CBS Leads Thursday; NBC’s Guest-Driven ER Benefits

Friday, March 13, 2009
CBS Leads; Guest Stars Ignite NBC’s ER
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

That Little Jinx!

Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
CBS Leads; Guest Stars Ignite NBC’s ER
Thursday 3/12/09


CBS   8.3/13

ABC 6.4/10

Fox    5.3/ 8

NBC 4.9/ 8

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, March 13, 2008):

ABC: +19, CBS: +15, NBC: + 9, CW: – 4, Fox: – 9

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Tacantins (CBS), CSI (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), ER (NBC)

-Honorable Mention:
Bones (Fox)
Private Practice (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Kath & Kim (NBC) — please NBC, officially cancel this!

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this second Thursday of the February 2009 sweeps in the overnights, beating No. 2 ABC by a noticeable 30 percent. Next was Fox, followed by NBC and the CW. But NBC’s soon-to-conclude ER got a boost from the one-shot returns of former cast members George Clooney, Julianna Margulies and Eriq La Salle. ER rose to a first-place 7.6 rating/13 share in the overnights at 10 p.m., inching past CBS’ normally overnight dominant Eleventh Hour (7.5/12) by one-tenth of a rating point, and building from lead-in 30 Rock (#4: 4.2/ 6 at 9:30 p.m.) by a hefty 81 percent. While this still pales in comparisons to those 20+ rated days of its heyday, it is still a positive to make note of. Even so, had NBC promoted Clooney’s return (why didn’t it?) the results might have been better.


CBS opened the night on a normally dominant note, with veteran Survivor: Tocantins at a 7.0/11 in the metered markets from 8-9 p.m. One year earlier, the Micronesia edition averaged a similar 7.4/12 (on March 13, 2008). Although Spencer got the boot, outspoken Taj who needs to tone it down. If things go accordingly, her secret alliance could reign supreme. 


Second in the 8 p.m. hour was Fox’s underappreciated Bones at a healthy 6.1/10 in the overnights. Next was ABC’s hiatus-bound Ugly Betty (5.2/ 8), followed by a repeat of My Name Is Earl (3.0/ 5) and the season (or series) finale of the abysmal Kath & Kim (2.7/ 4) on NBC, and already renewed Smallville on the CW (2.4/ 4). Keep in mind that ABC will debut new sitcom Motherhood at 8 p.m. followed by the return of Samantha Who? effective on March 26.


CBS warhorse CSI led the 9 p.m. overnight troops, with a 10.5/16. Comparably, that beat competing Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (8.5/13) by 24 percent. In other words, the show lives on without William Petersen. But it may not be enough to dominate among adults 18-49. Don’t forget to check out by approximately 12 p.m. ET for the results. 


Third in the 9 p.m. hour was Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (4.6/ 7), followed by below-average performances for NBC’s The Office (4.3/ 7) and 30 Rock (4.2/ 6), and Supernatural on the CW (2.1/ 3). Is it just me, or is The Office just not funny anymore? 


First 10 p.m. was NBC’s aforementioned guest star-enhanced ER (7.6/13), followed by soon-to-depart Eleventh Hour on CBS (7.5/12) and Private Practice on ABC (5.6/10). Retention for Private Practice out of the second half of lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (8.8/13 at 9:30 p.m.) was just 64 percent. As for CBS, instead of potentially swinging the axe on the still potent (but older skewing) Cold Case and Without a Trace, freshman drama Eleventh Hour should be shown the door. Would you be watching Eleventh Hour outside of this protected time period? Up next on CBS in the hour: mystery Harper’s Island on April 9. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

-Top Model Rises to Second Best Performance of 2008-09:

The March 11th telecast of America’s Next Top Model on the CW rose to 4.5 million viewers, with a 1.9 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 and a 2.9/ 8 in women 18-49 at 8 p.m. Comparably, that built week-to-week by as much as 15 percent in total viewers, with its second strongest performance in 2008-09 to-date (behind the fall finale).

-Jimmy Fallon Dominates in Late Night:

Based on ratings for the week of March 2, the launch of NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon finished first in the Monday-Friday 12:35-1:35 a.m. time period in total viewers, with an average of 2.4 million. Fallon outdelivered the competing Jimmy Kimmel on ABC and Craig Ferguson on CBS on each of the five nights in both total viewers and adults 18-49. But Jimmy Kimmel Live rose to its best performance since November in total viewers (2.02 million) and adults 18-49, with its fourth most-watched week ever and a season-high among women 18-34 (222,000).

