CBS and Fox Share Leadership for the Week of April 6

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Fox Wins, but Rushed Idol Leaves this Critic Balking

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 6, 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:

Uncle Sam Wants Archie


Fox Wins, but Rushed Idol Leaves this Critic Balking

Tuesday 4/14/09


Fox 10.3/16
CBS   8.4/13
ABC 5.8/ 9
NBC 5.3/ 8

CW   1.4/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, April 15, 2008):

CBS: +53, CW: + 8, Fox: – 2, ABC: – 9, NBC: -32


Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Tuesday, April 14, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS R (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), The Mentalist R (CBS), Without a Trace (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

According to Jim (ABC), Reaper (CW), Cupid (ABC), 90210 (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox, of course, led the Tuesday troops with old faithful American Idol at a powerful 13.5 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. But if anyone at Idol is looking for a high five on a job well done, splitting the judges in pairs of two was absolutely horrific. We watch American Idol to hear what they all have to say about each contestant (Simon, in particular). Looking ahead, there are two solutions to dealing with the time issue:


a)      Pare the judges back down to three.

b)      Make the performance show 90 minutes.


How is that for a solution? As for the bottom three tonight, my picks are: boring Anoop, underrated Matt and spunky Lil. Since Lil spoke back to Simon, I predict she will be departing tonight. While she has every right to defend herself, the performance was just not good.


American Idol led into Fringe, which finished third in the 9 p.m. hour, with a 7.1/11 in the overnights. Comparably, retention out of the second half of lead-in American Idol (14.0/22 at 8:30 p.m.) was just 51 percent. No, this is not a breakout hit. 


CBS was on the map last night despite airing repeats from 8-10 p.m., with its combination of an encore telecast of NCIS (#2: 8.7/14), an encore telecast of the biggest new hit this season, The Mentalist (#2: 7.9/12), and Without a Trace (#1: 8.7/14). Opposite a repeat of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (#2: 5.0/ 9), Without a Trace is also poised for victory among adults 18-49. As for the rumor that CBS may be moving The Mentalist to another time period next season (Thursday at 10 p.m. is what I am hearing), which try to fix something that is not broken?


ABC was on the map from 9-10 p.m., of course, with the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show at a dominant 9.9/15. Adios, Steve-O. But the network crawled out of the gate care of two episodes of According to Jim (#4: avg. 2.9/ 5 from 8-10 p.m.) and the unnecessary remake of Cupid at 10 p.m. finished third with a 4.3/ 8. Retention for Cupid out of the second half of lead-in Dancing With the Stars (10.2/15 at 9:30 p.m.) was a painful 42 percent. Rule of thumb to the networks: never remake a show that did not work the first time around.


Over at NBC, another two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser averaged a 5.4/ 8 from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.7/ 7 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 6.1/ 9 (#3)


As I say every week, The Biggest Loser always flexes some muscle among key adults 18-49, particularly at 9:30 p.m. And that led into a repeat of the aforementioned Law & Order: SVU at a second-place 5.0/ 9 at 10 p.m. For more on SVU, see TV Tidbits below.


The CW capped off Tuesday with original installments of Reaper and 90210 each at a last-place 1.4/ 2 in their time periods. Note to fans of Tori Spelling…she will be reprising her role as Donna Martin on 90210 next week. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 6, 2009


It was yet another week of split leadership between CBS and Fox, with the Eye net first in households and total viewers and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. CBS finished close to year-ago levels, while Fox dipped by margins of 11 to 13 percent. Third across the board for the week of April 6 was ABC, followed by NBC, the CW and MyNetworkTV, which continues to build from one year earlier thanks to the addition of Friday Night Smackdown! last fall. ABC and NBC were on par from the year-ago week, while struggling the CW declined by as much as 17 percent in total viewers. 


There were five series premieres this week: Surviving Suburbia and The Unusuals on ABC, Harper’s Island on CBS, and Parks and Recreation and Southland on NBC. As expected, painfully generic sitcom Surviving Suburbia had the largest audience (see New Midseason Series Report Card below), but the retention out of Dancing With the Stars was just 57 percent in total viewers and 65 percent among adults 18-49. Harper’s Island versus Southland netted mixed results, with Harper’s Island first in the Thursday 10 p.m. hour in total viewers and Southland No. 1 among adults 18-49. But the CBS murder mystery lost a big chunk of the CSI lead-in (6.41 million viewers and 32 percent among adults 18-49), while Southland built out of 30 Rock by 3.05 million viewers and three percent in the demo. Harper’s Island also lost steam in the second half-hour, while Southland remained intact. So, Southland had the better start. But if Southland holds up, where does NBC position it next season now that Jay Leno is inheriting the 10 p.m. hour?


