T Dog’s Media Notepad: “Big Bang” suffering from “90210” syndrome

pencil-and-paper-animation-PPP_CGENE_LT3_Notepad_w_PencilBears decline in ratings 

Sidenote: From here on out, all ratings news will be here in the notepad.

– Is it too early to declare the Bears season over? Last Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals drew a 22.2  household rating according to Chicago Business Journal, down 20 percent from last week’s Packers game and down 33 percent from last year’s comparable week two game, a Monday night game against the New York Jets.

Even worse for the Bears, Sunday’s game actually drew fewer viewers than last spring’s Stanley Cup Final games locally, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks. For example, Game 1 of the series against Tampa Bay drew a 28 rating, beating both Bears game this season.

Jay Cutler was injured, and will not be able to start the next few games. Moreover, various NFL power rankings puts this team nearly dead last. The Bears have become the NFL’s The Waverly Wonders. Sadly, the Bears season can’t be canceled in three episodes.

– As for the Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champs were back in action Tuesday night with a pre-season game against the Detroit Red Wings. As you know by know, Blackhawks star Patrick Kane has been accused of raping a woman in his suburban Buffalo home last month, a case that has generated loads of publicity. Kane, who has not been charged with any crime, played in Tuesday night’s game, which earned a 3.5 Nielsen household rating, according to Chicago Business Journal. While the number is perceived as “disappointing”, keep in mind the Blackhawks game was opposite new programming on the major networks, in the second day of the new television season.

Plus… it’s preseason hockey.

Big Bang fading? While Monday’s season premiere put up strong numbers (4.7 in adults 18-49), the absence of Bill Prady (who now runs ABC’s The Muppets) is taking its toll: Leonard and Penny got married in Vegas, and had a fight a mere fifteen minutes into the marriage (at this point, the marriage is likely to last only fifteen days.) Meanwhile, Amy and Sheldon broke up, which really surprises no one.

While the quality of Big Bang is practically on the same level as Three’s Company and Married…With Children among TV critics, Big Bang is suffering from the Beverly Hills, 90210 syndrome – too much drama for the sake of drama – in a sitcom. Who would’ve thought Penny would be the new Brenda?

So who’s showing up next week? Shannen Doherty as Leonard’s new love interest? Dylan dating Amy? Brian Austin Green appearing for the hell of it? The possibilities are just endless for a show that jumped the shark years ago…

– In a follow-up to WGN-TV’s “wardrobe malfunction” last week when a Nazi symbol appeared on-air, station general manager Greg Easterly announced Friday all WGN newsroom employees would go under sensitivity training from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the offending graphic has been removed from the station’s database. The station plans to meet with Chicago Jewish leaders soon as the station continues its investigation. Easterly notes the station has been receiving positive feedback from the Jewish community over the station’s efforts.

– Speaking of mistakes, ABC News had some apologizing to do itself for labeling deposition tapes in the O.J. Simpson trial as “exclusive” and “never seen before”. Only problem is, those tapes – which George Stephanopoulos said “for the first time we hear Simpson’s chilling testimony about his relationship with his ex-wife Nicole.”, was seen on NBC’s Dateline on June 15, 1999. NBC even filed suit in court to get the tapes released.

ABC News officials apologized for the errors.