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.

  • Amber

    were can I find a full fall Schedule of all the networks?

  • MB

    I think “The Mentalist” will be fine on Sunday. What does it pull on Thursday? Somewhere between 2.0 and 2.5? I think it can do that on Sunday.

  • Networkman

    As far as demos are concerned

    8pm Once Upon A Time 3.4
    The Amazing Race 2.6

    9pm Revenge 2.8
    Good Wife 2.0

    10pm 666 Park Avenue 2.5
    The Mentalist 2.3

  • Unfrustrated

    Sure you can DVR Sunday Nights. I too was frustrated until I realized I could program the DVR to run extra time. Useful for live shows. I didn’t like that because it was all one long show. Now I just program the next hour or hour and a half of shows then if the shows finish on time I know because the news starts right away and I just delete the extras I don’t want. That way I free up space on the DVR without having to watch the shows first. Either way works, but the second is better if you are low on DVR space. Works for all sports shows not just Sunday football.

  • Richard

    I never have understood CBS’ fascination with The Good Wife. I love the 2 actors but the show is so boring.

    Other shows getting the same ratings weren’t even given the chances that the show has. And they even had syndication deals.

    Not getting a syndication deal to me couldn’t happen to any better show. Which it doesn’t matter to me except for the fact that if it does get a syndication deal it will probably replace some show that I do enjoy.

    I’ll just stick with watching The Mentalist on TNT. Sure I won’t be seeing the new eppys for awhile but I am not going to interrupt my Sunday schedule which is already full with The Client List, Mad Men, The Killing, etc. and the rest of the great cable fare on Sunday nights.

  • DGB

    CBS should return to airing movies on Sunday night. Because of football and golf over-runs so often, I never watch anything on CBS on Sunday night because you can’t plan on a time. I used to watch The Good Wife weekly when it aired on Tuesday, but once it moved to Sunday, I’ve never watched it since. Sunday also killed another favorite of mine, CSI:Miami. In my opinion, airing a show on CBS Sunday night is now a death-knoll, and that is a shame, because at one time CBS owned Sunday nights. Can we remember Lassie, Ed Sullivan, My Favorite Martian, and Mission:Impossible?

  • lisa

    I hate cbs!!there’s no chance of sixth season.We’ll probably get shortened 5th season.This is the worst time slot they could think of! they should at least move it on 9PM.The good wife is crap anyway and all the new shows look also that way(No offence just my opinion)

  • Ryan

    I can’t believe people complain that they can’t watch The Mentalist because football overrun messes up their DVR. Simply record the news, and then you will be able to see the full episode. It’s not rocket science. I’ve been doing it for years.

  • Jenny

    CBS moving The Mentalist to 10pm Sunday, following ‘The Good Wife’ at 9pm, insures The Mentalist will be canceled.
    The only question is: will The Mentalist be canceled mid-season, or will CBS let it slowly die with dropping ratings for the full year?

    1. The Mentalist is going up against NBC ratings powerhouse NBC NFL Sunday Night Football, which alone will destroy The Mentalist ratings.
    2. CBS has NFL football games in the morning and afternoon on Sundays. That causes program delays in the evening on CBS, so viewers never know when their show starts. This will hurt the ratings.
    3. The Mentalist will be following ‘The Good Wife’ , a show with low and falling ratings, not a good lead in for The Mentalist. This will hurt the ratings.
    4. There is not a lot of overlap between the viewers of The Mentalist and ‘The Good Wife’. This will hurt the ratings.
    5. The Mentalist ratings have been dropping all year, this trend would have continued next year regardless of the time slot, but the move to a Sunday night slot will accelerate the dropping ratings.
    6. CBS has NFL football games in the morning and afternoon on Sunday. That causes program delays in the evening shows on CBS, so viewers never know when their show starts. This causes people a lot of trouble in trying to record the show. If they can’t easily record it, the will give up watching it all together. This will hurt the ratings.

    CBS moving The Mentalist to 10pm Sunday, following ‘The Good Wife’ at 9pm, insures The Mentalist will be canceled.
    The only question is: will The Mentalist be canceled mid-season, or will CBS let it slowly die with dropping ratings for the full year?

    CBS moving The Mentalist will insure The Cancelation Bear on tvbythenumbers will be fed next year

  • Barbarossa

    I’m sorry when was the last time the Mentalist won ior was even nominated for an Emmy? … Oh right. ;)

  • Barbarossa

    Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the Mentalist too, but if you look at the Darama nominees both for acting and show sin general. They are a vast majority from HBO, AMC and other prememium channels, plus TGW. THAT is why CBS has this “Obession” with the show y’all are wondering about

  • Heradite

    ““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.”

