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Herc Ganders At
Midseason Ratings!!

I am – Hercules!!
"24" is down. "Damages" is down. "Scrubs" is down. "Biggest Loser," "The Bachelor" and "The Real World" are up. How's your favorite show doing at midseason? The stats I cite below are preliminary 18-49 ratings (for non-repeats only). MONDAY 1/5 UT Vs. OS (Fox) 5.5 The Bachelor (ABC) 3.1 True Beauty (ABC) 3.1 Superstars of Dance (NBC) 2.7 Momma’s Boys (NBC) 2.0 Gossip Girl (CW) 1.4 One Tree Hill (CW) 1.2 Competition-reality dominates Monday. “True Beauty,” which roundly mocks the morals and intelligence of very good-looking people, held on to virtually all of “The Bachelor’s” strong debut demo numbers. (I believe “Beauty” is my favorite new network reality series since “Wipeout.” The contestants think they’re on a “America’s Next Top Model” ripoff, but the loser at the end of every show learns that he or she has secretly been participating in a cross between “Joe Schmo” and “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.”) Were I running ABC, I would move “Beauty” to 9:30 to keep building on its post-“Bachelor” momentum and shove weakling returning sitcom “Samantha Who?” to 10:30; it would have been a good defensive position against the return of CBS’ comedies and “CSI Miami” tonight. Last Monday’s best reality show, Texas’ season-ending victory over Ohio, was of course the night’s – and very nearly the week’s – top draw. TUESDAY 1/6 The Biggest Loser (NBC) 4.4 The Mentalist (CBS) 3.9 Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 3.9 NCIS (CBS) 3.7 Scrubs (ABC) 3.2 Scrubs (ABC) 3.1 Without A Trace (CBS) 2.7 Primetime (ABC) 2.7 Homeland Security USA (ABC) 2.3 90210 (CW) 1.4 Privileged (CW) 0.8 Competition-reality crushes on Tuesday as well, with “Biggest Loser” garnering its biggest debut ratings ever. “Scrubs,” which no longer has top NBC sitcom “The Office” as its lead-in, saw an 18% plummet compared to its debut last year. “Scrubs” prospects should grow even grimmer with the return of world-killer “American Idol” tomorrow night. WEDNESDAY 1/7 Barbara Walters: Patrick Swayze (ABC) 3.0 Law & Order (NBC) 3.0 People’s Choice Awards (CBS) 2.9 Stylista (CW) 1.1 13: Fear Is Real (CW) 1.1 With almost all of the regular Wednesday shows dark, the floundering “Law & Order” mothership managed to match its season high. “American Idol” and “Lost” return this week and next to crush everything in their paths. THURSDAY 1/8 BCS Championship (Fox) 9.5 Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 5.1 Private Practice (ABC) 3.3 ER (NBC) 2.6 Ugly Betty (ABC) 2.4 30 Rock (NBC) 2.3 My Name Is Earl (NBC) 2.0 Kath & Kim (NBC) 1.7 Last Thursday demonstrated how important “The Office” remains to NBC’s Thursday-night survival now that SNL Thursdays are history; with no new fresh Schrute the peacock’s otherwise non-repeat Thursday night flew apart – even with its dominant CBS competition in repeats. In its first pairing with its higher-rated sister show "Grey's Anatomy," ABC’s “Private Practice” handed the Stamos-crippled “ER” its first defeat of the season. Both “CSI” and "The Office" return this week. “Survivor” will return to crushing all comers at 8 p.m. when it returns Feb. 12. FRIDAY 1/9 Ghost Whisperer (CBS) 2.5 Numb3rs (CBS) 2.4 20/20 (ABC) 2.2 Flashpoint (CBS) 2.1 Howie Do It (NBC) 2.1 Supernanny (ABC) 1.9 Wife Swap (ABC) 1.6 Dateline (NBC) 1.3 Lipstick Jungle (NBC) 1.3 Many curious viewers with nothing better to do on a Friday night tuned in to see Howie Mandel’s horrible prank show. Because “Friday Night Lights” returns to Fridays this week, “Lipstick Jungle” went away, almost certainly forever. SUNDAY 1/11 Desperate Housewives (ABC) 5.2 Golden Globes (NBC) 4.8 24 (Fox) 4.2 60 Minutes (CBS) 4.0 Extreme Makeover (ABC) 3.4 Brothers & Sister (ABC) 3.4 Cold Case (CBS) 3.0 The Unit (CBS) 2.7 Yesterday’s “Golden Globes” was the lowest-rated since NBC started airing the show in 1996. (Perhaps the Hollywood Foreign Press Association should consider reviving its fortunes by renaming itself The Hollywood Award-Givers Association, an arguably more accurate designation.) “24,” with its best (qualitatively) two hours in years, was down 31% from its 2007 premiere. CABLE While “The Hills” and its equally craptacular spinoffs are struggling, MTV’s “The Real World: Brooklyn” was up 18% from he debut of last year’s “Real World: Hollywood.” FX’s best show, “Damages,” was sadly down 44% from its July 2007 premiere. The good news is FX has already ordered its third season, so the channel will be forced to give us great TV despite the anemic ratings. For far more thorough, in-depth and intelligent ratings analysis, I refer you to James Hibberd’s excellent Live Feed Blog.

