CBS and ABC Lead Week of May 17

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Positive Results on The Big 4

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 17, 2010
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Supporting Maude
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Positive Results on The Big 4
Tuesday 5/25/10


Fox   10.9/16
ABC 10.6/16
CBS    9.2/14
NBC   5.7/ 9

CW     0.5/ 1


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, May 26, 2009):

Note: The year-ago Tuesday fell in the first week of the summer season (translation: lots of repeats!)

ABC: +332, Fox: +221, CBS: +23, NBC: +16, CW: -58

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:

The Biggest Loser (NBC), Glee (Fox), The Good Wife (CBS)

 -Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

-Ratings Breakdown:

Each of the Big 4 networks had something positive to say on this final Tuesday of the traditional (September through May) TV season. Fox led the overnight troops, beating second-place ABC by three-tenths of a rating point. Third overall was CBS, followed by NBC and a night of repeats on The CW. Fox’s advantage among adults 18-49 will greatly increase once the fast affiliate results are released. 


The final American Idol performance show opened the evening for Fox with a hefty 13.5 rating/21 share from 8-9 p.m. Although I personally changed my tune and joined camp Lee a few weeks ago, Mama Sox stole the show last night and deserves to win. Glee followed on Fox with a third-place 8.2/12 at 9 p.m., and retention of just 59 percent out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (14.3/21). But the variation between the two among adults 18-49 should not be as large. The next time anyone compiles a list of the best TV Dads, do not forget about Mike O’Malley as Burt Hummel. 


Over at ABC, a repeat of last week’s episode of Dancing With the Stars (#3: 6.7/11 at 8 p.m.) led into the two-hour season-finale, which scored a hefty 12.5/19 in the overnights from 9-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:


Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

9:00 p.m.: 12.1/18 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 12.1/18 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 12.5/19 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 13.5/22 (#1)


Congratulations, Nicole Scherzinger! For once, the audience got it right. 


CBS was on the Tuesday map care of NCIS (#2: 10.7/16), spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 8.9/13) and The Good Wife (#2: 8.1/13). But both NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife were below-average opposite the Dancing With the Stars season-ender. Even so, kudos to the Eye net for its stellar Tuesday, which will remain intact next season. 


Despite the severity of the competition, the two-hour Biggest Loser season-finale on NBC scored an above-average 6.5/10 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with growth by half-hour as follows:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#4)

8:30 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#4)

9:00 p.m.: 6.8/10 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 7.1/10 (#4)


Considering the core strength of The Biggest Loser falls within adults 18-49, consider this a solid performance. Airing out of The Biggest Loser was the season-finale of Parenthood at a third-place 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. As bad as that may sound, it could still be enough to beat CBS’ competing The Good Wife in the demo.


Distant last-place The CW aired repeats of Life Unexpected (#5: 0.7/ 1) and 90210 (#5: 0.5/ 1). As a reminder, here is what you will be seeing on the broadcast networks this fall (with new shows in caps and bolded):

 9:00 p.m.: Dancing With the Stars (new time)

10:00 p.m.: BODY OF PROOF

 8:00 p.m.: NCIS
 9:00 p.m.: NCIS: Los Angeles

10:00 p.m.: The Good Wife

 8:00 p.m.: The Biggest Loser (two hours)

10:00 p.m.: Parenthood

 8:00 p.m. Glee (new time)
 9:00 p.m.: RAISING HOPE
 9:30 p.m.: RUNNING WILDE
 8:00 p.m.: One Tree Hill (new day)
 9:00 p.m. Life Unexpected (new day)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 17, 2010

CBS, as usual, dominated this final complete week in the traditional (September through May) TV season in total viewers, while Lost-ignited ABC finished first in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Excluding weeks with The Academy Awards and The Super Bowl, this is the first time ABC beat Fox during a week with American Idol. Compared to one year earlier, both ABC and CBS were on the plus side, with ABC’s gains more significant at as much as 44 percent among adults 25-54. 


Excluding Fox, which dipped to third in households and total viewers and second demographically, year-to-year growth was the observation of note this week and that was because the comparable year-ago week featured the end of the traditional season that Wednesday. Thursday through Sunday were riddled with repeats for the week of May 18, 2009.


With that in mind, fourth-place NBC (which managed a third-place finish in adults 18-34) built by margins of 27 to 87 percent versus one year earlier. Last-place The CW scored double-digit gains in adults 18-34 and adults 25-54. 


Six-year old Lost on ABC ended its run with 13.57 million viewers and a 5.8 rating/15 share among adults 18-49 — its highest rated telecast in both categories since February 2008. Also concluding this week, and not by choice, was CBS’ Ghost Whisperer, which earned its cancellation stripes at just 6.83 million viewers (#37) and a 1.6/ 7 among adults 18-49 (tied for #51) in the Friday 8 p.m. hour. 