    I’m not going to state that the Good Wife makes more ad money than “Criminal Minds” (that is false, otherwise Fringe would be a money landmine for FOX) but prestige has historically had a lot to do with advertisers. Back when TV began, the networks/production companies weren’t making TV shows. It was the advertising companies. While they did produce some populist dreck, advertisers created low-rated prestige programs in an attempt to appear as if they were serving the public interest. The networks had to get advertisers out of making programs simply because their shows were hurting their overall standing in the ratings (that and the quiz show scandal).

    There’s been shows with low-than-average ratings, like Boston Legal, who have been renewed for a season or two by advertisers wanting to support a prestige show generally because of the demographic who tends to watch them: educated upper middle-class Caucasian families.

    The Good Wife may be getting bad ratings for CBS, but they aren’t losing money by airing it. Is it making more money than their other programs? Definably not, even without their syndication deals. But there is historical evidence to indicate that advertisers like to pay for “prestige” programs-usually not as much as they like to pay for populist programs, but still.

  • bluejays

    If the ad rates we get to see are even remotely in the ball park (I don’t call them accurate as they are guesses but lets say they are near-ish) then there is actually very little difference in rates between most of the CBS dramas.

    The Good Wife gets similar to NCIS LA to HFO to CSI etc. Which means then that other things come into play and for CBS that means syndication economics.

    They bang on enough about it themselves for us to know it matters a lot to them. The shows that they get good money for (NCIS LA and HFO being the two most lucrative) and that they own, are major money spinners for them. To the degree that analysts predict a bump in the company profitability once the NCIS LA and HFO deals come online. That’s a pretty major money spinner from just two shows. Now add in to that The Good Wife and Blue Bloods, even more money in the bank for them. IF they can sell them. This is about trying to sell TGW.

    The Mentalist doesn’t make CBS money on its syndication. I honestly think this move is that simple.

  • Richard

    I just love the argument that the fans always throw up about the shows Emmy nominations or wins. Who cares? It doesn’t take much to get an Emmy nomination if you know how to play the Emmy political game. Look at the people and shows through the years that have managed to get one and made people laugh.

    And look at how many deserving shows and performers never got one or never won one.

    Who cares how many Emmy’s The Good Wife wins or gets nominated for. In the end the show still sucks big time and has only a niche audience. Those Emmys sure have not transferred into the show being a rating success.

    It’s just like Hill Street Blues — its Emmys never translated to Emmy success either and it ended up getting cancelled even when it was still getting nominations. At least Hill Street Blues was interesting.

    The Good Wife is boring with a capital B


  • Misty


    I don’t understand why you keep finding fault and cutting the mentalist to pieces
    the way you are doing. Do you really hate Simon Baker that much or it is the other cast members you don’t like.
    I really wish you wouldn’t do it any more.
    Simon Baker is a good actor. and he is The Mentalist and he’s very good at it.
    If he was bad at it they wood not have given him 30 million for doing the show.

  • Lily

    somebody told me today that there are not that many games on Sunday like they
    use to. Most of the games are on Monday nights. I don’t know if that’s true or not. If a game goes overtime, can’t you set the DVR box to record the shows that come on after the show you want to watch. maybe then you might be able to watch
    your show.
    I hope i’m making sense.

  • Tom

    The problem with Sunday at 10 pm is that CBS likes to show sporting events earlier in the evening that typically run 20-30 minutes over. This means that GOOD WIFE doesn’t start until 9:30 or so, and based on the timing confusion, who knows when MENTLIST will start?

    This issue killed CSI: MIAMI, in my opinion, because I could hardly ever find it, even though I tuned in most Sundays, like the show alot, and would love to have seen each and every episode. But many people get up for work on Monday mornings, and if there is consistent confusion about when MENTALIST will be starting, many fans may hang it up and hit the sack, thus sending MENTALIST into a ratings tailspin.

    If this happens to MENTALIST, we’ll all be the poorer. To me, the change suggests that CBS is not going to be supporting the show, no matter how good it is and no matter how many fans it has. Again, the search for novelty at any cost will lead these clueless execs to sabotage a quality show they already have in their lineup.

  • Lisa

    Unfortunately I do not have DVR. I don’t even have cable due to a strict budget. I love the Mentalist but it is going to become extremely difficult to watch next year. I can’t sit around all night waiting for it to start because of a late running football game.

    So, DVR isn’t an answer for everyone.

    I am disappointed.

  • cmaglaughlin

    Person of Interest has simply blown me away. I’m an adult and I’m sitting there in my recliner so caught up and riveted to what’s happening that sometimes fantasy meets reality and I have to go change my Depends. The show simply rocks. The Mentalist will always be like my best friend, but doesn’t rearrange my brain cells or set my entire being on the edge of my sanity like it used to or like Person of Interest.

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