Ratings: The Mentalist (Try-Out?) Leads CBS To a Bigger Friday Win

This week’s second fresh helping of The Mentalist helped boost CBS’ Friday numbers, delivering 11.83 million total viewers — the night’s largest haul — while scoring a 2.0 demo rating.

Now while those tallies mark drops of 15 and 29 percent from The Mentalist‘s regularly scheduled Thursday broadcast, they also represent improvements of 13 and 18 percent versus the last fresh CSI: NY, and 22 and 33 percent compared to what A Gifted Man last did in the Fridays-at-9 slot.

As speculated by our sister site Deadline, CBS maybe, just maybe, might be test-driving the Simon Baker vehicle for a new fall home, should it want to schedule another show for Thursdays-at-10, where the competition has gotten a bit soft. (Deadline’s Nellie also proposes that CBS is mulling a second hour of Thursday comedies.)  Would you follow The Mentalist to Fridays?

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Leading off the night for CBS, Undercover Boss (10 mil/2.2) saw gains of 5 and 10 percent, leading Friday in the demo. Blue Bloods capped the Eye’s strong evening with an audience of 11.3 mil and a 1.8 rating (up a tenth).

All told, CBS more than doubled the closest competition in total viewers, while besting No. 2 ABC some 50 percent in the average demo.

Elsewhere on Friday:

* Opposite CBS’ Boss, Shark Tank (5.4 mil/1.5) dipped a few percentage points, while Who Do You Think You Are? (5 mil/1.0) plunged 30 percent from last week’s Reba McEntire tree-climb.

* Facing a more formidable CBS rival — yet with genre-TV peers Fringe and Supernatural still riding the pine — Grimm (5.15 mil/1.5) dipped a tenth in the demo.

What were you watching this Friday?

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  1. tahina says:

    CBS testing the Mentalist waters for Friday nights, it seemed to have worked..will it make it solid? I like it! :)

    • Saint Alicia says:

      No offense, but what do you mean by “worked.” Why does CBS have to “fix” what isn’t broken? TM performs great on Thurs, why move it to Fridays and strangle viewership?
      I swear, CBS just can’t leave well enough alone; first they move their smartest/strongest show (The Good Wife) to Sundays, and now they’re messing with The Mentalist…

      • Gail says:

        Yeah, why can’t they move that awful Unforgettable show to Fridays and bring back The Good Wife to Tuesdays where it belongs? And leave The Mentalist where it is!!

        • thedoubleworld says:

          Because Unforgettable will get canceled and there already is a show airing Fridays at 9PM. It’s called CSI NY.

          • Elen P says:

            I love the Mentalist and was furious about i t being moved to Sundays. No worries, though, CBS, I tape every show!!!! Even bought the 4 season collection.

            FYI: I’m a mature woman of 45 and will always love The Mentalist. It has more class than any show in a long time. Also, it doesn’t rely on sleaze to make it good.

      • M.A. says:

        @Saint Alicia.. I couldn’t agree more!! They need to move TGW back to Tuesdays, and quit shooting themselves in the foot by messing with their best shows! What’s next move NCIS to Saturdays? Sheesh.

      • B.J. Keffer says:

        I agree completely. “The Mentalist” should stay where it is as well as the “Good Wife” original spot. CBS has a way of really messing things up.

        If they have to pu “The Mentalist” somewhere else, move “Criminal Minds” to Sunday and leave ‘TM” as it is. Since all these stupid sports shows are on right now I don’t know how
        CBS can find correct ratings #’s. “THe Good Wiife” should go back to where it was,

        I do wish CBS would leave good programs where theye are. It’s wonderful to have programs that aren’t graphically vilent, sexual and profane…….and be a good show.

      • Thank you so much for your post, I’ve emailed CBS about leaving The Mentalist where it is…but then do they ever listen.

        I’m such a CBS girl since I love scripted programs. Nothing more boring than the reality shows in my book.

        I’ve copied every single episode of the Mentalist. This way I don’t have to watch stupid programmingi when the Mentalist isn’t on!!


    • christy says:

      I really looked forward to watching Ghost Whisper and Medium every
      friday. They were both really good shows. But after so long they
      were taken off the air because of poor ratings. I don’t want the
      same thing happining to .

