CBS and Fox Share Top-Rated Honors in Week 2

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of September 28, 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:

Don’t Turn Out the Lights

Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
CBS Continues to Rule
Tuesday 10/06/09


CBS 10.8/17
ABC 5.6/ 9
NBC 4.8/ 8
Fox    3.8/ 6
CW    1.3/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, October 7, 2008):

CBS: +48, Fox: -12, NBC: -24, ABC and CW: -38 each

Note: The year-ago evening featured the second night of the Presidential Debate.

-Yesterday’s Winners:

NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)
-Yesterday’s Losers:

Shark Tank (ABC), 90210 (CW), Melrose Place (CW), The Forgotten (ABC), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was another slam-dunk Tuesday overnight victory for CBS care of the rock-solid combination of the most-watched show in primetime, NCIS (#1: 12.2 rating/20 share), week three of successful spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (10.5/16), and week three of compatible legal drama The Good Wife (9.8/18). CBS will, needless to say, also finish first for the evening among adults 18-49. This is the kind of line-up the networks dream of having.


In the distant No. 2 spot in the overnights was ABC as a result of soon-to-depart Shark Tank (#4: 3.5/ 6), the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show (#2: 8.5/13) and week three of crime drama The Forgotten, which sunk to a series-low 4.8/ 8 at 10 p.m. Comparably, The Forgotten finished a distant second in the time period, with retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars (8.7/13) of just 58 percent. Take a look at three week overnight track for The Forgotten:

9/22/09: 6.2/11
9/29/09: 5.0/ 8
10/06/09: 4.8/ 8

As a reminder, the remake of V steps into the 8 p.m. hour on Nov. 3. As for Dancing With the Stars, so long Debi Mazar. That’s another correct prediction for Mr. TV! Injured Tom DeLay has also, fortunately, exited the competition. 


Next up was NBC with its combination of two-hours of The Biggest Loser (4.9/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.), which built in every half-hour, and struggling The Jay Leno Show (#3: 4.4/ 7 at 10 p.m.), which has to be considered the biggest new flop of the young TV season. Here is the half-hour breakdown for The Biggest Loser, which always successfully lands on the map among adults 18-49 (and makes it an “honorable mention.”).

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 4.3/ 7 (#2)
8:30 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#2)
9:00 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 9 (#3)

Fox finished fourth overall in the metered markets with the non-scripted pairing of Hell’s Kitchen (#3: 4.3/ 7) and So You Think You Can Dance (#4: 3.3/ 5). But it is expected to ranked third among adults 18-49 above ABC thanks to always reliable Hell’s Kitchen.


The CW capped off the evening with the disappointing pairing of 90210 (#5: 1.5/ 2) and the unnecessary remake of Melrose Place (#5: 1.2/ 2), which dropped on average by a hefty 38 percent from last year’s combination of 90210 and failed drama Privileged. While I understand who The CW’s target audience is, these are “losing” overnight performance. There is no avoiding that. And there is no way the return of Heather Locklear next month will “save” Melrose Place. What no one seemed to realize to begin with was that The CW’s target audience was too young to probably watch the original Beverly Hills, 90210 or Melrose Place. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of September 28, 2009


CBS and Fox led the primetime troops in this second week of the 2009-10 season, which featured four series premieres: NBC’s Trauma, ABC sitcoms Hank and The Middle, and CBS medical drama Three Rivers. CBS finished first overall in households, total viewers and adults 25-54; Fox was No. 1 in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. 


Of positive note for Fox was across-the-board growth of as much as 25 percent among adults 18-34 over the comparable year-ago week (and dominance without American Idol, which always lifts the network to victory in first and second quarter). Part of those gains can be attributed to stellar results to-date for House on Monday, a consistent performance for recent entry Glee and the two-hour animation block on Sunday, including the successful addition of Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show. But Friday’s revamped combination of new sitcom Brothers, relocated ‘Til Death and sophomore Dollhouse is a definite sore spot. 


CBS, which continues to benefit by successful results for freshman dramas NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife (see rankings below), was close to year-ago levels. Even so, the network may have sprung a leak on Sunday care of new medical drama Three Rivers (see series premiere rankings below) and relocated crime solver Cold Case. And new Monday sitcom Accidentally on Purpose may not necessarily be a keeper. 


