US Screenwatch 9th-15th October 2014

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) Up 31% in A18-49

Mulaney (FOX) Up 10% in A18-49

Person Of Interest (CBS) A series low of 1.5 in A18-49

Selfie (ABC) Falls to a 1.0 in A18-49

The Flash (The CW) Down 16% in A18-49

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On Friday 10th October at 8.30pm, ABC launched their new series Cristela. The show, which is created by its star, comedienne Cristela Alonzo, is a family comedy loosely based on her life and stand-up routine. For a tough timeslot the new comedy performed very well in terms of total viewers, with 6.5m and a 1.3 in A18-49.  Cristela had Last Man Standing as its lead-in, which garnered 6.6m viewers and a 1.2 in A18-49.  

On Sunday night, The Walking Dead returned for its fifth season. The premiere drew record numbers with 17.3m total viewers for AMC, including 11m viewers in 18-49s, giving it a 7% increase over its fourth season premiere last year.

On Monday 13th October, The CW premiered Jane the Virgin at 9pm. The dramedy is based on Venezuela’s telenovela “Juana la virgen.” and stars Gina Rodriguez as a hard working young woman who is accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine gynecological exam. The newcomer had a promising start, building on its lead-in from The Originals, which drew 1.3m viewers. Jane the Virgin averaged 1.6m viewers for its debut, and a 0.6 in A18-49, giving the network its best ratings for the 9pm timeslot since the series finale of Gossip Girl.

On Tuesday 14th October, NBC launched a new comedy, Marry Me, produced by Sony Pictures Television.  The romantic comedy stars Casey Wilson and Ken Marino, and averaged a 2.3 rating in A18-49 and 7.8m viewers. The show was down 8% from a 2.5 for the first timeslot premiere of About A Boy last season. The Season 2 premiere of About a Boy, however, returned with solid numbers: 6.2m viewers and a 1.8 in A18-49.

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In development:

Bravo is developing a new comedy, Odd Mom Out. Produced by Left/Right Films, the show captures the outrageous world of the uber-wealthy momzillas of New York’s Upper East Side.

Comedy Central has I Live with Models. Produced by Roughcut Television, the show centers around everyday guy Tommy who is discovered as a hand model, and then finds himself ‘living the dream’ with three glamorous young models in a Miami apartment. However his dreams don’t quite live up to reality.

Man Seeking Models is an in-house comedy in development at FX.  A collaboration between FX Productions and Broadway Video, Inc., the show follows a man after his longtime girlfriend dumps him and as he is forced to enter the dating scene.

Tuesday 14th October 2014


The finger of fate is once more in action, pointing to those unfortunates (or the deluded) who have put themselves in the firing line in The Apprentice.  The UK version is now 10 years old, but Sir Alan Sugar shows no signs of wavering in his ferocity towards those who fail in their tasks.

The show, produced by Fremantle’s Boundless in the UK, from Mark Burnett’s original format, began this year with 20 candidates , whose first task was to sell all the things that had to be sold at the start of former series – including sausages, balloons and T-shirts.  Given that these are supposedly all smart business people, it is always alarming (if entertaining) to see them make rookie mistakes that defy common sense.

The highest season launch figure for the show was in 2009, when it attracted 8.2m (33.5%). Last year’s show launched to an audience of 6m (26.2%).    However, his year’s show made a better start with 6.7m (29.7%).

Monday 13th October 2014

No bats required – yet…

Channel 5 last night launched its latest US drama purchase, Gotham. The drama, set in the Batman universe, pre-dates the rise of the Caped Crusader, and instead concentrates on the early career of the man destined to become Commissioner Gordon.

The show is produced by Primrose Hill, DC Comics and Warner Bros,  and is airing on Fox, who have now commissioned a full 22-episode first season after the success of its launch, which gave Fox it’s highest-rated autumn launch in 14 years.  The show also posted a huge gain with the addition of recordings viewed within the first seven days, and ended with 14.1m viewers and more than 2 million streams via FOX Now and Hulu.  Subsequent episodes have also performed well, putting it in the Top 3 of dramas to launch on US broadcast TV this season.

In the UK, its Channel 5 launch at 9pm drew 1.7m (7.8%), and a further 316.7k/2.1% watched on C5+1 at 10pm.  It may well gain from a lot of viewing of recordings over the next seven days, so the final figure could be considerably higher.

