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Idol-ignited Fox dominates
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Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings: Idol-Ignited Fox Leads; CBS’ Survivor Still an Option 

Wednesday 4/20/11


Yesterday's Winners:
American Idol (Fox), Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS), Modern Family (ABC)  

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Minute to Win It (NBC), Better With You (ABC), Cougar Town (ABC), Breaking In (Fox), America’s Next Top Model (CW), Happy Endings (ABC)



Ratings Breakdown:

Fox, of course, won this third Wednesday in April thanks to another 90-minute edition of American Idol, which scored a typically hefty 14.5 rating/23 share in the overnights from 8-9:30 p.m. The half-hour breakdown was as follows: 13.5/22 – 14.8/23 – 15.3/23. But the news of note about American Idol this morning was rocker judge Steven Tyler dropping the F-Bomb after Casey Abram’s performance. 

American Idol led into week three of sitcom Breaking In, which dipped to a second place 5.0/ 8 at 9:30 p.m. Although retention out of the 9 p.m. portion of Idol (15.3/23) was only 33 percent, Breaking In was consistent from one week earlier (three-week overnight track: 6.4/10 – 5.1/ 8 – 5.0/ 8). Had the lead-in not been American Idol, this sitcom could have a future. As it stands, the network could do better here.

Runner-up CBS kicked off the night with still viable Survivor: Redemption Island at a comfortable second place 6.5/10 in the overnights at 8 p.m.  Comparably, this was 69 percent above year-ago sitcom occupants The New Adventures of Old Christine (3.8/ 6 on April 21) and Accidentally on Purpose (3.9/ 6). 

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen Survivor yet, stop reading now. Nut-job Phillip’s meltdown last night was too over the top for this perennial fan of the franchise. Since Rob and company have the numbers, why not send him packing now? Unlike prior villains Russell Hantz, Jerri Manthey, and Parvati Shallow, to name a few, there is nothing redeeming about Phillip. Kudos to ousted Julie, meanwhile, who left with a bang by admitting she hid Phillip’s shorts.  Unfortunately, that means we have to continue to see him in his pink skivvies. 

Next on CBS was a repeat of Criminal Minds (#3: 5.3/ 8 at 9 p.m.), followed by an encore telecast of spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior at a dominant 4.5/ 8 at 10 p.m.  A repeat telecast winning the 10 p.m. hour does not bode well for the two competing episodes of ABC sitcom Happy Endings.

The Wednesday standout on ABC, of course, was demo-friendly Modern Family at a second place 6.9/10 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Comparably, that built from lead-in Better With You (#3: 3.4/ 5 at 8:30 p.m.) by a massive 103 percent. But the return of Cougar Town to the 9:30 p.m. half hour dipped to third with a 4.2/ 7 (with retention of only 61 percent out of Modern Family). And the two episodes of recently introduced sitcom Happy Endings did not have a happy ending with an average 3.3/ 6 in the overnights from 10-11 p.m. (10:00 p.m.: #2, 3.4/ 6; 10:30 p.m.: #3, 3.1/ 5). One week earlier, two episodes of Happy Endings from 9:30-10:30 p.m. averaged a 4.7/ 8. 

Earlier in the evening on ABC was sophomore The Middle at a third place 4.6/ 7 at 8 p.m.  Considering this faces both American Idol and Survivor, it could be worse.

Over at NBC, game show Minute to Win It remains lost at 8 p.m., with a very distant 2.1/ 3.  Next in Peacock land was a repeat of Minute to Win It (#4: 2.0/ 3—just what we needed, right?), followed by a repeat of Law & Order: SVU at a second place 3.6/ 6 at 10 p.m. 

The CW capped off the evening with a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (#5: 0.9/ 1) leading into an original installment of the fading reality/competition at a last place 1.4/ 2 at 9 p.m. One tear earlier, Top Model averaged a 2.6/ 4 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Looks like The CW’s once nonscripted golden goose has sprung a major leak. Why not do a male edition of the show to break up the mix next season?

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

Season High Parenthood:
As NBC continues to map out its fall 2011 schedule, the season finale of on-the-fence sophomore drama Parenthood perked up to a season-high performance just at the right time. Although Parenthood still finished third in the Tuesday 10 p.m. hour in total viewers (6.32 million), its performance among key adults 18-49 was first with a 2.5 rating/7 share. Also populating the time period was ABC’s Body of Proof (Viewers: #1, 11.37 million; A18-49: #2, 2.4/ 6), which continues to benefit out of the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show (Viewers: #1, 16.31 million; A18-49: #1, 3.0/ 8—so long Petra), and a repeat of NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS (Viewers: #2, 9.11 million; A18-49: #3, 2.1/ 6). 

