Once again, Seth MacFarlane triumphs
Maximizing the totality of Friday's (October 25) news cycle, FOX has officially given a full-season order to the critically reviled, ratings challenged freshman comedy "Dads."
'Surviving Jack' will get an 'Idol' bump on Thursdays
FOX announced its Spring 2014 premiere dates on Friday (October 25) afternoon, a slate including confirmed returns for "American Idol" and "The Following," plus a scheduled boost for the comedy "Surviving Jack" and the Greg Kinnear drama "Rake."
'Vampire Diaries' and 'Reign' both drop for The CW
Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 24, 2013.
"Big Bang Theory" was still Thursday's most watched show in most measures, but Game 2 of the World Series took a big bite out of the hit comedy overall and helped FOX cruise to nightly wins.
The competitive game between the Red Sox and Cardinals also took audience from ABC's "Scandal" and from CBS' "The Millers" and "Crazy Ones," but it wasn't all bad news. Both "Two and a Half Men" and "Elementary" were up after last week's dismal performances, while NBC's "Sean Saves the World," "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "Parenthood" all at least stayed flat. And, for the first time, "Sean Saves the World" outdrew "Michael J. Fox," becoming the first NBC comedy in several weeks to top 4 million viewers.
And, predictably, The CW's "Reign" took a drop in its second week, but with "Vampire Diaries" also slipping, it's doubtful The CW will be hugely concerned.
On to the numbers...
"Lacks bite" and "Sucks" would also have been acceptable
[This review is way the heck too long, but I'm writing it on the behalf of Young Daniel, who dressed up as Dracula every Halloween for around 10 years.]
NBC doesn't really know how to explain what "Dracula" is, which explains why they're doing it so poorly.
"The legend takes new life," reads the primary tagline that you might have seen on billboards, buses and on-air promos for the drama, which premieres on Friday (October 25) night.
The tagline across the show's official website takes a different approach and goes with "Jonathan Rhys Myers is America's Original Vampire."
It's much easier to quantify why the latter approach is frustratingly off-base. First of all, NBC should probably know the star of its show spells his last name "Meyers." And that he's Irish. And that he's playing Carpathian in "Dracula." And "Dracula" is based on a book by an author who also happens to be Irish. And "Dracula" was published in 1897, when we all know that Abraham Lincoln was slaying American vampires more than 50 years earlier. And there are four or five other shows on TV featuring vampires who are a good deal more American. Heck, it's even a stretch to call NBC's "Dracula" an American series, given that it's an international co-production filmed far away on The Continent. So yeah, there's really no aspect of that tag line that is accurate. It's a bit astounding. I don't even know what about that banner sentence could possibly be a valuable lure for audiences.
"Jonathan Rhys Myers is America's Original Vampire" is only in that one place, though. [UPDATE: And NBC has corrected the "Myers" typo. This is the largest amount of tangible change I've ever enacted in my time as a critic.]
"The legend takes new life," however, is everywhere.
And I hate to harp on this, but "Dracula" isn't a legend.
There are legends that exist surrounding Vlad III of Wallachia and the Order of the Dragon and whatnot, but those legends mostly require that you care an awful lot about power struggles within the Ottoman Empire and a certain amount of military viciousness, but would probably bore you to tears if you yearn for even rumors of resurrection or post-mortem bloodsucking.
Vlad the Impaler was perhaps a horrifying monster of a certain sort, but the concept of Count Dracula and vampirism and all that good stuff? That's not a legend. That's a piece of fiction that Bram Stoker created. Bram Stoker also created Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker and the idea of Mina as a timeless love for Count Dracula. He created Lucy and Renfield and he created Abraham Van Helsing as well. There is no "legendary" basis for any of that. It's all from a work of credited literature that happens to have moved into the public domain worldwide in 1962 (it was apparently always in the public domain in the United States, if you like irrelevant footnotes). That's why F.W. Murnau's 1922 "Nosferatu," which has many characters and plotpoints in common with "Dracula," but failed to acquire acquire rights to the novel, couldn't actually use the "Dracula" name or any of the names from the book, but why NBC's "Dracula," which shares almost no meaningful connection to Stoker's novel at all, is able to take character names from the novel without taking anything else.
Also 'S.H.I.E.L.D.,' 'CSI' and 'Super Fun Night' ratings
Final Nationals are in for Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals and FOX is feeling pleased with the results.
