/// Legends of the Fall TV Season

September 30, 2013  |  Media Week

Projecting a TV series’ long-term prospects on the basis of a single broadcast is a puzzling seasonal compulsion, a ritual on par with the creation of back-to-school macaroni art. Just as you can’t accurately predict that your kid is going to grow up to be the next Robert Rauschenberg on the basis of his facility with elbow macaroni and Elmer’s Glue, nor can any meaningful conclusions be drawn from Premiere Week ratings. Still, who are we to tamper or dally with tradition? (Besides, what sort of monster begrudges macaroni art?) Here’s what the first week of Nielsen data tells us about the 2013-14 TV season: 1) Broadcast isn’t dead. It’s not even sick. Through Sept. 26, the Big Four were up 5 percent in the 18-49 demo versus the year-ago period. Some of that had to do with healthy sampling of new series— Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) bowed to a brawny 12.1 million viewers and a 4.7 rating, NBC’s The Blacklist drew 12.6 million viewers and a 3.8 in the demo, and CBS’ The Crazy Ones scared up an insane 15.6 million viewers/4.0 rating—but the returning series were no slouches, either. The CBS warhorse NCIS returned to a whopping 20 million viewers, The Big Bang Theory put up a monster 5.6 rating, and NBC’s The Voice surpassed expectations with 15.0 million viewers and a 5.1 in the dollar demo. 2) Crime pays. Genre slays. Along with the aforementioned NCIS, CBS’ Criminal Minds and NBC’s deathless Law & Order: SVU continued to pack ’em in

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Legends of the Fall TV Season

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