What was particularly impressive about Parenthood’s performance was the full retention in the demo out of The Biggest Loser.  That said, I personally believe Parenthood will be back next season.

Speaking of Tuesday:  
Here are the results by network in total viewers and adults 18-49:

Total Viewers: CBS: 11.26 million, ABC: 10.83, Fox: 7.05, NBC: 6.52, CW: 1.30

Adults 18-49: Fox: 2.8 rating/8 share, NBC: 2.4/ 7, ABC and CBS: 2.2/ 6 each, CW: 0.6/ 2

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 4/21/11

ABC- 8:00 p.m. Wipeout (R), 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R), 10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

CBS - 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R), 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement (R), 9:00 p.m. CSI (R), 10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

NBC - 8:00 p.m. Community, 8:30 p.m. The Paul Reiser Show, 9:00 p.m. The Office, 9:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation, 10:00 p.m. 30 Rock (100th episode, one hour)

Fox - 8:00 p.m. American Idol Results Show, 9:00 p.m. Bones

CW - 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries, 9:00 p.m. Nikita


TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

Ricki Lake Plans Daytime Comeback
Twentieth Television has announced a development deal with Ricki Lake for a possible fall 2012 launch of a new daytime syndicated talk show.  The program, which will present topical conversation reflecting Lake’s personal life experiences, will be based in Los Angeles. 

"Ricki is a pop culture icon who has built a career on her candid, straight-talk sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature,” said Stephen Brown, svp of Programming & Development, Twentieth Television. “She has an enormous fan base that represents all ages and ethnicities. We are thrilled to develop a daytime talk show emphasizing Ricki’s fresh and enhanced perspective.”

It has been very fulfilling for the past seven years to focus my energy on advocacy work on behalf of families and children,” added Lake. “Now, I am excited to return to my roots and work with Twentieth Television to develop a talk show that will give me an opportunity to share my experiences and reconnect with audiences.”

Lake, of course, is no stranger to daytime. Her first talker, which aired from 1993 to 2004, introduced the landscape to an hour of chat targeted to young females. It spawned a slew of nonsuccessful imitators, including Tempestt, hosted by former Cosby kid Tempestt Bledsoe; Carnie, hosted by Carnie Wilson; and The Gabrielle Carteris Show.

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FX Sets Summer Schedule:
Cable net FX has announced the summer premiere dates for its upcoming original trio of programming. New sitcom Wilfred, with Elijah Wood and Jason Gann, will launch on Thursday, June 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, leading into season two of Louie at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Based on the critically acclaimed Australian series, Wilfred tells the tale of a quiet man who see his neighbor’s canine pet as a man dressed in a dog suit.  Drama Rescue Me, meanwhile, will return for its final season on Tuesday, July 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers Marathon on Boomerang
Boomerang, the home of classic animation, will celebrate Earth Day tomorrow with a 12-hour Captain Planet and the Planeteers marathon. Twenty-four episodes will air consecutively beginning at 8 a.m. ET.

A Kardashian Heads to Prime Time:
If you just can’t get enough of the Kardashians (I, for one, am burnt out), Khloe Kardashian Odom will appear as herself in the Monday, April 25 edition of NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles.  Khloe will play one of the clients of a murdered celebrity stylist. 

CBS Announces 2011 NFL on CBS Broadcast Schedule:
CBS, which is marking its 52nd year of coverage of the NFL, will broadcast a total of 106 games during its 17 weeks of regular season coverage of the NFL’s American Football Conference. The regular season schedule is followed by a full postseason slate, which includes an AFC Wild Card playoff game on January 8, 2012, two divisional playoff games on January 14 and 15, and the AFC Championship Game on January 22.


TV Trivia Time: Life After Knots Landing

Note: To respond to the trivia, please click HERE. Do not click Reply.

Which one of the following series did not feature an actor from long-running serial Knots Landing?

a) Beverly Hills, 90210
b) Jericho
c) Murphy Brown
d) Phenom
e) 2000 Malibu Road

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Who replaced Michael Douglas after he exited crime solver The Streets of San Francisco is 1976?

a) Edward Albert
b) Desi Arnaz Jr. 
c) Gregory Harrison
d) Richard Hatch
e) Barry Van Dyke

...is: d) Richard Hatch. And by Richard Hatch, I mean the eventual star of ABC’s Battlestar Galactica and not the current reality personality.

Current kudos go to:
John Beadle, Matthew Berriman, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Cauble, Bruce Cohen, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Patrick Dupont, Jan Frazier, George Gardner, Martha Gonzalez, Barb Hemberger, Julie Hurtwitz, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Brent McKee, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Russ Rhodes, Maxine Shulman, Mark Maxwell-Smith, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Kurt Weil