How bad is broadcast prime-time programming is this year? So bad, they can’t even get a prime slot after the Super Bowl: CBS announced Wednesday it has given the post-game lead-out to a live edition of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on February 7, marking the first-time a late night talk show is leading out of the Super Bowl.
CBS had some ideal choices for the huge slot: the recently-launched Supergirl, The Big Bang Theory, Limitless, and Survivor, who launched its Australian OutBack edition after Super Bowl XXXV. But CBS went with Colbert, and Is also planning a new Late Late Show With James Corden the same night, after local news.
In the past, networks would launch new programming after the Super Bowl, but only three shows hit: The A-Team, The Wonder Years, and Family Guy, though the show struggled initially and was actually canceled twice. Nets then started using veteran shows, hoping to give them a boost. Airing a late-night show on Super Bowl Night isn’t without precedent – a episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live aired the night of Super Bowl XXXVII, but after local news and an episode of Alias.
– And prime-time programming is dealt another embarrassment: despite hitting a season low, the Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers dominated the ratings, beating all broadcast prime-time shows both locally and nationally. Despite featuring two subpar teams, the game drew 11.4 million viewers, down 7 percent from last year’s Giants-Colts matchup a year ago, and drew a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating.
In Chicago, the game drew a 10.2 rating for WCIU and a 12.1 on ESPN. In San Diego, where the game started at 5:30 p.m., CBS affiliate KFMB drew a 19.6 and an 11.7 for ESPN.
In other Monday night rating news, NBC’s The Voice and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars defeated CBS’ heavily hyped Supergirl, with the latter falling to a series low 1.7 in adults 18-49 – down 45 percent from the 3.1 it premiered with just two weeks ago. Guess more people would rather see people sing and dance than watch a well-crafted story.
– The end has come for ABC’s Wicked City. The critically-maligned show about a serial killer and his girlfriend stalking L.A. in the 1980’s finished with a 0.4 adults 18-49 last Tuesday, a historic low for the network. ABC canceled the show Friday, though it did so while much of the world was focused on the Paris attacks. Wicked City is the season’s first cancellation.
Keeping the program on the schedule would continue to do damage to ABC affiliates’ late newscasts. In Chicago, WLS is in a dogfight with WMAQ in the 25-54 demo at 10 p.m. though has a two-point lead over the NBC-owned station in households.
This comes as the major networks are reluctant to cancel poor-performing shows – even if it means hurting the overall network average. A cast member of NBC’s Truth Be Told tweeted a picture of the set being torn down, but the network continues to refuse comment on the show’s fate. NBC slashed Truth’s episode order to ten recently.
– Speaking of which, an item in a recent Think Tank noted the Fox soap Pasadena disappeared after a few episodes in 2001 and never heard from again. Turns out Fox did return the drama to the schedule to finish out its run in July 2002 according to Wikipedia, but most viewers were preoccupied with some hot new show called American Idol…
– It begins… iHeartMedia’s Hot AC station WLIT-FM is jingle bells station WLIT-FM. Beginning Thursday, WLIT started playing Christmas music to the delight of many and to the consternation to others. WLIT always dominates by far in the next two ratings periods, sometimes by a near 2-to-1 margin. Since Christmas music disrupts listening patterns and tends to draw ears away from other stations (except for a few formats), look for the next meaningful ratings period in January.
Other notes for further reading:
Chicago Tribune bids adieu to several dozen staffers as they take buyouts
It’s official: Cubs head to The Score next spring
Milt Rosenberg out at WCGO-AM (1590)
Jon Hansen exits DNA Info Chicago to join WCIU’s You And Me In The Morning