CBS Wins Monday; Respectable Closing for ABC’s Boston Legal

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:
CBS Wins, Respectable Closing for ABC’s Boston Legal
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 Colorful Question
Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings:
CBS Wins, Respectable Closing for ABC’s Boston Legal
Monday 12/08/08
CBS   6.7/10
ABC 5.5/ 8
NBC 4.0/ 6
Fox    3.7/ 5
CW    1.8/ 3

Note: The comparisons to one year earlier were not available today.


Note: The fast national results for Monday 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 Monday, December 8, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

A Charlie Brown Christmas R (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS), CSI: Miami (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:

The Big Bang Theory (CBS), How I Met Your Mother (CBS), Boston Legal (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox), Prison Break (Fox), Worst Week (CBS), Privileged (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Without ABC’s formidable Dancing With the Stars in the competitive mix, CBS led this second Monday in December in the overnights with a 15 percent advantage over second-place ABC. In the distant No. 3 spot was NBC, followed by Fox and the CW.


ABC kicked-off the evening on a winning note with annual holiday repeat A Charlie Brown Christmas at a 6.7 rating/10 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. Competing CBS sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother finished a close second, each with a 6.3/10 (and expected solid results among key adults 18-49 once the fast affiliate results are released). Next was NBC’s lackluster Chuck (4.4/ 7), Fox’s soon-to-relocate Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (3.5/ 5), which is destined for failure as the Friday anchor, and the CW”s Gossip Girl (2.3/ 4). Gossip Girl, of course, is dependent on the young female demos, not the overnights.


CBS dominated in the 9 p.m. half-hour care of Two and a Half Men at a healthy 9.6/14 — 52 percent above lead-in How I Met Your Mother. But lead-out Worst Week continues to squander the support, with a second-place 6.3/ 9 in the overnights at 9:30 p.m. Comparably, that put retention for Worst Week out of Two and a Half Men of 66 percent. ABC finished second overall in the hour, with the first half of the two-hour Boston Legal series-finale at a 6.5/10.


Also airing from 9-10 p.m. was NBC’s fading Heroes (4.9/ 7), which could be the fastest deteriorating established series currently in prime-time, Fox’s tired Prison Break (3.5/ 5) and a Monday edition of the CW’s Privileged, which dipped to a 1.4/ 2. Comparably, this is significantly below regularly scheduled occupant One Tree Hill.


CBS moved back into the 10 p.m. overnight winner’s circle, but a 9.0/14 for CSI: Miami pales in comparison to just one year earlier. Could it be we are finally tiring of wooden David Caruso? Second was the concluding half of the Boston Legal series-ender on ABC (6.9/12), followed by the second-to-last episode of NBC dud My Own Worst Enemy (2.6/ 4). Overall, the two-hour Boston Legal finale averaged a respectable 6.7/11 from 9-11 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

Boston Legal (ABC)

 9:00 p.m.: 6.3/ 9 (#2)

 9:30 p.m.: 6.7/10 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 6.8/11 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 7.0/12 (#2)

Considering Boston Legal was never a true ratings success, you have to give ABC credit for keeping it on the air of four and one-half seasons. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Solid Start for TNT’s Leverage:

The commercial free preview/premiere of Timothy Hutton drama Leverage opened on TNT with a solid 3.1 rating in households, 4.98 million viewers, 2.06 million adults 18-49 and 2.64 million adults 25-54 in the 10 p.m. hour on Sunday, Dec. 7. Comparably, this was the best delivery among adults 18-49 for any original series telecast on the cable network this season. Leverage debuts in its regularly scheduled Tuesday 10 p.m. time period tonight. 

-Respectable Sampling for Flirting With 40 on Lifetime:

Original movie Flirting With 40, headlined by Heather Locklear, debuted on Lifetime with a healthy 3.4 household rating, 4.0 million viewers and 1.1 million women 18-49 on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 9-11 p.m. Comparably, that makes it the fourth most-watched movie on the cable network this year behind The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (5.8 million), Coco Chanel (5.2 million) and The Two Mr. Kissels (4.2 million).

