Basketball and The CMA Awards Lead CBS to Weekend Victory

Monday, April 6, 2009
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Holy Criminal, Batman!


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 4/03/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



CBS   4.9/ 9

ABC 3.5/ 6
NBC 2.6/ 5
Fox    2.2/ 4
CW    1.1/ 2

CBS: 7.81 million, ABC: 5.28, NBC: 4.02, Fox: 3.42, CW: 1.60

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 1.6 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.6/ 5, Fox: 1.3/ 5, NBC: 1.2/ 4, CW: 0.7/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

-Friday’s Winners:

Since not a single show cracked 9 million viewers or a 2 rating among adults 18-49, there were no “winners.”  


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Howie Do It (NBC), Wife Swap (ABC), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox), Everybody Hates Chris (CW), The Game (CW), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Dollhouse (Fox), Dateline (NBC) — that’s a lot of losers!

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS won this first Friday in April with its combination of a repeat of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #1, 7.30 million; A18-49: #1, 1.6 rating/ 6 share), Flashpoint (Viewers: #1, 8.64 million; A18-49: #1, 1.8/ 6) and a repeat of Numb3rs (Viewers: #1, 7.50 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5). The positive news for Flashpoint, of course, was growth out of the Ghost Whisperer encore of 1.34 million viewers and 12 percent among adults 18-49. 


Next on this typically bland Friday was ABC care of Wife Swap (Viewers: #2, 4.62 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 6), a repeat of Supernanny (Viewers: #2, 4.55 million; A18-49: #3, 1.4/ 5) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 6.67 million; A18-49: #1, 1.8/ 6). 


NBC was third overall in total viewers and fourth among adults 18-49 with its uneventful line-up of two episodes of Howie Do It (Viewers: #3, avg. 3.56 million; A18-49: #4, avg. 1.1/ 4), just renewed Friday Night Lights (Viewers: #4, 3.61 million; A18-49: #4, 1.2/ 4) and Dateline (Viewers: #3, 4.89 million; A18-49: #3, 1.4/ 5). Fans of Friday Night Lights will be happy to know that the critically acclaimed drama has been picked-up for two seasons (and 26 episodes) in a new deal with NBC and DirecTV. That’s a smart way to keep a low-rated series on the air.


Fox was just the opposite of NBC — fourth in total viewers and third among adults 18-49 — with its line-up of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Viewers: #4, 3.35 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 5), which concludes the season (or series) next Friday and Dollhouse (Viewers: #4, 3.49 million; A18-49: #3, 1.4/ 5). Unfortunately, there is no way to put a positive spin on the Dollhouse numbers this week.


Last was the CW is its abysmal combination of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.79 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2), The Game (Viewers: 1.86 million; A18-49: 0.8/ 3) and an encore telecast of America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: 1.37 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2) — all last in each category. Chances are there will be no sitcoms on the CW’s line-up next season. What it will do to improve Friday (and Sunday) is anyone’s guess.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 4/04/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



Fox    3.2/ 6
ABC 2.3/ 4
NBC 2.3/ 4
CBS: 13.90 million, Fox: 5.01, ABC: 3.44, NBC: 3.22
-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 4.7 rating/15 share, Fox: 1.6/ 5, ABC: 0.9/ 3, NBC: 0.8/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Saturday’s Winners:

2009 NCAA Basketball: Final Four Doubleheader (CBS)


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

ABC and NBC for not even trying to program the night.


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a slam-dunk victory for CBS, with 2009 NCAA Basketball: Final Four Doubleheader at a considerable (and estimated) 13.90 million viewers and a 4.7 rating/15 share among adults 18-49 in prime-time. Comparably, that beat the three competing networks combined, proving viewers will tune-in on Saturday if there is something worth watching. And it was close to the year-ago basketball match-ups, which averaged 13.97 million viewers and a 4.9/16 in the demo on Saturday, April 5, 2008 (based on the final nationals). Keep in mind, of course, that fast affiliate results for any live sporting event are always approximate. Here is the half-hour breakdown:


2009 NCAA Basketball: Final Four Doubleheader (CBS)

 8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 16.97 million; A18-49: 5.5/20

 8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 14.24 million; A18-49: 4.7/16

 9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 13.02 million; A18-49: 4.5/15

 9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 13.59 million; A18-49: 4.6/15

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 12.70 million; A18-49: 4.4/14

10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 12.89 million; A18-49: 4.5/14


Fox finished in the distant No. 2 spot with its perennial line-up of Cops (two repeats, Viewers: avg. 4.51 million; A18-49: avg. 1.4/ 5 from 8-9 p.m.) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: 5.31 million; A18-49: 1.7/ 6 at 9 p.m.). Worth noting was the growth for America’s Most Wanted out of Cops of 800,000 viewers and 21 percent among adults 18-49. Not bad considering the competition.


