Fox Originals Beat Big Three Repeats

Rash Report: CW Ties for Third in Key Demo With New Episodes of 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Supernatural'

By Published on .

MINNEAPOLIS ( -- "Eighty percent of success is just showing up," said Woody Allen, in a version of a quote attributed to many. Fox and the CW took the lesson to their schedules last night -- running original episodes against Big Three grids that were two-thirds repeats -- and both had good nights.

'The Vampire Diaries'
'The Vampire Diaries' Credit: The CW
Fox's "Bones" hit a season-high 3.6/11 rating and share in the ad-centric adult 18-49 demographic (based on Nielsen fast affiliate ratings, with final live-live-plus-same-day data to be released Friday afternoon), and "Fringe" tied a season-high 3.0/8 to lead the network to first place overall with a 3.3/9.

And the CW, which itself has failed to show up by running weeks of reruns, ran original episodes of "Vampire Diaries" (1.8/5) and "Supernatural" (1.2/3), with each reaching their highest ratings since mid-November.

The CW averaged a 1.5/4 for the night, tying it with both ABC and NBC, two networks that usually compete with second place CBS (1.8/5) for Thursday night ratings supremacy. But with ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" (1.5/4) and "Private Practice" (1.2/3), CBS's "CSI" (2.0/5) and "The Mentalist" (2.3/6), and NBC's "Community" (1.6/5), "Parks and Recreation" (1.6/4), "The Office" (2.1/6) and "30 Rock" (1.7/5) not heeding Woody's words, viewers sought out original episodes.

That is, at least for the most part. Each of the Big Three had one original, but with ratings suggesting repeats: CBS's program premiere of "Live for the Moment" dies in last place with a 1.1/3; week two of "The Deep End" (1.7/5) was a tenth of a ratings point lower than last week's series premiere; and NBC's "The Jay Leno Show," up against two drama repeats, could only tie for last with a 1.2/3.

Rash gridsEnlarge
See how all the shows did in the ratings.

Sweeps are just ahead, so no doubt the networks will show up for February. But network TV still generally works on a scripted series business model of an original and a repeat, which at best means their best shows don't show up for more than half a year. It's a long way to 80%.

Friday: Want the best analysis of not only this week's State of the Union Address, but the actual state of the union? Watch David Brooks and Mark Shields on PBS's "Newshour."
Saturday: Get set for the Games with "Truth in Motion: The U.S. Ski Team's Road to Vancouver."
Sunday: The Grammy Awards rock CBS.

After a ratings rise for fall's AMA and CMA Awards, good numbers for the Grammy Awards.

~ ~ ~
NOTE: All ratings based on adults 18-49. A share is a percentage of adults 18-49 who have their TV sets on at a given time. A rating is a percentage of all adults 18-49, whether or not their sets are turned on. For example, a 1.0 rating is 1% of the total U.S. adults 18-49 population with TVs. Ratings quoted in this column are based on live-plus-same-day unless otherwise noted. (Many ad deals have been negotiated on the basis of commercial-minute, live-plus-three-days viewing.)

John Rash is senior VP-director of media analysis for Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. For more, see

Most Popular
In this article: