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CBS Opens May Sweeps on a Winning Note

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THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER

Monday, May 3, 2010

 
Primetime Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

 

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options

 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest  
 

TV Trivia Time:

A Small Screen Favorite  

_______________________________________________________________________
 

Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

 
Friday 4/30/10

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  

 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

CBS   4.3/ 8

NBC 4.2/ 8
ABC 2.5/ 5
Fox    1.8/ 3
CW    1.3/ 2
 

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 6.52 million, NBC: 6.19, ABC: 3.84, Fox: 2.77, CW: 1.93

 

-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 1.5 rating/5 share, CBS: 1.4/ 5, ABC: 1.2/ 4, Fox: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.7/ 3

 
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Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 30 percent at this same point last year to approximately 36 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

 
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-Friday’s Winners:

Nothing
 
-On the Fence for Renewal:
Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Medium (CBS), Miami Medical (CBS)
 

-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Wife Swap (ABC), Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), 20/20 (ABC)

 
----------
 

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was another Friday of low-rated leadership, with CBS the most-watched network (at under 7-million viewers) and NBC first among adults 18-49 (with just a 1.5 rating in the demo). CBS, do doubt, has a decision to make on all three of its Friday dramas, which did not impress on this second night of the May 2010 sweeps as follows:

 
CBS/Friday

8:00 p.m. – Ghost Whisperer

Viewers: 6.52 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5 rating/6 share (#1)

 

9:00 p.m. – Medium

Viewers – 6.33 million (#1), 18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#1t)

 
10:00 p.m. – Miami Medical

Viewers: 6.72 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#3)

 

My prediction is one of these dramas will be returning next season, with freshman Miami Medical the least likely to make the grade.

 

NBC opened the evening with the season-finale of already renewed Who Do You Think You Are? (Viewers: #2, 5.21 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 5 at 8 p.m.), which lost steam as the season progressed, followed by a two-hour edition of Dateline at 6.67 million viewers and a 1.6/ 6 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown for Dateline:

 
Dateline (NBC)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.62 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#2)

9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 6.54 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#1)

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 7.10 million (#1), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#1)

10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 7.44 million (#1), A18-49: 2.0/ 7 (#1)

 

ABC finished in the distant No. 3 spot with its combination of two episodes of Wife Swap (8:00 p.m. – Viewers: #3, 3.41 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 4 -- 9 p.m. – Viewers: #3, 3.73 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 4), which is just burning off episodes at this point, and veteran 20/20 (Viewers: #3, 4.39 million; A18-49: #2, 1.4/ 5).

 

Fox filled this bland night with back-to-back repeats of House (Viewers: #4, avg. 2.77 million; A18-49: #4, avg. 0.9/ 3 from 8-10 p.m.). And The CW aired already renewed Smallville (Viewers: #5, 2.37 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 4) and a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: #5, 1.50 million; A18-49: #5, 0.6/ 2).    

 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
 
--------------------
Saturday 5/01/10

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  

 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

Fox    3.5/ 7

CBS   3.3/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
NBC 2.7/ 5
 
-Total Viewers:

Fox: 5.87 million, CBS: 4.83, ABC: 4.34, NBC: 4.09

 
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.9 rating/9 share, ABC: 1.2/ 4, NBC: 1.0/ 4, CBS: 0.9/ 3

 
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Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 30 percent at this same point last year to approximately 36 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

 
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-Saturday’s Winners:

 

-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall, as usual.

 
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-Ratings Breakdown:

There was little of note, once again, on this first Saturday in May (and third night of the May sweeps), with NASCAR Racing: The Sprint Cup, Richmond 500 on Fox at an average 5.87 million viewers and a 1.9 rating/9 share in primetime (from 8-10 p.m.). Comparably, this is similar to the regularly scheduled Cops and America’s Most Wanted. 

 

CBS finished second overall in total viewers and third among adults 18-49 with its combination of a repeat of NCIS (Viewers: #2, 3.99 million; A18-49: #4, 0.6/ 2), a repeat of The Mentalist (Viewers: #2, 5.03 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3) and an original installment of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 5.47 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 4). At the risk of depressing you, remember CBS’ classic 1972-73 Saturday night line-up of All in the Family, MASH, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and The Carol Burnett Show? Now, those were the days!

