Female-president idea gaining steam, at least with TV viewers. Can reality be far behind?
Here's a look at the week's best and worst:
"Commander in Chief." Television's only new series to crack the Top 10 last week was also the only new series whose show runner/executive producer was relieved of his duties . . . I mean, signed to a fabulous new two-year deal to develop series that leaves him no time to work on "CiC" but "blown away excited" about his replacement, Steven Bochco. Nearly 17 million people watched the second episode of the drama in which Geena Davis plays the president of the United States. That's about half a million more than had watched the show's unveiling the previous week. And it's the only new series this season to snag a bigger crowd for its second episode than its first.
"Without a Trace." CBS's crime drama beat NBC's aged doc drama "ER" by the largest margin ever on Thursday -- more than 7 million viewers. And, for the first time, with head-to-head original episodes, "Trace" also beat "ER" among the 18-to-49-year-olds the broadcast networks target and among an even younger subset: 18-to-34-year-olds. CBS, formerly the Old Folks Network, danced the happy dance the next day.
"NCIS." When Fox pulled its grisly new forensic drama "Bones" out of its Tuesday time slot to make way for baseball, cadaver freaks gave their full attention to the three-season-old CBS crime drama, which cracked the 16-million-viewer mark for the first time.
"Joey." The spinoff of the enormously popular "Friends" was NBC's least watched original scripted series last week. And, it hit a new series low -- 7.2 million viewers. With any luck, NBC will snuff this show and put it out of our misery; it will be a mercy killing.
"Inconceivable." NBC's new fertility clinic drama has been off the air since its second broadcast on Sept. 30; according to competitors, NBC doesn't have it in the lineup for the next three weeks, and it surely won't be brought back for the November ratings sweeps -- oh, and production has been shut down. In its two broadcasts, it averaged only about 5.4 million viewers. And yet, NBC insists, this show is not canceled and no decision has been made yet re its future.
CBS Sunday movie. Watch CBS's Sunday movie closely -- it may be your last chance. Total viewers are down 25 percent so far this season compared with last season, which wasn't any great shakes. Most recently, "The Hunt for the BTK Killer" got murdered in its time period; fewer than 9 million people bothered to watch. In its first three weeks this season, the CBS Sunday flick franchise averaged 8.76 million viewers -- its slowest start since at least 1991. ABC and NBC dumped their Sunday movies ages ago.
The week's 10 most watched programs, in order: CBS's "CSI"; ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost"; CBS's "Without a Trace" and "CSI: Miami"; ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"; CBS's "Survivor: Guatemala"; ABC's "Commander in Chief"; CBS's "NCIS"; and NBC's "Law & Order: SVU."