Updated: Bad News for 'Elementary' As Super Bowl Power Outage Delays Game ~34 Minutes

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

February 3rd, 2013


Update 2: Elementary began at 11:11p ET - that's 10 minutes later than 2003's Alias which started at 11:01p and averaged the fewest viewers (17.4 million) for the post Super Bowl slot since the 1970s.  Last year The Voice begain at 10:19p.  Here are the post Super Bowl start and end times since 2003:

THE VOICE- 2/5/12 NBC 10:19 PM 11:21 PM
GLEE- 2/6/11 FOX 10:39 PM 11:45 PM
UNDERCOVER BOSS-02/07/2010 CBS 10:13 PM 11:13 PM
OFFICE 2/1-02/01/2009 NBC 10:40 PM 11:40 PM
HOUSE SP-2/3-02/03/2008 FOX 10:38 PM 11:38 PM
CRIMINAL MINDS-SUPER BOWL-02/04/2007 CBS 10:26 PM 11:27 PM
GREY'S ANATOMY-02/05/2006 ABC 10:27 PM 11:28 PM
SIMPSONS-02/06/2005 FOX 10:44 PM 11:16 PM
SURVIVOR: ALL-STARS PREM-02/01/2004 CBS 10:52 PM 11:58 PM
ALIAS SPECIAL-1/26-01/26/2003 ABC 11:01 PM 12:01 AM


CBS Sports' official statement on the power outage.


Update: The 49ers comeback fell short and despite failing at the opportunity to take the lead with less than two minutes remaining, it was a helluva ball game post power outage. Even with Elementary pushed completely out of primetime things could've been much worse for CBS.


Bad news for Elementary fans, but great news for Fan Excuse Bingo players. With the Baltimore Ravens up by a lopsided score of 28-6 with 13:22 still left in the third quarter, a power surge knocked power out in the New Orleans's Super Dome, delaying the game ~34 minutes. While in the short term, I'm not sure the power outage wasn't good news for CBS (at least for me, the freakish technical difficulties during our nation's biggest sporting event were more interesting than the game itself), it definitely has the downside for the post-Super Bowl airing of Elementary which will start ~34 minutes later as a result.

Barring a tremendous comeback from the San Francisco 49ers, it's a-worst-of-all-worlds nightmare for CBS (and 2nd half Super Bowl advertisers) -- a lopsided game, with Elementary perhaps not starting until after primetime.

  • bluejays

    Thing is though that would it have made much difference long term even if Elementary got a huge rating in the post superbowl slot? It didn’t for any other shows did it? At least not long term. Unless I’m totally wrong. I’m sure that most dramas that follow the superbowl have a boost the following week or two at best? But I might be totally wrong on that.

  • bluejays

    @DanB – I think the ‘hate’ for Elementary comes from POI fans who were p****d that Elementary got the Superbowl slot.

    It might seem like an odd move given that the show hasn’t been a big hit. But what the haters don’t seem to understand is that Elementary is doing just as well as the other ten pm shows and better than a fair few. It does about the same numbers as HFO and CSI and does way better than The Mentalist, Blue Bloods and Vegas.

    For CBS their issue isn’t any particular ten pm show – its the ten pm slot across the board. It’s pretty weak. ABC have shows like Scandal pulling high two’s and NBC have Revolution. CBS has nothing that consistently get above a 2.4 – and to say that last year they ruled that ten pm slot across the board that’s bad news.

    I think the fact they picked both HFO and Elementary to follow their post game slots says nothing in particular about those shows and everything about them wanting to build up their ten pm slot. In that light – the choice of Elementary over POI or 2BG’s makes sense.

  • CBSviewer

    I bet Elementary got 16-18 million viewers and 4.5 in the demo

  • pixielavender

    I dont understand how the delay affect elementary or advertisers? If elementary still followed after the superbowl people still tune in?

  • omabin


    Those are fair points concerning the overall colapse of the 10pm hour at NBC. But I still think Elementary is way weaker than Hawaii Five-0, CSI and quite possibly The Mentalist.

    For starters, it is a freshman, which should have some advantage of older, more tired shows. It also typically receives a lot more promotion, as the first year (or the second) are typically when dramas perform the best (of course some shows grow over time, but that is not the rule, and they certainly don’t usually get more promotion as time goes by). So the likelihood of declines is higher in Elementary’s case.

