Tuned In: Prime time's peculiar popularity

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Popularity does not always equal success in prime-time television. That's the lesson one can learn from a look at the Top 50 shows of the 2012-13 TV season.

It has been a few weeks since the TV season officially wrapped up, allowing time for Nielsen to collect Live + 7 data through May 26. Live + 7 is the rating that includes both live TV viewing and DVR playback within the following seven days.

Here's the list:

1. "NCIS" (CBS), 21.6 million.

2. "Sunday Night Football" (NBC), 21 million.

3. "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS), 18.7 million.

4. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS), 17.5 million.

5. "Person of Interest" (CBS), 15.9 million.

6. "Fox NFL Sunday" (Fox), 15.8 million.

7. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick Off" (NBC), 15.3 million.

8. "American Idol" Wednesday (Fox), 15.1 million.

9. "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC), 15 million.

10. "American Idol" Thursday (Fox), 14.8 million.

11. "The Voice" Monday (NBC), 14.4 million.

12. "Dancing With the Stars" results show (ABC), 13.9 million.

13. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS), 13.7 million.

14. "The Voice" Tuesday (NBC), 13.5 million.

15. "Blue Bloods" (CBS), 13 million.

16. "NFL Regular Season Monday Night Football" (ESPN), 12.9 million.

17. "Elementary" (CBS), 12.7 million.

18. "Modern Family" (ABC), 12.6 million.

19. "Criminal Minds" (CBS), 12.5 million.

20. "The O.T." (Fox), 12.5 million.

21. "Castle" (ABC), 12.5 million.

22. "60 Minutes" (CBS), 12.4 million.

23. "Vegas" (CBS), 12 million.

24. "The Following" (Fox), 11.9 million.

25. "CSI" (CBS), 11.9 million.

26. "Survivor: Philippines" (CBS), 11.9 million.

27. "The Mentalist" (CBS), 11.5 million.

28. "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC), 11.3 million.

29. "CSI: NY" (CBS), 11.2 million.

30. "Football Night in America" (NBC), 11.1 million.

31. "Survivor: Caramoan" (CBS), 10.9 million.

32. "Revolution" (NBC), 10.8 million.

33. "Body of Proof" (ABC), 10.8 million.

34. "2 Broke Girls" (CBS), 10.7 million.

35. "The Amazing Race" (CBS), 10.7 million.

36. "The Good Wife" (CBS), 10.7 million.

37. "Hawaii Five-0" (CBS), 10.6 million.

38. "Mike & Molly" (CBS), 10.4 million.

39. "Once Upon a Time" (ABC), 10.3 million.

40. "Amazing Race 21" (CBS), 10.1 million.

41. "Golden Boy" (CBS), 9.9 million.

42. "The X Factor" Wednesday (Fox), 9.6 million.

43. "The X Factor" Thursday (Fox), 10.4 million.

44. "Bones" (Fox), 9.4 million.

45. "The Bachelor" (ABC), 9.4 million.

46. "BCS Bowl Studio Show" (ESPN), 9.3 million.

47. "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS), 9.2 million.

48. "Revenge" (ABC), 9 million.

49. "Scandal" (ABC), 8.6 million.

50. "The Middle" (ABC), 8.5 million.

Fans of CBS's "Vegas" are likely to be miffed if they examine this list carefully. "Vegas" ranked as the No. 23 show in all of prime-time across broadcast and cable with 12 million viewers, but it still got canceled and plenty of shows with millions of fewer viewers got renewed.

Similarly, ABC's "Body of Proof" (No. 33) and CBS's "Golden Boy" (No. 41) also made the Top 50, but they, too, were canceled. Why would a network cancel a popular show?

It's simple: Overall popularity is often less important business-wise than demographic popularity. The television business is driven by the desires of advertisers, and advertisers crave younger viewers on the assumption that they are less brand-loyal and more willing to try something new.

There are many different demographics measured, but a key consideration is the age 18-49 demo. On that score, "Body of Proof" and "Vegas" were tied at No. 72 in the 18-49 demo in live plus same-day ratings (Live + 7 ratings were not available) and "Golden Boy" was No. 97, according to Nielsen.

Another thing to remember: Not all shows are created equal. CBS's "The Good Wife" fared even worse than "Vegas," ranking No. 84 in 18-49, but it was renewed. Why? Probably because "The Good Wife" generates more social media buzz and is a critical darling. CBS may see "Good Wife" as a bit of a loss leader, one of the network's few prestige projects that it's happy to have to balance against the network's more popular but less acclaimed programming.

TCA nominations

The nation's TV critics have spoken: FX series have the most nominations for Television Critics Association Awards, including four nominations for freshman drama "The Americans."

