Friday, July 16, 2010

ABC's Sunday Shows Flop Here

This is what I’m thinking

* The Buffalo market hasn’t been very interested in the broadcast networks’ attempt to woe audiences with original scripted summer programming.

This June through Wednesday, the broadcast affiliates here have averaged 19.2 rating points a night. A year ago, the figure was 20.2. That’s a decline of about 5 percent.

The drop comes despite ABC’s attempt to get viewers to steer away from cable with such original programming as “Scoundrels” and “The Gates” on Sunday and “Rookie Blue” on Thursday.

Nationally, the scripted dramas aren’t doing well, either.

The two Sunday night ABC programs have been soundly rejected here, losing a sizable chunk of audience every week. “The Gates” -- another vampire series -- started with a 2.8 rating on local affiliate WKBW-TV, slipped to a 1.9 and then fell to a 1.2. In other words, it has lost more than half its audience in three weeks.

Similarly, “Scoundrels” opened with a 4.9 rating, slipped to a 2.6 and then dropped to a 1.9. It also has lost more than half its audience.

“Rookie Blue,” the routine Canadian cop series starring Missy Peregrym that already has been renewed, has done well here and kept its audience. It opened with a 5.9, rose to a 6.2 and then slipped to a 5.5. Those are solid numbers at 9 p.m. Thursday, especially for the summer.

* The two scripted series that Fox is running have had pretty consistent but low ratings on local affiliate WUTV. The Bradley Whitford series "Good Guys" started with a 3.6 rating and is averaging a 2.9 over five episodes. "Lie to Me," the Tim Roth series that is in its sophomore season, is averaging a 4.3 rating. The good news is its last episode hit a high of 5.3.
NBC's unusual "Persons Unknown" started with a strong 6.9 rating on affiliate WGRZ-TV but has slipped weekly to a recent low of 3.2 and has been shipped off by the network to Saturdays.
* Remember former Channel 7 reporter-anchor Erika von Tiehl? Of course you do even if she wasn’t here long before getting an anchor job in Miami. Now the attractive anchor has landed a job as a morning anchor at the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. That’s the same station in the country's No. 4 market that just hired Channel 4 anchor-reporter Jericka Duncan.

* Melina Kanakaredes, who plays Det. Stella Bonasera, is reportedly leaving the cast of “CSI: NY,” thereby eliminating any interest I have in the show.

* Line of the week came via “Today” show host Meredith Vieira: After the program ran excerpts of the video interview that newly-engaged Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston gave to US magazine, Vieira said in a surprised tone: “Well, they look happy.” Her tone suggested she didn’t believe it would last.

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