The 2010-2011 TV season is officially over now that American Idol has wrapped up, so it’s time to look back and see what shows and networks were the big winners and losers of the year. Deadline has two fantastic lists ranking over 140 shows in terms of total viewers and the strong demographic of 18-49-year-olds. A quick look at the list for total viewers reveals that reality competitions and CBS crime procedurals are still in power, taking the top 12 spots on the list.
Here’s the top 10 shows in terms of total viewers for this season:
American Idol Performance Show: 25.864 million
American Idol Results Show: 23.798 million
Dancing with the Stars Performance Show: 21.927 million
NBC Sunday Night Football: 21.025 million
NCIS: 19.377 million
Dancing with the Stars Results Show: 18.612 million
NCIS: Los Angeles: 16.467 million
The Mentalist: 15.328 million
Criminal Minds: 14.026 million
CSI: 13.626 million
But what else can we learn from the list? Here are eight fun facts you might want to know about the ratings for the 2010-2011 season.
The New Top Comedy
You know how everyone always says that Charlie Sheen left TV’s highest-rated comedy? Well, not any more. Last year Two and a Half Men narrowly edged out The Big Bang Theory in terms of total viewers, but this year the roles are reversed and The Big Bang Theory is officially the most-watched comedy on television.
The Highest-Rated New Show
Despite CBS’ dominance with strong performances by Blue Bloods and Hawaii Five-0, as well as NBC’s impressive launches of The Voice and Harry’s Law, the highest-rated new show of the 2010-2011 season was ABC’s mid-season procedural Body of Proof, which finished in 14th place with over 13 million viewers per episode.
NBC Cancels 6 of Its Top 10 Scripted Shows
You know NBC is in bad shape with scripted programming when you look at this list and see that, of the eight scripted shows it renewed for next season, only half outperformed the majority of the canceled shows. The top 10 scripted shows for NBC included Law and Order: Los Angeles, The Event, Undercovers, Chase, The Cape and Outlaw. Those shows did better than Chuck, Community, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock. And making matters worse, Law and Order: Los Angeles and The Event were actually among the top five scripted shows, bested only by Harry’s Law, Law and Order: SVU and The Office.
To put this in comparison, CBS didn’t cancel any of its top 10 scripted shows, ABC only canceled two of them (Brothers and Sisters and Detroit 1-8-7) and FOX canceled just four (Breaking In, Human Target, The Chicago Code and Lie to Me).
10 Million Is Not Enough for CBS
CBS is sitting pretty with 16 of the top 25 shows of the year, including 11 of the top 12 scripted shows. But that didn’t stop the network from canceling some strong performers. $#*! My Dad Says, The Defenders and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior all averaged over 10 million viewers per episode, but were still canceled.
The Worst Scripted Show on CBS
Chaos, the short-lived spy dramedy that ran for just three episodes Friday nights on CBS, was the network’s lowest-rated scripted series with about 6.7 million viewers, which ranked it 73 out of 141 shows. Despite being the lowest-rated scripted series on all of CBS, it still beat Raising Hope, The Cleveland Show, Fringe, Chuck, Shark Tank, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Happy Endings, Bob’s Burgers, Kitchen Nightmares, Community and American Dad, all of which got renewed.
Bones Wins for FOX
FOX might have the two highest-rated shows of the year with its two installments of American Idol, but after that, the network’s next best show comes in at number 27 on the list. While House and Glee might get a lot of attention, it’s actually Bones that earns that honor, making it the network’s highest-rated scripted show and it’s second best show overall behind American Idol.
Why the CW Canceled Hellcats
Sadly, the CW holds 11 of the 12 lowest-rated shows on TV. While its low ratings are virtually identical, it’s interesting to note that the canceled Hellcats actually did better than Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill, both of which were renewed. However, in the coveted 18-49 demographic, Hellcats finished dead last for all scripted shows, which explains why it was the one CW show at the end of the season to get the boot.
Last Year vs. This Year
In terms of total viewers, everything in the top 10 actually did better this year, with the exception of CSI and The Mentalist, which both dropped. Nine of the top 10 shows are the same as last year, with the only exception being Criminal Minds, which replaced Undercover Boss (which had an inflated rating due to its post-Super Bowl premiere).
(Image courtesy of CBS)