Saturday, January 17, 2009

We'll Miss You Gil...George, Not So Much

It's interesting to think that Gil Grissom has been with us almost precisely as long as President Bush has been in office. Grissom (and CSI) first appeared on CBS on October 6, 2000. The 2000 election took place the following month (although, of course, it took a bit longer for us to know who would be in charge of the country).

Based on the ratings for last night's CSI (in which Grissom bade his farewell), the US is much more interested in seeing him say goodbye than we are President Bush.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Thursday's ratings were marked by the twin farewells of President Bush and Gil Grissom, with the president's departure drawing fairly average viewership and William Petersen's final episode of "CSI" attracting potentially season-high crowds.

William Petersen's final episode as a regular cast member of “CSI” was seen by 24.3 million viewers -- the series' largest audience since the show's 2007 premiere. "CSI" received a 6.6 adults 18-49 rating and a 16 share. “Eleventh Hour” (13.2 million, 3.4/9) also performed well, its second-largest audience of the season.

Bush’s live address totaled a 20.9 metered-market household rating across four networks, which is in the rough ballpark of 25-33 million viewers and doesn't count cable news coverage.

The speech had to compete with news coverage of the US Airways crash, which seemed like an oddly appropriate bookend to his presidency (a sort of inverse Sept. 11, with another commercial aircraft crashing in New York City, only this time the event concluded wonderfully)."

It is fairly stunning to consider not only what has happened in the world, the country (and even the show) during this time, but also on "television" more generally. And intriguing that our new president and new CSI leader both start in earnest next week.

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