CBS Inches Past Fox for Tuesday Overnight Dominance

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

CBS Inches Past Fox; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 4, 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:
Busy Mr. Buchman

CBS Inches Past Fox; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Tuesday 5/12/09


CBS   9.7/15
Fox    9.6/15
NBC 7.0/11
ABC 5.0/ 8
CW    1.3/ 2

Note: The overnight comparisons to the year-ago evening are not available. 

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), The Mentalist (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Without a Trace (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

According to Jim (ABC), Reaper (CW), 90210 (CW), Cupid (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS inched past Fox by one-tenth of a rating point in the Tuesday overnights. But the home of American Idol will, of course, win the evening among adults 18-49 (and other key demos). Third overall was above-average NBC, followed by ABC and lowly the CW.


Beginning with NBC, the three-hour season-finale of The Biggest Loser rose to a season-high, with a healthy 7.0 rating/11 share in the overnights from 8-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown and notice how The Biggest Loser built in every half-hour.


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

 8:00 p.m.: 5.4/ 9 (#3)
 8:30 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#3)
 9:00 p.m.: 7.1/11 (#4)
 9:30 p.m.: 7.5/11 (#3)

10:00 p.m.: 7.8/12 (#2)

10:30 p.m.: 8.1/13 (#2)


Keep an eye on a potential first-place adult 18-49 finish for The Biggest Loser from 9-11 p.m. 


Over at Fox, American Idol won the 8 p.m. hour, with a 12.3/20 in the overnights. In my humble opinion, Adam is the standout, and has been all season, while overrated Danny Gokey should be the contestant exiting tonight. But my pick to depart is Kris Allen. 


American Idol led into the season-finale of already renewed Fringe at an estimated 7.0/11 (#4) from 9-10 p.m. I refer to Fringe as estimated because the first four minutes of the 9 p.m. half hour was the final four minutes of American Idol.


CBS had a solid night care of its combination of NCIS (#2: 9.8/16), which is one of the few shows that can stand up to American Idol, breakout hit The Mentalist (#1: 10.1/15) and veteran Without a Trace (#1: 9.2/14), which is worthy of a renewal next season.


The live Dancing With the Stars Results Show generated plenty of interest on ABC, with a second-place 9.0/14 in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. So long, Ty Murray. But bookends According to Jim (two episodes, #4, avg. 2.4/ 4 from 8-9 p.m.) and Cupid (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 10 p.m.) are waiting for the axe to swing.


Last, and very least, were CW dramas Reaper (1.2/ 2), which has no chance of a pick-up for next season, and already renewed 90210 (1.3/ 2), which should not be returning. While I understand that the target strength of the CW falls within the young female demos, overnights this low will not translate into much.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data



National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 4, 2009


CBS and Fox shared the top spot once again, with CBS first in households and total viewers (for the 10th consecutive week) and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos: adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Both networks were close to year-ago levels. Also mirroring recent weeks, ABC finished second among adults 18-34 and third elsewhere, with minor losses from one year earlier. 


Elsewhere, NBC ranked fourth across the board, but did manage to build by margins of 5 to 14 percent from the year-ago week. Deteriorating fifth-place the CW dipped by as much as 25 percent in total viewers. And last-place MyNetworkTV continues to benefit from the fall 2008 arrival of Friday Night Smackdown!, with growth of as much as 25 percent in adults 25-54. Once again, the true test for MyNetworkTV will come next season when the comparisons include Smackdown! in the year-ago mix.


In the specials department, Michael J. Fox: The Adventures of an Eternal Optimist won the Thursday 10 p.m. hour on ABC, with 10.23 million viewers (#20 overall) and a 3.1 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 (tied for #26). Comparably, retention out of lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (Viewers: 15.55 million; A18-49: 5.4/14) was 66 percent in total viewers and 57 percent in the demo. Far less impressive on ABC was The NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles at Houston, with 4.96 million viewers and a 1.9/ 7 in the demo on Saturday. Comparably, that was close to lackluster levels from one year earlier. 


There were several season (or potential series) finales this week, including Fox’s Dollhouse, ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, and CBS’ The Amazing Race, Cold Case and The Unit. Based on the results, chances are this is the last we will be seeing of Dollhouse (see New Midseason Series Scorecard below) and CBS’ three-year-old The Unit (Viewers: #25, 9.64 million; A18-49: #38t, 2.4/ 7). 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of May 4, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   


CBS: 6.8 rating/12 share (+ 1), Fox: 5.3/ 9 (- 4), ABC: 5.6/10 (-10), NBC: 4.2/ 7 (+ 5), CW: 1.3/ 2 (-24), MNTV: 0.9/ 2 (+12)


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 10.76 million (+ 1), Fox: 8.82 (- 1), ABC: 8.72 (- 9), NBC: 6.35 (+ 6), CW: 1.93 (-25), MNTV: 1.45 (+23)


