Cable Portion of TCA Concludes


Monday, January 10, 2011




On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

Day Three of Cable

Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Results

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest 


TV Trivia Time:

Not Seeing Double

On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

Day Three of Cable


The third, and final, day of the cable portion of the Winter Press Tour kicked-off with WE tv and sessions on new docu-soaps Joan Knows Best?, with Joan and Melissa Rivers; and Braxton Family Values, featuring singer Toni Braxton, Mama Evelyn and her four sisters. Could this be the Kardashians of WE tv? Mr. TV favorite Joan Rivers got the festivities going with a zinger on long-winded Oprah Winfrey from one day earlier. “I wish we had started this half an hour earlier so we could have seen the end of Oprah,” she joked.


Joan on plastic surgery: “I knew that I was doing a lot of plastic surgery because Melissa, one time, called me when Cooper was four years old and they had “Return of the Mummy,” and he ran to the TV and went, “Grandma, Grandma.”


Leading out of WE tv were sessions on two shows on IFC, Onion News Network and Portlandia, a comedy that takes a unique look at Portland, Oregon though the eyes of SNL’s Fred Armison and Carrie Brownstein. 


Next up was upcoming AMC drama The Killing, which is based on Danish series Forbrydelsen and tells the story of the murder of a young girl in Seattle. The first of 13 episodes premieres on Sunday, April 3 at 10 p.m. ET. Each episode consists of one day in the life of the investigation. “Being on AMC can either be a blessing or a terrible challenge,” said writer/executive producer/showrunner Veena Sud. “They have had the best dramas for the past couple years, and they had one failure. Do you worry about being the second failure or are you sort of reveling in the idea that you are going to ride the coattails of Mad Men and Breaking Bad?”


Coming up next was a session on new drama Breakout Kings on A&E, followed by new Lifetime series Seriously Funny Kids, hosted by Heidi Klum, and original Lifetime made-for movie The Amanda Knox Story, which looks at the events of how the Seattle honor student allegedly murdered her college roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007 with her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and friend Rudy Guede. Hayden Panettiere, who plays Amanda, had this to about whether she is innocent or not:

“We spent five weeks every day talking about it and reading about it and looking at new evidence, trying to form some sort of opinion about it. And it’s like she’s innocent; she’s guilty; she’s innocent; she’s guilty; she’s innocent. I can’t say that I have an opinion, and that’s why the story is so interesting. It really all comes together to form this incredible story that I think people are really genuinely interested and curious in. And I don’t know that we’ll ever really know.”


Immediately following the movie at 11 p.m. ET will be hour-long documentary Beyond the Headlines: Amanda Knox, which will take a look at what really happened the night Meredith Kercher was murdered. 


In addition to Seriously Funny Kids, hosted by Heidi Klum, Lifetime will launch three new reality programs: One Born Every Minute, Quad Squad and Glamour Belles. One Born Every Minute, which focuses on the maternity ward at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, launches on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 10 p.m. ET (out of back-to-back episodes of Seriously Funny Kids). Quad Squad, which follows a set of identical 17-year old quadruplet sisters, opens on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. And workplace docu-series Glamour Belles, which is set at a pageant gown shop in Tennessee, leads out of Quad Squad at 10 p.m. ET.


Earlier in the tour, TV Guide Channel announced a reality series set at a nail salon. Now we have shows set at maternity ward and a pageant gown shop. What could possibly be next?


Hallmark Channel, which hosted a dinner that evening with an array of actors present like Roma Downey, Marilu Henner, Jennie Garth, Kellie Martin, Luke Perry, Doris Roberts and Marion Ross, presented panels on made-for movies Goodnight for Justice and Smooch. And Starz followed with upcoming drama series Camelot (premieres on April 1), prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (January 21) and new drama Torchwood: The New World. 


Capping off day three at TCA was HBO, which opened with a panel on the upcoming five-part revival of Joan Crawford classic theatrical Mildred Pierce. Present were stars Kate Winslet (via satellite from Paris), Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce and director/executive producer Todd Haynes. It debuts in March. Next was Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman) via satellite from New York City, where his current Broadway hit The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway will be morphed into an HBO special in March, followed by the cast of Cinema Verite: Tim Robbins Diane Lane and James Gandolfini. Cinema Verite, which tells the behind-the-scenes story of groundbreaking documentary An American Family, debuts in April. 

In other HBO news…

The cable net has picked-up a new comedy called Girls, which will feature the lives of a group of girls in their early 20s. The cast will include Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Adam Driver and Zosia Marnet. 