Monday 13th October 2014

Cracking Code

BBC4’s latest imported drama is an Australian thriller titled The Code.  The channel launched this with two episodes, airing from 9pm on Saturday 11th October.  The show managed a coup of its own by gaining access to the Australian Parliament House to shoot the serial, which looks into media manipulation and corruption after two brothers leak a video about an accident in the outback that politicians would rather keep under wraps.

BBC4, as well as channels in the US and Denmark,  bought the series before it even aired on Australia’s ABC, no doubt in part aided by the presence of some familiar faces in the cast, including  Lucy Lawless, David Wenham and Adam Garcia.

The first episode, at 9pm, was watched by 696,000, and gained a 3.13% Share, just a fraction below the slot benchmark Share of 3.16%.  Episode 2, at 9.50pm, held on to 529,000, giving an above-benchmark Share of 3.03%.  These results also gave The Code high Performance Index figures– 185 for Episode 1 (100 is the average), and 170 for Episode 2 – a promising start for this Aussie import.

US Screenwatch 2nd-8th October 2014

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The Flash (The CW) Highest premiere since 2009

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Person Of Interest (CBS) Down to a 1.6 in A18-49

Selfie (ABC) Down half a ratings point in A18-49

The Mindy Project (FOX) Down to a 1.0 in A18-49

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On Thursday 2nd October at 9pm, FOX premiered their new drama series, Gracepoint. The remake of the UK hit Broadchurch, tells the story of a young boy who is found dead on an idyllic beach and a major police investigation gets underway in the small California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. The new drama had a fairly soft opening with 4.8m viewers and a 1.2 in A18-49.  

At 8.30pm the same night, NBC had the premiere of their new comedy Bad Judge.  The series stars Kate Walsh as wild child Rebecca Wright who also happens to be one of L.A.’s toughest and most respected criminal court judges. Still, she’s not ready to settle down, until an 8-year-old boy – whose parents were put in jail by Rebecca – needs her help and he may be the one thing that starts to tame her. The new comedy did well, achieving 5.8m viewers and a 1.3 in A18-49.

Following that NBC also premiered their new romantic series, A TO Z.  The show tells the narrative of a relationship between a young couple, from meeting to breakup, over the course of a season. The show fell short of Bad Judge, but was sampled decently with 4.8m viewers and a 1.2 in A18-49.  

On Sunday 5th October at 9.30pm, FOX launched their new comedy Mulaney. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, the show centers on a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level while the friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around. Being first passed up by NBC, FOX gave the show a 6 episode order, and unfortunately the series got off to a poor start with only 2.3m viewers and a 1.0 rating in A18-49.

On Tuesday 7th October at 8pm, The CW had the premiere of their new show,  The Flash. Based on the DC Comic, the series follows Central City assistant police forensic investigator Barry Allen as he visits Starling City to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. Through a freak accident, he is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the fastest man alive. The series premiere did very well for the small broadcast network, earning 4.5m viewers and a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating. The debut was The CW’s most-watched and highest-rated series premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009.

In development…

ABC has a new comedy, Uncle Buck. Produced by Universal Television, the show is based on the 1989 movie of the same name.

ABC is also developing All Grown Up. This comedy is produced by ABC Studios and centers on a 36-year-old woman/child who finally starts to grow up when she moves in with two 21-year-old girls.

CBS has How to Calm a Child on a Plane. Produced by Electric Avenue, this new parenting comedy is based on the book of the same name.

Monday 6th October 2014

Green and Pleasant Land            

ITV launched a new period drama, featuring a sleuthing vicar.  Based on a series of books, The Grantchester Mysteries, by James Runcie, this production by Lovely Day stars James Norton as the surprisingly young and attractive vicar, Sidney Chambers, and Robson Green as a gruff detective.  He investigates when he suspects that a supposed suicide is actually a murder. 

As pointed out by several TV reviewers, this type of gentle period drama might be expected to sit better in a Sunday evening slot, but Downton Abbey is currently bedded in there, pushing this new title to the Monday.  However, this remembrance of times past, with a hint of Lewis, and a dash of Miss Marple thrown in, made a strong enough start, overcoming that old warhorse of the BBC1 schedules, New Tricks.  The audience of 5.2m (24.1%) at 9pm on ITV won the slot (New Tricks drew 4.8m/22.1%), and a further 534,700 (3.6%) watched on ITV+1.

