American Idol Lifts Fox to More Wednesday Victory

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Leads Fox to Victory
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 Grand Hotel

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Leads Fox to Victory

Wednesday 3/17/10


Fox     9.5/16
NBC   5.0/ 8
CBS    4.7/ 8
ABC   3.0/ 5

CW     2.8/ 5


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, March 18, 2009):
NBC and CW: +47 each, Fox: – 4, ABC: -29, CBS: -36

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Human Target (Fox), American Idol (Fox), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

-Honorable Mention:
America’s Next Top Model (CW)
-On the Fence for Renewal:
Mercy (NBC), Gary Unmarried (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Scrubs (ABC), High Society (CW), Ugly Betty (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox, of course, led the midweek troops care of American Idol, almost doubling the average overnight rating for second-place NBC. Third overall was CBS, which aired repeats from 9-11 p.m., followed by ABC, which also populated half of its line-up with encores, and The CW.

Fox’s on-the-fence Human Target is inching closer to a second season-renewal, with a dominant 5.4 rating/ 9 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. While a 5.4 is nothing to jump up and down about, it did win the hour and has managed to stand on its own outside of the early lead-in support from American Idol. Next on Fox was the live American Idol results show at a rock-solid (and top-rated) 13.6 rating/22 share. As predicted, Lacey Brown was sent packing.


Second-place NBC opened the evening with on-the-fence medical drama Mercy at a second-place 4.1/ 7 in the overnights at 8 p.m. That led into a repeat of Law & Order: SVU at a 3.9/ 7 at 9 p.m. (#3), followed by the original installment of SVU at a dominant 7.1/12 at 10 p.m. Although SVU certainly benefited opposite a repeat of CBS’ CSI: NY (#2: 4.9/ 8), the ample sampling last night means that viewers have officially found the long running crime drama in its new time period. Needless to say, this is a vast improvement over former occupant The Jay Leno Show. 


In season (or series) finale news, CBS sitcom Gary Unmarried concluded season two with a 3.9/ 7 in the overnights at 8:30 p.m. (#3), which build out of an encore of The New Adventures of Old Christine (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 8 p.m.) by eight percent. Comparably, however, Gary Unmarried dipped by 17 percent from the year-ago evening (4.7/ 8 on March 18, 2009). Former Monday occupant Accidentally on Purpose moves into the Wednesday 8:30 p.m. time period on April 2. Gary led into repeats of Criminal Minds (#2: 5.6/ 9) and the aforementioned CSI: NY (#2: 4.9/ 8) from 9-11 p.m.


Over at ABC, it looks like veteran Scrubs has finally called it a day, with the season (or, more likely, series) finale at a mere (and fourth-place) 2.8/ 5 at 8 p.m. Why ABC felt the need to revamp Scrubs and bring it back for a ninth season is beyond me. Scrubs led into repeats of The Middle (#4: 2.9/ 5), Modern Family (#3: 3.8/ 6) and Cougar Town (#4: 2.9/ 4) from 8:30-10 p.m., followed by soon-to-conclude Ugly Betty at a not so pretty (and last-place) 2.8/ 5 at 10 p.m. The series-finale of Ugly Betty is on April 14. 


In week two news, non-scripted CW clinker High Society scored an identical 1.2/ 2 in the overnights at 9:30 p.m., which no doubt was the lowest rated show of the evening. Retention out of the 9 p.m. portion of lead-in America’s Next Top Model (3.3/ 5) was just 36 percent. Overall, Top Model averaged a healthy 3.3/ 6 in the overnights from 8-9:30 p.m., which built from the year-ago evening (3.0/ 5 on March 18, 2009) by 10 percent. Chances are this will resonate well among The CW’s target young females. 


As reported earlier in the week, upcoming CW reality series Fly Girls, which focuses on the lives of five jet-setting flight attendants of global airline Virgin America, will now debut next Wednesday at 9 p.m. (instead of 9:30 p.m. out of High Society). Dead-as-a-doornail High Society will move to 9:30 p.m.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Stellar Start for Justified on FX:

FX drama Justified premiered on Tuesday, March 16 with 4.16 million viewers at 10 p.m. — the second most-watched series-opener on the cable net (behind The Shield). Initial results among men 18-49 (1.42 million) also came in behind The Shield. Justified finished first for the night on basic cable in total viewers, adults 18-49 (2.04 million), men 18-49, men 18-34 (694,000), adults 25-54 (2.19 million) and men 25-54 (1.42 million). And it placed first in all of television in the Tuesday 10 p.m. hour in men 18-49 and men 18-34. 