Upcoming drama Game of Thrones, which is based on the bestselling books by George R.R. Martin and follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they view for power, will debut on HBO on Sunday, April 17. Ten episodes have been ordered.


Made-for movie he Sunset Limited, with Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, will premiere on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET. The premise focuses on a deeply religious ex-con (Jackson) who thwarts the suicide attempt of a college professor (Tommy Lee Jones) who tried to throw himself in front of an ongoing subway train.


Thurgood, a one-man play with Laurence Fishburne filmed in front of a live audience at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C., will debut on HBO on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.


HBO Documentary Films has announced its projects for 2011, including A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy (debuting Jan. 20); Reagan (Feb. 7), marking what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday; The Battle For Marjah (Feb. 17), which chronicles Afganistan: Operation Mushtaraq; Triangle: Remembering the Fire (March 21), marking the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire; and Saving Pelican (April), which tells the tale of the rescue of pelican “LA 895.”


HBO2 will continue its Wednesday night documentary series with titles that include JFK: In His Own Words (Jan. 19); Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star (Jan. 26); When Strangers Click: Five Stories from the Internet (Feb. 14); Quadrangle (Feb. 16), which looks at two couples who swap partners and live in a group marriage in the 1970s; Secrets of the Tribe (March); The Darkness of Day (March), which focuses on suicide; Earth Made of Glass (April); and Ingelore (May), which features Holocaust survivor Ingelore Honigstein as she recounts her escape. 


HBO Sports has begun production on Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV, a documentary about UNLV Runnin’ Rebels men’s basketball team and their controversial coach, Jerry Tarkanian. It debuts on Monday, March 7 at 9 p.m. ET.


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Results
Friday 1/07/10

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



Fox     5.4/ 9

CBS    5.1/ 9
ABC   3.5/ 6
NBC   3.3/ 6
CW     0.9/ 2

-Total Viewers:

Fox: 9.39 million, CBS: 7.90, ABC: 5.32, NBC: 5.08, CW: 1.37


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.8 rating/9 share, ABC: 1.6/ 5, CBS: 1.5/ 4, NBC: 1.3/ 4, CW: 0.5/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:

The Cotton Bowl (Fox)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Supernanny (ABC), Dateline (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox moved into the top spot on Friday care of The Cotton Bowl (LUS vs. Texas) at an estimated 9.39 million viewers and a 2.8 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 in primetime. As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate. Comparably, this stood well above anything else the network has aired on the night this season (and proof that viewers will still tune into television on fading Friday).


CBS finished second overall in total viewers and third among adults 18-49 with its combination of canceled Medium (Viewers: #2, 6.90 million; A18-49: #2, 1.4/ 5), which will be replaced by The Defenders on February 4, CSI: NY (Viewers: #2, 9.44 million; A18-49: #3, 1.6/ 5), and a repeat of The Mentalist (Viewers: #2, 7.36 million; A18-49: #4, 1.3/ 4). Former 10 p.m. occupant Blue Bloods moves into the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour (for four weeks) on January 19.


Over at ABC was soon-to-conclude Supernanny (Viewers: #3, 4.81 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 4 at 8 p.m.), followed by Primetime: What Would You Do? (Viewers: #3, 5.15 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5) and 20/20 (Viewers: #3, 6.00 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5) from 9-11 p.m.


Elsewhere, NBC populated the evening with a repeat of game show Minute to Win It (Viewers: #4, 4.29 million; A18-49: #4, 1.2/ 4 at 8 p.m.), followed by two-hours of Dateline at 5.49 million viewers and a 1.3/ 4 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown for Dateline:

Dateline (NBC)

 9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 4.87 million (#4), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#4)

 9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.30 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#4)

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.84 million (#4), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.93 million (#4), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#3)


The CW capped off the evening with repeats of Smallville (Viewers: #5, 1.50 million; A18-49: #5, 0.6/ 2) and Supernatural (Viewers: #5, 1.24 million; A18-49: #5, 0.5/ 1).


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 1/08/11

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



CBS   3.3/ 6

Fox    1.9/ 3

ABC   1.7/ 3


-Total Viewers:

NBC: 28.82 million, CBS: 5.02, Fox: 2.96, ABC: 2.66


-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 10.2 rating/29 share, ABC and CBS: 0.8/ 2 each, Fox: 0.7/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

-Saturday’s Winners:

AFC Wild Card: New York Jets at Indianapolis (NBC)


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Movie: Change of Heart
-Ratings Breakdown:

The next time someone tells you television is dead on Saturday, remind them of the New York Jets at Indianapolis match-up on the AFC Wild Card Playoff. The game on NBC averaged an estimated 28.82 million viewers with a stellar 10.2 rating/29 share among adults 18-49 in primetime. As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate. One year earlier, game two of Philadelphia versus Dallas averaged 32.12 million viewers and an 11.8/33 in the demo on January 9, 2010. Put something worth watching on Saturday and the audience will respond.


