TV Media Insights – TV Ratings & News – Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings

Fox in Fall 2012 - TV Media Insights - TV Ratings & News - Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings

Fox in Fall 2012

May 29, 2012 by Marc Berman in Highlights with 3 Comments

THREE NEW SERIES IS NOT AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH

Unlike its competition, Fox saves the best for midseason, with aging singing competition American Idol still the most-watched entertainment-themed telecast of the week. But, mirroring recent seasons, still potent Idol continues to bleed. And The X Factor with former Idol judge Simon Cowell was not the huge success the network (and Cowell) was hoping for in fourth quarter. So, there is an inherent obstacle heading into the new season: a crowded singing competition formula.

By the ratings, the year-to-year losses for Fox are not significant (nine percent in total viewers and adults 18-49 for the traditional season, according to Nielsen). And the network still led the season among adults 18-49 (3.2 rating/9 share versus 3.0/ 8 for second-place CBS). But erosion is erosion and across-the-board losses should have warranted more than three new series on the fall line-up. Fox needs to be more aggressive.

Minus House on Monday, the right move was to keep current 8 p.m. occupant Bones intact next season, leading into new 9 p.m. drama The Mob Doctor. Since one of Fox’s goals in recent years was to open the season with a two-hour live action comedy line-up, choosing Tuesday was not necessarily a shocker. But returning Raising Hope is not strong enough to anchor the evening at 8 p.m. (it failed to ignite interest there for five airings this spring) and that could set the tone for a sluggish block. While New Girl earned its keep in the Tuesday 9 p.m. half-hour, rating did deteriorate as the season progressed.

The X Factor will occupy two-hours on Wednesday and the 8 p.m. hour on Thursday, which is where it aired last fall. Minus the enormous expectations (never shy Simon Cowell boldly claimed that anything under 20-million viewers would be disappointing; The X Factor settled in at about 12-million), The X Factor would have been considered a hit. But the non-blockbuster ratings coupled with the departures of season one judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones makes what would have been considered a hit suddenly a “tainted” series. While the upcoming arrivals of new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will generate buzz (and a potentially lower median age), there is no reason to expect a sophomore surge next season.
And a fall edition of The Voice on NBC will not be beneficial.

If there is a lesson to be learned from The X Factor, it is keep the expectations low. It is better to launch quietly than be over-confident.

Fox is hoping, of course, that returning Glee will benefit out of The X Factor in the Thursday 9 p.m. next season. But “too much too soon” for the prematurely deteriorating musical dramedy could mean it might be time to graduate next season. What once seemed fresh and original now seems just plain tired, with double-digit across-the-board losses in season three. Not even the arrivals of guest stars Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker, or some of the graduates in a New York City setting is likely to stop the deterioration.

Friday, of course, is problematic, with sliding HUT levels a challenge for any new or returning series. But Fox is not giving up, with sophomore drama Touch with Kiefer Sutherland leading into the final 13-episodes of Fringe. While you have to give the network credit for giving Fringe a proper send-off, questionable Touch on a difficult evening may not bode well for the necessarily lead-in support for Fringe. And Fox, once again, could be lacking on Friday (as will most of the competition). Chances are busy Chef Gordon Ramsay will be back in some format by midseason.

Saturday this fall will be populated on Fox with sports related programming, which is really nothing more than a so-called “Band-Aid” maneuver. And the network will cap off the week with animation on Sunday, as always. But the established product is down, The Simpsons included, and there is nothing new on the pike to rejuvenate interest (including the planned revival of The Flintstones, which has been permanently shelved).

With three new fall series and only two new announced series for midseason (sitcom The Goodwin Games and drama The Following from Kevin Williamson, which replaces The Mob Doctor), Fox in 2012-13 is just not aggressive enough. No one ever said resting on your laurels was a good thing.

Grade for Fox: C

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for Extra, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The CBS Evening News, CNN, and more; and his 2014 desk calendar, “Today in TV History,” is presently available.

  • http://www.tvmediainsights.com/members/lesmoonbot/ LesMoonbot

    I know one network basically resting on their laurels because their current lineup is so good and so strong. Guess who? ;)

  • http://www.tvmediainsights.com/members/rogermarket/ Roger Market

    What exactly does “too much too soon mean”? Too much promotion? It’s not like Glee has started airing 2 or 3 times a week, unlike Idol, Voice, etc. Glee got a Superbowl episode, but what beyond that qualifies as “too much”? Just curious what the criteria are. :-)

    That said, I’ve never taken Glee too seriously. It’s a fun show, melodramatic at times, far from perfect, but then what show IS perfect? I’ve enjoyed the ride so far.

    I’ll be interested to see how this Thursday schedule does, particularly because of the X Factor issues you mentioned (i.e., judges leaving, never was a hit to begin with, etc.). The combination of Idol or X Factor and Glee has always made sense to me, and I knew the ratings would go back down when they moved Glee out of Idol’s jetstream. I doubt much will change with an X Factor lead-in.

    And just generally: Oh, these poor shows. Nothing is a ratings juggernaut anymore. I think it’s about time to change the method of measurement or change our standards of ratings assessment.

  • http://www.tvmediainsights.com/members/rebelman/ Rebelman

    There schedule is pretty boring Marc.

    Bones at best ends this coming up season (it will be as old as House and the ratings have gone down). The Mob Doctor will be a hit or a miss, nothing in between.

    I love Raising Hope and New Girl. No idea if I will check those comedies out

    Tune me out of FOX Wednesday and Thursday. I see Glee gone next season too the air has gone out of that FAST.

    Friday I will of course watch Touch and Fringe. I love Gordon shows so no beef there.

    FOX’ 18-49 Demo crown is in DANGER this coming up season with so many dramas gone/down and Idol declining by 20%

Follow TVMI
Get our FREE Newsletter

Who’s Online
Profile picture of Tom
Featured Listings
TWITTER CHAT


TV Media Insights, the new one-stop shop for television and media, is now available on Facebook. Updated ratings, observations, breaking news, interactive polls, celebrity gossip, winners and losers, TV trivia...you will now find it all at TV Media Insights.

Marc Berman mines dozens of media resources, researches and gathers the information and metrics and delivers to our readers, the very information that you are hungry for. Enjoy your stay and come back tomorrow!

Find Us on Facebook
Latest Tweets From TVMI
TVMediaInsights
Marc Berman mines dozens of media resources to bring you TV Media Insights. The best in TV ratings, TV news and analysis, TV Gossip and TV Network Buzz.