It’s been another lousy start for the networks this fall, as their new shows are not only underperforming across the board, they’re getting whipped by cable competition. In the 18-49 demo, for instance, both Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story beat all new network shows except for three, while the premiere of The Walking Dead would’ve been the highest rated show in the demo on ALL of network television, new or returning shows. In fact, in the demo, two of the network’s new shows are being beaten by Dexter, which viewers have to pay $12 a month to watch.
That’s how bad it is for the networks. It’s so bad, in fact, that NBC is now the top-rated network in the coveted 18-49 demographic, not because NBC is having an outstanding season, but because the other networks are cratering. Those days when the networks highest rated shows could receive 20 or 25 million viewers are long gone, and now the networks have to recalibrate their expectations. It might be that the networks can’t beat AMC or FX across the board; it may be now that the networks have to consider keeping shows that are competitive. A 1.5 in the demo is no longer considered for immediate cancellation. This might, ultimately, prove beneficial to a show like Community, which can get a 1.7 in the demo, better than most of the new network comedies.
How are the new shows doing? Here’s a rundown, ranked by overall viewers:
1. Vegas (CBS) (11.7 million viewers, 2.0 in the demo)
2. Elementary (CBS) (10.9 million viewers, 2.3 in the demo)
3. Revolution (NBC) (8.6 million viewers, 3.3 in the demo)
4. Last Resort (ABC) (7 million viewers, 1.7 in the demo)
5. Made in Jersey (CBS) (CANCELLED) (6.78 million viewers, 0.8 in the demo)
6. Nashville (ABC) (6.7 million viewers, 2.0 in the demo)
7. Go On (NBC) (6.65 million viewers, 2.6 in the demo)
8. The Neighbors (ABC) (6.5 million viewers, 1.9 in the demo)
9. Partners (CBS) (6.1 million viewers, 2.1 in the demo)
10. Chicago Fire (NBC) (5.8 million viewers, 1.5 in the demo)
11. The New Normal (NBC) (4.86 million viewers, 2.0 in the demo)
12. 666 Park Avenue (NBC) (4.82 million viewers, 1.5 in the demo)
13. Guys with Kids (NBC) (4.19 million viewers, 1.4 in the demo)
14. Animal Practice (NBC) (CANCELLED) (3.85 million viewers, 1.1 in the demo)
15. The Mindy Project (Fox) (3.55 million viewers, 1.9 in the demo)
16. Mob Doctor (Fox) 3.36 million viewers, 0.9 in the demo)
17. Ben & Kate (Fox) (2.7 million viewers, 1.2 in the demo)
As you can see, two shows have already been canceled (Animal Practice and Made In Jersey), while several more aren’t far behind (Ben & Kate, Guys with Kids, 666 Park Avenue and Partners). Strangely, Fox is showing a lot of faith in the underperforming The Mindy Project which — despite only 3.55 million viewers — has been picked up for a full season. ]
The one certifiable hit, and the only new show so far to consistently score above a 3.0 in the demo? Revolution. GUH. I loathe that show, but I will always love you, Gus Fring.