TV Ratings: Who watches 'The Unit'?

1786__unit_lI’ve been staring all morning at the Hollywood Reporter’s complete ranking of primetime network TV shows for the 2005-2006 season, because, well, ratings fascinate me. And also, because I’m still trying to make sense of Arrested Development‘s cancellation. Anyhow, here’s five tidbits that surprised the heck out of me:

1. ABC’s Desperate Housewives (22.2 million) has almost twice as many average viewers as NBC’s Medium (11.2 million), which has twice as many viewers as Fox’s The O.C. (5.6 million), which has twice as many viewers as The CW’s recently renewed One Tree Hill (2.8 million).

2. I can finally come out about my secret-yet-cancelled pleasure, Crumbs, since apparently, an additional 10,799,999 folks liked it too.

3. Did anyone ever hear of Survival of the Richest? Me neither, but it still managed to outrank series from tabloid staples like ”actress” Denise Richards and Laguna Beach ”star” Kristin Cavallari; their respective series, Sex Love and Secrets and Get the Party Started, ranked 155 and 156 out of, yep, 156 shows.

4. CBS’ cancelled Courting Alex (11.2 million) actually drew a larger total audience than NBC’s freshman hit My Name Is Earl (10.9 million). Sounds like Jason Lee needs to make amends to Jenna Elfman.

5. With an average 15.5 million viewers, CBS’ The Unit (pictured) tied for No. 14 with — drum roll, please — ABC’s Lost. In other words, The Unit is huge. (Insert Beavis and Butthead snickering here.)

What surprises you most about this list?


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  • Ed

    Michael, I’m fasinated by ratings also. What really shocked me (still dwelling on the past) is that The Comeback got canceled because it had almost a million viewers. Cut to the new show “Extra” which only had 600 (that’s thousands but it might as well be 600)gets a 2 year commitment! This is all in light of the fact that The Comeback would have started its 2nd season in two weeks. Also because I was in Palm Springs over the Memorial Day weekend and stood next to the same Sunny Bono statue Valarie Cherish did when she was in Palm Springs.
    oh well, there’s always the DVD come August.
    ed

  • Ed

    Another testament as to why The Comeback was robbed: This is an article by David Shales:
    There are even widespread industry rumors that HBO chief Chris Albrecht, having failed to fill the shoes of predecessors Michael Fuchs and Jeff Bewkes, may be on his way out. He deserves some sort of punishment for failing to renew “The Comeback,” a delightful comedy-drama starring Lisa Kudrow as an actress bravely refusing to face certain facts of life and weathering humiliations that would sink most mere mortals. Kudrow and Michael Patrick King, the creator-producer, came up with a series that was truly, even in a time of hard-to-define genres, uncategorizable — bitterly funny one minute, crazily moving the next.
    Was it comedy? Was it drama? Whatever. Like the TV season itself, I hated to see it end.

  • Ed

    Sorry that was Tom Shales ; )

  • brandonk

    The Unit? What’s that? Anyway, I’m often confused by networks’ cancellation policies. What determines what gets canceled and what stays on? A lot of times, it doesn’t seem to be viewership. Weird.

  • Vance

    Proof that American does NOT really understand quality. (although neither do I since I was another one of those 10.8 millions that enjoyed Crumbs) How does Everwood, Arrested Development, Love Monkey and Kitchen Confidential get cancelled and yet Medium, The Unit, 7th Heaven, One Tree Hill and The War at Home gets decent numbers (and thus, a renewal)?

  • Vance

    Americans (oops, apparently I’m the idiot too)

  • Vance

    Americans (oops, apparently I’m the idiot too)

  • Geno

    The Unit just didn’t do it for me. And I watch a LOT of TV.

    http://catholictvguy.blogspot.com/

  • Elizabeth

    I watched the first episode of The Unit and felt like I was watching a variation of JAG. Nothing about it grabbed me. I guess people miss JAG so they’re latching on to this.

  • Dee

    I’m surprised Unit had that many viewers. It’s a quality show but it never grab me. I only watched it because of David Palmer from “24”..lol
    I’m also surprised that Courting Alex garnered that many viewers. Jenna Elfman is so annoying and quite exhausting. I was hoping her show would get cancelled. Before I could blink the show was off the air..poof!

  • Tasia

    Were you trying to out me Michael Slezak??? Survival of the Richest was my guilty pleasure of the season. It wasnt half bad either. FYI you can catch one of the “Rich Kids” – Hunter – in a recent 24 hour fitness spot… maybe he wasnt so rich after all…

  • Melanie

    How was One Tree Hill picked up over Everwood? Not only is the quality far worse, but so is the viewership. Ridiculous!

  • jon

    CBS shows all get good ratings because they look EXACTLY the same… All of them… If you didn’t know specific actors, you would think it was one long show. That’s how they get viewers. People park on CBS and at 11 p.m. realize it’s been on all night long… NBC is pretty much a joke save for all their one-camera comedies and L&O: SVU, and ABC is appointment televison, but you don’t watch in between your favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy, DH, Lost)…

  • jon

    CBS shows all get good ratings because they look EXACTLY the same… All of them… If you didn’t know specific actors, you would think it was one long show. That’s how they get viewers. People park on CBS and at 11 p.m. realize it’s been on all night long… NBC is pretty much a joke save for all their one-camera comedies and L&O: SVU, and ABC is appointment televison, but you don’t watch in between your favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy, DH, Lost)…

  • jon

    apologize for the duplicate, CBS is clearly messin’ with my computer

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