"I love love love DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG as much or more than just about anything I’ve seen this year." -- Harry Knowles

HD Reservoir Dogs: $10.49!! (58% Off!!) (Part of the 215-title 50% off sale!!)

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    these ratings are just more evidence

    by bacci40

    as why there will not be a sag strike and that there needs to be a new ratings system with the move to new media...is anyone measuring hits on places like hula and the network websites?

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST

    When

    by nukethefridge

    is house on?

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST

    The Office

    by Amber Spyglass

    The Office returns this Thursday with new episodes.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    House is back a week from today.

    by Hercules

    word to your mother

  • Please have them shot. Thanks in advance.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    I'm not surprised with the ratings.

    by Orbots Commander

    More people are watching shows via DVR/Tivo, Hulu, iTunes season passes, or simply wait out the season and rent the whole thing on DVD. Nobody appointment-watches TV anymore. I just found the best free way: my local public library carries a wide DVD selection. I've just burrowed Season One of Mad Men and Season 3 and 4 of The Office. Other than for sporting events, CNN, ESPN or CNBC, my cable connection is pretty much wasted.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    The Howie Mandell Channel...

    by RaRoMo

    ...is really going down the tubes. They've got The Office and Kath and Kim, and a revitalized Law & Order, but what else? They're saying now they may not even program 7 days a week, or a full 3 hours a night. Jesus! NBC used to be the quality channel on broadcast TV. What the fuck happened?

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    agree with bacci40...

    by Executor

    And thanks for the update Herc.<p>Networks need to start promoting how well certain episodes are faring on the internet, iTunes, and (in the case of cable shows) over multiple repeats per week.<p>I watch 30 percent of my TV at the gym...and I'm sure there are a lot like me. (Though judging by the look the girl next to me on the elliptical gave me, when she glanced at the ipod and saw Jason Stackhouse high on V banging the naked dark-haired girl, not everyone approves.)

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Howie Mandell needs feces thrown at him

    by CobraKai

    That compulsive clown. He stunk on St. Elsewhere. His comedy act is worthless. However,..I'd watch if some guy on the street threw his feces at his face. Since he has this germ aversion thing going...I think it would make his heart stop.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    "24" screwed itself with the last horrible season

    by Pongo

    It was great last night, but I'm surprised anybody actually tuned in after last season's crapfest.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Have FX changed their busuness plan?

    by Setesh

    Since good TV does extremely well on DVD, FX might know that persevering with a good show will raise the prestige of the channel and reap dvd revenue despite current low ratings.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Networks really don't care

    by Shivv

    if you watch the show on your DVR. You just fast forward through the commercials, which means that advertisers don't care about you.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:08 p.m. CST

    FX's business plan

    by Hercules

    The DVD rights to many of FX's shows, including Damages, Rescue Me and Shield, are actually owned by Sony.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Life?

    by Frank Black

    Besides, Lost, BSG, Big Bang Theory, Cold Case, Law & Order, Dexter, 48 Hours, and a couple others, Life is the only show I care about. (I watch too much tv.)

