The geeks have taken over TV.
With barely six weeks left in the current TV season, CBS’s nerd-centric comedy "The Big Bang Theory" and ABC’s nerd-beloved "Lost" have taken over as the top-rated scripted shows on the small screen among the advertiser-loved demographic of adults 18-49.
Both shows are averaging a 5.4/13 in the demo according to Nielsen’s most-current data (which blends live-plus-seven-day ratings with the last two weeks of same-day numbers). Assuming their numbers hold up between now and the end of May, "Lost" and "Big Bang" will supplant long-running serials "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey’s Anatomy," along with procedural powers "House" and "CSI" at the top of the Nielsen chart.
The shake-up says a couple things about TV this season.
First, "Big Bang" has been on a ratings tear this season, surpassing lead-in "Two and a Half Men" in the ratings. "Lost," with plenty of hype surrounding its final season and a move to Tuesdays, has also been on an upswing — and is clearly benefiting from the inclusion of DVR data in the ratings released by networks.
That’s the good news. The bad: It’s another sign TV’s titans have tumbled from the top.
"DH," "Grey’s" and "CSI" are all down double digits this season. And, "House" (along with "CSI") are no longer top 10 shows (when also counting unscripted series).
Still, there’s something encouraging about the rise of "Big Bang" and "Lost."
Both are shows incredibly well-done programs overseen by passionate producers and beloved by a base of hard-core fans who can’t get enough of the series.
As well-made as many procedurals are, it’s nice to see viewers embracing shows grounded in well-drawn characters and carefully-crafted stories.
With the networks getting ready to screen new contenders for the fall shortly, they might want to remember that in 2010, shows needn’t cater to the lowest common denominator to succeed.
Below, the top 10 shows in adults 18-49 so far this season: