Sunday Night Television: The Brown Bag Club

The fashion of choice for Bears fans these days. Or those for network television.
The fashion of choice for Bears fans these days. Or those for network television.

Sad sack Bears, lackluster ABC and Fox lineups dampen night

Note: numbers are 18-49 preliminary unless otherwise noted. 

And you thought Friday night television was bad.

Sunday is fast becoming Tune-Out Night In America. And the lackluster Bears (and two of their oldest animated sitcoms who are like Steve Dahl and Jonathan Brandmeier – past-their-prime acts who won’t get off the stage) are to blame.

The Chicago Bears faced the Dallas Cowboys on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, a franchise that used to showcase the best teams each week. While the game dominated the ratings (which is a given), the matchup drew a 12.9 overnight household rating, down 7 percent from Broncos-Lions on September 26, 2015.

The game drew a 6.8 adults 18-49 rating, as NFL ratings apologists will tell you is “the most watched show of the night.”

The Bears lost in a pathetic effort, a 31-17 loss in a game the Cowboys dominated from the start. Chicago’s NFL Lakefront Team is now 0-3.

Locally, the Bears game drew a 20.1 household rating for WMAQ, down 9 percent from the previous week when they played the Eagles. On the other hand, the game hit viewer highs for the season for the Cowboys at Dallas’ KXAS-TV. Even worse, Chicago placed fifth overall for the game, behind Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and even Norfolk, Va.

Speaking of losing performances, ABC had a night to forget with an Once Upon A Time retrospective (1.2), the regularly scheduled premiere of the show (1.2), the season premiere of Secrets And Lies (1.0) and Quantico (1.0). Like the Bears, it’s going to be a long season for ABC.

Over at Fox, the season premieres of the network’s lineup went like this: Bob’s Burgers (1.3), The Simpsons (1.6) the time period premiere of Son Of Zorn (1.2), Family Guy (1.4) and The Last Man On Earth (0.9). At least the Bears will be on Fox next week. Losing network + losing football team = a wonderful match made in hell.

As for Son Of Zorn, I’m sorry, yours truly can’t get into it. Despite how “innovative” it is blending live-action and animation (done before in film AND television – in 1968, for Christ’s sakes), the writing on this show isn’t good and the characters are one-dimensional. And Zorn isn’t exactly funny. For Zorn, the challenge for the rest of the season is trying to stay out of The T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame.

At CBS, a football lead-in led to the season premiere of 60 Minutes at a stronger-than-usual 2.3 rating. A two-hour edition of NCIS: Los Angeles did a 1.4.

And of note, ESPN drew a 5.7 rating for the Cardinals-Cubs game on ESPN – it’s an easy guess the Cubs outdrew ABC and Fox locally in the overnights.

That’s the ratings roundup for now – which means I won’t be talking about the Presidential Debates or the ratings for them.

You’re welcome.