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    there's literally nothing on tv

    by Balcony Fool

    about which i care enough to make plans around.<P> i like "it's always sunny in philadelphia" quite a bit, but prefer to watch it in season-long marathons on dvd. i used to be a huge "battlestar galactica" fan, but their never-ending delays and gay half-season dvd releases pissed me off to the point that i lost interest.<P> television has simply lost its luster for me. there are enough great movies that i've never seen to occupy my free time for the rest of my life.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Is it just me or...

    by drewlicious

    Does Jack Bauer's tendency to torture starting to look compulsive? He wailed on Tony almost immediately like it was a reflex.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    The only show ...

    by F-18

    I make a point of watching is NCIS. I usually record it and if I forget to record it, I watch it on the Internet.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Is Rescue Me still on FX?

    by codymr

    Loved the first 2 seasons of that show... then I found it got too outrageous. Was it picked up this year, or did it get axed and I just never heard about it?

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Herc, why are you the only one on the internet...

    by nalapou

    that keeps saying Office starts with the Superbowl ep? Starts this week.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Golden Globes ratings down because

    by aPo

    they didn't nominate The Dark Knight for anything. I'm sure the Oscars won't make the same mistake they did. Believe me, they will nominate DK for all the major awards because they want the big ratings.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:04 p.m. CST

    I know it's snobbish but...

    by aversiontherapy2

    I don't understand how people can watch so much moronic crap and ignore the few intelligent and rewarding programs.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST

    People Just Don't Get It

    by shoe1985

    Networks get paid from sponsors, who air their commercials during shows. If people are not watching the show during its first run, and through other means, the network is not making money, rather the studio who made the show. This means more shows will get canceled and shows that do well in ratings will get put on in their place. If anything, the new media should be used to attract more viewers to the first run episodes.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Saturday

    by yubnubrocks

    Hey - there actually ARE people at home on Saturday nights, ya know. You JUST might want to try bringing some shows back. Just a thought.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

    I blame the economy.

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    I mean, what else is there to blame? Poor writing? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA~!!!

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Executor

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    Agreed. The gym is my new place for discovering new shows.<p> I'm not going anywhere for a good hour, and when I'm doing cardio, my attention is almost completely devoted to the show. I've become a fan of shows like MAD MEN, PUSHING DAISIES (may it rest in peace), BIG LOVE, SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, etc. Some shows -- THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD -- I only watch at the gym.<p>Networks need to start realizing that just because people aren't sitting at home watching TV shows as they air... they're still watching lots of stuff.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 8:32 p.m. CST

    24 is... back, surprisingly enough.

    by El Fuego

    Love how they're setting up the FBI chick as someone who wishes she could be Jack... it's either going to be awesome when she steps up, or agonizing when she gets dead.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Flashpoint sure stank on ice

    by chromedome

    Weak writing: plot was poor, characters were cardboard cut-outs, and none behaved plausibly during a single minute.<p>Tech Genius Diffuse Bomb By Cutting Several Wires Simultaneously, Giggles "I don' need a bomb suit"<p>Puh-thet-ick

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST

    WHERE IS MY 'CHUCK' TALKBACK?!?!?!?!?! :)

    by Murraypalooza

    Sorry. It's true. The show is a de-facto 'nerd/cool' show and should have its own section of the site, let alone a talkback. :D

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    You forgot Knight Rider

    by WIBoomer1

    I'm serious. You (and all of you so called Science Fiction fans) need to step up to the plate and take a gander at the next 2 weeks of KR. They (if you haven't heard) have brought back KITT's Doppelganger, KRR, and it looks to be a great few episodes. I know it seems that the show is on the verge (if not) cancelled, but I think the writers are starting to come back to the original "one man can make a difference" premise of the 82 show. So I'm asking you to at least take a look at these 2 pages: http://knightrideronline.com/ and http://knightrideronline.com/news/#002234 thank you for your time

