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October 10, 2015


TV Viewers No Longer Tuning In on Thursday Nights

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 25th 2010 2:10PM
'The Big Bang Theory' airs on Thursdays at 8PM on CBSCould the era of Thursday night "Must-See TV" be over?

Once the premier night for advertisers to shill their high-profile products and the weekend's movies, fewer and fewer people are turning on their TVs on Thursday nights. During the first four weeks of the fall television season, only 48.5 million people have tuned in on Thursdays -- 2.2 million people and 4.3 percent fewer than last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Among the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic, Thursday is the fifth-most-watched night of television every week -- a far cry from the 1990s "Must-See TV" heyday.

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Thursday-Night Shows Hit With Low Ratings

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 23rd 2010 3:00PM

SurvivorThis is either a hiccup or a sign of things to come: Ratings for most of the shows that aired last night were down, according to the Live Feed.

The ratings winner was CBS, who aired 'Survivor,' 'CSI' (which tied its all-time series low, with 13.3 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo) and 'The Mentalist.'

Fox placed second with 'Bones' and 'Fringe,' which pulled in 8.8 million and 5.9 million viewers, respectively.

Meanwhile, things didn't turn out well on the NBC front: 'Community' hit a series low, with a measly 3.9 million viewers,' while 'The Office' (6.4 million) and a double-feature of '30 Rock' (4.2 million, 5.2 million) hit season lows.

Also hitting a season low: ABC's 'Private Practice,' with just 7.4 million viewers.

Tell us: What did you watch last night?

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Life on Mars's ratings falling to earth

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 17th 2008 8:58PM
Kietel O'maraLast night's second episode of ABC's new drama Life on Mars, the American version of the British hit, took a precipitous drop in the ratings. This is really bad news because Life on Mars may be the best new show of the season, unless you're in love with The Mentalist, which I am not, or maybe The Eleventh Hour or My Own Worst Enemy has tickled your fancy.

What's clear is that ABC is trying to build a solid Thursday with Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Life on Mars, but Ugly Betty is off to a rocky start, Grey's isn't the powerhouse it once was, and the pressure is on Mars to keep Grey's lead and improve on it.

The show got off to a good start in the premiere, but last night was off 25%. That's not good.

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Will Survivor survive The Moment of Truth?

by Allison Waldman, posted May 18th 2008 12:01PM
Survivor logoNow that the upfronts have been presented, it's time to start handicapping the ratings (although Jeff Zucker doesn't think Nielsens matter that much anymore). Nevertheless, some are looking at next fall's schedule and predicting a big-time battle royale on Thursday night at 8 o'clock. Which reality show will emerge at the Nielsen number one -- CBS's Survivor or Fox's The Moment of Truth? According to Hollywood Reporter, Fox is taking aim at CBS. When asked at the upfront about positioning The Moment of Truth -- and Hell's Kitchen right behind it -- on that night was a strategic move, the executive was diplomatic at first. He said Fox isn't looking for a battle; they're doing their own thing. But then said of Survivor, "Look, it's eroding. It's an older show. Its eventually going to give up and were trying to accelerate that."

Hmm, sounds like fighting words to me. The Moment of Truth and Hell's Kitchen are two of Fox's three premiere reality shows, behind only American Idol in the ratings. Anyway you slice it, Thursday night is going to be a night to drive TV fans crazy. While Fox and CBS are leading with reality shows to start the night, ABC will offer Emmy winner and critic's darling, Ugly Betty, NBC will serve up its Emmy winner(s) and critic's faves, My Name Is Earl and 30 Rock, and the CW will bring back the venerable fan fave, Smallville. And that's not even considering what the rest of the networks have planned.

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Remaining Chuck episodes to air on Jan. 24

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 10th 2008 10:11AM
ChuckWhen NBC aired Chuck's Christmas-themed episode early in December, people were wondering if the show had any other pre-strike episodes left. The good news was that there were two episodes left to air, but NBC wanted to hold on to them until the strike was settled and air them with the remaining season's order of episodes.

Of course, it looks like that's a long way from happening. So NBC has shifted gears and decided to air both of the remaining episodes on a single night. But, according to SCI FI Wire, they won't air in the show's usual Monday night slot; they'll air on Thursday, January 24, at 8 and 10 PM. In between the Chuck episodes will be an episode of Celebrity Apprentice. Well, that makes perfect sense, because the two shows have very similar fan bases. What's that? They have completely opposite fan bases? Who knew?

