TVRG Productions August News Day: Raymond Island and Put Me In Return Dates, Bake Your Heart Out Finale Date, More

  

Monday Cable Ratings 8/30/21: Tucker Carlson Tonight Regains First Place Among Cable News, WWE Raw Remains First Overall, American Dad! Dips Again

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 8/30/21. Items of note include American Dad! on TBS, WWE Raw on USA, and Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.

(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Sunday Cable Ratings 8/29/21: Hurricane Ida Coverage Dominates the Chart, The Walking Dead and Animal Kingdom Hit New Lows

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Sunday, 8/29/21. Items of note include coverage of Hurricane Ida on The Weather Channel, The Walking Dead on AMC, and Animal Kingdom on TNT.

(Note: Click any show with its name in orange to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Saturday Cable Ratings 8/28/21: Sweet Pecan Summer Solid for Hallmark, NFL Preseason Leads, Judge Jeanine Rises

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Saturday, 8/28/2021. Items of note include NFL Preseason Football on NFL Network, Sweet Pecan Summer on Hallmark, and Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in red to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Monday TV Ratings 8/30/21: Duncanville Ends Steady while HouseBroken Finale Rises, Bachelor in Paradise Slips but Stays #1 (UPDATED)

Ratings Analysis: Monday night champion 'Bachelor in Paradise' (0.91) extended its reign but lost a tenth when compared to last week's episode. ABC followed that up with another awful showing from 'The Ultimate Surfer' (0.30). Though 'Surfer' only lost four hundredths on a week-to-week basis, it continued to retain less than a third of its lead-in. It was season finale night over on Fox as struggling animated sitcoms 'HouseBroken' (0.24) and 'Duncanville' (0.19) bowed out with relative stability. At 8, 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.61) remained at a 0.6 rating. NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior' (0.54) picked up a tenth while 'The Wall' (0.42) held steady. On the CW, 'Roswell, New Mexico' (0.09) and 'Republic of Sarah' (0.04) gained one-hundredth apiece. Amidst all the originals, CBS was entirely in repeat-mode (0.37/0.30/0.28/0.25/0.23). 

Finals Update: The 'HouseBroken' finale (-0.1) adjusted down.

Frances in the Kitchen Season 2 Episode 9 - Farmers Market in the Kitchen

Frances in the Kitchen Season 2, Episode 9
Farmers Market in the Kitchen

Friday Cable Ratings 8/27/21: Real Time with Bill Maher Rises, All-Elite Wrestling Takes First Place Over NFL Preseason, The Five Holds on to Cable News Lead

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Friday, 8/27/21. Items of note include All-Elite Wrestling on TNT, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, and The Five on Fox News.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in purple or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Sunday TV Ratings 8/29/21: NFL Preseason Takes Second Behind Big Brother, The Chase and To Tell the Truth Drop (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: With a sizable lead-in from the '2020 Tokyo Paralympics' (0.7), NBC's showing of the 'Browns v. Falcons' NFL preseason game managed a sturdy 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo. That was still not enough to eclipse CBS's 'Big Brother' (1.0), with 'Brother' down a tick from last week despite '60 Minutes' (0.7) surging in the 7pm hour. Reruns of 'The Equalizer' (0.4) and 'NCIS: Los Angeles' (0.3) were each a notch above their week-ago outings. The 'AFV' encore (0.5) and 'Celebrity Family Feud' original (0.6) were unchanged on ABC, but 'The Chase' (0.4) and 'To Tell the Truth' (0.4) lost some steam, with the two down two-tenths and a tenth respectively. The Fox network got 0.2s from reruns of its newer entries ('LEGO Masters' & 'The Great North') and 0.3s out of its established veterans ('Simpsons', 'Bob's, 'Family Guy'). On the CW, 'Legends of Tomorrow' (0.1) was flat while 'Wellington Paranormal' (0.1) picked up a tenth. 

Finals Update: The Chase (+0.1) and NFL Preseason (+0.2) adjusted down. 2020 Tokyo Paralympics (-0.3) and Wellington Paranormal (-0.1) adjusted down.

Saturday TV Ratings 8/28/21: NASCAR Leads, America’s Funniest Home Videos Repeat Takes Second (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: NBC's broadcast of the 'NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400' (0.6) won the night in both demo and total viewers. ABC's rerun of 'AFV' (0.4) came the closest to competing with the peacock network, but subsequent encores of 'Blackish' (0.3/0.3) and 'The Ultimate Surfer' (0.2) slipped from there. CBS's repeats of 'SWAT' (0.3), 'NCIS: New Orleans' (0.2), and '48 Hours' (0.2) were at fairly standard levels. Fox narrowly eclipsed CBS's average with 'MLS Soccer' (0.3) and a rerun of 'LEGO Masters' (0.3).

