I often receive questions around the time the broadcast networks announce cancellations and renewals for next season.
Why did CBS cancel the new drama “Battle Creek”? Why is Fox ending “American Idol” after one more season? Who in the world watches CBS’ “2 Broke Girls,” the lamest sitcom on television?
OK, I can’t answer the last question. No one I know will admit to watching “Broke.”
But there are plenty of you out there, as evidenced by the recently completed local May sweeps.
I always take a look at the sweeps results to see Western New York viewing patterns. They often are in line with national viewing, but not always because our area has older demographics.
Here are some of the more noticeable things about viewing here:
The Top 10 in household viewing live and seven days afterward in May hasn’t changed much.
1. “The Big Bang Theory” 2. “NCIS” 3. “Blue Bloods” 4. “Grey’s Anatomy” 5. “NCIS: New Orleans” 6. “Blacklist” 7. “Criminal Minds” 8. “Law & Order: SVU” 9. “The Voice” 10. “Hawaii 5-0.”
Noticeably, the only new series on the list is a spinoff, “NCIS: New Orleans,” that had the benefit of following “NCIS.”
It was nice to see my favorite CBS drama, “Blue Bloods,” score so well locally on Friday night, when viewing is usually low.
“The Big Bang Theory” is the only comedy in the group.
The first seven shows on the list average double-digit ratings, which is unusually high for any TV market.
Reality thrives here
NBC’s “The Voice” is the top reality show here, followed by “Dancing With the Stars,” “Survivor,” “American Idol” and “The Amazing Race.” All finish in the Top 30 among close to 100 programs rated in Western New York.
“Idol” is the only one on the way out. It still does decently here. It most likely is being canceled after one more season because it is losing viewers in the key demographics and because the cost of producing it is so high compared to other reality shows that don’t have stars like Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and Ryan Seacrest to pay. If it was just based on household ratings, “Idol” probably would be a keeper. It is Fox’s highest-rated show here.
‘The Blacklist’ victory on Thursday is ‘Scandal’ous
Thanks to the DVR and On Demand, James Spader’s series dominated “Scandal.” Both premiered at 9 p.m. Thursday in a head-to-head matchup that is less important because of secondary viewing options. “The Blacklist” averaged an 11.2 rating, improving its live audience by 62 percent with secondary viewing. “Scandal” averaged a 6.5 rating with the help of a 41 percent boost from secondary viewing. For all the attention “Scandal” gets, ABC’s Sunday freshman series “Secrets and Lies” actually had a larger audience here and “Nashville” came pretty close to it.
The series benefiting the most from secondary viewing here besides “The Blacklist” are “Grey’s Anatomy, “Criminal Minds,” “Modern Family,” “Big Bang,” “Blue Bloods,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “Forever,” “Revenge,” “Chicago Fire,” “Secrets and Lies,” “CSI: Cyber” and “Nashville.” “Cyber” was on the bubble before CBS renewed it and decided to end “CSI” with a two-hour movie.
If Western New Yorkers have a say, “Grey’s” could go on forever. It is ABC’s top-rated program here. And now that the program has dumped Patrick Dempsey’s salary after killing off McDreamy, it just may be able to last several more seasons. Old shows are usually killed as much because of escalating costs as they are because of declining creativity.
It is tough for newcomers to find an audience
Blame the DVR and On Demand, which are good and bad for new series. On the positive side, they give viewers a second chance to watch the new shows. On the negative side, most of the shows that get the highest secondary boosts are established hits, which are watched when the new shows air live.
Besides “NCIS: New Orleans,” the highest-rated new show locally was “The Mysteries of Laura,” which almost didn’t get a second season because of lousy demographics. CBS’ “The Odd Couple” was a time slot hit. “Madam Secretary” also does well here. “Gotham” was the highest-rated Fox scripted series here, but it didn’t do as well as some of the Big Three network programs that were canceled.
Sorry, “Battle Creek” fans. It was by far the lowest-rated CBS drama here, getting a rating lower than the documentary crime series “48 Hours.”
Comedy is having a tough go here
I guess I shouldn’t be making fun of “2 Broke Girls.” It is Western New York’s second highest-rated comedy. It gets higher ratings than ABC’s “Modern Family,” which has owned the Emmys. And “Mike & Molly” and “The Odd Couple” almost get ratings as high here as “Modern Family.” I don’t find this funny.
ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and “Blackish” get low household ratings, but probably do better in demographics. Same with Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth.”
The CW’s critically acclaimed and award-winning “Jane the Virgin” gets about as many viewers here as a late-night paid program on one of the Big Three channels.
Of course, none of the CW programs do well here, which is one of the reasons that Channel 4’s 10 p.m. news on WNLO-TV now is losing a head-to-head battle with Channel 2’s 10 p.m. news on Fox’s WUTV.
Western New Yorkers won’t lament the end of “Revenge”
The ABC Sunday drama had a much lower live audience here than “Secrets and Lies.” Even with doubling its live audience with DVR and On Demand viewing, its rating was barely ahead of the CBS freshman drama “Stalker,” which also was canceled.
Critics can’t get people to watch shows they love
ABC’s “American Crime” received the support of many national critics. It apparently was too depressing for many local viewers. It was one of ABC’s lowest-rated dramas in households here, barely beating the canceled “Forever.” “Crime,” which had a very weak ending, was renewed for a second season despite its low ratings here and nationally. The top-rated ABC drama here after “Grey’s” was “Castle,” which had been on the bubble before being renewed for another season.
Letterman’s departure was special
The top-rated special of the month was the 90-minute prime time salute to David Letterman hosted by Ray Romano. But even then, it didn’t do as well as the average “2 Broke Girls” episode here.