The new kids on the television block are going to be just fine, if the early return numbers are any indication. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the debuts of new shows this fall have bucked the last two years’ trend of low premiere numbers. NBC’s The Jay Leno Show, Fox’s Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles and ABC’s three-headed monster of Cougar Town, Modern Family and FlashForward have all benefited from large turnouts.
Even with the oncoming onslaught of new and “fan-favorite” programs, the CW’s Vampire Diaries continued to show promise. But not all shows are sitting pretty as the law of averages always seems to have an opinion on, well, everything. ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy – formally a ratings juggernaut – has shown signs of slipping, and you can include genre staples NBC’s Heroes and CW’s Smallville into that mix as well.
For whom the bell tolls? Fox’s Fringe and ABC’s Desperate Housewives have dropped to the point that their respective networks are beginning to sweat a bit, and the departure of William Petersen from CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigations has had a similar effect on that show’s ratings. If returns don’t improve, these shows could end up like CW’s TBL: DOA.