American Idol Down but Still Totally Dominant


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Dominant American Idol Still Packs a Punch


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 10, 2011


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 Real Square

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Dominant American Idol Still Packs a Punch


Wednesday 1/19/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.



Fox   16.4/24
CBS    6.5/10
ABC   5.1/ 8
NBC   3.6/ 6
CW     0.7/ 1

-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
The Middle (ABC)
-Yesterday’s Losers:

Live to Dance (CBS), Minute to Win It (NBC),  Better with You (ABC), Chase (NBC), Cougar Town (ABC), Off the Map (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox, no doubt, can breathe a huge sigh of relief given the still stellar performance for American Idol without Simon Cowell. Although Idol did dip by 11 percent compared to one year earlier, the 10th season-premiere of the reality/competition with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler averaged a considerable 16.4 rating/24 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

American Idol (Fox)
8:00 p.m.: 15.0/23 (#1)
8:30 p.m.: 16.5/25 (#1)
9:00 p.m.: 16.9/25 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 17.0/25 (#1)

Excluding the 9 p.m. half-hour, American Idol beat the four competing networks combined. One year earlier, Idol averaged an 18.4/27 in the overnights on January 20, 2010. As for Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, time will tell if the tune-in was just initial curiosity. My guess is Idol will still lead the charts, but at levels 15-20 percent below one year earlier. 


Opposite American Idol, Paula Abdul and company on CBS’ Live to Dance took a hit, with a third-place 3.7/ 6 in the overnights at 8 p.m. But lead-out Criminal Minds at 9 p.m. perked up to a second-place 8.0/12, followed by the 10 p.m. time period test of Blue Bloods at an almost duplicate (and dominant) 7.9/13 at 10 p.m. Needless to say, this was quite an improvement from former time period occupant The Defenders (which moves into the Friday 8 p.m. hour on February 4). Expect Blue Bloods to end up a permanent occupant on Wednesday. 


Despite facing American Idol, ABC’s sitcom rotation was at typical overnight levels as follows:

Tuesday 8 p.m.
8:00 p.m. – The Middle: 5.8/ 9 (#2)
8:30 p.m. – Better with You: 4.3/ 6 (#2)

9:00 p.m. – Modern Family: 8.0/12 (#2)

9:30 p.m. – Cougar Town: 4.2/ 6 (#3)


The positive news for fans of Cougar Town, of course, was the early renewal for 2011-12. But retention of just 52 percent out of Modern Family clearly makes it a “loser.” Don’t forget that Matthew Perry sitcom Mr. Sunshine steps into the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time period on February 9. Retention for Better with You out of The Middle, meanwhile, was also disappointing at just 74 percent.


In week two news, ABC drama Off the Map, which is nothing more than a diluted Grey’s Anatomy set in the jungle, finished third with a lackluster 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. Compared to one week earlier (5.5/ 9 on Jan. 12), that was a loss of a hefty 24 percent.


Over at NBC, the news was bleak with game show Minute to Minute (#4: 2.9/ 5 at 8 p.m.) leading into the time period premiere of relocated crime solver Chase at a mere 2.8/ 4 at 9 p.m. (#4). Regarding Chase, tick, tock…the cancellation clock is now officially ticking. At 10 p.m., NBC’s veteran Law & Order: SVU perked up to a second-place 5.1/ 9.


The CW capped off the evening with repeats of Nikita (#5: 1.0/ 2) and Hellcats (#5: 0.5/ 1). 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Week of January 10, 2011

Leadership was split in this second full week of 2011. CBS finished first in households and total viewers, while the home of Green Bay at Atlanta on The NBA Playoff, Fox, was No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.  Despite the mammoth 30.82 million viewers for the football match-up, Fox was still down year-to-year because opening season levels for American Idol were included in 2010. CBS lost considerable steam, meanwhile, because of the 30.57 million viewers who tuned in for Baltimore at Indianapolis on the AFC Divisional Playoff on Saturday, January 16, 2010. But the Eye net has now been the most-watched for 15 of the last 17 weeks.


Elsewhere, ABC finished third across-the-board, with growth of as much as 13 percent in total viewers. NBC was fourth, dipping by margins of 11 to 16 percent. And perennial cellar-dweller The CW was on the plus side, with gains of 14 to 32 percent.


In series-premiere news, ABC drama Off the Map got off to a disappointing start, with 7.57 million viewers (#29 overall) and a 2.3 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 (#26t) in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour (which was the same night President Obama addressed the nation on the tragedy in Tucson, so viewing patterns were atypical).


In specials news, The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC was on the Sunday 8-11 p.m. map, ranking fifth for the week in total viewers (17.00 million) and second (behind The NFC Playoff on Fox) in adults 18-49, with a 5.2/14 in the demo. 


What follows are the live plus same day ratings for the week of January 10, 2011 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the top 30 rated programs for the week, and the top rated networks on basic cable.  