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Nice writeup, Herc

    by snowpuff

    Impressive.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    LOST

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    I expect its ratings to sink. As soon as I read this season was going to be more complicated as far as the time frame in which events occur, I knew it would be suicide.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    LOST's ratings hardly matter

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    They've got two seasons left and millions of die-hard fans. The ratings may dip, but no matter. They're gonna see it out to the end, guaranteed.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    There are only two shows I care about.

    by cinemixtape.com

    Neither of which are on network TV. Those are South Park and Flight of the Conchords. Sadly, I do not have HBO, so it looks like weekly torrenting is in my near future.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 9:57 p.m. CST

    LOST OWNS! FU@K THE HATERS!

    by eoneon

    EyeofPolyphemus is a lame W lovin,mullet wearin,Nascar fan,who can't stand a quasi intellectual show that actually makes you think. take off you right wing prick

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Shivv

    by TVguy4566

    That's not exactly true. Networks care because they are getting more and more creative with their advertising. That is why you see car companies sponsoring entire shows like they did with the premier of Damages. There is more and more product placements in shows. The sell individual comercials to On Demand and Internet broadcasts that are near impossible to fast forward through. Networks are slow to react, but they are getting better to maximize the ad revenues these other viewing methods.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 11:19 p.m. CST

    LOST will rock this season. DVR/TiVO/iTunes

    by Cheif Brody

    Some look at LOST's use of flashbacks/flashforwards as a lame plot device...Those are gone now. Love that Damon & Carlton are not afraid to 'shake things up' on LOST...Makes those lame procedural crime dramas look silly. Same formula week after week...nobody complains about them! <p> Hate to say it...but 'House' is another great show that needs a preemptive kick in the ass...perhaps a few eps with more than ONE critical patient...or NO critical patient! HOUSE FORMULA: Sick person enters...false diagnosis...patient crashes. House is a dick. New diagnosis...patient SEEMS better...patient crashes again. House is a dick. FINALLY, House figures it out when someone says something completely unrelated to the case. Bingo! Patient cured. House wins again...and is still a dick. Hugh Laurie can only be gruff, but lovable for so long before this gets redundant...if it hasn't already for some. <p> ABC giving LOST an end date is the best thing to happen to network TV in years. These final 2 seasons will be so much better because of it. No more padding and filler...just rich, gooey creme filling from here on out! This is the only show that I 'appointment watch'. <p> Something is gonna have to be done about viewing first run shows via alternate media outlets...The networks DEPEND on us to watch these commercials...But technology is making it easier for us to avoid those ads. The Nielsen Ratings are a joke...the sample is miniscule (seriously...do you KNOW a 'Nielsen Family'? I didn't think so)...it doesn't accurately factor in all the DVR, TiVO and iTune viewers. The whole system needs to be thrown out and revised. The advertisers will NOT support these shows if there can be no way to accurately account for the viewers. Period. <p> I think we'll see a revamp in a few years where EVERYTHING we watch on a TV set will be subscription based. The only 'free TV' will be C-SPAN and PBS. Unless the networks figure out a way to sway us into watching the live over-the-air broadcasts, i.e. sitting thru the commercials in the time period the show actually airs...the advertiser based network TV revenue system is doomed. <p> Perhaps it's time for a new system anyways. Shows like 'Arrested Development' & 'Pushing Daisies' deserve better.

  • Jan. 12, 2009, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Lost is still the best show on TV

    by Eyegore

    With the possible exception of Dexter. I agree with everything that was said about EyeofPolyphemus. Thin-brained wanker.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Cheif Brody, spot on

    by the_scream

    Well put. Lost is the only show on tv that has maintained its quality from episode 1. The writers are not afraid to kill off main characters, introduce long story threads over several years, use complicated story devices etc. People who gave up simply we sick waiting for answers. I'm one of the few luck fans who is more than happy to enjoy the ride because that's all that matters in the end.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:02 a.m. CST

    typical episode of lost

    by bacci40

    bunch of people walking around hawaiin jungle...walking....walking....talking a bit...walking....walking....then screaming...JACK!!!!!!!!...then flashback or flashforward....then more walking....great tv

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:09 a.m. CST

    bittorrent - the only way to watch your shows!

