[As noted a couple times, I’m going to start doing some additional ratings analysis a bit after the morning Fast National numbers come in each morning/afternoon. I’ll still be racing each morning to get the raw Fast National data up by 9-ish Pacific, but this should give the opportunity for a more nuanced reading of numbers which are, by their very nature, woefully incomplete. I’ll also try to do some Live+3 and Live+7 analysis when those numbers become available, because I’m well aware that that kind of examination has been lacking in recent years.]
There’s usually going to be much less to analyze on Fridays and so I’ll probably pick and choose when I have anything to say beyond the raw numbers.
However, for Premiere Friday, September 27, there are some notables, particularly with “The Neighbors” going low enough to allow CBS win rule the night both overall — CBS probably won’t lose a single Friday overall when the network airs originals — and in the 18-49.
The night also featured a solid premiere for FOX’s “MasterChef: Junior” and a good sampling for “The Michael J. Fox Show” in encores.
On to the bulletpoints…
*** Friday isn’t Monday. Yes, “Hawaii Five-0” kicked off its new season with a lower 18-49 rating (a 1.5) than it did in its premiere on Monday last year (a 1.9). Well duh. That’s why “Hawaii Five-0” is airing on Fridays now. What’s your point? I think it’s more interesting that the overall audience for “Hawaii Five-0” in its Friday premiere was 9.4 million, well above the just under 8 million for last year’s Monday premiere. “Hawaii Five-0” was also down among adults 25-54 with a 2.2 rating, compared to a 2.5 in its 2012 premiere. But it was WAY up among viewers 55+, with a 7.6 rating, compared to the 5.6 rating last year. So take that as you will.
*** Old people love CBS. No. This isn’t some sort of “CBS is the Geriatric Network” stereotyping. Look at “Big Bang Theory.” Look at “How I Met Your Mother.” Young people love CBS, too. CBS viewers aren’t all old people, but old people love CBS. The Friday numbers are mind-boggling. Yes, CBS won a slim victory among adults 18-49 with a 1.6 rating, edging out ABC’s 1.4 rating. However, among viewers 55-and-up? CBS averaged a 7.8 rating, more-than-doubling the 3.8 rating for NBC in the 55+ demo. “Blue Bloods” did a 9.7 rating in the 55+ demo, beating the 4.3 for “Dateline” in the 10 p.m. hour. “Hawaii Five-0” did a 7.6 rating in the 55+ demo, beating “Dateline” again. “Undercover Boss” had a 6.0 rating in the 55+ demo, beating the 3.1 averaged by ABC’s two comedies. [I bet you want some perspective: “NCIS” did a 15.4 rating among viewers 55+ on Tuesday. “Dancing with the Stars” did a 10.8 on Monday. The premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” did only a 4.3 in that demo.] Just in case you think I’m profiling, “Blue Bloods” also won its hour among adults 18-24, albeit with a 0.8 rating. “Hawaii Five-0” also did a 0.8 among adults 18-24, but lost to the 1.0 for “Shark Tank.” And “Undercover Boss” also did a 0.8 among adults 18-24 and lost to “MasterChef: Junior.”
*** “MasterChef: Junior” had Friday’s best numbers in several of the lowest-skewing demos. It did a 1.2 among adults 18-24. It also dominated among viewers under 11. Somewhat oddly, “Undercover Boss” beat “MasterChef: Junior” among male viewers 12-17, but “MasterChef: Junior” led among female viewers 12-17.
*** ABC misses “Malibu Country.” Every year, networks get four or five examples of the “Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” cliche, or perhaps the “Devil you know is better than the Devil you don’t”? Pick your cliche. The meaning is the same: Networks always cancel a show or two and then have to squirm as the replacement shows do worse. Still, it’s the way the scheduling game has to be play. You have to aim for upside, or else there’s no chance of ever improving. So ABC decided that among bubble comedies, “The Neighbors” had more upside potential than “Malibu Country,” partially because, for better or for worse, people talked about “The Neighbors” periodically. So far, though, that hasn’t equated to any ratings bump. “Neighbors” was down to just over 4.1 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating in its second airing. That’s not much below what “Malibu Country” was doing for most of its first season, but it’s below. Heck, that’s below the 1.1 key demo that “Happy Endings” did in its second Friday airing, though if we’re being honest, “Happy Endings” couldn’t get to 3 million viewers and that was a one week aberration that saw it get over the 1 in the demo. Bottom Line: “The Neighbors” isn’t doing well on Friday and probably can’t stay there for much longer, even if “Shark Tank” is completely a self-starter.
*** Speaking of “Shark Tank,” a 6 percent bump in the key demo to a 1.9 rating and an equally small bump to 6.75 million viewers is clearly nice. It’s still somewhat odd, to me at least, that “Shark Tank” was drawing 5-ish million and above a 1 during this summer in repeats. I keep thinking “Shark Tank” is on the verge of a genuine explosion, a “Scandal”-esque rise to maybe 8 or 8.5 million viewers and a key demo of comfortable above a 2, but the show seems to have found its level. That’s probably the limitations of Friday night.
*** Friday’s encores of Thursday’s “The Michael J. Fox Show” outdrew Thursday’s new episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” Overall. Not in the key demo. “Parks and Rec” still gets to keep that piece of its dignity. Huzzah. After only drawing 7.5 million viewers in its Thursday premiere, maybe an additional sampling of 4 million could offer some hope for Week 2? We’ll see.
That’s Friday. I’ll ignore Saturday. And Sunday is gonna be bananas.