    • Kathleen says:


  2. Nerwen Aldarion says:

    Don’t know why they would move it from Thursdays where it gets better ratings and still wins it’s timeslot but I’ll follow it to any day.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yes, but it wins on Thursdays by so much; it’s like Bud Fox’s “How many yachts can you water-ski behind?” Say that CBS moves PERSON OF INTEREST back an hour to make room for a second hour of comedies, and it matches MENTALIST numbers. Meanwhile, MENTALIST gives Friday a needed boost — it’s found money.

      • Nerwen Aldarion says:

        But isn’t a Friday move usually the kiss of death? I’m trying to figure out why we should all be happy about this.

        • M H says:

          The Mentalist has only a few seasons left, as Bruno Heller, its creator has stated that catching Red John will be the series finale. And Simon Baker is contracted for up to seven seasons, and CBS only renews the show after the season is done. I would assume a move to Friday would mean that the showrunners already have the end game and number of seasons in mind. The (possible kiss of death) move to Friday I think makes perfect sense, as it would give the show the two or three more seasons it needs to wrap up it’s main storyline and conclude on a strong note. Sure the show wins it’s time slot on Thursday, but when you have a show that is contingent on one overall mystery, you can’t expect it to last for a decade or more, without it’s quality decaying rapidly after about the seventh season. I’d rather see The Mentalist go out strong at the end of season 6 or 7, and wrap everything up nicely, than it continue for an indefinite amount of time, until the network decides to cancel it and the writers never get to tell the whole story.

          • Arlene says:

            The mentalist is one of the only programs my husband & I enjoy together. Please leave it alone. Thank you

        • Kelvin G says:

          Yes, usually it’s a kiss of death. That can actually be seen by the fact that Friday’s episode was down 15 and 29 percent over Thursday’s episode. That said The Mentalist is so strong that it still won Friday. What Matt is saying is that by scheduling The Mentalist on Friday and something else on Thursday CBS can win both Thursday and Friday nights and make more money.

          My biggest problem is that in a couple of years when the ratings start to dip and CBS consider the show for cancellation that they’ll look at the ratings The Mentalist was getting on Thursday nights and compare them with the Friday night ratings and just cancel it rather than thinking “Well, the ratings are lower because we made it that way”.

  3. Cynthia says:

    No, I don’t want The Mentalist to be moved on Fridays. Well, it seems that’s what they’re gonna do anyway…

  4. June says:

    I`d follow The Mentalist to any day of the week, obviously. This show is just awesome and should definitely get a lot more coverage by TVLine and others (yes, that was a hint. Now take it!).

  5. mal campbell says:

    great to see assie actors having an impact over seas.great show can’t wait for it to get back on our screens in australia.

  6. Nicole says:

    I’d rather it be on Thursdays, but I’ll follow it to Monday at 2:30 am if that’s when it’s on. Friday at nine is no problem for me.

  7. susela says:

    Yes, of course I’d follow “The Mentalist” to Friday—but if its numbers drop and they end up cancelling it, I’ll be very, very annoyed. I wish they would let well enough alone.

  8. Mike says:

    Before CBS starts moving “The Mentalist” all over the place, I have three words for them:

    • Marketing Guru says:

      Exactly! Loved ‘Without a Trace’ and Fridays killed it. Love CSI New York too. CBS doesn’t seem to understand that less people watch TV on Friday’s.

      I know a few people have commented on making money on both Thursday and Friday. However, when you have a TV show with huge numbers, you can also ask more from the advertisers. If the numbers for Mentalist stay down on Friday, then advertisers won’t be willing to pay the big bucks they are now. Advertisers are looking for the biggest exposure. So it isn’t a sure deal that making the move would make CBS more money.

      Leave it where it is and be happy anyone is watching on Fridays.

  9. BonesFringeFan says:

    This would be baaad news for Fringe. I hope they stay on Thursday.



  11. John says:

    All this piling on?

    4 little words:

    Four head TiVO premiere!

