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CBS' Fall Schedule: A Snap Judgment

Who says CBS doesn’t make bold programming moves? Oh, that’s right: Everyone. But everyone would be slightly wrong! At yesterday’s upfront presentation, the nation’s most-watched — if least-interesting — broadcast television network surprised reporters by revealing that it was not green-lighting two high-profile potential series: A small screen revival of Beverly Hills Cop from executive producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield) starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Axel Foley and a recurring Eddie Murphy; and NCIS: Red, starring John Corbett and Kim Raver. Beverly Hills Cop might find a home elsewhere, while NCIS: Red was deemed unworthy of the franchise’s creative standards. (Why are you giggling?)

CBS also made news with some bold scheduling swaps and shifts. Mike & Molly is being held for midseason (but received a full order of 22 episodes); Hawaii 5-0 is sailing to Friday; and Person of Interest is relocating to Tuesday, joining NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles to form a blockbuster night of brawny drama. Thursday now has two hours of comedy, a mirror to its Monday night block of powerhouse yukkers. With few holes to fill and (quoting network president Nina Tassler) “limited shelf space,” CBS ordered just eight new shows, five of which will premiere this fall. Here, CBS was true to form: All have potential to be watched by a broad audience, and very few seem all that creatively daring. To be fair, it’s hard to glean meaningful insight from the preview videos released by the network, comprised of select scenes, behind the scenes footage, and rah-rah interviews with actors and producers. And while CBS may not have leveraged its position of great strength to take a chance on innovation, I found something commendable about each of its new offerings. READ FULL STORY

'Voice' hits ratings low against 'Idol,' BUT...

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NBC’s The Voice and Fox’s American Idol had a rare head-to-head battle last night.

The Peacock had a one-hour off-pattern airing of the The Voice on Wednesday evening. Voice was barely edged out in these early numbers by a two-hour Idol. But while they were facing off in the 8 p.m. hour, The Voice came out on top (2.7 rating vs. 2.5).

Given that NBC’s competition was airing on a different night than usual, The Voice predictably dipped in the ratings — though went down a bit more than one might expect, falling 27 percent from the Tuesday night performance show to a series low. Whereas Idol was basically steady with last week. The Voice had some unusual drama last night when NBC told viewers that a vote tallying snafu had occurred earlier in the week (the problem did not impact the voting results, the network said).

Both reality shows were beaten by ABC’s Modern Family, but the comedy hit a season low. ABC’s freshman comedies Family Tools and How to Live With Your Parents also both dropped, with Family Tools falling a particularly steep 27 percent. Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

'Splash' finale ratings just a drop in the bucket

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ABC’s Splash experiment came to a close Tuesday night with a very modestly rated finale.

Splash had only 4.4 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 (see our winners post). Though that was up 11 percent from last week, it was still broadcast’s lowest-rated show for the night on a major network. I can’t see ABC investing in Splash again, unless it was maybe for a summer series but even that’s a long-shot.

Also Tuesday, NBC’s Grimm maintained last week’s time-period-premiere rating and won 10 p.m., despite its lead-in from The Voice going down 8 percent. Will NBC keep Grimm on Tuesdays next season or shuffle it back to Fridays? The network announces its fall schedule on Sunday and EW will have all the details.

Another finale last night: The CW’s Hart of Dixie wrapped its second season steady with the previous week. Also: CBS’ freshman drama Golden Boy fell to its Tuesday low — it’s not coming back. ABC’s Body of Proof fell 13 percent despite its Dancing lead-in rising 13 percent, and didn’t help its odds. Most other shows were roughly on par with their last episodes. Full Chart:
READ FULL STORY

'Inside Amy Schumer' gets strong premiere ratings

Comedy Central’s newest original show has scored big in the ratings.

Inside Amy Schumer, the latest original programming on the comedy channel, premiered as the number one entertainment series on cable in its time slot with 1.6 million total viewers.

The show rated especially well with young male viewers,  earning a 2.4 rating among men 18 to 34, despite being largely about the situations that girls find themselves in on a day-to-day basis. Our own review will tell you that Schumer is an actual Girl’s Girl, not a Cool Girl as so many comediennes try to be, and that seems to have struck a chord with audiences.
READ FULL STORY

'Grimm' tops rivals with Tuesday move

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NBC’s moved fantasy crime drama Grimm to Tuesday nights and saw the show rise to its best rating in months.

Grimm had 6 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 last night, which was enough to win 10 p.m. That’s a major improvement upon the short-lived reality show Ready for Love in this slot and is Grimm‘s best rating since October. Still, it’s worth pointing out that Grimm shed nearly half its two-hour Voice lead-in, with the competition show dipping 10 percent this week.

