Ratings: Alcatraz Breaks Out Strong, Betty White Is Red-Hot for NBC

The series premiere of Fox’s Alcatraz captured 10 million total viewers and scored a 3.3 demo rating on Monday night, delivering 10-percent better numbers than Terra Nova‘s own two-hour opener. The supernatural procedural also gave Fox its drama series debut in three years (since Lie to Me).

The night’s other big draw was golden girl Betty White, whose 8 o’clock birthday special on NBC averaged nearly 14 million total viewers and a 2.7 demo rating, growing audience with every half hour. Betty White’s Off Their Rockers then pranked 12.2 mil at 9:30, while scoring a 2.6 rating. Those tallies represent well more than double the most recent audiences for Who’s Still Standing? and Fear Factor, and markedly better demos.

Elsewhere on the night:

8 pm | How I Met Your Mother (10.1 mil/4.4) and 2 Broke Girls (11.3 mil/4.5) both saw gains in the demo, with the latter leading the hour. In fourth (behind Alcatraz), The Bachelor (7.4 mil/2.4) was up 9 percent. The CW’s Gossip Girl resumed its season with an audience of 1.3 million and a 0.6 rating, flat versus its fall finale.

9 pm | Two and a Half Men placed (gasp!) second in total viewers for the night, drawing 12.9 million while scoring a 4.6 rating (up a tenth). Mike & Molly (11.17 mil/3.8) shed just a few eyeballs but was steady in the demo.

10 pm | Hawaii Five-0 copped the No. 1 spot in both total viewers (with 10.5 mil, down 12 percent) and in the demo (2.8), as Castle (9.4 mil/2.3) dipped in audience. NBC’s Rock Center (5.57 mil/1.3) surged more than 80 percent.

What were you tuned into this Monday night?

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  1. Entertainment2u-Twitter says:

    I enjoyed ALCATRAZ — a solid B. Definitely held my interest — but room for improvement. Hope it moves in the right direction.

    I TiVo’d BETTY WHITE and will watch on her ACTUAL bday — tonight! Happy 90th, Betty!

  2. Chmarin says:

    Matt, did you become a TVBTN commenter or is someone impersonating you? :D

    BTW, liked Alcatraz, hopefully this means FOX will put an end to Terra Nova. I’d like to see both House and TN canceled and a Alcatraz/Touch combo next fall.

  3. GK says:

    Alcatraz’s two hour premiere was entertaining. I’m glad it got solid numbers. I couldn’t predict the awesome twist at the end which will hold viewers interest for next week.

    • cj says:

      as soon as they hinted at something more between Hauser and Parminda Nagra I became suspicious as to her origins… not because it seemed implausible that they might be romantically involved otherwise, but just because of the way they seemed to have an ease with one another that seemed long-standing.

    • tp says:

      As soon as she said “with him, without him” I knew something was hinky.

  4. Guy says:

    Being a Terra Nova fan those figures worry me. I would love to see Terra Nova back for a 2nd season. I didn’t mind Alcatraz last night. It wasn’t the best i have seen this season but it was pretty good. Will see where it heads.

  5. Cocoanilla says:

    It definitely piqued my interest! I watched both episodes & will watch again next week. There is certainly room for improvement to keep us watchIng in the “long run” (these days=post episode 4).

  6. Dominique says:

    It didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but was still interested enough to stick around. My only hope is that this won’t become a show where they track down a new inmate every episode. That sorta format only works on CSI-like shows.
    Not impressed by the female lead, actress is the weakest link.
    The rest of the cast is great, it was wonderful to see Jorge Garcia again!

    • Gretchen says:

      Sorry to disappoint you, but there is an article on this site in which the producers (or writers, can’t remember) say it will be a procedural weekly with overarching pieces of mythology thrown in, that way sporadic and new viewers can jump in anytime.

      • znachki says:

        I saw that too. I think they don’t want to get to Lost or even Fringe levels of mytharch, so they are going to be somewhat of a “case of the week” kind of show.

        However, a couple of things to consider. Snce they are putting the cons into an Alcatraz white room, they can bring guys in again for some myth building. Also, it isn’t just cons that disappeared, but guards as well – and what about the guards’ families that lived on the island? Hmmm….

  7. Kate says:

    When does Touch premiere?

  8. kevin says:

    Alcatraz truly “rocks” in its debut even better than Terra Nova or Fringe for that matter and last night’s Hawaii Five-O episode was a fun one indeed.

  9. kirads09 says:

    I really enjoyed Alcatraz. Good solid cast. So many unanswered questions after last nights episodes. Hungry for more.

  10. Nancy says:

    I really enjoyed the Betty White special.

  11. Parker says:

    LOVED the Betty White tribute special! Everyone was hilarious, especially Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Zach Levi, Joel McHale and Carol Burnett. Betty’s a gem and I’m thrilled the total ratings were higher than ANY show last night. And the pilot for “Off Their Rockers” was surprisingly funny as well. Go Betty!

  12. Renee says:

    So Matt IYO do the Alcatraz numbers mean the death of Terra Nova?