US Screenwatch 25th September - 1st October 2014

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The Mindy Project (FOX) Up 10% in A18-49

Once Upon A Time (ABC) Season 4 premiere up to a 3.4 in A18-49

The Simpsons (FOX) Season premiere achieves am impressive 3.9 in A18-49

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New Girl (FOX) Down 8% in A18-49

Scorpion (CBS) Falls to a 3.0 in A18-49

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) A series low of 1.7 in A18-49

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Thursday 25th September saw a good night for ABC,starting off with Scandal, which came back for its fourth season. The drama returned with a very strong performance of 12.2m viewers and a series best of 3.8 in A18-49 (season 3 premiere earned a 3.6).

Following Scandal, ABC had the premiere of their highly anticipated new drama, How to Get Away with Murder. The series, from executive producer Shonda Rhimes, stars Viola Davis as a law school professor who challenges her students to solve some of the most difficult criminal cases that her law firm takes on. The students stop at nothing to make sure they get to the head of her class. The new show got off to a very good start and gained significantly on Scandal’s audience, with 14.3m viewers tuning in for the debut. The show stood steady in A18-49 with another 3.8 rating.

Also on ABC but premiering on Tuesday 30th September at 8pm, the network launched Selfie. Produced by Warner Bros. Television and A Piece of Pie Productions, the show centers on a woman who has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie, but who realizes that being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks a marketing guru to rebrand her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. The series is very loosely based on George Bernard Shaw’s novel, “Pygmalion,”. The new comedy didn’t get sampled too well, with only 4.9m viewers and a lowly 1.4 in A18-49. Compared to last season’s premiere of another comedy, The Goldbergs, the newcomer was down by a massive 55% in A18-49.  

The series premiere of ABC’s other comedy, Manhattan Love Story, at 8.30pm, unfortunately fared worse for the network. The show, which followsa couple as they navigate the ups and downs of being in a relationship, also shares their inner thoughts throughout the episode, attempting to offer a revealing take on the differences between men and women. Regrettably, the show failed to generate much interest, falling slightly lower than Selfie’s audience, with a 1.3 in A18-49 and 4.3m viewers. The show was also down 43% in A18-49 from the network premiere of Trophy Wife in the same timeslot.

On Wednesday 1st October at 10pm, CBS premiered their new crime drama, Stalker, with a new season premiere of Criminal Minds as its lead-in. The series stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as detectives who investigate cases of stalking, including voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation - for the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. Ratings are yet to be released, but it is more than likely that this new show will score high numbers, as the network is sticking with what it knows best - procedural dramas.

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In development…

ABC has a new drama, American Crime. Produced by ABC Studios and Stearns Castle, the show centers around the events after a young couple in Modesto, California, are attacked in their home. A war veteran is killed and his wife is left unconscious, barely hanging on. The gritty drama is told from the point of the view of the victims and sends shock waves into the community, stirring up tensions across racial lines.

CBS is developing a new drama, Zoo, based on the book by James Patterson. The show is set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet, and a young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios and James Patterson Entertainment.

The CW is also developing a new drama, Tales From the Darkside. The show is based on the 1984 series by George A Romero, and explores horror, science fiction, and fantasy. It is produced by CBS Television Studios and K/O Paper Products.

On a lighter note, OWN Network has a new reality series in development, Too Fat to Fly. The show follows best friends Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons as they navigate their small-town food truck business, selling a twist on a culinary classic: stuffed chicken wings. The show is produced by Paperny Entertainment.


Monday 29th September 2014


Never Mind The Buzzcocks last night returned to BBC2 at 10pm for its 28th season. The comedy music quiz has seen a number of hosts come and go, starting with Mark Lamarr, then Simon Amstell, before resorting to the same trick as Have I Got News for You, by having a guest host each week.  The latest series sees the arrival of a new regular host in the shape of Rhod Gilbert, and returning team captains Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus.

In 2013, the season that ran from September averaged 1.2m (6.5%), and reached the height of 1.6m (8.5%) at its peak.  The premiere edition of the latest season of the venerable show attracted 1.1m (6.5%), with a much younger audience profile than the BBC2 slot normally attracts: 16.8% of the audience were in the age range 25-34, compared with a benchmark profile of 9.2%, and 20.4% aged 35-44, compared with the slot average of 14.6% of the audience.

Week 22nd - 28th September 2014

Factored In  

The 11th season of The X Factor this weekend reached the end of the Boot Camp stage, and is readied for next week’s trips to the judges’ houses.  This week also saw the first weekend when the show went head to head with its BBC1 rival, Strictly Come Dancing.  So how is X Factor faring this year so far, and how did it perform against Strictly?

