CBS' 'Survivor' still has life; Fox's 'Past Life' needs one
CBS' latest version of "Survivor" showed that one of broadcast television's first big reality hits still has life after almost 10 years on the air. Last night's two-hour premiere averaged 14.2 million viewers and a 4.5 rating in adults 18-49. Each rating point in that demographic equals 1.3 million viewers. The show was up 5% in that category compared to a year ago.
The big numbers for "Survivor" were enough to drive CBS to a Thursday night win in viewers and demographics. "Survivor" even beat ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" in 18-49, no small feat. At 10 p.m., CBS' "The Mentalist" averaged 15.7 million viewers and a 3.6 rating in 18-49.
Also bitten by the the return of "Survivor" was the CW's "The Vampire Diaries," which saw its audience fall to 3.5 million from 4 million last week and a drop among women 18-34 as well.
Fox's "Past Life" made its time period premiere, but the numbers won't exactly boost confidence in the show. Though it probably didn't help that a rerun of "Bones" -- which got 8 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49, was its lead-in -- "Past Life" averaged just 5.3 million viewers and finished fourth in 18-49 with a 1.4 rating. "Past Life" will get a chance at attracting a bigger audience in two weeks when Fox adds a third night of "American Idol" to Thursday for elimination shows.
Overall, CBS won the night with 14.7 million viewers and a 4.2 in 18-49. ABC followed with 9.1 million viewers and a 3.0 in 18-49. Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers and a 1.8 in 18-49 while NBC averaged 5 million viewers and a 2.4 in 18-49.
An observation: There is something a tad depressing that only one network was able to crack the 10 million viewer mark on what is traditionally one of the most-watched nights of television and we're in the middle of February sweeps. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a different world.
-- Joe Flint