I'm back with another monthly look at the cable TV
landscape! As always, I'll note that I mostly traffic in
adults 18-49 ratings below. (That's always what I mean by
"demo.") However, these should be taken with some grain of
salt. I use A18-49 ratings because of availability and because
they're a reasonable way of making comparisons across
networks, but be advised that it is not necessarily the
be-all-end-all number it is on broadcast. Not all of these
networks target that demographic specifically. In this edition, all these numbers are up to date through Thursday, August 2. I'm putting all shows that just started a season (in other words, weren't on last month's guide) in blue.
With so many shows in the summer editions, I'm splitting this into two parts to try to make it somewhat feasible to get through each part in one sitting. HERE'S PART ONE FROM YESTERDAY.
Sullivan & Son (TBS): TBS' second stab at a Thursday night sitcom was Sullivan & Son, which started a lot lower than Men at Work with just a 1.0 and 0.8 demo in its two-episode premiere on July 19. However, it held up better in week two, hitting a 0.9. Throw in a big week three drop against the Olympics and it's averaging a 0.87 demo thus far.
Perception: We still don't quite have a handle on where TNT's new Perception is at yet, as the results have been kinda all over the place. It premiered to a 0.85 demo on July 9, grew to 0.95 in week two, then dropped to 0.83 and then to 0.74 against the Olympics last week. That's a 0.84 demo average. It's off next week for a Major Crimes preview, then it'll be paired with Major Crimes on Mondays starting on August 13.
WWE Raw: USA's wrestling franchise celebrated a heck of a milestone on July 23, marking the 1000th episode of its run. And the viewers responded. The show hit a 2.0/2.4/2.4 demo for its three hours, the biggest numbers for Raw in years. It took a huge hit the next week thanks to no celebration plus Olympic competition, dropping to a 1.4/1.5/1.5. In July Raw averaged a 1.75 demo.
Covert Affairs: It's hard to believe that two years ago this show was a big cable hit and averaging nearly a 1.6 demo. Two summers of 20%+ drops later, Covert Affairs is now lucky when it can even hit a 1.0, and it's among the weakest of USA's Tuesday to Thursday dramas. It's averaging a 0.87 demo this summer to date, down by a stout 25% from the first four of 2011, and it took a pounding against the Olympics last week (with a 0.70).
Royal Pains: But if you think USA's Tuesday dramas are struggling, you haven't seen Wednesday yet. Another show that feels like it was a big hit only yesterday is Royal Pains, yet it's only managing a 1.01 demo average this summer. That's down by 31% from the 1.46 average it managed last summer! The good news is that USA is airing the whole Royal Pains season in the summer, which has seemed like a no-brainer to me since the show was greenlit. So it at least won't have to deal with the typical huge drops in the winter months.
Political Animals: Despite a big bundle of critical acclaim, USA's "limited series event" Political Animals has been a ratings disappointment, averaging just a 0.48 demo through three episodes. As you can see, that's well behind their other dramas, even Friday ones like Common Law. I'd usually say that means there's no shot at a pickup for another season, but I don't want to write off the possibility completely. Maybe USA will look at this show as an acclaimed brand-enhancer with an upscale audience; The Good Wife has survived in a similar role for many years on CBS.
Here's the link to part one, covering shows on A&E, ABC Family, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, FX, HBO, Lifetime, MTV and Syfy.
For more, check out the previous cable guides here at SpoilerTV:
June part 1 | June part 2
September/October | November | December | January | February | March | April | May
For more in-depth TV ratings coverage every day, check out my blog at SpottedRatings.com or follow me on Twitter: @spotupj.