Elsewhere: CBS’ NCIS was up 7 percent this week, but just about everything else was down — NCIS: LA (-19 percent), Golden Boy (-7 percent), Fox’s New Girl (-9 percent), Mindy Project (-13 percent and yikes), ABC’s Splash (-18 percent), Dancing (-25 percent).

Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

'Good Wife' ends season on modest note

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The finales are coming! The finales are coming! Last night CBS’ The Good Wife closed its fourth season on the network with a typically modest performance.

Good Wife was up 7 percent from last week, yet down 6 percent from last season’s finale. It’s already earned a renewal, however, so it’s safe for another year.

The same can’t be said for ABC’s Red Widow, down a whopping 42 percent from its last original episode five weeks ago for a series low. Once Upon a Time also crept down to a series low last night. Of all the soft drama performances on Sunday night, this is the show that concerns me the most. Good Wife and ABC’s Revenge were never really full-fledged hits anyway. And CBS’ The Mentalist is getting long in the tooth. But Once Upon was a super strong show last year and this is only its second season. What happened?

That left Fox’s Family Guy to lead the night among adults 18-49. Here’s your full chart, below, and click here for EW’s season finale calendar. READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries' spinoff ratings lack bite

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Will The CW have two Vampire Diaries shows next season?

Maybe … maybe not: The Vampire Diaries spinoff pilot had a disappointing performance in the flagship show’s 8 p.m. slot last night. The Originals delivered 2.2 million viewers and a 0.9 among adults 18-49 last night. Not only did the episode not demonstrate a spike of interest — which is what you hope to see when debuting the pilot for a potential new series — the rating was down 10 percent from the show’s last episode. The hour was also down 31 percent from The Vampire Diaries‘ average this season.

The CW has several pilots in contention for next season with supernatural and sci-fi themes, so The Originals has some competition too. But it’s always easier for a network to launch a show that has a built-in audience than jump-start a concept from scratch, and a weak Vampire Diaries rating is still better than the vast majority of other CW shows. What fans say online about The Originals pilot (and how the network’s executive team feels about the project creatively) might have just as much impact on the series-order decision as how many viewers initially showed up. In other words: Semi-lousy ratings or not, a series pickup remains likely. UPDATE: The CW gives Originals a series order.

Here’s EW’s recap of the episode if you want to sound off in the comments with your thoughts. READ FULL STORY

'The Following' beats 'Revolution' for first time

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Charlie and Miles suffered another setback Monday night: The Revolution heroes were beaten in the ratings by smooth-talking serial killer Joe Carroll for the first time.

The penultimate episode of Fox’s first season of The Following rose to its best rating in weeks, with 7 million viewers and a 2.4 among adults 18-49, up 14 percent. That was enough to suppress NBC’s Revolution, which was steady this week with 6.2 million viewers and a 2.2 rating. The disparity between the shows is probably greater than these numbers suggest, since The Following merely had a Bones lead-in (1.9) while Revolution has The Voice (4.8). Revolution and The Following have tied twice in the demo, but this is the first time The Following has had a higher number outright.

Speaking of which, The Voice dipped 8 percent for its third Battle Rounds episode, yet still easily led the night. Over on ABC, Dancing was down 5 percent to tie its lowest rating ever for a performance show, while Castle was up 10 percent.

Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

'Defiance' is Syfy's biggest premiere in years

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Syfy’s cross-platform multi-species terrestrial alien invasion drama gave the network its biggest debut in years.

The premiere of Defiance on Monday night was seen by 2.7 million viewers and 1.3 million adults 18-49. That made Defiance the network’s most-watched telecast since 2009 (a two-hour episode of Warehouse 13) and its top scripted series premiere among adults 18-49 since 2006 (Eureka).

Syfy unveiled an online open-world game version of the show on April 2 as part of its cross-platform strategy (Defiance: It’s a TV show! It’s a game! It’s both!). Syfy isn’t releasing the number of players who have signed up, but did note that players have logged more than 6 million hours of gameplay since it went live.

Beginning next Monday, Defiance will assume its regular 9 p.m. time period. On April 29 it will be joined by the return of Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m.

Defiance has been billed by some as the next Firefly or Battlestar Galactica (or at least the next Caprica). What did you think?

Ratings spike for 'MTV Movie Awards'

The MTV Movie Awards not only generated some wild headlines thanks to Aubrey Plaza but it also posted some decent ratings. The annual awards fest averaged 3.8 million viewers, and was up 21 percent versus the previous year among the network’s core 12-34 viewers, according to Nielsen.

