'Revenge' grows, beats 'CSI' in early ratings


Image Credit: ABC

UPDATE: Great news for Revenge fans: The ABC freshman drama reversed its post-premiere ratings decline and grew for the first time. But the reason why the show improved is a mystery worthy of a TV crime drama.

Here’s the deal: Revenge (7.9 million viewers, 2.7 adults 18-49) beat CSI (12.7 million, 2.6) in the adult demo to win the 10 p.m. hour in the preliminary ratings — the first time that’s happened since the soap’s heavily promoted premiere. The race between Revenge and CSI was as close as it gets, and these early numbers could shift just slightly when the national ratings come out this afternoon, but either way Revenge will have improved from last week.

But there’s another Factor that could have come into play: Fox’s two-hour The X Factor was unexpectedly taken off the playing field last night. So did any shows benefit from having disappointed Fox viewers wandering the dial searching for something else to watch? Alternately, were any shows harmed by having ALCS Game 4 overrunning deep into prime time on the East Coast?

Short answer: It’s unclear, but it doesn’t appear like the shakeup had a major impact. Most shows were steady from 8 to 10 p.m., when Factor was scheduled, with some ticking down slightly. The baseball game may have hurt CSI (CBS tends to have a sports friendly audience), but then why was CSI down 10 percent to a season low against Revenge, but Survivor (10.5 million, 3.2) and Criminal Minds (12.7 million, 3.7) only slipped 3 percent? And why was another 10 p.m. crime drama, Law & Order: SVU (7.2 million, 2.1), unchanged?

ABC was seemingly not impacted either way… at least, at first. But then its ratings compared to last week abruptly rose for Happy Endings (8.8 million, 3.3) at 9:30 p.m. and then again for Revenge.

So what do you believe? Did Revenge grow from some scheduling quirk, or because the drama is gaining popularity? I suspect the primetime shakeup may have somehow helped Revenge a little, but its growth is still based on something real — nobody forces somebody to watch a TV show, and the rest of the night had pretty ordinary numbers. And if ABC believes the drama is on the rise, this time-slot competitiveness is exactly what a network looks for when deciding whether to give a new show a full-season order.

Some quick other notes from Wednesday night: Modern Family (13.4 million, 5.7) was unchanged, nabbing the title as the night’s top-rated show. NBC’s Up All Night (5.2 million, 2.0) fell 13 percent to its lowest-rated telecast (um… baseball?). Harry’s Law (7.6 million, 1.2) — which just got an order for six more scripts don’t you know — was unchanged.

I’ll update this post in the afternoon when the national ratings come out — baseball ratings will be available then too — in case it changes anything.

UPDATE 1: Yes, Revenge and Suburgatory get full seasons

UPDATE 2: Both CSI and Revenge stayed the same in the national ratings. Fox’s Game 4 averaged a 2.5 in the demo, which is lower than what X Factor normally pulls.

Read more:
‘Revenge’ recap: Bringing the Shrink Down to Size
Hey, ‘Revenge': What’s the deal with the dog?
‘Revenge’: What’s happened so far, and a sneak peek at the season ahead — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Comments (94 total) Add your comment
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  • yujin

    yes full season pick up! hurry up ABC

    • lisa g.

      Yes ppl were channel flipping n saw Madelines beauty n were rendered powerless against changing stations! She’s hotter than the lead actress, half her age!

      • Nathan

        She’s not actually but she’s decent for her age.

      • lisa g.

        She’s not hotter or half her age? Or both? LOL. I think she looks great and not all botoxed or tightly pulled like most of her peers!

      • Mike B

        No way is she hotter than Emily. Emily has it all.

      • kate middleton

        Really? I think she looks like she’s had a lot of work done – botox and fillers and lip injections. But, so does practically every other actress. Love her on this show.

      • jack

        my sister-in-law makes $55/hr on the laptop. She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her check was $6342 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read about it on this site CashHard.cøm

    • stu

      Law & Order still the best even w/ the new cast!

    • Tom

      Great show glad to see it is going to be on for a bit. Forget X factor, people like my wife a 10 year watcher of CSI hate Ted Danson not so cute corky charactor so we are looking for alternatives

  • lexi

    Excellent, Revenge was great again last night I hope show gets a full season pick up soon!

  • Carman Warner

    I love this show I hope that ABC picks it up for a whole season. Excellecnt cast and great writing. You don’t find that in to many show these days.

  • Jack

    “why was CSI down 10 percent to a season low against Revenge, but Survivor and Criminal Minds only slipped 3 percent?”

    You answered your own question…Because the game ran over into 11 innings. People tuned in to watch a game that was essentially in OT to see what the outcome was going to be and were likely people who were only monitoring the game but not actually watching it until it became an extra innings situation. And don’t forget…CBS tends to skew older views…which is why it has 5 million more total viewers for CSI then Revenge but a lower demo.

  • Jethro

    Revenge should have been put on Sunday’s at 10, Emily’s old slot with B&S. Pan Am is OK, but doesn’t keep me tuned in for the full hour.

    Pan Am should move to Monday’s at 10, move Castle to Wednesdays since it more comedic than drama and is compatible with the Wed’s comedies.

    • Agreed

      Jethro I like your way of thinking, but now I have Revenge held safely on my Wed viewing schedule and Castle needs to stay where it is. Who knows what will happen to Pan Am since it has not taken off…

      • Kurt Russell

        Ha Ha that’s funny …not taken off. Pan Am.

