Another Midweek Victory for Fox

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Idol Lifts Fox to Midweek Victory; Lackluster Midseason Entries on ABC

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options  

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Gary and Val Pre the Troubled Cul-De-Sac


Idol Lifts Fox to Midweek Victory; Lackluster Midseason Entries on ABC

Wednesday 4/22/09


Fox     9.8/16
CBS    6.6/11
NBC   4.2/ 7
ABC   3.6/ 6

CW    2.0/ 3


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, April 23, 2008):

CBS: +25, Fox: + 5, ABC: – 3, CW: -23, NBC: -42


Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday 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 Wednesday, April 22, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Scrubs (ABC), Better Off Ted (ABC), The Unusuals (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by American Idol it was another midweek victory for Fox, which outdelivered second-place CBS by a hefty 3.2 overnight rating points. Third overall was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW. Fox finished first, in fact, in each of the four half-hours from 8-10 p.m. with its combination of Lie to Me (5.3 rating/9 share) and the aforementioned American Idol (14.3/22). While Lie to Me may not seem all that impressive despite the time period win, it was up by an average of 18 percent in the overnights compared to year ago-occupants ‘Til Death (4.2/ 7) and Back to You (4.8/ 8, both on April 23, 2008).


As for the American Idol last night, so long Lil and Anoop. The only surprise was seeing 16-going on-50 Allison in the bottom two opposite Anoop (and after Lil was voted off). My prediction to win it all: Adam Lambert, who stands head-and-shoulders above sentimental favorite Danny Gokey. 


CBS, which seems to be testing the waters for some potential time period changes next season, opened the evening with repeats of The New Adventures of Old Christine (#3: 3.7/ 6) and Gary Unmarried (#3: 4.0/ 7) from 8-9 p.m. Comparably, both delivered stronger overnight performances than original episodes of ABC’s competing Scrubs (#4: 3.2/ 6) and recently introduced Better Off Ted (#5: 2.8/ 5). Next on the Eye net was a repeat of Criminal Intent (#2: 6.9/11) at 9 p.m., followed by an original installment of Criminal Minds (in place of the regularly scheduled CSI: NY) at a dominant 9.1/15 at 10 p.m. 


NBC was in all repeats once again with its encore line-up of Law & Order (#2: 4.3/ 7), Law & Order: SVU (#4: 4.0/ 6) and another installment of the overused Law & Order (#2: 4.4/ 7). As logical spot for recent entry Southland next season (which is losing the Thursday 10 p.m. time period to Jay Leno) could be Wednesday at 9 p.m. 


Next up was ABC care of aforementioned comedies Scrubs (#4: 3.2/ 6) and Better Off Ted (#5: 2.8/ 5), a clips edition of Lost (#3: 4.3/ 7), which was subtitled The Story of the Oceanic 6, and struggling The Unusuals, which was nothing unusual with a last-place 3.6/ 6 in the overnights at 10 p.m. One year earlier, former occupant Men in Trees averaged an almost duplicate 3.5/ 6. As for Lost, I was under the impression the network was airing consecutive original episodes all season. 


Capping off this fourth Wednesday in April was the CW with the veteran America’s Next Top Model (#5: 3.0/ 5), which remains a viable option, and a repeat of 90210 (#5: 0.9/ 2). 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

The premiere of Comedy Central special Ron White: Behavioral Problems was the most-watched and highest-rated stand-up special of the year, with 3.3 million viewers on Sunday, April 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Comparably, Ron White finished as the top-rated entertainment-driven show on basic cable in the hour among adults 18-49, with 2.1 million viewers in the demo.


-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of April 6:

What follows are the top 20 rated series in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on households for the week of April 6:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.6 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.6, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.8, Oprah (CBS): 4.6, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.2, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 4.0, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 3.9, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 3.5, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.4, George Lopez (Warner Bros.) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal): 3.1 each, Dr. Phil (CBS); 3.0, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Inside Edition (CBS): 2.9 each, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.8, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.7, King of the Hill (Twentieth): 2.6, King of Queens (SPT): 2.5, Friends (Warner Bros.): 2.4, House of Payne (Twentieth), House (NBCU) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC): 2.3 each


