CBS and Fox Win First Week of Summer Season

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 25, 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:
CBS Wins; NBC a Close Second
Tuesday 6/02/09


CBS   6.7/11
NBC 6.4/11
Fox    3.2/ 5
ABC 2.7/ 4
CW    1.1/ 2

Note: Overnight comparisons to one year earlier were not available. 


Due to popular demand, the daily listing of winners and losers are back!

-Yesterday’s Winners:

NCIS R (CBS), The Mentalist R (CBS), Inside the Obama White House (NBC), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

-Bizarre Guilty Pleasure:
I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (NBC)
Mental (Fox)
-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):
According to Jim (ABC), ABC News Special: Earth 2100, Hitched or Ditched (CW)
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this first Tuesday in June in the overnights, beating second-place NBC by five percent. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by ABC and the CW. 


A repeat of CBS’ NCIS led the 8 p.m. hour with ease based on the overnights, with a 7.6 rating/13 share. Second was night two of NBC’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, with a 4.1/ 7. Comparably, that was down by five percent from its debut one night earlier (4.3/ 7 on June 1). But the strength of this odd guilty pleasure falls within the young adult demos (and it opened on Monday with a respectable 2.6 rating/ 8 share among adults 18-49, based on the final nationals). NBC is reportedly already interested in extending the three week run. As for the “departure” of the obnoxious Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, rumor has it that: a) they will be back, or b) siblings Holly Montag and Stephanie Pratt may be stepping in. Regardless of what happens, people are talking about I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!


Also airing from 8-9 p.m. was a repeat of Fox’s House (2.9/ 5), two episodes of ABC’s canceled According to Jim, including the series-finale (avg. 2.6/ 4 — yes, it is finally gone!), and a repeat of CW clinker Hitched or Ditched (1.0/ 2).


Top-rated overnight honors remained in CBS’ court with a repeat of The Mentalist at a 7.3/11 at 9 p.m. But a very close second was part one of NBC news special, Inside the Obama White House, at a 6.9/11. Next was week two of Fox drama Mental (3.6/ 6), which dropped by five percent from its lackluster week-ago opener (3.8/ 6 on May 26). Also in week two news was the CW’s Hitched or Hitched, which was ditched by the audience with a last-place 1.2/ 2. One week earlier, it launched at the same deadly overnight performance. 


Over at ABC, two hour special ABC News Special: Earth 2100, anchored by Bob Woodruff, was off the charts with a mere 2.7/ 4 from 9-11 p.m. Take a look at the half hour breakdown:


ABC News Special: Earth 2100

 9:00 p.m.: 2.9/ 5 (#4)
 9:30 p.m.: 2.8/ 4 (#4)

10:00 p.m.: 2.7/ 4 (#3)

10:30 p.m.: 2.6/ 4 (#3)


NBC moved into the 10 p.m. overnight winner’s circle care of the season-finale of Law & Order: SVU at an 8.3/14. Comparably, that beat CBS’ second-place 48 Hours Mystery (5.3/ 9), which now airs two times per week, by a hefty 57 percent. And there you have it…that’s Tuesday.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 25, 2009


CBS and Fox remained the networks to beat on this first week of the summer season, with CBS first in households, total viewers and adults 25-54; and Fox No. 1 among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Comparably, CBS was close to year-ago levels, while Fox dipped by margins of 8 to 17 percent despite the successful return of summer favorite So You Think You Can Dance.


Elsewhere, stable NBC perked up to as high as second in households, adults 18-49 (tied with CBS) and adults 18-34. ABC had a particularly negative week, dipping to fourth across the board with losses of as much as 28 percent among adults 18-49. And The CW remained on the downside, with erosion of 17 to 34 percent from one year earlier. MyNetworkTV, as usual, continues to benefit from the return of Friday Night Smackdown!


There were three series premieres this week: Fox drama Mental, ABC’s animated The Goode Family and CW reality/competition Hitched or No Ditched. None were amply sampled. And there were two season premieres: ABC’s Here Come the Newlyweds and Wipeout, which was the one bright spot on ABC this week. See Summer Series Scorecard below to see how they fared. 


There were also several specials this week, and they rated as follows (in the order of total number of viewers):


George Strait – ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert (CBS) – Wednesday 8 p.m. (two hours)

Viewers: 10.63 million (#3), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#11t)

TV’s 50 Funniest Phrases (NBC) – Tuesday 8 p.m. (two hours)

Viewers: 6.71 million (#21), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#15t)

Scripp’s National Spelling Bee (ABC) – Thursday 8 p.m. (two hours)

Viewers: 6.05 million (#25), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#29t)
Diamonds, part two (ABC) – Tuesday 9 p.m.
Viewers: 3.14 million (#64), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#77t)

Here are the final national ratings for the week of May 25, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the summer series scorecard, and the top 30 rated programs of the week.  


