If you’re a Sunday night drama on ABC or CBS, you’re probably having the best day ever. Because the numbers are in: and dramas are on the upswing. Sorry, comedy — looks like Sunday just ain’t your day. The last night of the weekend has become a hotbed for dramatic activities (especially given the success of big, cable dramas, like AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men) and with the revelations from this weekend’s ratings, it’s safe to assume that comedy should look elsewhere.
CBS’s The Good Wife (which, at this point, should probably be renamed The Best Wife because come on) managed to overcome major viewing obstacles to gain on the eve, effectively making it the winner of Sundays. Even with airings of the Juliana Margulies-fronted drama pushed back an hour from their traditional 9p.m. time slot thanks to those pigskin pushers over at the NFL. But that didn’t stop the oh-so-good law procedural from gaining four percent in total audience — reaching a season-high ratings number of 9.8 million viewers.
But it wasn’t just Alicia Florrick getting in on the action. CBS’s other shows from the evening all benefitted from the football inflation. Including 60 Minutes, which scored quite a big uptick: a 3.2 up from the week prior’s 1.3 in the highly coveted adults 18 – 49 demographic. Also Up? Perennial Emmy winner The Amazing Race, which gained two-tenths momentum to bring them up to a 2.0 in the demo compared to last week’s 1.8.
ABC’s Sunday night dramas, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and even Betrayal all crawled ever-forward and upwards in their ratings race. Each of the three series added a slight, but decent, uptick of viewers: OUAT pulled out 7.5 million viewers and a 2.3 in the demo with Betrayal doings slightly better compared to its previous week, nabbing 3.5 million and a 1.0. But it was the Emily VanCamp-fronted Revenge that did the alpha-net its best of the night, increasing its share 11 and 21 percent, respectively, to 6.3 million viewers and a 1.7 in the demo.
But as with any competition, there are those who did not win. (Also known as losers but shhh, let’s not hurt their feelings quite yet.) And one thing was uniformly clear about said non-winners: they were all comedies. Apparently laughter is not the best medicine for a post-Halloween weekend (or those hoping to stave off the realities of Monday just a little bit more). And given their proclivity for the ha-has, it was FOX who ended up losing out the most, with all of their comedy programming The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and American Dad all ticking down.
Be it the animation bent, or just the fact that perhaps these male-skewing comedies lost some of their audience due to NBC’s football domination, it seems that the silly stuff is best saved for days that don’t begin with an “S.” The Simpsons return found them down 17 percent in the demo, bringing in only 5.5 million viewers and a 2.5 in the demo. Other decreases were slighter (there’s always a silver lining!) with Bob’s Burgers falling a tenth (to 3.8 million/1.8), and Seth MacFarlane comedies Family Guy and American Dad staying flat (4.9 million/2.5) and dipping a slight tenth (3.7 million/1.9), respectively.
All in all, it’s a win, though, because when has a wife ever won anything on Sunday night TV other than a world of pain and heartache (see: Skyler White and anyone that’s ever been married to Don Draper).