Yup. Things are kinda slow.
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 30, 2013.
On the last Monday of 2013, the top show overall and in most key demos was a repeat of "Mike & Molly" on CBS. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about a sluggish night dominated by CBS repeats.
There wasn't anything really notable on Monday, so let's go straight to the numbers.
CBS and FOX also get NFL bumps
Fast National ratings for Sunday, December 29, 2013.
The combination of a traditional rivalry along with Week 17 playoff implications helped NBC get huge numbers for the Sunday Night Football game between the Eagles and Cowboys, leading the network past football-boosted FOX and CBS for the night.
In overnights, the Philadelphia-Dallas showdown stands as the season's third highest rated game, behind two games featuring the Broncos, Peyton Manning's return to Indy and the Pats-Broncos thriller.
Even a sliver of NFL overrun couldn't boost CBS' annual Kennedy Center Honors telecast, which was down from last year's show, which aired on a Wednesday.
On to the numbers...
'Dateline' ends up drawing Friday's biggest audience
Fast National ratings for Friday, December 27, 2013.
Against competition that featured mostly repeats and end-of-the-year programming, The CW's "Nikita" added only a few viewers for its series finale, as ABC and CBS topped a sparsely viewed Friday.
Let's just get straight to all of the underwhelming numbers.
ABC, NBC tie for second with 'Downton Abbey,' 'SNL' specials
Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 26, 2013.
On a slow post-Christmas Thursday dominated by repeats, CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" delivered the best numbers in all measures and helped the network cruise to victory.
There were few other notables, but ABC's lackluster "20/20" special tied in to "Downton Abbey" and NBC's "The Women of SNL" helped those networks to a tie in for second among young viewers.
Meanwhile, FOX's repeats continued to fall lower and lower, barely keeping the lights on and barely edging out The CW's repeats at this point.
On to the numbers...
Did 'Dracula' and 'Dads' make the cut? Of course they did!
A lot of these shows were covered in the Firewall & Iceberg Worst of 2013 podcast, but hopefully some of it will be new.
Those of you who regularly read my Worst Of... lists know that I have a very simple rule: I have to watch the shows I insult. Regularly. Or at least semi-regularly. I'll leave it to others to mock the "Billion Pound Scrotum" or Honey Boo-Boos of the world, either because they actually suffer through that crap or because they like to insult things sight-unseen. That's not the way I list things, which confuses people every single year. I'm not sure why it's confusing. I list shows I actually KNOW were bad and didn't mysteriously get better, rather than writing off a show based on an awful pilot and then hearing from fans that things got miraculously awesome. Whatever.
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys return for more '80s hijinks
FX has finally set an official premiere date for the second season of the acclaimed drama "The Americans"
The cable network celebrated the day-after-Christmas by breaking the unofficial TV news moratorium to announce that "The Americans" will return on Wednesday, February 26 at 10 p.m.
Currently shooting in New York City, "The Americans" premiered last January to an audience of 5.1 million viewers, making it FX's most-watched drama debut ever. Ratings subsequently dropped dramatically, but critical admiration continued.
"The Americans" picked up for Television Critics Association Award nominations last summer, winning for Outstanding New Program of the Year. While not a big Emmy player, "The Americans" picked up nods for guest star Margo Martindale and for Nathan Barr's title theme music.
In HitFix's recently announced Television Critics' Poll, "The Americans" finished seventh overall and third in the Best New Show category behind only "Masters of Sex" and "Orange Is The New Black."
Personally, I put "The Americans" at a very respectable No. 19 for the year, while it was No. 18 on Sepinwall's list.
So far, very few details have leaked regarding the second "Americans" season. FX lists Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Annet Mahendru, Alison Wright and Susan Misner as cast regulars, while Martindale reassured HitFix's Greg Ellwood that she'll be back in some capacity, even as she works on CBS' semi-hit comedy "The Millers."
CBS wins overall, while ABC takes the key demo
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 25, 2013.
People don't really watch network TV on Christmas night.
With audiences occupied either by family togetherness or else tuning in to a "Doctor Who" special on BBC America or NBA basketball on ESPN (cable ratings to come), the most watched show on Christmas Wednesday was, oddly, a repeat of the Friday drama "Blue Bloods," while the top shows among young viewers were repeats of "The Middle" and "Modern Family."
A slew of holiday season repeats also drew middling audiences to NBC, FOX and The CW.
On to the unimpressive numbers...
CBS wins Tuesday overall, ABC takes the key demo
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 24, 2013.
ABC's broadcast of "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" topped NBC's "It's a Wonderful Life" among young viewers on Christmas Eve, while CBS' procedural repeats still dominated Tuesday overall.
The only other Tuesday notable was how close The CW's "The 12 Dogs of Christmas" came to beating FOX's comedy repeats.
As you might expect, it wasn't such a busy TV night, so let's just get straight to the low numbers...
Showtime and FX dramas lead No. 11-25 for The Fien Print
By now you've had the chance to see my Top 10 as a video, check it out as part of HitFix's Critics' Poll and also hear the darned thing as part of the Best of 2013 podcast with Sepinwall.
That's a lot of different Top 10 delivery systems. Of course, to get down to that Top 10, I had to make a lot of tough choices in what was surely a terrific year for TV. So what follows is my Second 10, which is actually a Second 15 and it includes some cheating in that Bonus 5.
In case you've forgotten, here's the Top 10.
1. "Breaking Bad"
2. "Orange Is The New Black"
3. "Mad Men"
5. "The Returned"
7. "Game of Thrones"
8. "Bob's Burgers"
9. "56 Up"
Click through for the continuation of my list over two pages. And check out the photo gallery below for 15 more new shows that Sepinwall and I thought were worthy of notice.
ABC wins, but football may change things
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 23, 2013.
A couple holiday season limited series came to their end on Monday night and, at least in preliminary figures, the finale for "The Great Christmas Light Fight" appears to have topped the finale for "The Sing-Off," helping ABC to narrow Monday night wins.
ABC, meanwhile, had solid performances from Christmas encores featuring Shrek and The Chipmunks, while NBC's "Hollywood Game Night" return was soft.
There's a catch, of course. ABC had the Monday Night Football preemption in Atlanta (CBS had the game in San Francisco) and the network's margins of victory were so slim that taking the game out of the equation may shift everything.
On to the numbers...