Last night was a miserable one for the broadcast networks, which saw wall-to-wall ratings declines as 8-10 PM 18-49 TV usage slipped 5.5% from last week, probably because of the Sunday switch to daylight savings time. Naturally, the largest dropoff was in the 8 PM hour, 9%. Fox’s American Idol did not get a boost from the controversy surrounding the disqualification of finalist Jermaine Jones. Last night’s two-hour Top 12 performance show (5.3/15 in adults 18-49, 17.9 million total viewers) was down 5% from last week’s fast national demo rating. Fox still easily won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
ABC’s The Middle (2.1/7, down 19% from last original 2 weeks ago), Suburgatory (2.1/6, down 9%) and Modern Family (4.4/12, down 8%) all hit season lows. (For freshman Suburgatory, that qualifies as a series low.) Happy Endings (2.4/6) was one of only two series in positive territory last night, up 20% from last week since it followed a Modern Family repeat then vs. an original last night. But at 10 PM, the ABC News limited series Revenge For Real (1.2/3) fell 14% from last week.
CBS’ Survivor (2.9/9) was down 9% from last week while Criminal Minds was down 10% from its last original 2 weeks ago to a series low. But at 10 PM, CSI (2.7/8) went up a tenth vs. 2 weeks ago when it faced new Revenge and Law & Order: SVU. This time around, the veteran CBS procedural had the 10PM hour all to itself, with Revenge For Real low and NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams even lower. Following an SVU rerun, Rock Center (0.6/2) tumbled 40% from its time slot premiere last week to tie its series low. In total viewers, it drew a paltry 2.6 million viewers and is expected to finish behind Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor for the second time in its run. News wasn’t better for NBC in the 8-9 PM hour where Whitney (1.4/5) was down 13% from last week to tie its series low, and Are You There, Chelsea (1.0/3) was down 33% to a series low. CW’s One Tree Hill was flat, while America’s Next Top Model slipped a tenth in 18-49.