One source is telling us that the audiences did not return after the strike, judging from how the ratings on Monday’s returning sitcoms were steeply down from a year ago. Another source claims that the audience is returning in droves, since Monday’s returning sitcoms had their best ratings of the season.
Well, I watched most of those returning sitcoms. And the main thing that I have to say is — awww, that was the worst episode of the often-excellent How I Met Your Mother to date… and I suspect the writer’s strike is to blame. (SPOILERS AHEAD) The show focused on Ted acting like an ass in totally out-of character fashion, so that he could have a revelation that he’s been acting like an ass and thus start to turn his life around. This all might have made some sense if he spent several episodes spiraling downward or something, and perhaps that was the plan before the strike shortened the season. But even if we accept his actions of the episode, the lesson would be “don’t act like you did last night”, which would mean, well, acting the way he acts when in character. Painful all along the way. Ah, well. I suspect they’re getting ready to possibly tie the series up this season with the titular event, if they don’t get picked up (which is not a definite thing either way, although I suspect the killing of pilot season will make a pick-up more likely.)