CBS’ The Good Wife pulled off the ultimate shocker last night by killing off a popular lead character with absolutely no warning. But by keeping the surprise under wraps for the benefit of its regular viewers in order to achieve the emotional impact the plot twist was intended to have, the series passed on attracting a larger crowd, something ABC’s Scandal has made a business of with promos like “Don’t miss an OMG moment that will change the course of Scandal history in the last 30 seconds of next week’s episode.” Last night’s fast nationals are a little scrambled because of a 41-minute NCAA overrun on the East Coast, but Good Wife has tentatively averaged a 1.5 rating in 18-49, up 15% from last week, and 8.9 million total viewers. Good Wife‘s numbers will likely go up in the finals because the current ratings don’t include the East Coast broadcast of the final 11 minutes, which included the bombshell, and because more viewers than usual probably fired up their DVR last night prompted by the online storm of fan reaction to the stunning twist. Still, even with the modest 15% increase, the 1.5 demo number represents a two-and-a-half-month high for Good Wife. CBS’ The Amazing Race (1.8) was flat, and The Mentalist (1.2) was down 8% as it bled into late night.
NBC’s midseason Monday lineup begins to resemble the network’s troubled Thursday, with Crisis as the best performer last night at a 1.3 in 18-48. Both Crisis at 10 PM and Believe (1.2) at 9 PM dropped by double digits from their Sunday debuts last week, by 19% and 20%, respectively. They weren’t helped by NBC’s newest unscripted entry, American Dream Builders. Slotted in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s old 8 PM slot, it couldn’t recapture the ratings magic the ABC renovation series had for a number seasons, opening to a disappointing 0.9 rating last night. (more…)