Tuesday Night 2009-10: CBS's Double NCIS Gain; ABC's Pain

Categories: Broadcast TV,Fall 2009 TV Schedule,Featured

Written By

March 29th, 2010

Tuesday was all about seeing double. CBS's doubling up on NCIS paid big dividends, as the original increased its ratings, while the NCIS:LA had a very good start, and The Good Wife was good enough to return.

Fox's So You Think You Can Dance didn't do nearly as well as it had in the summer, but it did a lot better than Fox had the previous season on Tuesdays. Fox did somewhat worse than I expected.

Amid the carnage that was NBC's Fall, The Biggest Loser ratings increased, and even made The Jay Leno Show competitive on Tuesdays. NBC did better than I expected.

The largely unwritten story of Tuesdays this season has to be ABC's struggles in the Fall, and except for an hour of Lost, the struggling continues so far in the spring. Shark Tank was weak vs. fall competition, Dancing with the Stars Results show slumped, and its replacements Better Off Ted and Scrubs were comically low rated. the forgotten at 10pm failed almost immediately.

And while the CW isn't after adults 18-49, It's Tuesday fell hard. 90210's ratings fell in all demo categories, and I guessed that Melrose Place had to do better than last season's Privileged. Sadly for the CW, I was wrong.

My original post from 9/6/09 is below with new additions in red:

NOTE: The season-to-date averages below are only through March 21, and are Live+SD ratings averages compiled by Nielsen including both new and repeat episodes.

Since the CW starts its new show premieres tomorrow, it's time to look at the the battles that loom on the night for the 2009-10 fall broadcast season. Below are the hourly lineups, including each shows 18-49 demo rating average from the 2008-9 season.

8:00 (NCIS' rise was one of the success stories of the season, but Biggest Loser was up as much in the Fall)

Shark Tank (ABC), 1.7 adults 18-49 demo  rating for summer 2009 through 8/30. (finished its run with a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating average)

NCIS (CBS),  3.4 demo rating (3.8 rating to date this season)

90210 (CW), 1.1 demo rating (0.7 rating to date this season)

So You Think You Can Dance (8-10p) (Fox), ~3.5 demo rating for Wed. & Thu. summer 2009 through 8/30 (2.4 rating average this season)

Biggest Loser (8-10p) (NBC), 3.3 demo rating (3.7 rating Fall, 3.5 rating Spring to date)

9:00 (DWTS results falls, its replacements fail, NCIS:LA has a good start, SYTYCD wilts in the Fall)

Dancing with the Stars (ABC), 3.8 demo rating (3.3 rating to date this season)

After Dancing finishes: Scrubs (ABC) 1.9 demo, Better Off Ted (ABC), 1.8 rating (Scrubs 1.5, Better Off Ted 1.1 rating to date this season)

NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) New (3.3 rating to date this season)

Melrose Place (CW) New (0.5 rating to date this season)

So You Think You Can Dance (8-10p) (Fox), ~3.5 demo rating for Wed. & Thu. summer 2009 through 8/30 (2.4 rating to date this season)

Biggest Loser (8-10p) (NBC), 3.3 demo rating (3.7 rating Fall, 3.5 rating Spring to date)

10:00 (the forgotten fails, Good Wife is good enough, Leno's best night)

The Forgotten (ABC), New (1.7 rating to date this season)

The Good Wife (CBS), New (2.5 rating to date this season)

The Jay Leno Show (NBC), New, Fall 2009 Tonight Show averaged about a 1.4-1.5 demo rating (1.9 average rating on Tuesday)

My Guess

I think Tuesday's night average nightly demo race is going to be very competitive. I like CBS to win if The Good Wife doesn't completely implode. They'll have a strong 8pm hour, if 9pm isn't strong I'd be shocked and one unknown hour. At the beginning of the season it's easy to see NBC in second place with the early Jay Leno Show tune in. After things settle down, I think NBC's average could drift down near Fox's 2 hours of So You Think You Can Dance.

With a weak hour to start the night, a new show at 10pm, and ratings weakness (Scrubs, Ted) at 9pm following Dancing with the Stars, I can't see ABC finishing better than 4th for the night. Of course the CW's going to be a distant fifth, but I'd guess that Melrose Place does better than Privileged did in the same slot initially, so the CW will see an uptick for the night to start the season.

Note: I make all my guesses completely unburdened by having read any reviews of any of the new shows, having seen any of the pilots, or knowing any more than the most casual details of their subject matter. Does that make mine better or worse than the typical TV writer which focuses almost solely on those? Your mileage may vary.

Fox caveat: Regardless of their other shows outcome of the major league baseball playoffs can make or break Fox's fall averages. If they get long series with good matchups their overall averages benefit tremendously. If they get short series with bad matchups, they'll suffer.

 
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