Friday, April 28, 2006

Overnight TV Ratings -- "Commander In Chief" Impeached

OK, "Commander In Chief" is all but voted out of office. It's a truly strange journey -- the show debuted with terrific numbers and then grew in audience for the next four or five weeks. Traditionally, that is the mark of a significant, word-of-mouth hit. But then creator and first-time show runner Rod Lurie simply fell dramatically behind schedule. ABC felt forced to fire him and bring in veteran Steven Bochco -- who promptly switched the focus of the show from the personal dymanics of the President and her family to more of a "West Wing" feel. But the change in tone combined with numerous repeats and delays immediately took the wind out of the show. So Bochco was fired and another stalwart brought in to try and recapture the magic. A new night and time and weeks (if not months) off the air took care of the rest. Now, opposite "ER" and "Without A Trace," "Commander" is dead. Yes, it drew a slightly bigger audience than its dying lead-in "American Inventor" (a Simon Cowell project that has failed). Unfortunately, all those viewers were near dead: the show DROPPED in the 18-49 category advertisers want. "Survivor," "CSI" and "Trace" all won the night, but "CSI's" near 27 million is impressive [thanks anonymous for the correction!]-- almost "Idol" numbers and without near so much angst. NBC is dead in the water; bringing back "ER" next season with John Stamos seems inevitable (they have too many holes to fill) but a waste of time creatively.


Anonymous said...

Hello Michael: Hate to nitpick but I think Survivor got 17 million eyeballs and CSI got the 27 million viewers you mentioned

Michael in New York said...

Thanks. Not nitpicky at all. I knew it was CSI but somehow wrote Survivor. And with guests walking in the door I didn't read twice as usual to catch mistakes.

Michael in New York said...

It's doubly wrong because of course Survivor is well past its prime. I'm impressed it still does as well as it does, though. I think it was a big mistake of CBS to run it year-round. One season a year would have kept it special like Idol. Still, it did tremendously for a number of years and is still very valuable for them, so it's not a "Who Wnats To Be A Millionaire" situation where they really ruined it.