I promised a slightly deeper look at the “Community” premiere ratings when Final Live+Same Day numbers came in, but I got bogged down in writing stories for a set visit embargo that lifts on Monday. Apologies for that!
I’m not sure that the numbers are all that thrilling, but click through for the nitty gritty on the fifth season premiere of “Community.” Like Nicolas Cage, they are neither good nor bad, at least not inherently.
*** First: Your bottom line Final numbers for the 8 p.m. “Community” were 3.85 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.14 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 for the 8:30 episode. That’s slightly up from the Fast National numbers overall for both episodes and up 0.1 in the key demo for the second episode. So… Whee!
*** For purposes of memory-refreshing, last year’s “Community” premiere averaged 3.88 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 on February 7 and was considered a rousing and surprising success. A year makes a big difference, of course. On that February 7, “Parks and Recreation” did a 2.0 in the key demo and 3.76 million viewers, numbers it isn’t even approaching this season. Also on that February 7, “1600 Penn” averaged 2.6 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating and was generally considered a failure.
*** I mentioned “1600 Penn” only as a baseline reminder to show how bad it looks for “The Michael J. Fox Show” to be doing 2.5 million viewers and a 0.8 key demo rating. With 2.79 million viewers, “Sean Saves The World” is doing slightly better, but its 0.8 key demo rating is the same. But you didn’t come here for “Michael J. Fox Show” and “Sean Saves The World” ratings.
*** As always, the good news with “Community” is in young male demos. Among women 18-49, “Community” did a 1.2 rating, but among men, it was a 1.4 rating. That’s not exactly huge. Among men 18-49, “Community” ranked below everything on CBS — “Big Bang Theory” did a 5.0 rating in that demo, while “Crazy Ones” and “Elementary” both did a 1.8 in that demo. But here’s an amusing statistic: Of all of the shows airing on Thursday night, which included originals on ABC, CBS and NBC, “Community” was the only show that had 18-49 demos that skewed more male than female. The asterisk that should be put there is that there was a college football bowl game on ESPN that one could have been siphoning away young male viewers. And when I say “could have been,” I mean “was,” because ESPN’s Sugar Bowl coverage averaged a 6.8 rating among men 18-49. The only other cable shows on Thursday with better male 18-49 numbers than “Community” were two episodes of “Pawn Stars” on History. I’m genuinely not sure how big an impact one should pretend that a college football game might have on a show with a fanbase as entrenched and dedicated as the one that follows “Community,” but there’s no question that if young males were watching TV on Thursday, they were mostly watching football or “Big Bang Theory.”
*** But if you go younger, the “Community” numbers look even better, relatively speaking. Among men 18-34, “Community” averaged a 1.4 rating over the hour (1.3 for the first episode, 1.5 for the second), which tied with “The Millers” for the second best numbers of the night in that demo, again behind “The Big Bang Theory,” which had a 3.3 rating there. And again, I point to cable, where the Sugar Bowl did a 5.65 rating among men 18-49 and nothing else could top the “Community” 1.4 rating.
*** I’m not sure I’ve ever looked specifically at the demo splits on “Parenthood,” but they’re perhaps more extreme than I might have guessed. Among women 18-49, “Parenthood” did a 1.7 rating (better than any Thursday programming not on CBS), while only a 0.8 rating among men 18-49 (tied with “Sean Saves The World”). The female demos for “Parenthood” also doubled or more-than-doubled the male demos in the 18-34, 25-54 and 12-34 ranges. [In the entirely irrelevant and worthless 12-17 demo, “Parenthood” did a 0.6 rating among girls and 0.1 rating among boys. I only mentioned that stupid 12-17 demo, because I have the information in front of me and because I wanted to observe that among boys 12-17, The CW’s “Reign” did a 0.0 rating.] In case you’re curious, the demo split for “Parenthood” was entirely unimpacted by the football game, at least compared to the drama’s last original airing in December.
*** There isn’t much else to say about the “Community” numbers. They were lower than last year’s premiere by a dangerous amount in the 18-49 demo, but everything on NBC’s Thursday is down from last year (or down from earlier this year) in the key demo. The big deal, as always, is how far “Community” drops next week and in the weeks to come, specifically in two weeks when “American Idol” comes in and siphons off a reasonable chunk of available young viewers. Sad as it seems, if “Community” stays with a 1.3 key demo rating, a renewal seems pretty plausible. It won’t stay there. However, NBC’s comedy slate is a disaster, as usual. So we’re back at that point where, come May, NBC will either be considering ditching comedy entirely, or else “Community” and “Parks and Rec” could be back in that hilarious position of not being NBC’s biggest problem. However, that becomes moot if this week’s 1.3 was an aberration and “Community” goes to a 1.0 or 0.9 next Thursday.
*** I believe that on last week’s video show, I claimed that nobody was going to watch ABC’s “The Assets.” I was wrong. It turns out that 3.77 million viewers watched “The Assets,” with a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. As NBC has proven, it’s very hard for 10 p.m. numbers to go much lower than that, at least in the key demo (several of NBC’s 10 p.m. dramas would have killed for that overall number). I almost hope ABC keeps “The Assets” around just to see if a 0.5 or even a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49 might be possible in February when NBC has the Olympics. There’s no reason for ABC to pull “The Assets” really. The network has been sticking with “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” most of the fall with demo numbers under a 1.0. I tried looking for bits of “Assets” solace and I think the best I could find is that among men 25-54, “The Assets” beat “The Michael J. Fox Show.” Actually, it outperformed both “The Michael J. Fox Show” and “Sean Saves the World” among viewers 12-17. So there you go!
*** “The Big Bang Theory” almost always goes up between Fast Nationals and Finals. This week, it rose to 19.2 million viewers and a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49. “The Millers,” meanwhile, shrunk a little to 11.33 million viewers and a 2.8 key demo rating. That puts “The Big Bang Theory” right in line with last year’s comparable number overall, but a chunk below in the key demo, where “Big Bang Theory” was doing in the low 6-range at this time in 2013. Nobody’s worried. On the other hand, compare what “The Millers” did on Thursday to the 15+ million viewers and 4+ key demo rating that “Two and a Half Men” did last year on the corresponding night in the same slot. Ouch. And then you had “The Crazy Ones” and “Two and a Half Men” averaging roughly 8.5 million viewers and a 2.1 key demo rating, compared to the 16+ million viewers “Person of Interest” did on the corresponding night last year. Even if “Person of Interest” is providing some growth on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. over “Vegas,” that’s still a highly questionable tradeoff. “Elementary” was also down by over 2 million viewers from the same night last year.
That’s all for me here.