Sitcom Parks and Recreation on Thursday got sampled out of an 8 p.m. installment of The Office, but fading My Name is Earl returns next week, all but guaranteeing hefty loses for Amy Poehler and company. Considerably disappointing, meanwhile, was ABC’s The Unusuals out of Lost on Wednesday, which trailed CBS’ competing CSI: NY by 5.67 million viewers and 36 percent in the demo. If the normal 10-20 percent audience loss kicks in this week, The Unusuals will end up no better than recent 10 p.m. occupants Life on Mars and Dirty Sexy Money.


Here are the final national ratings for the week of April 6, 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: 7.0 rating/12 share (+ 6), Fox: 5.4/ 9 (-11), ABC: 4.9/ 8 (- 8), NBC: 4.0/ 7 (- 7), CW: 1.1/ 2 (-15), MNTV: 0.9/ 2 (+29)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.43 million (+12), Fox: 9.03 (-12), ABC: 7.72 (- 5), NBC: 6.23 (- 6), CW: 1.66 (-17), MNTV: 1.46 (+40)

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.3 rating/10 share (-13), CBS: 2.9/ 9 (- 3), ABC: 2.2/ 6 (- 8), NBC: 2.1/ 6 (no change), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-12), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 3.9/10 (-11), CBS: 3.8/10 (+ 3), ABC: 2.8/ 7 (- 7), NBC: 2.5/ 6 (no change), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-12), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 2.7/ 9 (-13), CBS: 2.0/ 6 (- 5), ABC: 1.7/ 5 (no change), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (- 6), CW: 0.8/ 2 (no change), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+67)


New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats)


Surviving Suburbia (ABC) – Monday 9:30 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 11.25 million (#15), A18-49: 3.0/ 7 (#25t)


Harper’s Island (CBS) – Thursday 10 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 10.21 million (#20), A18-49: 2.6/ 8 (#31t)


Southland (NBC) – Thursday 10 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 9.86 million (#23), A18-49: 3.2/ 9 (#21t)


Castle (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.  

Viewers: 9.03 million (#29), A18-49: 2.3/ 6 (#41t)


Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 8 p.m.  

Viewers: 8.56 million (#31t), A18-49: 2.5/ 8 (#34t)


Parks and Recreation (NBC) – Thursday 8:30 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 6.88 million (#42), A18-49: 3.0/ 9 (#25t)


The Unusuals (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 6.83 million (#43), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#46t)


Cupid (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 5.71 million (#51), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#58t)


In the Motherhood (ABC) – Thursday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 4.51 million (#67), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#67t)


Better Off Ted (ABC) – Wednesday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 4.04 million (#76), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#56t)


Dollhouse (Fox) – Friday 9 p.m. 

Viewers: 3.50 million (#83), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#62t)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 3.77 million (#78), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#79t)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8:30 p.m. 

Viewers: 3.72 million (#79), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#79t)

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 22.98, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 22.81 million, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 19.88, NCIS (CBS): 17.81, NCAA Basketball – (CBS, Monday): 17.65, The Mentalist (CBS): 16.92, CSI (CBS): 16.62, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 14.56, Criminal Minds (CBS): 13.61, House (Fox): 13.29, 60 Minutes (CBS): 12.83, CSI: NY (CBS): 12.50, Without a Trace (CBS) and Prelude to a Championship (CBS): 12.15 each, Surviving Suburbia (ABC, premiere): 11.25, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 11.24, 24 (Fox): 10.96, The Amazing Race (CBS): 10.57, Cold Case (CBS): 10.56, Harper’s Island (CBS, premiere): 10.21, Ghost Whisperer (CBS): 10.08, Fringe (Fox): 9.88, Southland (NBC, premiere): 9.86, Numb3rs (CBS): 9.80, Flashpoint (CBS): 9.77, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC); 9.55, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 9.26, The Unit (CBS): 9.05, Castle (ABC): 9.03, Bones (Fox): 9.01

-Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 8.1 rating/22 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 8.0/20, NCAA Basketball – (CBS, Monday): 6.3/16, House (Fox): 5.1/13, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.6/12, Fringe (Fox): 4.0/10, The Office (NBC, Thurs. 9 p.m.): 3.9/11, Prelude to a Championship (CBS): 3.9/10, Lost (ABC) and CSI (CBS): 3.8/10 each, 24 (Fox): 3.8/ 9, NCIS (CBS): 3.6/10, The Mentalist (CBS): 3.6/ 9, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 3.5/11, The Office (NBC, Thurs. 8 p.m.): 3.4/11, CSI: NY (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC) and Hell’s Kitchen (Fox): 3.3/ 9 each, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.3/ 8, Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.3/ 8, Southland (NBC, premiere): 3.2/ 9, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 3.2/ 8, 30 Rock (NBC): 3.1/ 9, The Amazing Race (CBS): 3.1/ 8, Parks and Recreation (NBC, premiere): 3.0/ 9, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) and Celebrity Apprentice (NBC): 3.0/ 8 each, Surviving Suburbia (ABC, premiere): 3.0/ 7, 60 Minutes (CBS): 2.7/ 8, Without a Trace (CBS): 2.7/ 7