Finals Update: The repeat of 48 Hours (+0.1) adjusted up. MLS Soccer (-0.1), repeats of America's Funniest Home Videos (-0.1), SWAT (-0.1), LEGO Masters (-0.2) and both repeats of Blackish (-0.1 each) adjusted down.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 8 Episodes 5 & 6 Review [PB&J + The Set Up]

 

***Spoilers Ahead***

Craig Robinson (left), Andy Samberg (right). Photo Credit: NBC

PB&J

Outside of a scene that never made it into the actual episode, Doug Judy and Charles Boyle have never properly interacted with each other in the first seven seasons. It has always seemed like a missed opportunity to not have the two fighting for Jake's attention since the insecure Boyle clearly feels threatened by anyone who becomes close with Peralta. Though 'PB&J' does finally give us that Boyle-Judy banter that fans have been waiting for, it ultimately gets lost in the shuffle in an episode that has more twists and turns than any previous installment featuring Craig Robinson's iconic character. 

After Trudy Judy reveals that Doug is headed to prison once again, Jake decides to take his old friend on one last ride before sending him off to jail. The first act of the installment sticks to the contagious chemistry between Samberg's Peralta and Robinson's Judy that viewers have long been accustomed to, with the pair participating in everything from outfit changes to freestyle rapping. That joyful vibe is slowly stripped away when Boyle enters the scene and interferes with the duo's fun, causing Judy to reveal that he is actually planning to escape. Boyle does little to enhance the episode, but his appearance is brief and he leaves before the bulk of the conflict arrives. 

As tensions rise, it becomes quite difficult to figure out who to root for in this scenario. Doug Judy certainly does not deserve to go back to prison for stealing a car five years ago, but Jake should not have to put his job on the line to keep Judy out of jail. Nonetheless, the way Judy weaponizes his mind games against Peralta makes the following events a blast to witness. From changing the contacts in his phone to making him paranoid about the backup officer's motives, Judy puts Peralta through the wringer in a way that he has never done before. And yet, Judy still saves Peralta's life at the end of the day, proving that their bond remains as strong as it has always been. Though some may find it off-putting that Peralta would subtly break the law to help Judy escape, it only seems fitting given what Judy ended up doing for him. 

'PB&J' serves as an adequate sendoff for the Pontiac Bandit, with a story that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. What pushes this outing to the next level is the fact that there is just one story that fills up the entire episode. Fans are able to immerse themselves in the exciting narrative at hand without the antics of Jake and Judy being interrupted by underdeveloped, middling side-plots. This structure is sorely missing from most Brooklyn outings and truly helps capture the mood that the writers are trying to establish. Though it is disheartening that Doug Judy is once more evading the police instead of living his life as a free man, it was pleasant seeing Jake and Judy have one final, heartfelt goodbye before Judy fled to Amsterdam. As an Instagram ad for a travel bidet once said, focus on the journey, not the destination. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has blessed viewers with eight chapters of the Pontiac Bandit arc and 'PB&J' is a worthy epilogue to complete the series. 


Stray Thoughts

  • Rosa rooting for Judy seemed completely off. Even though she's no longer a cop, it makes little sense why she'd suddenly side with him. 
  • Alternative titles for this episode include "Tigers and Toucans" and "One Last Ride". 
  • Would have been nice if we got to see Doug Judy's wedding.
  • Moral of the Episode: Never hire goons off of Craigslist 


Grade: A


Andre Braugher (left), Andy Samberg (right). Photo Credit: NBC

The Set Up

Since its debut back in 2013, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always portrayed Jake Peralta as a cop who does everything in his power to combat crime and keep the streets of New York safe. Even when he broke the law in past episodes, it was seen as a necessary evil because Peralta had the right intentions. In Season 1's '48 Hours', Peralta went as far as to arrest his nemesis Dustin Whitman (played by Kid Cudi) without any evidence to prove his guilt. This type of reckless behavior may have worked out for Jake before but 'The Set Up' showcases Peralta's policing through a much more critical lens. Though he is not viewed as an outright villain, this installment makes it clear that Jake's rule-breaking does not always end with a positive outcome. 

After the FBI takes a bomb case away from Peralta, Jake finds himself bypassing their orders and working on it anyways. Unfortunately, Jake finds himself in serious trouble when he chases after an alleged suspect at the crime scene and places them in holding for ten hours. Once the suspect is fired from his job because of the incident, he sues Peralta and the department for wrongful arrest. In a standard Brooklyn outing, Jake would eventually find out that the suspect is guilty and be branded as the hero of the story. His hunches and gut instincts have always helped him crack the case until this episode. Here, we are met with a more sobering take on how baseless assumptions can backfire dramatically. 

As Peralta digs himself into an even bigger hole, Rosa and Amy attempt to get O'Sullivan drunk so that he'll admit that he set up the whole situation as payback for their police reform program. Their scheme ends up failing in comical fashion, with the two getting hammered despite O'Sullivan barely catching a buzz. Though their attempts are unsuccessful and it turns out O'Sullivan did not plant the guy at the crime scene, there are still some hilarious tidbits peppered throughout this story thread, especially as Amy and Rosa keep switching places between recording the conversation and talking to Sullivan. In another subplot, Charles and Terry find themselves competing over candy selling. With Scully deciding to buy from Boyle's supply of treats instead of Terry's, the two erupt into an all-out war. What gives more depth to this story is the fact that it is actually O'Sullivan that is sabotaging Jeffords and Boyle, adding a legitimately surprising twist to what could have been a fairly run-of-the-mill plotline. 

