Broadcast Power Rankings — Week 2

We’re ready for week 2 of the broadcast power rankings! Time is a little short, so I think I’ll be writing a little less this week.

Here’s how I’m hoping this will work: In short, I’ll be ranking each network, from 1-5 every Monday based on a number of factors. More specifically, I’ll be not only considering the ratings performance of each network, but also how the networks’ series were evaluated in terms of quality. Finally, I’ll look at how various news items might influence the network’s brand or operations, while always keeping in mind their current, respective situations (i.e. The CW has a lower degree of difficulty than the others, NBC’s general suckiness, etc.).

Hopefully, the rankings will be able to tell us something about the trends among broadcast television, both from a week-to-week basis and perhaps even broader. And hopefully, they’ll just be damn fun to write and read.

1. CBS

I don’t know what to say. I tried to think of reasons why the Eyeball deserved to be knocked off its throne, there were none. It is still doing very well in the ratings, none of its new series look to be in danger of cancellation and CSI: used a killer shark in their most recent episode. That’s unbeatable.

2. The CW

The C-dub totally lucks into this one thanks to a rough week for NBC. The CW didn’t do anything particularly great in week two, but all of its main series had really good episodes and stayed fairly consistent in performance. Plus, the news that the prospective Wonder Woman series is in the works is something of good news for the network because it could very easily replace Smallville as the DC Comics rep on the sked.

3. NBC

After a fairly great premiere week, the Peacock took a nosedive in a number of spots. Every one of its major series but 30 Rock was down in week two and things look exceptionally bleak for the much-publicized Undercovers. Outlaw is also dead.

On the positive side, Law & Order: LA debuted strong and most of those major series had good episodes in week two, particularly the aforementioned 30 Rock, Community and Chuck. The Event was also less obnoxious in its second episode, which isn’t much of a feat, but something to note.

4. FOX

More middling news for FOX in week two of the season. Lone Star didn’t have an up-tick in week two and was quickly cancelled. The Good Guys is probably a week or two away from the exact same fate after just horrible ratings on Friday. Fringe continues to have below average ratings, despite great DVR figures. And who knows what’s going to happen to the Tuesday comedies, despite their improving quality.

On the positive side, Glee had an epic week for a weird, but not awful episode and the network should be commended for figuring out a swift strategy for Monday in replacing Lone Star with the always fine Lie to Me and for being smart enough to realize that Human Target deserves better than to die a slow death on Fridays with Good Guys.

5. ABC

I know that FOX still had some issues with Lone Star, which is a bigger failure than My Generation, but it’s not like ABC was trying to kill one of their new primetime drama series, one that they put in a plum spot on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Nevertheless, Generation sucked big time and was mercy killed by viewers who knew this, and so it was axed just a few days after Lone Star.

Though No Ordinary Family opened okay, Better With You mostly sucks and The Whole Truth is on its way to cancellation as well. I was thinking about this the other day: What the hell does ABC have that people want to watch aside from Modern Family? Their schedule of scripted content is absolutely the weakest of all the broadcast networks, and with its new series flailing, that’s not good.


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