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Ratings Five-Spot - Body of Proof, CSI: NY, Game of Thrones, The Killing, Bones

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Here's the Ratings Five-Spot for the week ending April 1, 2012:

  • Body of Proof - One of the interesting developments from last week was the big boost ABC's Body of Proof got from the return of Dancing with the Stars. After tolling around in the low-to-mid 1's for most of the winter, its first airing after a spring DWTS results show spiked Body of Proof to 9.72 million viewers and its second-biggest demo of the season: a 2.0. A benefit from a Dancing lead-in was to be expected, but to the tune of nearly 50%? I still think the show is less than 50/50 to return, but if it can maintain this level, it becomes a more interesting case, even if its role really is just as an OK lead-out to DWTS. And the upcoming results for Private Practice in the timeslot will be a comparison to watch out for.
  • CSI: NY - CBS' second CSI spin-off returned to the schedule after a seven-week hiatus. Like Body of Proof, this is a bubble show that needs to prove it belongs in this last stretch of the season. Unlike Body of Proof, it couldn't provide an eye-opening result with a bigger lead-in. Even though 8/7c occupant Undercover Boss was stronger than any lead-in CSI: NY has had all season, NY managed just 9.45 million viewers (a season low) and a 1.6 demo rating. That was actually down a tick from its last pre-hiatus rating. Unless it can improve from here, I think it's probably squarely behind CSI: Miami in the renewal race. And I don't think Miami is safe by any means either.
  • Game of Thrones - It looks like we may be on our way to having yet another cable drama that any broadcast network would be happy to have. Game of Thrones returned to HBO at amazing series high levels of 3.95 million viewers and a 2.0 demo rating. Compare that to where it started its first season (2.22 million viewers and a 0.9 on April 17, 2011) and you've got nearly twice as much audience and more than twice as much 18-49 audience. It's easy to say that the 100%+ growth will be tough to sustain going forward, since season one of GoT was itself a grower from that modest premiere number. Then again, True Blood finished its second season up by 113% on average from season one, so anything's possible.
  • The Killing - The thing about the Internet is that everything feels like a big deal. There's a lot of angst about creative developments in almost every fan base at some point. But many (if not most) of those outcries don't end up really meaning anything in the TV ratings world. The outcry about how season one of The Killing ended was one of the more widespread examples I've seen recently, but would it be a big deal in the ratings? It certainly appears so. The Killing returned with just 1.80 million viewers and a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating. Both figures were down about a third from the series premiere numbers last year. To be fair, the numbers weren't really that different from much of the back half of season one. But usually when a show builds big for the finale (as The Killing did, scoring 2.32 million viewers and a 0.7), you expect that to translate to a really strong season two. With hot shows like The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Game of Thrones, etc., it always does. This time, not so much.
  • Bones - Of course, the really big news about Bones came last week when Fox announced the show would be back for a season eight. But its ratings this week caused some eyebrows to raise. The show kicked off its new run on Monday with 8.39 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating. Those are rock-solid numbers, but nothing hugely shocking compared to the show's previous results. What was striking was the show's new dynamic with House, which scored a lower audience with 6.67 million viewers and 2.3 demo. The last time they aired together on a Monday night, in May 2008, Bones got a 3.4 demo and House a 5.8! Bones will never be as big as House was during its peak years, but year upon year of significant drops by House and rather insignificant ones by Bones have totally changed the relationship between the shows. And the eighth season renewal ensures Bones will last at least as many seasons as House. The tortoise is beating the hare.
    Does this dynamic remain the same for the rest of the season? It's not totally clear. After all, House did face the beginning of CBS' NCAA basketball championship, and it may get a bounce as it approaches its series finale. But just a couple years ago, Bones outrating House in any situation would've seemed inconceivable.
For more in-depth TV ratings coverage every day, check out my blog at or follow me on Twitter: @spotupj.

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