CBS Dominates Week of Jan. 11

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Idol Roars to the Winning Finish Line; Disappointing Human Target

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 11, 2010

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Welcome Fonzie

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Roars to the Winning Finish Line; Disappointing Human Target

Wednesday 1/20/10

Note: Sacramento and Birmingham are excluded from the following averages.



Fox   11.8/18
CBS   7.8/12
ABC   4.5/ 7
NBC   3.9/ 6
CW    0.9/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, January 21, 2009):
CW: +12, CBS and Fox: +10 each, NBC: – 7, ABC: -29

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), CSI: NY (CBS)

Human Target (Fox)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Mercy (NBC), Ugly Betty (ABC), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by American Idol, Fox got over the Wednesday “hump” in winning fashion, with a 4.0 metered market rating point advantage over second-place CBS. In the distant No. 3 spot was ABC, followed by NBC and The CW. 


Blockbuster American Idol opened the evening with a whopping 16.8 rating/26 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. — 21 percent above the 13.9/21 it scored on the year-ago evening. Growth of this nature for a nine-year old series is absolutely unprecedented. American Idol beat the four competing networks combined by 28 percent. Take a look:

Wednesday 8-9 p.m.
Fox – American Idol: 16.8/26

CBS – The New Adventures of Old Christine: 4.6/ 7 (#2) and Gary Unmarried: 4.3/ 6 (#2)

NBC – Mercy: 3.9/ 6 (#3)

ABC – Modern Family R: 3.8/ 6 (#4) and The Middle R: 3.5/ 5 (#4)

CW – Life Unexpected: 1.2/ 2 (#5)

Based on the final nationals, the debut of Life Unexpected on Monday perked up to 2.83 million viewers — The CW’s largest audience in the Monday 9 p.m. hour since One Tree Hill on Jan. 12, 2009. The Life Unexpected debut outperformed the Gossip Girl original season average by six percent among adults 18-34 (1.8/ 5). As for American Idol, does anyone even notice Paula Abdul is missing?


CBS moved into the overnight winners circle at 9 p.m. care of underrated Criminal Minds, which averaged a 10.2/16. Comparably, that built by a significant 137 percent out of Gary Unmarried. Second in the hour was episode two of Fox’s Human Target at a 6.8/10. Comparably, retention out of the second half of lead-in American Idol (17.8/27 at 8:30 p.m.) was a mere 38 percent, with erosion at 9:30 p.m. of 16 percent (7.4/11 to 6.2/ 9). Next Wednesday, unproven Human Target moves into the 8 p.m. anchor spot, followed by American Idol at 9 p.m. Not a smart move, Fox. 


Also worth positively noting at 9 p.m. was ABC’s critically acclaimed and already renewed Modern Family, which was on the map with a 7.1/11 in the overnights (#3) and always scores among adults 18-49. Comparably, Modern Family built from The Middle encore by a whopping 103 percent. Congratulations, Steven Levitan and company. See you at the NATPE panel next Monday. (


At 9:30 on ABC was the also renewed Cougar Town at a 5.5/ 8 in the overnights — 23 percent below Modern Family. 


Capping off the 9 p.m. hour was a repeat of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (#4: 4.0/ 6), which is moving to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. out of a repeat of SVU on March 3, and a repeat of The CW’s Gossip Girl (#5: 0.6/ 1). 


CBS remains the network to beat at 10 p.m., care of CSI: NY at a 9.0/15. Next was NBC’s canceled The Jay Leno Show (3.8/ 7), no doubt the embarrassment of the season, followed by relocated Ugly Betty on ABC at a mere 3.6/ 6. It looks like it could be curtains for Ugly Betty this spring.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 11, 2010


Excluding adults 18-34, it was a clean sweep for CBS, with a first place-finish in households, total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 despite the return of American Idol on Fox. As always, Fox dominated among adults 18-34. CBS’ victory was fueled by the massive 30.57 million viewers who tuned in for Baltimore vs. Indianapolis on The AFC Divisional Playoff on Saturday and Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff prime-time overrun. As I say all the time, viewers will respond to programming on Saturday if the networks program aggressively.