 

ABC aired repeat theatrical Meet the Fockers (Viewers: #2, 4.24 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 5 from 8-10 p.m.), a Mr. TV favorite, and a repeat of Castle (Viewers: #3, 4.53 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3 at 10 p.m.). And NBC populated the night with encore telecasts of Parenthood (Viewers: #4, 2.74 million; A18-49: #3, 0.8/ 3), Law & Order (Viewers: #4, 4.39 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 4) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 5.13 million; A18-49: #1, 1.3/ 4). Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe the networks will step up to the plate on Saturday next season, or beyond. 

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

 
-------------------------
 
Sunday 5/02/10
 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

CBS 7.5/12
ABC 6.2/10
NBC 4.7/ 8
Fox    3.4/ 5
 
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Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at PIFeedback.com by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, May 2, 2010.   

 
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-Yesterday’s Winners:

60 Minutes (CBS), The Amazing Race (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Family Guy (Fox)

 

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

‘Til Death (Fox), Dateline (NBC)
 

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-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this fourth night of the May sweeps (and first Sunday in May) with its combination of granddaddy 60 Minutes (#1: 9.9 rating/17 share), The Amazing Race 16 (#1: 7.2/12), which I personally stopped watching after Jeff and Jordan left, and the two-episode season (or series) finale of Cold Case, which averaged a 6.4/10 in each of the two hours. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown for Cold Case:

 
Cold Case (CBS)
9:00 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 6.5/10 (#2)
10:00 p.m.: 6.4/10 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 6.5/11 (#1)
 

All in all, you have to congratulate Cold Case for still generating interest after seven seasons on the air. But considering it does skew older and ratings are down year-to-year, do not expect to find it on CBS’ line-up next season. On a weaker network, maybe, but not the Eye net. 

 

ABC had a typical Sunday with its line-up of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2t: 4.1/ 7), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 5.3/ 9), Desperate Housewives (#1: 8.9/13) and Brothers & Sisters (#11, 6.4/10), which from a pure scripted quality standpoint always leads the evening. But kudos for Desperate Housewives for building up well to the upcoming season-finale on May 17. It should be interesting to see pregnant Lynette’s water break just as she realizes who evil Eddie really is.

 

NBC came in at recent Sunday overnight levels with its combination of Dateline (#2t: 4.0/ 7), game show Minute to Win It (#3: 3.9/ 6) and The Celebrity Apprentice (5.5/ 9 from 9-11 p.m.), which performed by half-hour as follows:

 

The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

9:00 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 5.1/ 8 (#3)
10:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 9 (#3)
10:30 p.m.: 6.1/10 (#2t)
 

Once “must see” reality TV, this season of Celebrity Apprentice has morphed into a true snore-fest. Joan Rivers and Annie Duke…we need you!

 

Last in the Sunday overnights, as usual, was Fox’s line-up of canceled ‘Til Death (#4: 1.3/ 2), a repeat of The Simpsons (#4: 1.7/ 3), the regularly scheduled edition of The Simpsons (#3: 4.0/ 7), The Cleveland Show (#4: 3.7/ 6), which was renewed for a second season before it even premiered, and two episodes of Family Guy (9 p.m. - #4: 5.0/ 8; 9:30 p.m., #4: 4.6/ 7), including the 150th episode. Overnight growth of 35 percent for Family Guy out of The Cleveland Show, plus an always strong performance among adults 18-49 lands this double-dose of Family Guy in the winner’s circle. 

 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
____________________________________________________________________________
 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-CBS Wins Night One of the May Sweeps:

In case anyone cares, this is the official May 2010 sweeps period. And CBS dominated night one, Thursday, April 29, in both total viewers and adults 18-49 on the strength of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (Viewers: 12.74 million; A18-49: 4.1 rating/13 share), CSI (Viewers: 13.63 million; A18-49: 3.0/ 9) and The Mentalist (Viewers: 14.84 million; A18-49: A18-49: 3.2/10). Here is the overall network averages based on the live plus same day ratings:

 
Total Viewers:

CBS: 13.74 million, ABC: 7.82, Fox: 7.41, NBC: 4.94, CW: 2.89

 
Adults 18-49:  

CBS: 3.4 rating/10 share, ABC: 2.8/ 8, NBC: 2.4/ 7, Fox: 2.3/ 7, CW: 1.3/ 4

 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
____________________________________________________________________________
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

 

Monday 5/03/10

Night 5 of the May 2010 Sweeps
 
ABC:

 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars (90-minutes)

