American Idol Leads Fox to More Tuesday Victory

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday 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:

Visiting Donna Reed

American Idol Leads Fox to More Victory
Tuesday 2/03/09


Fox   11.0/17
CBS    8.8/14
NBC   6.1/10
ABC   3.6/ 6

CW    1.6/ 2


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


Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET (if there are no further delays). Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS R (CBS), The Mentalist R (CBS), Without a Trace (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)

-Expected Dominance Among Adults 18-49:

Fringe (Fox), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Homeland Security USA (ABC), 90210 (CW), Scrubs (ABC), Privileged (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

With American Idol on board there is no stopping Fox, which bested second-place CBS by 2.2 overnight rating points on this first Tuesday in February. Fox’s advantage among adults 18-49 will, of course, be much greater once the fast affiliate results are released. Third overall in the metered markets was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW.


The first night in Hollywood on American Idol opened the evening with a 14.0 rating/21 share in the overnights. But a repeat of CBS blockbuster NCIS was still on the board with an 8.7/13. Next was the first half of NBC’s two-hour The Biggest Loser (5.0/ 7), followed by ABC dud Homeland Security USA (3.7/ 6) and 90210 on the CW (1.8/ 3). As reported yesterday, 90210 will be moving to Tuesday at 9 p.m. on March 3, leading out of the returning Reaper. Good luck opposite American Idol, Reaper!


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of a repeat of breakout hit The Mentalist, which scored a 9.4/14. That’s pretty darn amazing, isn’t it? Next was Fox’s Fringe (8.1/12), which held only 55 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (14.7/22) but is still poised for victory among adults 18-49. Third was the second half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (6.7/11), followed by two more episodes of ABC’s Scrubs (avg. 3.1/ 5), and the CW’s soon-to-depart Privileged (1.4/ 2). 


Considering The Biggest Loser always generates large interest among adults 18-49, the average 5.8/ 9 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. is worthy of “honorable mention.” Take a look at the half hour breakdown:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m. 4.9/ 8 (#3)
8:30 p.m. 5.0/ 7 (#3)
9:00 p.m. 6.4/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m. 7.0/11 (#3)

As for CBS’ The Mentalist, you can consider this drama the biggest new hit series since Desperate Housewives and Lost. 


Moving ahead, CBS’ Without a Trace won the 10 p.m. hour in the overnights, with an 8.4/14. But NBC’s second-place Law & Order: SVU (6.8/11) is still expected to dominate among adults 18-49. Had the year-to-year erosion not been as steep as it is (double-digits), SVU would also be labeled a “winner.”


Third at 10 p.m. was ABC newsmagazine, Primetime: What Would You Do? at a 4.0/ 7. But worth noting was growth out of Scrubs of 29 percent. Why ABC needed Scrubs is beyond me!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Week of January 26, 2009


It was a clean sweep for NBC, which was home of the top-rated Arizona vs. Pittsburgh match-up on Super Bowl XVIII on Sunday. Ignited by three nights (Tuesday through Thursday) of American Idol, Fox finished second across the board. But the steep year-to-year erosion for Fox was a result of Super Bowl XVII (New York Giants vs. New England) on the year-ago week. NBC, of course, was up significantly, but one night of The Super Bowl (plus a record performance for a one-hour edition of lead-out The Office) does not a hit network make. There are still problems aplenty at the Peacock network.


One look at William Petersen-less CSI on CBS (20.15 million viewers opposite a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC) and the Eye net is still the place to be for forensic crime solving dramas. Excluding a fourth-place finish among adults 18-34, CBS held the No. 3 spot, with year-to-year gains of 29 to 40 percent. Keep in mind that CSI was a repeat on the year-ago week — hence part of the reason why the network was up. 


ABC had nothing to boast about, with a distant fourth-place finish in the five surveyed categories. The CW continues to lose steam. And MyNetworkTV remains on the year-to-year plus side as a result of Friday Night Smackdown! The is something to be said, no doubt, about fake wrestling!


Aside from The Super Bowl and American Idol, there were a number of positives worth noting for the week of Jan. 26. CBS’ NCIS remains a bona fide blockbuster, with 19.20 million viewers this week. ABC’s The Bachelor is having its best season in five years, with a healthy 10.57 million viewers and a 4.0/10 among adults 18-49. The season-premiere of Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (Viewers: 10.86 million; A18-49: 4.8/12) got a boost airing out of a Thursday edition of American Idol (despite losing about one-half of the lead-in). And annual CBS special Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials actually generated some interest in the Saturday 8 p.m. hour, with 7.90 million viewers and a 2.0/ 7 among adults 18-49. For low HUT-level Saturday that is not so bad. 