All was well over at camp Fox, meanwhile, with the ninth season of American Idol (time flies!) actually up from one year earlier, with a whopping 29.94 million viewers (#2 overall) and an 11.8 rating/29 share among adults 18-49 (#1) on Tuesday. A 90-minute edition on Wednesday notched 26.39 million viewers (#3) and a 10.1/27 (#3) in the demo. Comparably, this could be the first time in the history of television for a nine year old series to actually build from one year earlier. Also of note on Fox was the successful return of 24, which opened its new season in the crowded Sunday 9-11 p.m. block with a healthy 11.44 million viewers (#18) and a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49 (tied for #12).


Elsewhere, the home of The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, finished third across the board, building by margins of 15 to 19 percent from one year earlier. The Golden Globes lifted NBC to its best performance in the Sunday 9-11 p.m. block in six years, with 16.98 million viewers (#6) and a 5.5/14 among adults 18-49 (#5). Successful results for each of the Big 4 networks on Sunday only prove the ability to successfully offer a potpourri of different programming in the same time period.


ABC was one notch below NBC, with minor losses from one year earlier, while a week of all repeats was costly to cellar-dweller The CW.


In series-premiere news, Human Target on Fox previewed in the Sunday 8 p.m. hour with a comfortable 10.12 million viewers (#24) and a 2.9/ 7 among adults 18-49 (#29). Season three of NBC’s Chuck returned to its Monday 8 p.m. time period with a marginal 7.35 million viewers (#40) and a 2.6/ 7 in the demo (tied for #31). So much for the glut of promotion on NBC.


In case you are wondering if the NBC late night brouhaha has given canceled The Jay Leno Show a ratings boost, the answer is no. Take a look at the results this week for what could be referred to as one of the biggest flops in the history of television:

The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

Monday – Viewers: 4.80 million (#65), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#56t)

Tuesday – Viewers: 6.10 million (#49), A18-49: 1.8/ 5 (#51t)

Monday – Viewers: 5.31 million (#59), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#62t)

Monday – Viewers: 4.40 million (#70), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#67t)

Monday – Viewers: 5.23 million (#61), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#67t)

Grade: F

In other freshman series news (in order of total viewers and excluding repeats):


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

Viewers: 15.60 million (#9), A18-49: 3.0/ 7 (#27t)
Grade: A
The Good Wife (CBS) – Tuesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 13.87 million (#14), A18-49: 3.0/ 8 (#27t)
Grade: A
Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) – Monday 8:30 p.m.
Viewers: 8.44 million (#32), A18-49: 3.1/ 8 (#25t)
Grade: B-
Modern Family (ABC) – Wednesday 9 p.m.
Viewers: 7.83 million (#36), A18-49: 3.3/ 8 (#21t)
Grade: B+
Cougar Town (ABC) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m.
Viewers: 7.27 million (#43), A18-49: 3.1/ 8 (#25t)
Grade: B
The Middle (ABC) – Wednesday 8 p.m.
Viewers: 5.95 million (#51), A18-49: 2.1/ 5 (#45t)
Grade: C-
Mercy (NBC) – Wednesday 8 p.m.
Viewers: 5.85 million (#52), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#62t)
Grade: D
Community (NBC) – Thursday 8 p.m.
Viewers: 5.42 million (#55), A18-49: 2.4/ 7 (#62t)
Grade: C
The Forgotten (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 4.32 million (#71), A18-49: 1.2/ 3 (#36t)
Grade: D

Here are the final national ratings for the week of January 11, 2010 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the top 30 rated programs of the week and the top 10 rankings in cable.


