Some people are beating up on NCIS in the comments for last night's overnight report. It's not surprising. Some people just can't stand a winner!
You have the crowd of 500,000 people in the United States who watched Torchwood: Children of Earth who always cry like little girls when some big procedural rakes in the ratings.
Truth be told I was one of the 500K who enjoyed (quite a bit, too) Torchwood: Children of Earth, but I'm also a huge NCIS fan now, and I don't cry about TV shows performing well, even when they are shows I don't watch.
I expected NCIS to premiere well this season, but it premiered much better than I thought.
We also saw the obligatory comments about how most of the people watching NCIS were hooked up to life support. I do think it's fair to assume that between 8p-9pm that more people who are hooked up to life support and were watching TV were watching NCIS than any other show. But...
NCIS won with the youth last night
But NCIS' win with the youth seems to be the case for most of the demos we see. Last night, for the hour NCIS won the overall 18-49 ratings grab and was #1 with both women and men 18-49 for the hour. It also won the hour with adults 18-34, people 12-34 and teens (it won outright with teens overall, and with female teenagers, it tied with the male teenagers with Hell's Kitchen).
I find the demo ratings interesting because one of the reasons that CBS launched NCIS: LA was to attract younger viewers (by hiring main characters who were younger than NCIS' characters).
But at least last night, the original bested the "youthful" version with younger viewers, and the teenagers actually tuned out of NCIS: LA in the second half hour a little bit (1.6 vs. 1.3).
Role of USA Network airings
Another reason I am interested in the NCIS story is to understand what role, if any, the heavy rotation of episodes of NCIS on USA Network on cable has played in NCIS' momentum. NCIS consistently pulls very good numbers (for cable) on USA. The role it played for me is that I went from not watching NCIS at all to practically seeing every episode of NCIS that has aired, and I now try to catch new episodes on CBS the same night they air, in my case, on DVR.
If I'm not the only one then it seems at least for now, it's is win-win for CBS and USA. USA gets good numbers and a lot of hours filled up, and CBS gets more people hooked in watching the original episodes on CBS.