[via Pop Candy]

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ABC's Traveler premiere bumped up to May 10

by Anna Johns, posted Apr 23rd 2007 2:37PM
travelerABC is giving Traveler some love. What is Traveler? Well, I'd honestly be surprised if you remembered. It was on ABC's fall schedule, which was announced almost a year ago, and then kept getting bumped back to later dates. The series is about two college grads who end up getting framed for a terrorist act by another college buddy. Bob has been looking forward to it for nearly a year now!

Earlier this month, ABC announced Traveler would premiere on May 30th, but now the network has bumped up that premiere and given it a sweet time slot. The pilot episode of Traveler will air on May 10th at 10 pm, following a new episode of Grey's Anatomy. Then, the pilot will air again on the May 30th date.

I'm not sure if this is a good marketing idea. It seems odd to give a sneak preview of a show and then make people remember that they need to pick it up again during a holiday week (Memorial Day).

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ABC moves Underbelly out of Idol's path

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 29th 2007 7:12PM
notes from the underbellyABC is cowering in fear. Ok, all of the networks are (rightfully) cowering in fear from the ratings behemoth that is American Idol. This time it's the new comedy, Notes From the Underbelly, that is being shifted to stay out of Ryan Seacrest's path.

The comedy, about a couple expecting a baby and dodging crazy advice from friends and family, has been moved from Wednesdays at 9:30 pm to Thursdays at 10 pm after Grey's Anatomy. The move is in response to Idol's announcement this week that it will expand its results shows to one hour, starting April 11th. Now, Notes From the Underbelly will premiere with back-to-back episodes on April 12th instead of April 11th.

Giving a comedy the 10 pm time slot, even if its lead-in is Grey's Anatomy, is a terrible idea. From the promos, it does not look like a prime time show. Let's face it: ten o'clock is the hour for sex and violence. Underbelly looks like it belongs in the 8 o'clock hour (or not on television at all, if you ask Joel).

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On the 2nd day of Festivus, TV gave to me

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 18th 2006 2:05PM
Kidnapped... Two Programming Blunders.

It's been an interesting year for network TV, especially since the new fall season began. The set of pilots that the networks presented to audiences were at the same time the highest-quality and hardest-to-follow in years. That's why, in mid-season, we're now seeing that most of those pilots have either quickly disappeared or are hanging on for dear life.

Of course, this is all the networks' fault. The short-sightedness they used when programming their schedules this year has been mind-boggling, causing more viewers to scurry to other sources -- cable, YouTube, BitTorrent -- for their entertainment. Here are two of their dumbest moves:

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Don't forget! Men in Trees is on tonight

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 30th 2006 12:08PM
men in treesI'm hoping that Men in Trees finally gets the attention it deserves when it premieres in its new time slot tonight, following the number one show on television, Grey's Anatomy. Up until now, ABC hasn't given much love to Men in Trees. The network stuck the show on Fridays at nine with only reruns as a lead-in-- originally, Ugly Betty was the lead-in but it was moved to Thursdays. The dramedy stars Anne Heche, a tough choice for a lead actor because of her strange past in the gossip magazines. But, the show not only survived on Friday nights, it did well enough for ABC to order an entire season.

Here's why I like Men in Trees: it makes me happy. But, I wouldn't call it cheesy. It's about Marin Frist, a relationship coach whose own relationship falls to pieces as she's on a book tour in Alaska. She ends up staying in the small town of Elmo, where she's studying men and also learning more about herself. Anne Heche is surprisingly wonderful in the role of Marin, a character who is not flawless but learns from her mistakes. She's not a fumbling, ditzy blonde. And I adore the supporting characters, who are all very complex and not at all stereotypical of a small town.

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Thursday was product placement night on NBC

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 21st 2006 11:14AM
Staples MailMate ShredderSo the first night of NBC's new "Must-See TV" lineup (except Scrubs) turned out to be eventful for more than one reason: not only did we see a pivotal episode of The Office, the cast of My Name Is Earl in Claymation, and the first Thursday 30 Rock, we saw more self-referrential product placements in one night than at any time I could remember.