  12. jennifer says:

    I read someplace online where a fan said if the Mentalist moved to Fridays-it wouldn’t hurt Fringe because Fringe/Mentalist fans are totally different types of fans . In other words:Fringe fans wouldn’t watch Mentalist-&-Mentalist fans wouldn’t watch Fringe. I dissagree with this assumption. Just because they are two different type of genres-does not mean some fans don’t enjoy both programs. Anyway,if anyone else likes both shows-please say so in comments. Also,whether or not people like both-the possible move of The Mentalist could hurt Fringe in another way:By cutting even more into the number of available viewers. I mean:it is Friday night-a night when the number of available viewers is smaller when compared to other days of the week. Anyway,if (when!)Fringe is renewed,&,if Mentalist is moved to Fridays-I’ll figure out which to watch/which to dvr. What I’m saying is the following:With the possibility of Mentalist,Grimm,Fringe,&,Supernatural all airing at 9pm-apart from our dvr/watching live decisions-there is a real possibility all these programs airing at the same time could somehow cancel each other,&,that may not? be good for fans who enjoy 2,or,3 of these shows. Now:people who just like one of these programs may be hoping two or three rough each other up(in terms of ratings)so their show has a better chance of staying on,but,do we really want Friday programs cannibalizing each other-just so favorite stays on air. In the end-wouldn’t that hurt ALL FANS of these Friday programs-if these shows hurt each other causing the faster cancellation of one or two of them? Look, I’m just throwing some thoughts out there-any responses are very welcome. Thank you.

    • Gwen says:

      I watch Fringe and The Mentalist. However, I would definitely pick Fringe over The Mentalist any day. Fringe has maintained quality and good storytelling throughout the seasons, while The Mentalist is not as strong as it used to be. I can’t put my finger on it, but The Mentalist has somehow lacking for a while now. Given a choice, Fringe wins.

      • BonesFringeFan says:

        I too watch Fringe and The Mentalist, but Fringe (along with Bones) is my favorite show on television, whereas with The Mentalist, although I do tune in every week, I’m not really invested in the characters/show at all… But with Fringe, I genuinely care about the characters very, very much, and the storylines this season (and in previous seasons) have been nothing short of phenomenal. Without even a glimmer of hesitation I would pick Fringe over The Mentalist any day of the year.

    • bobbi says:

      Love both Mentalist and Fringe. I would see them both. I dont want Simon Baker on Friday nights. The show is great when teamed with Person of Interest on thursday nights.

  13. Julie says:

    Can people honestly tell the difference between all of the moronic CBS procedurals? Who cares which one airs in what night?

  14. jj says:

    How insulting was that? No, I can never tell if I’m looking at Thomas Gibson or Simon Baker. Well, who can? Then throw in Gary Senise and it’s like Huey, Louie and Dewey. You might want to rethink your online persona.

  15. Pauld says:

    Procedural watchers are morons who can’t retain a storyline for more than a week. It’s a fair assumption that they don’t know which show they’re watching.

  16. terri says:

    I watch Fringe and The Mentalist too, and definitely pick Fringe!!

  17. kevin says:

    The Mentalist should be moving to Fridays during the 2012-13 TV season which means it could be the end for one or two CBS shows on Friday nights: CSI:NY and A GIFTED MAN. :( :(

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Three of the GIFTED MAN stars have booked pilots, and two of them landed on a CBS pilot. Assuming that CBS itself knows which way the wind is blowing….

      • Anna says:

        It’s kind of been my experience that most networks drop somewhere between four and six hours of programming each May to make room for the new things; which means Gifted Man and Unforgettable are locks to go, with Good Wife and the two lower rated CSIs all in trouble…

  18. rachel says:

    Great night for CBS last night. I like The Mentalist and Blue Bloods…so I’m happy. But I’ll miss CSI NY.

  19. thedoubleworld says:

    Not to hate on this seemingly spectacular plan of moving The Mentalist to Fridays at 9 PM but what about CSI NY?! Comparing last night’s ratings of The Mentalist with those of the last new CSI NY episode makes for a nice effect. However, the comparison is ultimately flawed. It ignores the fact that CSI NY consistently blew it’s lead-in A Gifted Man out of the water while last night The Mentalist had a lead-in that trumped its predecessor in the 8PM hour by entire point in the demo. How about we wait and see how CSI NY does ratings-wise with the same lead-in when it comes back from hiatus on March 30th before we declare it canceled and start moving other shows into its time slot?! CSI NY does better in the ratings this season than it did last season when it got renewed. In fact, in overall numbers it’s doing better than The Good Wife and CSI Miami at this point. As far as demo ratings of the last new offerings of all three of these hows are concerned, CSI NY was behind the TGW and CSI Miami by 2 tenths but it also airs in a much more difficult time slot. So, pretending that the cancellation of CSI NY is a given might be a bit premature.
    Also, the assumption that the ratings The Mentalist got the one special, heavily promoted time it aired in this time slot would remain the same if the show moved there permanently, is hypothetical at best. I love both The Mentalist and CSI NY and CBS needs to leave them alone.
    That being said, I’m willing to bet that TM moving to Fridays at 9 PM is not going to happen, at least not next season.

