What Does 'The Mentalist' At 10pm Sunday & 'The Good Wife' At 9pm Tell Us?

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

May 16th, 2012

The typical amount of carping from fans of The Mentalist about its announced move away from the Thursday 10pm timeslot, but if you figure that CBS's two best timeslots to launch a new drama are 10pm Tuesday and 10pm Thursday, moving The Mentalist makes complete sense.

But why move it to Sunday at 10pm instead of Sunday at 9pm (an hour with more people viewing TV, and where the best rated shows of the night typically slot)?

Two possibilities:

1. CBS puts an absolute premium on making as few changes to their schedule as possible. Likely a factor, but they did make other moves (CSI:NY to 8pm) that weren't essential.

2. CBS doesn't own The Mentalist (Warner Brothers does), and they do own The Good Wife, and still haven't been able to sell it into syndication, and they're going to do everything in their power to give it the best ratings they possibly can as they try and get it sold, current ratings consequences be damned.

I think it was probably 10% reason 1 and 90% reason 2.

  • Rob R

    Cue all “The Good Wife” haters and lovers to start fighting. Yet another scheduling announcement, and “The Good Wife” continues to have a primo time slot. I think CBS is monetizing “The Good Wife” more than we think as fans of TV By the Numbers. One reader reported TGW commanding the same commercial rates in the up fronts as the much higher rated “Criminal Minds.” Advertisers will pay some premium to be associated with prestige shows like “The Good Wife.” CBS’s decision to slot “The Good Wife” on Sundays at 8 pm is telling the world that “The Good Wife” is one of their prime jewels. I also like “Revenge,” but it has been pulling 2.1s in the ratings lately, much lower than “Desperate Housewives.” I think “Revenge” will struggle and it is not compatible with “Once Upon a Time.”

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I think CBS is monetizing “The Good Wife” more than we think as fans of TV By the Numbers.”

    No they’re not. Its ad revenue is almost certainly just about exactly what we think for its 18-49 ratings level.

    “One reader reported TGW commanding the same commercial rates in the up fronts as the much higher rated “Criminal Minds.”

    Nonsense. “One reader” says something that flies completely in the face of accumulated evidence and it’s gospel?

    “Advertisers will pay some premium to be associated with prestige shows like “The Good Wife.””

    I’ve seen no credible evidence that “prestige” has anything to do with ad rates. Please provide it if you have it.

    Are there some premiums for slices of the adults 18-49 demo? Yes.

    But since TGW’s ratings this spring were just 68% of the average CBS scripted show, it would require a premium of almost 50% to reach the average $/hr for CBS scripted. No chance that’s the case.

    The show is being kept alive so CBS can sell it into syndication, where they hope their patience with its low ratings will be amply rewarded. And since they’re the experts at syndication sales, they’re probably right.

  • GDfriends

    @Rob R

    I totally agree!!!

    TGW is a jewel and does get a premium and it should get a slight bump with DH gone as both had overlapping audiences. Revenge on the other hand is just off a pretty decent season one where it was on ABC’s most successful night. Yes OUAT is a solid performer but the two are not compatible at all…ABC has a split personality on Sundays, like Dr Jekyle is AFV/OUAT and Mr Hyde is Revenge/666, the two groups don’t match or have flow.

    With that said Revenge will more than likely come in slightly higher (2.5) then settle around 2.2 demos with TGW either even or slighly below it. Also, you must consider “the sophomore slump”…they happen and Revenge may be headed to it if the writing goes south. My prediction is below

    2.0 60 Minutes
    1.7 AFV

    3.5 OUAT
    2.9 TAR

    2.3 Revenge
    2.2 TGW

    2.3 The Mentalist
    1.6 666

    In the fall ratings are higher therefore these ratings reflect it

  • Overdamoon

    [i] @Jenny
    It tells us that The Mentalist should have stop the Red John episodes this year. The red john story line had a great ending last year.
    By trying to continue the red john story line this year ruined the show for the viewers and they slowly stopped watching. CBS knew this and that is why they switched it to another night, a night were the ratings will obviously fall, but the will get more episodes for syndication.

    Sadly, I use to like The Mentalist, but this years red john episodes turned me off of it. And the last episode of the year totally turned me off. [/i]

    I’m on the flip side of the coin. It’s the Red John or Bret Stiles episodes that interest me. Other filler, procedural episodes tend to bore me.

  • marion

    CBS or TimeWarner Cable, does not offer The Good Wife or Persons of Interest on demand, so we DVR TGW. If we are home, we appreciate the fact that CBS lets us know the time delay caused by football so we can adjust accordingly. The fact is we struggled with the subpar story lines of TGW, not the time factor. We did not watch the first season of TGW live, we caught up right before the second season, on demand. We hope, over the summer break, the showrunners, writers and producers, dig deep and try to get TGW back on track, with better story lines and for God’s sake, let Alicia have one good day, in her personal life.

  • SarahL

    @Bill Gorman

    The show is being kept alive so CBS can sell it into syndication, where they hope their patience with its low ratings will be amply rewarded. And since they’re the experts at syndication sales, they’re probably right.

