Another Strong Outing for NBC’s Southland; Disappointing Harper’s Island on CBS

Friday, April 17, 2009
CBS Wins; Another Strong Showing for NBC’s Southland
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Set a Spell, Take Your Shoes Off
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Another Strong Showing for NBC’s Southland

Thursday 4/16/09


CBS   7.2/12

Fox     5.4/ 9

NBC   4.9/ 8

ABC   3.3/ 5

CW    1.5/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 17, 2008):

CBS: – 1, NBC: – 6, Fox: – 7, ABC: – 8, CW: -32

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS), CSI (CBS), Southland (NBC)

-Honorable Mention:

Bones (Fox), The Office (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

In the Motherhood (ABC), My Name is Earl (NBC), Samantha Who? (ABC), Harper’s Island (CBS)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led the overnight troops on this third Thursday of April, with a 1.8 rating point advantage over second-place Fox. Next was NBC, followed by ABC and a night of repeats on the CW.


CBS’ Survivor: Tocantins dominated the 8 p.m. hour with a 6.3 rating/11 share in the overnights. But Fox’s competing Bones, which never gets the credit it deserves, was right on its heels with a second-place 5.8/10. Survivor will certainly dominate among adults 18-49 at a wider margin, but it dipped by 15 percent in the overnights from the year-ago edition set in Micronesia (7.2/12 on April 17, 2008). As for the show itself, too bad the contestants did not stick with Brendon’s plan to vote off the obnoxious “Coach.”


In week two news, NBC’s Parks and Recreation (which sounds more like a public service announcement than a sitcom) dipped to a second-place 3.9/ 6 at 8:30 p.m. Comparably, that was down by 13 percent from it’s week-ago series-opener (4.5/ 8 on April 9, out of a 4.8/ 8 for an 8 p.m. edition of The Office). But it did, however, build from lead-in My Name is Earl (#3t, 3.5/ 6 at 8 p.m.) by nine percent. Even so, don’t you think the premise of this show is limited?


Also airing in the 8 p.m. hour were failing ABC sitcoms In the Motherhood (#3t, 3.5/ 6) and Samantha Who? (#4, 3.3/ 5), which needs the support of former lead-in Dancing With the Stars to survive, and a repeat of Smallville on the CW (#5: 1.6/ 3).


CBS remained in the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m., with CSI at a healthy 10/0/16. Comparably, that was on par with it’s year-ago performance. All I can say is…William who? Second was Fox’s also underrated Hell’s Kitchen (5.0/ 8), followed by NBC’s The Office (4.7/ 7 — up 21 percent from lead-in Parks and Recreation) and 30 Rock (4.5/ 7), a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (3.6/ 6), and a repeat of Supernatural on the CW (1.5/ 2). Personally, I think last night’s installment of The Office was the funniest episode of the entire series. Calling Emmy! As for 30 Rock, retention of 96 percent out of The Office is a positive worth noting.


In the week two 10 p.m. battle of NBC’s Southland versus Harper’s Island on CBS, the winner once again was Southland. The new John Wells crime drama averaged a 6.6/11 in the overnights — 47 percent above lead-in 30 Rock with only a four percent loss from its week-ago premiere (6.9/12 on April 9). Gory Harper’s Island dipped to a 5.5/10, holding only 55 percent of the 9:30 p.m. portion of lead-in CSI (10.0/16). Compared to it’s week-ago debut (6.7/12), Harper’s Island was down by a more significant 18 percent. Yes, it looks like NBC has something here. But with Jay Leno waiting in the wings, Southland will have to find a new time period. Monday or Wednesday at 9 p.m. seems like the most logical options. 


Capping off the 10 p.m. hour was a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice at a last-place 3.1/ 5. Look for the first of the final two original episodes of the season of Private Practice next Thursday. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Top Model Still Dominates:

CW mainstay America’s Next Top Model won the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour on April 15 for the third consecutive week among women 18-34 (2.9/10), females 12-34 (2.8/10) and female teens (2.4/10), with a second-place finish in women 18-49 (2.7/ 8). Growth from one week earlier was as much 20 percent in female teens.

-Nothing Unusual on ABC Wednesday:

Week two of ABC dramedy The Unusuals finished second in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour, with 6.01 million viewers and s 1.8 rating/5 share among adults 18-49 on April 15. Compared to its already lackluster debut one week earlier (Viewers: 6.83 million; A18-49: 2.1/ 6 on April 8), that was a loss of 820,000 viewers and 14 percent among adults 18-49. Retention out of lead-in Lost (Viewers: 9.23 million; A18-49: 4.0/10) was 65 percent in total viewers and just 45 percent in the demo.

