“Men of a Certain Age,” starring Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula premieres Monday night on TNT.
I’ll watch it even though I have now read a number of reviews that indicate the first two episodes don’t find the show at the top of its game, but that by the fourth or fifth episode it is more entertaining.
The thing I wondered though, ever since I saw the show promoted heavily during the baseball playoffs in October is why exactly TNT went for the show. Really liked it? A chance to have Ray Romano? Hopes of having a show that is highly critically acclaimed with a chance at prestigious awards? Something else?
Because in a world focused on adults 18-49 ratings (AKA the world of television advertising), “Men of a Certain Age” is almost certain to draw in viewers of a certain age. That is viewer over the age of 50. That’s true for most shows from “Burn Notice,” to “The Closer,” to “Monk.” But those shows are based on a premise — the crime procedural – that has wide ranging appeal.
Both “Burn Notice” and “The Closer” can regular pull in 2.5 million or more adults 18-49 (around a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating), though they need six or seven million overall viewers to achieve it. The series finale of “Monk” pulled in 3.2 million adults 18-49 or a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, but needed 9.4 million viewers to achieve that. By contrast, the season two finale of FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” averaged 2.99 million adults 18-49 (2.3 rating) on only 4.29 million viewers.
Is it possible that young people who grew up on “Everybody Loves Raymond” will watch a show focusing on the lives of middle-aged men just because Ray Romano is in it? Is it possible that young “Homicide: Life on the Street” fans will tune in just because of Andre Braugher? Is it possible young science fiction aficionados will watch a show about middle-aged men just because of a deep-seated fondness for Scott Bakula? Sure, those things are possible, but seem extremely unlikely
With the typical network goals of skewing younger and having more adults 18-49 viewers, this show making it to the air at all seems unlikely. So I can only conclude TNT has other motives in mind with this show, or will have a “what the hell were we thinking?” moment.
Or I’m completely wrong and a show that focuses on the lives of middle-aged men will be a hit with younger viewers.
“Men of a Certain Age” premieres Monday night at 10pm on TNT following a new episode of “The Closer.”