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.2 rating/10 share (- 3), CBS: 2.7/ 8 (- 7), ABC: 2.6/ 8 (-13), NBC: 2.0/ 6 (+ 5), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-20), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)


-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 3.8/10 (no change), CBS: 3.6/10 (- 5), ABC: 3.2/ 8 (- 9), NBC: 2.5/ 7 (+14), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-20), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (no change)


-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 2.6/ 9 (no change), ABC: 2.1/ 7 (- 9), CBS: 1.7/ 6 (- 6), NBC: 1.5/ 5 (+ 7), CW: 1.0/ 3 (- 9), MNTV: 0.4/ 2 (no change)


New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats and in order of total viewers); Pre-empted: Surviving Suburbia (ABC)


Castle (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.  

Viewers: 9.97 million (#23), A18-49: 2.8/ 7 (#31)


Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 8 p.m.  

Viewers: 8.68 million (#37), A18-49: 2.7/ 8 (#32t)


Southland (NBC) – Thursday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 6.61 million (#46), A18-49: 2.0/ 6 (#48t)


Cupid (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 5.14 million (#56), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#58t)


Parks and Recreation (NBC) – Thursday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 4.72 million (#62), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#45t)


The Unusuals (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 4.63 million (#63), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#58t)


Harper’s Island (CBS) – Saturday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 4.60 million (#64), A18-49: 1.1/ 4 (#71t)


Better Off Ted (CBS) – Tuesday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 3.07 million (#76), A18-49: 1.2/ 3 (#67t)


Dollhouse (Fox) – Friday 9 p.m. (season or series finale)

Viewers: 2.70 million (#79), A18-49: 1.0/ 4 (#75t)


Sit Down, Shut Up (Fox) – Sunday 7 p.m.

Viewers: 1.55 million (#90), A18-49: 0.7/ 3 (#85t)                                       


Top 30 Rankings


-Total Viewers:

American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 23.57 million, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 23.41, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 20.28, NCIS (CBS): 16.72, The Mentalist (CBS): 16.68, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 15.55, CSI (CBS): 14.91, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 14.56, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 14.17, Criminal Minds (CBS): 14.13, CSI: Miami (CBS): 13.72, CSI: NY (CBS): 13.40, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 12.29, House (Fox): 12.05, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 11.99, Cold Case (season or series finale): 11.84, Without a Trace (CBS): 11.83, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 11.33, The Amazing Race (CBS, season finale): 10.49, Michael J. Fox: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (ABC): 10.23, 24 (Fox): 10.11, 60 Minutes (CBS): 10.09, Castle (ABC): 9.97, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 9.82, The Unit (CBS, season or series finale): 9.64, CSI R (CBS, Thurs. 10 p.m.): 9.58, Numb3rs (CBS): 9.57, Ghost Whisperer (CBS): 9.50, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 9.25, Fringe (Fox): 9.24


-Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 8.3 rating/23 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 8.3/20, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 5.4/14, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 5.0/12, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.8/13, House (Fox); 4.6/13, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 4.1/11, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 4.1/10, CSI: Miami (CBS): 4.0/11, Lost (ABC): 4.0/10, The Office (NBC): 3.9/11, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 3.8/12, Fringe (Fox): 3.8/10, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 3.7/10, The Biggest Loser (NBC) and CSI (CBS): 3.6/10 each, How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and The Mentalist (CBS): 3.6/ 9 each, The Big Bang Theory (CBS) and NCIS (CBS): 3.4/10 each, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.3/ 9, 24 (Fox) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.3/ 8 each, Family Guy (Fox): 3.2/ 9, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.2/ 8, Michael J. Fox: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (ABC), The Amazing Race (CBS, season finale) and Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, season finale): 3.1/ 9 each, Brothers & Sisters (ABC, season finale): 3.0/ 8, 30 Rock (NBC): 2.9/ 8


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record High iCarly:

An expanded edition of Nickelodeon hit iCarly broke the record books on Saturday, May 9, with a whopping 6.5 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. Comparably, that finished as basic cable’s top-rated show for the week among both entertainment and sports programming. And it built by 185 percent from the year-ago time period average. Results among key demographics were a 9.5 rating in kids 2-11 (+164 percent) and a 12.9 rating among kids 6-11 (+187 percent) for iCarly.

-Univision Scores on Friday:

Based on national rating results for May 8, Univision finished first overall in prime-time among adults 18-34 (997,000) for the third consecutive Friday. Univision, in addition, ranked second for the night among adults 18-49 (1.9 million) and third in teens 12-17 (206,000). 


-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of April 27:

What follows are the top 20 rated series in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on households for the week of April 27, followed by any highlights of note.