Final figures are also in the rest of Wednesday (October 23) night's ratings, including some slightly discouraging figures for "The Tomorrow People," the disappearance of this morning's "Super Fun Night" bump and more.
Click through for the full numbers...
'Super Fun Night' and 'CSI' both rise, 'SVU' and 'Tomorrow People' dip
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, October 23, 2013.
Game One of the 2013 World Series was a rout for the Boston Red Sox and it also proved to be a rout for FOX, which controlled Wednesday night in all key measures.
The game was up by 28 percent over last year's World Series opener among young viewers for Fast Nationals, which doesn't necessarily mean much due to both the nature of live events and the geographic nature of the two participating World Series teams. Stay tuned for more numbers later.
The World Series helped take a small bite out of all of ABC's comedies other than "Super Fun Night," which may end up slightly up week-to-week.
Facing baseball, CBS' "Survivor" also went down, but "Criminal Minds" rose and the 300th episode of the "CSI" mothership got a small bump.
And over on The CW, "Arrow" was down a little and sent "The Tomorrow People" slipping into slightly problematic territory for the first time. [I may need to do some analysis on this later.]
On to the numbers...
Which familiar name sent for Black Canary?
"Arrow" is a show that I watch every week, but only occasionally have anything to say about, but there were a few juicy tidbits in this Wednesday's (October 23) episode, so it seems like a good enough to check in, at least on the highlights.
After a first season that only tip-toed around the source material's DC Comics roots, "Arrow" has begun to dive headlong this season. Last week, we had the return of Kelly Hu's China White and the introduction of Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger. We've slowly begun to push Colton Haynes' Roy Harper in the direction that I'm told will lead to his becoming Red Arrow. I'm also told that Summer Glau's Isabel Rochev has potentially fruitful comic book roots, if the show pushes her there.
And we're getting towards the big guns.
Grant Gustin has been cast as Barry Allen, who will bring some superpowers to Starling City as The Flash in multiple episodes this season and then, probably, in a spinoff series next year.
We're very tentatively getting into the Black Canary storyline that fans have been awaiting since Katie Cassidy was initially cast as Laurel Lance, though we're not there yet.
But on Wednesday, we got a pretty big hint about somebody even higher profile.
[If you don't want spoilers... avoid.]
Would a Tribal Shuffle make big waves?
Pre-credit sequence. Galang voted out Laura M last week. I barely remember that. Laura B says that it was sad to see somebody voted out first, but she's relieved that it wasn't her. "I feel like an octopus," Tina says cryptically. Aras was the only person who looked into Laura M's eye when she left and he hopes that she takes Redemption gracefully, rather than targeting Aras as a ringleader and singling him out. The next morning, Tyson and Gervase are planning for a Merge and anticipating that Aras will align with Vytas immediately, so they both agree that if they lose again, they may need to target Aras. This leads to Tyson talking about Aras' Zen beliefs which leads to Tyson's declaration, "I believe in magic. It's awesome." Tyson knows he has to tread lightly and agrees, "That's the tricky part - When to dethrone King Aras," Tyson isn't pushing Gervase too hard, but Gervase is determined he doesn't want to be viewed as a chess piece. He announced that he and Tyson are a power couple. Gervson? Tyvase? Yeah. Tyvase, for sure.
ABC's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' slips again
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
A slight bump for "The Voice" helped NBC second a Tuesday ratings win among young viewers, while "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Person of Interest" helped CBS sweep primetime overall.
The week-to-week declines continued for ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," albeit at a very low level this week, with "The Goldbergs" possibly even posting a little growth, with ABC holding its position in a distant third for the night.
Over on FOX, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" inched ahead of "New Girl" in total viewers for the first time and also grew a little bit in the key demo, while "Dads" added a few viewers as well.
And on The CW, both "The Originals" and "Supernatural" were down a little this week, but continued to do fairly steady numbers.
On to those numbers...
'Blacklist' is flat week-to-week, which is probably good news
Because of Monday Night Football, the Fast National ratings for Monday (October 21) were extra provisional and subject to change in the Finals.
That prompted me to want to glance at some of the final figures, including early successes for CBS' revamped Monday, the predictable final pecking order for The CW's Monday dramas and a few cable shows.
This won't be my most in-depth analysis, but it'll supplement the regular morning ratings story, which is really all I aspire to.
Click through for the details...