'The Set Up' is certainly an unorthodox episode with an ending that may very well leave a bad taste in your mouth. No matter how the writers attempt to lighten the mood, Jake being suspended from the NYPD for five months is no laughing matter. Peralta's passion has always been in police work, so it is crushing to see his duties stripped away from him. Despite that, this episode does a fantastic job at illustrating how Peralta's haphazard methods of solving crime can lead to disastrous consequences. On top of that, the secondary plotlines connect to the main story in a way that does not often occur in Brooklyn, giving 'Set Up' an extra layer of consistency. It will be quite interesting to see how all this conflict is resolved with just four episodes remaining, but the B99 team is sure to handle matters in a way that stays true to the core of the series. 


Stray Thoughts

  • Hitchcock seeing himself as the "wise old sage" of the precinct was undoubtedly the funniest moment here. 
  • O'Sullivan is clearly suffering from a case of Oedipus Complex. 
  • It seems as if there has been much foreshadowing to a finale where Jake quits the force entirely. 
  • I wonder if the next episode will return after Jake's suspension has ended. 


Grade: B+


What did you think of these episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine? As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Which episode did you enjoy more?
PB&J
The Set Up

Manifest Renewed by Netflix for Final Season

After lengthy negotiations, Manifest has finally been cleared for takeoff. The NBC sci-fi drama that found a new audience after being added to Netflix a few months ago was canceled after three seasons by NBC, which made Netflix interested in picking up the show. NBC also expressed interest in the show that they'd canceled just weeks before, though they recently were reported as being out of content ion for a season four pickup of the show. Now, those talks with Netflix have finally come through and the show will return for a fourth and final season. The season will run twenty episodes, marking the longest season of the show ever, and it will be split in at least two different parts. Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, and JR Ramirez star in the series and are set to return, while Parveen Kaur, Luna Blaise, Matt Long and Jack Messina are in negotiations to return.

Friday TV Ratings 8/27/21: WWE SmackDown Leads, Secret Celebrity Renovation and Greatest #AtHome Videos Rise (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: Fox's broadcast of 'WWE Smackdown' (0.7) led the way as it always does, rising a tenth from last week. CBS seemed to be impacted by football preemptions, with 'Secret Celebrity Renovation' (0.5) up by two-tenths and 'The Greatest #AtHome Videos' (0.4) a tenth higher than the week prior. A repeat of 'Blue Bloods' (0.3) took the second-place spot in the 10pm slot. On NBC, 'Dateline' (0.4) picked up a tenth behind a rerun of 'American Ninja Warrior' (0.4). ABC had sturdy repeats of 'Shark Tank' (0.4) and '20/20' (0.4). T.he CW's 'Burden of Truth' (0.1) tied its week-ago preliminary rating while 'Dynasty' (0.1) inched up.

Finals Update: WWE SmackDown (-0.1), Secret Celebrity Renovation (-0.2), The Greatest #AtHome Videos (-0.1), Burden of Truth (-0.1), Dynasty (-0.1) and repeats of Shark Tank (-0.1), Blue Bloods (-0.1), American Ninja Warrior (-0.1), and Dateline NBC (-0.1) adjusted down.

Thursday Cable Ratings 8/26/21: The Five Leads the Night for a Dominant Fox News, The Cube Rises, Grownish Steady

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 8/26/21. Items of note include Grown-ish on Freeform, The Five on Fox News and NFL Preseason on NFL Network.

(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Thursday TV Ratings 8/26/21: Making It Rises for Finale, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Big Brother Steady (UPDATED)


Ratings Analysis: NBC's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (0.40/0.33) was steady with last week in the 8pm slot and up by five hundredths at 8:30, signaling that it seems to have stabilized. 'Making It' (0.33) gained a tenth for its season finale in the 9pm slot and was followed by a rerun of 'SVU' (0.22). On CBS, 'Big Brother' (0.99) was essentially even with last week and led into encores of 'The Neighborhood' (0.32), 'B Positive' (0.26), and 'Bull' (0.23). ABC went with repeats of 'Holey Moley' (0.37), 'When Nature Calls' (0.20), and 'The Hutler' (0.27). Compared to their week-ago originals, 'Moley was down by just three hundredths, 'Nature Calls' was even, and 'The Hustler' actually improved by two hundredths. Fox began airing reruns of 'Call Me Kat' (0.19/0.18), but they were barely above half of what the 8pm encore of 'MasterChef' (0.35) garnered. On the CW, 'Coroner' (0.10) rose by two hundredths while 'The Outpost' (0.05) held flat. 

Finals Update: 'Big Brother' (+0.1) and repeats of 'MasterChef' (+0.1) and 'Holey Moley' (+0.1) adjusted up. The repeat of 'Law & Order: SVU' (-0.1) adjusted down.

Summer Renew/Cancel Week 12: LEGO Masters will Build Up a Third Season

This week on the Summer Renewal, we have some mixed news for two shows as one goes for a prediction upgrade and one is headed for a downgrade. Plus, an initial placement for The Ultimate Surfer! Keep reading to see where it'll land and which shows are on the move!

Wednesday Cable Ratings 8/25/21: American Horror Story Returns with New Series Low, Archer Premiere Ties Low, Good Trouble and Nora from Queens Slip

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Wednesday, 8/25/21. Items of note include the season premiere of American Horror Story on FX, the season premiere of Archer on FXX, and Awkwafina is Nora from Queens on Comedy Central.

