ABC Opens New Season on a Winning Note

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Nell’s Neighbor

Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:

Massive DWTS on ABC; Mixed Freshman Openers 

Monday 9/20/10



ABC 12.7.19
CBS   8.0/12
NBC 5.4/ 8
Fox    5.1/ 7
CW    1.4/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Monday, September 21, 2009):
NBC: +46, ABC: +38, CBS: + 7, CW: no change, Fox: -44

-Yesterday’s Winners:  

Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS), The Event (NBC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

-Good Sampling:
Mike & Molly (CBS)
-Honorable Mention:

How I Met Your Mother (CBS), House (Fox)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Chuck (NBC), 90210 (CW), Lone Star (Fox), Gossip Girl (CW), Chase (NBC)


Note: The fast affiliate results for Monday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Monday, September 20, 2010.   

-Ratings Breakdown:

On your mark, get set…go. It is the official start of the 2010-11 TV season.   ABC stood well above the competing networks, with the home of Dancing With the Stars besting second-place CBS by a considerable 59 percent in the overnights. Expect the variation among adults 18-49 to be much slimmer, however. Third overall was NBC, followed by Fox and distant The CW.


The two-hour season-premiere of aforementioned Dancing With the Stars scored a whopping 15.1 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

8:00 p.m.: 14.3/21 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 15.3/22 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 15.4/22 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 15.5/22 (#1)


Comparably, this outdelivered the year-ago season-opener (11.0/16 on Sept. 21, 2009, also two hours), by an unprecedented 37 percent. Although comedian Margaret Cho, David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino hover at the bottom of the charts, each with 15 out of 30 points, deadly dull Michael Bolton (at 16 points) could be the first one to bid adieu tonight. Unless fans of Jersey Shore could not be bothered, my pick to depart is Margaret Cho, whose humor fell completely flat. As for Bristol Palin, personally I thought the judges were too kind.


With mammoth lead-in support, season three of ABC’s Castle opened with a competitive second-place 8.0/13 in the overnights at 10 p.m. Although retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars was only 52 percent, year-to-year Castle was up by 33 percent (8.0/13 vs. 6.0/10 on Sept. 21, 2009).


Over at CBS, season six of sitcom How I Met Your Mother finished third in the overnights with a 5.8/ 9 at 8 p.m. But it did built from the year-ago opener (5.3/ 8 on Sept. 21, 2009) by nine percent. And How I Met Your Mother will, no doubt, resonate among adults 18-49. Next on CBS was the season-premiere of Rules of Engagement at an also third-place 5.3/ 8 at 8:30 p.m., which was five percent below the series-premiere of failed year-ago occupant Accidentally on Purpose (5.6/ 9). Season eight of veteran Two and a Half Men perked up to a second-place 9.5/14 at 9 p.m., 14 percent above one year earlier (8.3/12), followed by the series-premiere of Mike & Molly at a 7.9/12 at 9:30 p.m. Comparably, retention for Mike & Molly out of Two and a Half Men was 83 percent. One year earlier, former 9:30 p.m. occupant The Big Bang Theory scored a 7.5/11. Since Big Bang always built out of Charlie Sheen and company among adults 18-49, let’s wait and see what the demos look like.


At 10 p.m., the series-premiere of the unusually violent Hawaii Five-O rose to a dominant 9.8/15 in the overnights at 10 p.m. Comparably, that built from lead-in Mike & Molly by 24 percent, while outdelivering the year-ago season-premiere of former occupant CSI: Miami (9.3/16 on Sept. 21, 2009) by five percent.