-Oxygen Scores on Tuesday:

Also on Tuesday, The Bad Girls Club season four reunion special at 10 p.m. led Oxygen to a record performance in total viewers (2.66 million), women 18-49 (1.38 million), adults 18-49 (1.78 million), women 18-34 (1.01 million), adults 18-34 (1.26 million) and adults 25-54 (1.12 million). Lead-out Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too made Oxygen history as the highest-rated and most-watched series premiere to-date in total viewers (1.51 million), women 18-49 (624,000), adults 18-49 (800,000), women 18-34 (472,000) and adults 18-34 (604,000).


-Above Average Zeke and Luther on Disney XD:

The second season-premiere of Zeke and Luther on Monday, March 15 rose to a series-high in total viewers (758,000), kids 6-14 (455,000), boys 6-14 (314,000), kids 6-11 (386,000), boys 6-11 (252,000) and boys 9-14 (237,000), ranking as Disney XD’s top-rated program among its target kid audience at 7:30 p.m. Compared to the June series opener, Zeke and Luther built by 133 percent in total viewers and as much as 220 percent among boys 6-14.


-Over at Disney Channel:

The second season-premiere of Sonny With a Chance on Sunday, March 14 reached a new zenith in total viewers (5.9 million), kids 6-11 (2.4 million) and tweens 9-14 (2.3 million) at 8 p.m., growing from the series-launch in February 2009 by 44 percent in total viewers and as much as 53 percent in tweens 9-14. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 3/18/10

 8:00 p.m. FlashForward (return)

 9:00 p.m. FlashForward

10:00 p.m. Private Practice


 8:00 p.m. 2010 NCAA Basketball: First Round – Day 1

 8:00 p.m. Community
 8:30p.m. Parks and Recreation
 9:00 p.m. The Office
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock

10:00 p.m. The Marriage Ref

 8:00 p.m. Bones (R)

 9:00 p.m. Fringe (R)


 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Non Celebrity Edition of The Apprentice:

NBC has announced a new version of The Apprentice, which will go back to the original formula with one twist. The show will feature candidates who have been impacted by the current decline in the job market, including people who have lost jobs, people who are holding down jobs for the sake of just bringing in a paycheck, and recent college graduates who cannot find any employment. No official air-date has been announced yet. While the intentions are good, do people out of work really want to risk hearing Donald Trump tell them they are fired?


-Showtime Summer Series Schedule:

Mark your calendars — cable net Showtime has announced the following summer series premiere dates:


Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Thursday, June 10, 10 p.m. ET (season premiere)

The Green Room with Paul Provenza: Thursday, June 10, 10:30 p.m. ET (series premiere)

The Real L World: Sunday, June 20, 10 p.m. ET (series premiere)

Weeds: Monday, August 16, 10 p.m. ET (season premiere)

The Big C: Monday, August 16, 10:30 p.m. ET (series premiere)

TV Trivia Time:
A Grand Hotel

Remember Aaron Spelling drama Hotel, which aired on ABC from 1983-88? Which one of the following classic film stars appeared in the pilot, but had to depart due to an illness?


a)      Joan Crawford

b)      Bette Davis

c)      Olivia de Havilland

d)      Vivien Leigh

e)      Ginger Rogers  


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Who starred opposite Jean Stapleton in short-lived 1990 CBS sitcom Bagdad Cafe? 


a)      Loni Anderson

b)      Susan Dey

c)      Whoopi Goldberg

d)      Mo’Nique

e)      Alfre Woodard 


Is: c) Whoopi Goldberg. Based on the theatrical of the same name, Whoopi as Brenda was the owner of the Bagdad Café diner and motel, which Jean as Jasmine ended up living and working at.


 -Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Becky Beaty, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Barbara Bloomfield, Susan Brandes, John Brooker, Larry Collins, Jim Colucci, Tom Condosta, Leslie Creason, Audrey Davis (2x), Reid Davis, Mike Dugger, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo (2x), Arleen Fong, Jan Frazier, Jerry Gibbons, Muareen Goldman, Robert Gori, Sherrie Hentschel, Brad Hight, Bob Ingersoll, Cliff Jackson, Greg Janover, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, Steve Kurtzer, Stephen LaRue, Rick Locke, Patty Lynch, Gene Miller, Jim Moore, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Scott Osbourne, Aaron Paquette, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Greg Phelan, Gordon Purcell, Michael Ratliffe, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Lindsey Rothman, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Mary Ryan, Sonya Shaw, David Shearer, Maxine Shulman, Michelle Stanton, Andrew Stearn, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Jodi Titkin, Larry Weinstock, Tammy Wiard, Meg Williamson, Ged Young, Ted Zawislak