TV is a dicey game these days. Between baseball, football, and other distractions– like Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” juggernaut– older shows are struggling.
On Wednesday night. “CSI” returned to CBS set in Las Vegas. They advertised original leading man William Petersen, but he didn’t show up until the end of the episode. The result was a squinty 4.1 million viewers, not really enough to raise a flag over. NBC’s “Chicago PD,” part of the Wolfian onslaught, knocked them cold at 10pm.
I’m still not sure why “CSI” returned. Almost no one was watching it when it ended a few seasons ago. And Petersen is always an X factor.
Meantime, ABC’s destruction of “The Conners” continues. A nice hit on Tuesdays at 8, the “Roseanne” spin off was moved to 9 on Wednesdays last year and started spinning out of control. Last night the show was down 9% from the previous week and hit a series low at 3.1 million. They’ve lost 400,000 viewers in three weeks. If this is a trend, and “The Conners” is going below 3 million, they are in big trouble. If ABC would move them back to 8pm, they might see a surge. But someone at ABC doesn’t like them, that’s clear.
The wild card in last night’s ratings was the Cardinals-Dodgers game on ESPN. They grabbed 6.67 million viewers from 8 to 11pm. That last hour is key, and it’s what gave “CSI” a kick in the pants. Cable was busy last night. Tucker Carlson lied to 3.3 million people for an hour from 8 to 9pm, whether they were asleep, in comas, or counting out their weekly liver pills.