Thursday episode (18.13 million) and well ahead in the demo (5.8 18-49)
However, once again the question remains – how will The Voice fare in the long run – especially once its biggest novelty, The Blind Auditions, are over?
GLEE: Hmm, maybe Glee isn’t quite as damaged as many of us suspected…
After a season featuring some pretty major ratings slippage, Glee this week bounced back with its much-hyped Michael Jackson tribute episode. Tuesday night’s episode brought in 9.07 million viewers and a 3.7 18-49 share.
Okay, so that’s still well down on the show’s Season 2 average, where the show rarely dipped below 10 million a week, but after weeks of ratings stuck in the 7 million range Fox have to be breathing a slight sigh of relief.
And how does the network choose to reward Glee for its ratings renewal… why they’re putting it on hiatus after the Feb 21st episode for almost 2 months! Genius idea – especially when Glee lost almost 2 million viewers after taking a month off in March 2011. Hmm, maybe Glee isn’t quite out of the danger zone yet after all!
THE BIG BANG THEORY: Turns out CBS’s most valuable comedy franchise isn’t Two And A Half Men after all.
Yep, while the Ashton Kutcher starring series is still a terrific performer for the Eye network, it’s on Thursdays that the real magic is happening. Now in its 5th season, The Big Bang Theory this week pulled More >
A little late on the Ratings Roundup this week – have been insanely busy on the TV front recently. But here it is – better late than never!
ALCATRAZ: It was definitely a week of mixed fortunes for Fox, with American Idol returning to new lows and lots of people – including yours truly – questioning the future of TV’s top rated series.
But there was also some good news on hand as well in the form of Monday night’s Alcatraz. Produced by J.J.Abrams, the mysterious prison saga brought in 10.05 million viewers and a healthy 3.3 18-49 share. That was better than the premiere ratings of the massively hyped Terra Nova in the same time slot, even though Terra received millions of dollars more in promotion (in fact if Alcatraz continues to fare this well it could well spell the end for the low rated Spielberg dinosaur drama)
Of course as we all know you should never read too much into a show’s premiere ratings. Fox’s New Girl debuted with boffo numbers and now is a minor hit at best – so we’ll see how Alcatraz fares in week 2. Still it’s a good start for Fox. Now if only J.J. could bring More >
By now you’ve probably heard the news… for the first time ever American Idol is starting to look vulnerable.
Yep, Wednesday’s opening night ratings for the first show of the 2011 season plunged a painful 17% in total viewers (to 21.93 million) and an even more disturbing 24% in the 18-49 demo (from a 9.8 to a 7.4). And the trend continued last night – with Idol even BEATEN by CBS’s Big Bang Theory and not even reaching 18 million. Ouch!
Now first up let’s just say these are still great ratings. American Idol is now in its 11th year – and for a show that old to be scoring over 20 million viewers for its opening night is pretty darn incredible. Most shows would be thrilled to come even close to those numbers.
However, those ratings do represent a significant chink in the veteran talent show’s armor. For years American Idol grew season after season, becoming such a ratings monster that it virtually crushed its competition. Sure this week’s premiere did hurt competing shows (most notably the NBC ‘comedy’ line-up of Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea – but that’s no big feat!) – but ABC’s line up remained generally unscathed. Heck More >
ONCE UPON A TIME: Some shows crumble after a holiday hiatus – and some come back stronger than ever…
Case in point, ABC’s Once Upon A Time, which after some serious slippage towards the end of the year bounced back strong last week.
You may recall that Time launched big in October 2011 with 12.93 millions viewers but then lost viewers every single week. By mid-December the show was below the 9 million mark and ABC had to be wondering if the show was going to crater a la Pan Am.
But last week Once Upon A Time showed a serious rebound – scoring 10.35 million viewers and a strong 3.7 18-49 share. For ABC – which this week had to put the dreadful Work It out of its misery – this is definitely a happy ending. For now at least!
ROB: What do the critics know?
I had to ask myself this question Friday morning after the ratings came in for the critically slammed Rob (which I have to admit didn’t look too hot to me either!)
Despite widespread derision Rob pulled in 13.47 million viewers and a 4.1 18-49 rating – one of the strongest numbers of the week. Many commentators jumped on the ratings, proclaiming Rob More >
OPRAH’S NEXT CHAPTER: Finally some good news for OWN!
Yep, the beleaguered Oprah Winfrey Network might finally have another hit on their hands – and all it took was Oprah herself. Sunday night’s premiere of Oprah’s Next Chapter, featuring Winfrey interviewing Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, gave a big boost to OWN, pulling in 1.1 million viewers to rate as the network’s biggest show in a year (OWN’s other hit? Season 25 – the series that went behind the scenes of Oprah. Hmm, do I detect a pattern here?)
Personally I thought Next Chapter was very entertaining and proved once again why Oprah is such a strong interviewer – she certainly didn’t duck the tough questions. But I do think 2 hours is too long for the show – even I had to reach for the fast forward button by the halfway mark!
Thursday night sees the return of Jersey Shore to MTV – as Season 5 of the guido and guidettes docu-series kicks off. But am I the only person detecting a distinct lack of buzz for the former smash series this time around?
My instinct is that this season will be the year that Jersey Shore finally comes back down to earth after notching up some stellar ratings over the last couple of years.
Let’s be honest – the whole premise of Jersey Shore is kind of a yawn now. The cast look bored and are all more concerned with their outside ventures and future ‘careers’ than ‘performing’ circus style for the MTV cameras. And MTV has rattled out so many series so quickly that there’s not been time for viewers to catch their breath and miss the show. Season 4 only just finished in October and now, just two months later, season 5 arrives. Talk about overkill.
Time for another end of year Network Scorecard – and it’s the turn of NBC. Oh boy where do we start with this one!
THE VOICE: In a year in which pretty much EVERY new NBC series flopped, we should at least cheer the one new show that did do well for the Peacock network.
Many – myself included – thought The Voice would be a big old flop for NBC, but the combination of a neat twist (those swiveling chairs) and big name judges proved that American Idol doesn’t have the monopoly when it comes to music competition series. The Voice launched with almost 12 million viewers and peaked a few weeks later at over 14 million – beating the far more hyped X Factor and scoring a massive hit single for judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera. Season 2 returns in February, launching in the key post-Superbowl slot – essentially guaranteeing record audiences.
It’s time for the final Ratings Roundup of the year. So who shone – and who stunk – over the last 7 days… let’s find out!
FEAR FACTOR: Okay everyone – let’s put this into perspective shall we!
From all the internet hoopla surrounding the return of Fear Factor this week (yes, that would be you Perez Hilton), you’d have thought that NBC had struck the ratings jackpot with their resurrected reality franchise. Short answer – they didn’t. But Fear Factor did well nonetheless.
On Monday night the Joe Rogan hosted gross out series returned from its 5 year break to pull in 8.52 million viewers and a 3.5 18-49 rating. That’s NBC’s best score in the 9pm timeslot for over a year.
But now some perspective. Fear Factor went up against a repeat of House on Fox and Hart Of Dixie on The CW as well as a painfully low rated ABC game show (see below). Plus while that demo is good, the overall ratings aren’t astounding and are likely to fall in the weeks to come. A premier of 8 million isn’t that impressive when slippage is likely. Still even if Fear Factor settles at the 6-7 million mark – that will still pretty More >