Thoughts on Week 1 of The 2012-2013 TV Season:

It’s kind of ridiculous to make judgments and speculate about scheduling moves after one week. Lots of people turn out for certain premieres and blunt other networks on week 1 only for things to tighten in the next week. Plus, in this DVR age, lots of things that don’t look as good during the first week, suddenly look a lot better a few weeks later when that information is released. That being said, there are a few notable things, that invite some thoughts.

  • For the first time in years, CBS had a less than spectacular (though mostly good opening, Mon night). Partners dropped a whole bunch in between HIMYM and 2 Broke Girls. I was surprised it didn’t hold a bit more of its lead. Unless things improve quickly, it’s hard to see CBS leave this here long. 2BG is too important to CBS and with a stronger 8:30, it will likely rise even higher.
  • I was also surprised to see the retention of Two And A Half Men from TBBT. We all expected it to drop some, but I don’t think anyone expected a 1.5 drop. After all, until very recently, this was the 9p Monday anchor. The whole point if this move was to help Person Of Interest, which on first week at least, it really didn’t. The premiere was under last years. It’s possible the Grey’s premiere took some wind out of PoI & maybe it will tighten this week between the 2 shows.                           
  • The positive for CBS is that they have a very easy solution to improve both nights, should things not improve in a few weeks: Move 2.5 Men to Monday at 8:30 where it will likely hold (and possibly build on) the HIMYM lead. That will majorly strengthen 2BG and the entire comedy block. I don’t expect to see comedy Friend Me until Jan at the earliest. TBBT reruns at 8:30 Thu will likely get the same 3.5 an original 2.5 Men would. Airing the rerun out of an original TBBT will make this a very strong  hour. 
  • Another CBS issue was the soft launch for Made in Jersey. 7 mil and a 1.1 wouldn’t be considered bad for most nets , but CBS isn’t most nets. Plus I’m sure like with Partners, CBS is concerned about it pulling down the numbers for Blue Bloods. It’s possible CBS might flip MiJ and CSI:NY for a few weeks, but once again, they have an easy solution. Just return Undercover Boss to the night at 8p followed by CSI. If they wait til Nov, they’ll have the reality audience all to themselves when Shark Tank moves to 9.                                                                      
  • Even with DWTS facing The Voice, I didn’t expect DWTS to be down this much and the disparity this large between them. Clearly last Spring when the 2 shows faced each other, The Voice was likely down due to 1) the blind auditions being over 2) DST having returned. I can’t remember the last time a DWTS week 2 improved on the premiere. So when you’re starting with a 2.5, ABC has to hope it doesn’t drop too much in week 2. Total viewers were down a lot as well, to under 15 million. I assume ABC will take the Mon and Tue numbers being down as long as Wed, Thu and Sun improve. Still this is the 3rd consistent down season of DWTS. The show premiered with a mid 5 in May ‘11. The last 3 seasons have started with a low 4, a mid 3 and now a mid 2. Whether The Voice has hastened this or not, I imagine ABC will start having discussions on whether to make this a one year event to extend its life or move the 2 cycles to Jan and Summer (like they did with The Bachelor, which benefited that show).
  • I honestly expected Private Practice to be down more. As is, it has continued to hold more of the DWTS lead than any recent Tue 10p ABC show. I was assuming ABC was gonna announce shortly that the 13th episode (Kate Walsh’s last ep) would also be the series last. If it continues to hold its 1.9 number (no guarantee) then I expect it to get a full season. (Believe it or not that was even higher than Hawaii 5-0s 1.8, this week, though that had stronger competition including MNF and will likely see a much bigger DVR bounce).  I still expect this to be its last season. One thing is clear, Tue at 10 is still ne of the few time slots without a big hit. I expect ABC and/or NBC to try one of their new midseason shows here this year. 
  • Revolutions 2nd week number of a 3.4 was the highest rated 10p show in the first 5 days. That is wholly impressive. It was also the highest rated week 2 for any new 10p drama in 2 years. Even more impressive,  was its 1.3 lead over the number 2 show (Castle) in the slot. I’d expect a full season renewal as early as Tuesday AM. Obviously ABC and NBC haven’t unveiled all their 10p options yet, but either way this is impressive. If Go On and The New Normal hold anywhere near their 2.7 and 2.0 this week, I ‘d expect full season renewals this week for them as well.
  • CBS intimated it last Spring, but I expect them to shortly announce this will be the last season of 2.5 Men. (I’d expect the same for CSI:NY).
  • While live TV ratings continue to be down, the NFL continues to be huge and now in addition to messing with Monday (likely claiming H5-0 as its main victim), it’s now hurting Thursday a bit earlier than it used to in November. I wouldn’t be surprised to see numbers on both of these nights pick up again in Jan when the NFL isn’t a factor anymore. For now, it’s definitely another big factor, especially for male leaning nets/shows.
  • Finally we’re getting to a point where DVR usage increases every year and making snap judgements on overnights will become less and less smart and make posts like this one even more premature.
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