On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
CBS Wins; Normally Competitive ABC in All Repeats
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, December 11, 2008):
Fox: +34, CBS: – 8, ABC: -22, NBC: -24, CW: -29
Survivor: Samoa (CBS), Bones (Fox), CSI (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)
Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Fringe (Fox)
Opposite an all repeat night on ABC, CBS scored an easy Thursday overnight victory, beating the No. 2 network, Fox, by 4.0 rating points. Third overall was NBC, followed by ABC and a night of encores on The CW.
I did not see CBS’ Survivor: Samoa yet (please don’t tell me what happened!), so I cannot comment on the show per se. But it did win the 8 p.m. hour in the overnights with a 6.4 rating/10 share. And it will, no doubt, score a very respectable victory among adults 18-49.
A competitive second behind Survivor in the overnights was Fox’s underrated Bones at a 6.1/10, followed by NBC’s failing Community (3.3/ 5) and Parks and Recreation (3.1/ 5), a repeat of ABC’s FlashForward (2.8/ 5), and a repeat of The Vampire Diaries on The CW (1.3/ 2). Comparably, Fox’s Bones outdelivered year-ago occupant Secret Millionaire (3.7/ 6 on Dec. 11, 2008) by a considerable 65 percent. If you happen to be a fan of Secret Millionaire (and I certainly was), it returns on ABC later this season. As for The Vampire Diaries, next week The CW will be airing a marathon of 10 encore telecasts.
Top-rated overnight honors at 9 p.m. fell in CBS’ corner, with veteran CSI at a 9.4/15. Comparably, that built from the second half of lead-in Survivor (6.4/10 at 8:30 p.m.) by 47 percent. In the distant No. 2 spot were NBC comedies The Office (4.4/ 7) and 30 Rock (4.1/ 6), followed by a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (3.6/ 6), which never plays well in encores, Fox’s Fringe (3.4/ 6), which did not benefit minus an original installment of Grey’s Anatomy in the competitive mix, and a repeat of The CW’s Supernatural (1.2/ 2). As I say every week, keep a positive eye on The Office among adults 18-49.
CBS’ The Mentalist, as usual, kept the overnight dominance intact at 10 p.m., with a 10.3/17. Comparably, that was the highest rated show of the evening. Next was NBC’s The Jay Leno Show (3.7/ 6), followed by a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice at a 2.0/ 5.
Based on the final national ratings from Dec. 29, 2008 through Dec. 6, 2009, what follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in primetime in total viewers and the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.
USA: 3.29 million, TNT: 2.26, ESPN and Fox News: 2.22 each, TBS: 1.84, Nick at Nite: 1.73, A&E: 1.45, FX: 1.36, ABC Family: 1.32, Cartoon Network: 1.30
USA: 1.38 million, ESPN: 1.07 million, TBS: 1.06 million, TNT: 1.04 million, FX: 774,000, A&E: 694,000, Discovery: 674,000, Syfy: 604,000, ABC Family: 594,000, Comedy Central and Spike TV: 592,000 each
USA: 1.50 million, TNT: 1.11 million, ESPN: 1.08 million, TBS: 933,000, A&E: 724,000, FX: 716,000, Syfy: 689,000, Discovery: 665,000, History: 614,000, Food Network: 591,000
USA: 613,000, TBS: 593,000, ESPN: 516,000, TNT: 459,000, MTV: 406,000, FX: 394,000, Comedy Central: 365,000, ABC Family: 322,000, VH1: 319,000, Discovery: 315,000
On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
9:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
8:00 p.m. Yes, Virginia
8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
9:00 p.m. Medium (R)
8:00 p.m. Law & Order
9:00 p.m. Dateline
8:00 p.m. Dollhouse
9:00 p.m. Dollhouse
8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)
9:30 p.m. Smallville (R)
10:00 p.m. Castle (R)
8:00 p.m. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (R)
9:00 p.m. The Flight Before Christmas (R)
8:00 p.m. Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life (R)
8:00 p.m. Cops
9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (two hours, with Mary J. Blije)
10:00 p.m. Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special
7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)
9:00 p.m. Cold Case
7:00 p.m. Football Night in America
8:00 p.m. Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia at New York Giants
7:00 p.m. Brothers
7:30 p.m. Brothers
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. American Idol
-The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty (A&E): 9 p.m.
The personal and professional lives of Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito as they prepare for a Jackson Five reunion and cope with the loss of Michael is the focus of this new docudrama.
-Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!): 10 p.m. (season premiere)
Notes of Interest
-ABC Schedules The Deep:
ABC has a new occupant for resting FlashForward in the Thursday 8 p.m. hour: drama The Deep, which focuses on five young and eager law associates fighting to stay afloat in one of the top law firms in Los Angeles. It premieres on January 21.
-Chris Cuomo Heads to 20/20:
Following the announcement of George Stephanopoulos as the new co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America comes word that current newsreader Chris Cuomo will be leaving to join ABC’s 20/20. Cuomo will co-host opposite Elizabeth Vargas.
-Freshman Series Scorecard:
Here is an updated status of the primetime freshman class of 2009-10 by network, in order of airing.
-V (Tuesday 8:00 p.m. ET): on hiatus until Tuesday, March 30.
-The Forgotten (Tuesday 10 p.m. ET): five additional episodes ordered, bringing total to 18.
-Hank (Wednesday 8:00 p.m. ET): canceled. Unaired episodes not expected to return.
-The Middle (Wednesday 8:30 p.m. ET): nice ratings boost this week out of a repeat of holiday special Shrek the Halls.
-Modern Family (Wednesday 9:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal, bona fide young adult hit.
-Cougar Family (Wednesday 9:30 p.m. ET): full season renewal, but erosion out of Modern Family continues to increase.
-Eastwick (Wednesday 10:00 p.m. ET): canceled. Ugly Betty steps into the time period on Jan. 6.
-FlashForward (Thursday 8:00 p.m. ET): on hiatus until Tuesday, March 4. New drama The Deep steps in on Jan. 21.
-Accidentally on Purpose (Monday 8:30 p.m. ET): five additional episodes ordered, bringing total to 18.
-NCIS: Los Angeles (Tuesday 9:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal, biggest new hit of the season.
-The Good Wife (Tuesday 10:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal; respectable retention out of NCIS: Los Angeles, but older skewing.
-Three Rivers (Sunday 9:00 p.m.): removed from the schedule after 8 episodes. Cold Case has moved up to 9 p.m., with drama repeats airing at 10 p.m.
-Trauma (Monday 9:00 p.m. ET): three additional episodes ordered (despite initially announcing it was canceled), bringing the total order to 16.
-The Jay Leno Show (Monday to Friday 10:00 p.m. ET): nice boost out of the season-finale of The Biggest Loser, but ratings plummeted one night later.
-Mercy (Wednesday 8:00 p.m.): full season renewal.
-Community (Thursday 8:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal despite ongoing lackluster performance.
-Glee (Wednesday 9:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal and now on hiatus until the spring.
-Brothers (Sunday 7:00 p.m. ET): the cancellation clock is ticking.
-The Cleveland Show (Sunday 8:30 p.m. ET): renewed for two full seasons, builds regularly from The Simpsons lead-in.
-Melrose Place (Tuesday 9:00 p.m. ET): No shot at a second season despite the return of Heather Locklear.
-The Beautiful Life (Wednesday 9:00 p.m. ET): first cancellation of the season.
-The Vampire Diaries (Thursday 8:00 p.m. ET): full season renewal; solid performer among young females.
Which one of the following TV characters is the least likely to be home tonight lighting a candle on this first evening of Hanukkah?
a) Grace Adler
b) Mick Belker
c) Paris Geller
d) Arnold Horshak
e) Krusty the Clown
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Which one of the following TV characters did not live in Hooterville?
a) Janet Craig
b) Eb Dawson
c) Hank Kimball
d) Floyd Smoot
e) Millie Swanson
Is: e) Millie Swanson, who resided in Mayberry, North Carolina. As for the others:
Janet Craig: Petticoat Junction (she was the doctor who moved into The Shady Rest after Kate “left”)
Floyd Smoot: Petticoat Junction (who was one of the original conductors of The Cannon Ball)
Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to the junction.
Forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the junction.
Lotsa curves, you bet. Even more when you get
To the junction, Petticoat Junction.
There’s a little hotel called the Shady Rest at the junction.
It is run by Kate, come and be her guest at the junction.
And that’s Uncle Joe, he’s a movin’ kind of slow at the junction,
Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I’d rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.
You are my wife.
Good bye, city life.
Green Acres we are there.
-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Mark Cosenza, Holly Escobar, Arleen Fong, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Randy Hainlen, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Mark Krause, Patty Lynch, Michael Murphy, Con Rigg, Colleen Roth, David Ruckman, Maxine Schulman, Ted Zawislak