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October 31, 2014

Was the post Super Bowl Criminal Minds a mistake?

by Brett Love, posted Feb 6th 2007 2:21PM
Mandy Patinkin - Criminal MindsThe numbers are in and Super Bowl XLI was huge. Coming in at 93.1 million viewers, it was the third most watched program in history, and the second most watched Super Bowl. Having the lead-in to end all lead-ins also helped Criminal Minds put up the best numbers ever for the series. The special episode following the game averaged 26.2 million viewers.

Is that a disappointment? Last year, the post Super Bowl episode of Grey's Anatomy drew a considerably larger 38.1 million viewers. We can chalk part of that difference up to the fact that Grey's was more of a hit show going in, but I think more of it has to do with the subject matter.

Criminal Minds is never a touchy-feely, happy bunnies on clouds kind of show, but the post Super Bowl episode was dark even by their standards. Come on, Dawson chaining up a woman and setting the dogs loose on her? That's asking a lot from the family friendly Super Bowl audience.

That's not to say that it wasn't a good episode. I thought it was well done, and James Van Der Beek was a nice bit of casting. But then, I'm already a Criminal Minds fan. The post Super Bowl slot isn't about getting me to keep watching. It's about finding new viewers.

So what should CBS have gone with in the coveted slot? I think there were a few better options. If they wanted to go crime-drama, both NCIS and Numb3rs would have been better choices. That is, of course, assuming that they weren't dealing with psycho-religious tech support serial killers. Of the two, I would have preferred NCIS. It has more of an approachable, comedic, flair to it. And like Criminal Minds, it has solidified itself as a solid hit this season. Numb3rs could have easily matched the Criminal Minds ratings though, and probably gained more new viewers as a result.

There was also the option to go with comedy. I think it would have been a good time for a special episode of How I Met Your Mother. Given an hour to go crazy, they could have seen a nice bump in the numbers following that appearance up. It's a good show, and should be drawing much closer to the Two And A Half Men numbers than it is. There was also the option to premiere Rules Of Engagement after a new HIMYM, but after seeing the first episode, I just don't think that one is with us for the long haul.

Finally, what about Survivor? The big premiere is coming up this Thursday, so why not kick it off a few days early? When the show had the spot in 2001, it did a better number than Criminal Minds, and there is no reason to think it wouldn't have done it again. Plus, with the increased competition this year from Ugly Betty and the growing Earl/Office combo, it would have been a nice boost to the start of their season.

We'll have to wait until we see what the appearance did for the Wednesday conclusion of Criminal Minds, and the following weeks. But at this point, I think CBS dropped the ball.

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Jackiers

I am very sad that you are choosing to turn one of your players,Spence, into a drug addict. I think it is a sad day for Criminal Minds.I have not missed one show since you started, but if Spence is to be a drug addict,I don't know if I will continue to watch. I am not above watching a show with drug addiction in it, BUT NOT CRIMINAL MINDS. They need to be focused at ALL times. A Sad, Sad Day.

February 10 2007 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hal riedl

CBS has all these kids watching the Game. They even use Nantz and Simms as the bridge to Criminal Minds. So we get a young couple butchered by a religious psychotic who combines the skills of a brilliant technogeek with those of a professional assassin. CBS is saying, did you love the football? Now kick back with the sadism and carnage, and we really don't care how many of you kids have come along to watch. I nominate Leslie Mooves as the next victim of the psycho killers on this series.

February 08 2007 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
missy

Criminal Minds is the BEST show...it has a perfect cast (nobody sickening!) All are believable. Mandy Pitinkin is the best actor! I still want the writers and Mandy to consider casting Sharon Gless, she would be perfect, fabulous and funny! Imagine her character interacting with Pitinkin! Writers need to slowwwwly build up to the mysterious, never-even-imagined link her character would have to Mandy's character! A secret nobody would guess! I can't say it on here, but writers must contact me for the very savvy idea! :) chateaugermain@aol.com.

February 07 2007 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Who (on the East Coast, anyway) wants to watch an hour-long drama after the Super Bowl?

February 07 2007 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kellie

Actually, ABC moved lost to the 10pm (eastern) time slot so it no longer competes with Criminal Minds. I love this show and can't wait to see how tonights numbers look.

February 07 2007 at 4:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

I tried to give the show a chance. Still can't stand it.

But you know what was the big mistake? Hyping the show on the previews as the 'Best Criminal Minds Ever'

Well, gee, why do I want to watch that? Do I really believe that it will actually keep getting *better* after that? Heck no. Call it 'one of the best.'

February 06 2007 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jake

I too wished that had put HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER after the superbowl -- it would have exposed the show to a greater audience and would have solidified it as the hit it should be. CBS wanted Criminal minds to do battle with Lost and be as huge as CSI now that CSI has lost 5 million plus viewers because of Grey's Anatomy. So yes, CBS dropped the ball -- how can they expect to have people stay after the superbowl to watch murder.

February 06 2007 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jake

I was hoping How I Met Your Mother would have gotten a chance. It is one of the few shows on CBS that is funny and has heart. Plus, each episode is different, not simply a rehashed plot like Two and a Half Men or like Raymond used to be. Perhaps that's why it's one of only two shows I even watch on CBS anymore.

February 06 2007 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Waimea

I agree with the author: that particular episode was not the best to air post-Bowl. I like the show (generally speaking) but the post-game episode was darker than average, as you mention. My biggest gripe was the tired premise: loony Christian goes on horrific rampage, spewing Bible verses all the while. How about a loony Muslim killing people in the name of Allah? A believable premise, of course, but far too taboo for our country's timid big-three networks. Anyway, whatever my personal feelings towards the storyline, I think it's safe to say that the overtones of the show were way off the mark for a post-bowl audience. You've made a good point.

February 06 2007 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darren

I can honestly say I didn't watch the super bowl but I did watch Criminal Minds as it is a good show. But if CBS was smart they would have started Survivor after the Super bowl - that would have brought in the numbers for the new season.

February 06 2007 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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