Of local note: "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," from The Fred Rogers Company in Pittsburgh, scored a nomination for youth programming. Winners will be announced on Aug. 3 during the summer TCA press tour.

Here's the complete list:

Individual Achievement in Comedy: Louis C.K., "Louie" (FX); Lena Dunham, "Girls" (HBO); Jake Johnson, "New Girl" (Fox); Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" (HBO); Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" (NBC).

Individual Achievement in Drama: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (AMC); Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel" (A&E); Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" (BBC America), Monica Potter, "Parenthood" (NBC), Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" (FX).

News and Information: "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN; "Central Park Five," PBS; "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central; "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC; "60 Minutes," CBS.

Reality: "The Amazing Race," CBS; "The Glee Project," Oxygen; "Shark Tank," ABC; "Survivor," CBS; "The Voice," NBC.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: "Adventure Time," Cartoon Network; "Bunheads," ABC Family; "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," PBS; "Sesame Street," PBS; "Switched at Birth," ABC Family.

Outstanding New Program: "The Americans," FX; "Elementary," CBS; "House of Cards," Netflix; "The Mindy Project," Fox; "Orphan Black," BBC America.

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: "American Horror Story: Asylum," FX; "Behind the Candelabra," HBO; "Downton Abbey," PBS; "Rectify," Sundance Channel; "Top of the Lake," Sundance Channel.

Outstanding Achievement in Drama: "The Americans," FX; "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "Homeland," Showtime; "Mad Men," AMC.

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Louie," FX; "New Girl," Fox; "Parks and Recreation," NBC; "Veep," HBO.

Career Achievement Award: James L. Brooks, James Burrows, Jay Leno, William Shatner, Barbara Walters.

Heritage Award: "All in the Family," CBS; "Lost," ABC; Saturday Night Live," NBC; "Star Trek," NBC; "Twin Peaks," ABC.

Program of the Year: "The Americans," FX; "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "House of Cards," Netflix; "The Walking Dead," AMC.

Daytime Emmys

Sam Champion ("Good Morning America") and HLN's A.J. Hammer and Robin Meade will host the "40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards" at 8 p.m. Sunday on HLN.

A red carpet arrivals special airs at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Presenters will include Rachael Ray, Kathy Griffin and the stars of CBS's "The Talk."

New hire at WTAE

With the promotion of Jim Parsons to assistant news director, WTAE has hired Bofta Yiman as a new investigative reporter. The Washington, D.C., native comes to Channel 4 from WHBQ in Memphis, Tenn. She starts work at WTAE June 24.

Channel surfing

BBC America has renewed "Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan" for a second season to air in 2014. ... DirecTV has re-upped freshman drama "Rogue" for a 10-episode second season to return next year. ... IFC renewed "Portlandia" for two more, 10-episode seasons to air in 2014 and 2015. ... Disney Channel has canceled its live-action sitcom "Good Luck, Charlie," with the final episodes slated to air in 2014. ... Same-day reruns of CBS's "The Young and the Restless" move from SOAPnet to TVGN (formerly TV Guide Network) on July 1 airing weeknights at 7. ... My Network TV, which airs in Pittsburgh on WPMY, Channel 22, will add reruns of "Bones" to its lineup of off-network series this fall. Back-to-back episodes will air Thursday nights. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" episodes will air Wednesday with "Law & Order: SVU" on Monday, "House" on Tuesday and "Monk" reruns on Friday. ... HBO has set a return date for "Boardwalk Empire": 9 p.m. Sept. 8. ... Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel kick off their Christmas movies even earlier than usual with a week of Christmas programming July 8-11. ... Soledad O'Brien, who left CNN earlier this year but continues to produce documentaries for the cable news channel, will join HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel." ... FiOS TV and Internet customers with Android devices with operating systems of 2.3.3 or higher can download a new My FiOS App for Android that allows customers to stream up to 75 channels depending on their cable package. ... The Pennsylvania Cable Network will offer live coverage of Gettysburg 150 events June 30-July 3.

Tuned In online

Today's TV Q&A column responds to questions about "Sherlock," "Army Wives" and the sound on KDKA-TV. This week's Tuned In Journal includes posts on "Game of Thrones," "Downton Abbey," the Tony Awards, "Major Crimes" and "Switched at Birth." Read online-only TV content at post-gazette.com/tv.

This week's podcast includes conversation about "Game of Thrones," the Tony Awards telecast and "The Daily Show." Subscribe or listen at http://old.post-gazette.com/podcast.

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TV writer Rob Owen: rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook for breaking TV news. First Published June 14, 2013 4:00 AM


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