  13. Jason says:

    Cross between X-files and Lost without the excitement of either

  14. krushev says:

    Alcatraz did not live up to my expectations. JJ Abrams creates a new series and instead of giving us something original we basically get a new TV series that’s a cross between Smallville and The Fugitive.

    Alcatraz is nothing more than the “monster of the week” plot that Smallville used. So, instead of getting something original, we get a TV series that’s nothing more than capture the “prisoner of the week” series. With 260+ prisoners, that’s one prisoner a week, if not 2 prisoners a week when the series gets closer to its end.

    Abrams will undoubtedly resort to answering nothing about the series so fans will be kept in the dark, like he did with LOST. I have no intention of going through another series like that.

    These characters feel nothing more than cardboard cutouts, 2 dimensional and unreal that it’s hard to feel anything for these characters.

    • Dave says:

      It’s nice you have kept an open mind. It sounds like you had you mind made up before the show even aired. I mean did you even watch the show because all you have spouted off is info that was given on this website before last night. Well to each thier own. Sorry you will miss out on a great tv show.

  15. Justin says:

    I really like Alcatraz. The characters were interesting to get to know, and the premise was even more interesting to learn about. I’ll definitely stick with this show.

  16. JeffDJ says:

    I watched Castle (time-shifted at 7), Alcatraz (really liked it!) and 5-O. Being Human was also crammed in at 10, but I’ll have to catch that online.

  17. Sg.Grant says:

    Anyone know what F82F3 means? I scanned the QR code on the jail cell and this is what came up.

  18. WKD2 says:

    Unfortunately Networks look at the 18-49 numbers for keeping a series or canceling it, but the Betty White special proves that the audience is older. Baby Boomers, who buy just like everybody else.

  19. cj says:

    i really liked Alcatraz. while it has totally different characters and plot it has all the hallmarks of a J.J. Abrams & Co. production. It will have the same fan base as Lost for SURE. my deepest fear is that it’s TOO sci-fi and it’ll be abandoned to the Friday Ratings Pit along with Fringe, and that whole situation on Fridays is a DAMN shame.

  20. Crazy numbers for Betty White! So much for audience fatigue.

    Matt, any word on numbers for Syfy’s Lost Girl? Those of us in Canada have had 2 seasons to get used to the show, so I’m interested to see how the show did in the states.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Cable ratings always, always come in much, much later. I’ll try to keep y’all posted. Unless I forget.

  21. liddad says:

    I didn’t really see Alcatraz doing anything interesting, but I decided since it was JJ Abrams that I’d give it a watch.
    Unfortunately the characters didn’t do anything for me. Garcia was the best thing about it, and even then, his dialogue was weak. The female lead just didn’t pass off as a cop, and Emerson Hauser seemed one dimentional. Never even mind that the other woman seemed to have no personality, or opinion on anything. At all.
    If the characters were a little better, maybe the two-hour premier was spent on the one storyline and padded out the characters a little more instead of leaving them as dull, and trying to pack as much action in as possible, then the show would have been much better.
    That being said, some aspects of the show were awesome. I loved the exact replica of Alcatraz. Blew my mind. It seems that the mysteries in Alcatraz are amazing, but the characters that discover them just aren’t. So disappointed.
    I’ll tune in next week to see if it gets any better, and maybe one more week after that. But if theres no character development this might be the earliest I’ve ever left a show.

  22. kevin says:

    Looks like Sarah Jones of ALCATRAZ could be following in the footsteps of butt kicking babes like Jennifer Garner, Evangeline Lilly and Anna Torv.

  23. Susie says:

    Cbs should send Mike and Molly to Hawaii on a vacation. Maybe then Hawaii 50 could be able not to drop as a rock after Mike&Molly. A whole point demo drop is alarming.

  24. Claire says:

    Is it just me or HIMYM was really bad yesterday ? I’m getting tired of it I guess.
    I’m a liitle worried for Castle… What is going on ?

    • tp says:

      I said the same thing. I found myself folding laundry and cleaning my room while I watched it. It;s just not as good anymore.

      • Claire says:

        Exactly. I don’t even smile at it anymore. And yet I have an easy laugh :D
        A show that stays good after 7 years is very rare (bless you, f.r.i.e.n.d.s).

  25. Justin says:

    Meh. The premiere was okay. But the second hour totally bored me. The fact that they’re choosing to go the procedural route means I’ll likely never watch this again. Glad Jorge has a hit on his hands though. It’s just a shame it will be nothing like Lost, at all.

    • Dave says:

      Has everyone forgotten that Frgine started out the exact same way. Case of the week. Still does to a certian extent but look how mythology heavy it is. They also stated the exact same thing for Fringe before it started that it would be more of a case of the week. People shouldn’t judge it so quickly. At least give it a little because they have already layed ground for some good mythology.

  26. Ashley says:

    I liked Alcatraz a lot and I can’t wait for next episode.
    I watched Smash on Ittunes and it is freakin AMAZING! I think it is the best pilot I have ever watched in my life. OMG !!!!!

  27. dot says:

    The Betty white special was so funny loved it Amy poehler was so funny!

  28. Grace says:


  29. oscar says:

    To be honest I expected alcatraz to be a lot better. The acting was mediocre and the plot is so predictable. Too one tone for me. I probably wont watch it again. :(