While the 2011-12 broadcast season is just a bit over 3 weeks old (out of ~35 weeks), there certainly are some interesting trends already appearing.

CBS: The syndication machine keeps moving ahead (up 3% vs. last season among adults 18-49), but many new additions may not serve to feed the machine.

  • High points: Most of the veteran shows in general, Monday night in particular. CSI. 2 Broke Girls. CBS has to be wildly happy about how Monday night has started out this season.
  • Low points: One failure (A Gifted Man), and no clear successes among their new dramas. Early sitcom failure (How To Be A Gentleman).

FOX: Spending money, getting ratings (up 11% vs. last season), but at what cost?

  • High points: The X Factor and Terra Nova ratings are better than what they replaced. New Girl.
  • Low points: The X Factor and Terra Nova are more expensive than what they replaced. How those costs map with the ratings increases is something we can only guess about.

ABC: Not as bad as recent Fall starts, generally following the long term trend broadcast downward (down 4% vs. last season).

  • High points: Sitcoms in general, Modern Family in particular.
  • Low points: Fewer complete disasters than last Fall, but still one (Charlie’s Angels) and maybe two (Pan Am) early failures.

NBC: Still no light at the end of the tunnel (down 7% vs. last season).

  • High points: Up All Night
  • Low points: Two immediate disasters (The Playboy Club, Free Agents), The Biggest Loser running out of steam and dragging 2 hours down. Harry’s Law ratings drop.

CW: Dawn Ostroff picked a good time to bail (down 33% vs. last season).

  • High points: No rookie scripted disasters, all scripted rookies with at least a fighting chance for renewal.
  • Low points: Veteran shows hit by far more than typical annual broadcast ratings declines. Replaced an original scripted hour from last season’s schedule with an unscripted show (H8R) that crashed immediately.
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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