Jamie Wotton writes for Bleeding Cool
For this column, I will be ignoring the overall viewing audience and focusing on the 18-49 demographic. That's the only demo that advertisers care about, and the one that will tell us whether our favourite shows will live or die.
We all know about the terrible storm in the US, destroying homes and leaving millions without power. But did you know that to make sure Sandy didn't affect the TV season average, Monday night was called a "breakout," according to TVByTheNumbers. This means that the ratings don't mean anything after all!
The storm, however, did not affect the lovely people who tune into NBC's Monday night, with The Voice scoring 4.8 and Revolution 3.0. Over on ABC, Castle shot up to a season high 2.7 too. It turns out, Nielsen families (people who have boxes in their house that record viewing data) don't seem to be in storm-affected areas.
But that doesn't mean FOX and co. won't forever spin that for the rest of the week, with FOX's quirky comedy Tuesday line-up not doing fantastically. New Girl gained a 2.3, down from last week's 2.7, while Mindy Project lowballed a small 1.5.
The recently picked-up-for-a-back-9, Vegas, on CBS, scored a 1.7. Never a high-hitter, I can't quite work out why a network that needs/wants/loves such high ratings would pick-up the show. It's not quite the critical darling that The Good Wife is yet – I know it wants another one of those – will it become one? Is that what they want? If it is, a period cop show starring a film-star would be the way to go about it…
More than the storm, Halloween takes it's toll on Wednesday. Ever wondered why Halloween episode air weeks before the actual event? It's because nobody watches TV on the night itself. Arrow fell to a 1.0, Modern Family to a 4.2, Nashville to a 1.8, Suburgatory a 2.4. It's not a pretty sight.
Thursday is a pretty sight, for my very biased eyes. The Vampire Diaries rising to its best numbers since the season premiere, with a 1.5. But keeping Beauty And The Beast easily cancellable 0.6.
It's funny, it's not even that those numbers are terrible for The CW, although they have been recently aiming higher, it's that Vampire Diaries is such a reliable hit for the net, it needs it to be a solid lead-in. It's a show that's capable of that, it's not a Modern Family situation, but they just need a GOOD show to go there. I didn't like the script for Cult, but it would be fun if the network took that out of its upcoming Friday night spot and gave it a fighting chance.
Speaking of Fridays, Grimm continues to impress with a 1.8. Assuming there isn't going to be a drop-off after the mid-season hiatus, Grimm could easily be getting 2.0's come Spring 2013. ABC also had the premieres of its multicam comedy bloc, with Last Man Standing (1.9) and Malibu Country (2.3). I imagine it's a cheap enough hour to produce, and even if both shows notch down a few tenths, I could see them sticking around. Traditionally, Fridays are only for nerds – it's where The X-Files began, where Battlestar aired, but it seems to be becoming a bigger night overall, with the advent of DVRs.
Friday ratings are still quite bad, relatively speaking, but compared to what is happening to all the other networks throughout the week, it's becoming more apparent that people watch what they want to watch where ever it is. If your Friday programming is beating your Thursday, there's something strange going on.
On Sunday, we have the return of the FOX's Animation Domination, and it shows the strength of The Simpsons and Family Guy, and more evidence that lead-ins are unnecessary, especially for young-skewing shows. The Cleveland Show kicks off the night with a 1.9 – a not bad number, but not great, then The Simpsons comes along and shows off with a 2.6. The fantastic Bob's Burgers slowed things down again with a 1.8, before Family Guy turned up with a 2.5. It's an up-and-down night, closing off with American Dad at 1.9. There seems to be a baseline fanbase who will just watch the entire night, show-after-show, while there is another sect who will tune in for only The Simpsons and Family Guy.
And I'm a little bit happy that Simpsons beat Guy by a tenth.
ABC's primetime continues, with Once Upon A Time going up to a 3.5, while the rest of the evening consisting of Revenge (2.6) and 666 Park Avenue falling (1.4).
I'll see you all next week, with more numbers, speculation and excitement. If there's something more fun than TV ratings, I don't want to know it!