By this stage in 2013, X Factor was averaging 9.1m (38.8%).  In 2014, the average to date is 8.4m (36.7%).  The first two of this weekend’s three editions both faced competition from Strictly Come Dancing.  Friday’s X Factor episode was watched by 5.8m (25.7%), directly up against the dance show, which drew 6.5m (28.48%), down considerably on Strictly’s 2013 performance of 7.8m (35%).  On Saturday, Strictly started at 7pm, while The X Factor aired from 8pm.  Over all, Strictly averaged 8.2m (39%) – a million down on the audience for the same stage last year - while X Factor drew 7.8m (34.6%).

 Now, at first glance this does not look as though The X Factor is having a good year.  However, in the context of the overall picture on ITV, it starts to look better.  In 2013, the average figures for 7pm – 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays on ITV (Total), from January to the end of August (before the X Factor started its 10th season), were audience: 4.5m, and Share 22.2%.  Exactly the same slots from January to August 2014 drew a reduced 3.9m and (19.87%).  This is a decline of 2.3 percentage points, year on year.  The decline in Share for The X Factor is below this figure, at 2.1 Share points. 


US SCREENWATCH 26th September 2014

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Big Brother (CBS) Season finale up four tenths in A18-49

Survivor (CBS) Season premiere increases to a 2.7 in A18-49

Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) Season 2 premiere slips to a 1.9 in A18-49

Utopia(FOX)Drops to a small 0.8 in A18-49

Modern Family (ABC) Season premiere falls to a 3.7 in A18-49

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As the new fall premieres are well underway this week, we look at how well the latest debuts have done on the broadcast networks.

On Sunday 21st September at 9pm CBS launched their new drama, Madam Secretary. The show centers around the personal and professional life of a Secretary of State as she tries to balance her work and family life. The show got very well sampled, with 14.7m viewers tuning in for its debut, however it did skew older, getting a middling 2.0 rating in the Adults 18-49 demo.  

Kicking off the start of the week, CBS also had another drama premiere at 9pm on Monday 22nd September. Scorpion, which is inspired by a true story, centers around eccentric genius Walter O’Brien and his team of brilliant, socially awkward misfits. The team forms the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. This new CBS drama also got off to a strong start with 14m viewers and an impressive 3.3 rating in Adults 18-49.

Also that night, FOX launched their new highly anticipated drama, Gotham. The series tells the origin story behind Commissioner James Gordon’s rise to prominence in Gotham City, in the years before Batman’s arrival. The series had an early start at 8pm, and drew 8m viewers, but with a solid 3.2 rating in the Adults 18-49 demo.

Tuesday 23rd September saw the series premiere of the newest member of the NCIS franchise, NCIS: New Orleans. The procedural drama follows Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula), a Louisiana native who runs the New Orleans branch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. With NCIS as its lead-in, the newcomer held on to a large chunk of its viewership with 17.1m viewers (NCIS getting 18m). The show also earned a 2.5 rating in Adults 18-49, compared to the formers 2.9 in the previous hour. The new series also saw competition from The Voice, which was in its second hour, which stole a lot of the Adults 18-49 demo with a 4.0 rating.  

In mid-week, ABC had the series premiere of their new half-hour comedy, black-ish on Wednesday 24th September. Also getting help from a huge long running franchise, the show had Modern Family as its lead-in, which obtained 10.9m viewers for its new episode. Black-ish did well for its debut and got 10.8m viewers, with another strong performance in Adults 18-49 with a 3.3.

NBC also aired the second episode of The Mysteries of Laura this week, earning a 1.5, down half a ratings point in Adults 18-49 since its premiere but it still held strong in terms of viewership with 9.9m viewers.

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In development….

ABC have a musical comedy, Galavant. Produced by ABC Studios and Rhode Island Ave. Productions, the show centers on handsome Prince Galavant and his quest for revenge over the King who stole his one true love.

ABC is also developing another new comedy, Untitled Emily Halpern Sarah Haskins Comedy Project. Produced by ABC Studios and UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, the series is about Mia, a successful home renovator who can’t stop problem solving when she leaves work – especially when it comes to her boyfriend, her family and everyone she comes into contact with.

CBS has a comedy in development, Mall Security. The show, based on the real life experiences of Rob Cohen, follows a man who moves from Canada and works as a mall security guard. The production is by CBS Television Studios and Amigos de Garcia Productions.

FOX has a new action comedy in development, 100 Grand. The series follows two guys who learn how to grow up in the most unexpected way – paying off a debt for a local crime boss. The new show is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.