CBS and Fox Dominate in Primetime

Thursday, February 19, 2009

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of February 9, 2009

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

At Home With the Cleavers


Note: All overnight data for Tuesday, Feb. 17, Wednesday, Feb. 18, and Thursday, Feb. 19 will be held by Nielsen until Friday due to stations making the digital transition.  Although a small percentage of stations transitioned yesterday, the purpose of the three-day hold is to ensure that all necessary changes have been made in Nielsen’s internal systems to properly credit the stations that transition. Overnight data for Tuesday through Thursday is expected to be released on Friday morning.


Make sure you go to at approximately 12 p.m. ET, however, for a look at the fast affiliate results for Wednesday, Feb. 18.


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of February 9, 2009


It was another week of mixed leadership, with CBS dominant in households and total viewers and the home of American Idol, Fox, first in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. CBS was on the year-to-year plus side, building by margins of 21 to 41 percent. And Fox was just the opposite, dipping by as much as 21 percent among adults 18-34. 


ABC also gained traction from one year earlier, with a third-place ranking in four of the surveyed categories (excluding a second-place finish among adults 18-34). Fading NBC was one notch below ABC, with yearly losses of 25 to 30 percent, followed by the CW and growing MyNetworkTV, which will lose any momentum it currently has (as a result of Friday Night Smackdown!) by relying on repeats next season. That is no way to plan for the future. 


In series-premiere news, Fox drama Dollhouse, from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer Joss Whedon, opened with 4.76 million viewers (#60) and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#46t) in the Friday 9 p.m. hour. Comparably, that placed it third in the time period in total viewers (behind CBS’ Flashpoint and ABC’s Supernanny) and second among adults 18-49 (behind Supernanny). While that may not sound impressive, it did build from relocated lead-in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Viewers: 3.71 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 5 at 8 p.m.) by 1.05 million viewers and 43 percent in the demo. And it was Fox’s highest rated Friday series premiere since drama Jonny Zero on Jan. 14, 2005.


In season-premiere news, cycle No. 18 of CBS’ veteran Survivor, now themed Tocantins, and cycle No. 14 of The Amazing Race dominated their time periods, but The Amazing Race was actually below average among adults 18-49. Take a look:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS) – Thursday 8 p.m. (season premiere)

Viewers: 13.63 million (#12), A18-49: 4.4/13 (#10t)


The Amazing Race (CBS) – Sunday 8 p.m. (season premiere)

Viewers: 9.20 million (#27), A18-49: 2.6/ 7 (#31t)


In the specials department, The 40th Annual NAACP Awards on Fox Thursday was far from impressive, with 4.20 million viewers (#68) and a 1.4/ 4 in the demo (#63t). And part two of NBC miniseries XIII was a complete bust at a mere 4.26 million viewers (#66) and a 1.0/ 2 among adults 18-49 (#77t) in the Sunday 9-11 p.m. block. In other words, the once potent miniseries formula is not poised for a comeback anytime soon.


Here are the final national ratings for the week of February 9, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   


CBS: 7.1 rating/12 share (+37), Fox: 5.8/ 9 (-13), ABC: 4.8/ 8 (+ 9), NBC: 4.1/ 7 (-25), CW: 1.1/ 2 (-27), MNTV: 0.9/ 2 (+12)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.36 million (+41), Fox: 10.04 (-13), ABC: 7.58 (+ 9), NBC: 6.36 (-29), CW: 1.54 (-31), MNTV: 1.50 (+25)

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.9 rating/10 share (-15), CBS: 2.8/ 8 (+27), ABC: 2.7/ 7 (+17), NBC: 2.1/ 6 (-30), CW: 0.6/ 2 (-25), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (no change)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 4.4/11 (-12), CBS: 3.7/ 9 (+28), ABC: 3.1/ 8 (+15), NBC: 2.5/ 6 (-26), MNTV: 0.6/ 1 (+20), CW: 0.6/ 1 (-25)

-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.4/10 (-21), ABC: 2.5/ 8 (+39), CBS: 1.7/ 5 (+21), NBC: 1.7/ 5 (-26), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-22), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+24)


New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats):

Pre-empted: Homeland Security, USA (ABC), Lie To Me (Fox)


Dollhouse (Fox) – Friday 9 p.m. (series premiere)

Viewers: 4.76 million (#60), A18-49: 2.0/ 6 (#46t)


True Beauty (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 3.69 million (#74), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#57t)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 4.10 million (#70), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#69t)


13 – Fear is Real (CW) – Friday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 940,000 (#92), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#93 dead last!)