There was mixed news over at NBC, with the fourth season-premiere of should-have-been-axed Chuck at a fourth-place 3.8/ 6 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Despite the lack of lead-in support, highly anticipated new drama The Event rose to a third-place 7.5/11 at 9 p.m., building out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Chuck (3.7/ 5) by a whopping 103 percent. Needless to say, this was quite an improvement over year-ago occupant Heroes. The series-premiere of 10 p.m. NBC occupant Chase was not impressive, however, with a last-place 4.8/ 8 at 10 p.m. Comparably, retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Event (7.6/11) was only 63 percent and this was only a slight improvement from year-ago failed talker The Jay Leno Show (4.4/ 7 on Sept. 21, 2009). Remember that dud?


Fox also had mixed results care of the seventh season-premiere of House (#2: 7.4/11 at 8 p.m.), which dropped by 14 percent from the first-half of a two-hour installment one year earlier (8.6/14 on Sept. 21, 2009), and the series-premiere of Lone Star (#4: 2.8/ 5). Comparably, retention for dead-on-arrival Lone Star out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of House (7.5/11) was a mere 37 percent.  And it dipped by 22 percent in the second half-hour (3.2/ 5 to 2.5/ 4). Considering most new shows drop in the vicinity of 10 to 20 percent in their second weeks, tick, tock…the cancellation clock is ticking for Lone Star.


The CW closed the evening with original episodes of 90210 (#5: 1.6/ 2) and Gossip Girl (#5: 1.4/ 2), which never deliver in the overnights and are considered “losers” using that benchmark.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Week One New First-Run Strip Overnights:

Four new first-run strips debuted last week: Sony Pictures Television’s The Nate Berkus Show, CBS’ Television Distribution’s Swift Justice with Nancy Grace and the slow rollouts of Access Hollywood Live from NBC Universal and Canadian talker Steven & Chris from Program Partners. Based on the weighted overnight household ratings, Nate Berkus is off to the best start, but a 1.1 rating/4 share (which did build by 10 percent from the year-ago time period average) is nothing to crow about. Swift Justice with Nancy Grace dipped by one-tenth of a rating point (or 9 percent) from both the lead-in and September time period averages, while Access Hollywood Live dropped a noticeable 33 percent from the lead-in. In 16 markets, meanwhile, Steven & Chris is averaging a 0.1 rating, with a 0 share. Can’t spin those results!


What follows are the metered market averages for the four strips for the week of September 13 versus the lead-in and year-ago time period averages:

Week of 9/13/10

Nate Berkus (Sony Pictures Television) – 53 markets


September 2009 time period: 1.0/ 3

Lead-in average: 1.2/ 4

Nate Berkus: 1.1/ 4


Swift Justice with Nancy Grace (CBS Television Distribution) – 56 markets


September 2009 time period: 1.1/ 3

Lead-in average: 1.1/ 3

Swift Justice with Nancy Grace: 1.0/ 4


Access Hollywood Live (NBC Universal): 13 markets


September 2009 time period: 0.8/ 3

Lead-in average: 1.2/ 5

Access Hollywood Live: 0.8/ 3

Steven & Chris (Program Partners) – 16 markets


September 2009 time period: 0.3/ 1

Lead-in average: 0.2/ 1

Steven & Chris: 0.1/ 0

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Night 2 of the 2010-11 Season

 8:00 p.m.  Dancing With the Stars (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Detroit 1-8-7 (series premiere)

 8:00 p.m. NCIS (season premiere)
 9:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles (season premiere, two hours)
 8:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser (two hours)
 10:00 p.m. Parenthood
 8:00 p.m. Glee (season premiere)
 9:00 p.m. Raising Hope (series premiere)
 9:30 p.m. Running Wilde (series premiere)
 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill

 9:00 p.m. Life Unexpected

New Program Descriptions (in alphabetical order)

Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)

-The Premise:

The homicide division within a Detroit police station is the setting for this new ensemble crime drama. Former Sopranos star Michael Imperioli leads the ensemble cast.

