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ABC at TCA

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THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

 

LIVE FROM THE TCA WINTER PRESS TOUR IN PASADENA

 

On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

ABC
 

Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:

ABC Wins Opposite Repeats on CBS and NBC

 

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

 

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options

 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest 

 

TV Trivia Time:

Dharma by Another Name

_______________________________________________________________________
 

On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

ABC
 

The network portion of The Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour began with ABC and a session with new ABC News president Ben Sherwood.

 

“There are three themes that are most important to me going forward for ABC,” said Sherwood. “The first is unity. I think that our organization needs to speak with one editorial voice, and the programs and platforms of ABC News need better unity and more cohesiveness in how we compete in the marketplace. The second is creativity, and I think that we can jump-start the creative process at ABC News, find
the best ideas, create the highest-quality content, and win in this marketplace where news, more than
ever, has become something of a commodity. And there’s reach: to find more audiences in more places where they want their news and when they want their news.”

 

Next up on ABC, which has announced early renewals for 2011-12 for sophomore sitcoms Modern Family, The Middle and Cougar Town; and dramas Castle, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, was an executive session for Entertainment President Paul Lee.   “My real ambition is to make the ABC studio and the ABC network a real show-runner culture,” said Lee. “I think we did a lot of development with very established, great show-runners, and we’re also looking to find those new voices that could really redefine television into the future. That combination between a potent brand and empowered show-runners can really give us a chance to succeed going forward into the future.”

 

ABC, of course, is on the map care of mega-hit Dancing with the Stars (which has still not unveiled its upcoming new cast). Ratings for sophomore The Middle are up, Castle is the real deal, and Modern Family is the both a critical favorite and an audience hit. But tent-pole series like Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy are no longer the forces they once were. News franchise 20/20 is tired. And nothing new on the network has broken out this season. 

 

Already ordered for 2011-12 is a new character driven drama from Grey’s Anatomy (and upcoming Off the Map) series creator Shonda Rhimes, and two new comedies – Man Up and Smothered. 

 

‘You’re going to see us pick up comedies and dramas and a combination of procedurals and serialized risk taking shows on different sides,” said Lee. “The ABC brand, as I see it, really combines smart with heart, and that is a really unusual combination. We don’t always live up to it.  But at its very best, we really make culturally defining, smart, big tent, inspirational television, and that’s how I see this brand and this network going forward into the future.”

 

As long as Dancing with the Stars holds up, so will ABC. But if the masses lose interest, it could be an uphill battle ahead.

 ________________________________________________________________________
 

Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:

ABC Wins Opposite Repeats on CBS and NBC

 

Monday 1/10/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.

 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

ABC   6.4/ 9
CBS    5.3/ 8
Fox     4.0/ 6
NBC   2.4/ 4
CW     0.6/ 1
 
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-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.

 
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-Yesterday’s Winners:

The Bachelor (ABC), Two and a Half Men R (CBS), Castle (ABC)

 
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Lie to Me (Fox)
 
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-Ratings Breakdown:

There was not much to report on this second Monday in January, which featured an all night of repeats on CBS, NBC and The CW. The home of The Bachelor, ABC, finished first in the overnights with a 21 percent advantage over repeat-populated CBS. Next was Fox, followed by NBC and lowly The CW.

 

Two-hours of ABC’s aforementioned The Bachelor averaged a 6.1 rating/9 share from 8-10 p.m., winning three of the four half-hours as follows:

 
The Bachelor (ABC)
8:00 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 6.0/ 8 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 6.1/ 9 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 6.5/ 9 (#1)
 

Considering how well The Bachelor still resonates among the target female audience, consider this a “winning” performance.

 

Next on ABC was just renewed Castle, which faced repeats on CBS and NBC, at a dominant 6.9/11 in the overnights at 10 p.m.

 

The standout on CBS, of course, was the encore telecast of Two and a Half Men, which won the 9 p.m. half-hour with a 7.3/10. That led into repeats of freshmen entries Mike & Molly (#2: 5.9/ 8) and Hawaii Five-O (#2: 4.7/ 7) from 9:30-11 p.m. Earlier in the evening on CBS were repeats of How I Met Your Mother (#2: 4.9/ 7) and Rules of Engagement (#2: 4.5/ 6) from 8-9 p.m.

 

Third-place Fox featured back-to-back episodes of Lie to Me, which was not picked-up for the remainder of the season, at an average 4.0/ 6 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Considering three of the competing networks were in repeats, this is worthy of being labeled a “loser.”

 

Next was NBC’s repeat line-up of Chuck (#4: 2.2/ 3) and the two-hour opener of The Cape (2.5/ 4 -- #4 from 9-10 p.m.; #3 from 10-11 p.m.), which debuted just one night earlier. And The CW capped off the evening with repeats of 90210 (#5: 0.7/ 1) and Gossip Girl (#5: 0.6/ 1), which never fare well in non-originals.

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

 
Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

 

-Showtime on Sunday:

Returning Showtime sitcom Californication opened its new season on Sunday, January 9 with 848,000 viewers at 9 p.m. ET -- 27,000 more viewers than its third-season opener (821,000). That led into the series premiere of Episodes, with a far-from-impressive 768,000 at 9:30 p.m. ET. The series-premiere of drama Shameless, meanwhile, perked up to 982,000 at 10 p.m. – Showtime’s biggest drama series premiere in seven years. Needless to say, however, Showtime is not a top-rated network. 