ABC finished second in the five surveyed categories (tied with CBS among adults 18-49 and NBC among adults 18-34), with minor growth from one year earlier. Three of the alphabet net’s freshman entries – Modern Family, Cougar Town and FlashFoward – remained promising (see below). But week two of scripted dramas The Forgotten and Eastwick lost considerable steam. NBC, meanwhile, was on par with year-ago levels…that’s the optimistic spin. But considering how much NBC was down last year at this time, a flat performance is not good enough. Particularly alarming for the Peacock net remains The Jay Leno Show, which excluding a second-place finish among adults 18-49 on Tuesday, finished third in the time period all week. Take a look at the results:


The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – 10 p.m.

Monday – Viewers: 5.52 million (#68), A18-49: 1.7/ 4 (#67t)

Tuesday – Viewers: 6.58 million (#60), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#48t)

Wednesday – Viewers: 6.11 million (#64), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#60t)

Thursday – Viewers: 5.03 million (#73), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#72t)

Friday – Viewers: 5.34 million (#70), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#77t)


Although speculation is already brewing about the network limiting the number of telecasts per week, it is either five nights of The Jay Leno Show or nothing. For the first time in a very long time, last place The CW capped off the week close to year-ago levels. The good news: freshman Thursday drama The Vampire Diaries, which is the real deal. 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of September 28, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the debut series scorecard, the other freshman series results, and the top 30 rated programs of the week.  


CBS: 7.2 rating/12 share (+ 3), ABC: 6.2/10 (+ 3), NBC: 4.9/ 8 (- 2), Fox: 4.5/ 7 (+12), CW: 1.5/ 2 (- 6)


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.32 million (+ 2), ABC: 9.64 (+ 4), NBC: 7.79 (- 1), Fox: 7.61 (+18), CW: 2.24 (- 8)


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.1 rating/9 share (+24), ABC: 2.9/ 8 (+ 4), CBS: 2.9/ 8 (- 9), NBC: 2.7/ 8 (- 4), CW: 1.1/ 3 (no change)


-Adults 25-54:

CBS: 3.8/10 (- 7), ABC: 3.5/ 9 (+ 6), Fox: 3.2/ 8 (+19), NBC: 3.1/ 8 (- 3), CW: 0.9/ 2 (-10)


-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.0/10 (+25), ABC: 2.3/ 7 (+ 5), NBC: 2.3/ 7 (no change), CBS: 1.8/ 6 (-14), CW: 1.3/ 4 (no change)

Series Premieres (in order of airing)
Trauma (NBC) – Monday 9 p.m. ET
Viewers: 6.68 million (#56), A18-49: 2.2/ 5 (#48t)
Initial Grade: D

Minus lead-in support from relocated Heroes (Viewers: #67, 5.72 million, A18-49: #43t, 2.5/ 7), Trauma kicked-off a non-competitive fourth in the Monday 9 p.m. hour.

Hank (ABC) – Wednesday 8 p.m. ET
Viewers: 8.34 million (#38), A18-49: 2.1/ 7 (#55t)
Initial Grade: C

Kelsey Grammer’s Hank did win the midweek time period in total viewers, with 1.69 million more than CBS’ competing The New Adventures of Old Christine. But the performance among adults 18-49 (and second-place finish behind Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance in the demo) was disappointing.

The Middle (ABC) – Wednesday 8:30 p.m. ET
Viewers: 8.71 million (#37), A18-49: 2.6/ 8 (# 41t)
Initial Grade: B-

Growth of 24 percent among adults 18-49 out of Hank (and an 18 percent advantage over CBS’ competing Gary Unmarried) was a promising (albeit non-spectacular) start.  

Three Rivers (CBS) – Sunday 9 p.m. ET
Viewers: 8.90 million (#34), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (# 60t)
Initial Grade: D

The initial overall sampling was passable for Three Rivers, but under a two rating among adults 18-49 (with retention of only 68 percent out of lead-in The Amazing Race) is nothing to boast about.


Other Freshman Series Results (in order of total viewers)


NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) – Tuesday 9 p.m. ET

Viewers: 17.40 million (#3), A18-49: 4.1/11 (#13t)
Grade: A+
The Good Wife (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m. ET
Viewers: 13.69 million (#13), A18-49: 3.2/ 9 (#31t)
Grade: A-
FlashForward (ABC) – Thursday 8 p.m. ET
Viewers: 10.73 million (#22), A18-49: 3.7/11 (#22t)
Grade: A
Modern Family (ABC) – Wednesday 9 p.m. ET
Viewers: 9.99 million (#25), A18-49: 3.8/10 (#18t)
Grade: B+

