The broadcast networks didn’t fiddle with their Tuesday night lineups much this fall, which means that we have a pretty good sense of how things will play out in the ratings.
The two “NCIS” shows will draw large audiences, as will “Dancing With the Stars.” “Glee” won’t be quite as big overall but will put up strong numbers in the young-adult demographics. “Parenthood” will get a big bump when DVR use is factored in.
Tuesday may be a little more predictable than most nights — but particularly in the middle hour of primetime, it also offers one of the more eclectic lineups. You want comedy? It’s there. Drama, both procedural and serialized? You got it. Reality? Yes and yes. Here’s a look at how we think the 9 p.m. ET Tuesday hour will play out this fall.
The big dogs: The “Dancing With the Stars” results show and “NCIS: Los Angeles” were both Top 10 shows in total viewers last year, and there’s no reason to think they won’t continue doing strong business in 2011-12. Though they’re time-period rivals, we don’t get the sense that there’s much audience overlap — which allows them both to thrive.
The old standby: “The Biggest Loser” is making some changes this season, adding two new trainers — Dolvett Quince and former tennis star Anna Kournikova — to join Bob Harper at the ranch. But it’s weathered trainer comings and goings and format tweaks in the past, and it still ticks along at a reliable ratings clip. We don’t think this is the cycle it runs out of steam.
The newcomers: FOX is giving the post-“Glee” spot at 9 p.m. to “New Girl,” starring Zooey Deschanel as a lovable mess of a woman who moves in with three guys after a relationship falls apart. It’s a sign that the network believes pretty strongly in the show; if it can persuade a good chunk of the “Glee” audience to stick around, that would be a pretty big win for the network. (And if that does happen, here’s hoping some of that will carry over to the underrated “Raising Hope,” which slides back to 9:30 ET this season.)
The CW got an early start on its Tuesday night last week with “Ringer,” which premiered to good-for-The-CW but not spectacular numbers. The challenge for the Sarah Michelle Gellar-fronted show will be to keep those viewers watching opposite a full slate of competition.
What are you going to be watching on Tuesdays?