Your TV Ratings Explained: Oops! ... Glee Does It Again


Tuned In
You're a slave for Glee, America: Last night's Brit-fest was a monster, with the show drawing 13.3 million viewers and a best-ever 5.8 in adults 18 to 49. This is the first time the No. 1 show from premiere week has grown in week two of the new season (the last show to pull of this feat: Seinfeld in 1993). Despite this, ABC's super-hyped No Ordinary Family still opened nicely, drawing a 10.5 million viewers and earning a 3.1 in the under-50 demo. While that was only good enough for third place behind the Glee juggernaut (yes, we're now calling it that) and CBS's mighty NCIS (18.7 million viewers, 4.0 demo), Family doubled what Shark Tank did in the time slot for ABC. Also having a good Tuesday: Raising Hope, which essentially matched its week-ago debut score (though, sorry, Fox: Calling the show TV's "new smash comedy hit" is a tad much). Finally, a little love for CBS's The Good Wife, which easily won its time slot in viewers (12.9 million) and the key demo groups of adults 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. The show was down 19 percent from its fall 2009 debut, but up 20 percent versus its May finale.

Tuned Out
Fox's Tuesday high crashed at 9:30 p.m., with Running Wilde losing 13 percent of its debut number and averaging a 2.1 in the under-50 demo. Not a disaster, but not a sign for hope; the show needs to stabilize soon or else it'll be pulled. ABC's Detroit 1-8-7 was more stable, with 9.2 million viewers and a 2.2 in the under-50 demo; however, it's losing a big chunk of its Dancing With the Stars lead-in and is losing audience at the half-hour. At least it's not Parenthood: NBC's second-year drama, which seemed to be catching on with viewers when it debuted last spring, sank deep into third place. It attracted just 4.8 million viewers, earned a weak 2.0 adults 18 to 49 rating, and fell at the half-hour. All's not good in the 'Hood.

Crunching the Numbers
ABC got some much-needed good news with the solid open for Family, which, along with the dead-on-arrival My Generation, was one of two key promotional priorities for the network this fall. If the show can maintain viewership in this tough time slot, ABC may be tempted to shift Family to a less competitive spot where it might add viewers, such as Tuesdays at nine or possibly Thursdays at eight (though the latter is a bit of a long shot). Meanwhile, it's hard to believe that Glee was once considered an underdog, given how thoroughly the show now dominates the ratings and the pop-culture landscape. Haters continue to insist the show will collapse at any moment owing to the show's erratic creative highs and lows, but similar predictions about Fox's love-to-hate-it American Idol have yet to come true.