Friday, May 14, 2010

May Sweeps Fizzle For The Big Networks

Normally, May sweeps is when ratings spike for the networks when some of the strongest season ending episodes air. But, not this year. Ratings for many popular CBS, NBC and FOX shows have hit some of their worst numbers of the year.

The competition of the NBA playoffs on cable, good weather as well as some unexpected audience apathy have all created the perfect storm of falling ratings just when TV gets really good.

CBS has an interesting problem. Normally, THE BIG BANG THEORY draws in some big numbers for a comedy, nearly as good as TWO AND A HALF MEN. And because of Charlie Sheen's legal problems, two episodes were cut from the filming schedule, so THE BIG THEORY replaced both TWO AND A HALF MEN last week as well as a canceled comedy spot over on the Wednesday night schedule. But, unfortunately airing three episodes of THE BIG BANG THEORY didn't bring in good ratings, but the worst ratings for the entire year for the popular series which still barely managed two top 20 spots.

NBC managed to do far worse. Not a single May sweeps episode made the top 20. And if anything, NBC's ratings look really flat for the past week.

Over at FOX, the acclaimed medical drama, HOUSE, hit the worst numbers since 2004 for some unexpected reason.

All of this must be leading to some major league soul searching over at the networks looking for what went wrong and deciding which shows will be renewed or not. May 19 is the deadline, and these new numbers may influence the fate of a few shows.


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