CBS Seems Ready to Put Some Older-Skewing Shows Out to Pasture
By John Consoli -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/16/2012 2:20:04 PM
Both have decent viewer numbers for low TV-watching Friday nights, and both have won their time periods vs. the competition most weeks, but it's hard to get advertisers to invest in shows that draw such older audiences.
CBS' other Friday night drama, Blue Bloods, also has a median age audience of 61, but it draws more than 10 million viewers and has a slightly better 18-49 rating at 1.6. It also stars Tom Selleck, arguably a bigger name among viewers than Patrick Wilson of A Gifted Man or even Gary Sinise of CSI: NY. Plus, it would be hard to replace an entire primetime slate on the same night. That drastic a move has rarely worked for the networks that have tried it in the past.
These are hardly the only CBS series beloved chiefly by the AARP set; but NCIS (median age audience of 59), NCIS: Los Angeles (58) and newsmagazine 60 Minutes (60), are still producing large viewer numbers in the 18-49 demo. NCIS this season is averaging 17.6 million viewers and a 3.4 demo rating, making it the highest rated scripted drama in the demo. NCIS: Los Angeles is averaging 14.7 million viewers and a 3.0 demo rating, while 60 Minutes is drawing 13.6 million viewers per show and a 2.6 demo rating, tops among all newsmagazines.
Another show not on the list of renewals that CBS released earlier this week was CSI: Miami with a median age of 58, but with declining ratings in its Sunday night at 10 p.m. time period. CSI: Miami is down an average of 700,000 viewers compared to last season, not a huge amount when it still draws an average 9.4 million. However, it is also down to a 2.0 18-49 rating compared to a 2.5 last season-a decline of concern to both advertisers and CBS. CSI: Miami also has a median age audience of 58, up from 55 last season, and star David Caruso doesn't seem to have the female following he did when the show aired on Monday nights two seasons ago.
Meanwhile, freshman drama Unforgettable might be in a similar situation as far as its demo rating goes. The show has consistently won its time period in viewers, averaging an impressive 10.6 million per week, but it is only averaging a 2.1 18-49 rating, with an audience median age of 58.
Conversely, CBS' other freshman drama, Person of Interest, which carries a median age audience of 57, is not only averaging almost 12 million viewers, but is also averaging a 2.6 18-49 demo rating, second only to ABC's Once Upon a Time (3.3) among all rookie dramas, and in the Top 10 in the demo among all broadcast dramas. It has consistently beaten ABC's Grey's Anatomy in viewers and on some weeks in the key demo. Understandably, CBS has announced its renewal for next season.
So with all its old-skewing shows, what is CBS' youngest-skewing show? That would be freshman sitcom 2 Broke Girls with a median age audience of 47.
And despite all its older-skewing shows, CBS doesn't have the single oldest-skewing show in broadcast primetime. That distinction goes to NBC and its Kathy Bates drama, Harry's Law, with a median age of 62. And that ages to 63 for its repeats on Saturday nights.
The youngest-skewing scripted drama in broadcast primetime this season is The CW's One Tree Hill, with a median age of 30. Other primetime dramas with median age audiences in the 30s are: The CW's Gossip Girl and 90210 (32), The Vampire Diaries (35), The Secret Circle (37) and Supernatural and Ringer (39). The CW drama Nikita is that network's oldest-skewing show with a median age of 47.
Among the scripted comedies, the youngest-skewing series is Fox's freshman sitcom New Girl with a median age of 35. Next is NBC's The Office at 36, followed by Fox's Glee, Raising Hope and Breaking In, each at 38, and NBC's Parks and Recreation, 39.
Animated shows also skew young. Fox's The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers, American Dad, Family Guy and the cancelled Allen Gregory all posted a median age audience of 30, while Napoleon Dynamite's is 31.
Fox's oldest-skewing show is drama Bones with a median age audience of 51, while ABC's oldest-skewing show is Dancing With the Stars at 59. It is closely followed by dramas Body of Proof (58) and Castle (57). ABC's youngest-skewing show is sitcom Happy Endings with a median age audience of 43 followed by Modern Family (44) and Cougar Town (47).
I love a Gifted Man. I am over 65 and I stay home Friday evenings. You at CBS only think the young folks watch. Let me tell you they don't. You have start to respect the older viewers.
Dorothy Connolly - 3/30/2012 3:07:46 PM EDT
You know, i don't get it........CBS finally comes out with a show that I really enjoy on Friday nights (A Gifted Man), and they are cancelling it? Well, now I know why I haven't been able to watch it for the past month!
CBS, Hate to tell you this, but we 'older' folks, are the ones that stay home on Friday nights watching your shows......
PUT 'A GIFTED MAN' BACK ON THE AIR!!!!!!!!!!!
Angel - 3/30/2012 1:46:39 PM EDT
It is sad to hear that an audience of 61 and over is not the best one, specially on the age of the "baby boomers".
I grew to love A Gifted Man show as soon as I saw it (which by the way was not at the beginning of the season). It is true to life, very compasionate and even romantic, it has a lot of potential but evidently what matters is "how much it sells". As I said before, how sad!
Rosalia Alvarez - 3/29/2012 9:30:31 AM EDT
I think the only reason CSI: Maimi is having a harder time is because it is on Sunday nights. I work Sundays, so I record the show and my biggest problem with that time slot is other programs run over (like sports) and causes the show to start late, therefore I have missed more that half of the show. I already have it scheduled to record 45 minutes past the ending time, and I still missed the end of this weeks episode. If it was moved into say, Unforgettable's time slot, (but I totally love that show too) then it would be getting the viewers you want.
Diane E. - 3/20/2012 3:30:38 PM EDT
I believe that csi miami should be the one to get renewed only coz they have higher ratings then ny. Plus miami is my ALL TIME FAVORITE to watch. If it does not get renewed i wont be watching tv @ all. Csi miami keeps me sane and it helps me get thru the rest of the work week. Its my ONLY outlet & jonathan togo is my favorite actor EVER... OF ALL TIME! Hes unbearabley hot. WHEW! I can NOT live with out either one.
sarah burkett - 3/17/2012 7:45:57 PM EDT
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