(Click the names of the shows written in teal or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Wednesday TV Ratings 8/25/21: Big Brother Ticks Down from Sunday but Stays #1, Pyramid and America’s Got Talent Also Down, MasterChef Rises for Two-Hour Episode (UPDATED)


Ratings Analysis: CBS's 'Big Brother' (0.95) found itself about half of a tenth higher than the previous Wednesday but fell short of its robust Sunday rating (1.06). 'House Calls with Dr. Phil' (0.28) gained just a single hundredth in week 2 and barely beat out a 10pm edition of '48 Hours' (0.26). On ABC, 'Press Your Luck' (0.47) rose by a tenth while 'The $100,000 Pyramid' (0.46) held even. 'Superstar' (0.34) improved by a few hundredths at 10, this time focusing on late comedian John Ritter. NBC experienced relative stability with 'America's Got Talent' (0.68), 'Family Game Fight!' (0.41), and a rerun of 'Chicago Med' (0.26). Fox's 'MasterChef' (0.57) picked up a tenth for a special two-hour episode, putting the Gordon Ramsay series at the top of its hour. 'Riverdale' (0.07) and 'In the Dark' (0.05) continued to fade away on the CW.

Finals Update: 'Big Brother' (+0.1), 'America's Got Talent' (+0.1), 'Press Your Luck' (+0.1), 'The $100,000 Pyramid' (+0.1), 'In the Dark' (+0.1), and the repeat of 'Chicago Med' (+0.1) adjusted up.

Tuesday Cable Ratings 8/24/21: Motherland: Fort Salem Ends Season on Series Low, Hard Knocks Sets New Season High, Miracle Workers and The Oval Also Rise, Tucker Carlson Leads

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Tuesday, 8/24/21. Items of note include Miracle Workers on TBS, the season finale of Motherland: Fort Salem on Freeform, and The Oval on BET.

(Note: Click any show with its name in green or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Tuesday TV Ratings 8/24/21: Bachelor in Paradise and America’s Got Talent Drop, The Ultimate Surfer and Fantasy Island Stable (UPDATED)


Ratings Analysis: ABC's 'Bachelor in Paradise' (0.81) took a noticeable hit for its first Tuesday episode, losing more than two full tenths from the night before. 'The Ultimate Surfer' (0.34) almost seemed resilient in comparison, tying Monday's premiere despite a significant lead-in downgrade. 'Surfer' is still far from a strong performer, but this rating looks slightly better now than it did on Monday. On NBC, 'America's Got Talent' (0.85) lost a few hundredths and found itself at a rounded 0.9 instead of a solid 0.9. 'Capital One College Bowl' (0.40) saw no meaningful movement in the 10pm hour. Fox experienced some minor growth with 'Lego Masters' (0.50) and 'Fantasy Island' (0.33), but both programs remained at the same rounded rating. 'Stargirl' (0.14) and 'Supergirl' (0.12) were once more in the 0.1 range on the CW. CBS had 0.3s across the board with reruns of 'NCIS' (0.29), 'FBI' (0.26), and 'FBI: Most Wanted' (0.28). 

Finals Update: 'America's Got Talent' (+0.1) and the repeat of 'FBI' (+0.1) adjusted up. 'The Ultimate Surfer' (-0.1) adjusted down.

Monday Cable Ratings 8/23/21: WWE Raw Jumps but Trails NFL Preseason, American Dad! Slips, Tucker Carlson Re-Takes Cable News Lead

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 8/23/21. Items of note include American Dad! on TBS, WWE Raw on USA, and The Five on Fox News.

(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Sunday Cable Ratings 8/22/21: The Walking Dead Returns Steady, History of the Sitcom Ends Down, Last Week Tonight and Animal Kingdom Rise

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Sunday, 8/22/21. Items of note include the final season premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC, Last Week Tonight on HBO, and Animal Kingdom on TNT.

(Note: Click any show with its name in orange to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Saturday Cable Ratings 8/21/21: We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert Solid on CNN, A Little Daytime Drama Decent for Hallmark, NFL Preseason Leads

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Saturday, 8/21/2021. Items of note include NFL Preseason on NFL Network, We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert on CNN, and A Little Daytime Drama on Hallmark.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in red to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Monday TV Ratings 8/23/21: The Ultimate Surfer Bombs After Rising Bachelor in Paradise, American Ninja Warrior and HouseBroken Slip (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: ABC's latest reality effort 'The Ultimate Surfer' (0.3) was a complete dud on day one, retaining just a third of its 'Bachelor in Paradise' lead-in (0.9) for its premiere. 'Paradise' itself held even with last week's return. NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior' (0.4) was two-tenths below what it garnered a week ago while 'The Wall' (0.4) only shed a tenth. On Fox, 'HouseBroken' fell to its first preliminary 0.2 rating after clinging to a 0.3 for so long. 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.6) and the penultimate 'Duncanville' (0.2) tied their previous episodes. The CW was essentially unchanged with 'Roswell, New Mexico' (0.1) and 'The Republic of Sarah' (0.0). CBS had a carousel of comedy and drama reruns (0.3/0.3/0.2/0.2/0.2). 