Needless to say, there was not much audience left elsewhere. CBS filled the evening with repeats of Blue Bloods (Viewers: #2, 4.27 million; A18-49: #4: 0.6/ 2) and CSI (Viewers: #2, 5.49 million; A18-49: #2, 1.0/ 3) from 8-10 p.m., followed by 48 Hours Mystery at 5.31 million viewers (#2) and a 0.9/ 3 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m.


Fox replaced regularly scheduled Cops and America’s Most Wanted with original made-for Change of Plans, which tanked at just 2.96 million viewers (#3) and a last-place 0.7/ 2 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Sadly, former American Idol contestant Brooke White is as bad an actress as she is a singer. 


ABC capped off this second Saturday in January with repeats of Wipeout (Viewers: #3, 4.09 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 3 at 8 p.m.) and The Bachelor (Viewers: 1.94 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2 – last in both categories from 9-11 p.m.).


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Note: Due to the early release of The Programming Insider, results for Sunday, January 9 are not available.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Record Jersey Shore:

The third season-premiere of MTV’s Jersey Shore reached yet another new zenith, with a whopping 8.4 million viewers on Thursday. Comparably, that was MTV’s most-watched telecast ever, with the prior high for Jersey Shore 6.7 million viewers. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Monday 1/10/11


 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor

10:00 p.m. Castle

 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)

 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement (R)

 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)

 9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly (R)

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O (R)

 8:00 p.m. Chuck (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Cape (R, two hours): time period premiere


 8:00 p.m. Lie to Me

 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me


 8:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest
-More Mad Men:

Critical favorite Mad Men, which has snagged the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for three consecutive years, has been officially renewed for a fifth season. Thirteen new episodes on expected to be on tap for 2011.


-More Storage Wars:

A&E has renewed Storage Wars for a second season, with an order for 20 new episodes for a target second quarter 2011 launch.  Season-to-date, Storage Wars remains A&E’s most-watched non-fiction series with 2.3 million total viewers on average. 

-Also at A&E:

The cable net has begun production on Real-Life series Relapse, which will follow sober coaches as they attempt to help high-risk addicts break the cycle of relapse and addiction. It begins in second quarter 2011. 


-Hallmark Channel Partners with Emeril Lagasse:

Feel-good Hallmark Channel has ordered a new cooking show from Emeril Lagasse, produced in association with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. The upcoming half-hour, which will air as part of the Hallmark Channel Home daytime block, will debut in fourth quarter 2011. 

-90210 Reunion:

No, it’s not an official reunion. But former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-stars Jason Priestley and Luke Perry were side-by-side on a TCA panel from Hallmark Channel for a made-for movie called Goodnight for Justice. Perry plays a judge traveling the West, and Priestley was the executive producer. If all goes well, this could evolve as an ongoing franchise. 


-TCM to Honor Ernest Borgnine:

One night before The Screen Actors Guild honors Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine with its Life Achievement Awards, cable net TCM, a Mr. TV favorite, will pay tribute with an evening of his most memorable roles on Saturday, Jan. 29. Featured films include Marty (1955), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Dirty Dozen (1967) and The Wild Bunch (1969).


TV Trivia Time:

Not Seeing Double

Which one of the following TV characters was not the mother of twins?


a)      Joan Bradford

b)      Valerie Hogan

c)      Lisa Landry

d)      Elizabeth Lubbock

e)      Sandra Huxtable Tibideaux  


The answer to Friday’s question…


What was father John bringing home in the season one opening credits on family drama The Waltons?


a)      Cow

b)      Radio

c)      Record player

d)      Refrigerator

e)      Telephone


Is: b) Radio. All 11 Waltons (Mama and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, John Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth) would gather every evening in the living room to listen to the radio. 

-Current kudos goes to:

David Ballarotto, Gerry Bixenspan, Paul Certo, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Kay Copeland, Sue Doron, Jerry Gibbons, Ed Griffis, Bob Ingersoll, Mary Kalnin, Kathryn Kieser, Rick Locke, Patty Lynch, Jim Moore, Michael Murphy, Laura Pagel, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, David Ruckman, Ronnie Tallant, Linda Weeks