Monday, November 10, 2008

TV Guide ~ Question regarding CBS and ratings

Another concerned fan asks Matt Roush to try to explain how CBS looks at ratings when deciding its television programming & schedule.

Ask Matt

Question : I'm so frustrated! How many times do I watch a CBS show at 9 pm/ET on Friday after Ghost Whisperer and it gets cancelled? First, Close to Home, then Moonlight, and now The Ex List. Out of the three, Moonlight was the best, followed by Close to Home. The Ex List wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible TV. To me, it was better than watching Supernanny at that same time. My question is this: When will CBS get a show and leave it there? Why must CBS be so specific about ratings, and dump a show if it doesn't hold Ghost Whisperer's ratings? Is there any way for the suits at CBS to hear us "regular folks" who are actually the ones watching the shows? I just don't get it, but maybe it's because I'm not familiar with the way TV Networks work. It's just very frustrating. It almost makes you not want to watch anything anymore for fear it will be canceled. This 9 pm time slot on Friday on CBS is the worst. But I know there are other shows in danger of cancellation (Pushing Daisies, etc.). Why do they expect so much from "ratings?" — Mary M.

Matt Roush : This Friday time slot is the last tough nut for CBS to crack. (The network finally fixed its Tuesday 10 pm/ET problem, where shows had gone to die ever since Judging Amy packed it in, by moving Without a Trace there.) Simply put, ratings are the necessary evil by which the network business still functions. Even in these technologically transitional times, it's the measurement system by which shows live or die, and Fridays are particularly challenged as the viewing levels on the night continue to dwindle. Finding a show that fits between Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs has proved particularly vexing, and going the supernatural or romantic-comedy route the last two seasons hasn't met CBS's expectations. (In retrospect, giving Moonlight a second season to develop might not have been such a bad idea.) I keep seeing speculation in the trades that plugging in the summer hit Flashpoint would make the most sense, and I guess we shouldn't expect anything else from CBS beyond yet another procedural hour.

Thank you, Eva, for sending me a message to be sure I had this info!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that, Kandye!

Though I'm afraid that it can only give us some bitter satisfaction that Matt Roush admits what we've all known for a long time...


LynCraven said...

You know, you have to wonder about those high paid network execs. Just about ANY one of us would have said - lets give Moonlight another season to see if we can correct this timeslot... and we ML fans are all pretty sure it would have worked. At worst, it would have been better than what happened with Ex-List.

Even if there had been no viewership improvement (unlikely, I think) it still wasn't bad compared to the uncertainty they now face, still trying to "fix" the timeslot.

You have to wonder if these people are worth their (probably considerable) salaries, don't you?

Anonymous said...

It's a shame cbs doesn't listen to the people Moonlight had everything going for a great show.
The characters such as Beth was an everyday looking girl not skinny and model like and people like to see shows they can relate. This show had drama,romance and humor to bad cbs did't watch their own program. My tv skips right past cbs now for all shows

Anonymous said...

"Thanks" Kandye for the mention.
I'm not always sure if someone else has sent new info. on to you as well.
I try to keep my eyes open for any thing new regarding MOONLIGHT... especially like Matt Roush who has always been kind to MOONLIGHT fans.
We know... that he knows... CBS made a big mistake by canceling MOONLIGHT.

Anonymous said...

We all in the family and friends and others are begging to put back the episode "Moonlight". We all love them all, the story are superb and the love story, and action. Please if you can put back the show, we want then back Beth, Josh & Mick they potrays good performance....