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The 100 Most Watched Shows of the Fall is a Depressing Indictment of Network Television

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | December 19, 2013 | Comments ()


The-Blacklist_612x380.jpg

What’s depressing about the 100 most watched network shows of the fall is not the order of them (although, that, too), it’s how few of these shows most of us care about. I feel passionately about maybe six of the 100 (The Good Wife, Parks and Rec, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bob’s Burgers and Raising Hope), and while there are several others I do watch, if the networks decided to completely hang it up, I wouldn’t be that bummed about it. The Top 100 Shows of the Fall may as well be called, “Ninety boring shows you don’t care about, and the other 10, most of which are low rated).

Honestly, all four networks should merge into one, and at least then, the one station might have enough quality programming to compete with FX.

The top 100 is in overall viewers (rather than the coveted 18-49 viewers), and the results suggest that old people still watch a ton of free television, and they love procedurals and singing competitions.

1. NCIS
2. NFL SUNDAY FOOTBALL
3. BIG BANG THEORY
4. NCIS: LA
5. BLACKLIST
6. PERSON OF INTEREST
7. NFL SUNDAY NIGHT PRE-KICK
8. DANCING WITH THE STARS
9. OT (NFL POST-SHOW)
10. VOICE
11. BLUE BLOODS
12. CASTLE
13. VOICE
14. CRIMINAL MINDS
15. 60 MINUTES
16. MODERN FAMILY
17. ELEMENTARY
18. HAWAII FIVE-0
19. CSI
20. MILLERS
21. SCANDAL
22. GOOD WIFE
23. GREY’S ANATOMY
24. MENTALIST
25. FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA
26. CRAZY ONES
27. SURVIVOR
28. TWO AND A HALF MEN
29. CHICAGO FIRE
30. MARVEL’S AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
31. SLEEPY HOLLOW
32. MIKE & MOLLY
33. AMAZING RACE
34. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
35. BONES
36. MIDDLE
37. 2 BROKE GIRLS
38. ONCE UPON A TIME
39. UNDERCOVER BOSS
40. LAW & ORDER:SVU
41. ALMOST HUMAN
42. MOM
43. REVENGE
44. SHARK TANK
45. NASHVILLE
46. REVOLUTION
47. LAST MAN STANDING
48. HOSTAGES
49. GRIMM
50. BIGGEST LOSER
51. X-FACTOR
52. GOLDBERGS
53. BACK IN THE GAME
54. IRONSIDE
55. SUPER FUN NIGHT
56. WE ARE MEN
57. BONES
58. AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS
59. X-FACTOR
60. DATELINE
61. SIMPSONS
62. 20/20
63. PARENTHOOD
64. FAMILY GUY
65. ABC SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL
66. NEW GIRL
67. 48 HOURS
68. GLEE
69. MICHAEL J FOX SHOW
70. MASTERCHEF JUNIOR
71. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
72. TROPHY WIFE
73. DRACULA
74. 20/20
75. ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
76. FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA
77. AMERICAN DAD
78. NEIGHBORS
79. BOB’S BURGERS
80. BETRAYAL
81. SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL
82. DADS
83. SEAN SAVES THE WORLD
84. LUCKY 7
85. PARKS & RECREATION
86. ARROW
87. MINDY PROJECT
88. CRIMETIME
89. MICHAEL J FOX SHOW
90. VAMPIRE DIARIES
91. COMEDYTIME
92. COMEDYTIME-SAT 2 CBS 3234
93. ORIGINALS
94. PRIMETIME: WHAT WOULD U DO
95. SUPERNATURAL
96. SIMPSONS ENCORE
97. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
98. SCANDAL (RERUN)
99. RAISING HOPE
100. FAMILY GUY (RERUN)

(Source: EW)





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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • e jerry powell

    I'm assuming that #98 means the previous-week repeat on BET...

  • Modiano

    Wait...what is this based on? Nielsen ratings? If so, I don't think this list can be even close to an accurate measure of most-watched. Has anyone ever met a Nielsen viewer?

    I will say Blacklist has an appropriate spot though. I recently caught up and I am sold.

  • TheReinaG

    I know a Nielsen household, it's two college guys. (Seriously)

  • Whoa. Had to go down 21 spots before I got to one I watch--Scandal. Another 10 til Sleepy Hollow, and the FORTY for New Girl and Brooklyn 99. Parks and Rec and Mindy Project are at the very bottom, which just breaks my heart (mostly PR). People are freakin' dumb.

  • Uriah_Creep

    How is "Sean Saves the World" higher than "Parks & Recreation"? I don't understand!

    * the Hulkening *

    ME SMASH PUNY HUMANS!!!!!!!!!!

