No Post-Super Bowl Lift for CBS

Promo assault yields marginal ratings gains

CBS failed to capitalize on the promotional muscle of the Super Bowl, as Monday night’s prime-time lineup showed very little growth versus the most recent Monday roster of first-run episodes.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, CBS’ comedy-heavy lineup averaged 10.4 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demo, marking a slight decline in reach from 10.6 million viewers on Jan. 21. In the 18-49 demo, CBS last night improved by one-tenth of a ratings point versus the relevant date.

Comparisons versus last week are irrelevant, as CBS aired wall-to-wall repeats on Jan. 28. 

Of the five series CBS aired on Monday, only the recently renewed comedy How I Met Your Mother demonstrated ratings growth, averaging 10.3 million viewers and a 4.0 in the demo—an increase of 8 percent from 3.7.

In the 8:30 p.m. slot, the long-delayed season premiere of Rules of Engagement delivered 9.40 million viewers, down 18 percent from the October 2011 Season 6 opener (11.5 million). Last night’s episode also notched a 3.1 in the 18-49 demo, a drop of 14 percent versus the previous mark of 3.6.

David LaChapelle’s characteristically understated pole-dancing promo for 2 Broke Girls may have grabbed the lapels of millions of Super Bowl viewers, but the clip didn’t appear to pay off in new fans. The 9 p.m. sitcom scared up 11.4 million viewers and a 3.7 in the demo, flat versus the Jan. 21 installment’s 3.7 rating.

The final component of the two-hour comedy block also shrank a bit, as Mike & Molly slipped from 10.9 million viewers/3.3 rating to 10.8 million/3.2. Lastly, the 10 p.m. drama Hawaii Five-0 enjoyed a slight gain in the demo, averaging a 2.3 rating, up one-tenth of a ratings point versus its most recent new installment.

While the lack of a big post-Super Bowl spike may have been a disappointment for CBS, it is worth noting that the network last night still managed to win every time slot. Moreover, if pumped-up ratings are indeed a function of promo exposure, then the network should expect a big lift for its Thursday night drama Person of Interest. Per Kantar Media analysis, CBS’ 20-second promo for the Jim Caviezel/Michael Emerson thriller was the highest-rated “commercial” to air in Super Bowl XLVII, drawing a 47.4 household rating at approximately 10:31 p.m. EST.

The Person of Interest teaser edged out the Samsung Galaxy spot featuring the comic trio of Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Bob Odenkirk (47.2 HH rating at 10:29 p.m.)

While Fox won’t host the Super Bowl until next year, the broadcaster is enjoying a significant lift from its new procedural The Following. In its third at-bat, the blood-spattered Kevin Bacon vehicle drew 9.01 million viewers and a 2.9 in the dollar demo, marking a 12 percent drop in total reach among the 18-49 set. These drops are well within the expected churn rate, especially as the show remains the only freshman effort of 2012-13 to actually grow its deliveries between its first and second weeks.

On the CW, The Carrie Diaries appears to be a grower, as the fourth installment averaged 1.51 million viewers and a series-high 0.9 in the 18-34 demo—up by half from last week’s 0.6 rating.

Lastly, NBC’s whodunit Deception lost 16 percent of its aggregate audience, while falling another tenth of a point in the demo (1.1).

Tonight (9 p.m.-11 p.m.), the Peacock will air the two-hour Season 2 premiere of its Broadway musical drama Smash. After bowing to a very solid 11.5 million viewers and a 3.8 in the demo on Feb. 6, 2012, Smash quickly lost its footing, ending its 15-episode freshman run in front of 5.96 million viewers and a 1.8 among the sub-50 set.

Smash was hampered by the loss of a powerhouse lead-in (The Voice) and a series of backstage intrigues that culminated in the defection of original showrunner Theresa Rebeck. Following tonight’s two-parter, Smash returns to the NBC lineup on Feb. 19, assuming the Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot.