Would you like a recipe for success? Put a clever crime procedural on CBS. That's not even like shooting fish in a barrel, that is like walking up to a barrel of fish that have already been shot. And that is why Elementary was the top show last night. ABC's complicated sub drama Last Resort was the only other premiere and fared well, but it wasn't like putting an update of Sherlock Holmes on CBS with the former Mr. Angelina Jolie and Lucy Liu. That's just too easy.
To celebrate Elementary solving the case, we're going to make the TV ratings a little bit easier for everyone to understand by comparing each network's performance to varying iterations of the Sherlock Holmes character. The game is afoot below.
Benedict Cumberbatch has found quite a bit of success with this British version of the famous detective which updates his cases to the modern day. Hm, which new show does that sound like? Probably one that got 13.3 million viewers last night on CBS and is called Elementary. But CBS had a huge night otherwise. Big Bang Theory had its biggest, bangiest premiere ever with 15.3 million viewers and was the night's biggest, bangiest show. Those heavily-hyped cable reruns sure aren't slowing this thing down. Two and a Half Men didn't do as well as last year when Ashton Kutcher came onto the show, but still scored 12.4 million. Person of Interest improved on its soft opening last season with 14.3 million. Cheers all around for CBS.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
No one really wants to read a book, but when you want something old and dependable, you always have the original Sherlock mysteries to count on. Speaking of old and dependable, Grey's Anatomy had a bigger premiere than last year with 11.5 million viewers. Last Resort a show about submarines, nuclear bombs, and conspiracy theories had 9.1 million curious people, a vast improvement on last season's Charlie's Angels, but one grandmother in Des Moines tuning in would have been an improvement on that show's performance. The show also did better in the second half hour, ruining all the "dive! dive!" headlines hackey ratings writers already had planned (myself included). Oh, and Scandal had 7 million viewers. Kerry Washington deserves better.
The Great Mouse Detective
This Disney adaptation was not as popular as you would imagine, but a hit with the kids. The same was true of Fox's performance last night where The X Factor and Glee had 9.2 million and 5.9 million viewers respectively, but lots of the young viewers that advertisers crave like Britney Spears craves a napkin to wipe her Cheeto-stained fingers. They were both down a bit this week, so we'll have to see where they level off.
Young Sherlock Holmes
You probably don't remember this '80s cult hit, and most people probably haven't even watched it. Guess we can say the same thing for NBC's critically loved Thursday night comedies. ZING! In their second week SNL Weekend Update Thursday had 5.4 million, Up All Night had 4.5 million, The Office had 5.2 million, Parks and Recreation had 4.5 million and the capper of the night Brian Williams' Rock Center had a mere 4.1 million. Even more people have seen Young Sherlock Holmes.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS, PBS, Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures]
Fun with Ratings: 'The Neighbors' Wins Its Alien Invasion for ABC
Fun with Ratings: 'Vegas' Gamble Pays Off For CBS, No Luck For 'Mindy' or 'Ben & Kate'
Fun with Ratings: NBC Still Wins, Even with Competition
By Aly Semigran and Kelsea Stahler
Every year, the networks present all their new material in a series of events called the Upfronts, and every year we hungrily gobble up the newly released clips, chew them up and spit it out. (Think of us as your own personal Alicia Silverstone). What's left are the series that hold little nuggets of promise. The ones that are still adorable little baby series that have the potential to grow up and live long healthy lives. Hollywood.com sent two TV experts into Upfronts territory for a week, and they uncovered a few specimens of potential greatness. These are the new shows that deserve your attention.
The Mindy Project
Consider this: All of your favorite Office episodes were written by Mindy Kaling. “Casino Night”? Yep. “The Dundies”? You betcha. The one where Michael burns his foot on a George Foreman grill? Abso-freaking-lutely. Kaling's latest comedy The Mindy Project could have just as many classics on its horizon.
While TV may have one too many crime dramas, none of them have the key ingredient of Kevin Bacon. James Purfoy will play a serial killer who runs a creepy little serial killer cult that spreads death and sadness everywhere, with Bacon as your average ex-Federal Agent brought back into the field to destroy his old nemesis. And if anyone was born to be a nemesis, it’s Purefoy. These two could be fighting over a piece of bread like two scummy pigeons and we'd watch it.
This NBC series boasts some pretty serious backers in Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams, so we should give it a shot for that reason alone. The stakes are a little high because the apocalyptic concept threatens to swallow the series before it can even get its sea legs, but it’s a novel one, so let’s not condemn it just yet. In the future, the world has lost all things technological. Militias and small bands of rebels are the only law, and Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad is leading the dark side. It may blow up in our faces, but if it’s as great as it wants to be, we’ll be upset if we missed the boat.
What’s better than submarines, governmental treachery, nuclear war and Scott Speedman? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Unless ABC royally screws up this submarine action drama in which the U.S. government is tries to kill a crew of their own sailors to facilitate a cover up, it promises to be nothing short of awesome. It’s got a little island action, some eye candy, and some serious hardware. No, you can’t set your DVR just yet, but you might want to put a note in your calendar.
NEXT: Friday Night Lights, we'll never let go.Nashville
Connie Britton is going country again, y'all. The Friday Night Lights alum is returning to the small screen and heading to ABC after her turn on American Horror Story to play an aging country star struggling to keep her place in the spotlight as a young, sexy, and less talented newcomer (played by Hayden Panettiere) threatens to ruin her career completely. Yes, it sounds like the plot of Gwyneth Paltrow's absurd drama Country Strong, but seriously, it's Connie Britton in a country soap opera, y'all.
The CBS procedural with a twist: A contemporary take on Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Lee Miller plays an intuitive, but erratic detective, while Lucy Liu plays his wise, but weary sidekick. Sure, some of the dialogue sounds rather elementary (Watson) but we suspect this will be a huge hit thanks to its sexy leads and the fact that its a crime drama on CBS.
Kudos to USA on this one! The cable network nabbed Oscar nominees Sigourney Weaver and Ellen Burstyn for this six-part political drama that simply screams inevitable Emmy nominations. With Weaver as a hard-as-nails politician whose family life has its fair share of controversy, this looks like it could be just as thrilling as biting as HBO's The Network this summer.
This series may not please fans of the original comic thanks to its CW dressing, but it certainly takes the fledgling network into new, bolder territory. It’s bound to be a little steamy and melodramatic and the fact that a modern dude is running around with a Robin Hood getup might be a little hard to get used to, but just watch it and don’t tell your friends about it. It can be our little secret.
Which new shows for the upcoming 2012-2013 season are you most excited for? Sound off in the comments section!
Fox's 2012 Upfronts
NBC Upfronts: Go Funny or Go Home
The Mindy Project Trailer: Could This Be The Next New Girl?
Documentary about nuclear submarines, the cornerstone of the U.S. defense policy since the 1950s. Carrying more than 50 percent of America's strategic nuclear arsenal, the submarines roam 70 percent of the Earth's surface.