Now that we have reached February sweeps – the mid-season point for the current TV season – it is time to take a look at how all of the major networks are performing in terms of an overall score rather than a list of the winners and losers for each network.
Each score will encompass how well the network has performed overall for the season thus far (at least where the dramas are concerned), how well each network’s new dramas have performed since their debuts, how each network has improved since last season and the consistency of each network’s rankings in the overall ratings:
The list that follows appears in alphabetical order:
ABC – The second placed network was down from last season where its current dramas are concerned with Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy both faltering while two of its new dramas – Once Upon a Time and Revenge – both coming out of the gate strong. However, those two dramas have now leveled off to steady but not overly impressive ratings. Two other much-buzzed about dramas – Pan Am and The River – on the other hand have been lackluster to say the least, which does not help the network’s overall standing. The network’s dramas aren’t typically in the top 20, but being in the top 30 or 40 is better than being at the bottom tier. Overall score: B-
CBS – The number one network is still the number one network, even though nearly all of its returning dramas have dropped in overall ratings since last season. NCIS is still the most watched drama on TV out of any other drama no matter what network and has improved in its overall rating over last season. Two of the network’s new dramas – Unforgettable and Person of Interest – have actually become surprise hits with the latter becoming the highest rated new drama out of any network. The only disappointment for the network has been the new medical drama A Gifted Man, but its overall rating is better than the overall rating for nearly all other new dramas. Overall score: A
FOX – The third placed network has seen a significant drop in ratings over last season with once ratings-toppers House and Glee both falling heavily since this time last year. In fact, House has fallen to its lowest ratings and Glee has dropped nearly 4 million viewers every week in comparison to last season. Bones is the only drama that has continued to perform well. As for the new dramas, Terra Nova had a short 13-episode run during the latter part of 2011, but new drama Alcatraz has aired only seven episodes thus far in 2012, getting a slightly higher overall rating than Terra Nova. The only other new drama – The Finder – has floundered and will probably not be long for this world. Overall score: C-
NBC – The former number one network has been languishing for a number of years now and is still struggling to retain its prior glory. Much like FOX, the network doesn’t have an abundance of dramas on the air right now all of which have fallen since last season except for the family drama Parenthood, which has actually maintained the same overall rating since last season. The network has only debuted two new dramas since September with the fairytale drama Grimm performing at a less than impressive level, but has at least remained consistent week to week while the musical drama Smash just got started and still has time to prove itself. Overall score: D
The CW – The CW has always been the lowest ranked network simply because it reaches fewer markets than the other major networks. But that doesn’t stop the network from attempting to consistently reach its target audience: young women. Most of the network’s returning dramas have dropped slightly from last season, but it is Nikita and Supernatural that have both experienced the biggest drops. It should be noted that Gossip Girl is probably the lowest rated drama out of all the dramas on the major networks. As for the new dramas, The Secret Circle has the best ratings while Ringer and Hart of Dixie are both struggling in the ratings. Overall score: C+
As expected, CBS will be just fine when the season comes to an end with nearly all of their dramas expected back – except for probably some of the CSI franchise series, which are growing long in the tooth if truth be told. ABC will need to keep hold of their second place status by pushing the envelope with their new dramas and maintaining consistent ratings with Castle, their top-rated drama. NBC desperately needs to revitalize their programming by wiping the slate clean and starting fresh with some creative programs that will pull in viewers. What NBC really needs to do is think outside the box. FOX should actually attempt to focus on more sci-fi based programming because while their current sci-fi programming doesn’t draw in stellar ratings, it does tend to maintain a rapid if small and loyal fan base. They can work on that and hone that niche market of viewers. The CW needs to work on reaching a wider market-base, covering more cities across the country and stick to their current programming design.
What is your favorite network? Which network do you watch the least? Are there any dramas that you would really like to see do better in the ratings? Is there a particular drama that you think deserve more attention and seems to get overlooked? What is your favorite and least favorite drama? Please share your thoughts below.