Cougar Town (ABC) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m. ET

Viewers: 9.25 million (#31), A18-49: 3.8/10 (#18t)
Grade: B+

The Cleveland Show (Fox) – Sunday 8:30 p.m. ET

Viewers: 8.86 million (#35), A18-49: 4.4/11 (#11t)
Grade: A

Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) – Monday 8:30 p.m. ET

Viewers: 8.03 million (#40), A18-49: 3.1/ 8 (#33t)
Grade: C
The Forgotten (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m. ET
Viewers: 7.45 million (#48), A18-49: 2.0/ 5 (#57t)
Grade: D
Glee (Fox) – Wednesday 9 p.m. ET

Viewers: 7.40 million (#50), A18-49: 3.3/ 9 (#29t)

Grade: B
Mercy (NBC) – Wednesday 8 p.m. ET

Viewers: 7.39 million (#51), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#55t)

Grade: C
Eastwick (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m. ET
Viewers: 6.57 million (#61), A18-49: 2.0/ 5 (#57t)
Grade: D
Shark Tank (ABC) – Tuesday 8 p.m. ET
Viewers: 4.75 million (#77), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#72t)
Grade: F
The Vampire Diaries (CW) – Thursday 8 p.m. ET
Viewers: 3.53 million (#83), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#70t)

Solid results in the target young female demos.

Grade: B+
Brothers (Fox) – Friday 8 p.m. ET

Viewers: 2.26 million (#91), A18-49: 0.8/ 3 (#90t)

Grade: F

Melrose Place (CW) – Tuesday 9 p.m. ET

Viewers: 1.42 million (#95), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#90t)
Grade: F

Top 30 Rankings


-Total Viewers:

NCIS (CBS): 21.37 million, Sunday Night Football (NBC, San Diego at Pittsburgh): 18.42, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 17.40, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 17.03, CSI (CBS): 15.94, The Mentalist (CBS): 15.75, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 15.69, House (Fox): 14.71, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 14.64, Criminal Minds (CBS): 14.24, CSI: Miami (CBS): 13.96, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 13.86, The Good Wife (CBS): 13.69, 60 Minutes (CBS): 13.41, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 13.27, CSI: NY (CBS): 13.16, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 13.02, The OT (Fox): 12.00, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 11.63, Private Practice (ABC, season premiere): 11.58, Survivor: Samoa (CBS): 11.54, FlashForward (ABC): 10.73, Football Night in America (NBC, part 3): 10.70, Cold Case (CBS): 10.05, Modern Family (ABC): 9.99, Family Guy (Fox): 9.86, The Amazing Race (CBS): 9.79, Brothers & Sisters (ABC): 9.65, Bones (Fox): 9.43, The Simpsons (Fox): 9.37


-Adults 18-49:

Sunday Night Football (NBC, San Diego at Pittsburgh): 7.4 rating/19 share, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 6.1/16, House (Fox): 5.8/15, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 5.3/13, Family Guy (Fox): 5.1/12, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 5.0/12, The OT (Fox): 4.8/15, NCIS (CBS): 4.8/14, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 4.8/12, Private Practice (ABC, season premiere): 4.6/13, The Simpsons (Fox) and The Cleveland Show (Fox): 4.4/11 each, CSI: Miami (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), CSI (CBS) and Football Night in America (NBC, part three): 4.1/11 each, The Office (NBC): 3.9/10, The Mentalist (CBS): 3.8/11, Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC) and Cougar Town (ABC): 3.8/10 each, Survivor: Samoa (CBS) and FlashForward (ABC): 3.7/11 each, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 3.7/10, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 3.7/ 9, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 3.6/10, American Dad (Fox): 3.6/ 9, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 3.4/ 8, Glee (Fox) and CSI: NY (CBS): 3.3/ 9 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of Sept. 21:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on AA (average audience) households for the week of Sept. 21:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.5 rating, Jeopardy (CBS) and Oprah (CBS): 5.2 each, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.6, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.3, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.2, Family Guy (Twentieth Television) and CSI: NY (CBS): 3.2 each, Inside Edition (CBS): 3.1, Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 2.9, Dr. Phil (CBS), The Office (NBC Universal, premiere week) and Seinfeld Weekend (Sony Pictures Television): 2.8 each, Seinfeld (SPT): 2.6, Dr. Oz Show (SPT): 2.4, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) and George Lopez (Warner Bros): 2.3 each, CSI: Miami (CBS), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS), King of the Hill (Twentieth), King of Queens (SPT) and Two and a Half Men Weekend (Warner Bros.): 2.2 each

Of Note:

-Led by guest star Mackenzie Phillips, Oprah jumped four percent week-to-week in households, leading the category of talk for the 543rd consecutive week. Significantly greater, meanwhile, was The Doctors (1.8), also from CBS Television Distribution, which built by 50 percent from one year earlier (and six percent week to week). Don’t forget that there are discussions about doing a spin-off called The Lawyers in 2010-11.

