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. For the regular readers, shows that just began a season in
this edition are in blue.
All numbers are up to date through Thursday, March 28. With 40+ shows to cover this month, I split it up into two parts. Here's part one from yesterday, covering shows on ABC Family, A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, FX, HBO and History.
Army Wives (Lifetime): The most successful scripted show in Lifetime history scored another season, but it's worth wondering if the massive cast overhaul is taking its toll now. It premiered to a 0.83 demo on March 10, down by nearly a third year-to-year, and it's since dropped into the 0.7's in the subsequent couple of weeks. It's now averaging a 0.76, down 34% year-to-year.
The Client List (Lifetime): Meanwhile, it looks like a new top scripted original is emerging on Lifetime. The Client List has averaged a 0.93 demo in its first three episodes, down just 7% from the first three of last season (when its Army Wives lead-in was much bigger).
Shameless (Showtime): Shameless had a rough few weeks during the worst part of event season, when it dropped to a 0.7 and 0.6 against the Super Bowl and the Grammys, but it's since perked back up to a very consistent 0.8. It's now averaging a 0.81 demo, up 16% year-to-year.
House of Lies (Showtime): Sophomore comedy House of Lies has also brought some growth to Showtime Sunday, but not quite as much: at a 0.45 average, it's up just 6%.
Californication (Showtime): The growth trend is bucked in the last half-hour with the oldest show of Showtime's Sunday lineup, Californication. It's not really recovered from its own event season dip and is now averaging just a 0.33. That's down by 14% from last season.
Being Human: It hasn't been a good season for Being Human, down by 28% from last season's average through eleven episodes. But at a 0.49 average, it's still among Syfy's highest-rated scripted shows for now.
Lost Girl: Season three of Canadian import Lost Girl has typically held most of its Being Human lead-in, averaging a 0.38 through ten eps. That's down about 15% from last winter's first season run, a smaller decline than its Being Human lead-in has taken. Syfy has already picked up season four.
WWE Smackdown!: The February and March episodes of Friday Night Smackdown! have continued to outrate Syfy's scripted offerings by a wide margin, but its 0.77 demo average over this period is down about 17% from last year.
Merlin: The first eight episodes of what will be Merlin's final season have averaged a 0.41 demo in the post-Smackdown! slot, down by 19% from last year. It returns for the stretch run on May 3.
Cougar Town (TBS): After seemingly stabilizing above a 1.0 for much of its early season run, Cougar Town has dropped into the 0.8 to 0.9 range in recent weeks. It's now averaging a 0.95 demo and regularly drops significantly from its The Big Bang Theory repeat lead-in. It hasn't set the world on fire, but it was good enough for TBS to order another season.
King of the Nerds (TBS): The new TBS reality show also got a renewal, though it's done even worse than Cougar Town (averaging a 0.75 demo).
Dallas (TNT): Despite some hype surrounding the death of the iconic Larry Hagman, generally speaking the winter has not been good to Dallas. Its 0.75 demo average is down nearly a third from the summer run, though the drops have somewhat lessened in the second half of the season. The death of J.R. episode was a high point, spiking to a season high 0.87 demo on March 11. And compared to the other TNT originals of the moment (see below), it's doing well enough.
Monday Mornings (TNT): While Dallas hasn't done too well in the winter, it's certainly looked pretty good when compared to the new show leading out of it. Monday Mornings was dead on arrival with a 0.31 demo on February 4, and it's still averaging that 0.31 after eight episodes. It did benefit from the aforementioned Dallas spike on March 11 (hitting a series high 0.38), but this level is ultimately not going to be enough for TNT.
Southland (TNT): The TNT struggles have continued on Wednesday, where cop drama Southland is hitting its lowest numbers ever. Its 0.47 demo average has improved a bit in recent weeks (the premiere got a 0.44), but it's still down 27% from last year, and some cast members have joined pilots. It seems this show may be on its way out as well.
Boston's Finest (TNT): TNT has led into Southland with a cop reality series called Boston's Finest, which is not that far off of the Southland numbers at a 0.39 average to date.
White Collar: Last time, I mentioned White Collar's ugly drop to a 0.64 demo in its third week back on the air. It didn't recover much in the next few weeks, hitting a 0.7 in the next two weeks and dropping back to a 0.65 for the finale. The six-episode winter season averaged a 0.73 demo, down by 19% from last winter. But it's been renewed for another 16-episode season.
Necessary Roughness: Necessary Roughness had a pretty rude welcome to the regular season, averaging a mere 0.55 demo this winter. That was down 23% from its already modest summer numbers. The show did score a third-season renewal, but for just ten episodes.
Psych: Veteran Psych has quietly become one of USA's best options against the tougher regular season competition. It's averaging a 0.89 demo through five spring episodes, exactly even with the first five of last spring.
Suits: Suits was also a nice regular season performer for USA, averaging a 1.07 demo in its six-episode winter run. That was 14% below the show's summer average, but by USA standards that is not a bad drop in the winter months.
END Part Two - And again, here's the link back to part one with ABC Family, A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, FX, HBO and History
For more, check out the previous cable guides here at SpoilerTV:
January/February 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | Late Summer 2012 | Early Fall 2012
Check out the previous Cable Guides dating back to September 2011 on the Cable Guide label!
For more in-depth TV ratings coverage every day, check out my blog at SpottedRatings.com or follow me on Twitter: @spotupj.