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-New High for Disney HD:

Based on national ratings for Friday, April 10, recently re-branded cable network Disney XD rose to its best performance in kids 6-14 (136,000) and kids 6-11 (119,000) since Feb. 16, 2009. Comparably, the results among kids 6-11 was its third highest rated to-date in the demo, and the growth over Toon Disney from one year earlier was 29 percent in kids 6-14 and 21 percent among kids 6-11.

-Top Rated Cable Networks in Prime-Time – Week of April 6:

What follows are the 20 most-watched cable network in prime-time based on the just concluded week of April 6:


USA: 3.08 million, Fox News: 2.29, Disney Channel: 2.11, Nick at Nite: 1.82, TBS: 1.76, ESPN: 1.56, TNT: 1.51, A&E: 1.34, FX: 1.30, Lifetime: 1.29, Cartoon Network: 1.23, Sci Fi: 1.20, Discovery: 1.18, Tru TV: 1.17, HGTV: 1.16, ABC Family and Spike TV: 1.13 each, Hallmark: 1.10, History: 1.08, Comedy Central: 1.05


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 4/15/09
 8:00 p.m. Scrubs
 8:30 p.m. Better Off Ted
 9:00 p.m. Lost

10:00 p.m. The Unusuals


 8:00 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried  

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. Bones

 9:00 p.m. American Idol


 8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)


 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)

 9:00 p.m. Comics Unleashed

 9:30 p.m. Comics Unleashed


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More SVU:

It’s official: NBC has renewed veteran drama Law & Order: SVU for an 11th season, but it may be without Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni. The two stars are balking that $350,000 per episode is just not enough. Take $350,000 and times that by 22 episodes and that is an annual salary of $7.7 million. Not enough, huh?


-Bravo Announces New Programming Initiatives:

Cable net Bravo has unveiled an aggressive slate of new programs for the remainder of this season and beyond. New series will include American Artist, a reality/competition from Sarah Jessica Parker; Design Sixx, featuring professional house flippers Cortney and Robert Novogratz; Kell on Earth, which focuses on fashion PR maven Kelly Cutrone; and fashion reality/competition Launch My Line. In development is Eric B., which focuses on florist to the stars Eric Buterbaugh; Jackie’s Gym Takeover, which follows fitness expert Jackie Warner; docu-series Laura Bennett; docu-series Secret Life of Supermodels; and Social Heights, the non-scripted story of a close group of Manhattan friends. Previously announced pick-ups are Chef Academy, Double Exposure, The Fashion Show, Miami Social, NYC Prep, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Top Chef Masters. 


Returning series on Bravo are Flipping Out, Inside the Actors Studio, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Million Dollar Listing, The Rachel Zoe Project, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Shear Genius, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and season six of Top Chef.


TV Trivia Time:

Uncle Sam Wants Archie


Remember the episode of All in the Family when Archie Bunker gets in trouble with the IRS for not reporting income he made on a side job? What job was that?

bus driver
cab driver
inventory taker
shoe salesman

The answer to yesterday’s question…


What state was drama Little House on the Prairie set in?

North Dakota

Is: b) Minnesota. The Ingalls lived in a town called Walnut Creek in Minnesota. According to TV maven Bob Ingersoll:


The pilot movie started in Wisconsin and then moved to Kansas. But for the TV series, the Ingalls family relocated from Kansas to the Minnesota setting. This follows the migration of the clan from the books. In Little House in the Big Woods, they move from Wisconsin to Independence, Kansas, which is also where Little House on the Prairie is set. By the fourth book, On the Banks of the Plum Creek, they moved to Minnesota.


Earlier in the week I claimed that we never saw Rose, the housekeeper before good ‘ol Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show. Based on the mountain of emails I received, we did indeed see Rose at the beginning of the episode. Mr. TV goofed! All I can say is: Shazam!!!


-Current kudos goes to:
Bert Benoliel, Michelle Bergen, Matthew Berriman, Kimay Bloch, John Brooker, Al Canaletich, Paul Certo, Annie Courtney, Donna Dodge, Holly Escobar, Arleen Fong, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Mary Kalnin, Jodi Karp, Kathryn Kieser, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Greg Phelan, Gordon Purcell, Ron Salmon, Ron Salmon, Kristen Signore, Jan Stewart, Kristen Strauss, Ronnie Tallant (2x), Trenna Underhill, Ted Zawislak