Although CBS Television Distribution talker The Doctors has yet to crack the top 20, it scored a 1.8 in households and has now topped the first-run freshman strips (including ties) for 12 consecutive weeks.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 4/23/09
 8:00 p.m. In the Motherhood
 8:30 p.m. Samantha Who?
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Private Practice


 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Tocantins

 9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. Harper’s Island
 8:00 p.m. My Name is Earl

 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation

 9:00 p.m. The Office
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock

10:00 p.m. Southland

 8:00 p.m. Bones

 9:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen


 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Transporter (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-ABC Announces Millionaire Revival:

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the game show that once “saved” ABC (and currently airs in daytime syndication) is returning to prime-time this summer. The alphabet net will air Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Regis Philbin as host for a two-week, 11 night programming event in August. It premieres Sunday, August 9 at 8 p.m. ET and will run in the hour from Sunday through Thursday, with the finale on August 23. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire first debuted in a similar two-week window on August 16, 1999.


-Speaking of ABC:

The network has picked-up 13 episodes of a Canadian crime drama for next season called Copper, which focuses on the day-to-day lives of five rookie cops. Copper will air on Canada on Canwest Global.

-From Idol to Inspiration on Gospel Music Channel:
Uplifting Gospel Music Channel will air a documentary special tonight at 7 p.m. ET called From Idol to Inspiration, which will feature American Idol finalists Mandisa, Melinda Doolittle, Chris Sligh and Phil Stacey telling their individual stories. Included will be a profile of current contestant Danny Gokey, whose wife passed away just weeks before the show auditions began. Idol to Inspiration leads into The 40th Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, which airs live from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. For more on the Gospel Music Channel, go to

-Busy Jonas Brothers Have a New Gig:
Recording artists and upcoming Disney Channel sitcom stars The Jonas Brothers have a new gig: hosts of Fox’s upcoming Teen Choice 2009 Awards. The 11th annual edition of this awards show airs on Monday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET.

-Spike TV Renewals:
Male-driven Spike TV has ordered a second season of 1000 Ways to Die and a third season of late-night series MANswers. Thirteen addition episodes of 1000 Ways to Die have been ordered, while the pick-up for MANswers is 10 episodes. The telecast dates will be announced at a later time.


TV Trivia Time:

Gary and Val Pre the Troubled Cul-De-Sac


Which one of the following series did Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark once appear on together before they began their classic roles as Gary and Val on Knots Landing?

The New Adventures of Wonder Woman

The Rockford Files


The answer to yesterday’s question…


If you were lodging at The Stratford Inn, what state would you be in?

North Carolina
Rhode Island

Is: e) Vermont, which is where 1982 to 1990 CBS sitcom Newhart was set.


-Current kudos goes to:
Suzanne Ackley, Anna Alvord, Mark Amato, David Ballarotto, Janice Barney, Becky Beaty, Bert Benoliel, Barbara Berman, Matthew Berriman, Mark Binda, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Mark Braff, John Brooker, Paul Certo, Caroline Chang, Vanessa Coates, Larry Collins (2x), Kristen Conner, Audrey Davis, Reid Davis, James Davison, Ric Dittman, Miss Josh Emmitt, Bill Evashwick, John Ferlazzo, Stephen Ferrara, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon (2x), Bill Graff, Vicky Gregorian, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Shannon Herlihy, Melissa Hodgdon, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Mary Kalnin, Jodi Karp, Marie Lefevre Karp, Kathryn Kieser, Tom Kilgallon, Irene Kirschner, Synda Kollman, Stephen LaRue, Charmaine Leary, Roberta Lee, Kathy Martin, Kathy McClung, Julia McCray, Sharon Merritt, Debbie Mirr, Jim Moore, Jay Ogleetree, Alan Perris, Greg Phelan, Bob Rall, Michael Ratliffe, Arthur Reinstein, Bruce Robinson, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Colleen Roth, Russ Roundtree, David Ruckman, Marilyn Rutkowski, Hakimah Shah, David Shearer, Mark Simmons, Kim Smith, Mickie Steinmann, Phyllis Stewart, Kristen Strauss, Don Surath, Carol Teichman, Trenna Underhill, Laura Velazquez, Don Webb, Myndi Weinraub, John Wood, Ged Young, Zoe Zakhem, Ted Zawislak