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April 16, 2014

Did Obama Ruin 'Off the Map' Premiere Ratings?

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 13th 2011 3:30PM
Off the MapNot many viewers found ABC's new medical drama 'Off the Map.' The Shonda Rhimes-produced show only pulled in 7.5 million viewers for its premiere.

Is President Obama to blame?

Obama spoke live from the Arizona memorial service, interrupting each major network's night of programming. However, ABC was the only network attempting to launch a new series.

After Obama's speech and a new episode of 'Modern Family,' ABC subbed in 10 minutes of a 'Modern Family' rerun to ensure 'Off the Map' got started at 10PM. A strange, but smart move because of DVR usage and the barrage of promotion the network gave the new series.

However, most of the other networks went with reruns. Over on NBC, the Peacock aired 'Minute to Win It' and news coverage of the Arizona speech, followed by a new 'Law & Order: SVU' at 10PM. According to Entertainment Weekly, 'SVU' brought in 2.5 million viewers between 18-49 and 8.3 million total.

CBS aired reruns of 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'Rules of Engagement,' followed at 9PM by a new 'Live to Dance' and Obama. The Abdul/Obama pairing brought in around 6 million viewers in the 9-10PM hour. The reality dance competition bled into 'The Defenders' at 10PM slot, pulling in close to 7 million for the hour.

Fox pulled 'Human Target' and aired two reruns of 'Raising Hope' from 8-9PM, which netted 3.2 million and 2.3 million viewers. Its Fox News coverage of the memorial and 'Kitchen Nightmares' from 9-10PM brought in 2.5 million. The unaired new episode of 'Human Target' will air on Friday.

Of course ABC hadn't planned to have its big premiere on the same day as a presidential news conference. In an attempt to grab additional eyes, the network is re-airing the 'Off the Map' pilot after 'Grey's Anatomy' tonight. According to Variety, 'Off the Map' will take the place of 'Private Practice' at 10PM, pushing the previously-scheduled 'Private Practice' episode to Feb. 3.

Let's compare 'Off the Map' to Rhimes' other medical drama debuts: 'Grey's Anatomy's' premiere was seen by 16.3 million viewers, 'Private Practice' by 14.4 million viewers. It's important to note 'Private Practice' has the explicit 'Grey's Anatomy' tie with Kate Walsh, whereas 'Off the Map' is just from the same producers and not a spin-off.

So, did the ratings suffer because of the press conference? Would 'Off the Map's' premiere done better had the schedule not been upended? The real test will be how many more eyes watch tonight and during week two.


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tinabayne

I LOVED "Off the Map"

January 20 2011 at 6:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Terry

Let me get this straight. Off the Map aired at its scheduled time against improvised reruns and got terrible ratings anyway? If anything, the memorial should have helped OtM by weakening the competition.

January 13 2011 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nathanieletc

I was just disappointed there wasn't a new Cougar Town. Yes, the president was speaking. Yes, the shooting was a tragedy, and I wish that upon no one, ever. But if folks want to see the memorial, they can tune to a news channel airing it instead of the networks opting not to air their shows.

As for Off the Map... man those young female characters are pretty! Did this show have a plot?

I also want to mention that they definitely shouldn't have used that one valley from Lost as a setting if they're going to film in Hawaii. Way too obvious and recognizable. I do think it's awesome that a lot of Lost's Hawaiian crew is probably staying employed (them and on Hawaii Five-0), though.

January 13 2011 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I don't think the article was actually saying that Obama did anything wrong.

It seems to me that throwing on part of a rerun in network prime time is NEVER a good idea, especially leading up to a premiere. Why not just continue the news coverage for another ten minutes, and start Modern Family at 9:30? If people were waiting for Modern Family (I was), we would have waited a little more.

January 13 2011 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

The only thing ruining Off the Map is Off the Map. It was beyond boring.

January 13 2011 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Grey

“ABC subbed in 10 minutes of a 'Modern Family' rerun to ensure 'Off the Map' got started at 10PM.”

I actually wish all the networks would do this when this sort of situation happens – *especially* on the West Cost! We always get screwed out of our regularly schedule programs even though for us primetime hasn’t started yet. Obama’s speech finished during the 6PM hour for us but did we get our scheduled 8PM programs? Hell no! Arrrgh! Don’t get me wrong, if it’s an ongoing *major* disaster/situation (i.e. 9/11, Katrina) then by all means, pre-empt for continuous coverage. But this was a memorial service that ran over a bit. Show our freak’n programs!

January 13 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bemassey120

Woah, what's with the hostility?! This article isn't saying "Screw Obama and that memorial for MESSIN WIT MAH SHOWS!" It's simply an evaluation of last night's TV line-up and asking the (logical) question of whether or not
"Off the Map" had a worse premiere than it could have because of the speech.

January 13 2011 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Strout

Hey why not, he ruins just about everything else he gets around

January 13 2011 at 6:01 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
rosmegnyc

LOL! Touchy much? Talk about inserting your own tone into an article. Off the Map had a bad premiere. TV Squad suggests that people were watching Obama and the memorial as a possible reason. Yes, they must be purposefully acting like inconsiderate d-bags to stir up controversy. Or perhaps they were just writing an article about a new show on ABC. Geez. It's not really necessary for anyone to TRY to stir up controversy when people are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to create it themselves.

January 13 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YASMINE Bedward

Off The Map SUCKS... hard. End of story

January 13 2011 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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