  • JoeNiqua

    Holy shit! How many of these are on CBS?

  • lingli

    Looking at this list, I have three thoughts:

    1. That is a LOT of procedurals

    2. At least Two And A Half Men is *only* at 28 (I know it shouldn't be on the list at all - or on TV anywhere in the universe, for that matter, but still...)

    3. If they are still making Raising Hope, why isn't it on British TV?!!!

  • Debra Kessing

    I watch 11 shows from the list - 5 of them because I have watched them from day 1 and they have always been quality, entertaining procedurals and it's habit (although they are still high quality, they are probably/should be nearing their end)
    Ooops, one of the 5 is Greys and that has not been "quality" since S2. I missed the years in the middle & now watch for Sandra Oh & because it's something familiar.

    I adore Blacklist - if every single cast member except Spader was blown up I wouldn't blink but he is THAT good <3 SHIELD is not good (it's not a Joss Whedon show, it's a Marvel show with Whedon's name on it) but I continue to hope. Person of Interest is actually an excellent show and very different to anything else around. Sleepy Hollow was my pleasant surprise for the year - Crane & Abby are irresistable - Crazy Ones is Robin Williams & SMG. I find it very enjoyable (bring back Brad Garrett permanently, he is like the perfect ... everything .. in that show) Hostages I tried because Toni Collette & have continued because when you are housebound permanently ANYTHING that is watchable is something to fill in an hour :)

  • lowercase_ryan

    Has anyone ever seriously considered the possibility that CBS figured out how to rig this shit? I'm not joking in the slightest, how can you explain Bluebloods? Are the batteries in 1/3 of America's remotes dead and the channel is stuck on CBS? I can't understand this list.

  • lingli

    Bluebloods is on Sky Atlantic here and when they launched it they made a little promo film for it with the actors talking about how unusual and interesting it is, interspersed with clips (which kind of disproved everything the actors said). For some reason this wee film often turns up at the beginning of things we DVR and, based purely on those clips, I find its popularity quite inexplicable. Must be Tom Selleck's moustache.

  • lowercase_ryan

    *COUGH*FUCKOFFMEGANBOONE*COUGH*

  • Slim

    This list doesn't really make any sense. Is it in random order? Ironside - the swiftly canceled Pretty Underwood procedural - had more viewers than Glee or Vampire Diaries (Neither shows I watch but tons of people do, right?) Why are some things listed twice?

  • John W

    I wonder if that list reflects how few people have cable. I know where I work there aren't a lot of other people who watch what I watch. There's also a few folks who don't have cable so they rely on word of mouth and netflix to watch shows on FX, HBO, etc.

  • Oh Goody Goody

    Person of Interest is actually worth watching, as underneath the nouveau-Equalizer episode of the week plot is a pretty engaging metaplot about a rapidly learning AI network. Plus, Amy Acker.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I like that Ironside is on there in the middle. Nice.

    What is Comedytime? and its unholy doppelganger COMEDYTIME-SAT 2 CBS 3234?

    This list is about what I expect. If most people are like me - AND I MUST ASSUME THEY ARE - then they want some tv that is top-notch art, and some that is just filler for your day/chilling out/background noise for work.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    I'm assuming "Bones" at number 35 and 57 has something to do with them moving the show to Friday nights. And if that's the drop off that happened then I hope everyone's said a fond farewell to their favorite character because they are not long for the TV world.

  • MrFrye

    You know, I can no longer remember the point where I stopped being surprised at seeing Angel walking around in sunlight.

    *sniff*

  • JenVegas

    It started out as a cute procedural. I like watching Angel have emotions other than brooding and shying from sunlight but yeah it has jumped it's shark and landed in the mouth of a waiting whale....dead in the water and getting deader. I really hope this is it's last season because I am beginning to feel bad for the other actors who could be getting cast in better shows.

  • meadowdancer

    LOL I have not watched Bones in two years. It sounds like it has gotten worse

  • koko temur

    michael j fox is listed twice? At 69 and 89? Is it *that* good?

    Elementary isnt a show that creats lots of buzz, but its actually really good, and only seems to get stronger.

    ETA - does anyone else find it weird that Scandal is that high? Sure, its a trendy, sexy show, i expect it to kill in the demographics ranking. But this is mostly older, non-internet savy viewers. Are old people in US far more freaky than we were led to believe?

  • Live tweeting Scandal is pretty popular so you get a lot of people who wouldn't usually watch a show as it airs watching it as scheduled in order to live tweet or follow along.

  • Daniel Valentin

    It makes me SO happy to see Almost Human so high on the list. I wish that show a long, prosperous run. It's definitely my favorite show in literally decades.

