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What WNY Watches and Ignores

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07:  Actress Emily ...

Emily VanCamp

It might be struggling to maintain its local news advantage with its Kiddie Corp, but Channel 4 is riding the appeal of CBS prime time programming to mature viewers (that’s a code word for older) big time.

During the recently-concluded February sweeps, Channel 4 had the top eight prime time shows locally and 15 out of the Top 20. The lead-in from the prime time success helped Channel 4 win the 11 p.m. news battle over NBC affiliate Channel 2, which won everywhere it competed with Channel 4 except at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Here’s the local Top 10 of what Buffalo was watching in February, with viewership live and up to seven days afterwards. 1. “Big Bang Theory” (18.9) 2. “NCIS” (17.4) 3. “Person of Interest” (15.6) 4. “Criminal Minds” (14.1) 5. “The Mentalist” (13.5) 6. “Two and a Half Men” (13.1)   7. “CSI” (12.7)  8. “NCIS: Los Angeles” (12.5) 9. “The Voice” (11.7) 10. “American Idol” Thursday (11.7).

“The Voice” is the only NBC program in the Top 20, but the new musical drama “Smash” is close behind in a tie for 22nd place. That is largely a result of its post-Super Bowl premiere and a large number of viewers who watch the series starring Katharine McPhee at their own convenience On Demand, on DVRs or other recorded devices. When you add the viewers that watch “Smash” at a different time than its scheduled 10 p.m. Monday time slot, it ties CBS’ “Hawaii 5-0” with a 9.6 average rating.

The only ABC series in the Top 20 are the Emmy-winning comedy “Modern Family” (10.3), which is tied with the aging “Grey’s Anatomy” for 16th place.

Here are some other things to note when looking at the prime time ratings.

 “IdolLoses Its “Voice”: The days that “American Idol” dominated TV are over, especially in Western New York. Its ratings have dropped 25-30 percent here because of all the singing overkill. NBC’s “The Voice” has overtaken it here.

“Good Wife” Slips: The Julianna Margulies drama is still doing first class work, but it slipped out of the Top 25 locally in February with an average rating of 8.1. Of course, it was preempted on Sunday nights for the Grammys on CBS and the Oscars on ABC.

“Desperate Housewives,” “House” Leaving at the Right Time: Neither of the former local and national powerhouses are doing close to what they did when they were the talk of TV. But “Housewives” (7.8) and “House” (7.5) remain in the Top 35.

“Revenge” Ratings Not As Sweet as Expected: The drama starring Emily VanCamp seems to be the guilty pleasure of the year, but it only finishes in 40th place here.

“The River” Isn’t on “Firm” Ground, Either: ABC’s reality-style drama “The River” (5.4) is getting more buzz but it isn’t doing much better here than NBC’s “The Firm” (5.3), which already has been canceled.

Donald Trump’s Celebrity Has Had Its Day: This year’s edition of “Celebrity Apprentice” (4.8) barely makes it in the Top 60 locally and it falling victim to its own repetitiveness and some must-see cable programs like AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

“CSI: Miami” Has Aged Badly: See above. David Caruso’s show is doing even worse here than Trump’s show because of the cable competition.

“30 Rock” Sinks Like One: Emmy voters love Tina Fey and her show, but the series is an acquired taste and not many WNYers have acquired it over the years. It gets a lower rating (3.1) than “Rock Center (3.4), the news magazine hosted by that noted NBC news anchor and part-time comedian Brian Williams.

Sports notes: If you’re looking for truTV’s coverage of tonight’s First Four games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, be advised that truTV is on channel 74 and on HD channel 859 on Time Warner Cable. The channel isn’t listed in the daily pages of the Buffalo News. It took me awhile Tuesday night to find the comeback wins by Western Kentucky and BYU carried on truTV. Syracuse’s game with UNC-Asheville Thursday afternoon is on truTV. St. Bonaventure’s game with Florida State in Friday afternoon is on CBS.

While speculation intensified on Twitter Tuesday night that the Buffalo Bills were close to signing free agent stud Mario Williams, some sobering news came across an ESPN crawl about Houston’s plans to try and retain the defensive star after giving up on Peyton Manning.


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4 responses to "What WNY Watches and Ignores"

  1. Bob says:

    TruTV is not available on regular TV’s in my house – I can only tune to channel 74 by using my TWC Box.
    And why the heck can’t I purchase my own box? Why must I rent it from them?

    • Bob says:

      Channel 74 is one of those digital/analog channels on TWC. They have been switching a number of them over the last year or so, they no longer on on the analog only feed. This of course requires the Set Top Box and at least the basic digital service. The Communication Act of 1996 said that cable customers would be able to buy their own Set Top Box within four years, obviously it’s 12 years after that and I haven’t seen them become available. Maybe someone from the FCC can explain that.

  2. Dave says:

    My wife and I love “Once Upon A Time”… How is it doing locally and nationally? It really has become the best show on TV. Takes the best of “LOST” and improves upon it.

    • alanp says:

      “Once” does well locally and nationally. Locally, it averages an 8.0 rating and is the No. 4 ABC series on Channel 7. It gets more viewers than “Desperate Housewives,” “The Middle” and “Revenge” here. However, it did much better earlier in its run.

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