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NBC Bids Adieu to Veteran ER

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THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Thursday, April 2, 2009
 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options  

 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
 
TV Trivia Time:

Big Screen Spin-Offs

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Note: The overnight rating results for Wednesday, April 1 were not available at press time. But make sure you go to PIFeedback by approximately 12 p.m. ET for a first look at the fast affiliate results.  

 

As for American Idol, I was right on the mark this week. Megan Joy, Allison Iraheta and Anoop Desai were in the bottom three, and Megan was sent packing. But what was up with Megan’s creepy clucking? 

 
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Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-Sluggish Start for Tuesday Freshman Premieres:

ABC is reporting that the debut of romantic drama remake Cupid built on the year-ago Tuesday 10 p.m. time period average (two episodes of Just For Laughs) by 16 percent in total viewers and 35 percent among adults 18-49. But with only 7.22 million viewers and a 2.3/ 6 in the demo (third in both categories) on March 31, retention out of lead-in Dancing With the Stars (Viewers: 13.51 million; A18-49: 3.1/ 8 at 9 p.m.) of 53 percent in total viewers and 74 percent in the demo is nothing to boast about. 

 

Over at Fox, creative dud The Osbournes: Reloaded was a ratings flop, with the half-hour series launch/preview at 8.40 million viewers and a 3.7/ 9 among adults 18-49 at 9:30 p.m. While that sounds good on paper, retention out of lead-in American Idol (Viewers: 24.41 million; A18-49: 8.9/23) was a mere 34 percent in total viewers and 42 percent in the demo. Fortunately for the people who did suffer through this, Fox has yet to announce airdates for the remaining five episodes. 

 
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-Series Ender Tracks:

As a benchmark for NBC’s concluding ER tonight, here is a household rating track (in order of rating – top to bottom) for other long-running series-enders. How do you think ER will stack up? My prediction is an 11.8.

 
MASH (CBS) – Feb. 28, 1983: 60.2 rating
The Fugitive (ABC) – Aug. 29, 1967: 45.9
Cheers (NBC) – May 20, 1993: 45.5
Seinfeld (NBC) - May 14, 1998: 41.3
Magnum, P.I. (CBS) – May 1, 1988: 32.0
Friends (NBC) – May 6, 2004: 29.2
The Cosby Show (NBC) – April 30, 1992: 28.0
All in the Family (CBS) – April 8, 1979: 26.6
The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS): March 19, 1977: 25.5
Dallas (CBS) – May 3, 1991: 22.0
Home Improvement (ABC) – May 25, 1999: 21.6
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) - May 16, 2005: 20.2

The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS) – March 23, 1971: 18.1

Gunsmoke (CBS) – March 31, 1975: 15.3
Newhart (CBS) – May 21, 1990: 18.7

Hill Street Blues (NBC): May 12, 1987: 17.0

St. Elsewhere (NBC): May 25, 1988: 17.0
 
Frasier (NBC) - May 13, 2004: 16.3

L.A. Law (NBC) – May 19, 1994: 15.9

Roseanne (ABC) – May 20, 1997: 11.6
Will & Grace (NBC) - May 5, 2006: 11.5
 
Thank you for the track, Brad Adgate. 
 
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

 
Thursday 4/02/09
 
ABC:
 8:00 p.m. In the Motherhood
 8:30 p.m. Samantha Who?
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

  
CBS:

 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Tocantins

 9:00 p.m. CSI (200th episode)

10:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour (season or series finale)
 
NBC:
 8:00 p.m. ER Series Retrospective
 9:00 p.m. ER (series finale, two hours)
 
Fox:
 8:00 p.m. Bones
 9:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen
 
CW:

 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural

 
MTNV

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Beauty Show (R)

 
ER – that’s a wrap! Here is a description of tonight’s ER ender courtesy of PIFeedback.
 

ER Retrospective:
A look back at the riveting medical drama's 15 seasons, featuring interviews with cast members past and present, and clips from memorable episodes.

-ER: Series Finale "And In the End..."
In the series finale, old friends from County show up to support Carter as he opens a new medical facility for Chicago's less fortunate.  Gates, meanwhile, treats a teen suffering from alcohol poisoning as a result of a drinking game; and an intern turns to Carter for help with a woman who has gone into labor with twins. Alexis Bledel and Ernest Borgnine guest star, along with former cast members from past seasons.

 
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TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

 

-CBS Cancels The Guiding Light:

Veteran CBS daytime soap The Guiding Light, the longest running daytime drama in the history of television, will broadcast its final episode on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009. The serial debuted in a 15-minute format on NBC radio on Jan. 25, 1937 and moved to CBS (airing concurrently on broadcast and radio) beginning on June 30, 1952. The radio show ended in 1956, and The Guiding Light ultimately expanded to 30-minutes in 1967. Ten years later it became a full daily hour. CBS is considering filling the daytime hour with a new version of game show classic The $25,000 Pyramid from Sony Pictures Television and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire producer Michael Davies.

 

-More Breaking Bad:

AMC has renewed critically acclaimed drama Breaking Bad for a third season, with an unspecified number of new episodes for the 2009-10 season. At present, Breaking Bad is four episodes into its second season. 

 

-Fox Pushes Back Launch Date for Mental:

The start of new summer drama Mental, the story of a rebellious psychiatrist in a Los Angeles  mental health

hospital who uses highly radical treatment methods, has been delayed until Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET. The original start date, May 22, will now feature a repeat of House out of the returning Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

 

-It’s Official:

As rumored, comedian and sitcom star Wanda Sykes will be returning to Fox as host of a new Saturday night late night talk show beginning next fall. The weekly hour (which replaces Mad TV) will feature topical issues and panel discussions with recurring personalities. 

 

-Project Runway Heads to Lifetime:

NBC Universal has settled its lawsuit against the Weinstein Company over former Bravo occupant Project Runway, which will begin its long-delayed sixth season this summer on Lifetime. The season was supposed to begin in January, but NBCU won a preliminary injunction against the Weinstein Company for violating contract rights. According to Andrea Wong, President and CEO of Lifetime Networks:

 

“As the highest-rated cable network for women, Lifetime is the perfect home for this outstanding program as well as its companion series Models of the Runway. All of us at Lifetime are thrilled to move forward with Heidi, Tim, Nina, Michael, The Weinstein Company and the entire Project Runway team.”

 
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-Rumor Alert:

It looks like NBC’s five-year-old My Name Is Earl, which has lost considerable steam, could be facing the chopping block. But rumor has it that Fox may be interested in picking up sitcom if NBC cancels it. Considering the network has already renewed ‘Til Death, does it really need another declining comedy?

 
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TV Trivia Time:

 

Which one of the following theatrical titles did not spin-off into a TV series with the same exact name?

 

a)      Dirty Dancing

b)      Foul Play

c)      Freebie and the Bean

d)      My Big Fat Greek Wedding

e)      Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

 

The answer to yesterday’s question…

 

Which veteran daytime soap is celebrating 46 years on the air today?

 
All My Children
Days of Our Lives
General Hospital 
One Life to Live
Young and the Restless
 

Is: c) General Hospital, which premiered on April 1, 1963.

 

-Current kudos goes to:
Janice Barney, Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Annie Courtney, Grace Crawford, Arleen Fong, Karen Gardner, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Vicky Gregorian, Yvonne Graham, Bob Ingersoll, Mary Kinoshita, Synda Kollman, Debbie Mirr, Catherine Pricci, Gordon Purcell, Michael Ratliffe, Joe Rubi, Ron Salmon, Carol Teichman