CBS: 9.7 rating/16 share (- 4), Fox: 7.0/11 (- 1), NBC: 4.6/ 7 (+18), ABC: 4.1/ 7 (- 5), CW: 0.7/ 1 (-42)


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 16.36 million (- 4), Fox: 12.34 (- 4), NBC: 7.31 (+19), ABC: 6.44 (- 4), CW: 1.00 (-47)


-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 4.7 rating/13 share (- 6), Fox: 4.5/12 (- 6), NBC: 2.3/ 6 (+15), ABC: 2.1/ 6 (-12), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-50)


-Adults 25-54:

CBS: 5.8/14 (- 6), Fox: 5.1/12 (- 6), NBC: 2.7/ 7 (+17), ABC: 2.5/ 6 (- 7), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-43)


-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.8/12 (-10), CBS: 3.4/11 (- 6), NBC: 2.7/ 7 (+17), ABC: 2.5/ 6 (- 7), CW: 0.4/ 1 (-43)

 Top 30 Rankings

-Total Viewers:

AFC Divisional Playoff: Baltimore vs. Indianapolis (CBS): 30.57 million, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 29.94, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 26.39, NCIS (CBS): 20.85, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 17.27, The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 16.98, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 15.82, 60 Minutes (CBS): 15.78, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 15.60, The Mentalist (CBS): 15.37, CSI (CBS): 15.33, CSI: NY (CBS): 14.03, Criminal Minds (CBS): 13.90, The Good Wife (CBS): 13.87, CSI: Miami (CBS): 13.70, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 12.78, House (Fox): 12.25, 24 (Fox, season premiere): 11.44, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 11.32, Private Practice (ABC): 10.96, Bones (Fox): 10.75, Cold Case (CBS): 10.62, The Bachelor (ABC): 10.50, Human Target (Fox, series premiere/preview): 10.12, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 9.77, NCIS R (CBS, Sun. 10 p.m.): 9.67, Numb3rs (CBS): 9.65, Castle (ABC): 9.47, The Mentalist R (CBS, Thurs. 8 p.m.): 9.40, Medium (CBS): 8.96


-Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 11.8 rating/29 share, AFC Divisional Playoff: Baltimore vs. Indianapolis (CBS): 11.0/31, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 10.1/27, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 5.7/14, The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC): 5.5/14, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 5.4/13, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 4.8/13, House (Fox): 4.6/12, NCIS (CBS): 4.3/11, Private Practice (ABC): 4.2/12, 60 Minutes (CBS): 4.0/10, How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and 24 (Fox, season premiere): 3.9/10 each, Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.8/10, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 3.8/ 9, CSI: Miami (CBS): 3.7/10, The Bachelor (ABC) and The Simpsons R (Fox, Wed. 9:30 p.m.): 3.6/ 9 each, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.5/10, The Mentalist (CBS): 3.4/ 9, Bones (Fox): 3.3/10, CSI (CBS): 3.3/ 9, Modern Family (ABC): 3.3/ 8, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 3.2/ 8, Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) and Cougar Town (ABC): 3.1/ 8 each, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 3.0/ 7, Human Target (Fox, series premiere/preview): 2.9/ 7, Fringe (Fox): 2.8/ 7


What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks for the week in the following key categories:


-Total Viewers:

USA: 2.62 million, Fox News: 2.41, Nick at Nite: 2.05, TNT: 2.03, ABC Family: 1.68, A&E: 1.64, TBS: 1.57, FX: 1.42, ESPN: 1.29, Tru TV: 1.28


-Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.14 million, TNT: 906,000, TBS: 904,000, FX: 813,000, A&E: 797,000, Discovery: 651,000, Tru TV: 650,000, ABC Family: 645,000, MTV: 615,000, ESPN: 590,000


-Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.20 million, TNT: 943,000, A&E: 822,000, TBS: 778,000, FX: 718,000, Tru TV: 665,000, Fox News: 646,000, Discovery: 645,000, History: 612,000, Food Network: 581,000


-Adults 18-34:

USA: 533,000, TBS: 504,000, MTV: 492,000, FX: 462,000, TNT: 407,000, A&E: 374,000, ABC Family: 357,000, Discovery: 323,000, Nick at Nite: 312,000, VH1: 306,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record Start for I’m in the Band on Disney XD:

The Monday 7 p.m. debut of I’m in the Band opened on January 18 as Disney XD’s top-rated series premiere in the cable net’s history (including Toon Disney) in total viewers (863,000), kids 6-14 (528,000), boys 6-14 (325,000), kids 6-11 (358,000), boys 6-11 (241,000), tweens 9-14 (375,000) and tween boys (231,000). Populated with I’m in the Band, The Suite Life on Deck and Zeke and Luther, January 18 now stands as Disney XD’s most-watched Monday on record in total viewers (601,000), kids 6-14 (371,000), boys 6-14 (213,000), kids 6-11 (281,000), boys 6-11 (157,000), tweens 9-14 (251,000) and boys 9-14 (143,000).

