By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 0 Comments
The ugly ratings for broadcast TV this season – you can tell they’re ugly because broadcast networks are making loud noises about trying to convince advertisers to pay for 7 days of DVR viewing, an acknowledgement that nobody’s watching live – are particularly ugly on Tuesday, except for The Voice and the NCIS franchise. There’s a specific problem on Tuesday that a lot of people predicted when the network schedules were announced: Fox, NBC and ABC all had very similar comedies going up against each other at 9 p.m., and they were almost certain to cannibalize each other’s ratings.
The counter-argument to this was that there’s always room for two hit shows, or even three: they may take some viewers from one another, but there are enough viewers to go around if the shows are popular. (Particularly since the “Live plus same day” ratings system counts the people who watch one show and then watch the other show on DVR playback the same night.) But as it turns out, none of the eight comedies on this night are huge hits, though two of them are popular enough that they will probably be back next season. So there does seem to be some reason to believe that the pile-up of comedies is preventing any of them from standing out.
NBC is probably faring the best on this night, because it has the best lead-in, The Voice, and that lead-in is guiding a lot of people to Go On. It’s hard to know just yet how Go On would fare without the Voice lead-in, but for now it’s the highest-rated comedy of the night (both in 18-49 and total viewers), and has gotten good reviews. It’s one of two new NBC shows for this season that essentially demonstrated the network’s desire to remake Community as a more mainstream show. Both Go On and Animal Practice had the same basic premise, a cynical leading man who finds his heart, and maybe even love, when he’s forced to interact with a bunch of weirdos. The latter show bombed because it had to lead off a night; Go On isn’t a major hit, but should be a lock for another season at least. The show that follows it, Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal, is a lot less popular, but still manages to out-rate the two comedies it’s up against, so it’s not a liability for NBC in the way that its Wednesday and Thursday lineups currently are.
The other two networks placed big bets on Tuesday that don’t seem to be paying off. The success of New Girl last season inspired Fox to create a two-hour comedy Continue…