-More Growth for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Based on final national results for the just completed November 2008 sweeps. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live rose to 1.93 million total viewers and 826,000 adults 18-49. Comparably, this was Kimmel’s largest audience for any sweeps period since February 2007, and second most-watched sweeps month overall. Kimmel outperformed CBS’ competing The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in total viewers (826,000 vs. 798,000), adults 18-34 (307,000 vs. 304,000) and adults 25-54 (957,000 vs. 938,000).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Tuesday 12/09/08

 8:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 9:00 p.m. According to Jim

 9:30 p.m. According to Jim

10:00 p.m. Eli Stone
 8:00 p.m. NCIS (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

10:00 p.m. Without a Trace

 8:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser: Families (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU
 8:00 p.m. House

 9:00 p.m. Fringe (R)


 8:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

 9:00 p.m. Privileged (R)


 8:00 p.m. Olive, the Other Reindeer (R)

 9:00 p.m. Santa’s Funniest Moment (R)


 8:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)

 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
10:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-Jay Leno in Prime-Time:

After years of wondering what Jay Leno would do after his Tonight Show stint ends in May 2009 (and Conan O’Brien steps in), its official: he’s heading to prime-time as host of an unprecedented Monday to Friday 10 p.m. talk show similar to his late night franchise. Had NBC been in better shape, this move might be considered highly risky. But since declining Law & Order: SVU is the only hit series currently airing on the network at 10 p.m., it could ultimately be beneficial. For more on my thoughts, listen to today’s PIPodcast at

-Wipeout vs. The Super Bowl:

No, Wipeout cannot possibly win. But ABC will attempt to counter-program NBC’s upcoming Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 1 with football-themed editions of reality/competition Wipeout opposite the half-time show and The Office in the post Super Bowl slot. 

-Upcoming on Fine Living Network:

Fine Living Network has ordered 13 episodes of a new half-hour series called Closet Cases, which will feature style guide Lloyd Boston offering practical advice to the wardrobe challenged by revitalizing their closets. It premieres on Monday, April 13 at 10 p.m. ET.

-Writers Guild Announce TV Nominations:

The Writers Guild of America (East and West) has announced the nominations for the upcoming 2009 Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009. Nominees in television for the key categories of Dramatic Series, Comedy Series and New Series are as follows:

Dramatic Series:
Dexter (Showtime)
Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Lost (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
The Wire (HBO)
Comedy Series
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Weeds (Showtime)
New Series
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Fringe (Fox)
In Treatment (HBO)
Life on Mars (ABC)
True Blood (HBO)

For a complete list of Writers Guild Award nominees, click on

TV Trivia Time:
A Colorful Question

Which one of the following choices was not the real name of a TV character?

a) Red Forman
b) Dana Green
c) Violet Newstead
d) David Silver 
e) Perry White
The answer to yesterday’s question.

What did Paul Buchman do for a living on sitcom Mad About You?

a) advertising executive
b) dentist
c) documentary filmmaker
d) newspaper writer
e) salesman

Is: c) documentary filmmaker. Am I the only one who has ever wondered why overrated Helen Hunt won four Emmy Awards for Mad About You, while TV hubby Paul Reiser received none? All together now…

Tell me why, I love you like I do,
Tell me who, can stop my heart as much as you,
Tell me all your secrets and I’ll tell you most of mine,

They say nobody’s perfect but it is really true this time,

I don’t have the answers,
And I don’t have a plan,
All I have is you,
So darling help me understand,
What we do,
You can whisper in my ear,
Where we go,
who knows what happens after here,
Let’s take each other’s hands,
As we jump into the final frontier,
I’m mad about you,
I’m mad about you,
so mad about you…

 -Current kudos goes to:

Anna Alvord, Mark Amato, Samantha Beers, Burt Benoliel, Robert Bienvenu, Gerry Bixenspan, Randy Blake, Kimay Bloch, Marshall Boone, Lisa Brause, Mike Carpellone, Paul Certo, Bruce Cohen, Harold Cooper, Kay Copeland, , Audrey Davis, Reid Davis, James Davison, Tim Dearnley, Sue Doron, Chris Dykhuisen, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Holley Ford, Julie Friedlander, Michael Fruchtman, Bob Goldman, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Vicky Gregorian, Michael Grewe, Scott Groneman, Heidi Hoffmeister, Michael Holland, Ken Hommel, avid Jackino, Cara Jacobs, Mike Joliffe, Marie Lefevre Karp, David Kern, Kathryn Kieser, Rick Locke, Kathy McClung, Jim Moore, Beverly Morris, Tillie Nutter, Cindy O’Connor, Jim O’Heir, Aaron Paquette, Joe Pellicano, Alan Perris, Jodi Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Peter Poore, Gordon Purcell, Michael Ratliffe, Andrea Regusters, Liza Reich, Stacy Roberts, Alan Rosenfeld, Colleen Roth, Lisa Rowen, Harley David Rubin, David Ruckman, Marilyn Rutkowski, Mary Ryan, Anthony Salerno, DeWayne Snype, Lonnie Staley, Eric Steinberg, Elaine Stevens, Carol Teichman, Mike Walsh, Myndi Weinraub, Larry Weinstock, David Williams, Michelle Yarborough, Jeanne Yonkers