 

-Growing Gold Rush: Alaska on Discovery:

Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush: Alaska rose to 3.7 million viewers on Friday, January 7 at 10 p.m. ET, building by 30 percent among key adults 25-54 over the most recent original telecast (on December 17). 

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

____________________________________________________________________________
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

 

Tuesday 1/11/11

 
ABC:

 8:00 p.m. No Ordinary Family

 9:00 p.m. V

10:00 p.m. Detroit 1-8-7
 
CBS:

 8:00 p.m. NCIS

 9:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles

10:00 p.m. The Good Wife
 
NBC:

 8:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser: Couples (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Parenthood
 
Fox:

 8:00 p.m. Glee (R)

 9:00 p.m. Million Dollar Money Drop

 
CW:

 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)

 9:00 p.m. Life Unexpected (R)

_____________________________________________________________________
 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest
 

-ABC Family Renewals:

On the heels of the ABC renewals comes word that ABC Family has issued pick-ups on two current scripted series: The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Pretty Little Liars for the 2011-2012 season. The Secret Life of the American Teenager will head into season four, and Pretty Little Liars season two. 

 
-More Raising Hope:

One of the announcements at the Fox portion of the Winter Press Tour today is a second season renewal for sitcom Raising Hope. The network is expected to pick-up the freshman comedy for another 22-episodes. 

 

-Off the Map Panel:

ABC presented only one regularly scheduled series panel at TCA and it was on upcoming Shonda Rhimes medical drama Off the Map. 

 
The Premise:

Three medical residents (Caroline Dhavernas, Mamie Gummer and Enrique Murciano) decide to leave the comforts of the United States to work at a barely staffed medical clinic in a small South American town.

 

Lead-in: Cougar Town (until Jan. 26), Mr. Sunshine (beginning on Feb. 7)

 
Competition:

Blue Bloods (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

 

Who Was on the Panel:

Jonathan Castellanos, Zach Gilford, Mamie Gummer, Caroline Dhavernas, Betsy Beers, Martin Henderson, Jason George, Rachelle Lafevre and Valerie Cruz; series creator Jenna Bans and Shonda Rhimes.

 
The Scoop:

In case you did not know, Mamie Gummer is the daughter of Meryl Streep and Mamie had this to say about her two-time Oscar winning Mama:

 

“We don’t really talk shop at home. Like, you know, things that any other mother really generally would try and convey. And that includes acting. It’s not like we own a line of pizza joints and there’s like a secret ingredient in the sauce that stays with the family.”

 

On the subject of how Off the Map differs from Grey’s Anatomy, Said Jenna Bans:

 

“What strikes me the most about this show in terms of being different from other shows on TV is that these actors are embodying characters that really aren’t at the top of their game professionally or personally the way you see on Grey’s Anatomy. The doctors on Grey’s Anatomy have all these resources at their disposal and technology and have these amazing hospital careers, and these are really characters that need to start over and need to both professionally and personally, and need to really reinvent themselves.

 

In terms of the setting, it really allows us to tell stories, medically, that haven’t been told on TV. We’re in the middle of the jungle. They don’t have the technology and resources at their disposal that they have on Grey’s or Private Practice or ER, or really any other medical show that’s been on TV in the last few years, so it really allows us to sort of delve into stories that no one else can really do.”

 
The Reality:

Out of Cougar Town initially, Off the Map does have some marginal lead-in support. And competing Blue Bloods on CBS (which begins a four-week test in the time period on Jan. 19) and relocated Law & Order: SVU on NBC are going after the same audience, so there could very well be room for the very different Off the Map. Considering Shonda Rhimes is likely to drench this scripted hour with lots of steamy relationship melodrama, Off the Map could be the next guilty pleasure.

 

Chances of Survival for Off the Map (Out of a Scale of 1-1 to 10-1):

2-1
 
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-Lemonade Mouth to Premiere on Disney Channel in March:

ABC, which also featured a session on Disney Channel’s upcoming Lemonade Mouth, will debut the original made-for movie on Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. ET. Musically driven Lemonade Mouth features five students in detention who use their shared musical connection to stand up and be heard.

______________________________________________________________________
 

TV Trivia Time:

Dharma by Another Name

 

What was Dharma Finkelstein’s middle name on sitcom Dharma & Greg?

 

a)      Freedom

b)      Rain

c)      Skye

d)      Sunshine

e)      Wind

 

The answer to yesterday’s question…

 
Not Seeing Double
 

Which one of the following TV characters was not the mother of twins?

 

a)      Joan Bradford

b)      Valerie Hogan

c)      Lisa Landry

d)      Elizabeth Lubbock

e)      Sandra Huxtable Tibideaux  

 

Is: a) Joan Bradford of Eight in Enough. The eight Bradford kids were the following ages when the series started:

 

David: 23, Mary: 21, Joanie: 20, Susan: 19, Nancy: 18, Elizabeth: 15, Tommy: 14, Nicholas: 8

 
All together now…
 

There's a magic in the early morning we found,
When the sun rise smiles on everything around.
It's a portrait of the happiness that we feel and always will,
For eight is enough to fill our lives with love.

Oh we spend our days like bright and shiny new dimes.
If we're ever puzzled by the changing times.
There's a plate of homemade wishes on the kitchen window sill,
And eight is enough to fill our lives with love.

 
-Current kudos goes to:

David Ballarotto, Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Kathryn Kieser, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Charmaine Leary, Patty Lynch, Greg Phelan, Colleen Roth, Ronnie Tallant, Linda Weeks