    by David Cloverfield

    It's true!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:17 a.m. CST

    bacci40...you forgot to mention...

    by Cheif Brody

    the part on LOST where The Harlem Globetrotters show up unexpectedly on the island...and hilarity ensues. That's my favorite part.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:55 a.m. CST

    What's wrong with walking and talking?

    by estacado1

    It's certainly better than courtroom shows where it's just talking, but Lost has WALKING in it. That puts it on a whole different level and make it the greatest show on TV. And they are trying to shake things at House a bit. Cuddy and House, 13 and Foreman. But you know one of them will die before the season ends. Guess which. And is 24 as good as people are saying? After last season, I feel like it's a chore for me to download it. I have better things to do with my bandwidth. And the 10 episodes of BSG better have a lot of explosions in it. If we get more of the "West Wing in space" crap, I won't care how they end up.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Rescue Me comes back in April.

    by The McPoyle Clan

    Lost is a quality show, which is all the more astonishing because it's on network TV, where the audience clearly has a preference for the insipid and banal.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 5:27 a.m. CST

    Rescue Me is still on and after The Shield's end

    by ev1ldead

    it is the best F/X show. Hmm..with The Wire gone too, it ties with Breaking Bad and Battlestar for best drama on TV. Damages is close behind in a group with Mad Men, Dexter and Lost. Possibly Sons of Anarchy and Big Love. Haven't seen those.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 6:34 a.m. CST

    LOST's Rating have steadily dropped every year

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    I am pointing out its ratings will continue to do so. Clinching your little fists and stopping your little feet because someone who disagrees with you politically pointed the fact out is either ignorance, immaturity, or both on your part.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:17 a.m. CST

    David Cloverfield

    by shoe1985

    Yes, then you will complain when a show gets canceled, a show you downloaded with no commercials rather then watched with commercials. How does the network gain money from bittorrent downloads of their shows? Sure, people may be watching the show, but they don't make money that way. People don't seem to understand that if money isn't changing hands, there is no reason to do business. If there is no money being exchanged from certain shows, they will be replaced by shows that will make them money. I hear about how great certain shows are, but their ratings don't reflect that. Stop complaining if you download shows rather then watch them first run and they are canceled. You are one of the many to cause the cancellation.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    re: SCRUBS....

    by meCPS

    I thought I just read on another site that Scrbs premiere ratings were up 25% over last season's finale. Somebody's lying.....

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Kind of funny when you think about it

    by shoe1985

    I am sure a lot of the readers here want to get into the movie or tv business, yet they have no problem of downloading shows or movies illegally. When they go to Hollywood to try and get a job, no studio will take a risk on them if nobody watches tv shows or goes to the movies. Sure revenue is up for movies, but less people are going to the movies. Many networks have tried new ideas for shows, only to have them backfire. They will go with what works, and for many it is reality shows. They are very cheap to make, and draw decent ratings. Like I mentioned before, these are ways of watching the shows should actually increase ratings, bringing the show to a new audience, not taking people away.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Fuck that, download everything... and fuck commercials

    by turketron

    Only shows I care to watch live are Lost and 24. How is it hurting the show when I'm downloading it and I don't even have a fucking nielsen box? Hell, I've never even known anyone who has a nielsen box!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    WHO CARES WHEN LOST IS FUCKING OUR MINDS NEXT WEDNESDAY?

    by turketron

    NO ONE.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Ratings, DVR and advertising

    by Mooly

    If the networks gave two shits about providing quality television and less about being greedy pigs feeding at the ad money trough, then maybe more people would watch TV instead of taping or waiting for DVD. I mean, there is now so much advertising that shows have gone from 25 minutes long to 18-20. I mean, why should I set aside half hour or hour of my day to watch a show that is like 15 to 40 minutes long? And that doesn't even include the ads they run durring credits. Hell, most shows don't even bother with opening credits anymore because they can't lose the time. I recently got a DVR and it took a day to stop schedule watching TV. Watch at my leasure, skip commercials...sorry networks but you need to get your heads out of your asses or you will be the new auto industry. If you want to bring people back you need to suck it up, stop being greedy corporate pricks and cut back on ads and make shows longer again. Or find away to make money off internet. Or be like the movie industry and think about DVD revenues you will make instead of just thinking or ratings and DVD as completely seperate. GET WITH THE TIMES or you lose all right to cry and ask for bailouts when you are in financial trouble due to piss poor business.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Still the Sons of Anarchy hate from Herce

