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Stats Spotlight - Comparing January's - Castle / Criminal Minds / NCIS and more

January has been a mixed month for television, with wide variety between shows and networks in regard to their midseason return dates. But how did this year's results stack up when compared to last year? Let's crunch some numbers.

Let's begin with ABC's Castle. For the last 4 years, the show has aired 3 episodes in January, and this year is no different, but it would have been had ABC not altered their schedule. In 2013, the three episodes that aired earned a combined ratings average of 1.93, and audience of 8.87 million viewers. This year, a combined ratings average of 1.87 and audience of 8.94 million viewers means Castle is on par with 2013. January and February have historically been the weakest months for the show due to its lead-in Dancing With The Stars being absent between seasons.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of Castle's seasons here.

CBS's Criminal Minds routinely airs 2 new episodes in January, and that trend remains the same for 2014. However there is a 2 week break between episodes this year, which hasn't occurred since the shortened third season of the series in 2007/08 season. Criminal Minds is due to air its 200th episode next Wednesday, with long-time cast member Paget Brewster returning as Emily Prentiss for the episode. The last four episodes of the series have achieved ratings of 2.4 or less as ratings continue to gradually slip year to year. That slip becomes clear when you compare 2013's January episodes to 2014's. The 2 episodes in January 2013 averaged a rating of 3.00 and audience of 12.25 million viewers, while the 2 episodes in January this year have averaged a 2.30 rating and 10.35 million viewers. Some keen ratings punters will be aware that the 2 episodes this January have both had lead-ins that were repeats, but ironically this was the case in 2012 as well as 2013.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of Criminal Minds' seasons here.

Also on CBS, the excellent sophomore drama Elementary had a strong finish to January 2014 with the most watched Live+SD episode since 4 April 2013. There were 3 episodes in January this year, compared to 2 last year. Being a 2 year old series, that's all the data there is. Last year's January saw a 2.50 ratings average, and audience average of 11.46 million viewers. This year, those numbers have dropped, but remain stable, with a 1.90 rating and 9.78 million viewers being the averages from the 3 episodes in January. To be fair, The 2 January episode in 2013 were two of the strongest in the season, and they also had the added benefit of following on from 2 of the strongest Person of Interest episodes in 2013. Long running comedy Two and a Half Men is the primary lead-in this season, and is not doing as well as Person of Interest was last season, which goes some way to account for the ratings and audience decline Elementary has been dealing with this season.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of Elementary's seasons here.

ABC's Modern Family is one of the most volatile shows on television in terms of ratings. The fluctuations week on week are very large, with a full ratings point separating the best and worst rated episodes this season, and 1.9 ratings points separating the best and worst rated episodes last season. ABC schedules 3 back to back episodes in January (it has done since the first season), but January 2014 will be Modern Family's lowest rated in its 5 seasons. The three episodes in January 2014 averaged a 3.37 rating and 9.41 million viewers. in 2013, the 3 January episodes averaged a 4.4 rating and 11.29 million viewers. It's tricky to put this year to year drop down to anything in particular apart from a repeat episode in amongst the lead-ins for Modern Family's January 2014 episodes, which, though not rating badly, did have a negative impact on the Modern Family episode it led in.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of Modern Family's seasons here.

Television's most watched scripted series, CBS's NCIS, is a mixed bag when it comes to January episodes. In the majority of the 11 seasons NCIS has been on air, CBS has scheduled 2 episodes, though there have been the occasional three episodes in January, including in 2013. In that year, NCIS averaged a 3.73 rating and 22.01 million viewers in the series' strongest January for audiences ever. Included in January 2013 was the series' most watched episode ever, at 22.86 million viewers. Unsurprisingly, January 2014's 2 episodes couldn't beat that mark, but they gave it a good shot, averaging a 3.00 rating and 20.28 million viewers. NCIS really is a television powerhouse, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of NCIS's seasons here.

The move to Tuesdays 10|9c hasn't been of any benefit to CBS's Person of Interest in terms of ratings. In the three January's it's been on air, the series has aired two back to back episodes every January. In 2012 - the series' freshman year in the Thursdays 9|8c timeslot - the 2 January episodes averaged a 3.20 rating and 14.48 million viewers. A year later, in January 2013, the 2 episodes averaged a 3.35 rating and 15.95 million viewers, with the first of the pair being Person of Interest's most watched episode to date. In January 2014, after the timeslot switch, Person of Interest averaged a 2.00 rating and 12.32 million viewers. That's a 1.35 rating, and 3.63 million viewer drop year to year thanks to the timeslot switch. Joss Carter's death cannot be blamed for any drop in numbers because the numbers have not budged since that occurred.

You can see ratings and audience information for all of Person of Interest's seasons here.

That's all for now! Thanks for reading. What are your predictions for February? Did your favorite shows perform above or below par? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.


About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, and Castle. You can visit his website, www.seriesmonitor.com or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.

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