UPDATE PM: The finals are in, and the NFL ratings inflation balloon has burst for CBS and NBC with downward adjustments of two-tenths for most shows as both networks aired football games in one market each. New CBS comedy The McCarthys shed two-tenths to a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. That is down 12% from the series premiere and a clear sign the sitcom’s days are probably numbered. Of the four freshman CBS comedies cancelled last season, only one, Bad Teacher, fell under 1.6 rating with an original lead-in. The 9:30 PM family comedy seems to dragging down 10 PM drama Elementary (1.2), which was adjusted down .2 again to match its series-low season premiere rating from last week. Mom dropped three-tenths to a 2.3, down 8% vs. its season premiere despite a stronger lead-in, and Two and a Half Men (2.1) slipped two-tenths, down 12%. Once again, Big Bang was impervious to downward adjustments, actually ticking up a tenth in the finals to a 4.3. That is up 5% from last week as viewers rediscover the hit comedy on its new (old) night.
The final ratings brought good news to departing NBC drama Parenthood, which was tied with Elementary in the fast nationals. The family saga only lost a tenth in the finals to a 1.3, in 18-49, topping the CBS drama for the first time in their 19 original-to-original face-offs to date. Also slipping just a tenth was NBC veteran The Biggest Loser (1.2). Both shows ended up ahead of last week, by 18% (Parenthood) and 9% (The Biggest Loser).
It was harsher reality for soon-to-depart NBC freshmen comedies Bad Judge and A To Z, which dropped two-tenths each to a 0.9, even with last week, and 0.8, up a tenth, respectively. Elsewhere, The Vampire Diaries again gained a tenth to match last week’s 0.8 final rating.
PREVIOUS AM: The clock seems to be ticking for CBS The McCarthys. The struggling new comedy got a temporary reprieve this morning as CBS’ fast nationals were inflated by a local NFL pre-emption in Cleveland. Even with that artificial boost, the second airing of McCarthys posted a 1.7 fast national rating in adults 18-49, even with the series’ underwhelming debut last Thursday that marked CBS’ lowest-rated in-season comedy premiere.
The question is, how low will McCarthys go in the finals? Last week, it was adjusted down two tenths. Last fall’s new Thursday comedy The Crazy Ones, which aired a substantial potions of its season at 9:30 PM, never fell below a 1.7 Live+Same Day demo rating in adults 18-49 with an original lead-in. It ended up on the chopping block in May. On the other hand, CBS has sophomore The Millers, which is doing almost as poorly as The McCarthys, most recently pulling in a 1.7 in 18-49 this Monday.
Last fall, new CBS comedy We Are Men aired twice, logging a 1.9 and 1.7 demo ratings, before being yanked from the schedule. Let’s see how quick on the trigger the network will be this year. We may find out as soon as today. Since CBS seems invested in The Millers, which it fully owns (The McCarthys is a co-production with Sony TV), if it pulls The McCarthys, the network could move The Millers back to Thursdays and summon veteran Mike & Molly from the bench to plug the Monday hole.
With the NFL ratings inflation in mind, The Big Bang Theory (4.2) was up a tenth from last week. Since the comedy normally is adjusted up in the finals thanks to DVR viewing or overruns, it is the lest susceptible to downward adjustments and didn’t get any last week while all other CBS shows went down two tenths. Mom (2.6) is currently running a tenth above last week’s season premiere, Two And A Half Men (2.3) down a tenth and Elementary (1.4) up two tenths from its record-low season premiere last week. It appears to be seriously hurting with The McCarthys as a lead-in this season. CBS is projected to win the night in total viewers, with Big Bang as the top program in 18-49 and viewers.
There were big week-to-week gains at NBC, courtesy of yet another NFL local pre-emption, this time in Cincinnati. Significant downward adjustments across the board are all but certain. The Biggest Loser (1.3) is currently running up +18% from last week, while Parenthood (1.4), counting down to its series finale, is up +27%. Part football-inflicted ratings inflation and maybe part a dead cat bounce, freshman NBC comedies Bad Judge (1.1) and A To Z (1.0) were up +27% and +43%, respectively, in their first airings since NBC announced they will be cancelled after completing their initial 13-episode runs.
ABC’s lineup delivered another solid performance, firmly establishing the network as the Thursday ratings leader in adults 18-49 post CBS Thursday football this season. Grey’s Anatomy (2.4) and Scandal (2.9) were down a tenth from their most recent originals, while How To Get Away With Murder (2.8) was up a tenth. Scandal and HTGAWM once again are on track to rank as the two highest-rated broadcast dramas of the week.
Fox’s Bones (1.3) was even week to week. Limited series Gracepoint hit the dreaded 0.7 rating in 18-49 for a new low. For a normal series, that would mean a certain and likely swift cancellation. But Gracepoint is a limited series that is six episodes into its 10-episode run, so Fox may soldier on for four more weeks.
At the CW, The Vampire Diaries (0.7) was even with its fast national last week, while Reign (0.4) was down a tenth.