In specials news, CBS counter-programmed the Lost series-ender on Sunday with 8-10 p.m. music extravaganza, Brooks & Dunn: Last Rodeo, which delivered in total viewers (#20 overall, 10.15 million), but fell flat among adults 18-49 (#47t, 1.8/ 5). Ongoing CBS special I Get That a Lot, the third in the series, was the lowest-rated to date with 7.05 million viewers (#35) and a 2.0/ 7 in the demo (#40t) in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour. Over at Fox, Major League Baseball in place of regularly scheduled Saturday occupants Cops and America’s Most Wanted failed to get to first base with just 4.31 million viewers (#67) and a 1.1/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#67t). At press time, ABC is in conversations to keep Ghost Whisperer alive. 


What follows are the final national ratings for the week of May 17, 2010 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the top 30 rated programs of the week and the top rated networks on basic cable.  


CBS: 6.2 rating/11 share (+ 9), ABC: 5.5/10 (+17), Fox: 4.6/ 8 (-22), NBC: 3.8/ 7 (+27), CW: 0.9/ 2 (-10)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.86 million (+11), ABC: 8.87 (+22), Fox: 7.75 (-24), NBC: 5.93 (+34), CW: 1.40 (no change)

-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 2.9 rating/9 share (+38), Fox: 2.7/ 9 (-25), CBS: 2.2/ 7 (+ 5), NBC: 1.9/ 6 (+58), CW: 0.6/ 2 (no change)

-Adults 25-54:

ABC: 3.6/10 (+44), Fox: 3.1/ 9 (-26), CBS: 3.0/ 8 (+ 7), NBC: 2.3/ 6 (+53), CW: 0.6/ 1 (+20)

-Adults 18-34:

ABC: 2.4/ 8 (+41), Fox: 2.3/ 8 (-21), NBC: 1.5/ 5 (+87), CBS: 1.4/ 5 (+ 8), CW: 0.8/ 3 (+14)


 Top 30 Rankings

-Total Viewers:

Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 19.04 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 19.03, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 18.68, NCIS (CBS): 15.96, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 15.32, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, season finale): 15.24, The Mentalist (CBS, season finale): 15.22, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 15.02, CSI (CBS, season finale); 14.34, Lost (ABC, series finale): 13.57, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 13.28, Criminal Minds (CBS): 13.25, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 13.19, The Good Wife (CBS): 12.04, Glee (Fox): 11.47, CSI: NY (CBS): 11.30, House (Fox, season finale): 11.06, CSI: Miami (CBS): 10.52, Lost (ABC): 10.47, Brooks & Dunn: Last Rodeo (CBS): 10.15,  Modern Family (ABC, season finale): 10.14, Castle (ABC, season finale): 10.07, Lost: The Finale Journey (ABC): 9.93, 60 Minutes (CBS): 9.57, The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, season premiere): 9.45, Bones (Fox, season finale): 9.35, 24 (Fox): 8.94, Law & Order: SVU (NBC, season finale): 8.79, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 8.31, The Mentalist R (CBS, Thurs. 8 p.m.): 8.05

-Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 6.7 rating/19 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 6.1/17, Lost (ABC, season finale): 5.8/15, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 5.5/14, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, season premiere): 5.4/15, Glee (Fox): 4.8/12, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 4.4/12, House (Fox, season finale): 4.3/12, Lost (ABC): 4.3/11, Modern Family (ABC, season finale): 4.2/12, Lost: The Final Journey (ABC): 4.1/13, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.1/11, The Office (NBC, season finale): 3.4/10, The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, season premiere): 3.4/ 9, NCIS (CBS), Criminal Minds (CBS) and CSI (CBS, season finale): 3.3/ 9 each, The Mentalist (CBS, season finale): 3.2/ 9, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 3.1/ 9, The Biggest Loser (NBC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) and Family Guy (Fox, season finale): 3.1/ 8 each, 24 (Fox), Rules of Engagement (CBS) and CSI: Miami (CBS): 2.9/ 8 each, Bones (Fox, season finale): 2.8/10, Cougar Town (ABC, season finale): 2.8/ 8, 30 Rock (NBC): 2.7/ 8, Law & Order: SVU (NBC) and Parenthood (NBC): 2.7/ 7 each


What follows are the top 10 rated networks on cable in prime-time for the week of May 17 based on total viewers and the three key demos:

Total Viewers:

USA: 2.91 million, TNT: 2.84, ESPN: 2.61, Fox News: 1.88, Nick at Nite: 1.70, History: 1.44, TBS: 1.43, Cartoon Network: 1.28, A&E: 1.25, Discovery: 1.14

