CBS Poised for Weekly Victory

Monday, November 17, 2008
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 Promised Land

Note: The Programming Insider will not be published on Tuesday, Nov. 18. But the fast affiliate rating results for Monday, Nov. 17 will be available at PIFeedback by approximately 12 p.m. ET.

Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Friday 11/14/08

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

CBS   6.0/11
ABC 3.9/ 6
Fox    3.3/ 6
NBC 2.8/ 5
CW    1.1/ 2
-Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.42 million, ABC: 5.81, Fox: 5.28, NBC: 4.34, CW: 1.60

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 2.2 rating/7 share, ABC: 1.7/ 5, Fox: 1.4/ 4, NBC: 1.2/ 4, CW: 0.6/ 2


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:
Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Numb3rs (CBS)
-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Supernanny (ABC), Deal or No Deal (NBC), Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox), Everybody Hates Chris (CW), The Game (CW), Crusoe (NBC), Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Fox), Lipstick Jungle (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was another clean Friday sweep for CBS care of its combination of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #1, 11.67 million; A18-49: #1, 2.9/10 – both above average), Price is Right Salutes the Troops (Viewers: #1, 7.31 million; A18-49: #1, 1.7/ 5) and Numb3rs (Viewers: #1, 9.27 million; A18-49: #2, 2.1/ 7). But the Price Is Right special paled in comparison to the NCIS repeat over the last two weeks, and with weaker lead-in support still dominant Numb3rs lost steam. The perfect solution for CBS in the Friday 9 p.m. hour is Canadian drama Flashpoint. As for Ghost Whisperer, I still don’t understand why the producers needed to kill off David Conrad as Melinda’s husband. Do you?


ABC finished a distant second as a result of two episodes of Supernanny and a Barbara Walters Special (featuring the pregnant man) as follows. Keep in mind that the 9 p.m. installment of Supernanny was a pilot for an hour headlined by a male nanny.

8:00 p.m. Supernanny
Viewers: 4.56 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#2)
9:00 p.m. Supernanny (pilot for Supermanny)
Viewers: 4.86 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#2t)
10:00 p.m. Barbara Walters Special
Viewers: 8.01 million (#2), A18-49: 2.2/ 7 (#1)

Given the failure of Supernanny to generate any real interest on Friday, I don’t think there is a need for a spin-off hour.


Next was Fox with its non-scripted combination of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Viewers: #2, 5.45 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.2/ 4) and Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Viewers: #2, 5.12 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5), which fared better on Thursday. As a reminder, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will open Fridays effective on Feb. 13, leading into new Joss Whedon drama Dollhouse.


NBC was barely on the map with Deal or No Deal (Viewers: #3, 5.26 million; A19-49: #4, 1.2/ 4), which has lost its oomph, deadly Crusoe (Viewers: #4, 4.17 million; A18-49: #4, 1.0/ 3) and canceled Lipstick Jungle (Viewers: #3, 3.58 million; A18-49: #3, 1.4/ 4). And the CW was last in each of its four half hours as a result of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.83 million; A18-49: 0.7/ 2), The Game (Viewers: 1.71 million; A18-49: 0.7/ 2) and an encore telecast of America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: 1.43 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2).


Once again, Friday is riddled with more “losers” than any other evening in prime-time. The Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas and Falcon Crest — we miss you!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Saturday 11/15/08

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

Fox   3.8/ 7
CBS 3.5/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
NBC 2.1/ 4
-Total Viewers:
Fox: 6.10 million, CBS: 5.24, ABC: 4.40, NBC: 3.24
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.1 rating/6 share, CBS: 1.5/ 5, ABC and NBC: 1.1/ 3 each


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):
Saturday Night Football (ABC) and the evening overall
-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox led this typically lackluster Saturday, with a first-place finish in each of the four half hours care of its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: 5.95 million; A18-49: 2.0 rating/6 share) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: 6.24 million; A18-49: 2.1/ 6). CBS finished second overall in both total viewers and adults 18-49 with its line-up of repeat theatrical Wedding Crashers (Viewers: #2, 4.86 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 5 from 8-10 p.m.) and 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 6.01 million; A18-49: #1, 1.6/ 5 at 10 p.m.


Saturday Night Football on ABC left little to be desired, with just 4.40 million viewers (#3) and a 1.1/ 3 among adults 18-49 (#3t) from 8-11 p.m. And NBC capped off the evening with repeats of Knight Rider (Viewers: #4, 3.33 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3), which should not have been renewed for the remainder of the season; The Office (Viewers: #4, 2.41 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 2), which does not play well in repeats; and Saturday Night Live (Viewers: 3.45 million; A18-49: 1.3/ 4 from 9:30-11 p.m.), which will certainly slow down now that the election is over. What an awful night!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Sunday 11/16/08

Note: The following results are based on the metered market ratings.