The news was even better in the older demographics: MTV saw a 45 percent versus last year among persons 18-34 and a 44 percent jump among persons 18-49. Overall, the telecast averaged 4.8 million among all the Viacom-owned nets that aired it (MTV, VH1, MTV2 and Logo).

The Avengers was the big winner at the MTV Movie Awards, where it took home three golden popcorn trophies for Best Fight, Best Villain, and Best Movie. For all the winners, click here.

'American Idol' ratings up: Has the bleeding stopped?

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Is it over? Can Fox peek out from behind their fingers now? Is it safe to look at Nielsen’s morning emails yet?

Fox’s American Idol may be finally leveling off in the ratings. After weeks of sharp and alarming and consistent declines — Idol was almost tied by ABC’s Scandal! — the last two episodes of the reality veteran have not dropped. In fact, both episodes went up slightly from the previous week. Last Thursday’s hour inched up 4 percent. And now last night’s two-hour Wednesday edition climbed 7 percent. Maybe season 12 finally found its bottom.

If so, not a moment too soon. Wednesday’s Idol had 12 million viewers and a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating in the demo. Modern Family (10.2 million, 3.8 rating) easily beat it and Criminal Minds (11.3 million, 3.0) was in the ballpark.

During tonight’s Idol results show, the reality competition will try something new. Fox will put a small box on the screen showing behind-the-scenes footage of the competition during the commercial breaks — thus hoping to hold your attention while sponsors like Ford, Coke and AT&T pitch their wares. TV advertisers are now so desperate for your attention that they’ll settle for having half of it. (And why not? It’s how advertising everywhere else works — from billboards to online banner ads.)

Meanwhile, the second week of ABC’s laboriously titled new sitcom How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) experienced a ratings drop. The Sarah Chalke comedy fell 14 percent for its second episode to 7.3 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. For a show airing after Modern Family the performance by HTLWYPFTROYL is getting kind of soft.

Also last night: CBS crime dramas were up slightly. NBC’s Hannibal pilot encore picked up some additional sampling and retained nearly all of its SVU repeat lead-in. Click below for the full chart. READ FULL STORY

'Cult' pulled from CW schedule

Cult just hasn’t had the following they expected, so it’s being pulled from the CW schedule, EW confirms.

The show — starring Vampire Diaries actor Matt David and Supernatural‘s Alona Tal — has most recently aired on Fridays, but it’s next scheduled airing has been pulled to make room for an encore of the Carrie Diaries finale. Subsequent scheduled airings are being replaced by encores of Oh Sit, the network’s musical chairs competition show. (Ouch.)

No one can blame the CW, though. From the starting line, Cult failed to garner buzz. After starting its run on Tuesdays, the show was bumped to Fridays after just two episodes, where it tanked in ratings.

Cult had been set for a 13-episode freshman season, but only seven episodes have aired.

Related:
‘The Vampire Diaries:’ Meet Silas
Ratings: NBC viewers not ‘Ready for Love’

'The Voice' ratings rise: Shakira and Usher are working

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Shakira and Usher on The Voice? Working.

NBC’s singing competition hit is doing something that other reality shows only wish they could pull off: Showing ratings steadiness, and even growth, in the weeks following a premiere — despite a new judging panel.

Three weeks into its spring run, Monday’s two-hour The Voice inched up 4 percent to its best performance this year — 13.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49. In fact, this matches the fall edition’s finale as the highest-rated Voice of the season. Competition was mixed: CBS comedies were in repeats at 8 p.m., but CBS’ live coverage of NCAA basketball had some big numbers after the repeats. At any rate, The Voice‘s apparent strength is supported by what we saw last week, with its Tuesday edition also rising from the prior week’s premiere.

These ratings with Shakira and Usher in the red chairs must come as a huge relief to NBC. Not only does it help boost the current edition of the show, it also suggests the network’s prime-time performance isn’t wholly dependent upon the cooperation of Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera (because prime-time sure is dependent on The Voice). The show could still plummet, mind you. We’ve seen other many shows defy gravity for a few weeks than suddenly drop, but for now it seems The Voice can function without two of its original stars.

Too bad The Voice‘s rise didn’t do more for Revolution. The apocalyptic drama just went up a tenth of a point at 10 p.m., but it was facing some very strong basketball numbers. Over on Fox, fellow freshman drama The Following ceased its recent dips, while on The CW The Carrie Diaries concluded with a whimper. Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

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