On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, May 14, 2009):
CW: +15, CBS and Fox: + 9 each, Fox: + 6, ABC: -22
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Mentalist (CBS), Private Practice (ABC)
-Down but Not Out:
Bones (Fox), The Office (NBC)
Flashforward (ABC), Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), The Marriage Ref (NBC)
CBS led the overnights on this second Thursday in May (and 15th night of the May sweeps), with a 37 percent advantage over No. 2 ABC. But it was not a clean sweep in every half-hour. Third overall was Fox, followed by NBC and The CW.
CBS’ red-hot Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, which concludes with a two-hour installment on Sunday (following by the live reunion show at 10 p.m.), opened with an above-average (and very dominant) 8.1/13 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that outdelivered the year-ago edition set in Tocantins (6.3/11 on May 14, 2009) by 29 percent.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen last night’s edition of Survivor yet, stop reading now. Needless to say, it was no surprise to see Rupert get voted off. But slacker Colby, who blew two challenges and verbally abused his brother on camera, is no longer the ultimate Survivor hero. While I can understand at this point why anyone would want to compete opposite Russell in the final two (who would even vote for him?), heading to the season-finale with five contestants is unusual. My picks for the top two are Parvati and Sandra, with Sandra winning the cool million. At least I personally hope Parvati does not win.
Next on CBS was deteriorating CSI, which finished second behind Grey’s Anatomy on ABC with an 8.4/13 in the overnights at 9 p.m., followed by The Mentalist at a dominant 10.0/16 at 10 p.m. Comparably, The Mentalist was the highest-rated show of the evening in the overnights. When CBS unveils its 2010-11 line-up next Wednesday, there is no reason to believe CSI will remain at Thursday at 9 p.m.
ABC opened the night with lackluster FlashForward (#3: 3.8/ 6 at 8 p.m.), which is not expected back next season, followed by aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy (#1: 8.5/13) and the season-finale of Private Practice (#2: 7.1/12) from 9-11 p.m. Given its above-average performance, look for Private Practice to win the 10 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.
Fox underrated Bones was on the 8 p.m. map with a comfortable (and second-place) 6.5/11 in the overnights, followed by part one of sophomore Fringe at a fourth-place 4.1/ 7 at 9 p.m. As I say every week, the variation between Bones and Fringe adults 18-49 will not be as severe as the overnights.
NBC had nothing unusual to report with its combination of Community (#4: 3.3/ 6), Parks and Recreation (#4: 3.2/ 5), The Office (#3: 4.9/ 8), 30 Rock (#4: 3.9/ 6) and recently introduced The Marriage Ref (#3: 3.1/ 5), which has gone from promising to not really worthy of its second season renewal. While Bette Midler can do no wrong in my book, Howie Mandel brought nothing new to The Marriage Ref last night. The Office, as always, was the standout, with growth out of Parks and Recreation of a hefty 53 percent in the overnights.
The CW capped off the evening with the season-finales of already renewed dramas The Vampire Diaries (#5: 2.5/ 4) and Supernatural (#5: 2.0/ 3). My prediction is Supernatural will head to Friday at 9 p.m. next season out of veteran Smallville.
Despite facing Fox’s American Idol, hit ABC sitcom Modern Family rose to its most-watched telecast (10.34 million) on May 12 since its series-premiere in September, with a new series-high among adults 18-49 (4.3 rating/12 share). Compared to lead-in The Middle (Viewers: 7.49 million; A18-49: 2.4/ 7 at 8:30 p.m.), Modern Family built by 2.85 million viewers and 79 percent in the demo.
Here are the live plus same day results by network. ABC’s below-average performance is a result of week three of hiatus-bound Happy Town (Viewers: 3.04 million; A18-49: 1.1/ 3 at 10 p.m.).
Fox: 12.39 million, CBS: 10.36, NBC: 6.48, ABC: 5.98, CW: 3.77
Fox: 4.0 rating/12 share, CBS: 2.6/ 7, ABC: 2.2/ 6, NBC: 2.0/ 6, CW: 1.7/ 5
On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
9:00 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?
