Jamie Wotton writes for Bleeding Cool.
With a couple of season-lows, a bad premiere, The President saying things and a holiday, I think it's likely the networks would rather write this week off altogether.
I don't want to though. Let's get to it.
Shooting down from 2.9 to 2.3, The Following fell to alarming levels on Monday. A 2.3 for a water-cooler serial like this would be panic-inducing under normal circumstances, but this is one disaster of a live week. People will realise an episode aired and they will catch up on DVR for next week.
Also dropping almost an entire ratings point: the entire CBS lineup. With typical heavyhitters like How I Met Your Mother falling from a 4.0 to 3.2. Still big number, and won't have any trouble bouncing back.
The rating inconsistency of many big shows, such as 2 Broke Girls (3.5) and Mike & Molly (2.9) is curious and telling in that it highlights how a large majority of television watchers are completely indifferent to the content they are watching. The Big Bang Theory, with its gloriﬁed old-timey hit ratings, seems to be the only show on broadcast that keeps a semblance of steadiness.
It's shocking how different ratings rise-and-fall on on these types of shows, especially compared to tiny, fan darlings like Fringe and Chuck – which showed incredibly consistent numbers for well over two years.
I imagine looking back at the Nielsen ratings in the 70s and 80s you could see as much as ﬁve or even ten whole rating points being dropped inexplicably one week and the show then rebounding the next.
Anyway, with the State Of The Union address airing on Tuesday night, nobody bothered to program anything original. Coming off a Betty White rerun, NBC won the programming hour with 1.6.
Wednesday was bit of a mess, too. If the recently renewed Arrow rising up to a 1.1 was the biggest deal of the night, you might as well pack your bags and go home. While Modern Family saw stronger numbers at 3.8, The Middle saw a season low at 1.9. Nashville did a 1.8… which I guess is all right for ABC dramas now?
American Idol had its lowest Wednesday number since 2002 at a 4.3 and CBS's Survivor scored its lowest premiere ever at 2.4.
That's not quite the manic insanity of what we saw on Thursday though. Remember last week, when Community returned without Dan Harmon to above-average ratings? It seems like most of the audience didn't remember either, leading Community to pull in a series-low 1.1. Crazy, and very, very Community.
The knock on effect of this sadly saw Parks And Recreation down ﬁve points to a 1.5.
The premiere of Zero Hour, from Paul Scheuring of Prison Break fame, garnered NBC numbers on ABC at a 1.3. It wasn't a Do No Harm-style disaster but it is not far off. And obviously, it won't be around for long.
On Friday, Touch came back for a second episode even lower than the ﬁrst. I do not understand what FOX's hopes were for this, but they can't have been surprised. The episode scored a 0.7.
In slightly worrying, but considering the week, not super worrying news, Once Upon A Time went up on Sunday, but only slightly, hitting a 2.3. To survive, Once will need to be on the top end of the 2 point, because it's a show with a price tag.
Meanwhile, Revenge went up from its series-low to a much more normalised rating at 1.8.
That was last week. Let's hope next week brings some positivity as well as all this crazy disaster.