For weeks, we and, well, everyone else said that if the World Series ended up being a matchup between the Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays, no one would watch that. Apparently, we were wrong. Because last night’s first matchup between the relatively unknown teams attracted 10.4 million viewers, making Fox, which carried the game from 8:30-11, the most-watched network of the night. And that was just Game 1.
TV by the Numbers: Keep in mind that these early metered market numbers are always subject to change, but will definitely change because of the way live events are measured. Still, game one could pull in 15 million viewers, which surprises me. I watched last night, and it was a nice close game. If this series can get to six or seven games and those metered market numbers were a fair indicator, it may not wind up the lowest-rated World Series ever.
Granted, Wednesday night isn’t very strong anyways. But a lot of the other programs on last night could use the same viewer-generating bad buzz.
Mediaweek: CBS finished second in every half hour with its very respectable combination of The New Adventures of Old Christine (5.0/ 8), Gary Unmarried (5.1/ 8), Criminal Minds (9.7/15) and CSI: NY (9.1/15). What remains particularly promising for the recently introduced Gary Unmarried was growth of two per cent out of Old Christine despite competing with baseball (and continued increases for both sitcoms versus year-ago occupant Kid Nation). That full season pick-up should be coming any moment.
ABC remained out of the competitive loop with its line-up of Pushing Daisies (#4: 4.2/ 6), Private Practice (#3, 5.6/ 9) and Dirty Sexy Money (#3: 4.2/ 7). While overnight growth for Private Practice out of Pushing Daisies — 33 per cent — warrants the recent back-nine episode order, a better idea is to move it to Thursday at 10 p.m. out of parent show Grey’s Anatomy (if ratings for current occupant Life on Mars keep plummeting). What could air on ABC smack in the middle of Wednesday is a whole other issue, of course. Any ideas out there?
NBC’s troubles continue, meanwhile, care of Knight Rider (#3: 4.3/ 7), Deal or No Deal (#4: season low 4.5/ 7) and Lipstick Jungle (#3: 3.4/ 6). That’s right…only a 4.5 rating for Deal or No Deal, but keep in mind that it did face game one of The World Series. Wasn’t it painful watching last night’s contestant squander his potential winnings? As for Knight Rider, if NBC was in better shape chances are it would not have seen a full season renewal.
In series-premiere news, CW reality/competition Stylista was left at the starting gate, with a distant fifth-place 1.9/ 3 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Comparably, retention out of lead-in America’s Next Top Model (#5: 3.4/ 6 at 8 p.m.) was just 56 per cent. Considering this is a female driven hour, you can’t necessarily blame baseball for the slow start.
So, that settles it. Ben Silverman, Tina Fey, anyone in charge of ABC’s Wednesday night lineup: Here’s how you get people to tune in to your low-rated TV shows. Start spreading the word that no one will watch them.
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