Finals Update: 'Bachelor in Paradise' (+0.1) and 'American Ninja Warrior' (+0.1) adjusted up.

The TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database

Welcome to the TV Ratings Guide's Cable Ratings Database! Here, you'll find the ratings for many cable shows, all of which are covered by us in our daily cable ratings posts. The shows are categorized by the days that they air, and they can all be found below. New shows will be added as they premiere, so don't forget to tune back in every once in a while. Just click on each show below and it will take you to that show's ratings page.

The TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database - Winter, Spring & Summer 2021

Welcome to the TV Ratings Guide's Cable Ratings Database for Winter, Spring and Summer 2021! Here, you'll find the ratings for many cable shows, all of which are covered by us in our daily cable ratings posts. The shows are categorized by the days that they air, and they can all be found below. New shows will be added as they premiere, so don't forget to tune back in every once in a while. Just click on each show below and it will take you to that show's ratings page.

Friday Cable Ratings 8/20/21: All-Elite Wrestling Draws Big Crowd and Narrowly Trails NFL Preseason, America Reports Tops Tucker Carlson, SurrealEstate Rises, Real Time with Bill Maher Drops

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Friday, 8/20/21. Items of note include All-Elite Wrestling on TNT, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, and NFL Preseason on ESPN.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in purple or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Motherland: Fort Salem Renewed for Final Season


Freeform isn't ready to say goodbye to Motherland: Fort Salem, but soon they will be. The supernatural drama has been renewed, though its third season will be its last. This news comes despite modest ratings for the show, which has averaged just a 0.06 in the live-plus-same-day 18-49 demographic in its second season. That's a marked 43% decline from season one, when it was already one of the lower-rated shows on Freeform's lineup. However, the show has a dedicated and vocal fanbase and performs well on streaming platforms including Hulu. The second season finale of the series airs tomorrow night. Taylor Hickson, Amalia Holm, Demetria McKinney, Jessica Sutton, Ashley Nicole Williams and Lyne Renée star in the series, which is executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. This is a correct prediction for The TV Ratings Guide.

This news also comes just days after the cancellation of Freeform comedy Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

Sunday TV Ratings 8/22/21: To Tell the Truth and The Chase Rise After Break, Big Brother Stays on Top (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: After close to a month without airing new episodes, ABC's 'The Chase' (0.5) and 'To Tell the Truth' (0.5) were both up two-tenths when compared to their last originals from July. 'Celebrity Family Feud' (0.6) was flat at 8 while the 7pm 'AFV' encore (0.5) was up a tick. CBS's '60 Minutes' (0.6) rose markedly from last week (0.45), but 'Big Brother' (1.0) held steady right after. The network's momentum collapsed from there as repeats of 'Equalizer' (0.3) and 'NCIS: Los Angeles' (0.2) failed to benefit from the strong lead-in. NBC had reruns of 'Family Game Fight!' (0.2) and 'America's Got Talent' (0.3/0.2) that were marginally higher than Fox's mostly animated encores (0.1/0.2/0.2/0.2/0.2). The CW saw no movement in either direction as 'Legends of Tomorrow' (0.1), 'Wellington Paranormal' (0.0), and the 'Dead Pixels' finale (0.0) all matched what they garnered seven days prior. 

Finals Update: Big Brother (+0.1), The Chase (+0.1), and the repeat of America's Got Talent (+0.1) adjusted up. The repeat of 60 Minutes (-0.2) adjusted down.

Prime Time Cable News Ratings: Trump Interview Tops The Week in A25-54 as CNN and MSNBC Compete for the Same Audience

  

Saturday TV Ratings 8/21/21: Stand Up To Cancer Low on NFL-Preempted Night (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: A 'Stand Up To Cancer' charity special garnered a 0.4 on ABC and Fox and a 0.3 on CBS and NBC, creating a combined total of a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic. In the 9pm slot, a repeat of Fox's 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.5) topped the hour overall, with encores of ABC's 'Shark Tank' (0.4), CBS's 'NCIS: New Orleans' (0.3), and NBC's 'America's Got Talent' (0.3) failing to reach the level of 'Hell's'. At 10, CBS's '48 Hours' (0.3) and ABC's 'The Good Doctor' (0.3) tied in the demo, but '48' beat it out by close to a million viewers. 

Finals Update: Stand Up to Cancer on ABC (-0.3), CBS (-0.1), NBC (-0.2) and Fox (-0.3) and repeats of Hell's Kitchen (-0.3), Shark Tank (-0.3), NCIS: New Orleans (-0.2), America's Got Talent (-0.2), 48 Hours (-0.1) and The Good Doctor (-0.2) adjusted down.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 8 Episodes 3 & 4 Review [Blue Flu + Balancing]


***Spoilers Ahead*** 

Andy Samberg (left), Joe Lo Truglio (right). Photo Credit: NBC

Blue Flu
Although he's more known for blurting out unintentional sexual innuendos and obsessing over gross food items, Charles Boyle has always been the most well-meaning member of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad. No matter how much ridicule he faces for his persona, Boyle stays true to himself while also taking his detective job as seriously as he can. This all makes his health scare in 'Blue Flu' significantly more gutting than it could have been, with Truglio's character facing his mortality head-on. In the midst, the writers are able to strike that perfect balance of addressing social issues while keeping the infectious character relationships intact. 