But the news was not positive, meanwhile, for ABC’s relocated Life on Mars, which moved into the Wednesday 10 p.m. time period with a disappointing 6.22 million viewers and a 2.1/ 6 among adults 18-49. Comparably, that put retention out of lead-in Lost (Viewers: 11.23 million; A18-49: 4.9/12) of just 55 percent in viewers and 43 percent in the demo. NBC’s critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights, meanwhile, remained a wash at just 4.03 million viewers and a 1.4/ 4 in the demo on Friday. 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of January 26, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   


NBC: 10.3 rating/16 share (+145 percent), Fox: 6.5/10 (-60), CBS: 6.0/10 (+30), ABC: 3.7/ 6 (-12), MNTV: 1.0/ 2 (+11), CW: 1.0/ 1 (-29)

-Total Viewers:

NBC: 21.58 million (+236), Fox: 11.28 (-64), CBS: 9.45 (+37), ABC: 5.81 (-13), MNTV: 1.64 (+22), CW: 1.48 (-31)

-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 7.8 rating/20 share (+271), Fox: 4.2/10 (-67), CBS: 2.2/ 6 (+29), ABC: 2.1/ 5 (- 9), MNTV: 0.6/ 1 (+20), CW: 0.6/ 1 (-25)

-Adults 25-54:

NBC: 8.3/19 (+232), Fox: 4.8/11 (-64), CBS: 3.0/ 7 (+30), ABC: 2.4/ 6 (-11), MNTV: 0.6/ 1 (no change), CW: 0.6/ 1 (-25)

-Adults 18-34:

NBC: 7.1/20 (+318), Fox: 3.7/10 (-68), ABC: 1.8/ 5 (no change), CBS: 1.4/ 4 (+40), CW: 0.6/ 2 (-33), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (no change)


New Midseason Series Scorecard


Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 12.21 million, A18-49: 4.4/10


True Beauty (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 6.95 million, A18-49: 2.9/ 7


Superstars of Dance (NBC) – Monday 8 p.m. (series finale)

Viewers: 6.80 million, A18-49: 1.6/ 4


Homeland Security USA (ABC) – Tuesday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 5.65 million, A18-49: 1.7/ 4


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 5.37 million, A18-49: 1.6/ 5


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 5.14 million, A18-49: 1.5/ 5


13 – Fear is Real (CW) – Friday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 860,000, A18-49: 0.4/ 1

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

Super Bowl XLIII: Phoenix vs. Pittsburgh (NBC): 98.73 million, Super Bowl Post Game (NBC): 57.40, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 27.36, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 25.54, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 24.61, The Office (NBC, Sun. 10:40 p.m.): 22.91, CSI (CBS): 20.15, NCIS (CBS): 19.20, The Mentalist R (CBS): 15.23, Without a Trace (CBS): 13.00, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 12.78, Eleventh Hour (CBS): 12.74, 24 (Fox): 12.22, Lie to Me (Fox): 12.21, Fringe (Fox): 11.62, Lost (ABC): 11.23, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 11.08, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, season premiere): 10.86, The Bachelor (ABC): 10.57, Criminal Minds R (CBS, Wed. 9 p.m.): 10.23, CSI: NY R (CBS): 9.35, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 9.21, CSI: Miami R (CBS): 9.19, Law & Order (NBC): 8.96, Criminal Minds R (CBS, Thurs, 8 p.m.): 8.84, Flashpoint R (CBS): 8.43, NBC Monday Movie: The Last Templar, part 2 (8.32), Ghost Whisperer R (CBS): 8.22, How I Met Your Mother R (CBS): 8.08, 

-Adults 18-49:

Super Bowl XLIII: Phoenix vs. Pittsburgh (NBC): 36.7 rating/72 share, Super Bowl Post Game (NBC): 23.5/51, The Office (NBC, Sun. 10:40 p.m.): 11.0/28, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 10.2/26, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 9.8/24, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 9.3/25, House (Fox): 6.0/15, CSI (CBS): 5.4/13, Lost (ABC): 4.9/12, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, season premiere): 4.8/12, Fringe (Fox): 4.7/11, Lie to Me (Fox): 4.4/10, 24 (Fox): 4.3/10, Two and a Half Men R (CBS) and The Biggest Loser (NBC): 4.1/10 each, The Bachelor (ABC) and NCIS (CBS): 4.0/10 each, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 3.3/ 8, Eleventh Hour (CBS): 3.1/ 8, How I Met Your Mother R (CBS): 3.1/ 7, True Beauty (ABC) and The Mentalist R (CBS): 2.9/ 7 each, Private Practice (ABC): 2.8/ 8, Without a Trace (CBS) and The Office R (NBC): 2.8/ 7 each, CSI: Miami R (CBS) and Law & Order (NBC): 2.6/ 7 each, Criminal Minds R (CBS): 2.5/ 6, Law & Order: SVU R (NBC): 2.4/ 6, Wipeout Bowl (ABC): 2.4/ 5, CSI: NY R (CBS) and Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC): 2.3/ 6 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Supermodel Sunday Scores on Sunday:

Despite facing The Super Bowl, Oxygen’s Supermodel Sunday marathon of America’s Next Top Model Obsessed led the cable net to its most-watched Sunday to-date in prime-time among women 18-34 (184,000). Oxygen also finished above-average in total viewers (453,000), adults 18-49 (325,000) and women 18-49 (272,000).


