By Alan Pergament
This is what I'm thinking:
Judging by local ratings, the one cancelled network series that Western New Yorkers will miss is ABC's "Body of Proof" starring Dana Delany.
In what could be called the battle of cancelled shows at 10 p.m. Tuesday, "Proof" scored a decisive local victory over CBS' canceled "Golden Boy," 6.0-3.7.
NBC's "Grimm," which recently was moved to 10 p.m. Tuesday, finished second in the time slot with a 5.6 rating here. It is being moved to Fridays next fall when "Chicago Fire" starring Jesse Spencer moves to 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The new fall schedules are loaded with shows starring familiar TV faces, including Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes.
Of course, Exhibit A against the practice of using stars to sell shows is Matthew Perry's NBC series "Go On." It was canceled. You knew it was going to be canceled when it kept on bringing back Terrell Owens as a guest star. Familiar TV faces draw large samplings ("Go On" was called a hit initially), but to survive shows need strong writing and lasting premises.
Last week's episode of "The Office," which featured Dwight proposing to Angela, and Jim getting help from the documentary crew to show Pam how much he loves her, was one of the best episodes in recent memory. It also beautifully set up tonight's series finale, in which Dunder Mifflin workers prepare to watch the PBS documentary about the lives.
"The Office" has never been a big ratings hit in households, but it has done very well with the younger demographics and with households that earn more than $100,000, and that has always made it popular with advertisers.
A week ago, I noted that ABC's preposterous "Scandal" hasn't been a big hit locally despite its national success. Last week's semifinal spiked by almost 50 percent here to a 6.5 rating. And I imagine tonight's heavily-hyped finale will do just as well.
The CW lineup on WNLO-TV sure isn't doing Channel 4's 10 O'Clock News any favors on weekdays. On Monday, the series finale of "90210" had a .1 (that's a point one) rating and that was in the final 15 minutes in anticipation of the news. In other words, practically no one here watched "90210" that night. On Tuesday, a CW movie, "Leap Year," also had a .1 rating.
Despite the anemic lead-in, Channel 4 still won the 10 p.m. news battle over Channel 2's newscast on Fox affiliate WUTV decisively on both nights. Of course, the demographics may tell a slightly different story.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams' battle with his former fiancee over a $785,000 engagement ring drew the attention of Michael Wilbon of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" on Wednesday night. Wilbon's advice to Williams? "You're not a quarterback. Your money is not guaranteed. That's stupid."
I'm not sure what Wilbon was calling stupid -- the battle or buying such an expensive ring. But his comment was stupid. Williams is guaranteed $50 million in his six-year Bills contract.
I imagine NBC affiliates like Channel 2 may be rooting for the network to cancel "Hannibal" despite its support from critics. Last Thursday, "Hannibal" had an abysmal 1.6 rating on Channel 2, a lead-in that resulted in Channel 7's Eyewitness News (with "Scandal" as the lead-in) finishing in second place at 11 p.m. to Channel 4 ('which had "Elementary" as its strong lead-in).
Channel 2 not only finished third at 11 p.m., but ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Channel 7 also had a higher rating that night than "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Channel 2. "Late Show with David Letterman" was in first place, almost getting a rating equal to Kimmel and Leno's shows combined.