The Good: If you’re into gruesome murders, gory procedurals and Chris O’Donnell —which judging from the network’s ratings, an awful lot of you are — CBS is the place to be. But putting aside for a moment the inexplicably popular NCIS, CSI and soon-to-be CRIMINAL MINDS franchises, the Tiffany network has also succeeded in making us laugh. Thanks to a dominant Monday night comedy block (including HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and THE BIG BANG THEORY) and two massively underrated Wednesday night laughers (We’re here, we’re fans of GARY UNMARRIED, get used to it!)
The Bad: The network that had yet to meet a procedural it couldn’t turn into a ratings smash just did. Not only was Alex O’Loughlin’s now defunct THREE RIVERS dead on arrival, the high profile Julianna Margulies vehicle THE GOOD WIFE continues to lose a worrisome amount of viewers from its powerhouse NCIS lead in. Plus, while THE AMAZING RACE and SURVIVOR remain popular vets of the reality genre, they’ve begun to show their age, lagging far beyond competitive shows such as DANCING WITH THE STARS and AMERICAN IDOL in both ratings and buzz.
The Prognosis: Positive. While CBS may not exactly be this TV Addict’s cup of tea — there is absolutely no denying the fact that in this day and age of fractured viewership — 20 plus million viewers tuning into back-to-back episodes of NCIS is an accomplishment unto itself. That said, we’ve always had a sneaking suspicison that CBS’ numbers, which skew slightly older than the advertiser friendly 18-49, are massively misleading in the sense that CBS may only attract the most eyeballs because their target audience remains the last vestige of traditional viewing habits (ie. older, less internet savvy viewers who have yet to discover hulu) In other-words, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds for CBS when Nielsen finally gets their act together and starts to factor in online eyeballs.
The Grade: A-
Tune in tomorrow when we give ABC their midseason report card.