Continuing our hour by hour coverage of the fall schedule, we move to Thursday nights at 8pm. Two freshman shows this hour, ABC's My Generation and spawn-of-Twitter, $#*! My Dad Says along with returning shows 30 Rock, Bones, Community, The Big Bang Theory and The Vampire Diaries.
Thursday Night 8pm-9pm:
|My Generation New|
|The Big Bang Theory||$#*! My Dad Says New|
At least early on, this should be one of the more closely watched hours when it comes to the ratings.
Why Move The Big Bang Theory?
If you're a graduate of the University of If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It, the move might have raised an eyebrow. While I hold a degree from that fine institution, I like the move because while Monday from 9pm-10pm was working great, and Thursdays from 8pm-9pm was working well, Wednesdays at 8pm was a busted hour for CBS.
CBS wasn't getting any traction with its second comedy block on Wednesday nights at 8pm but didn't want to give up on the second comedy block. It shipped Survivor to Wednesdays at 8pm, and moved its strongest comedy with young adults, The Big Bang Theory from Mondays at 9:30p to Thursdays at 8pm to spearhead the second comedy block.
There's no doubt Survivor will do fine on Wednesdays where it looks to fairly easily win the hour. There's also no doubt (at least for me) that The Big Bang Theory will be the highest-rated program of this hour. But people are expecting that The Big Bang Theory's ratings will take a hit, and that's a reasonable expectation. The gains on Wednesday should offset the hit to The Big Bang Theory's ratings, but the final report card has to factor in how Mike & Molly performs Mondays at 9:30 It also has to factor in how $#*! My Dad Says performs. Speaking of which...
Don't Believe What You Hear, Believe the Ratings You See
I wouldn't bet against $#*! My Dad Says. I haven't heard anything good about it, but if there's one thing I've learned it's that sort of thing isn't always a great indicator of ratings success, especially when it comes to sitcoms.
I never heard anything but praise for Better Off Ted, which was hardly watched and now canceled. On the other side, I almost never hear anything good about Two and Half Men which is one TV's most-watched and highest-rated programs both for originals on CBS and in syndication where week in, week out, it's the third most-watched program.
No outcome will surprise me with $#*! My Dad Says, I'm waiting to see the ratings.
How will the NBC comedies hold up?
Last year at 8pm, the NBC comedies (Community and Parks & Recreation) were mostly middling performers and that was when they didn't have any comedy competition. It's hard to imagine Community growing its ratings up against the Big Bang Theory and I don't see 30 Rock improving at 8:30p vs. 9:30p last year regardless of how $#*! My Dad Says performs.
NBC might be praying for 8pm Thursdays to become comedy hour with more of it spilling over to them, but I'd be surprised if they were expecting Community to perform better than last year. The question is whether it's reasonable to expect it can perform as well as last year with The Big Bang Theory as a direct competitor. I know a lot of commenters have expressed they think Community will get crushed, but I see it performing about the same as last year.
Mockumentary My Generation
I haven't watched the pilot, and even if I had my opinion of it wouldn't matter much. I think ABC's goal this hour has to be to beat NBC and that's not a gimme. I'm going to wait until there's at least one week of data (and perhaps even two or three) before forming an opinion.
My guess is Bones is hurt slightly more by the CBS comedies than it was by Survivor, but that it will hold up OK. It has been renewed for two seasons already anyway so it's not really worth fretting about the ratings. Oops! It was renewed for two seasons, but that was before last season.
Personal Bias alert: Though I've seen a few episodes of Community and The Big Bang Theory, I've seen every episode of Bones and just about every episode of 30 Rock.
Unless $#*! My Dad Says is a huge flop, CBS wins the hour, perhaps by a fairly wide margin. I predict The Big Bang Theory will do at least 4.2ish with adults 18-49. I see FOX second for the hour and NBC and ABC fighting for third place, where I give the edge to NBC.
The Vampire Diaries will be one of CW's best performers regardless of what happens. CW might see this as an hour where it has a shot to not finish last.
Next Thursday (August 26) I’ll cover Thursday from 9pm-10pm, tomorrow (Friday, August 20) I’ll cover Friday at 9pm. Within a few weeks, every hour of the schedule will be covered. You can find all the hour-by-hour coverage here.