CBS: 7.2 rating/12 share (-26), Fox: 5.9/ 9 (-16), ABC: 4.5/ 7 (+10), NBC: 3.9/ 6 (-15), CW: 0.8/ 1 (+14)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.90 million (-27), Fox: 10.32 (-16), ABC: 7.29 (+13), NBC: 6.36 (-13), CW: 1.32 (+32)

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.7 rating/10 share (-18), CBS: 2.9/ 8 (-38), ABC: 2.1/ 6 (no change), NBC: 2.0/ 5 (-13), CW: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 4.2/10 (-18), CBS: 3.8/10 (-36), ABC: 2.6/ 7 (+ 4), NBC: 2.4/ 6 (-11), CW: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

-Adults 18-34:  

Fox: 3.1/10 (-18), CBS: 2.0/ 6 (-41), ABC: 1.7/ 5 (- 6), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (-16), CW: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

NFC Playoff: Green Bay at Atlanta (Fox): 30.82 million, NCIS (CBS): 21.93, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 18.13, 60 Minutes (CBS): 17.40, The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 17.00, Undercover Boss (CBS): 13.79, The Good Wife (CBS): 12.29, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 12.15, Modern Family (ABC): 11.12, CSI: Miami (CBS): 10.91, Wipeout (ABC): 10.64, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 10.42, The Mentalist (CBS): 10.32, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 10.27, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 10.25, $#*! My Dad Says (CBS): 10.14, The Middle (ABC): 10.09, CSI R (CBS): 9.71, CSI: NY (CBS): 9.56, Modern Family R (ABC): 9.26, Castle (ABC): 9.05, The Middle R (ABC): 8.85, The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC): 8.79, Mike & Molly R (CBS): 8.59, The Bachelor (ABC): 8.46, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 8.39, The Mentalist R (CBS, Fri. 10 p.m.): 8.07, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 7.92, Off the Map (ABC, series premiere): 7.57, How I Met Your Mother R (CBS): 7.29


 -Adults 18-49:

NFC Playoff: Green Bay at Atlanta (Fox): 11.2 rating/32 share, The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 5.2/14, NCIS (CBS): 4.5/12, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 4.3/12, Modern Family (ABC): 4.2/11, 60 Minutes (CBS): 4.0/10, Wipeout (ABC): 3.7/11, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 3.7/10, Family Guy (Fox): 3.7/ 9, Modern Family R (ABC): 3.4/ 9, Undercover Boss (CBS): 3.4/ 8, The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC): 3.2/ 8, The Simpsons (Fox) and Desperate Housewives (ABC): 3.1/ 8 each, The Middle (ABC) and The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 3.0/ 9 each, $#*! My Dad Says (CBS): 2.9/ 8, The Bachelor (ABC): 2.8/ 7, The Middle R (ABC): 2.7/ 8, The Cleveland Show (Fox): 2.7/ 7, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 2.5/ 7, Bob’s Burgers (Fox): 2.5/ 6, CSI: Miami (CBS): 2.4/ 7, How I Met Your Mother R (CBS) and Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 2.4/ 6 each, The Good Wife (CBS) and Off the Map (ABC, series premiere); 2.3/ 6 each, Parenthood (NBC): 2.2/ 6, Castle (ABC): 2.1/ 5, Rules of Engagement (CBS), Mike & Molly (CBS): Brothers & Sisters (ABC), CSI R (CBS), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 2.0/ 5 each


What follows are the top 10 rated networks on cable in prime-time for the week of January 10 based on total viewers and the three key demos.  

-Total Viewers:

ESPN: 4.63 million, Disney Channel: 3.07, USA: 2.72, FX: 2.07, TNT: 2.06, Fox News: 1.96, A&E: 1.91, History: 1.74, TBS: 1.73, Nick at Nite: 1.64

-Adults 18-49:

ESPN: 2.20 million, FX: 1.11 million, A&E, USA and TBS: 1.01 million each, TNT: 980,000, MTV: 916,000, History: 795,000, Bravo: 704,000, BET: 680,000

-Adults 25-54:

ESPN: 2.12 million, USA: 1.09 million, FX: 1.05 million, A&E: 1.04 million, TNT: 966,000, History and TBS: 884,000 each, Syfy: 702,000, Bravo: 694,000, Discovery: 690,000

-Adults 18-34:   

ESPN: 1.14 million, MTV: 735,000, TBS: 557,000, FX: 538,000, A&E: 463,000, USA: 459,000, BET: 413,000, Comedy Central: 398,000, Disney Channel: 359,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat; t = tie)

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of Jan. 3:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) for the week of January 3 based on AA (average audience) households:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.8 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.4, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 6.2, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.7, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.3, Oprah (CBS): 4.2, Family Guy (Twentieth): 4.1, Two and a Half Men – Weekend B (Warner Bros.): 3.2, Inside Edition (CBS), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS), My Wife and Kids (Disney-ABC) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.0 each. Law & Order: Criminal Intent – Weekend (NBC Universal) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend A (Warner Bros.): 2.9 each, Dr. Phil (CBS) and Live with Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.8 each, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 2.7, Dr. Oz (SPT), How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth), Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS) and Without a Trace (Warner Bros.): 2.5 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Thursday 1/20/11


 8:00 p.m. Wipeout

 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory

 8:30 p.m. $#*! My Dad Says

 9:00 p.m. CSI

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist

 8:00 p.m. Community

 8:30 p.m. Perfect Couples (series premiere)

 9:00 p.m. The Office

 9:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation (season premiere)

10:00 p.m. 30 Rock (new time)
10:30 p.m. Outsourced (new time)

 8:00 p.m. American Idol (time period premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Bones (new time)


 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)

 9:00 p.m. Nikita (R)

New Program Descriptions:
Perfect Couples (NBC)

Three very different couples struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship and how to maintain it despite the many inherent obstacles. Kyle Bornheimer, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Hayes MacArthur, Olivia Munn, Nicolette Robinson, David Walton, Christine Woods star.

The Scoop:

Here is what executive producer Scott Silveri had to say about Perfect Couples at the recently concluded Winter Press Tour:


“In a show like this that deals with relationships — we’ve seen shows that are in this arena before — it really comes down to is who these characters are and how they interact. And we’re really excited about these guys and the characters we’ve created, the people we’re lucky enough to have playing them, and their dynamics.”

The Reality:

That’s right…yet another new comedy about a group of good looking young people looking for…yawn…a good relationship. With minimal lead-in support from sophomore Community and opposite relocated American Idol, Perfect Couples (which already previewed to abysmal results on Monday, December 20) will not look so perfect when the ratings come in.


Chances of Survival for Perfect Couples (Out of a Scale of 1-1 to 10-1):


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-USA Orders Two More Scripted Series:

The house of scripted hits, USA, has picked-up two more original dramas: A Legal Mind and Necessary Roughness. A Legal Mind tells the tale of one of Manhattan’s top corporate lawyers (Gabriel Macht) who hires a brilliant but unmotivated college drop-out (Patrick J. Adams) as his associate. Necessary Roughness focuses on a tough, sexy Long Island divorcee (Callie Thorne) with two teenage daughters who lands a job as a therapist for a professional football team. Each series will debut with a 90-minute premiere, followed by 11 one-hour episodes. 


-CTD Announces More Clearances for Excused:

Excused, the upcoming first-run dating/relationship half-hour from CBS Television Distribution, has been cleared in approximately 50 percent of the country. Represented station groups include affiliates from the CBS and Fox Television Stations, Cox Enterprises, Griffin Communications, Local TV Holdings, Meredith Corp., New Age Media, Post-Newsweek Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Sun Broadcasting, Tribune Broadcasting and Weigel Broadcasting. Hosted by season six Last Comic Standing winner Iliza Shlesinger, Excused will feature two single women and four single men (or vice versa) who are whittled down to a final winning couple.  

-Michael Clarke Duncan Cast in Bones Spin-Off:

Michael Clarke Duncan, the Academy Award nominee from The Green Mile in 1999, has been cast in the proposed Bones spin-off, which is based on the series of Locator books. Duncan’s character is described as a tough cowboy philosopher and the pilot will be featured in a spring episode of Bones. 


TV Trivia Time:

A Real Square

Who was the first center square on game show The Hollywood Squares in 1966?


a)      Ernest Borgnine

b)      Sid Caesar

c)      Jerry Lewis

d)      Paul Lynde

e)      Rose Marie


The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following truly bad sitcoms stayed on the air the longest?

a)      Camp Wilder

b)      Hello Larry

c)      Mr. T and Tina

d)      My Mother the Car

e)      Run Buddy Run


Is: b) Hello Larry, the McLean Stevenson clinker (and Diff’rent Strokes spin-off) that aired on NBC from January 26, 1979 to April 30, 1980. As for the others:


-Camp Wilder (ABC): 9/18/92 – 2/26/93

-Mr. T and Tina (ABC): 9/25/76 – 10/30/76
-My Mother the Car (NBC): 9/14/65 – 9/06/66
-Run Buddy Run (CBS): 9/12/66 – 1/02/67
Does anyone even remember Run Buddy Run? All together now…

Well, Hello Larry (Hello Larry)
You talk to people all day for a living (Hello Larry)
But all those easy answers you are giving..
Are you really living your life that way?
Portland is a long way from L.A. (A long way)

Hello Larry (Hello Larry)
Two kids to raise alone just ain’t that easy (Hello Larry)
The questions they are asking aren’t that breezy
The answers you are giving don’t always pay
But that’s the way it is with kids today

The calls are comin’ in
You better start to grin
‘Cos you never know just what they’re gonna say
(Hello Larry) Hello Larry
(Hello Larry) Hello Larry
(Hello Larry) Well Hello Larry!

-Current kudos goes to:

Janice Barney, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll (2x), David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, Steve Kurtzer, Charmaine Leary, Michael Murphy, Nick Rice, Michelle Stanton