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

American Idol –Tuesday (Fox): 24.94 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 24.82, The Mentalist (CBS): 19.70, NCIS (CBS): 18.03, CSI (CBS): 17.94, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, crossover with Private Practice): 15.16, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 15.00, Without a Trace (CBS): 14.31, Private Practice (ABC, crossover with Grey’s Anatomy): 14.10, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 14.01, CSI: Miami (CBS): 13.81, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS, season premiere): 13.63, 60 Minutes (CBS): 13.11, The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Mon. 9:30 p.m.): 12.72, Criminal Minds (CBS): 12.48, CSI: NY (CBS): 11.94, The Bachelor (ABC): 11.59, Dateline – Tuesday (NBC): 11.26, 20/20 (ABC): 10.99, Eleventh Hour (CBS): 10.94, Cold Case (CBS): 10.89, 24 (Fox): 10.61, Ghost Whisperer (CBS): 10.31, Fringe (Fox): 9.83, Lost (ABC): 9.82, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 9.25, The Amazing Race (CBS, season premiere): 9.20, Numb3rs (CBS): 9.10, Brothers & Sisters (ABC) and The Office (NBC): 9.00 each

-Adults 18-49:

American Idol –Wednesday (Fox): 9.5 rating/23 share, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 9.2/14, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, crossover with Private Practice): 5.9/15, Private Practice (ABC, crossover with Grey’s Anatomy): 5.7/15, 24 (Fox): 3.4/ 8, Desperate Housewives (ABC) and CSI (CBS): 4.9/12 each, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 4.8/11, The Office (NBC): 4.6/12, The Big Bang Theory (CBS, Mon. 9:30 p.m.): 4.5/10, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS, season premiere): 4.4/13, Lost (ABC): 4.4/10, The Bachelor (ABC) and The Mentalist (CBS): 4.2/10 each, Fringe (Fox): 4.1/10, CSI: Miami (CBS) and Dateline – Tuesday (NBC): 4.0/10 each, 30 Rock (NBC) and Family Guy (Fox): 3.8/ 9 each, NCIS (CBS): 3.7/10, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 3.7/ 9, Heroes (NBC): 3.6/ 8, 20/20 (ABC): 3.5/11, Without a Trace (CBS): 3.4/ 9, 24 (Fox): 3.4/ 8, The Simpsons (Fox): 3.2/ 8, CSI: NY (CBS) and Brothers & Sisters (ABC): 3.1/ 8 each, Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.0/ 7, American Dad (Fox): 2.9/ 7, Eleventh Hour (CBS): 2.7/ 7


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Top 20 Rated Programs in Syndication:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication based on households for the week of Feb. 2, 2009:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.9 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.5, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 5.8, Oprah (CBS): 4.9, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.7, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.6, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 4.3, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.9, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 3.7 each, Dr. Phil (CBS): 3.5, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.4, Inside Edition (CBS) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal): 3.2 each, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 3.1, King of Queens (SPT) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.9 each, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.8, Friends (Warner Bros.) and King of Queens – Weekend (SPT): 2.7 each


-Cable Rating Highlights – Week of Feb. 9:

Wondering what happened in cable for the week of Feb 9? The following analysis comes to you from Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek’s Senior Editor, Cable TV and Automotive.  


Although the NBA All-Star Game made things interesting, USA Network last week was able to string together its sixth straight prime-time ratings win of 2009, averaging 3.22 million viewers.
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, USA wrapped the week of Feb. 9-15 with four of the top 10 programs on ad-supported cable, while retaining its hold over the 25-54 demo with an average delivery of 1.56 million viewers.  
Among USA’s top performers last week were the Monday night WWE Raw showcase, which drew 5.24 million viewers in the 9 p.m.-11 p.m. time slot, and Friday night’s episode of Monk (5.11 million viewers).
USA dropped to second place on the week among viewers 18-49, serving up 1.48 million members of the demo, trailing only TNT (1.6 million). The NBC Universal cable flagship also took second among 18-34s (651,000), falling short of TNT’s 862,000.

For more cable rating highlights for the week, click here. Comments or questions can be directed to Anthony at

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 2/19/09
 8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
 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. Eleventh Hour

 8:00 p.m. My Name is Earl

 8:30 p.m. Kath & Kim

 9:00 p.m. The Office (R)
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock (R)
10:00 p.m. ER
 8:00 p.m. Bones

 9:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen


 8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Rivers Edge


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-American Idol Talk:

I should have gone with my gut in my predictions yesterday because I truly thought Alexis Grace stood out among the women on American Idol this week. But Danny Gokey is going very far this season and my wild card pick, Michael Sarver, rounds off the top three from last night. Tatiana Del Toro may be gone, but she does have a shot to make it as a wild card. Does anyone know how the wild card picks work? I don’t.