-Season High Ghost Hunters on Sci Fi:

Also on April 15, the Titanic-themed installment of Sci Fi’s Ghost Hunters rose to a season-high performance on Wednesday, April 15 in households (2.0), total viewers (2.94 million) and adults 18-49 (1.79 million). And it finished first among all basic cable for the night in adults 25-54 (1.78 million) for the fifth time in the last six weeks. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Friday 4/17/09

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernanny

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer (R)

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint (R)

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs (R)

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It (two original half hours)

 9:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)


 8:00 p.m. Prison Break (R, return)

 9:00 p.m. Prison Break


 8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris (R)

 8:30 p.m. The Game (R)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

 8:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!
Saturday 4/18/09

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (R)

 8:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

 9:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R)

 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)

 8:00 p.m.  NASCAR


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Picture Perfect (R)

Sunday 4/19/09

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (R)

 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters


 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race

 9:00 p.m. Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler


 7:00 p.m. 2009 Miss USA Pageant

 9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (two hours)


 7:00 p.m. American Dad (R)

 7:30 p.m. King of the Hill

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. Sit Down, Shut Up (premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Movie: Cutthroat Island (R)

New Program Descriptions
Sit Down, Shut Up (Fox)
-The Scoop:

A group of high school teachers who care more about their own agendas than the students is the focus of this new animated sitcom. Voices include Jason Bateman and Henry Winkler.

-The Reality:

With King of the Hill winding down (and upcoming Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show delayed until next fall), it makes sense for Fox to test the Sunday waters with a new animated comedy. But what no one seems to realize is that ratings for lead-in The Simpsons continue to decrease. And that, no doubt, will not be beneficial to Sit Down, Shut Up.


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More Amazing Race:

CBS has renewed Emmy winning reality/competition The Amazing Race for a 15th cycle, which is expected to air next fall. Casting is currently underway.


-Good News for American Idol:

Breaking up the judges in pairs of two and having only two comment per performance has been officially nixed after the fan complaints this past Tuesday.


-Regis & Kelly Head in the Sunshine State:

Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa will head down to sunny South Florida for four telecasts of Disney-ABC’s Live With Regis & Kelly from the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Resort from Tuesday, May 5 through Friday, May 8. Among the guests will be Brothers & Sisters star Rob Lowe, Eric “McSteamy” Dane from Grey’s Anatomy and Grammy winning singer and actor Rick Springfield. Tickets can be requested online at


-In the Event You Miss Steve-O:

Recent Dancing With the Stars contestant Stephen “Steve-O” Gilchrist Glover is be the subject of Steve-O: Demise and Rise, an MTV docu-reality special focusing on Steve-O’s recent drug and alcohol addiction. It airs on Sunday, May 3 at 10 p.m. ET. 


-Lucy-Desi Days:

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York, Lucy’s hometown, will be hosting its annual Lucy-Desi Days festival from Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24. Included in this three-day extravaganza will be video-enhanced tours of Jamestown, a collector’s show, a tribute to Orson Welles and Desilu Studios, a Tropicana luncheon, a trivia contest, a special event with Keith “Little Ricky” Thibodeaux, outdoor screenings of I Love Lucy, rarely seen episodes of Life With Lucy co-hosted by Michael Stern, Lucy’s “Number One Fan” (, and a special tribute by Lucie Arnaz. For more information, click on


TV Trivia Time:

Set a Spell, Take Your Shoes Off

Who was Granny’s favorite movie star on The Beverly Hillbillies?

Charles Bronson
Hoot Gibson
Percy Kilbride
Rudolph Valentino
John Wayne

The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…


What sport was Thelma’s husband Keith planning to earn a living at when she first met him on sitcom Good Times?


Is: a) baseball. After a slip, Keith’s career in football was over and he ended up moving in with the Evans clan. All together now…


Good Times.
Any time you meet a payment.
Good Times.
Any time you need a friend.
Good Times.
Any time you’re out from under.

Not getting hastled, not getting hustled.
Keepin’ your head above water,
Making a wave when you can.

Temporary lay offs.
Good Times.
Easy credit rip offs.
Good Times.
Scratchin’ and surviving.
Good Times.
Hangin in a chow line
Good Times.
Ain’t we lucky we got ’em
Good Times.

-Current kudos goes to:
Vanessa Baker, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Audrey Davis, Malcolm Dunlop, Arleen Fong, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Jackie Hague, Sharron Lynne Harmening, Heidi Hoffmeister, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Lonora Nickerson, Michael Ratliffe, Neal Sabin, Ron Salmon, Hakima Shah, Sonya Shaw, Myndi Weinraub