Your TV Ratings Explained: Bye, Generation!


Tuned In
CBS continues to look good on Thursday, with CSI and The Big Bang Theory both bringing in around 13 million viewers. BBT is far stronger demographically, however, earning a 4.3 rating in the demo at 8 p.m. versus a 3.0 for CSI at nine. As for new shows, critical scorn continues to have no impact on Thursday comedies $#*! My Dad Says (10.4 million) and Outsourced (5.8 million): While neither is setting the world on fire, both shows are holding on to an acceptable percentage of their stronger lead-ins (though 20 percent declines from premiere-week averages are never a good thing, leaving us some hope that Parks and Recreation may yet return to Thursdays this fall). Meanwhile, on a night that saw most new and returning shows decline notably from premiere week, NBC's 30 Rock lived up to its name, matching last week's 2.6 rating among viewers under 50. Fox's Bones and Fringe were also relatively stable.

Tuned Out
After a devastatingly weak premiere, ABC's My Generation slipped further off the radar, falling 30 percent to a disastrous 1.1 adults 18 to 49 rating. Also continuing to be ignored by viewers: NBC's The Apprentice, with a 1.4 demo rating at ten. (This is what happens when you spend all your time promoting The Event and Outsourced and forget to tell viewers the civilian edition of The Apprentice is back). Meanwhile, Vulture fave Community, like virtually every other comedy which aired Thursday, dropped versus its premiere to a weaker-than-we'd-like 1.9 demo rating. And ABC's Grey's Anatomy, while the No. 1 show in the adults 18 to 49 demo, also dropped to its lowest fall ratings ever.

Crunching the Numbers
Unless new ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee's middle name is "Job," it seems likely My Generation had its last Thursday airing last night, and perhaps its final-ever ABC broadcast. As we've been saying, it seems likely the network will shift alleged Friday-night newcomer Body of Proof to a Thursday slot, and last night's ratings provide further impetus for a change of some sort. NBC will also likely move The Apprentice off its Thursday schedule, possibly shifting it to 8 p.m. Fridays. As for the declines for most shows last night, chalk that up to the normal post-premiere-week audience erosion and the fact that, in the DVR era, viewers find themselves with increasingly packed recorders as the week goes on. Grey's and CSI are no longer competing with just each other, but also Wednesday's episode of Survivor or Tuesday's The Good Wife.