8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer
9:00 p.m. Medium
10:00 p.m. Miami Medical
8:00 p.m. Friday Night Nights
9:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)
8:00 p.m. House (R)
9:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares
8:00 p.m. Smallville (season finale)
9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)
10:00 p.m. Castle (R)
8:00 p.m. Movie: The Bourne Ultimatum (R)
8:00 p.m. Parenthood (R)
9:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)
8:00 p.m. Cops
9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (season finale)
8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (season finale)
10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters (season finale)
7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (season finale, two hours)
10:00 p.m. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Reunion
7:00 p.m. The 58th Annual Miss USA Pageant
9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice
7:00 p.m. ‘Til Death
7:30 p.m. The Simpsons (R)
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. American Dad (season finale)
Notes of Interest
-NBC’s Law & Order in Limbo:
Rumors are circulating that NBC’s veteran Law & Order, which debuted on Sept. 13, 1990 and is now tied with Gunsmoke as the longest running scripted drama in the history of television, has been canceled. But NBC, which officially announces its 2010-11 programming plans on Monday, remains mum on the subject. Law & Order: SVU has been renewed, Law & Order: Criminal Intent remains a staple on USA, and a new spin-off, set in Los Angeles, is vying for a spot on the fall schedule.
-Chuck and V Snag Renewals:
As the networks continue to map out their plans for next season, two “bubble” dramas, ABC’s V and NBC’s Chuck, will continue next season. Thirteen new episodes of each series are expected for 2010-11.
-ABC New Series Pick-Ups:
ABC has announced six new series pick-ups in addition to drama No Ordinary Family, which was confirmed yesterday. The new shows are comedies Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings and Being Together; and dramas Generation Y, 187 Detroit and The Whole Truth. On Mr. Sunshine, former Friends star Matthew Perry plays the manager of a local sports stadium in San Diego who realizes on his 40th birthday that he cannot just get by on his charming, funny, noncommittal ways anymore. Happy Endings focuses on a group of friends who face the breakout of one of the couples. And Better Together features two couples from two different generations who have very different outlooks on love.
On the drama front, Generation Y focuses a group of former high school students in Austin, Texas who return home after 10 years. 187 Detroit, headlined by former Sopranos star Michael Imperioli, takes a documentary style look at the homicide division within a Detroit police station. And The Whole Truth from Jerry Bruckheimer is a legal themed hour that gives equal time to the prosecution and defense attorney’s work on the same cases.
-CBS Orders New Comedy Mike & Molly:
CBS has given a 13-episode order to new Chuck Lorre multi-camera sitcom Mike & Molly, which features a couple (Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell) who meet in a support group for overeaters.
-Glory Daze on TBS:
TBS has picked up a one-hour comedy for next season called Glory Daze, which will center on a group of friends who are trying to navigate college life in 1980s Wisconsin. Eight episodes have been ordered for a late 2010 premiere.
-More Four Weddings:
TLC has renewed non-scripted series Four Weddings for a second season, with an order for eight new hour-long episodes to begin airing in September.
-Upcoming on ABC Family:
ABC Family will launch its new scripted series, relationship drama Huge, on Monday, June 28 at 9 p.m. ET. Huge focuses on seven teenagers from different backgrounds who attend a weight loss camp and deal with various issues including friendship, romance, rivalry and self-esteem. Hairspray’s Nikki Blonsky stars.
-Telemundo Announces 2010-11 Programming Initiatives:
Telemundo has unveiled its programming plans for next season, which will include new telenovelas El Fantasma de Elena (Elena’s Ghost), Casanova Sin Amor (Loveless Casanova), A Corazon Abierto (An Open Heart) and La Reina del Sur (The Queen of the South). Upcoming on mun2 are From Beyond, a documentary series that follows a team of paranormal investigators within the Latino and urban communities; and Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C, which will focus on the lives of three young and ambitious Latinas. The network has also announced the first-ever joint venture between mun2 and the Telemundo Communications Group.
What was the name of the dog on sitcom Mad About You?
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Which one of the following sitcoms did not feature a former cast member from Saturday Night Live?
a) According to Jim
b) The Jamie Foxx Show
c) Kath & Kim
d) Modern Men
Is: d) Modern Men, which starred Jane Seymour and aired on The WB briefly in the spring of 2006. As for the others:
-Current kudos goes to:
Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, John Ferlazzo, Maya Garner, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Greg Janover, Synda Kollman, Patty Lynch, Lisa Menin, Michael Murphy, Colleen Roth, David Ruckman, Mary Ryan, Neal Sabin, Ron Salmon, Jeff Stuewe, Ronnie Tallant