×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Southland’ ratings to be tested

NBC cop drama retains premiere-week aud

Cop drama “Southland” is off to a solid start for NBC on Thursday nights, but now the net will look for answers to a couple of pressing questions.

First, how will it hold up this week when ABC’s formidable “Private Practice” returns to the timeslot, airing behind “Grey’s Anatomy”? And if “Southland” continues to perform well, where might the net sked the decidedly adult show in the fall now that Jay Leno has gobbled up all the 10 p.m. slots?

As the Peacock is thinking about fall, it also has reason to believe Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreation” will be a part of its plans. It had a pretty good second-week showing, soundly defeating its comedy competish on ABC — “Samantha Who?” — and holding onto a good chunk of its premiere-week aud despite a much lower-rated lead-in this time around.

“The shows now have such a critical base of viewers,” NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chair Ben Silverman said. “The fact that ‘Southland’ is driving such critical interest and buzz and holding its audience and growing at the half-hour mark is exciting. And ‘Parks and Recreation’ performed the best out of ‘My Name Is Earl’ in two years.”

Looking at the numbers, “Southland” won at 10 p.m. for NBC (3.0 rating/9 share in 18-49, 9.61 million viewers overall), losing just 6% of its premiere-week 18-49 audience. In the same hour, CBS’ “Harper’s Island” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.82m) declined by a bigger 15% in its second outing, while ABC’s “Private Practice” was its usual limp self when it’s in repeat (third-place 1.3/4, 4.23m).

The 9 share for “Southland” is much stronger than that for a recent episode of any of the other new dramas to premiere on the nets in 2009. The Eye’s “Harper’s Island” posted a 6; ABC’s “Castle,” “Cupid” and “The Unusuals” all settled for a 5 share; and Fox’s “Dollhouse” earned a mere 4 share.

This week’s matchup against “Private Practice” should provide the best indicator of “Southland’s” strength. While NBC has a solid but incompatible lead-in from “30 Rock,” “Private Practice” enjoys a big advantage by airing behind its thematically similar progenitor, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

As for the skedding in the fall, NBC might have wanted to move a show like “Law and Order: SVU” to 9 p.m. to provide a compatible lead-in for “Southland,” but that idea isn’t possible under the net’s stated plans of airing Leno’s new show weeknights at 10.

That leaves pretty much 9 p.m. slots for the bleep-heavy skein unless it were to air on Saturday, which is very unlikely, or on Sundays at 10 after the Peacock’s football package wraps.

One show that’s looking likely to remain on Thursdays in the fall is “Parks and Recreation” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.02m), which held onto 83% of its premiere-week 18-49 score even though “My Name Is Earl” (2.2/7, 5.36m) provided a lead-in that was 35% lower than the previous week’s special firstrun seg of “The Office.”

“Parks” built by a few ticks in rating on “Earl” while matching the latter’s 7 share; by comparison, “Kath and Kim” typically declined by a few ticks from “Earl.”

And “Parks” seems to be recruiting young auds to NBC prior to “The Office,” as its 9 share in adults 18-34 repped a 2-share build on “Earl.”

“The Office” was the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49 (4.2/11, 8.37m), and “30 Rock” logged its best demo score since March 5 (3.5/9, 7.32m). CBS still won the night on the strength of “Survivor” (3.6/11, 11.64m) and “CSI” (3.8/10, 15.72m).

Of concern for ABC is its perf in Thursday’s opening hour, with “In the Motherhood” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.62m) and “Samantha Who?” (1.5/5, 4.84m) again stumbling. It will be interesting to see if the combo sticks around another week, because the Alphabet likely won’t want to saddle “Grey’s Anatomy” with what could be a sixth-place lead-in on the opening night of the May sweep.

“Ugly Betty” is due to return May 7, but the net’s nebulous “Betty” promos of late (“Coming Soon”) hint that it could be back earlier.

Friday saw a soft return for Fox’s “Prison Break” at 9 o’clock (prelim 1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall). Show, which is building to its series finale on May 15, will air at 8 on Fridays beginning this week, followed by “Dollhouse.”

More TV

  • Arrow -- "Elseworlds, Part 2" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 2' Recap: Batwoman's 'Arrowverse' Story Begins

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2” the second part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 10. “Arrow’s” leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover had a little more to think about than “The Flash’s,” mainly because it served as the first introduction to Ruby Rose’s Batwoman. For [...]

  • Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats

    Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats Pipeline (EXCLUSIVE)

    Michael and David Uslan, the father and son producing team with credits that include “The Dark Knight” and “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch” have struck a cluster of deals that makes them a two-way conduit for TV formats between Hollywood and Asia. U2K, a company that includes the Uslans and Jon Karas (“Believe in [...]

  • Court TV Brand to Resurface as

    Court TV Brand to Resurface as New Channel From Scripps Co.

    Court TV is back in session. The cable TV channel that once carried gavel-to-gavel live coverage of high-profile trials will be revived by a new owner, nearly a dozen years after it was shuttered by Turner Broadcasting. Katz Networks, a division of E.W. Scripps Co., plans to revive Court TV as a new channel designed [...]

  • Gina Rodriguez Carmen Sandiego

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's Carmen Sandiego Series With Gina Rodriguez Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced a premiere date for its upcoming Carmen Sandiego series and Stars released the premiere date for its original comedy series “Now Apocalypse.” DATES Lifetime will debut a new Gretchen Carlson documentary Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Variety has learned exclusively. The two-hour special titled “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • 'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to

    'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to Trial

    The long-running legal battle between Frank Darabont and AMC over profits from “The Walking Dead” will run a bit longer, as a judge ruled Monday that the case must go to trial. Darabont and CAA sued the network back in 2013, arguing he was deprived of $280 million in profit participation because AMC did not [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content