Death watch 2011: Fall TV survival status report
UPDATED: So far, so predictable: All the shows that have been pink-slipped were pretty much expected. (Across the nation, scores of TV critics are crowing “we told you so!”) Now comes the really tough decisions: Some new (and old) shows are still posting ratings south of a 2.0 rating (here’s looking at you, Prime Suspect), but at what point does a network start to hit bone when it makes so many painful cuts?
Let’s look at the latest, season-to-date averages in adults 18-49, the demographic of most concern to advertisers. (Note: We’ve included the averages for the shows that have already earned full-season orders. Yeah, we’re scratching our heads at some of those CW pickups, too).
2 Broke Girls (CBS): 5.1 rating.
Full season pickup. This show will continue to own bragging rights as this season’s No. 1 new comedy.
New Girl (Fox): 4.5
Status: Fox was the first network to pick up a new show for a full season. (Traditionally, the networks only order the first 13 and wait to pick up the back nine after seeing the ratings.) Granted, the network won’t air any more new episodes until Nov. 1 because of baseball and The X Factor. But the comedy should survive the hiatus.
The X Factor(Fox): Wednesday, 4.2; Thursday, 4.0
Status: It’s been running out-of-pattern due to those pesky baseball overruns, but we don’t think this reality show is going anywhere. In fact, the numbers may rise once X Factor starts airing live shows.
Last Man Standing (ABC): 3.5. Allen’s first outing looked promising; but the sitcom lost 17% of its 18-49 viewers in week two. Since ABC has already found success with its Wednesday night comedy block, the network now wants this show to help establish a second sitcom beachhead on Tuesdays.
Suburgatory (ABC): 3.2
Terra Nova (Fox): 3.0
Status: Terra Nova will not get a full season (Fox executives have confirmed that it will complete its 13-hour run in December); the question is whether the drama will get a second year for next fall. Given this week’s uptick in the ratings, we’re starting to feel a little more hope about a renewal. (But only a little).
Person of Interest(CBS): 2.8
Status: The combination of Jim Cavaziel and Michael Emerson is just too good. Though the drama still has some kinks to work out, this one will go the distance until May.
Revenge (ABC): 2.8
Full season pickup. Good news for primetime soap fans but this show still has a lot of heavy lifting to do before ABC even thinks of renewing it for a second season.
Unforgettable (CBS): 2.6
Status: A show that nobody talks about but will probably stick around because, hey — they gotta run something at 10 p.m. Tuesdays. And Poppy Montgomery is rocking that red hair.
Whitney (NBC): 2.5
Full season pick up — and yet, the ratings continue to falter. Was it such a good idea to show confidence in this show so early?
Man Up! (ABC) 2.4. It bowed after Last Man Standing on Tuesday, but didn’t hold onto Tim Allen’s ratings. If both shows about men and their manly manliness go down, this will go first.
Pan Am (ABC): 2.3
Status: The period drama has been on a free fall and looks like a candidate for early cancellation. But … this seems like one that still has huge network support.
How to be a Gentleman (CBS): 2.7
Up All Night (NBC): 2.2
Full season pick up for a show that’s modest in the ratings (at least they’ve stopped dropping). The pedigree was just too good to give up on early (and Maya Rudolph deserves her own show).
Charlie’s Angels (ABC): 1.8
Canceled. Can Minka Kelly go back to Parenthood now?
Prime Suspect (NBC): 1.5
Status: Every once in a while, a struggling new show is worth saving. It’s a promising sign that the network ordered six more scripts to keep the show in production but…that’s so, so far from a back nine pickup. Sadly, we’re feeling more pessimistic than optimistic about this Maria Bello starrer.
Playboy Club (NBC): 1.5
A Gifted Man (CBS): 1.3
Status: The bar is set pretty low for Fridays, so this drama starring Patrick Wilson could stay put for longer than you think. Tough to see this making it to a second season, however.
Free Agents (NBC): 1.5
Secret Circle (The CW): 1.0
Ringer (The CW): .9
Hart of Dixie (The CW): 0.7
Hey, we can play death watch all season! Look at all the cannon fodder coming soon:
ABC: Once Upon a Time (Oct. 23), The River (TBD), Good Christian Belles (TBD), Don’t Trust the B—h in Apt. 23 (TBD), Scandal (TBD), Work It (TBD).
NBC: Grimm (Oct. 28), Rock Center with Brian Williams (Oct. 31), Smash (TBD), The Firm (TBD) Awake (TBD), Are You There, Chelsea? (TBD), Bent (TBD), Best Friends Forever (TBD)
CBS: The 2-2 (TBD), Untitled Rob Schneider comedy
FOX: Allen Gregory (Oct. 30), I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Nov. 30) Napoleon Dynamite (TBD), The Finder (TBD), Touch (TBD), The Flintstones (TBD), Alcatraz (TBD)
CW: The Frame (TBD)