WARNING: The following seemingly dull blog on stats ends with a "Bwah-ha-ha!" Keep reading through the seemingly dull numbers part to find out why. Thanks. Sorry to interrupt your blog-reading.
Sometimes, one has to run the numbers to get a proper perspective.
On Thursday night, November 15, 10.7 million viewers watched Elementary on CBS. The network's viewership started at 17.4 million with the very popular comedy The Big Bang Theory, then declined as the evening went on. CBS had, what is considered by the networks, to be a very good night for television.
The population of the United States of America on that same evening was roughly 314.8 million. Which means that even though Elementary, warts and all, is reaching more people with its "Sherlock Holmes" than almost any other pastiche, it's still hitting only about three percent of the population. And that's just in its country of origin. The numbers are probably less elsewhere.
But here's where it gets interesting: Last year's Super Bowl brought in ten times as many viewers with a record 111.3 million in its audience on NBC. And when that show was done, an average of 37.6 million of those people left their televisions set to NBC to watch The Voice, the show that came on after it.
Elementary, the lucky winner of this year's post-Super Bowl time slot, stands a chance at tripling its viewership on that single night, without any other efforts to promote the show. Of course, you know that CBS is not going to let the slot alone do the work. We're probably going to hear the name "Sherlock Holmes" mentioned multiple times in a Super Bowl telecast for the very first time. Is that enough to make a Sherlockian who usually disdains football watch the big game? Probably not. But when the game is over . . . ah! When the game is over . . .
As I've mentioned in this blog before, the night of Sunday, February 3, 2013 is going to be a big opportunity for fans of Sherlock Holmes. Once the Super Bowl is over and Elementary comes on, being on Twitter and tweeting with the hashtag "#Elementary" is going to get your Sherlock-related tweets seen by a bigger audience than any other time on Twitter. The universe has handed Sherlock Holmes fans a megaphone, and it would be a shame not to use it.
As most folks who read this blog know, personally, I think it's a megaphone to be used to point out the differences between Mr. Elementary, as I like to call Jonny Lee Miller's character, and Sherlock Holmes as we know him. But that's not your only option. If you think Mary Russell was a better female partner for Sherlock Holmes than Joan Watson, she could be the focus of your tweets. If you think Basil Rathbone had the kind of class Miller is going to have to work a little harder to achieve, you can go on a Rathbone-loving rampage. And if you truly, truly love this little TV show they call Elementary, as some very special Sherlock Holmes fans seem to do, here is your time to point out to the world exactly what makes Mr. Elementary the Holmes of your TV dreams.
I dare you.
Yes, you heard me, Elementary fans, I dare you. Show me, real time, what I'm missing about the most awful Sherlock Holmes of the modern era. (And yes, I'm including that guy that fought robots and dinosaurs. Don't know if even I believe Miller is worse than that, but I'm taunting here!) You surely aren't going to let some cad like me turn Elementary live-tweeting that night into something akin to the snarky tweet-storm that took place during Lindsay Lohan's Liz and Dick this past Sunday night, are you? Because NFL teams aren't going to be the only ones training for that night!
If you don't understand the Twitter thing, you still have two months to figure it out, hashtags and all, and if you're smart enough to love Sherlock Holmes outside of a CBS police procedural, you're certainly smart enough by half to use Twitter.
But with that said, are you smart enough to foil a master plan by some deranged anti-Elementary blogger to alter the new-viewer public perception of your favorite fall show? (Come now, it is your favorite, isn't it? Don't lie, now.) Because the hour of Sherlock is coming, my friends. It's coming.
BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!! (See you Thursday.)