-MC Hammer Heads to A&E:

Rapper and dancer MC Hammer is the latest celebrity to travel the docudrama route in an upcoming non-scripted series on A&E called Hammertime. Currently in production, Hammertime will feature 11 half-hour episodes focusing on the daily lives of MC Hammer, his wife of 23 years and their family of seven (ranging from the ages of 3 to 21). It is expected to air later this year.


-Comedy Central to Introduce Michael and Michael Have Issues:

Comedy Central has ordered a new comedy headlined by Michael Ian Black and Michal Showalter that will be called Michael and Michael Have Issues. The long-time comedy partners (have you ever heard of them?) will appear as hosts of their own fictitious sketch show, with comedy segments appearing throughout the narrative of each episode. It premieres in July with the first of seven episodes. 


-More TMZ:

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has renewed sophomore entertainment news strip TMZ for two additional seasons, with confirmed clearances in a hefty 97 percent of the country. Renewals include the Fox Television Stations and affiliates in the following groups: ACME Television, Barrington Broadcasting, ComCorp, Grant Communications, Gray Television, Hoak Media, Lambert Broadcasting, LIN TV, Max Media, Media General, Meredith, New Age Media, New Vision Television, Newport Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Northwest Broadcasting, Pappas Telecasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Smith Media and Tribune Broadcasting.


Season to-date (though Feb. 8, 2009), TMZ ranks third in households among the six syndicated magazines, with a 2.2 rating. Comparably, that is up by 10 percent from the comparable year-ago period. And TMZ leads the genre among women 18-34 (1.4), men 18-34 (1.1) and men 18-49 (1.2), with growth of as much as 20 percent among men 18-49 from one year earlier. 


TV Trivia Time:

At Home With the Cleavers


What was the name of the town the Cleavers lived in on classic sitcom Leave it to Beaver?

Four Corners

The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was goofball Sgt. Schultz’ catch-phrase on sitcom Hogan’s Heroes?


“God will get you for that”

“How rude”
“I know nothing”
“You look mahvelous!”

Is:  d) “I know nothing.” Personally speaking, I think this look at life at a Nazi POW camp during World War II is the worst idea for a sitcom in the history of television. Regardless, it aired for six seasons (1965-71) and co-star Werner Klemperer won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy. I guess “I know nothing!”

-Current kudos goes to:

Jeff Abbott, Don Abel, Suzanne Ackley, Mary Bancroft, Ric Beddingfield, L. Bell, Mikki Beno, Barbara Berman, Burt Benoliel, Carolyn Bisson, Gerry Bixenspan, (2x) Kimay Bloch, Marshall Boone, Mark Braff, John Brooker, Mitch Burg, Peggy Campbell, Shawn Carrico, Paul Certo, Patti Clements, Larry Collins, Shelia Collins, Tom Condosta, Kay Copeland, Larry Corsa, Mark Cosenza, Annie Courtney, Reid Davis, James Davison, Ric Dittman, Paulette Dittrock, Sue Doron, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, Julie Friedlander, Karen Gardner, Adam Giagni, Bob Goldman, Maureen Goldman, Michael Grewe, Scott Goneman, Martha Gonzalez, Joslyn Hansen, Sharron Harmening, Caroline Becker Hayes, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Hentshel, Brad Hight, Heidi Hoffmesier, Michael Holland, Kerry Hughes, Pat Hylkema, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Mary Kalnin, Kim Kaufmann, Steven Kaufman, Kathryn Kieser, Tom Kilgallon, Mary Kinoshita, Suzanne Knoll, Andi Kupersmith, Stephen LaRue, Anne Leahy, Howard Lieboff, Jay Liebenguth, Rick Locke, Cathleen Looze, Keith Marder, Kathy Martin, Randi Mendelsohn, John Merrill, Judah Mezey, Richard Mikheiser, Rich Miller, Debbie Mirr, Jim Moore, Beverly Morris, Judith Mullen, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Michael Natale, Frank Nicotero, Cindy O’Connor, Steve O’Rourke, Tad O’Rourke, Dave Pasquantonio, Joe Pedri, Alan Perris, Jodi Perris, Greg Phelan, Mary Politano, Cliff Pozner, Francine Purcell, Arthur Reinstein, Conn Rigg, James Romanovich, Alan Rosenfeld, Deanna Rosolen, Jay Rossi, Joe Rubi, Harley David Rubin, David Ruckman, Marilyn Rutkowski, David Shall, David Shearer, Jim Shore, Mark Simmons, Jennie Smith, Kim Smith, Michelle Stanton, Bruce Starin, Mickie Steinmann, Elaine Stevens, Phyllis Stewart, Don Surath, Joe Swaney, Robyn Swart, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Pam Tierney, Trenna Underhill, Don Webb, Myndi Weinraub, Richard Wierzbowski, David Williams, Beverly Wolfinbarger, Jim Wright, Kevin Yim, Ged Young, Ted Zavales, Ted Zawislak