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“Idol,” “House” and Law” Thoughts

Mark Harmon photographed by Jerry Avenaim.

Image via Wikipedia

And the most popular prime time television show in Western New York is…

“NCIS” with Mark Harmon (pictured here), which is carried locally on CBS affiliate Channel 4. 

Yup, it isn’t Fox’s “American Idol.”

In fact, “Idol” — which used to go head-to-head with “NCIS” on Tuesdays–   wasn”t even No. 2 during the February sweeps.

“The Big Bang Theory,” which CBS moved from Mondays to Thursdays to collect more advertising dough, is No.2.

The “Idol” Wednesday edition is No.3 and the Thursday edition is No.4 , about two ratings points lower than the CBS shows ahead of it.

And there are seven CBS shows within 2.5 points of “Idol.”

There are several points being made here.

1) While “Idol” remains a very popular show in Western New York despite the absence of judge Simon Cowell, it no longer dominates and in fact gets viewership close to several other Top 10 shows. 

2) It is Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, that dominates here. It has 15 of the Top 17 prime time shows here – the other two being “Idol.”

“Criminal Minds,” “The Mentalist” and “Two & a Half Men” – all of which get or will get big syndication revenue that “Idol” won’t get – are within a point or so of “Idol.”

3) It should be noted that one reason that CBS shows do so well here is because many of its series appeal to the area’s older demographics.

Of course, “Idol” was bound to drop because it is an aging show, Cowell left and many newspapers can no longer to afford to have a staffer blog each night’s performance and increase the show’s awareness and increase hype. But the drop here is much bigger than the national average.

I always find it interesting to see what WNYers are watching in prime time. Here are some more things to note after taking a look at the Top 50 shows in WNY:

* “Two & a Half Men” remains the most popular sitcom in WNY and will be missed in May when the aftermath of the Adventures of “Malibu Messiah” Charlie Sheen really will hit. By the way, CBS doesn’t pay Sheen $2 million an episode, Warner Brothers (which produces the show) pays him. However, CBS is saving money by not having to pay Warners for episodes it doesn’t make.

* CBS’ February experiment of putting Tom Selleck’s “Blue Bloods” on Wednesdays paid off. It was the No. 12  rated show here, only behind the “Criminal Minds” spinoff as the top-rated new program.

* The football-themed Super Bowl episode of “Glee” was a silly disaster, but the Fox show probably has become a bigger local hit because of it. It averages a double-digit rating here and at No. 18 gets Fox’s best rating except for “Idol.”

* “House” is just behind “Glee” despite the continuously exasperating and time-wasting romantic story line between House (Hugh Laurie) and Dr. Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Enough already.

* ABC’s top-rated show here is the aging “Grey’s Anatomy” at No. 20. It also is the only ABC show that averages a double-digit rating on Channel 7. The Emmy-winning sophomore comedy “Modern Family” is only behind “Grey’s” and “Desperate Housewives” here among ABC series. As if Channel 7 doesn’t have enough problems.

* David E. Kelley’s incredibly silly new liberal legal drama starring Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law,” is the top-rated NBC program on Channel 2 at No.21. It also averages a double-digit rating. Kelley appears to know America’s taste better than critics like me.

* The stylishly appealing new Fox police drama “The Chicago Code” is doing decently on WUTV on Monday even if it is losing too much of its “House” lead-in.

* The only NBC comedy in the Top 50 shows is “The Office,” which is losing star Steve Carell. However, NBC’s comedies get decent demographics and that keeps them on the air.

* While 10 p.m. weekday shows are losing audience nationally, WNYers seem to be staying up to watch “Harry’s Law” on Monday, “The Good Wife” on Tuesday, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” on Wednesday and “The Mentalist” on Thursday. Or at least recording them and watching them later. They all averaged double digit-ratings in February.


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