CBS Continues to Score on Friday as the Other Nets Falter

Monday, March 2, 2009
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

A Hip Sweathog


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 2/27/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



CBS   6.4/11

ABC 3.8/ 7
NBC 3.0/ 5
Fox    2.4/ 4
CW    0.9/ 2

CBS: 10.12 million, ABC: 5.79, NBC: 4.75, Fox: 3.77, CW: 1.30

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 2.2 rating/7 share, ABC: 1.7/ 6, NBC and Fox: 1.4/ 5 each, CW: 0.5/ 1


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:

(Keeping in mind the expectations are lower)

Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Numb3rs (CBS) – under a two adult 18-49 rating for Flashpoint keeps it off the list


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Wife Swap (ABC), Howie Do It (NBC), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Dollhouse (Fox), Dateline (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Once again, CBS led the Friday troops, remaining the only network to offer a comprehensive line-up of competitive programming.  The next time someone refers to Friday as the new Saturday keep in mind this does not include CBS. With that in mind, the Eye net’s Ghost Whisperer opened completely dominant at 8 p.m. with 11.57 million viewers and a 2.8 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 (which was the most-watched and highest rated show in the demo for the evening). Next was Canadian drama Flashpoint (Viewers: #1, 9.17 million; A18-49: #1, 1.9/ 6 at 9 p.m.), which only held 68 percent of the Ghost Whisperer adult 18-49 rating, followed by Numb3rs at 9.61 million viewers (#1) and a 2.1/ 7 in the demo at 10 p.m. Did you know that a recent episode of Numb3rs made reference to Sheldon and Leonard of The Big Bang Theory? Clever cross-promotion!


Second in both total viewers and adults 18-49 was ABC with its combination of lackluster Wife Swap (#2, 4.63; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 5), Supernanny (Viewers: #2, 5.55 million; A18-49: #2, 1.8/ 6) and 20/20, which perked up to 7.10 million viewers and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. — second in both categories. Under 5-million viewers clearly makes Wife Swap a “loser.”


In week three news, Fox drama Doll House lost more steam, dipping to 4.13 million viewers (#4) and a 1.6/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#3) a 9 p.m. Take a look at the three-week track for Dollhouse (with episodes one and two based on the final nationals):


Dollhouse (Fox) – Friday 9 p.m.

2/13/09 – Viewers: 4.76 million; A18-49: 2.0/ 6

2/20/09 – Viewers: 4.25 million; A18-49: 1.7/ 5

2/27/09 – Viewers: 4.13 million; A18-49: 1.6/ 5


As predicted, the target audience for Dollhouse is probably out on Friday ringing in the new weekend. Earlier in the evening on Fox was Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles at an even worse 3.42 million viewers (#4) and a 1.2/ 4 (#4) in the demo at 8 p.m. Chances of another season of Sarah Connor are, no doubt, nil.


NBC suffered another losing Friday with its line-up of two episodes (original and repeat) of Howie Do It, Friday Night Lights and Dateline. Take a look:


8:00 p.m. – Howie Do It

Viewers: 4.56 million (#2), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#3)


8:30 p.m. – Howie Do It (R)

Viewers: 4.04 million (#3), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#3)


9:00 p.m. – Friday Night Lights

Viewers: 4.22 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#4)


10:00 p.m. – Dateline

Viewers: 5.79 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)


NBC had better hope upcoming Jay Leno ignites some interest in the 10 p.m. (local news lead-in) time period. The CW, meanwhile, aired yet another night of repeats as follows:


8:00 p.m. – Everybody Hates Chris (R)

Viewers: 1.55 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#5)


8:30 p.m. – The Game (R)

Viewers: 1.25 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 1 (#5)


9:00 p.m. – Everybody Hates Chris (R)

Viewers: 1.07 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


9:30 p.m. – The Game (R)

Viewers: 1.33 million (#5), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#5)


As weak as this night is for the CW without old young male favorite Friday Night Smackdown! (very bad move getting rid of it), additional encore telecasts of Everybody Hates Chris and The Game from 9-10 p.m. is still an improvement over former occupant 13: Fear is Real. Pathetic, isn’t it?


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 2/28/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



NBC 3.3/ 6
Fox    3.2/ 6
ABC 2.6/ 5

CBS: 5.65 million, Fox: 5.40, NBC: 4.79, ABC: 4.13

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.8 rating/6 share, ABC and CBS: 1.2/ 4 each, NBC: 1.1/ 4


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

-Saturday’s Winners:

-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall. At the risk of sounding repetitive…Jackie Gleason, All in the Family, MASH, The Jeffersons. Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and The Golden Girls…you are missed. What happened to this once amazing night of television?

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a typically lackluster Saturday (so what else is new?), with CBS the most-watched network and Fox No. 1 among adults 18-49. But under six-million viewers for CBS and not even a 2-rating for Fox in the demo is just plain depressing.


