It is official: ‘Naval’ gazing is almost as popular as watching ‘American Idol!’
Indeed, the CBS procedural ‘Naval Criminal Investigative Services’ (better known as ‘NCIS’ cuz life is short) sailed to the high seas of the 20-million-and-above viewer mark Tuesday night, a place few TV shows go in this modern world of a jazillion cable, satellite, Internet and PlayStation 3 options.
Of course, back in the wacky, beyond ageist world of the television business, many of the folks watching this fine show are the same age as star Mark Harmon, and are thus considered invisible to advertisers. (They assume that once you get past the age of 49, you’re too smart to be seduced by commercial come-ons.)
But damn those whipper-snappers on Madison Avenue. We’re giving ‘NCIS’ an “A” grade for the second full week of the new fall season. Here’s how the networks’ whole Tuesday-night lineup graded out.
NCIS (CBS) – The ‘CSI’ franchise hasn’t gotten off to a spectacular start for CBS, but the other acronymed procedural is certainly carrying its lab coats. Scoring 20.6 million viewers, the show’s 4.6 adult 18-49 rating was down only 4% from the season premiere. Watch last night’s episode here.
THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) – Much of the ‘NCIS’ crowd had already shuffled off to bed by 10 o’clock, when Julianna Margulies had entered the courtroom. But she dutifully delivered an audience flat with her rookie series’ premiere a week prior, with 13.4 million viewers and a 3.1 demo rating. Not that Chris Noth appreciated any of that before he… well, don’t get me started.
THE BIGGEST LOSER (NBC) – Reality competish series used super-sized, two-hour episode to gain back some of its lost demo rating (16%) with a rebound performance, scoring 9.1 million viewers and a 3.6 among adults. Finished second from 8-10 p.m. behind the ‘NCIS’ juggernaut.
JAY LENO SHOW (NBC) – Spectacular guests help (she’s funny, but Julia-Louis Dreyfuss on Tuesday didn’t necessarily qualify as a “get.”). More important to Jay is a solid lead-in, which ‘Loser’ provided… and Jay ended up with a 2.3 demo rating, which actually beat a scripted drama (ABC’s ‘The Forgotten’). Jay’s demo number has been fluctuating all over the place since his talk show started facing real competish last week. But if he can keep it above 2.0, he’ll stay in business at 10 p.m.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Fox) – Down only 4% from the prior week, but its demo number (2.4) was below ABC’s cratering ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) – An appearance by Baz Luhrmann last night aside, this season has kind of been ‘Dancing with the B List.’ Last night’s episode was down 26% to 12.5 million viewers and a 2.6 demo rating.
90210 (CW) — A 1.2 demo rating? If they could just get all the kids enrolled at West Beverly High to watch, they could probably beat that. Whatever buzz this show had early last season is gone.
MELROSE PLACE (CW) – Time for Sydney to burn down the complex. The Heather Locklear addition could signal that the CW is going to wait a few weeks to see what happens… but a 0.8 demo rating usually gets you cancelled.