  • semiotheque

    "Hi, Jon, it's Barry. James's agent. Yeah, I saw the list. Great news, great news. Number five. That's big. You know that's big. Listen, that's actually why I'm calling. Yeah, James asked me to call. We're gonna have to renegotiate. No, not his contract for season 2. He wants to renegotiate his contract for the rest of this season. The current season.
    "It's just--it's not the show you originally pitched. You pitched us a procedural with a twist. But the show is a one-man play in a wax museum. His words, Jon.
    "It's not the format. He likes the format. That's the thing: he wants to take it further. You've really whetted his appetite, Jon. He wants to go even more experimental, more avant garde. He's got Toni and Tony doing a treatment for a show called 'Watching Paint Dry with James Motherfucking Spader.' He thinks he can take it to top three.
    "And Jon, I've seen your show. I think he can, too."

  • Afferbeck

    I just caught up with Blacklist and wow I can see why it's numero... fiveo. I was getting damn bored of the 'procedural with Spader being cool as hell' but these last two episodes were amazing. And Spader was basically just administering first aid the whole time while Generic Heroine drilled people in the back of the head like she was Sarah Connor or something.

  • Well #7 and #9 hardly count. The OT has high ratings because all of the regional games switch over to that afterwards and people still have their televisions on ... and they're just leaving them on because then they flip to NBC sometime around 8 EST for the Sunday Night Game.

    I mean yeah, the televisions are on, ad space is sold, but it's sort of disingenuous to act like the people watching the pregame at 8:15 are distinct from the people watching the game at 8:40.

  • Wait, there's something even weirder. "Football Night in America" is the name for Sunday Night Football. But it's listed twice as a lot of other things are. But the thing that makes no sense is that it is ranked at #25, while the pregame for Sunday Night Football is at #7. So several million more people watch the pregame than the actual game? Bob Costas ain't that sessy.

  • Guest

    I feel passionately about maybe six of the 100 (The Good Wife, Parks and Rec, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bob’s Burgers and Raising Hope)

    Why no love for Elementary? Out the 100 I only watch 4 (not including NFL).

    17. ELEMENTARY
    66. NEW GIRL
    71. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
    79. BOB’S BURGERS

    And sorta watch (but kinda done with):

    85. PARKS & RECREATION & 99. RAISING HOPE

    Weren't you cheerleading:

    72. TROPHY WIFE and 52. GOLDBERGS earlier this year?

    In fact didn't you say GOLDBERGS was the best new comedy of the year?

  • BWeaves

    "Why no love for Elementary?"

    I supposed if they are like me, they waited for it to come out on DVD. I just finished season one. I expected to hate it, but I'm not sure I don't like it more than Sherlock.

  • Guest

    I will say say it's better than Sherlock, and it's just one of the shows Pajiba completely ignores while directly all it's misguided love to mediocre cable shows (cough Newsroom couch) that would be canceled if they were on a network..

    Elementary's Sherlock and Watson > than Sherlock's Sherlock and Watson. Yeah I said.

  • meadowdancer

    Eh I watched two episodes of Elementary and was done.

  • Guest

    You're missing out. I'll even admit that I checked out at episode 3 when it first started and then went back to it halfway through the first season and was totally sold on it after that. Joan's and Sherlock's dynamic / partnership is fantastic compared to John's and Sherlock's and is the best part of the show.

  • meadowdancer

    I only watched Season 1 and just moved on but I definitely appreciate you liked it. I watched Season 1 of Sherlock and wasn't moved really until episode 3 and when I saw Season 2 episode 2 it knocked my socks off.

  • DominaNefret

    I must be the only person who was sorely disappointed in season 2 of Sherlock.

  • fracas

    You are not.

  • meadowdancer

    No some people didn't like it.
    For me it was 90 percent love. For example I loathed The Hound of the Baskervilles. But I loved Scandal and The Final Problem.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I know at least one fervent Holmesian who agrees with you (he feels Elementary is a truer adapation of who Holmes would be today. And, to boot, he hated the Scandal in Belgravia episode of Sherlock.)

  • idiosynchronic

    When we're over visiting, my parents always have the TV on and they're constantly trying to engage us on whatever show they're watching. We try to explain we don't watch broadcast TV, we got rid of cable years ago, but they just don't seem to get it . .

    I bought the season pass for theCardboard Cutouts of SHEILD in a fit of optimism. I haven't watched the last month's of episodes. It's just . . well, dull.

  • Brad Indaskys

    Supernatural only 95?!

  • Dean: Why would anybody want to watch our lives?
    Sam: Well, according to the interviewer, not very many people do.

    - SPN 6.15

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    They still have network television? I thought that was just for football.

  • It's called soccer, you Canadian trollop.

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