With New York Yankees powering Fox’s World Series coverage to heights not seen in years – we’re talking 7.0 ratings in key demos that surpass any series on television – it was once again hard for regularly scheduled shows to pop.
But week did have some impressive highlights. ABC, for example, led all comers Tuesday night at 8 p.m. by rebooting a 26-year-old science-fiction mini-series.
Meanwhile, “The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Modern Family’ sustained their season-long ratings supremacy.
Here’s a look at how the week’s prime-time grid graded out.
V (ABC) – Reptilian invasion delivers huge 5.0 ratings performance in the key adults 18-49 demo, best for ABC in the Tuesday 8 o’clock hour since 2006. Finished second to ‘NCIS’ in total viewers (13.9 million vs. 19.4 million), but nothing is going to beat ‘NCIS’ in total viewers these days… except maybe ‘Idol’ and the Super Bowl.
GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC) – Averaged 13.6 million viewers and a time-period-winning 5.0 demo rating. It’s the seventh straight week that ‘Grey’s’ has won the Thursday 9 p.m. hour in adults 18-49.
MODERN FAMILY (ABC) – Held its batting average with 8.6 million viewers going directly up against Wednesday-night’s World Series clincher. Grademaster’s half-baked conclusion: fencing is about to surpass baseball as one of America’s favorite sports.
THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) – Did a 4.6 rating in adults 18-49. It’s as big as comedies get now.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS) – Average of just over 9 million viewers, the biggest aud since the ‘HIMYM’ season premiere, tuned into special episode featuring young-adult drinking and sexual situations. Grademaster needs a 12-ounce can of Tantrum soda to settle is uneasy stomach. Finished in second place in the 18-49 demo with a 3.5 rating.
NCIS: LOS ANGELES (CBS) – Chris O’Donnell and LL actually exceeded the flagship in demo performance (4.8 rating vs. a 4.2).
THE OFFICE (NBC) – Down slightly in total viewers (7.9 million), with even those with the most solid constitutions squirming as Michael broke up with Pam’s mom on her birthday. Placed second overall on Thursday in the key demo with a 3.9 rating. Considering the floundering ‘Parks and Rec’ is the lead-in, Grademaster declares it an “A” performance.
NCIS (CBS) – Normally, 19.4 million viewers should earn you and “A”… But the flagship has been averaging above 20 million this year, and it got dropped in the big demo race by ‘V’ (5.0 to 4.2).
PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) – An average of 9.2 million viewers was waaay behind ‘The Mentalist,’ but demos are where it counts in this game, and ‘Double P’ won the 18-49 for the sixth straight week with a 3.5 rating.
THE MENTALIST (CBS) – Beat ‘Private Practice’ soundly Thursday night in total viewers (15.4 million viewers to 9.2 million). Competitive in demos (3.4 rating). Call it a tie.
THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) – Won the Tuesday 10 o’clock hour in total viewers (12.2 million) and demo rating (2.7). Granted, the competition is ABC’s ‘The Forgotten’ and ‘Jay Leno,’ but still.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC) – Managed to hold onto its usual-sized audience, 13.8 million, on a night that the desperate Philadelphia Phillies managed to hold onto World Series survival.
SURVIVOR SAMOA (CBS) – Averaged 12.7 million viewers and scored a 3.7 demo rating.
CSI (CBS) – Averaged 15.1 million viewers. Tied for second in adults 18-49 with a 3.4 rating.
FLASHFORWARD (ABC) – Averaged 8.5 million viewers and did a 2.6 demo rating, Thursday night’s eighth best performance in that category. We’ll give it a “B” since it’s only a rook.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (CBS) – With CBS plunking down for additional episodes this week, Jenna Elfman’s new show continues to grow in key demos. It lost only 5% of ‘How I Met Your Mother’s’ lead-in Monday and scored a solid 3.2 in adults 18-49. It’s official: CBS has no weaknesses on Monday nights now.
COMMUNITY (NBC) – Under the normal college curve, 5.6 million viewers gets you a “C-minus” at best. But we’re using a community college curve here. Totally left out on its own in a tough time slot on a last-place network, this show is finding an audience on its sheer quality, growing for the fourth straight week. Finished 10th in adults 18-49 (2.3 rating), justifying NBC’s decision last week to keep it around a full season.
DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) – A lot of ‘V’ watchers stuck around Tuesday night – averaged 14.5 million viewers, losing only to ‘NCIS’ in the 9 o’clock hour.
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (CW) – Averaged 4 million viewers.
THE MIDDLE (ABC) – Grew its audience 15% over its frigid ‘Hank’ lead-in. Quietly and unspectacularly, Patricia Heaton’s little flyover-state-themed show is establishing itself.
THE BIGGEST LOSER (NBC) – Finished third in both the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. hours Tuesday, averaging 9 million viewers. Did a 3.4 in the key demo, and beat everybody in women 18-49.
30 ROCK (NBC) – Continues to squander ‘Office’ lead in (down 25%). A 2.9 demo rating was seventh overall on the night. Come on, the ‘Girlie Show’ probably does better.
CSI: NY (CBS) – Not a great hour to be a New York-set show. Averaged a subpar 11.7 million viewers and got killed in demos by baseball Wednesday at 10 p.m., as the champagne-showering Yankees grabbed all of the Big Apple’s attention.
CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) – Averaged just 12 million viewers. Finished in second place at 9 o’clock Wednesday, but another show that absolutely creamed by baseball.
BONES (Fox) – Averaged 8.5 million viewers and scored a 2.5 demo rating good for third place in one of the two most competitive time slots of the week, 8 p.m. Thursday.
SUPERNATURAL (CW) – Averaged 2.7 million viewers for the CW.
THREE RIVERS (CBS) – Averaged 7.7 million viewers, finishing behind ‘Desperate Housewives’ and Game 5 of the World Series. Hard to tell whether its surviving or dying with championship baseball in the mix.
90210 (CW) – Episode guest-starring Rumer Willis, and featuring DJ Samantha Ronson offering up dating advice, averaged only 2.1 million people… but 2.1 million was above 2 million for the CW, so a “C” it is.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Fox) – Averaged 6.1 million viewers from 8-10 p.m. Tuesday, finishing in fourth place.
LAW & ORDER: SVU (NBC) – Averaged an unspectacular 8 million viewers Wednesday, right about where it’s always at.
GOSSIP GIRL (CW) – Remained Monday night’s No. 1 draw in females 18-34 – the niche the CW specializes in – but was officially declared “buzzless” by the New York Daily News.
COUGAR TOWN (ABC) – Averaging 6.8 million viewers and dropping 21% of ‘Modern Family’s’ audience, viewers may be catching onto something Grademaster already knows. Don’t make him say it.
FRINGE (Fox) – Sophomore season now officially a disappointment: finished in fourth place Thursday with 5 million viewers and out of the night’s top 10 in demo rating.
THE FORGOTTEN (ABC) – Down 12 percent from last week in total viewers with 7.6 million, and lost the demo race to ‘Leno,’ which is never good.
PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC) – With only 4.9 million viewers, it dropped 13% of ‘Community’s’ small, quirky but caring audience. But it’s not going anywhere, since NBC just re-upped it for the rest of the season.
HEROES (NBC) – Perked up slightly with a very respectable 2.6 demo rating and 6.2 million viewer average, but the word on the street is that Tim Kring and company have been already told by NBC brass to wrap it all up by the end of the season.
MELROSE PLACE (CW) – Averaging 1.5 million viewers Tuesday, it didn’t even finish in cable’s top five.
HANK (ABC) – He remains one of the more active producer forces in Hollywood, but consider Kelsey Grammer now on a losing streak as a leading man. Averaging just 5.3 million viewers Wednesday at 8 p.m., ‘Hank’ is headed to the same place ‘Back to You’ went.
TRAUMA (NBC) – Too little too late: 2.1 demo rating and 6.2 million viewer average the best since its season premiere, but NBC has already pulled the plug on further orders.
EASTWICK (ABC) – Dropped below the 5 million audience threshold Wednesday, averaging 4.6 million. The end, sadly, is near. Grademaster, a huge fan of Darren Star’s short-lived ‘Miss Match’ back in the day, empathizes with small, bewildered core aud’s loss and pain.