-The Expectations:
The potentially positive news, of course, is the lead-in support from the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show. And there is every reason to believe Detroit 1-8-7 will outdeliver sophomore CBS returnee The Good Wife in adults 18-49. But older skewing The Good Wife is a lock for dominance in total viewers and NBC’s Parenthood began establishing a demographic foothold in the time period in midseason. Although adequately situated Detroit 1-8-7 has a better chance than most of the new ABC series, facing two returning series will be no easy feat.

-Chance of Survival for Detroit 1-8-7 (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1): 4-1

Raising Hope (Fox)
-The Premise:

A 25-year-old man (Lucas Neff) winds up having to raise an infant, conceived by a one-night stand, with the help of his quirky family after the baby’s mother is sent to jail. The cast includes Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Skyler Stone, Shannon Marie Woodward and Cloris Leachman as “Maw Maw.”


-The Expectations:
From a competitive standpoint, Tuesday at 9 p.m. is one of the fiercest hours in primetime with hit shows housed on The Big 3 networks. Counter-programming with comedy, Fox is hoping fans of lead-in Glee looking for laughs will stick with the network. But Fox has never aired sitcoms in the Tuesday 9 p.m. hour. Glee is not the breakout hit in the ratings that you are led to believe. And facing Dancing With the Stars, NCIS: Los Angeles and The Biggest Loser is a suicide mission. 


-Chance of Survival for Raising Hope: 10-1

Running Wilde (Fox)
-The Premise:

A rich Beverly Hills jerk (Arrested Development’s Will Arnett) falls in love with a charitable environmentalist (Felicity star Keri Russell) who can’t stand his lifestyle or values.  


-The Expectations:
Unless lead-in Raising Hope generates interest, an unlikely outcome, Running Wilde could be one of the first new cancellations of the season.


-Chance of Survival for Running Wilde: 10-1


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More The Big C and Weeds:

Showtime has renewed scripted half-hours The Big C and Weeds for 2011, with 13 new episodes ordered for recently introduced The Big C and at least 13 more for veteran Weeds. 


-GMC Acknowledged by The PTC:

The Parents Television Council (PTC), a non-profit group that supports responsible entertainment, has awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval to cable net GMC, the home of uplifting music and family entertainment. GMC is the only television network to receive the honor in 2010. For more on the PTC, click on

-Gwyneth Paltrow on Glee:

Academy Award winner Gwyneth will hop on the growing Glee bandwagon as the short-lived love interest for Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester. Paltrow will play a substitute teacher in two episodes who takes over the Glee club when Mr. Schuester is out sick. 

-Executive Shuffle:

Sandra Schron has been promoted to vice president production for USA Network, Sleuth and Universal HD. Formerly director of production on-air, Schron will continue to oversee project management and production of all promotional materials created for on-air promotion, off-air advertising, online and consumer promotions for USA Network, with the added responsibility of Sleuth and Universal HD.


TV Trivia Time:

Nell’s Neighbor

Who played Nell’s neighbor in the final season of sitcom Gimme a Break?

a)      Kaye Ballard
b)      Kathy Griffin
c)      Audrey Meadows
d)      Anne Meara
e)      Rosie O’Donnell
The answer to yesterday’s question:

 Excluding Secret Millionaire on ABC, which briefly aired on Fox, how many new network series will be debuting this fall?

a)      20
b)      22
c)      23
d)      24
e)      26

Is:  c) 23. And the series are (in alphabetical order):


Better with You (ABC), Blue Bloods (CBS), Body of Proof (ABC), Chase (NBC), The Defenders (CBS), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC), The Event (NBC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS), Hellcats (CW), Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC), Lonestar (Fox), Mike & Molly (CBS), My Generation (ABC), Nikita (CW), No Ordinary Family (ABC), Outlaw (NBC), Outsourced (NBC), Raising Hope (Fox), Running Wilde (Fox), School Pride (NBC), $#*! My Dad Says (CBS), Undercovers (NBC), The Whole Generation (ABC)


-Current kudos goes to:
Larry Collins, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Howard Lieboff, Bill Nuss, Lynette Stewart