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    No ratings info. It doesn't matter. There will definitely be a second season, and a third when Fringe is long gone.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Mooly, agreed.

    by Orbots Commander

    Watching network TV is unbearable with all the commercials. I am more than willing to wait out a season of a good show and rent or borrow it on DVD or go for the season pass on iTunes or Amazon (which is a buck cheaper per episode than iTunes). Either way, someone is getting my money (via iTunes, Blockbuster Video, or through my tax money that goes to purchase stuff at the public library).

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I agree with Cleric Binks

    by masteryoda007

    Sons of Anarchy is a quality show. I was quite depressed when The Shield was ending but this is the ideal perfect follow on show. Great cast and acting and great story too.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Oh shut the fuck up shoe

    by magic_ninja

    WAAAAAHHHH, downloading shows causes them to get cancelled!!! I bet you're one of those fucking pansies that supported the writer's strike.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    When I watch "live" tv I almost never see any commercials

    by jim

    because when the ads come on I change the channel and for 3 or 4 minutes watch a sporting event, a Simpsons rerun, or bits & pieces of the 10,000th airing of "Armageddon".<p>With my DVR I see all the commercials as I fast-forward past them. If something catches my eye I will go back and watch it. Even if I don't, I still see the commercials, at least more than if I were watching the show "live".<p>Does anyone know if Nielsen families are tracked on whether or not they stay on the channel they are watching when the ads come on? If they watch something else during commercials, is this reflected somewhere?

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    underrated...

    by dengreg31

    CBS' "Numb3rs" has really been excellent this season... other than that, everything else sits on the DVR for weeks before getting to it.. until "Lost" starts up again that is...

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    When does Office return?

    by Jor-El23

    Because my Comcast DVR has a new episode, The Duel, scheduled for Thursday

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    EyeofPolyphemus

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    No one's clenching their fists... just commenting on the fact that you said the complexities in time frame would be "suicide."<p>LOST fans are just saying, "So what?" because we know that, even if the ratings slide by a large margin (which I personally doubt), the series will run its course REGARDLESS because they've named an end date. <p>How, then, is that "suicide" (i.e. the premature "death" of the show)?

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Big Jim

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    My wife and I got to be a sample Nielsen family for one week last year. They gave us a TV journals for every TV in our house and we had to list every show we watched. If we DVR'd a show, we had to list when it originally aired and when we watched it on the DVR.<p>I'm not sure what they do for full time Nielsen families, though.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Bob, by "every show you watched" does that mean

    by jim

    what you watched:<br>9:00 pm - The Office<br>9:30 pm - 30 Rock<br>10:00 pm - ER<p>or did you need to keep track of every time you changed the channel?<br>9:00 pm - The Office<br>9:02 pm - Yankees vs Jays<br>9:05 pm - The Office<br>9:14 pm - Yankees vs Jays<br>9:15pm - The Simpsons (rerun)<br>9:18pm - The Office<br>etc...

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    by "change the channel" I mean changing whenever

    by jim

    the commercials come on.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Nielsen journals

    by WickedJacob

    When I was in college my family did that for a week, we just made up stuff. When they called me at my house a couple months ago, I said "no, I'm not doing your work for you. Send me a box or don't send me anything." They sent me a journal anyway, with a crisp one dollar bill inside(WOW!). I threw it away. The methodology is flawed, obviously only a certain type of person is going to take the time to fill out the journal, so there's no way its representative of the full viewing public.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Bob

