I still see some references out of TNT to “the new hit” Men of a Certain Age. I am not making any comments on the show’s quality here as I have not seen it. I want the show to succeed if for no other reason than Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik likes it and posting about it gives him a respite from obsessing over Kate Gosselin.
But I have seen a bit of the ratings and for its first Monday without having a new episode of The Closer as a lead-in it averaged 3.123 million viewers and a .9 with adults 18-49. I think it will be more interesting to see how it’s doing in another week or so when we’ve distanced ourselves from the holidays and competition from NFL and NCAA football (that men of a certain age certainly enjoy). The episode I’m citing ran up against a high-rated Monday Night Football Game and the numbers from this past Monday (which I haven’t seen yet) ran against the Fiesta Bowl.
In the broadcast world, a show with a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating will still usually get you canceled, but a 1.9 would be a big hit for basic cable.
Not so much with a .9 though. I’d be hesitant to make any opinion on the show’s renewal prospects on cable if the show had a 1.2 rating, but at a .9 rating it looks pretty gloomy, even for the basic cable world. On the other hand, if that really justifies “hit” status with the executives at TNT who make the scheduling decisions and not just with the people writing the press releases, then Southland fans might indeed have reason for optimism.
While I wouldn’t encourage Southland fans to be optimistic about a .9 rating with adults 18-49, I would encourage them to see keep an eye on how Southland is doing compared to Men of a Certain Age and also TNT’s Leverage, which returns next week too.
We should be able to do that beginning next week, though the first seven telecasts of Southland on TNT will be the episodes that already aired on NBC last spring. If those episodes do worse than original airings of Men of a Certain Age and Leverage there probably is absolutely nothing to make of it. But if those episodes are doing as well as first-run episodes of Men of a Certain Age and Leverage, that can’t be bad news.
Update: via @TVBill: Men of a Certain Age had a slight uptick with adults 18-49 on Monday 1/4, up to a 1.0 rating, though it lost a few overall viewers (3.096 million).