Chuck, Heroes hit ratings lows

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Remember last year when NBC touted Monday nights as "Bionic Mondays"? The network had a can't-miss evening of entertainment--at least according to the advertising--anchored by new series Chuck, the sophomore season of the smash hit Heroes, and the super revved-up Bionic Woman remake. It was the night that would help bring NBC back up from the bottom of the pile, regain some swagger, and usher in a new era.

Well, maybe not so much.

Bionic Woman was canceled after tanking with viewers and critics, Heroes redefined "sophomore slump" and then some, and Chuck, as lovable as he is, was hit hard by the writers strike. Flashing forward to this season, things don't appear to be much better for NBC's Mondays.

Heroes and Chuck hit all-time lows for ratings this past Monday (8.2 million, 4.0/9 for Heroes and 5.8 million, 2.3/8 for Chuck), according to The Hollywood Reporter, which should be a red flag for NBC. (Heroes averaged more than 11 million last season.) And before you point out that both Monday Night Football and Major League Baseball playoff games were also on that evening, it should be noted that CBS' comedy block of Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory were all up over the previous week and all outperformed Heroes.

The real shocker of NBC's Monday nights is the continuing slide of Heroes. This past Monday's episode seems to have been the last straw for many critics, who are jumping ship as if the superhero drama has "Titanic" written on its side. Says The Chicago Tribune: "That's it, Heroes, I'm done" (and that's just the headline). The New York Post: "I fear that Heroes has traveled beyond the point of redemption." And Time: "I may be on the verge of giving up on Heroes, if I haven't already given up on it somewhere deep inside."

It appears as if many Heroes faithful are doing the same. Heroes is consistently one of TV.com's top shows (it's number one again today), but seeing this precipitous drop-off for what was supposed to be the drama's rejuvenating season can't really be blamed on digital video recorders, live sports broadcasts, or a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top.

We desperately want Heroes to find its way back to season-one quality, but we're getting a bit frustrated, too. That scene where future Sylar's son dies is the most unintentionally funny bit of television in recent memory (oh little boy, we hardly knew ye). Cheese factor 10, captain. And don't get us started on Maya, the new Mohinder, and Matt Parkman's spirit trip. Where are you guys in your Heroes watching?

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