CBS 10.2/16
NBC 9.6/15
ABC 7.1/11
Fox    4.2/ 6
CW    0.5/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, November 18, 2007):

NBC: +13, ABC: + 8, CBS: -10, Fox: -48, CW: -55

Note: The fast national results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Football overrun (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), Sunday Night Football, Dallas vs. Washington (NBC), Desperate Housewives (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)
Nothing…the CW was in all repeats.
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished an atypical first in the Sunday overnights, beating football-ignited NBC by seven percent. And that victory comes as a result of an estimated half-hour minute football overrun (#1: 18.0 rating/28 share at 7 p.m.), followed by the 60 Minutes interview with our next President, Barack Obama, at a hefty 16.6/25 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Also on CBS was The Amazing Race 13 (#3: 7.8/12 from 8:30-9:30 p.m.), Cold Case (#3: 7.7/12 from 9:30-10:30 p.m.) and the first half-hour of the conclusion of a two-part episode of The Unit (#3: 6.2/10). Keep in mind that all results on CBS are approximate due to the late start.


NBC got plenty of mileage care of Sunday Night Football, with the Dallas vs. Washington match-up at an above-average 13.5/20 in the overnights for the 8:30-11 p.m. portion of the game. Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America at a 3.6/ 6 in the 7 p.m. hour (#3) and a 6.1/10 in the 8 p.m. half-hour (#3).


ABC came in at typical Sunday overnight levels with its combination of NASCAR (#2: 3.8/ 7 from 7-8 p.m.), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#3: 6.6/10), Desperate Housewives (#2: 10.2/15), which featured the highly publicized fire, and Brothers & Sisters (#2: 7.2/12). Can’t the Walkers ever have a peaceful meal together? As for Desperate Housewives, that was quite an episode last night!


Next was Fox’s combination of a repeat of King of the Hill (#3: 2.8/ 4), a repeat of The Simpsons (#3: 3.7/ 6), the regularly scheduled installments of The Simpsons (#4: 5.1/ 7) and King of the Hill (#4: 4.1/ 6), and Family Guy (#4: 5.0/ 7) and American Dad (#4: 4.1/ 6). And almost invisible the CW capped off the evening with repeats of In Harm’s Way (0.5/ 1), Valentine (0.5/ 1) and Easy Money (0.4/ 1). Add the three CW shows up, and its still a loser!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Week of Nov. 10 to-Date:

Based on ratings through Thursday, Nov. 13, CBS is leading the week of Nov. 10 in total viewers, while ABC and CBS are tied for first among key adults 18-49. Given the winning results for CBS on Friday and a well above-average performance for 60 Minutes on Sunday, expect CBS to dominate the week in the demo as well.

Total Viewers:

CBS: 13.34 million, ABC: 12.95, Fox: 7.37, NBC: 7.26, CW: 2.80

Adults 18-49:

ABC and CBS: 3.6/ 9 each, Fox: 3.0/ 7, NBC: 2.8/ 7, CW: 1.3/ 3

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Monday 11/17/08
Night 19 of the Nov. 2008 Sweeps

 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars

 9:30 p.m. Samantha Who?

10:00 p.m. Boston Legal

 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. Worst Week

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 8:00 p.m. Chuck
 9:00 p.m. Heroes
10:00 p.m. My Own Worst Enemy

 8:00 p.m. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

 9:00 p.m. Prison Break


 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl

 9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill


 8:00 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)

 8:30 p.m. The Twilight Zone (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed


 8:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)

 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
10:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-More Gary Unmarried:

CBS has picked-up freshman sitcom Gary Unmarried for the remainder of the season, with an order for seven additional episodes (plus two more scripts). If the scripts make it to episode order, that will make a full 22. 

-USA’s Monk Wraps Up:

Long-running detective drama Monk, which debuted in 2002, will conclude on USA Network next season. The first of the final 16 episodes will begin airing next summer.

-More Medium:

NBC has extended the episode order of drama Medium, which returns in midseason, from 13 to 19 installments. Medium is expected to return to its former home, Monday at 10 p.m., in place of the canceled My Own Worst Enemy.

-Will Kirby Heads to The Doctors:

Dr. Will Kirby, the former Big Brother champ and current presence on E!’s Dr. 90210, will appear on freshman CBS Television Distribution talker The Doctors today and this Thursday, Nov. 20. Could this turn into a regular rotation of appearances?

