by Gary Levin, USA TODAY
The opening week of the new TV season isn't a pretty picture: Apart from NBC, all the major networks are down, but so is cable. Viewers ages 12 to 34 are watching less TV. And percentage-wise, more viewing is being shifted later with DVRs, which limits networks' ability to charge for skipped ads. A look by network:
CBS: Average 10.7 million viewers (-12% from opening week 2011), ranks No. 1; third among young adults.
The good: Remains No. 1 overall, and has the two most-watched new dramas in Vegas (14.8 million) and Elementary (13.4 million). NCIS (20.5 million) was the week's top series, and in its sixth season The Big Bang Theory continues its climb (15.7 million, rising to 18.8 million with delayed weekend viewing included).
The bad: Monday comedies dropped, even after discounting last year's big Two and a Half Men welcome to Ashton Kutcher; Made in Jersey (7.8 million) and Partners (6.6 million) are weak spots; Sunday duo The Good Wife and The Mentalist are down.
ABC: 8.3 million viewers (-16%), ranks No. 2; fourth among young adults.
The good: Modern Family (14.4 million) is top comedy among younger viewers and ties NBC's Revolution as biggest DVR gainer; Revenge (9.7 million) fills in nicely in new Sunday berth; Grey's Anatomy (11.7 million) benefits from big cliffhanger; Castle and Once Upon a Time remain healthy.
The bad: Dancing With the Stars (14.1 million, down 26%) is falling off a cliff, as NBC's The Voice steals young viewers; numbers for freshman 666 Park Avenue (6.9 million) are scary.
NBC: 8.2 million viewers (+9%), ranks No. 3; tops among young adults.
The good: The Voice, in its first fall run, is singing with about 12 million viewers and is among top draws with younger viewers; ditto Revolution, top newcomer among that crowd, which has been extended for full seasons along with Go On and The New Normal. Sunday Night Football is top rated.
The bad: Thursday comedies are uniformly down; Rock Center (3.1 million) is least-watched big-network show; new sitcoms Guys With Kids (4.8 million) and Animal Practice (5.2 million) seemingly rejected by viewers.
Fox: 6.9 million viewers (-18%), ranks No. 4; second among young adults.
The good: Though it trails The Voice, The X Factor (9.6 million Wednesday) is still a factor as Fox's top young draw behind the steady Simpsons (8.1 million to start its 24th season). Glee gets a 50% bump among young viewers with DVR data factored in.
The bad: The Mob Doctor (3.8 million, and down again this week) will be among fall's earliest casualties; Tuesday comedies are middling, trailing Sunday toons; predictably, Fringe gets no final-season bump.