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.6 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.6, Oprah (CBS): 5.4, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.6, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.3, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.2, Family Guy (Twentieth): 3.7, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.5, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 3.3, Dr. Phil (CBS) and Inside Edition (CBS): 3.2 each, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 3.1, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.0, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.9, King of the Hill (Twentieth), Entertainment Tonight – Weekend (CBS) and Wheel of Fortune Weekend (CBS): 2.7 each, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC Family) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.6 each


-Ignited by an appearance by Kirstie Alley on Thursday, Oprah rose to a 5.4 in households — up 15 percent week-to-week and six percent from the same week last year.


-Inside Edition was the only newsmagazine to increase from one year earlier, with a gain of three percent in households.


-NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood perked up to a 2.1 rating in households (up five percent from one week earlier), with a 1.5 rating among key women 25-54 (up seven percent). 


-CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors (2.0) finished as the highest rated new first-run strip for the 15th consecutive week. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/13/09
 8:00 p.m. Lost: A Journey in Time
 9:00 p.m. Lost (season finale, two hours)

 8:00 p.m. Rules of Engagement

 8:30 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY


 8:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent  

 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

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


 8:00 p.m. Lie To Me (season or series finale)

 9:00 p.m. American Idol


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

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)


 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments

 9:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Fox Prepares for Next Season:

Fox has picked up two additional two new scripted series for its 2009-10 schedule: Sons of Tucson and comic book drama Human Target. Sons of Tucson is a single camera comedy focusing on three teenage guys who hire a friendly, but misguided man to pretend to be their dad when their real father is sent to prison for a white collar crime.  Human Target is based on the DC Comics property about a private detective and bodyguard named Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) who operates by impersonating his clients in order to eliminate threats to his boss. Fox, in addition, has renewed freshman drama Lie To Me for a second season, with an unspecified number of new episodes. 

-Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100 Head to GSN:

GSN, the destination for game, will begin airing repeats of the first three seasons of Howie Mandel-hosted Deal or No Deal on Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. ET. Deal or No Deal will air weeknights in the 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET hours. Repeats of 1 vs. 100, hosted by Bob Saget, will debut on GSN on Saturday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. A second weekly telecast of 1 vs. 100 will air Sundays at 1 p.m. ET. 


-Upcoming on A&E:

Cable net A&E has announced eight new scripted series projects in development for 2009-10, including a series pilot from CSI creator Jerry Bruckheimer and a miniseries from Academy Award winner Kevin Costner that will explore how the West was settled following the Civil War. On the non-scripted front are seven new series and three specials, including projects with Tony Danza, The Jackson Family and Steven Seagal, and a companion to Intervention called Obsessed. New scripted series in development include Cooler Kings, which focuses on a group of Honolulu detectives; The Lead Sheet, a crime procedural that may or may not be related to the Hillside Strangler in 1977-78; Central Division, which follows two female LAPD captains; The Quickening, the story of a bi-polar LAPD detective; Night Falls, about a NYC cop who has an unusual neurological side effect; NY’s Finest, which tracks the commissioner of a large U.S. city; and an untitled Matthew Carnahan Project, which focuses on crime and punishment. 


The new non-scripted fare includes Tony Danza in a project described as the real-life Welcome Back Kotter; Steven Seagal: Lawman, with the action star as a fully commissioned deputy; Hammertime, which takes a look into the life of rapper Stanley Burrell; Fugitive Chronicles, which recounts the most compelling fugitive captures in recent history; The Squad: Prison Police, which is described as The First 48 behind bars; and the aforementioned Obsessed, which premieres on Monday, May 25 at 10 p.m. ET. Unscripted pilots include Love Shaq and Bob Saget on America. And the returning series on A&E are Intervention, The First 48, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels. Dog the Bounty Hunter, Crime 360, Criss Angel Mindfreak, Paranormal State, Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force and Parking Wars. 

TV Trivia Time:
Busy Mr. Buchman

What kind of store did Paul’s father own on Mad About You?


a)      card

b)      hardware

c)      ice cream

d)      novelty

e)      sporting goods


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What kind of doctor was Alex Stone on The Donna Reed Show?


a)      Cardiologist

b)      Obstetrician

c)      Optometrist

d)      Pediatrician

e)      Podiatrist


Is:  d) Pediatrician. In the perfect world of The Donna Reed Show, TV hubby Alex was a beloved doctor while happy homemaker Donna took care of the family. Don’t you wish TV Land would air repeats of this TV classic again? 


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Jim Brams, Lillian Buchman, Dave Carfolite, Tom Condosta, Kay Copeland, Paulette Dittrick, Phyllis Epstein, Arleen Fong, Ellen Foust, Michael Fruchtman, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Michael Grewe, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Hentschel, David Jackino, Tony Intelisano, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Irene Kirschner, Mark Krause, Charmaine Leary, Debbie Mirr, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Neal Sabin, Ron Salmon, Bruce Starin, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Joel Wolk