Ratings Lessons: ’30’ Doesn’t Rock, ‘Vampires’ on Fire

Plus, Nielsen logic fails when it comes to “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Last Updated: October 16, 2009 @ 8:58 AM

 What we learned from the ratings last night (Oct. 15):

–"30 Rock" won’t become the breakout hit it deserves to be. Tina Fey’s Emmy juggernaut bowed (finally!) to a 3.0/8 in adults 18-49, down 27 percent from last fall’s Sarah Palin mania-boosted premiere. "Rock" needs to find a way to adjust its production schedule so that it can premiere with the rest of NBC’s comedies (did you hear that, Alec Baldwin? Time to cut back on the movies, pally).

–"The Vampire Diaries" has gone viral. The CW hit scored its best ratings since its premiere, earning a 2.0/6 in adults 18-34. Within that demo, it tied NBC’s comedies in the 8 p.m. hour.

–"Community" and "Parks and Recreation" should get some extra episodes ordered later today. Both shows earned a 2.0/6, which isn’t great– but it’s consistent. Patience has paid off before for NBC and comedies, and new chief Jeff Gaspin has said he doesn’t want to needlessly make changes to the Peacock schedule.

–Nielsen logic: fail. At 8 p.m. "FlashForward" ticked up for ABC (to a 3.1/9). There was nothing special about "CSI" this week and "The Office" on NBC wasn’t a big monster wedding episode this week. So of course, that means ABC’s "Grey’s Anatomy" falls from a 5.3 to a 4.9 in the demo (yes, its lowest ratings ever)?

Yes, there was baseball competition last night. Perhaps some middle-aged dudes who normally watch "Grey’s" fled to TBS. But why wouldn’t the shows on the very baseball-friendly CBS take a hit, too?

Not to sound like a support group for ABC executives, or a conspiracy theorist, but something continues to smell funny about this year’s Nielsen sample.

Note: all lessons learned based on preliminary fast national data from Nielsen.