Based on ratings for the week of Jan. 19, NBC Universal talker The Steve Wilkos Show rose to a record 1.2 household rating. Comparably, that was up by nine percent from one week earlier (1.1 to 1.2) and 20 percent year-to-year (1.0 to 1.2). Wilkos also increased year-to-year by 10 percent in total viewers (1.50 to 1.65 million), 17 percent in women 18-49 (0.6 to 0.7 rating) and 14 percent in women 25-54 (0.7 to 0.8). 

-Speaking of Syndication Ratings:

Here are the top 20 rated programs in syndication based on households for the week of Jan. 19:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.4 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.3, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 5.4, Oprah (CBS): 5.2, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.7, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.6, Family Guy (Twentieth): 4.3, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.8, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 3.7 each, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.5, Dr. Phil (CBS) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal): 3.3 each, Inside Edition (CBS) and Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 3.2 each, George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 3.1, House (NBCU) and Live with Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.8 each, Friends (Warner Bros.), King of Queens (SPT) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend (Warner Bros.): 2.7 each

-Top 10 Cable Network Rankings – Week of Jan. 26:

What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in primetime for the week of Jan. 26 based on total viewers, adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.

Total Viewers:

USA: 3.15 million, Fox News: 2.39, TNT: 2.09, TBS: 1.74, Nick at Nite: 1.56, Cartoon Network: 1.45, A&E: 1.41, ABC Family: 1.35, FX: 1.34, Hallmark Channel: 1.32

Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.41 million, TBS: 1.03 million, TNT: 872,000, FX: 820,000, A&E: 695,000, Nick at Nite: 624,000, Discovery: 621,000, ABC Family: 619,000, ESPN: 569,000, Spike: 557,000

Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.46 million, TNT: 1.03 million, TBS: 875,000, A&E: 711,000, FX: 691,000, Sci Fi: 607,000, Discovery: 599,000, Spike: 564,000, Tru TV: 559,000, Nick at Nite: 550,000

Adults 18-34:

USA: 628,000, TBS: 594,000, FX: 460,000, MTV: 429,000, Comedy Central: 359,000, ABC Family: 350,000, TNT: 332,000, Nick at Nite: 313,000, TLC: 308,000, Discovery: 307,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 2/04/09
 8:00 p.m. Lost (R)
 9:00 p.m. Lost

10:00 p.m. Life on Mars


 8:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

 9:00 p.m. Katie Couric: All Access Grammy Special

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

 8:00 p.m. Knight Rider
 9:00 p.m. Life

10:00 p.m. Law & Order

 8:00 p.m. American Idol
 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me

 8:00 p.m. Privileged (R)

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)

 9:00 p.m. Tony Rock Project (R)

 9:30 p.m. Under One Roof (R)

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Heat (R)

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Kendra Heads to E!:

Former Girls Next Door star (and current Playboy cover girl) Kendra Wilkinson will be featured in a new series on E! Entertainment Television tentatively titled Kendra. The eight episode non-scripted half-hour will focus on Kendra’s life after she moves out of the Playboy Mansion, gets engaged to Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett and ventures to live by herself for the first time. With a camera crew present, it looks like she will not be alone for too long!


-Cable Series Renewals:

HGTV has renewed Color Splash, featuring 2006 Design Star winner David Bromstad, for an additional 26 episodes. And CMT will move forward with a second season of Can You Duet. Eight episodes have been ordered.


TV Trivia Time:

Visiting Donna Reed


Which one of the following classic TV kids once appeared in an episode of The Donna Reed Show?

Kathy “Kitten” Anderson
Harold Baxter
Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver
Dennis Mitchell
“Little” Ricky Ricardo

The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following five sitcoms featured a character named “Little Earl”?

The Brady Bunch
Full House
Just the 10 of Us
The Partridge Family
What’s Happening!!

Is:  e) What’s Happening!! Classic “Jump the Sharker” Little Earl (David Hollander) joined the cast of the 1976-79 sitcom in the final season for no noticeable reason other than to alienate the few viewers left.

-Current kudos goes to:

Don Abel, Suzanne Ackley, Mikki Beno, Gerry Bixenspan, Lillian Buchman (hallelujah!!!), Al Canaletich, Larry Collins (2x), Annie Courtney, Terrence Dean, Sue Doron, John Ferlazzo, Holley Ford, Karen Gardner, Adam Giagni, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Barb Hemberger, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, David Kern, Tom Kilgallon, Patrick Mauro, Debbie Mirr, Michael Murphy, Stephen O’Rourke, Greg Phelan, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Tracy Mullings Reed, Collen Roth, Lindsay Rothman, Joe Rubi, Myndi Weinraub