-Family Week on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

For the first time ever, three people will play as a team in a family week themed edition of Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which kicks-off today. Former Growing Pains Dad Alan Thicke will sit in as resident “expert” through Thursday. 

-AOL Television Poll Results:

Based on a poll of 606,659 votes hosted by AOL from Oct. 29 to Nov. 13, CBS’ CSI still tops the must see list, CBS’ The Mentalist is the most promising new show, NBC’s Knight Rider is the most disappointing new show, Fox’s Bones deserves more hype, ABC’s Pushing Daisies is in a sophomore slump, and Dexter is the best show on cable. Here are some of the individual results from the AOL survey:

Which returning show still tops your must-see list?
CSI: 52 percent
Desperate Housewives: 7 percent
Gossip Girl: 2 percent
Grey’s Anatomy: 16 percent
House: 15 percent
The Office: 7 percent
Which new show seems the most promising?
Crusoe: 4 percent
Eleventh Hour: 19 percent
Fringe: 18 percent
Life on Mars: 18 percent
The Mentalist: 37 percent
Privileged: 5 percent
Which hyped new show has been the most disappointing?
90210: 25 percent
Fringe: 5 percent
Kath & Kim: 18 percent
Knight Rider: 30 percent
My Own Worst Enemy: 9 percent
Worst Week: 12 percent
Which show deserves more hype?
Bones: 36 percent
Chuck: 11 percent
Eli Stone: 16 percent
Privileged: 4 percent
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: 8 percent
The Unit: 25 percent
Which show has been hit hardest by the sophomore slump?
The Big Bang Theory: 13 percent
Chuck: 10 percent
Gossip Girl: 13 percent
Life: 9 percent
Pushing Daisies: 25 percent
Private Practice: 30 percent
Who is fall’s most buzzworthy star?
Simon Baker: 32 percent
Shannen Doherty: 4 percent
Tina Fey: 54 percent
Cloris Leachman: 8 percent
Kristen Wiig: 2 percent
Did the five-year jump on Desperate Housewives work?
Yes …the show’s better than ever: 12 percent
No …I hate what happened to the characters: 37 percent
Neither … it’s all the same: 51 percent
Will you still watch CSI without William Petersen?
Yes … cast members come and go: 22 percent

No …   the show just won’t be the same: 37 percent

Maybe … depends on how good Laurence Fishburne: 41 percent

What’s the best way to fix Heroes?
Kill off at least three characters: 21 percent
Don’t give Peter his powers back: 4 percent
No more time travel: 16 percent
Stop putting the entire world in peril: 37 percent
It’s fine as it is, don’t change a thing: 23 percent
What’s the best cable show this season?
Dexter: 24 percent
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: 9 percent
Mad Men: 18 percent
Raising the Bar’: 21 percent
Sons of Anarchy: 12 percent
True Blood’: 15 percent
Which show is so over?
Boston Legal: 10 percent
ER: 24 percent
My Name Is Earl: 16 percent
Prison Break: 10 percent
Smallville: 11 percent
Survivor: 30 percent
Which midseason show are you most excited about?
24: 28 percent
American Idol: 23 percent
Dollhouse: 6 percent
Lost: 19 percent
Reaper: 8 percent
Scrubs: 16 percent
TV Trivia Time:
A Promised Land

Remember drama Promised Land, which featured a family traveling around the country in a trailer? What show was it spun-off from?

a) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
b) Highway to Heven
c) Northern Exposure
d) 7th Heaven
e) Touched by an Angel
The answer to Friday’s question…
Where state was Everwood set in?
a) Colorado
b) Mississippi
c) New Mexico
d) Utah
e) Washington

Is: a) Colorado. After his wife died, Andy Brown moved his two children – Ephram and Delia – from New York City to the rustic community of Everwood, Colorado. And, no, they were not happy initially. Would you be?

-Current kudos goes to:

Anna Alvord, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Jim Brams, Paul Carpenter, Cory Chapman, Bruce Cohen, Larry Collins, Shelley Cooper, Kay Copeland, Mark Cosenza, Phyllis Epstein, Holley Ford, Leslie Franzen, Julie Friedlander, Harold Goetz, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Joclyn Hansen, Deidre Hanssen, Sherrie Hentschel, Kerry Hughes, Pat Hylkema, Bob Ingersoll, Mike Jolliffe, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Jen Burdell-King, Synda Kollman, Adam Licker, Cheryl Lightfoot, Kelly Lindley, Beverly Morris, Tillie Nutter, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Robyn Brown-Postell, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Stacy Roberts, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Deanna Rosolen, Neal Sabin, Lonnie Staley, Carol Teichman, Myndi Weinraub, Ted Zalislak, Ted Zavales