  20. Grace says:

    I would like ALL the shows to remain the same on FRIDAY night on CBS. I LOVE ‘A GIFTED MAN’ with PATRICK WILSON as well as CSI:N.Y. with GARY SENESE and SELA WARD, and my hubby never misses BLUE BLOODS.
    PLEASE give A GIFTED MAN more time to find its’ audience. I’m SURE it would do MUCH better next season. Such great stories and cast!

  21. Guy says:

    It’s obvious what is happening. CBS is trying to make way for another two hour comedy block and in turn ruin Person of Interest by shifting it to 10pm. CBS are pathetic if you ask me

  22. Matt says:

    The difference in ratings between CSI: NY and THE MENTALIST was not great, and since CSI: NY is the older (and thus more expensive) show, it’s in the most danger of cancellation. I think A GIFTED MAN is a goner. Both shows outrated it in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS is very happy with the ratings that UNDERCOVER BOSS is garnering at 8, so I suspect it’s going to stay put.

    Of course, all of these decisions are dependent on how pilot season shapes up. If CBS gets some good comedies and dramas out of those, MAN and CSI: NY could be gone. If not, they’ll likely hold to the schedule they’ve got going now (a new comedy at Thursday 8:30 is a given). It’s very solid across the board.

  23. stephen says:

    Thats not a bad rating in maine, they showed hockey at 7-10 so mentalist didn’t even show till 2 am

    so that hurt any ratings in maine

  24. Madeline says:

    The best show! Save a gifted man! Please renew! I really believe this show can make it big time…give it another season! (facebook.com/SaveAGiftedMan)

  25. pv says:

    I’d follow The Mentalist to Saturday mornings at 7, as long as its on.

    Still, moving it to Friday is a stupid stupid idea. It is not a Friday-night show.

    And really, why mess with something that isn’t broken. Its doing great where it is, leave it.

  26. MaryAnn says:

    Has anyone even considered the issue that “The Mentalist” is not available to watch online, and the shows it is competing against (like “Grimm” *are* available?)

    When I watch a show with a story arc, I don’t like to miss an episode, or I pretty quickly simply stop watching and wait for the DVD. Am I the only person without a DVR who makes their decisions on what to watch when it is originally telecast based on what I can later see online? For example, this past Friday, I watched “The Mentalist” as it aired since that was my only chance to see it, then watched “Grimm” online the next day.

  27. Barbara says:

    I would follow THE MENTALIST to any night but not all fans are so loyal. Friday night is “date night” so not as many people watch TV. CBS should leave TM where it is but also should promote it more. It gets high ratings in spite of not being promoted as much as THE GOOD WIFE, PERSON OF INTEREST, BLUE BLOODS, and many others. I know CBS is trying to push the newer shows but they should also keep backing the best shows and THE MENTALIST is the best show on TV.

  28. Karen Bills says:

    I watch both Fringe and Mentalist but, if I had to make a choice, it would be Fringe hands down. I lost interest in CSI:NY when Sela Ward replaced Melina Kanakaredes left the show. Nothing against Sela but her character “Jo” just doesn’t fit for me.

    I also never miss Nikita and Blue Bloods. I never thought that Friday night would become my favorite TV night but it has.

  29. christy says:

    I really liked to watch Ghost Whisper and Medium. They were both
    really good shows. They came on friday nights. They both were taken
    off the air. I dont want the same thing happing to the Mentalist.

  30. Philli says:

    I do not really care when The Mentalist is on, as long as, it is on TV. It is one of my favorite shows. The reason I love it is Simon Baker. He has a way about him that is a perfect combination. He is comedic and serious, which separates it from the other cbs dramas. I am concerned that it moved to Sundays for the sake of cancellation. However, personally, Sundays have been boring. Now, they will be interesting with three shows on at 8, 9, and 10 that I like or Love (Once Upon A Time and The Mentalist – Love) (Revenge – Like). Also, the old reliable Simpsons to record. So, I do not really care when it is on, as long as, it is still on TV.