 9:30 p.m. Romantically Challenged

10:00 p.m. Castle
 
CBS:
8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother

 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement

 9:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory

 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 
NBC:

 8:00 p.m. Chuck

 9:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order
 
Fox:

 8:00 p.m. House

 9:00 p.m. 24

 
CW:

 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl

 
_____________________________________________________________________
 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest
 

-Showtime Summer Schedule:

Showtime has announced its original programming plans for the summer. Following the season-finales of Nurse Jackie and The United States of Tara on Monday, June 7 (at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET, respectively) will be the eighth season premiere of Penn & Teller: Bullshit on Thursday, June 10 at 10 p.m. ET. Leading out of Penn & Teller is the series-premiere of The Green Room with Paul Provenza, a comedy with the comedian leading a roundtable discussion with the likes of guest stars like Roseanne, Sandra Bernhard, Bob Saget and Jonathan Winters. The first of six half-hour episodes kicks-off at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 

Next up on Showtime is a new docudrama called The Real L Word, which is inspired by the long-running Showtime series. It debuts on Sunday, June 20 at 10 p.m. with the first of nine half-hour episodes. Also new is The Big C, a dark comedy with Laura Linney as a suburban wife/mother/teacher who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. It premieres with the first of 13 half-hour episodes on Monday, August 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET, leading out of the new season of Weeds.

 

In the specials department at Showtime are the Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam (June 2), I Am Comic (June 11, 11 p.m. ET), Chris Spencer’s Minority Report (July), Kevin Pollack: The Littlest Suspect (August) and a 90-minute special chronicling legendary guitarist Jack White and his former drumming partner and wife Meg White. 

 
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-2010 Lucy-Desi Days Fan Appreciation Weekend:

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 30 for the 2010 Lucy-Desi Days Fan Appreciation Weekend in Lucy’s hometown, Jamestown, New York. Scheduled events will include a Lucy Show tribute with We Love Lucy Fan Club President Tom Watson; the Tropicana Dinner Theatre with impressionists Diane Vincent and Adrian Israel; a Tropicana Entertainment Tribute with Dann Cahn, film editor of I Love Lucy; a memorabilia auction, trivia contest and Life With Lucy Film Festival presented by Lucy’s No. 1 fan, Michael Stern; ongoing LucyTown tours; and much, much more. For more information, click on http://www.lucy-desi.com/festival/festival_info.html.

 . 
______________________________________________________________________
 

TV Trivia Time:

A Small Screen Favorite

 

Hill Street Blues, one of the most critically acclaimed series in the history of television, won a total of 25 Emmy awards. But which one of the following series stars never was awarded with one of the statuettes?

 
Michael Conrad
Veronica Hamel
Betty Thomas
Daniel J. Travanti
Bruce Weitz
 

The answer to Friday’s question…

 

Who portrayed Rachel Green’s mother on Friends?

 
Teri Garr
Melanie Griffith
Judith Light
Marlo Thomas
Brenda Vaccaro
 
Is: d) Marlo Thomas (a.k.a. That Girl). All together now…
 

So no one told you life was going to be this way.
Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.
It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

You're still in bed at ten, the work began at eight.
You've burned your breakfast, so far, things are going great.
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these,
But she didn't tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees.

That, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me.
Seems like you're the only one who knows what it's like to be me.
Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with,
Someone I'll always laugh with, even at my worst, I'm best with you.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

 

-Current kudos goes to:
Suzanne Ackley, Mary Bancroft, Janice Barney, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Lauren Bergman, Carolyn Bisson, Barbara Bloomfield, Brendon Bloomfield, Cory Chapman, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Kristin Conner, Audrey Davis, Bob Eisenstaedt, John Ferlazzo, Renee Foley, Arleen Fong, Stacy Gilbert, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gordon, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Henstchel, Shannon Herlihy, Jerry Hermes, Melissa Hodgdon, Heidi Hoffmeister, David Jackino, Kevin Jones, Deb Kainer, Kathryn Kieser, Synda Kollman, Marc Kosienski, Mark Krause, Joel Kunkel, Steven Kurtzer, Valerie Langan, Michele McAleer, Melanie Morris, Mashawn Nix, Aaron Paquette, Alan Perris, Julie Reis, Bruce Robinson, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Jay Rossi, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Greg Salerno, Julie Stowell, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Don Webb, Larry Weinstock, Kristina Wollenberg, John Wood, Jeanne Yonkers