    The Good Wife does not strike me as the kind of show that will do in syndication. Are there serials that do well in syndication? Most of the shows that are doing well now are procedurals like Law and Orders and NCIS and comedies like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Friends. These are all stand alone shows. You don’t miss out on following a storyline if you miss one or two episodes.

  • Debsafan

    I can see why CBS can’t sale The Good Wife, I don’t watch it and it’s free. It’s so boring I don’t see how anyone can stand to watch it. Next season it’s going up against Revenge Revenge is one of the best shows on TV. So with any luck the Good Wife will be put out of our misery. The Mentalist isn’t as good as it use to be.They should have ended the Red John story line a long time ago. It’s going up against a new show called 666 Park Ave. That sounds like it might be good. Time will tell.

  • Terry

    I wished that CSI:Miami hadn’t been canceled because I enjoyed it. Why or Why do they televise shows like the Kardasians, reality shows, stupid live talk, talk, talk shows and then cancel good quality dramas like CSI:M? I agree with Bjm about recording on the weekends but I solved my problem with it. since the football games are on, I record “The Good Wife” (which is usually 15-20 minutes late coming on) and then I just record the program right after it even if it’s news. Once I see the show and the last 20 are cut off, I have to play the next show I recorded and then once I see the first 20 min. I delete the rest of that show. I also enjoyed the show “Unforgettable” and “The Gifted Man”. I don’t know why they would cancel those two shows and still keep junk like Snooky’s show and Bev. Hills Housewives. Makes no sense. And don’t get me started on Howard Stern as the new judge on AGT. I have enjoyed the show for years and then they do that. If I hear him say one more time “My show” instead of the show, I’ll upchuck. He holds his arms out and flaps his fingers to get the audience to cheer. He’s disgusting and I guess I’ll lose another show now.

  • LJ

    It tells me that Sunday is the new Friday, at least where CBS is concerned. They’ve proven that while Fridays lack big showy demo numbers, they can still draw steady audiences and they can make money off the evening. With the way football is, Sunday at 10 is a sinkhole. 9 isn’t great either but at least the show gets run before midnight.

  • jt

    The Good Wife will kill The Mentalist. So sad

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “It tells me that Sunday is the new Friday, at least where CBS is concerned.”

    I think Sunday’s been the new Friday for CBS for at least 2 years, if by “the new Friday” we mean a warehouse for scripted shows in or awaiting syndication or certainly not a place to put scripted shows they expect strong ratings from.

  • Troutman

    Damn you good wife with your craptastic ratings and coma inducing storylines….you killed my show.

    Last year for The Mentalist I guess.

  • John A

    The mentalist will be ok. That Sunday at 10pm isa bad slot and CBS wont expect big numbers. If it got 2.3 on average it be fine.

  • used to love mentalist

    I loveD**** the mentalist. they used to have much more with the supporting characters, from lisbon, to cho and the entire team. also patrick jane went from going slightly nuts, to just being…..different, and not in the good and funny way that made me love the show.

    sadly I feel the red john thing has taken away from what they do with everyone else, at this point if the red john reveal is anyone outside of lisbon, the red head(who I think is actually red john’s top go to person) grigsby, cho. because if its just that older guy the psychic who pops up every now and then, that will be totally anticlimatic.

  • Kate

    I really hope a lot of people can still watch the mentalist with a different time
    change. I know it won’t be easy with ball season but I hope you can work it out.
    I hope a lot of people can record it on there DVR box.

  • Gregg

    The other possible reason is that, since The Mentalist is an episodic show, fans can stand missing an episode or two and not feel like they’ve lost the thread of the show. That will be important in the fall when the show will typically get bumped to 10:30 or 10:45 starting times.

    TGW, on the other hand, relies on keeping viewers watching each and every week. There’s a danger of losing viewers permanently if it starts too late in the evening.

  • Jim Kosmicki

    As I like to remind people, “Shark” was a pretty solid hit until it was moved to the football messed up CBS Sunday night schedule. “Murder She Wrote” shows that CBS at least had a mystery audience on Sunday – they just don’t also watch football apparently.

    “Awake” and “Private Practice” meant that we’ve not been watching “the Mentalist” for a while – now that “Scandal” is on ABC, we’ve not felt compelled to go back to Patrick Jane. Give a lot of people a reason to jump ship and it could be done.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @J. Abel: You’ve made some good points but, STOP YELLING!

  • Sandy

    The Mentalist should be good tomorrow night, Jane has really gone down hill.
    He is now working for Red John. and he also shoots someone.
    I hope he he can get his job back and things will work out for him next season.

  • David Brown

    “TGW is a jewel. I cannot believe that quote (Shows like ‘NCIS” that was number ONE in the ratings, plus a monster hit in syndication are crown jewels, not this one) This show is the CBS version of “Chuck”, you have a few die hard viewers and a company dying to get it to syndication to offset their losses. If years ago, CBS realized what this show was, it never would have been green lit in the first place.

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