Wednesday, September 24, 2008

House Needs an Idol Shot in the Ratings Arm

Thus far this season, House's original episodes have rated far lower than it did during its third and fourth seasons' fall runs. And I think the second season may have have higher rated fall runs, too, though I can't find data to back that up so I'm not going to use it for what I'm about to say.

House needs to be back at 9pm after Idol on Tuesdays.

I've been preaching on for a while that Fox should move House to Thursdays to grab a beachhead much as ABC did with Grey's.

Now I'm not so sure.

Thanks to the strike, and to Fox moving House to Mondays at 8pm when it came back with new episodes so Hell's Kitchen could air post-Tuesday Idol, House's ratings have fallen. Back in its first season, Idol made House from a failure into a hit (including repeats of fall originals rating like new episodes). The show came back in its season season far stronger than it had been before (but, again, I'm not sure if it was stronger then than it is now). Then Idol that winter/spring made House into a megahit. House returns for its third fall campaign even stronger. During some post-Idol episodes of House during that third winter/spring, House even beat Idol in some key categories. House comes back huge last fall for its fourth year... and the strike happens. And now House isn't hitting 7s in the demo, it's barely hitting 5s (the finals for today will be 5.0, I'm betting, as it paired until 9:01pm).

Fox doesn't have a comedy that's going to be helped by Idol at 9:30pm on Wednesdays. But it does have several dramas that should be infused with the Idol lead-in. House can now count itself among them. Shift Wednesday's Idol results show to 8:30pm (should Fox stick to the plan to keep it to a still-overblown 30 minutes this season), and make use of that 9pm hour.


Anonymous said...

What about The Cleveland Show AKA the Family Guy spin-off? Surely it could benefit from Idol results.

House has had the benefit of American Idol as a lead-in for four seasons? Yeah, FOX hurt it by shuffling it and it's repeats all around the schedule last season, but by now, it should be able to stand on it's own. Another promising drama needs to be given the Idol push advantage.

Travis Yanan said...

I'm thinking Cleveland is gonna get the post-Family Guy slot.

Definitely agree something besides House should get some post-Idol exposure, and I think Fringe will benefit from it.

House however is the network's flagship drama and it's, well, flagging. I agree it should be able to stand on its own (and obviously still can... just not to the degree it did last season).

The other option I give Fox, if they aren't going to give House the post-Idol slot back, is to move it to Thursdays at 8pm. And do a big ol' marketing campaign to tell everyone that they're doing it (ABC didn't move Grey's to Thursdays at 9pm quietly, y'know?)