Ah, television ratings. They're mysterious (who are these Nielsen families, and why can't I be one of them?), they're frustrating (why doesn't every single person in America tune into my favorite shows?), and they're essential for every hardcore TV fan to be aware of, because our shows live and die by them. Sure, other factors matter — merchandising possibilities, awards won, etc. — but in the end, a show that's not performing well in the ratings is likely to find itself on the chopping block, and the fans will be left with nothing but tears and old DVDs.
On top of that, ratings are kind of confusing. It's not just about numbers of viewers. Networks care about how well they're doing with certain demographics (they really value viewers 18-49), how well they're doing relative to other networks — the list goes on. We're here to boil it down and let you know the basics: Which shows that you love did well this week, which stumbled, and which you should be worried about. We won't list every show — if The Big Bang Theory aired, it did fine, we promise — just the most notable ratings events of the week. Sound good?
Here's your ratings breakdown for October 28-November 3, 2011:
- Once Upon A Time followed up its impressive series premiere ratings with another strong week, holding on to most of its viewers in the 18-49 demo. It was enough to earn the show a full season order.
- Revenge, also known as our new obsession, was up 11% in the 18-49 demo. Score one for Team Takedown.
- Bones is back, and its ratings are up! With 10.02 million viewers and a good ratings with those beloved 18-49 years olds, this was its best premiere since Season 4.
- Grimm premiered with the best non-sports related ratings of any Friday show in the 18-49 year old demo since 2010. That's a good sign for those of you who have already fallen in love with the show. Just make sure to keep watching.
- Glee returned from its month-long hiatus with a huge dip, pulling in its second worst numbers ever. New Girl also suffered, down significantly in the 18-49 demo.
- Cult hit Chuck returned to NBC with a series low. Of course, this is already its final season, so low ratings won’t have much of an effect on upcoming episodes.
- Fox's latest attempt to capitalize on their snarky animated comedy brand was a disappointment. Jonah Hill project Allen Gregory debuted with only 4.74 million viewers. Compere that to 8.01 for The Simpsons, which is basically just phoning it in at this point.
- Terra Nova was down 25% from two weeks ago. Sure, it was Halloween, but that's still not a great sign.
- Dancing With the Stars had one of its worst weeks ever. Are people sick of the drama?
Should you be worried?
At this point, it's too early to start freaking out about what's going to happen come spring, which is when most shows get renewed — or not. However, newbie shows Prime Suspect, Pan Am, and Allen Gregory all have a lot to worry about, so we'd advise that you don't get too attached.