CBS: 5.3 rating/9 share (+ 8), NBC: 3.4/ 6 (no change), Fox: 3.4/ 6 (-11), ABC: 2.7/ 5 (-25), MNTV: 0.9/ 2 (+29), CW: 0.8/ 1 (-33)


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 8.03 million (+10), Fox: 5.50 (- 9), NBC: 5.33 (+ 1), ABC: 4.22 (-23), MNTV: 1.45 (+38), CW: 1.16 (-34)


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.1 rating/ share (-12), CBS and NBC: 1.7/ 5 (- 6 each), ABC: 1.3/ 4 (-28), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25) CW: 0.4/ 1 (-33)


-Adults 25-54:

CBS: 2.4/ 7 (no change), Fox: 2.3/ 6 (- 8), NBC: 2.0/ 6 (no change), ABC: 1.6/ 4 (-27), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25), CW: 0.5/ 1 (-17)


-Adults 18-34:
Fox: 2.0/ 7 (-17), NBC: 1.3/ 4 (- 7), CBS: 1.1/ 4 (- 8), ABC: 1.0/ 3 (-23), MNTV: 0.4/ 1 (+33), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-33)


Summer Series Scorecard


Wipeout (ABC) – Wednesday 8 p.m. (season premiere)

Viewers: 8.71 million (#12t), A18-49: 3.3/10 (#3)


The Bachelorette (ABC) – Monday 8 p.m. (two hours)

Viewers: 5.99 million (#26), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#15t)


Mental (Fox) – Tuesday 9 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 5.76 million (#30), A18-49: 2.1/ 5 (#15t)


Here Come the Newlyweds (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m. (season premiere)

Viewers: 4.89 million (#39), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#25t)


The Goode Family (ABC) – Wednesday 9 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 3.65 million (#52), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#33t)


Hitched or Ditched (CW) – Tuesday 9 p.m. (premiere)

Viewers: 1.43 million (#79), A18-49: 0.7/ 2 (#72t)


Top 30 Rankings


-Total Viewers:

NCIS R (CBS, Tues. 8 p.m.): 12.46, The Mentalist R (CBS): 12.36, George Strait – ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert (CBS): 10.63, CSI R (CBS): 9.98, Without a Trace R (CBS, Thurs. 10 p.m.): 9.71, NCIS R (CBS, Thurs. 8 p.m.): 9.64, Without a Trace R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 9.57, Two and a Half Men R (CBS); 9.27, So You Think You Can Dance – Thursday (Fox): 9.15, Criminal Minds R (CBS, Wed. 10 p.m.): 8.93, 60 Minutes R (CBS): 8.77, Wipeout (ABC, season premiere) and So You Think You Can Dance – Wednesday (Fox): 8.71 each, Medium (NBC): 7.86, CSI: Miami R (CBS): 7.76, Cold Case R (CBS): 7.71, Rules of Engagement R (CBS): 7.25, Dateline – Monday (NBC): 7.17, Law & Order: SVU R (NBC, Wed. 9 p.m.): 6.76, Million Dollar Password (CBS): 6.73, TV’s 50 Funniest Phrases (NBC): 6.71, Law & Order: SVU R (NBC): 6.46, CBS Friday Movie: Walk the Line (6.45), Law & Order R (NBC): 6.41, Scripp’s National Spelling Bee (ABC): 6.05, The Bachelorette (ABC): 5.99, 48 Hours Mystery R (CBS): 5.95, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 5.94, Dateline – Friday (NBC): 5.84, Mental (Fox, premiere): 5.76


-Adults 18-49:

So You Think You Can Dance – Thursday (Fox): 3.6/11, So You Think You Can Dance – Wednesday (Fox): 3.5/10, Wipeout (ABC, season premiere): 3.3/10, Two and a Half Men R (CBS) and Family Guy R (Fox): 2.7/ 7 each, NHL Stanley Cups Finals, Game 2 (NBC): 2.4/ 7, The Mentalist R (CBS): 2.4/ 6, NCIS R (CBS), Tues. 8 p.m.) and The Simpsons R (Fox): 2.3/ 7 each, Rules of Engagement R (CBS): 2.3/ 6, George Strait – ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert (CBS), Without a Trace R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.) and American Dad R (Fox): 2.2/ 6 each, The Bachelorette (ABC), TV’s 50 Funniest Phrases (NBC), Law & Order: SVU R (NBC) and CSI R (CBS): 2.1/ 6 each, Mental (Fox, premiere): 2.1/ 5, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Criminal Minds R (CBS), NCIS R (CBS, Thurs. 8 p.m.) and Without a Trace R (CBS, Thurs. 10 p.m.): 2.0/ 6 each, Here Come the Newlyweds (ABC), How I Met Your Mother R (CBS) and CSI: Miami R (CBS): 1.9/ 5 each, Law & Order R (NBC): 1.8/ 5, House R (Fox), NHL Stanley Cup, Game #1 (NBC): 1.7/ 7, Law & Order: SVU R (NBC, Wed. 9 p.m.) and The Scripps National Spelling Bee (ABC): 1.7/ 5 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Conan O’Brien Scores in Second Tonight Show Telecast:

Night two of Conan O’Brien as new host of NBC’s The Tonight Show averaged a solid 5.0 rating/12 share in the metered markets. Comparably, that was the highest overnight rating for a Tuesday Tonight Show telecast since Feb. 27, 2007. And it was up by a considerable 28 percent over the second quarter 2009 Tuesday overnight average (3.9). Versus the competition, Conan on The Tonight Show beat CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman (3.0/ 7) by 67 percent, and ABC’s combination of Nightline (2.7/ 6) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.2/ 4) by 146 percent. Even so, last night’s overnight performance was down by 30 percent from the inflated 7.1/17 launch on Monday.


