The Sing-Off: How Did Chuck’s Replacement Fare in the Ratings?

Chuck moves to Friday nights for its fifth and final season beginning October 21. For almost as long as it’s been on the air, there’s been some griping about NBC putting it in a tough timeslot Mondays at 8/7c. So what happens when NBC launches the third season of a relatively strong competition show in Chuck‘s old timeslot?

It tanks.

The Sing-Off averaged a 3.2 in adults 18-49 and 9.2 viewers overall when it aired last winter. Nothing to sneeze at, especially for NBC. Last night’s third season debuted to a 1.9 in the demo and 5.2 million viewers. The season premiere. Was it up against strong competition? Sure. But no stronger than Chuck has had to face the last four years and those numbers were considered dangerous for Chuck during a regular season episode, let alone a season premiere. (Chuck‘s fourth season premiere brought in a 2.1 in the demo with 6.06 million viewers.)

Yes, The Sing-Off is cheaper to produce than Chuck, so it probably won’t be canceled, but what I’m saying is: Chuck was always a steady performer in the timeslot. Unless is suddenly starts getting a 2.5 in the demo on Friday nights (which would be awesome), I’m not going to blame NBC for keeping it on Mondays so they had some stability.

P.S. The Playboy Club was even worse at 10/9c with a 1.6 in the demo and approximately 5 million viewers.

P.P.S. Yes, Two and a Half Men premiered to staggering numbers, but that was at 9/8c, after Chuck’s timeslot. HIMYM‘s ratings were up over last season’s premiere while DWTS was down about the same percentage, so the competition was very similar to when Chuck season 4 premiered.

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  1. Note: The Sing-Off is not intended to be in the timeslot beyond 4th Quarter. It gets replaced by The Voice in January.

    I believe this season of The Sing-Off is only slated for 12 episodes.

    It’s hard to say how it will do from this point onward. Sometimes shows like this can build as the competition whittles down. We’ll have to see.

    • Yes, but Chuck is also only a 13-episode order, so the comparison is legit in my book. You’re right about the possibility for higher ratings as it progresses; if they can get some acts in there that grab the public, it could still be a contender.

      • I was only addressing the issue of whether Sing-Off would be canceled. That’s why I brought up that it was only intended to have 12 episodes to begin with.

        In regards to comparisons, we have no idea whether Chuck would have come back with the same ratings it had at this time last year. It’s nice to know that Sing-Off did about the same as Chuck’s last year numbers, but we’ll never know what Chuck would have done if it aired this past Monday.

        Parenthood lost 20% vs. its last year’s premiere numbers.

    • Wait!?!? The Sing Off and The Voice aren’t the same show!?!? An amateur hour were the performers are nonunion and unpaid? We defeated Communisim during the Cold War but it’s been replaced with reality TV.

  2. Some will argue that the hype over Two and a Half Men made this an unusual week. But this is premier week. The other networks are always going to put something noteworthy on.

    Your premier week is usually the high. If 1.9 is the high, where will it go?

    I’ve always thought that Chuck would do well on Friday, at least in comparison to Friday’s expectations. It has a loyal following that hopefully would follow it to any time slot.

    Let;s see if that happens.

    • Two and a Half Men airs at 9/8c, so it wouldn’t have been competition for Chuck’s timeslot. Still, did you see those ratings? Holy crap!

  3. I don’t think Chuck will ever air on Friday. It will be moved to Monday at 10 since The Playboy Club is DOA. NBC has Smash Monday at 10 starting in Feb. Chuck’s 13 episodes fits nicely in that time slot.

    Grimm will likely also never air on Friday. They may shorten The Sing Off to an hour and put both Chuck and Grimm on Monday.

    NBC may have even had this planned from the beginning. Announce two shows for Friday, but plan on them replacing failing shows.

  4. Mel, if Chuck suddenly gets ratings in the range of 2.5, I think that would invoke the “uncancellation clause” that the NBC brass put out there when the renewal was announced. Is it likely, probably not, but one can hope. A better hope is that it holds onto a low 2 and they look at their other shows and say, “Chuck’s not so bad after all” and we might see more than the original 13!
    The other thing about it would be that, finally, the fans would be able to say, “we were right about Monday’s slot all along”.

    • I’ve been thinking that same way for a while. I know Friday is death night, but now Chuck’s going from a ton of hard competition to hardly any. If Friday helps as I think it will, we might just get 2.5s. And considering how badly NBC’s new shows are doing, if Chuck’s ratings go up like they should, it may suddenly become very attractive to NBC again. And then we might see more episodes.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few weeks from now we get an announcement that Chuck is moving back to monday’s at 8 with an order for an additional 6 or 9 episodes.

    The only thing I wonder is with 6 or 7 episodes filmed already is it too late for TPTB to rework the season story arc for additional episodes?

    • Okay, now, Gord, Garnet, you’re just playing with my emotions, you guys.
      *starts sucking thumb curled up in a fetal position*

      • That was not my intention, its just that when it comes to Chuck hope springs eternal.

        Besides the way this show works at least so far, the even numbered seasons are way better than the odd numbered seasons, so we need to make it to s6, 8 or 10 for a really awesome series finale.

    • The Voice and Smash are coming to Monday next February no matter what. The Voice has the post-Super Bowl slot this year.

    • It would be late, but think about it this way: if anyone can do it they can. They’ve had to do that the whole time, only this time it’s kind of in the opposite way.

  6. I wanted to add – guess what I did last night – I watched a few Chuck episodes – finsished off another rewatch of S2 and started into the first few episodes of S3. There really wasn’t much on last night that interested me until 10 pm.

  7. Amen Gord! Mondays used to be fun. Now they are blah. Looking forward to Fridays in October though.

  8. I’m looking forward to Terra Nova. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

  9. Yes this was Premier night except for Fox so there was no House so Sing off had even less competition than Chuck did so I think it will probably drop further

  10. I’m hoping that there’s more buzz because of Yvonne’s movie “Killer Elite” coming out prior to the season Premiere. Hopefully, will get more people to tune in. Also, since the timeslot was moved from Monday, friday is more of a “syfi: night. Also, glad Chuck’s replacement on Mondays at 8pm tanked. I refuse to watch “reality” tv.

  11. I always hate it when the clever shows don’t get the times and promotion they should while the mindless reality shows take over the stations.

  12. Premiere: Highly publicized Two & A Half Men Premiere, Highly Publicized Dancing With The Stars Premiere.

    Last Monday was the first time I ever had to tell my DVR not to record something, because too many things were set to record at once. Sadly, it was Sing-Off that was odd-man out.

    I love Chuck, but it never, ever had to deal with all of that in one night.

  13. i’m from argentina here a lot of people see chuck. But we don’t count for the raitings. Its a shame