WASHINGTON, March 4, 2014–Tonight the most watched drama on TV, “NCIS,” reaches a major milestone with the airing of its 250th episode. Most networks would use this achievement as a marketing ploy to attract more viewers, but “NCIS” has been the top rated drama since 2007. Why would CBS tip into its advertising budget to promote a top show that airs on a night it already dominates?
Although two top rated competitive reality shows, “the Bachelor” and “The Voice” air in the same time slot, “NCIS” has no trouble topping the two in ratings. Even repeat episodes of “NCIS” routinely rate highest on Tuesday nights.
“NCIS” is followed by “NCIS: LA” and “Person of Interest,” two more CBS shows that routinely win their time slots. All three shows are almost always among the top ten most watched shows of the week, making it one of the strongest single night lineups of any of the major broadcast networks.
CBS’s Tuesday night lineup is proof positive that the TV audience prefers a quality drama first and foremost. Talent competition and reality shows will always come in second when competing against a well done drama.
Tonight’s lineup on TNT further demonstrates an audience preference for well done dramas. Both “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Perception” grew their audiences for last week’s winter premieres, and both showed significant gains in key demographics. “Pretty Little Liars” at 8 p.m. on ABC Family and “Justified” at 10 p.m. on FX are two more well done dramas airing on basic cable tonight.
The quality dramas on CBS along with the four airing on basic cable means we have a lot of excellent programs to choose from tonight instead of having to settle for the least annoying reality programming.
For those who actually do prefer the contrived nonsense of reality shows, you can catch new episodes of “Amish Mafia” on Discovery Channel and “Hollywood Hillbillies” on REELZ at 9 p.m