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    i believe being referred to as "a lame W lovin,mullet wearin,Nascar fan,who can't stand a quasi intellectual show that actually makes you think. take off you right wing prick" and 'thin brained wanker' counts as a fist clinching, foot stomping tantrum over my political view. your mileage may vary. <P> yes, LOST has guaranteed two seasons even if no one watches other than J. J. Abrams' mother. however the purpose of a show is to sell advertising at the highest price a network can get, which means they want as many eyeballs glued to the set as possible. the weirder and more difficult the show is to follow, the fewer eyeballs there will be glued to the screen and companies cannot sell their Subarus, denture creams, and frozen pizzas. the bottom line means more than a guaranteed 34 or so episodes being aired.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Politics and Neilson Journals

    by Mooly

    I love it when people go out of their way to fark up polls, whether they be political or TV, and then have the audacity not take polling seriously and saying they aren't representative. How about this...don't be an asshole. Problem solved.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    EyeofPoly...

    by meCPS

    The purpose of a show depends on who you ask. I agree that the Networks' purpose is to maximize advertising dollars, but that doesn't mean a show's creators are trying to merely cash in (although the monetary incentives are obviously present). Many would probably tell you they're happy with the creative victory of just getting a show aired. Ask the average viewer, and they'll tell you the purpose is to entertain them. As far as LOST is concerned, the guarantee of a conclusion (whether it will satisfy or not) absolutely DOES mean more than how many eyeballs are on the screen. We couldn't care less about ratings and advertising dollars, we just want us some entertainment.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    magic_ninja

    by shoe1985

    I did support the writers' strike. They wrote the material and deserve more for their work. Get a job, stop living in your parents' basement, then speak like you know what your talking about.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Journal

    by lowman

    I did that journal for Nielsons last year for one week during the superbowl week. They sent 3 journals (3 tvs in the house) and $30. I filled it all out on the day I got it with the shows I liked and then sent it back a week later. Only did it for one week.. maybe they knew!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Big Jim

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    Yeah... you had to put how long you watched the show. So, if you were being honest and didn't watch all of a show, or changed channels, you were supposed to write that down.<p>I'm not sure everyone would bother, but those were the instructions given.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    lowman

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    Yep, exactly what I did. Did they send you the $30 in cash? That was weird... I would think they'd send a check... but, whatever.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    EyeofPolyphemus

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    I don't disagree that for nearly all shows, ratings matter quite a bit (see the much-lamented, recent cancellation of PUSHING DAISIES).<p>They just hardly matter anymore for LOST. The show is gonna finish up in 2010 whether, like you said, only J.J.'s mom is watching. So, really, the storyline doesn't have to appeal to the fair-weather fans who wouldn't stick with it anyway because, guaranteed, the show will complete its run.<p>Besides, LOST makes a mint on DVD sales. I've bought every season and, damn it, when they put it out a LOST: THE COMPLETE SERIES Blu-Ray box set in the shape of a hatch or a Dharma shark, I'll give all of my LOST DVDs to my sister (who refuses to watch until the entire series can be watched all at once) and buy the set.<p>And that's why ratings, for the most part, really don't matter in the case of LOST... loyal viewers know the end is near and will see it out.<p>Now if I were the producers of HEROES, having just finished a crap-tastic first-half of a third season that caused many longtime viewers (including me and my wife)to wash their hands of the show and delete it from our DVRs' series recordings, I'd be way more worried about how story influences ratings.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Thanks Bob

    by jim

    I wonder if the advertisers are given those numbers. Sure, 5 million people are watching said show, but if those same 5 million all change the channel during the commercials, what do the ratings really matter to the advertisers, other than having to pay more during a highly-rated program to air your ads that no one is watching?

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 5:10 p.m. CST

    The McPoyle Clan & ev1ldead

    by codymr

    Thx for the update on Rescue Me.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    masteryoda007

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Thanks. Perlman and Segal make the show. I can't picture other actors in those roles. I can't wait for season 2.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Herc Make up Your Mind re: 30 Rock

    by catlettuce4

    On some posts you make it sound like the show is a "hot" program that helps shows like "ER" get better ratings. However, this article seems to indicate (probably more accurately) that "30 Rock" is nothing without "the Office."

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 6:30 a.m. CST

    More on Rescue Me

    by The McPoyle Clan

    http://tinyurl.com/9vd3hv

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Pushing Dasies

    by NOVAJimBo

    You know it's a good show cuz it got cancelled.