Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva is one of the hardest working and most prolific reporters in the TV industry.  We’re grateful for all the information she puts out.  But, you can be hard working and still get it wrong sometimes. That’s the case with her assessment of CBS moving The Big Bang Theory in hopes of becoming the next Friends.

Its originals hover above a 5 rating in adults 18-49, but when it aired as an anchor at 9 PM recently, it dropped to a 4.6 rating. Even at that level, Big Bang would probably be the highest rated series on Thursday night but I’m sure CBS didn’t go through all this trouble to get only a marginal improvement over long-time Thursday anchor Survivor. I’m sure CBS is hoping for a big ratings bang; I’m sure it is hoping for a new Friends.

CBS won’t shed any tears if it does become the next Friends, but it won’t shed any if it doesn’t either. I too am sure that CBS didn’t go through all that trouble to get only marginal improvements on Thursdays.  But that’s not because CBS hopes for big gains on Thursdays, it’s because it can already count on huge ratings gains on Wednesday from 8pm-9pm.

Marginal improvement to Thursday could more or less cancel out a marginal loss on Mondays, but if Survivor holds up, the ratings gains at 8pm versus the mediocre Wednesday comedy block will be much more than marginal gains.  Even if Survivor only averages a 3.0 rating with adults 18-49 it will be about 50% better.  And Heroes vs. Villians hovered around a 4.0.  A 4.0 on Wednesdays at 8pm would be nearly a 100% improvement.  That’s the big ratings bang for CBS in this move.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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