    Then there is the competition in each of the timeslots. Hawaii clearly has it the worst. While its average is roughly the same as Elementary, more than half of its episodes this season aired against the monster that is revolution at 10pm, not to mention monday night football. Elementary would almost guaranteed perform way worse in that timeslot. While CSI spot does not have any prohibitive competition, it still has to face a drama from both ABC and NBC (not to mention AHS), whereas Elementary faces only an ABC drama, with practically no competition from NBC.

    That there is the question of lead-in. Whereas Hawaii does have a sizable lead-in, typically higher than Elemetary, both POI and Elementary are procedurals and should aim at the same audience – i think they ought to be way more compatible than something like Hawaii and Mike and Molly. The argument is even stronger for something like The Mentalist or The Good Wife. CSI is probably on the same level it is with Criminal Minds though.

    If you put these three factors into perspective (age/promotion, competition and lead-in), together with the fact that they are all within the same ratings range (except for the mentalist, but it has an unarguably tougher situation), Elementary does not come out very strong. I have never watched the show, I don’t hate it or anything, just going with ratings facts here. I think that when we are making fantasy schedules and have trouble placing Elementary because “the show is not strong enough for this spot or this or this”, something is wrong. I don’t see it surviving at either Monday, Wednesday or Sunday, and it certainly won’t stay on Thursday with the valuable lead-in it has. I suppose a low-competition, anchored by the monster NCIS Tuesday is the best place for it, but it really begs the question of whether or not a new show wouldn’t be better. Just seems to be that in two years or something CBS will have to shepard it into syndication even if ratings are not good enough for it, thus taking away prime real estate from its schedule.

    (I do think the show will be renewed though)

  • Cory

    Elementary – 12.0 rating
    SB – 48.2

  • JR35

    Game ratings up slightly from last year per the metered markets; no word of halftime show as of yet (it started around 8:09 EST).

  • Petar Ivanov

    SB ratings BEST EVER! Beat NBC last years.

    As expected Elementary collapse. Not even close to the voice. More info later.

  • Petar Ivanov

    NBC from now should think how to use their super bowl in 2015. THE VOICE put them back in the game. CBS waste their chances. fox turn.

  • omabin

    I wonder what FOX will do with the slot next year. I would like them to give it to new girl as i love the show and i think it has the potential to rate way higher than it currently does. It is also sort of the obvious choice, which means I doubt FOX will do it lol. Maybe a new show?

  • SJ

    If the post-SB slot goes to the ratings loser like New Girl next year, Fox really doesn’t deserve to pull ahead of NBC…

    It will likely go to a new show or The Following, if it holds up. New Girl had its chance. It bled 66% of its audience in a little over a year. Heck, even The Middle, a second-tier ABC comedy rates better than this “flagpole” of Fox’s comedy block.

  • Petar Ivanov

    fox will try with new shows. Their shows now sucked.
    May be sitcoms or new reality.

  • Flame


    – As of tonight, CBS will be #1 in the demo.
    – Person of Interest regularly lost to Grey’s Anatomy.
    – Two and a half Men loses to American Idol.

  • Burr

    Bet everyone who thought POI should have been on after the SB are happy now… LOL

  • Lisa

    Definitely disappointing early numbers for Elementary. It’s in no danger of cancellation, though, obviously.

    IMO, CBS made a key mistake. The episode wasn’t anything special, just another ordinary installment. They should have asked for something with a big, interesting story that’s easy to promote (possibly something with Moriarty) instead of a regular old episode. I think it was one of the weaker efforts so far, unfortunately.

  • izzy

    that IS a picture from last night SB not a pic from 2011..Fisrt of all, Kaepernick#7 in red did not play in a game last year when a blackout happened against Pittsburgh when candestick stadium blew a transformer outside the stadium.and secondly, Candlestick has natural grass.. that’s artifical grass in the picture above.. you guys might know TV so stick to that.. Football apparently is not in your wheel house.

  • joanne

    why would the network put a great show like elemtary on after the super bowl whoes gonna stay up late to watch any show. network genius

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