Third-place ABC populated the evening with the repeat theatrical remake of Yours, Mind and Ours (Viewers: #3, 3.6 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9/ 3 from 8-10 p.m.), which pales in comparison to the Lucille Ball/Henry Fonda original, and a repeat of the pilot episode of Cupid (#2, 4.58 million; A18-49: #2, 1.0/ 3 at 10 p.m.). Mark my words…Cupid will not work.


Last, and very least, was NBC with a repeat of the two-hour ER series-ender (Viewers: #4, #4, 2.51 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 3 from 8-10 p.m.) and a repeat of Law & Order (Viewers: #2, 4.58 million; A18-49: #2, 1.0/ 3 at 10 p.m.). So long, ER!


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 4/05/09


NBC 4.2/ 7
ABC 3.8/ 6
Fox    3.3/ 5
CW    0.7/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, April 6, 2008):

CBS: +38, NBC: no change, Fox: – 3, ABC: -27, CW: -30

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, April 5, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:

60 Minutes (CBS), The Country Music Awards (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)

Dateline (NBC), Kings (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led the Sunday overnight troops, with a first-place finish in every half-hour with its combination of still ticking 60 Minutes (8.5 rating/15 share) and The 44th Annual Country Music Awards (8.2/13 from 8-11 p.m.). Compared to its year-ago telecast on Sunday, May 18, 2008 (7.1/11), The Country Music Awards increased by a noticeable 15 percent. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:

The Country Music Awards (ABC)
 8:00 p.m.: 8.2/14
 8:30 p.m.: 8.2/13
 9:00 p.m.: 8.7/14
 9:30 p.m.: 8.3/13
10:00 p.m.: 8.3/13
10:30 p.m.: 7.8/13

Finishing a distant second in the overnights was NBC care of time period filler Dateline (#3: 3.7/ 7), failing Kings (#4: series-low 2.7/ 4) and guilty pleasure Celebrity Apprentice (5.2/13 from 9-11 p.m.), which built in every half-hour and always lands on the map among adults 18-49. Here is the half0hour breakdown:

Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)
 9:00 p.m.: 4.4/ 7 (#2)
 9:30 p.m.: 4.8/ 7 (#2)
10:00 p.m.: 5.6/ 9 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 6.0/10 (#2)

To the fans watching Celebrity Apprentice, that was some surprise ending last night, wasn’t it? 


A night of repeats on ABC — America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 4.4/ 8), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 4.7/ 8), Desperate Housewives (#4: 3.5/ 5) and Brothers & Sisters (#3: 2.6/ 4) — was barely on the map. And the same can be said about Fox with its line-up of repeats of American Dad (#4: 1.8/ 3) and King of the Hill (#4: 2.0/ 3) from 7-8 p.m., an original installment of granddaddy The Simpsons at 8 p.m. (#3: 4.1/ 7), and repeats of Family Guy (two episodes: #3, avg. 4.1/ 6 from 8:30-9:30 p.m.) and The Simpsons (#3: 3.8/ 6 at 9:30 p.m.). Coming up on Sunday, April 19: the debut of new animated Fox comedy Sit Down, Shut Up at 8:30 p.m.


Last, and very least last night was a repeat of Jericho (0.5/ 1) and repeat theatrical Rocky III (0.8/ 1 from 8-10 p.m.) on the CW. Rocky III…now that’s certainly being aggressive!    

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

-ER Finale Highlights:

No, it was not a record performance by any means. But NBC is reporting that the series-finale of veteran ER rose to 16.2 million viewers and a 6.0 rating/16 share among adults 18-49 on Thursday, April 2. Comparably, that makes ER the most-watched dramatic series-ender since CBS’ Murder, She Wrote concluded with 16.5 million viewers on May 19, 1996; and the highest rated among adults 18-49 since The X-Files on May 19, 2002. And it was NBC’s best performance in the Thursday 9-11 p.m. block since Will & Grace ended on May 18, 2006.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 4/06/09
 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars (90-minutes)
 9:30 p.m. Surviving Suburbia (premiere)
10:00 p.m. Castle
 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
 8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)

 9:00 p.m. NCAA Basketball: Men’s Championship Game

 8:00 p.m. Chuck
 9:00 p.m. Heroes
10:00 p.m. Medium
 8:00 p.m. House
 9:00 p.m. 24
 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)
 9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)
 8:00 p.m. Masters of Illusions (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)


New Program Descriptions

Surviving Suburbia (ABC)
-The Scoop:

Perennial TV Dad Bob Saget and recent Men in Trees co-star Cynthia Stevenson play a couple married 20 years with two kids and a seemingly perfect life in suburbia. But what looks normal is anything but. 

