'Community' dives during Valentine's ratings bloodbath

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Valentine’s Day is a notoriously tough night for broadcast.

Yet the V-Day dip (with overall TV viewing levels down about 6 percent for the night) can’t fully explain what happened to NBC’s Community.

You’ll recall last week’s premiere posted impressively decent ratings given the comedy’s track record (and NBC’s recent track record, for that matter). But Thursday’s second episode fell through the floor —  2.7 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s down 42 percent from last week to post the show’s lowest-rating ever in the demo. Given your comments on the ratings post for the premiere, clearly many of you felt like the show wasn’t as funny now that showrunner Dan Harmon is no longer on board (or perhaps Community fans are just huge V-Day romantics?).

To be sure, Community is not the only show waking up to bad news this morning. But before we get into the returning favorites, there was a new series premiere last night — ABC’s adventure drama Zero Hour, starring Anthony Edwards as a man unraveling a vast Da Vinci Code-esque conspiracy to try and save his kidnapped wife. “Why would a network debut a new show on a night that’s typically one of the lowest rated of the season?” you ask. That’s a great question. I have no answer. Zero Hour had 6.3 million viewers and a 1.3 rating, down 41 percent from the premiere of Last Resort in the slot earlier this season and ranked as ABC’s lowest-rated in-season premiere ever for a scripted show. When told the ratings, my editor IM’d: “They should have called it The Frozen Clone Nazi Variety Hour.”

So now the returning shows. First, the good news: ABC’s Scandal and CBS’ Elementary were unchanged this week (they’re protected more from the V-Day dip since they air at 10 p.m.). Everything else was down, with Community falling the most and Person of Interest (down 3 percent) the least. Fox’s American Idol, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and The CW’s Vampire Diaries hit season lows (Fox’s Glee looks like a low, but I’m told an episode that was delayed due to baseball during the fall was actually lower).

Full Chart:

 ADULT DEMO RANK  ADULTS 18-49 RATING TOTAL VIEWERS (+000)
FOX 8-9P AMERICAN IDOL #3 3.6 12,333
9-10P GLEE #9 1.7 5,164
ABC 8-9P ZERO HOUR P #11 1.3 6,290
9-10P GREY ANATOMY #6 2.7 8,369
10-11P SCANDAL #5 2.8 8,036
CBS 8:00P BIG BANG #1 5.4 17,625
8:30P TWO&HALF MEN #2 3.8 13,744
9-10P PERSON INTEREST #4 3.0 14,825
10-11P ELEMENTARY #7 2.2 10,872
NBC 8:00P COMMUNITY #12 1.1 2,747
8:30P PARK & REC #10 1.5 3,153
9-10P OFFICE #8 2.0 4,038
10-11P LAW&O:SVU RS #13t 1.0 3,445
CW 8-9P VAMPIRE DIARIES #13t 1.0 2,305
9-10P BEAUTY&BEAST #15 0.5 1,407

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