Adults 18-49:

TNT: 1.54 million, ESPN: 1.33 million, USA: 1.03 million, TBS: 850,000, History: 610,000, Discovery: 603,000, A&E: 577,000, FX: 537,000, ABC Family: 496,000, Food Network: 464,000

Adults 25-54:

TNT: 1.47 million, ESPN: 1.30 million, USA: 1.12 million, TBS: 748,000, History: 719,000, A&E: 637,000, Discovery: 627,000, FX: 508,000, Syfy: 481,000, HGTV: 476,000

Adults 18-34:

TNT: 840,000, ESPN: 676,000, TBS: 493,000, USA: 457,000, MTV: 333,000, Comedy Central: 281,000, FX: 280,000, ABC Family: 279,000, Discovery: 267,000, A&E: 249,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Updated National Ratings in Syndication:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on households for the week of May 10:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.5 rating. Jeopardy (CBS): 5.6, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.8, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.7, Oprah (CBS): 4.5, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.0, Family Guy (Twentieth): 3.4, Inside Edition (CBS), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 3.1 each, Dr. Phil (CBS) and The Office (NBC Universal): 2.9 each, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television) and CSI: NY (CBS): 2.8 each, George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.7, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC), Dr. Oz (SPT) and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC): 2.5 each, Ellen DeGeneres (Warner Bros.) and King of the Hill (Twentieth): 2.4 each

-Record The Steve Wilkos Show:

Three year-old The Steve Wilkos Show from NBC Universal, a Mr. TV favorite, reached a new zenith, with a 1.5 rating in households for the week of May 10. Comparably, Wilkos built by 15 percent from one week earlier and 36 percent year-to-year, which was the largest growth of any syndicated talker. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/26/10
Final Night of the May 2010 Sweeps

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Transformers


 8:00 p.m. Undercover Boss (R)

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (season finale)

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (season finale)

 8:00 p.m.  Minute to Win It (R, two hours)

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

 8:00 p.m  American Idol (season finale, two hours)


 8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

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

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-Big Brother Fans, Take Note:

The upcoming season of CBS summer favorite Big Brother will begin on Thursday, July 8 at 8 p.m. ET. It will air three times per week, including Sunday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

-Also on CBS:

Canadian drama The Bridge, which focuses on an outspoken former police union head in Toronto, will kick-off on Saturday, July 10 at 8 p.m. ET. 

-Friday Night Lights on ABC Family:

Cable network ABC Family has acquired the off-network rights to NBC drama Friday Night Lights, including the upcoming fifth season that launches on DirectTV on October 28. Season one of the critically acclaimed drama will begin on ABC Family this fall.  CBS has announced summer premiere dates for several programs, including “Big Brother” and “Flashpoint.”

“Flashpoint,” the international co-production that performed admirably for CBS in the wake of the writers strike, will return on Fridays starting June 4. The police drama has been off the air since last May and will premiere at 9 p.m. before shifting to a 10 p.m. slot.

“Big Brother,” which typically ranks as CBS’ highest-rated original summer series, returns Thursday, July 8 and will air three times per week — Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.

The remaining few episodes of canceled medical drama “Three Rivers” will air on Saturdays beginning June 5 at 8 p.m. The slot will be taken over by new international co-production police drama “The Bridge” beginning July 10.

-Executive Shuffle:

Heather Olander has been named Vice President, Programming and Development for CBS Television Distribution, where she will be responsible for developing new syndicated series and overseeing the current first-run strips. Olander joins CTD from MTV, where she was Vice President of Original Series Development and Current Programming.  


Simon Andreae has been named Senior Vice President of Development and Production for Discovery Channel, where he will be responsible for leading the cable net’s West Coast development and production. Most recently, Andreae was Co-President of independent production company The Incubator. 

TV Trivia Time:
Supporting Maude

What kind of store did Maude’s husband Walter own on sitcom Maude?

dry cleaner
The answer to yesterday’s question…

We all, of course, remember Ed Asner as gruff but lovable Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and spin-off Lou Grant. But he also appeared regularly on four of the following series. Which one was he not on?


a)      Ask Harriet

b)      The Bronx Zoo

c)      The Closer

d)      George & Leo

e)      Slattery’s People


Is: d) George & Leo, which was a CBS sitcom with Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch that aired in the 1997-98 season. To the masses who answered The Closer, there was a short-lived Tom Selleck sitcom called The Closer (before the current TNT drama of the same name) that featured Ed Asner in first quarter 2008. 

-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Michael Holland, Ken Hommel,  Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Deb Kainer, Mark Krause, Tom Lawrenson, Patty Lynch, Kristen Orr, Aaron Paquette, Gordon Purcell, Joe Rubi, David Shearer, David Young