Here are the overall results:
Total Viewers:
Jimmy Fallon Live (NBC): 2.4 million (12:35 a.m. ET)
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 2.0 million (12:05 a.m. ET)

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS): 1.9 million (12:35 a.m. ET)

Adults 18-49

Jimmy Fallon Live (NBC): 0.9 rating/5 share (12:35 a.m. ET)

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 0.6/ 3 (12:05 a.m. ET)

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS): 0.6/ 3 (12:35 a.m. ET)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Friday 3/13/09

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap

 9:00 p.m. Supernanny

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It (original and repeat)

 9:00 p.m. Friday Night Lights  

10:00 p.m. Dateline

 8:00 p.m. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (part one)

 9:00 p.m. Dollhouse


 8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris

 8:30 p.m. The Game

 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

 8:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!
Saturday 3/14/09

 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars (R, two hours)

10:00 p.m. Castle (R)
 8:00 p.m. NCIS (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (R, two hours)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)

 8:00 p.m.  Cops

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Fabulous Baker Boys (R)

Sunday 3/15/09

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters

 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race 14  

 9:00 p.m. Cold Case

10:00 p.m. The Unit

 7:00 p.m. Dateline

 8:00 p.m. Kings (series premiere, two hours)

10:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice

 7:00 p.m. Hole in the Wall

 7:30 p.m. Hole in the Wall

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. King of the Hill

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Movie: Moonstruck (R)

New Program Descriptions
Kings (NBC)

A young hero (Christopher Egan) rises to prominence in this story of greed and power, and war and romance in a modern day kingdom under siege. Ian McShane (Deadwood) and Susanna Thompson (Once and Again) also star.


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Peter Liguori Out at Fox, Peter Rice In:

News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has announced a restructuring of the Fox network, including the resignation of Fox Chairman Peter Liguori, who will step down immediately. Fox Searchlight film Chief Peter Rice, who has no experience in television and is responsible for spearheading the studio’s most successful films (including Little Miss Sunshine, Juno and the Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire) has been named his replacement. Rice will report to Tony Vinciquerra, chairman of the Fox Networks Group. 


-Mischa Barton to Headline New Fox Drama:

There were rumors that former The O.C. star Mischa Barton was heading to the remake of Melrose Place on the CW. But Fox has tapped the young wooden star as one of the leads in drama pilot A Beautiful Life, which revolves around a group of models living together in New York. Let’s hope, of course, that Mischa has taken some acting lessons.

-NBC Unveils Summer 2009 Plans:

NBC will take an unusually aggressive programming stance this summer, with the launch of three new scripted dramas (Merlin, The Philanthropist and The Listener), two reality/competitions (Great American Road Trip and a revival of former ABC occupant I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!) and two miniseries (Meteor and The Storm). Summer favorite America’s Got Talent, now hosted by Nick Cannon, will return with season four on Tuesday, June 23 at 9 p.m. (with a second weekly telecast scheduled one night later). And re-purposed episodes of USA’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent will air Mondays at 9 p.m., beginning on June 8. 


I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! will kick-off the summer line-up with a two-hour installment on Monday, June 1 at 8 p.m. ET (and will air Monday through Thursday at 8 p.m. for the first three weeks, and Monday through Wednesday in the final week). Mirroring its ABC run in 2003, 10 so-called “celebrities” will test their survival skills in the jungle as one is voted off in each episode. 


Canadian drama The Listener, which centers on a telepathic paramedic, will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET effective on June 4. Merlin, an updated tale of the famous sorcerer set in the mythical city of Camelot, will launch with a two-hour telecast on Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m. ET. And The Philanthropist, a drama about a billionaire who looks for ways to distribute his wealth and help people by using all of his resources, is scheduled Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET beginning on June 24.


The Amazing Race-like Great American Road Trip will, meanwhile, debut Wednesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. And the two four-hour miniseries will air on Sundays from 9-11 p.m. — Meteor on June 7 and 14; and The Storm on July 19 and 26. 


NBC, in addition, will conclude the seasons of Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday, June 2 and Law & Order on Wednesday, June 3. Both air at 10 p.m. ET.


TV Trivia Time:


Where were Cousin Oliver’s parents en route to when they dropped him off at the Bradys on the fifth (and final) season of The Brady Bunch?


a)      Chile

b)      Egypt

c)      The North Pole

d)      Russia

e)      South America


The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…


Which Desperate Housewives star was a frequent guest on action/adventure MacGyver as one of Mac’s ditzy (but well-meaning) friends who always found herself in trouble?

Marcia Cross
Teri Hatcher
Felicity Huffman
Eva Longoria Parker
Nicollette Sheridan

Is: b) Teri Hatcher, who has made an annoying career of playing ditzy characters. 


-Current kudos goes to:
Don Abel, Suzanne Ackley, Justin Bell, Laurie Biddle, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Shari Brandt, Melanie Caselas, Cory Chapman, Camilla Clarke, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Annie Courtney, James Davison, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Leslie Franzen, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gordon, Sherrie Hentschel, Melissa Hodgdon, Bob Ingersoll, Kathryn Kieser, Synda Kollman, Anne Leahy, David Lederman, Eva Lottsfeldt, Randi Mendelsohn, Jim Moore, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Tillie Nutter. Robin Pate, Gordon Purcell, Con Rigg, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Paul Rule, Ron Salmon, Jessica Smith, Kim Smith, Dewyane Snype, Mickie Steinmann, Ivan Tafur, Ronnie Tallant, Trenna Underhill, Joel Wolk, Jim Wright, Zohrain Zafar, Ted Zawislak