    • asher

      @Jethro – I like that idea. I really like Revenge, but Castle would seem to fit better with ABC’s comedy line-up from 8 – 10 on Wed. nights. However, I don’t know about Revenge following Desperate Housewives on Sunday night…would people get primetime soap opera burnout? Maybe Revenge in Castle’s slot on Monday nights following DTWS?

    • Bob R

      it’s available on demand. Until I read this story I never knew when it actually aired.

    • Jillian

      Wednesdays at 10 are wayyyy too full as it is. I have to make decisions between Revenge, L&O: SVU, Psych, Top Chef: Just Desserts, Luther and American Horror Story and reruns of NYPD Blue. Obviously the cable stuff can go into the replays but last night I was watching DVR until 4 am. Can’t do marathons every week. Exhausting.

    • kate middleton

      That’s a really good proposal. Revenge would fit really well on Sundays with Desperate Housewives. And isn’t that Good Christian Belles thing gonna be on Sunday as well?

      I think Pam Am could definitely benefit from the DWTS lead-in.

  • Torrence5

    CSI had overall viewership and even a tenth of a point in the 18-49 group is nothing with nearly 5 million more total viewers. Not happening for Revenge

    • Kana

      Uh, no. Overall viewership is not that important. The 18-49 demo is what matters to advertisers and the network. Also, it doesn’t matter if Revenge beats CSI or not. It just needs to average 2.5 or higher in the demo to survive cancellation by ABC.

  • Jethro

    I actually do like Revenge but it’s opposite my SVU, my DVR is working O/T so far this season.

  • Cheery

    Because CM is awesome (go H/P!) and the CSI mob episodes are boring.

  • kurt

    I think Revenge is getting a lot of Hulu play and people are getting into it. It’s really a fun show; a nice twist on the soap opera.

  • Crystin

    Positive word of mouth helps a lot – I’ve hooked quite a few of my friends onto Revenge.

    • KCB

      THIS! Word started spreading in my office and now all of us are watching.

      • Rita

        @KCB OMG everyone at the agency I work at is watching..Its addictive. It was my neice who first turned me on to it and now I am hooked..

      • Sutra

        In general, I prfeer the first movie too and most people would agree with me. However, what made the first movie likable is because Bay had to introduce the Transformers and its characters to the audience. It has to establish the link between humans, robots and audience. The first movie’s storyline is about a boy who bought a car that turned out to be an alien robot and how Bumblebee has to protect Sam because he was holding the key to man’s survival.As for the second movie, Bay assumed that everyone has watched the first movie and knew what Transformers is. The characters are there and the link is established. He can go all out and whack anything he wants in the movie. The plot for the second movie is about how the robots disguise themselves, work together with the human and preventing war in our world. As for the third one, it will be more robots, more explosions and less plot. LOL. Maybe I should just write a blog post myself instead of spamming yours. My bad.

  • E.

    Hooray for Happy Endings! Does it already have a full-season pickup?

    • Lauren

      I hope it gets one soon. This such a great new comedy!

    • Brett

      LOVE LOVE LOVE Happy Endings! It’s by far my favorite show on TV right now.

      • Mike

        I’m so glad Happy Endings ratings are getting better. I was worried it would get cancelled after last season’s not so great ratings. But I think ABC is still playing it’s cards carefully with it. But obviously they have faith it it.

    • Dsanblue

      Posted on Yup, always.You know, I gripe about it, but it’s not bad. Close to NYC, close to Philly, close to Baltimore and DC and 5 hours to Boston with good tarffic. At this point, I feel like that Patton Oswalt thing about college towns you have to either leave immediately or stay forever.

  • Really???

    These Networks need to wake up and realize times are different and real time ratings means nothing anymore. We are in a DVR and Streaming generation. They need to find a new way to determine the real success of a show.

    • asher

      @Really??? – Agreed!

      • Mark

        Hey FOX did it to,it was something you nomrlaly wouldn’t see from the leader of the free world, of course it would make the rounds on the tv networks……big deal.It seems like conservatives are more obsessed with what he does than people who actually like him.

    • M


    • kate middleton

      They do track (and update) ratings for Live+3 and Live+7 (people who watch it within 3 or 7 days). But I agree that DVR is probably underestimated – I refuse to watch a show live anymore.

  • Via

    i agree with the previous posters about word ot mouth and Hulu. Also, I think Revenge has been in repeats to cover the slot of another show so some people may have found it that way. I know I’ve been spreading the word to friends.

    • AAR

      That’s when we’ve watched (or, more accurately, DVR’ed) Revenge two of the past three weeks- when it was repeated on Friday. If it hadn’t been, we would have missed it completely. Now we have it on a series recording. But I agree with Really???- We have never watched it live. We enjoy it, but it’s not appointment TV. It’s more It’s Saturday Night and Nothing is On But Hey We’ve Got A New Revenge!-TV

  • P7

    Revenge is the best pot poiler to come along in a very long time. It would be a shame if ABC didn’t get behind it with all guns blazing. It’s a great, great source of entertainment. Madeleine Stowe = Emmy, please.

  • chris

    Revenge had extra competition with baseball and it still grew. Loving this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Brenda

      Me Too! Great acting, Emily Vancamp was wasted on Bros.& Sis. She does an excellent job on Revenge.It sure is nice to have a new show that isn’t trying to be a comedy.Canned laughter makes me sick, aren’t we smart enough to know whats funny?

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