After union rep Frank O'Sullivan (played by John C. McGinley) uses an incident where a dead mouse was found in an officer's burrito to push his narrative that cops are under attack, all the officers go on strike while simultaneously using the excuse that they're sick with mono (i.e. Blue flu). Captain Holt concocts 'Operation Trident' to quell the "mouse in burrito" hysteria and prove that the officers are faking their sickness, with Jake and Boyle on-deck to find out if the doctor was handing out illegitimate diagnoses. Where this episode takes a sharp left turn is when an undercover Boyle is told by the doctor that one of his testicles is much larger than the other, causing Charles to believe he may be dying. 

Though the trope of a character facing a potential health issue is quite common in the sitcom world, the Brooklyn writers have created such sound character dynamics that the revelation is sure to elicit a very strong reaction from longtime viewers. In particular, Boyle's speech about facing death and not being able to work with Jake into his 90s is enough to make devoted fans teary-eyed. The bleak tone is exacerbated by the fact that the series will be coming to an end soon and we really will never be able to see the friendship between Peralta and Boyle grow past that point. Though Boyle ends up not having cancer, the raw emotion felt during his monologue (and when Peralta shows how well he knows him while planning for his final days) makes this plotline a complete home run. Joe Lo Truglio is masterful in this more somber role and Samberg's loyalty to his friend continues to be one of his best attributes. 

The B-plot features Amy dealing with the many "Hitchcock and Scullys" that were sent by the other precincts after they requested for more detectives. If nothing else, it was thoroughly amusing to see Scully feel at home with the replicas of himself, especially since Hitchcock can only be accessed remotely. Santiago's exasperation with the situation adds to the hilarity as Scully helps her learn the sluggish ways of these older detectives. Terry and Rosa also join in on Operation Trident, with the former dealing with stomach issues and the latter being enlisted to find footage of the burrito incident being staged. It's definitely a relief that Rosa remains an integral part of the series despite no longer working in the 99th precinct, and the writers create a clever way to weave her into the story here. The only issue that can be found is that there was a lost opportunity to show Terry's meeting with the disgruntled officers. Although the pandemic may have stopped larger crowd scenes from being filmed, it definitely had the makings of a hilarious scene. 

With an engaging mixture of witty banter, solemn moments, and tense exchanges, 'Blue Flu' is an episode that seems to check off all the right boxes. The writers find a way to include a message about how police feign persecution in a system that enables their bad behavior while not sacrificing comedy and character-driven stories. All this culminates with Holt out-smarting O'Sullivan and putting an end to the flu, while also planting the seeds for future police reform. There are few faults to be found with 'Blue Flu' and it ultimately shows that Brooklyn is racing to the finish line instead of limping.


Stray Thoughts 
  • It looks like we'll never truly know what Holt's tattoo is.
  • Boyle's mention of Trident gum in the briefing room scene deserves a mention.
  • While I'm not holding out, it would be nice if Hitchock could return in-person for the finale.
  • He hasn't reached Wuntch levels but O'Sullivan is turning into a pretty fun antagonist. 

Grade: A- 



Andre Braugher (left), Stephanie Beatriz (right). Photo Credit: NBC


Balancing
In the universe of situational comedy, the introduction of a baby is perceived as a moment where a series "jumps the shark" and becomes a shadow of its former self. Many comedies have a hard time dealing with this new inclusion, with some even ignoring their existence when it's inconvenient to bring them into the plot. Since Brooklyn Nine-Nine only has a few installments left and has been building up to Jake and Amy having a child for a while, it's hard to imagine these sort of accusations will be levied against it. 'Balancing' provides a very accurate depiction of how difficult it is to be a parent while maintaining a career, even if it comes at the expense of what could have been an exciting, case-based episode. 

The installment starts with Jake finding out that his arch-nemesis Johnny Franzia is back to committing crimes, causing Jake and Charles to go and investigate the crime scene. Meanwhile, Terry is getting Amy ready for her reform proposal speech that she'll be giving in an attempt to secure funding. Both plots are disrupted after Jake and Amy realize that they've let their son Mac unattended, forcing them to try and find a babysitter for their child. When all their attempts lead nowhere, they decide they'll have to bring Mac to work. This outing may do a phenomenal job at displaying the uncomfortable balancing act of parenting and policing but it leaves viewers hungry for some classic Brooklyn crime-solving without nourishment. 

Only bits and pieces of the Franzia case are seen, with most of them interrupted by Jake having to take care of his son. Even though this story-telling style fits well with the narrative, it does not make Peralta's exclusion from the case any better. Considering Franzia is a character mentioned before and not just a random criminal of the week, it would have been a blast to see Jake and Boyle team up to figure out his clues and take him down. Nonetheless, the fact that Jake takes care of Mac instead of arresting his arch-nemesis shows legitimate growth when it comes to Samberg's character. The Franzia case meant a lot to Peralta, but he still stayed behind so that Amy could give her speech and further their cause of police reform. There's still an empty, anti-climactic feel to 'Balancing' but it does reveal that Jake Peralta has matured greatly since day one. 