Led by Conan, lead-out Late Night with Jimmy Fallon rose to a 2.1/ 7 in the overnights at 12:35 a.m. — its highest metered market rating to-date for a Tuesday telecast. And Last Call with Carson Daly perked up to a 1.3/ 6 at 1:35 a.m., an improvement of 30 percent over its second-quarter average (1.0/ 4).

-iCarly Tops the May Charts:

Nickelodeon’s iCarly (a favorite in the Mr. TV household) finished May 2009 as basic cable’s top-rated entertainment series in total viewers (5.37 million), and in all key non-adult demos including kids 2-11 (2.89 million), kids 6-11 (2.32 million), kids 6-14 (3.19 million) and tweens 9-14 (2.28 million). 


-Jesse James Is a Dead Man Breaks the Record Books on Spike TV:

The debut of Spike TV’s Jesse James is a Dead Man, from BASE Productions, debuted on Sunday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET with the most viewers (2 million) and biggest male 18-49 audience (888.000) for a non-scripted series-premiere in the history of the cable network. Comparably, Jesse James is a Dead Man finished second in the time period among men 18-49 (behind The MTV Movie Awards), with growth of as much as 262 percent among men 35-49 from the year-ago time period average.

-Updated Top Rated Cable Networks in Prime-Time:

What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in prime-time based on the week of May 25:

Total Viewers:

TNT: 3.87 million, ESPN: 3.41, USA: 2.98, Fox News: 1.91, TLC: 1.73, FX: 1.62, Nick at Nite: 1.59, TBS: 1.58, A&E: 1.44, Lifetime: 1.29

Adults 18-49:

TNT: 2.07 million, ESPN: 1.75 million, USA: 1.26 million, TLC: 934,000, TBS: 930,000, FX: 838,000, MTV: 765,000, A&E: 679,000, Discovery: 673,000, Nick at Nite: 591,000

Adults 25-54:

TNT: 2.06 million, EPSN: 1.68 million, USA: 1.37 million, TLC: 888,000, TBS: 821,000, FX: 800,000, A&E: 703,000, Discovery: 686,000, History: 642,000, Lifetime: 617,000

Adults 18-34:

TNT: 1.05 million, ESPN: 958,000, MTV: 561,000, USA: 550,000, TBS: 529,000, TLC: 499,000. FX: 372,000, A&E: 303,000, ABC Family: 298,000, Discovery: 291,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 6/03/09
 8:00 p.m. Wipeout
 9:00 p.m. The Goode Family
 9:30 p.m. The Goode Family

10:00 p.m. The Unusuals


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

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried (R)

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

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


 8:00 p.m. I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

 9:00 p.m. NBC News: Inside the Obama White House (part two)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order (season finale)


 8:00 p.m. So You Think You Can Dance (two hours)


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

 9:00 p.m. Hitched or Ditched (R)


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

 9:00 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)

 9:30 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-New American Idol Auditions Begin:

Auditions for the upcoming ninth season of Fox blockbuster American Idol will kick-off on Sunday, June 14 at Gillette Stadium in Boston. Next up is Atlanta (June 18), followed by Los Angeles (June 30), Orlando (July 9), Denver (July 14), and Chicago and Dallas (both at undetermined dates). For more information, click on

-Mark Your Calendars:

Upcoming NBC talker The Jay Leno Show will premiere on Monday, Sept. 14 – one week before the official start of the 2009-10 season.

TV Trivia Time:

What movie was playing at the outdoor theater in the opening credits of The Flintstones?


a)      Breakfast at Stony’s

b)      Gone With the Granite

c)      The Monster

d)      The Wizard of Bedrock

e)      To Kill a Dinosaur


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was Punky Bewster’s first name?


a)      Pandora

b)      Patricia

c)      Pauline

d)      Penelope

e)      Petunia


Is:  d) Penelope…as in Penelope Brewster. No wonder she had a nickname!


-Current kudos goes to:
Ric Beddingfield, Gerry Bixenspan, Tom Condosta, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Joslyn Hansen, Brad Hight, Bob Ingersoll, Cara Jacobs, Greg Janover, Deb Kainer, Marie Lefevre Karp, Synda Kollman, Charmaine Leary, Tony Naldrett, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Ron Salmon, Mickie Steinmann, Victoria Trombley, Myndi Weinraub, Jeanne Yonkers