With apologies to Dennis Green for the paraphrase, but when it comes to 30 Rock “they are who we thought they were!” There can’t be any surprises here. No presidential election. No Tina Fey pitch perfect Sarah Palin imitation halo to rise all Tina Fey boats. No surprises.
Though The Office was is down 7% vs. the same night one year ago (4.0 adults 18-49 vs. 4.3) the big deal is no presidential election. In fact, last year on the same Thursday night 30 Rock Didn’t air, but rather the SNL: Weekend Update. It aired after the office and pulled a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating. Thank you election! Thank you Sarah Palin! So while not great news for 30 Rock or NBC. It’s not a surprise either.
Fringe: no problem
Fringe? I’m not freaking out about Fringe. I wasn’t freaked out last week, I’m not this week and I won’t be for a while.
I don’t love the #s, but FOX was looking to improve their Fall performance, particularly Monday-Thursday and so far, FOX is making it work. They knew Fringe would get hit hard putting it on Thursdays at 9pm. But the Bones/Fringe combo is doing much better than last year. Last night FOX had a 2.4 rating with adults 18-49. That’s up 71% versus last year’s 1.4 when Hole in the Wall and Kitchen Nightmares aired, and sure that’s not much competition, but I look at the bigger improvements to FOX’s fall lineup, not just the Thursday improvements.
Do I think FOX will be satisfied with Fringe pulling a 2.2 forever? No. Maybe not forever, but for quite a while so long as the overall objectives of improving Thursday and improving Monday-Thursday are achieved.
Where else on the schedule could they put Fringe?
While I was editing this I saw Hibberd’s post about Fringe, which raises the question of whether FOX screwed up by putting Fringe on Thursdays? I don’t think FOX blundered, but it brings up the question of where they’d move it even if they wanted to move it. They really have almost nowhere to move it. Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are out (and Friday and Saturday aren’t in play – though Fringe would definitely likely improve Friday’s ratings, I don’t see the JJ Abrams show winding up on Fridays).
About the only thing they can do would be to flip-flop Fringe and Lie To Me. Fringe is a Warner Bros show though, and Lie To Me is a Fox production, so I’m guessing they want to help Lie To Me as much as they can. My guess is if you flip-flopped the shows, their ratings would more or flip-flop as well, so it would wind up a wash. I would like to see them try Fringe Monday at 9pm one night though just to see what would happen.
CSI: Not surprising perhaps, but it still must be unpleasant for CBS.
I wouldn’t exactly say I’m freaked out by CSI. I don’t think anyone can be too surprised, even CBS. We saw last year already the trend that when William Petersen left and was replaced by Laurence Fishburne that CSI took a hit. A new wardrobe for Fishburne hasn’t fixed any of the show’s ratings ails.
It’s hard to be freaked out much by something that doesn’t surprise you; but relative to Fringe and 30 Rock, especially when coupled with Survivor being down it is more freak-out worthy. Some people are even freaked out about The Mentalist. I’m not. The Mentalist bettered the performance of Eleventh Hour one year ago (3.4 vs. 3.2) and that Eleventh Hour had the benefit of a CSI that had a 5.2 adults 18-49 rating (vs. 3.6 last night) as a lead in!
Survivor: Samoa pulling a 3.5 vs. last year’s 4.2 for the Gabon installment isn’t happy either. But that’s down ~17 percent versus a nearly 31 percent drop for CSI. And right or wrong, I just can’t get freaked out about an unscripted show that pulls a 3.5 rating with adults 18-49 and isn’t named American Idol.