On that note, CBS opened the evening with a repeat of Cold Case (Viewers: #3, 4.78 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9/ 3 at 8 p.m.), followed by two episodes of 48 Hours Mystery as follows:

48 Hours Mystery (CBS)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: #1, 5.94 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 4

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: #1, 6.22 million; A18-49: #1, 1.6/ 5


If I was programming CBS, I would move Cold Case to Fridays at 9 p.m. out of Ghost Whisperer (and into Numb3rs) next season, and try to find a stronger Sunday 9 p.m. anchor. 


Fox, of course, aired its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #1, avg. 5.33 million; A18-49: #1, 1.9/ 6) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #2, 5.47 million; A18-49: #1, 1.8/ 6). But both shows failed to crack even a 2-rating among adults 18-49.


Three encore hours of Law & Order on NBC left the network out in the cold, finishing third in total viewers and fourth among adults 18-49. Take a look:


8:00 p.m. – Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R)

Viewers: 3.55 million (#4), A18-49: 0.7/ 3 (#4)

9:00 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU (R)

Viewers: 4.92 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Law & Order (R)

Viewers: 5.90 million (#2), A18-49: 1.5/ 2


Will any of these long-n-the-tooth series ever leave the airwaves?


ABC, meanwhile, capped off this dreadful night with a repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos (Viewers: #2, 5.07 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 5 at 8 p.m.) and repeat theatrical Bewitched (Viewers: 3.54 million; A18-49: 1.1/ 4), which finished last overall from 9-11 p.m.  No…it does not get too much worse than this!


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 3/01/09

Note: The overnight ratings for Sunday, March 1 were not available at press time. But make sure to check out by approximately 12 p.m. ET for the fast affiliate results. 


As for ABC’s Brothers & Sisters…it’s better than ever! The two episodes last night were reminiscent of the heyday of serialized dramas like Dallas and Knots Landing in the 1980s. Let’s hope the ratings reflect this. Congratulations, Ken Olin and company.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not   


-Final Thursday Nationals:

What follows are the final national ratings for Thursday, Feb. 26 broken out by households, total viewers and adults 18-49. Fox’s victory, of course, comes from airing the live American Idol Results Show in the 8 p.m. hour (leading into Hell’s Kitchen). And ABC’s fall is a result of repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Ratings for the full week of Feb. 23 will be available on Wednesday’s PI:


Fox: 8.8 rating/14 share, CBS: 8.6/14, ABC: 4.2/ 7, NBC: 3.9/ 6, CW: 1.3/ 2, MNTV: 0.7/ 1

Total Viewers:

Fox: 15.37 million, CBS: 13.86, ABC: 6.08, NBC: 6.07, CW: 2.01, MNTV: 1.02

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 5.7 rating/15 share, CBS: 3.7/10, NBC: 2.5/ 7, ABC: 1.9/ 5, CW: 0.7/ 2, MNTV: 0.3/ 1


The February 25th installment of TV Land’s addictive High School Reunion built from one week earlier by 37 percent in delivery of target adults 40-54 (and not 17 percent as reported on Friday). If you ever wondered what it would be like going to your high school reunion, do not miss this show. It’s got everything…the jock, the snob, the beauty queen, the wannabe…etc.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 3/02/09

 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor (season finale)

 9:00 p.m. The Bachelor: After the Final Rose
 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
 8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 8:00 p.m. Chuck
 9:00 p.m. Heroes
10:00 p.m. Medium
 8:00 p.m. 24 (two hours)
 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)
 9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)
 8:00 p.m. Masters of Illusion

 9:00 p.m. Magic s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)


-Of Note in Late Night:

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (premiere); 12:30 a.m. ET


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-NBCU Trio Heads to Connecticut:

In an effort to cut costs, NBC Universal talkers The Jerry Springer Show, Maury and The Steve Wilkos Show will be taping out of Stamford, Connecticut next season. Maury currently tapes out of New York, while Springer and Wilkos are out of Chicago. 


-Thinking Out Loud:

Since when is comedian Jerry Seinfeld such an expert about marriage that he should have an upcoming reality show on NBC (The Marriage Ref) focusing on it?  


TV Trivia Time:

A Hip Sweathog


Remember “Boom Boom” Washington on 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter? What was his real first name?


The answer to Friday’s question…


When The Waltons debuted in the fall of 1972 it faced two heavy opponents in the Thursday 8 p.m. hour. One was The Flip Wilson Show on NBC. And what was the other on ABC?

Love, American Style
Marcus Welby, M.D.
The Mod Squad
The Rookies

The Six Million Dollar Man


Is: c) The Mod Squad. Although many insiders considered a family friendly drama a suicide mission opposite The Flip Wilson Show and The Mod Squad, two hits at the time, The Waltons settled in for a nine-season (1972-81) run. The Mod Squad was sent packing in 1973 and Flip Wilson in 1974. Good night, everyone!


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, John Ferlazzo, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Synda Kollman, Tom Lawrenson, Howard Lieboff, Tony Naldrett, Sofia Nystrom, Alan Perris, Michelle Stanton