-The Reality:

If Surviving Suburbia sounds familiar, this is the sitcom that was supposed to air on the CW Sundays last fall when Media Rights Capital (MRC) was leasing out the night. Fortunately for Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson, the MRC deal was cut abruptly short, Surviving Suburbia was sent packing, and comedy-deprived ABC was looking for a cheap investment. So, what would have been another sure clinker on the CW now has a shot on ABC out of Dancing With the Stars at 9:30 p.m. on Monday. How lucky can you get?


While that golden statuette called Emmy will not come calling for Surviving Suburbia, there is nothing wrong with some mindless laughs that we can all relate to. Sit back, ignore the critics and have a generic laugh (or two). 

For more, click on this week’s Mr. TV column here.

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-ABC Plans for the Summer:

ABC has announced several changes beginning in May impacting four night nights — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Monday will open with the return of The Bachelorette from 8-10 p.m. on May 25, followed by a yet-to-be determined hour at 10 p.m. Tuesday at 8 p.m. will feature the remaining original episodes of non-scripted flop Opportunity Knocks beginning on May 26, and Wednesday will open the next night with season two of Wipeout, followed by two episodes of animated comedy The Goode Family from 9-10 p.m. The Goode Family, from King of the Hill co-creator Mike Judge, revolves around a family obsessed with doing the “right” thing. Critically acclaimed Pushing Daisies, meanwhile, will return to burn-off its remaining original episodes Saturday at 10 p.m. effective on May 30 (and out of the two-hour repeat movie showcase).


-Laura Leighton Returns to Melrose Place:

Although many insiders (including myself) assumed Heather Locklear would be back as conniving Amanda Woodward on the CW’s upcoming remake of Melrose Place, the new residents will have another landlord: Sydney Andrews. Laura Leighton will reprise her role as sassy Sydney, Jane’s sister, who was last seen is what was presumed to be a fatal car accident. 


-Anil Kapoor Joins Cast of Fox’s 24:

Fox’s veteran 24, which heads into season eight in 2010, will add Slumdog Millionaire co-star Anil Kapoor as a series regular. Kapoor will play a Middle Eastern leader who comes to the U.S. on a peacemaking mission.


-Big Brother Casting Call:

Want to be a contestant on CBS summer addiction Big Brother? The network has announced a series of open casting calls in various cities across the country, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Nashville, New Orleans, Louisville, Charlotte, Tampa, Columbus, Wilmington, Austin and Abilene. For more information, click on

-Emmy Notices Amazing Sports Stories:

Fox Sports Network’s Amazing Sports Stories from Bruce Nash is on the Emmy Awards map, with four nominations announced on Friday, including Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming. For a complete listing of the nominations, click here:

-Sad News:

Tom Wardell Braden, the creator and co-host of CNN’s Crossfire” and author of Eight is Enough, the 1975 book about his eight children that inspired the ABC series, passed away on Friday from natural causes at his home in Denver. He was 92.


TV Trivia Time:

Holy Criminal, Batman!


Which star from yesteryear never appeared as a villain on 1966-68 camp classic Batman?

Tallullah Bankhead
Art Carney
Bette Davis
Zsa Zsa Gabor  
Shelley Winters

The answer to Friday’s question…


Which Brady kid was responsible for hitting Marcia in the nose with a football in classic episode “The Subject Was Noses”?


Is: e) Peter. Here’s the scoop: “Little Miss Perfect,” Marcia, has a big problem when she inadvertently makes two dates for the same night. One is with nice guy Charlie and the other with Doug, “the big man on campus.” Although she blows Charlie off by explaining “something suddenly came up,” Marcia eventually realizes that hot shot Charlie only cares about her looks. And a bruised nose did not help her cause. Needless to say, Marcia got over her obsession with the “cool” factor when she married goofy toy salesman Wally. Now, that was an odd TV match!

All together now…

Here’s the story of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
All of them had hair of gold, like their mother,
The youngest one in curls.

Here’s the story, of a man named Brady,
Who was busy with three boys of his own,
They were four men, living all together,
Yet they were all alone.

Til’ the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family.
That’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch,

That’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch.


-Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Bert Benoliel, Gerry Bixenspan (2x), Kimay Bloch, Brian Carney, Paul Carpenter, Tom Condosta, Reid Davis, Arleen Fong, Holley Ford, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Vicky Gregorian, Sherrie Hentschel, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Mary Kinoshita, Joel Kunkel, Charmaine Leary, Roberta Lee, Adam Licker, Howard Lieboff, Debbie Mirr, Tony Naldrett, Bob Rall, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, Ron Salmon, Mike Stallcup, Michelle Stanton, Joe Swaney, Laura Velazquez, Diane Werner