-Top Rated ABC Family:

Ignited by the premiere of Bring It On: Flight to the Finish, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make it or Break It, ABC Family finished the week of Jan. 11 with its most-watched week on record in teens (408,000) and female teens (333,000). Competitively, ABC Family ranked as cable’s No. 1 network in primetime in females 12-34 (603,000) and female teens (333,000), and No. 2 in women 18-34 (270,000), viewers 12-34 (765,000) and teens (408,000).


-Top 20 Shows in Syndication – Week of January 4:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication based on households for the week of January 4:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.6 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.2, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 5.2, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.9, Judge Judy (CBS): 47, Oprah (CBS): 4.6, Law & Order: SVU – Weekend (NBC Universal): 3.8, Inside Edition (CBS): 3.7, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 3.5, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.4, Dr. Phil (CBS) and Dr. Oz (Sony Pictures Television): 3.1 each, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 3.0, The Office (NBCU) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.9 each, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC): 2.8 each, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 2.6, Ellen DeGeneres (Warner Bros.), Two and a Half Men – Weekend (Warner Bros.) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 2.5 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 1/21/10
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Private Practice


 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

 8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

 9:00 p.m. CSI

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist

 8:00 p.m. Community
 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation
 9:00 p.m. The Office
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Bones

 9:00 p.m. Fringe


 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural

New Program Descriptions
The Deep End

A diverse group of young associates at a high profile Los Angeles entertainment law firm and the ambitious partners that dominate the firm is the focus of this new legal drama.

-Mr. TV’s Prediction:

While The Deep End is a counter-programming maneuver, the competition is steep and viewers are unlikely to commit to a new legal drama in the too early 8 p.m. hour. Plus, die-hard fans of regularly scheduled occupant FlashForward, which returns in March, will not be happy to see something else in the time period.


-Chance of Survival for The Deep End (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Conan to Exit Tomorrow:

As expected, Conan O’Brien will officially step down as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show tomorrow with a breakup package reported to be worth over $40 million. Jay Leno is expected to return to The Tonight Show on Monday, March 1 after The Olympics. 


-The Survey Says…Steve Harvey:

Comedian and former sitcom star Steve Harvey will replace John O’Hurley as host of syndicated Debmar-Mercury game show Family Feud next season. O’Hurley stepped in for prior host Richard Karn in 2006. Hosts prior to Karn were Louie Anderson, Ray Combs and, of course, Richard Dawson. 


 -Mel Brooks to Appear at The TCM Classic Film Festival:

Legendary actor, comedian, director and producer Mel Brooks will be a featured guest at the inaugural TCM Classic Film Festival in April, which will celebrate the history of Hollywood and its movies. As part of the festivities, TCM will partner with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as they honor Brooks with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For more information, click on

TV Trivia Time:
Welcome Fonzie

What sitcom did Happy Days replace when it debuted on ABC on January 15, 1974?


a)      Bewitched

b)      Paper Moon

c)      The Partridge Family

d)      The Paul Lynde Show

e)      Temperatures Rising


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following series did not feature an actor or actress from current ABC hit Modern Family?


a)      Back to You

b)      Big Apple

c)      Do Not Disturb

d)      Ed

e)      Good Morning, Miami


Is: e) Good Morning, Miami, which aired on NBC from 2002-03, first out of Will & Grace on Thursday, then briefly out of Frasier the following fall on Tuesday. As for the rest:


Back to You: Ty Burrell (Phil)

Big Apple: Ed O’Neill (Jay)

Do Not Disturb: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell)

Ed: Julie Bowen (Claire)


 -Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins, Brad Hight, Navid Falahpour, Bob Ingersoll, Synda Kollman, Tom Lawrenson, Gordon Purcell