Six Things We Learned From Premiere Week

After a more than hectic premiere week that saw an astonishing 54 shows premiere on the major broadcast networks, a few trends have already started to emerge, some surprising and some not so much. Below are six things we’ve learned so far early on in the Fall 2010 TV season.

CBS Goes A Perfect 5-For-5 With New Show Launches
New comedy ‘Mike & Molly‘ from sitcom king Chuck Lorre (creator of ‘Two and a Half Men‘ and ‘The Big Bang Theory‘) and the highly touted remake ‘Hawaii Five-0‘ kicked things off strongly for America’s most-watched network on Monday, hauling in a strong 12.2 and 13.8 million viewers respectively. ‘The Defenders‘ starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell, pulled in a respectable 12.2 million on Wednesday night, and most surprisingly the William Shatner comedy ‘Bleep My Dad Says,’ (mixed reviews and all) debuted to a strong 12.5 million viewers, forming a strong 1-2 comedy punch on Thursday nights after ‘The Big Bang Theory. And to cap off a strong week, police drama ‘Blue Bloods‘ bowed to a huge number (12.6 million) on Friday. The moral? Never doubt the power of a moustache – or the legendary Tom Selleck.

Bold Scheduling Moves Pay Off
The networks made some bold scheduling moves for this Fall, and at least initially, a lot of them seem to have paid off. CBS was the most bold, shifting ‘Survivor’ from its Thursday night slot (where it’s dominated) to Wednesday at 8pm and shifting the budding power house ‘Big Bang Theory’ to Thursdays at 8pm. ‘Survivor: Nicaragua‘ is in fact performing better than last Fall’s season set in Samoa, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ hauled in almost 14 million viewers in its new time slot and helped provide a strong lead-in for the premiere of ‘Bleep My Dad Says.’ CBS’s shuffling of ‘CSI: New York‘ to Friday paid off as the veteran procedural dominated its 9pm timeslot. Fox also had some success after moving its sophomore sensation ‘Glee‘ to 8pm on Tuesdays. The result? 12.5 million viewers, and the show’s second biggest audience ever (and the largest without the aid of the powerful ‘American Idol’ lead-in.) And The CW’s Friday combo of ‘Smallville‘ and ‘Supernatural‘ (both shifted from Thursdays) looks to be a smart move as ‘Smallville’ was up 30 percent from last season’s premiere – and the 1-2 combo of Clark Kent and the Winchesters actually lifted the network into third place for the night in the coveted 18-49 demo.

Sophomores Come Back Strong
Last year’s freshman hits certainly aren’t experiencing any sophomore slumps, at least not in the early part of the Fall season. As previously mentioned, ‘Glee’ returned big, and ABC’s ‘Modern Family,’ fresh off its Emmy win for Best Comedy, pulled in a series best 12.6 million viewers on Wednesday night. Still to come: the season premiere of ‘The Good Wife‘ on CBS this Tuesday at 10pm ET.

The Apprentice: DOA
Let’s see Donald Trump spin the numbers on this one. After two dismally rated episodes, there will most surely never be another “civilian” ‘Apprentice‘ after the show has pulled in an anemic 4.1 and 3.9 million viewers. This week the show was in fact trounced by ‘Jersey Shore.‘ The big question is would NBC actually pull this show off the schedule? One would think not, but still, these numbers are BAD.

Save Lone Star!
After just one episode, the critical favorite ‘Lone Star‘ was rumored to be on life support after pulling in just over 4 million viewers on Monday night and shedding over 50 percent of its ‘House’ lead-in. Campaigns to “save” the show are already under way. It would be a shame if this unique show got yanked off the schedule so quickly, so tune in Monday at 9pm ET on Fox and tell 10 friends.

ABC In Trouble Already?
ABC’s could already be getting some its midseason shows revved up after a few lackluster premieres so far. Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow’s ‘The Whole Truth‘ tanked on Wednesday, pulling in just under 5 million viewers, and ‘My Generation‘ also bombed opening up the Thursday night lineup. ‘Detroit 1-8-7‘ had almost 10 million viewers in its debut Tuesday night, but still shed a very large percentage of its ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ lead-in. ABC’s best (and last?) hope for a Fall breakout might be on the shoulders of superhero family drama ‘No Ordinary Family,’ premiering Tuesday at 8pm ET.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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