The first one was when we saw The Office's Kevin going nuts over the Staples MailMate shredder. "This shreds eveything," he says with a sense of childlike wonder. "It shreds CDs. It shreds credit cards..." The look on his face after he realized he shredded his own credit card is priceless, as was the salad he made with the shredder right before the credits. Oh, and by the way, Staples had an ad for the MailMate during the "supersized" episode.

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American Idol ain't broke

by Anna Johns, posted Nov 7th 2006 1:03PM
american idolFOX has announced its premiere dates for the next edition of American Idol, and the network is once again steering clear of Thursday nights. There's speculation every year that FOX will put American Idol on Thursdays, to knock down other big ratings getters like Grey's Anatomy and CSI. Once again, FOX understands that what it has is known as a good thing*. And, why mess with that?

Season six of American Idol will debut with two-hour specials on Tuesday, January 16 and Wednesday, January 17th. The network will stick to Tuesdays and Wednesdays for Idol-- but will probably throw in an occasional Thursday show just to put a scare into the other networks.

*By saying "a good thing", I mean it makes FOX a lot of cash. We all know that FOX will mess with good things (ahem... Firefly) that aren't mega-hits.

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Why is ER so popular again?

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 12th 2006 3:59PM
Scott GrimesJust when you think a show is dying, it comes to life.

ER is currently in its 13th season, and NBC's original plan was to interrupt the run of the show for three months in early 2007 and premiere the new drama The Black Donnellys. But ER had to go and be one of the top rated NBC shows (it's always in the top 20 now), so now the plan is to keep ER on the air throughout the winter and spring.

I'll say one thing: I swore up and down, right here on this site, that I was through with ER and wasn't going to watch it anymore. But I find myself pulled back into it after checking in to see what happened to Jerry (he's OK, just on another show for now) and Abby's baby (it's OK, as Rich has reported). So I guess if the show can keep a jaded veteran ER watcher like me interested after so many years, it must be doing something right.

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CSI producers attempting to get creative

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 3rd 2006 12:41PM
csi castEven before ABC put Grey's Anatomy in the 9 pm Thursday time slot, the folks over at CBS knew that CSI was in trouble. After seven years on the air, they had an inkling that ABC would be moving Grey's. So, if this season of CSI seems unusual so far... that's because it is. CBS challenged the producers and writers to get creative with their storylines and try something unusual. Even though they haven't taken our advice and killed off Nick Stokes, they are breaking from the procedural formula that propelled them to become the number one show on television. So far this season, the crimes have stretched into two episodes. And the storyline with the murderer who creates miniature replicas of the crime scene will last through the middle of the season.

What do you think of CSI so far this season? Is different good or bad?

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Grey's Anatomy beats CSI

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 23rd 2006 10:42AM
grey's anatomyWhat happens when the season premieres of CSI and Grey's Anatomy go head-to-head? Duh. I can't understand why the press is having such a fit over the fact that Grey's Anatomy had higher ratings than CSI on Thursday night. Of course it did. Grey's Anatomy ended last season with a cliffhanger. Grey's is hot and buzzworthy, while CSI is old and predictable. Grey's Anatomy had 25.4 million viewers for its season premiere, while CSI had 22.6 million. Congrats to the folks at Grey's Anatomy for toppling the highest-rated show on television in their first match-up!

What did you watch at 9 pm on Thursday?

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What's Thursday without ER?

by Anna Johns, posted May 8th 2006 9:34AM
has been on Thursday nights on NBC for as long as I can remember. OK, actually it's only been in the 10 pm timeslot since 1994. And I haven't watched it since 1996 (I couldn't handle breaking down into a sobbing mess each week). But, still. It's an institution on Thursday nights. It's a throwback to the good ol' days when NBC was on top.

Well, those days are over. Now, NBC is reportedly considering moving it to a different night. Apparently, NBC thinks the move could boost the network's ratings during late primetime on Tuesdays or Wednesdays by pairing ER up with Law & Order or SVU. It looks like ER's replacement will most likely be the new Aaron Sorkin/Thomas Schlamme series, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. If that happens, I will definitely be returning to NBC at 10 pm on Thursdays (hey, I'm already there for Earl and The Office anyway).

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