Glimpse At CBS’ Fall Schedule? Network Tries Out ‘Mentalist’ On Friday & 8-10 PM Thursday Comedy Block
A possible move of The Mentalist to Fridays remains a viable possibility following CBS’ scheduling experiment last night. It didn’t quite pop, but the The Mentalist original at 9 PM (2.0/6, 11.8 million) was the most watched program of the night, eclipsing usual winner Blue Bloods (1.8/5, 11.3 million). In 18-49, The Mentalist was tied with an episode of Blue Bloods for the third highest-rated scripted telecast on Friday this season (behind another episode of Blue Bloods and the premiere of NBC’s Grimm). In total viewers, it was tied for second. Vs. its original the night before in the series’ regular Thursday 10 PM slot, The Mentalist was down 29% in the demo but that is to be expected. Since it was just a one-time thing, the Friday airing of The Mentalist was not heavily promoted, so it attracted mostly available viewers on Friday. (It will be interesting to see whether, when DVR viewing is included, last night’s episode will get closer to the show’s average as people discover an extra episode of The Mentalist on their list of recorded shows.) Also, The Mentalist‘s lead-in on Friday, Undercover Boss (2.2/7) was down 35% from its Thursday lead-in, Person of Interest. While there is a slight reason for concern as The Mentalist couldn’t hold onto its demo lead-in, all and all, it was a solid sampling for The Mentalist on Friday. CBS will leave some ratings on the table with such a move but the network also is considering expanding its Thursday comedy block to two hours which, in success, could have a big upside, and between The Mentalist and Person Of Interest for the remaining 10 PM slot on Thursday, POI has been the stronger performer in younger demos that are very valuable on Thursday.

While The Mentalist‘s move to Friday is still up in the air, Undercover Boss relocation to the night has worked great. Last night’s episode (2.2/7, 10 million) was again the top program of the night in 18-49, edging The Mentalist, up 20% from last week and posting big half-hour to half-hour gains (2.0 to 2.4). With Blue Bloods (1.8/5, 11.3 million) up a tenth in the demo from last week to close out the night for CBS, the network (2.0/6, 11 million) won Friday by a landslide in both 18-49 and total viewers. ABC (1.4/4, 4.7 million), which tied CBS in the demo last week, saw all of its series slip. Shark Tank (1.5/5) was down a tenth. Primetime What Would You Do? (1.2/4) was down 20%, while 20/20 (1.3/4) dropped 13%. NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? (1.0/3) proved how dependent it is on the featured celebrity . After jumping from to a 1.4 for the episode starring Reba McEntire last week from a 1.0 demo rating the week before, WDYTYA fell back to earth last night, dropping again to a 1.0. The steep decline impacted Grimm (1.5/4), down a tenth from last week. Dateline (1.4/4) was up a tenth and ranked as the highest-rated newsmagazine of the night.