Vote of Confidence: CBS Gives Full-Season Orders to Vegas, Elementary

To date, 40 percent of new series have back-nine orders

CBS has gone all-in on its two surviving freshman dramas, giving back-nine orders to Vegas and Elementary.

Starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, Vegas premiered Sept. 25 to 14.9 million viewers and a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo. The older-skewing series (median age: 60.7 years) performed even better with CBS’ target demo, averaging a 3.6 rating among adults 25-54.

Thus far, three episodes of Vegas have aired since the season began. (The fourth installment was pre-empted by the second presidential debate.) Season to date, Vegas is averaging 12.9 million viewers, making it the biggest new reach vehicle on TV. The period drama is also averaging a 3.1 in the 25-54 demo.

Elementary was a shoo-in for a full-season pickup, debuting to 13.4 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the 18-49 cohort. The Sherlock Holmes reboot also put up a big number in the target demo, notching a 4.0 ages 25-54 rating.

As is the case with Vegas, CBS has aired three episodes of Elementary. Most recently (Oct. 18), the new series attracted 10.9 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in its guaranteed demo.

Vegas and Elementary have opened strong, delivering big audiences and winning performances in important time periods,” said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, by way of announcing the full-season orders. “Each of the shows has rich characters, big stars and a unique visual style that have stood out in the crowd, helping make two of our strongest nights even stronger.”

While both shows are already putting up advertiser-friendly ratings, the picture improves even more so upon application of the currency. Per Nielsen’s C3 ratings data, Week 1 of Vegas improved two-tenths of a point in the 18-49 demo (2.7 from 2.5) while Elementary jumped three-tenths of a point (3.4 from 3.1).

According to SQAD NetCosts data, Elementary is one of the priciest new dramas on the fall schedule, commanding a unit cost of $145,000 per 30-second spot. Vegas is a relative bargain at $110,000 a pop.

At this juncture, six other new series have been awarded full-season orders: Revolution, Go On and The New Normal (NBC); Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project (Fox) and Arrow (The CW). On the flip side, only two series have officially been canceled: Made in Jersey (CBS) and Animal Practice (NBC).

Meanwhile, in the weekly ratings race, NBC secured its fourth straight victory in the demo, averaging a 2.6 for the week that ended Oct. 14, edging CBS by one-tenth of a point. ABC finished third (2.1), while Fox averaged a 1.6, Univision earned a 1.5 and The CW trailed with a 0.7.

With one week of C3 data on the books, the year-over-year declines at ABC, CBS and Fox are rather steep. CBS is down 23 percent versus the first week of the 2011-12 season, averaging a 2.3 in the currency, while ABC is off 15 percent. Fox’s opening salvo of a 2.2 C3 rating represents a 29 percent drop from its year-ago 3.1 in the demo.

Only NBC has improved, delivering a 3.0 C3 rating, up 12 percent versus last season’s premiere week. C3 data for Week 2 should be available on Oct. 24.

Publish date: October 23, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT