Move over Sunday, Monday nights have become the new battleground on the TV networks – especially amongst the younger demographics as shows like “Heroes,” “Chuck,” “Gossip Girl,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Prison Break,” “One Tree Hill,” “Two & a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and ratings juggernaut “Dancing with the Stars” all go head-to-head.
Feeling the most pain at the moment though is Fox, with both “Terminator” and “Prison Break” pulling in a mere 5.3 million viewers each. ‘Prison’ averaged 7.5 million viewers last year but with many expecting this to be the show’s final season, the fall isn’t unexpected.
“Terminator” on the other hand is a disappointment. A stellar ratings launch last year yielded 18.3 million viewers before losing more than half its audience right away and settling in at a little over 8 million viewers on average for the first season.
Having lost 34 percent of its audience average from the previous year and with the number slipping down each week, there’s already talk at SyFy Portal that Fox could shut down production before the season is finished.
The writer’s strike continues taking its toll on last year’s launch shows with the second season premieres of “Chuck” and “Life” over on NBC on Monday losing 17% and 30% of their first season audience average from last year.
“Heroes” is hitting its lowest numbers yet with only 9.3 million tuning in last night (the second season premiere last year scored 17 million viewers), even “Grey’s Anatomy” has lost about 10% of its viewers. Holding steady are “Desperate Housewives,” “The Simpsons,” “The Office,” and “House”.
On the other side of the fence, The CW is enjoying success with returning soaps “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill” gaining 6% and 12% more viewers. CBS’ crime procedurals like the “CSI” franchise, “Criminal Minds”, “NCIS” and even its sitcom line-up gained ground on viewership this season with all of those shows pulling in about 20% more viewers. The sole exception being “Without a Trace” which lost around 30% of its viewership.