With Holt still separated from his husband Kevin, the captain moves in with Rosa for the subplot of this episode. Though it may appear a little off-putting to see Holt so talkative, it is very entertaining to witness Braugher's character continue to cope with the separation. This storyline reaches new heights when Rosa gets Holt drunk, causing Holt to send a picture of his dick to Kevin. Hilarity ensues as the two rush to Kevin's place to delete the picture off his computer before he can check his email. In turn, we are met with a touching moment when it is yet again confirmed that Kevin misses Holt's company. This story ends up being the better of the two and finds itself with a perfect blend of heart and humor.

'Balancing' is a bit of an uneven episode that will leave some viewers missing the greater focus on police work but satisfy those who enjoy seeing the relationship between Jake and Amy progress. The B-plot focusing on Holt and Rosa does a fantastic job at slowly repairing the Holt and Kevin marriage and packs in enough gags to please all. Brooklyn Nine-Nine reaffirms that it is still an ambitious series that intends to elevate and evolve. 


Stray Thoughts
  • Johnny Franzia was first mentioned in Season 5's 'White Whale'.
  • "Digital Phallus Portrait" 
  • The following episodes will feature the return (and potential final appearance?) of Doug Judy!


Grade: B-


Which episode did you enjoy better?
Blue Flu
Balancing

What did you think of these episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Friday TV Ratings 8/20/21: Greatest #AtHome Videos Returns with a New Low, WWE SmackDown Stays on Top, Dynasty Slips (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: To the surprise of no one, Fox's 'WWE Smackdown' (0.6) was the evening's highest-rated program. The wrestling-competition program held steady with its previous telecast. On CBS, the premiere of 'The Greatest #AtHome Videos' (0.3) went a tenth below the last time it was on the air back in July 2020. 'Secret Celebrity Renovation' (0.3) held even in the 8pm slot while a repeat of 'Blue Bloods' (0.2) posted a modest rating at 10. ABC's rerun duo of 'Shark Tank' (0.4) and '20/20' (0.3) outpaced NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior' (0.3) and 'Dateline' (0.3) encores. The CW had a flat 'Burden of Truth' (0.1), but 'Dynasty' (0.0) dropped back down into irrelevancy. 

Finals Update: Repeats of American Ninja Warrior (-0.1) and Dateline NBC (-0.1) adjusted down.

What In The World! Season 4 Episode 12: After All We’ve Been Through

 

Thursday Cable Ratings 8/19/21: The Cube and Impractical Jokers Dip, Grownish Stable, NFL Preseason Easily Leads

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 8/19/21. Items of note include Grown-ish on Freeform, Impractical Jokers on TruTV, and NFL Preseason on NFL Network.

(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Thursday TV Ratings 8/19/21: Beat Shazam Ends Steady, Big Brother Rises, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Hustler Down (UPDATED)

Ratings Analysis: Fox's 'Beat Shazam' (0.45) enjoyed a minor surge on season finale night, up about a tenth when compared to Wednesday's post-'MasterChef' telecast. A repeat of 'Fantasy Island' (0.27) took over the 9pm slot and somehow tied its latest original. On NBC, 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (0.40/0.28) rose by a hundredth for the 8pm episode but was down four hundredths in the second-half. The decline between the two installments was significantly more noticeably when compared to last week's premiere (0.39/0.32). 'Making It' (0.23) held virtually steady at its usual, dismal level and led into a rerun of 'Organized Crime' (0.17). CBS's 'Big Brother' (1.01) gained a tenth and found itself nearly 125% higher than every other broadcast. Encores of 'The Neighborhood' (0.36), 'B Positive' (0.31), and 'Bull' (0.20) filled out from there, with each rerun going below the previous. ABC's frail lineup got slightly weaker as 'Holey Moley' (0.40) and 'When Nature Calls' (0.20) lost four hundredths apiece. At 10, 'The Hustler' (0.25) only lost one hundredth, furthering the gap between it and 'Nature Calls'. On the CW, the return of 'Coroner' (0.08) was on-par with what it garnered last August. 'The Outpost' (0.05) remained anemic in the 9pm slot.

Finals Update: 'The Hustler' (+0.1) and 'Beat Shazam' (+0.1) adjusted up. Both episodes of 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (-0.1 each), 'Making It' (-0.1) and the repeat of 'B Positive' (-0.1) adjusted down.

Summer Renew/Cancel Week 11: Time to Break Up with The Celebrity Dating Game

It's been a busy week, with multiple finales, a few premieres, and a renewal. That's leading to quite a busy update of the summer renew/cancel, so keep reading to see what's on the move!

Wednesday Cable Ratings 8/18/21: Awkwafina is Nora from Queens Returns Lower, Good Trouble Ties Season High

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Wednesday, 8/11/21. Items of note include the season premiere of Awkwafina is Nora from Queens on Comedy Central, Good Trouble on Freeform, and Younger on TV Land.