-Veteran Inside Edition, which does not get the attention it deserves, was up by 11 percent from one year earlier. 


NBC Universal’s The Office launched in off-network syndication first among the new crop of sitcoms, with an aforementioned 2.8 AA (average audience) rating in households (and a 3.2 in GAA – gross average audience – households). Twentieth Television’s My Name is Earl and CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Hates Chris averaged a 1.7 and a 1.4, respectively. Comparably, The Office ranked third overall among the 22 off-net sitcoms in households. And the healthy 2.8 rating among men 18-34 tied Twentieth’s Family Guy in 2007 as the highest rated sitcom premiere in the demo since Friends in 1998.  

-Updated Cable Rankings:

What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in prime-time for the week of September 28:

Total Viewers:

ESPN: 3.49 million, USA: 2.47, Fox News: 2.21, Nick at Nite: 1.75, TBS: 1.63, TNT: 1.46, A&E: 1.36, Syfy: 1.34, Cartoon Network: 1.25, Spike TV: 1.22

Adults 18-49:

ESPN: 1.80 million, USA: 1.15 million, TBS: 965,000, Spike TV: 744,000, FX: 663,000, Syfy: 661,000, A&E: 627,000, TNT: 578,000, Comedy Central: 547,000, TLC: 538,000

Adults 25-54:

ESPN: 1.78 million, USA: 1.17 million, TBS: 823,000, Syfy: 731,000, A&E: 673,000, Spike TV: 650,000, TNT: 621,000, FX: 596,000, Food Network: 578,000, Fox News: 545,000

Adults 18-34:

ESPN: 821,000, TBS: 579,000, USA: 567,000, Spike TV: 427,000, Comedy Central: 364,000, FX: 339,000, MTV: 331,000, TLC: 298,000, Syfy: 276,000, VH1: 270,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 9/30/09
 8:00 p.m. Hank
 8:30 p.m. The Middle
 9:00 p.m. Modern Family

 9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

 10:00 p.m. Eastwick

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

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY

 8:00 p.m. Mercy
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. So You Think You Can Dance

 9:00 p.m. Glee


 8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model

 9:00 p.m. Melrose Place (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Upcoming on TV Land in 2010:

TV Land, the home of classic television, has acquired the off-network rights to four additional series for 2010: sitcoms Everybody Loves Raymond, The Nanny and Home Improvement; and drama Boston Legal. First up are Home Improvement and Boston Legal in first quarter 2010, followed by Raymond in second quarter and The Nanny in third quarter. All together now…


She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens,
Til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
What was she to do, where was she to go
She was out on her fanny.

So over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffield’s door,
She was there to sell make-up but the father saw more,
She had style, she had flair, she was there,
That’s how she became the Nanny.

Who would have guessed that the girl we described
was just exactly what the doctor prescribed?

Now, the father finds her beguiling, watch out C.C.,
The kids are actually smiling, such joie de vivre
She’s the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan.
The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran.

TV Trivia Time:

Don’t Turn Out the Lights


What state is NBC drama Friday Night Lights set in?


a)      Georgia

b)      Louisiana

c)      Missouri

d)      South Carolina

e)      Texas


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was the name of Camden’s dog on long-running family drama 7th Heaven?


a)      Coco

b)      Jack

c)      Happy

d)      Rusty

e)      Tilly

Is: c) Happy. Remember this?

7th Heaven
When I see their happy faces,
smilin’ back at me…
7th heaven
I know there’s no greater feelin’ than the love of family
Where can you go
When The world don’t treat you right?
The answer is home!
That’s the one place that you’ll find,
7th heaven.
7th Heaven
7th heaven

-Current kudos goes to:

Mark-Allen, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Cory Chapman, Larry Collins, Shelia Collins, Kay Copeland, Reid Davis, Arleen Fong, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Melissa Hodgdon, Amy Honig, Bob Ingersoll, Cara Jacobs, Kristopher Koller, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, Brandon Lavoie, Alice Lee, Michael Lehman, Eva Lottsfeldt, Keith Marder, Michael Murphy, Kimberley Orti, Brianna Peterson, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, Mary Ryan, Kim Smith, Dewayne Snype, Rebecca Spagnolia, Michelle Stanton, Dan Tinder, Victoria Trombley, Stephanie Watson, Myndi Weinraub