(Click the names of the shows written in teal or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)

Wednesday TV Ratings 8/18/21: House Calls with Dr. Phil Off to Terrible Start, Family Game Fight! and Press Your Luck Down, Beat Shazam Steady in Special Time, Big Brother Easily Stays #1 (UPDATED)


Preliminary Analysis: While Dr. Phil has enjoyed decades of success on his syndicated talk-show, his transition to primetime television was nothing short of a disaster. 'House Calls' (0.3) debuted in terrible form on CBS, with Phil's program losing nearly two-thirds of its stable 'Big Brother' lead-in (0.9). At 10, the return of 'The FBI Declassified' (0.2) went below every rating it posted back in late 2020, thus adding to the Eye network's pile of bad news. Over on ABC, 'Press Your Luck' (0.4) shed a tenth while 'The $100,000 Pyramid' (0.5) and a Kobe Bryant-based 'Superstar' (0.3) were even with their week-ago telecasts. NBC's 'America's Got Talent' (0.6) also held even, but 'Family Game Fight!' (0.4) gave back a tenth after a decent timeslot premiere. A repeat of 'Chicago PD' (0.2) lost half of that audience in the 10pm hour. Fox was completely steady with 'MasterChef' (0.5) and a special Wednesday edition of 'Beat Shazam' (0.4). The CW's 'Riverdale' (0.1) was flat while 'In the Dark' (0.1) inched up after garnering a 0.0 rating for its previous episode. 

Finals Update: 'America's Got Talent' (+0.1) and the repeat of 'Chicago PD' (+0.1) adjusted up.

Rediscovering United States of Al

 




Last April, CBS debuted THE UNITED STATES OF AL, an unlikely comedy from producer powerhouse Chuck Lorre (TWO AND A HALF MEN, YOUNG SHELDON, BIG BANG THEORY) with an unusual premise.  A Marine who served in Afghanistan applies for his interpreter to join him in the U.S.  After a three year long battle with bureaucracy, the Marine finally succeeds in getting him a visa and welcomes his friend to his Cleveland, Ohio home and family where the two best friends sleep in the garage.

Even with middling ratings and reviews, CBS decided to renew USoAL for a second season.

Starring Adhir Kalyan (RULES OF ENGAGEMENT) as Afghan interpreter, Al, and Parker Young as Marine Riley, USoAL is worth revisiting not because it's a great show but because it has now collided into historic events with the fall of Afghanistan and the plight of Afghan interpreters and their families now very much in the news.

USoAL was criticized for casting a South-African-born Indian actor with a poor Afghan accent.  The show producers responded that the show has two Afghan-American and one Afghan writer, as well as two Iranian-American producers. They also argued that the show's development included extensive interviews with Afghan refugees and U.S. veterans. 

Still, having binged through Season 1, it's a challenge for the show to balance a thoughtful comedy about two brothers in arms without ending up more like a fish out of water comedy like, oh, anyone remember PERFECT STRANGERS or MORK AND MINDY?  Al's Muslim faith and Afghan culture and traditions are treated respectfully, which makes it tough to milk sitcom yucks even though there are regular jokes about Afghan food.

What works? The core friendship chemistry between Al and Riley is going to make or break this show. Although the first few episodes were predictable (Al: "In my country, the father is always right!") and the hunky Parker Young takes his shirt of a couple times, the show was just starting to get its groove, balancing some serious issues in a family friendly comedy.  The square jawed Parker Young is always fun to watch - he was the very funny frat boy bro in the sadly short-lived comedy, SUBURGATORY - and he seems perfectly cast in USoAL, especially as his character goes through his own post-Afghanistan demons like alcoholism as well as tinnitus and a growing list of injuries he's too proud to apply for VA benefits.

What doesn't work? The writers don't have a firm grip on the secondary characters. We have a good cast with little to do. Riley's dad, Art (BREAKING BAD's Dean Norris), Elizabeth Alderfer as Riley's sister Lizzie, Kelli Goss as Riley's estranged wife Vanessa, and Farrah Mackenzie as Riley and Vanessa's daughter. So far, these characters are around just to hold their noses at Afghan food or make jokes about Riley's past. While one episode had Al frozen in shock at seeing a woman's bare legs, he doesn't seem to have any problems with Riley's sister in the house. 

But it's Adhir Kalyan who has to make the audience care about Al. And this is where history and current events will make the second season of USoAL especially challenging.  In the show, Al waited three years for his visa to come to America to escape the Taliban. There are references made to the U.S. visa program being slow and bureaucratic. Riley promises that he won't give up applying for the rest of Al's family to follow.  So how will the show writers handle the situation in Afghanistan today? Will Al's relatives make it out? Or will the show steer into more serious waters with a new Taliban government locking down the borders? Current events have opened up new possibilities.

One of the best episodes of USoAL was Episode 8 "Roht" when Al and Riley's family search for an Afghan restaurant outside of Cleveland that makes 'roht' - an Afghan sweetbread. At the restaurant, Al is smitten by the owner's daughter, but when she finds out he was an interpreter for the U.S. Marines, she calls him a traitor to Afghanistan.  It's a serious confrontation that's eye-opening, poignant and a hint to us sitting comfortably in North America what might await the interpreters desperately trying to get a flight out of Kabul. And suddenly USoAL steers into Norman Lear territory, a sitcom with serious social commentary.

UNITED STATES OF AL returns on October 7.

If you're in the U.S., you can watch some episodes here:

Show trailer:




Harrison Cheung is the author of the award-winning biography of Christian Bale (BenBella Books) and a contributor to Brave New Hollywood and The TV Ratings Guide.

@harrisonic (Twitter)