CBS Wins Thursday, But all Five Nets Are Down Year-to-Year

Friday, April 24, 2009
CBS Wins on this Alarmingly Lackluster Thursday
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:
A King of the Hill Milestone
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
CBS Wins on this Alarmingly Lackluster Thursday
Thursday 4/23/09


CBS   6.6/11

ABC 6.2/10

Fox    4.9/ 8

NBC 4.4/ 7

CW   2.0/ 3


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 24, 2008):

NBC: – 4, Fox and CW: – 9 each, ABC: -22, CBS: -28

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS), CSI (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

My Name is Earl (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Harper’s Island (CBS)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished first in the overnights on this fourth Thursday in April — six percent above second-place ABC. But compared to one year earlier, all five broadcast networks lost steam. As the temperatures continue to rise, HUT levels continue to decrease. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by NBC and the CW.


CBS mainstay Survivor: Tocantins won the 8 p.m. hour, with a diluted 6.1 rating10 share in the overnights. Comparably, that was 12 percent below the year-ago overnight performance for Survivor: Micronesia (6.9/12 on April 24, 2008). SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen last night’s episode of Survivor, stop reading. But arrogant Tyson’s blindside was, in my humble opinion, one of the most satisfying moments in the history of this reality/competition. Even better, in fact, was seeing equally obnoxious “Coach” suddenly kissing up to Sierra in next week’s preview.  


Second in the 8 p.m. hour was Fox’s underrated Bones (5.6/10), followed by a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (3.7/ 9), which stepped in for ousted In the Motherhood and Samantha Who?, NBC comedies My Name is Earl (3.6/ 6) and Parks and Recreation (3.6/ 6), and veteran Smallville on the CW (2.2/ 4). Parks and Recreation is now officially a “loser,” with a loss of another eight percent from one week earlier. Three-week overnight track: 4.5/ 8 — 3.9/ 6 — 3.6/ 6. 


CBS remains the network to beat at 9 p.m., with William Petersen-less CSI at a 9.0/14 in the overnights. But year-to-year, that was down by a significant 21 percent (11.4/15 on April 24, 2008). Second was Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (8.4/14), but that too dipped by double-digits — 19 percent — from one year earlier (10.3/16 on April 24, 2008). Are we all just plain bored with these aging shows?


Also airing from 9-10 p.m. was Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (4.2/ 7), NBC’s The Office (4.1/ 7) and 30 Rock (4.0/ 6), and Supernatural on the CW (1.9/ 3). The Office was down, but retention for 30 Rock out of The Office was a stellar 98 percent.


ABC moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 10 p.m. care of the just-renewed Private Practice at a 6.3/11 — 28 percent below the second half of lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (8.7/14 at 9:30 p.m.). This was, in fact, the first time an original episode of Private Practice faced NBC’s Southland (#2: 5.7/ 9) and Harper’s Island on CBS (#3: 4.7/ 8), which both lost more steam in week three. Take a look:

Southland (NBC)
4/09/09: 6.9/12
4/16/09: 6.6/11
4/23/09: 5.7/ 9
Harper’s Island (CBS)
4/09/09: 6.7/12
4/16/09: 5.5/10
4/23/09: 4.7/ 8

Although the audience for Southland was consistent at 10:30 p.m., Harper’s Island dipped by 12 percent (5.0/ 8 to 4.4/ 8), and that makes it a “loser.” 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Top Model Dominates on the CW:

Based on ratings for April 22, CW favorite America’s Next Top Model finished first in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour in women 18-34 (3.5 rating/11 share), adults 18-34 (2.2/ 8), women 18-49 (2.9/ 8), females 12-34 (3.3/11) and persons 12-34 (2.1/ 7). Comparably, this was the CW’s best performance in the time period among women 18-34 since the season-finale of the prior cycle of Top Model on Nov. 19, 2008. And it matched its best ratings of the current cycle in adults 18-34 and women 18-49.

-A Double Dose of Disappointment:

Recently launched ABC dramedy The Unusuals, which is regularly scheduled out of Lost on Wednesday, had an additional 10 p.m. telecast this week: Tuesday out of the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show. Both episodes finished third in the hour. Take a look:

The Unusuals (ABC)
Tuesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 5.81 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3)
Wednesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 4.74 million (#3), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#3)

Retention out of Dancing With the Stars in Tuesday (Viewers: 14.73 million; A18-49: 3.2/ 8) was just 39 percent in total viewers and 47 percent among adults 18-49. And retention out of the Lost clips show on Wednesday (Viewers: 6.75 million; A18-49: 2.9/ 7) was 70 percent in total viewers and 48 percent in the demo. 

-Speaking of Lost:

Did ABC say the still must see scripted hour was supposed to be running consecutively with original episodes only this season?

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Friday 4/24/09

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap

 9:00 p.m. 20/20 (two hours)


 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It (two original half hours)

 9:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)


 8:00 p.m. Prison Break

 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 4/25/09

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (R)

 8:00 p.m. Streisand: Live in Concert

 9:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

10:00 p.m. Southland (R)

 8:00 p.m.  Cops

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Chase (R)

Sunday 4/26/09

 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

 9:00 p.m. Cold Case

10:00 p.m. The Unit

 7:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)

 9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (two hours)


 7:00 p.m. American Dad (R)

 7:30 p.m. King of the Hill

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. Sit Down, Shut Up  

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Movie: Four Weddings and a Funeral (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Early ABC Renewals:

ABC has announced early pick-ups for the 2009-10 season for 12 of its established series. And they are (in alphabetical order) America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing With the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty and Wife Swap. Still vying for a spot on the fall schedule (or midseason) are sitcoms According to Jim. Samantha Who?, Better Off Ted, In the Motherhood and Surviving Suburbia; dramedy The Unusuals; dramas Castle and Cupid; newsmagazine Primetime: What Would You Do?; and the non-scripted Homeland Security USA and True Beauty. Veteran newsmagazine 20/20 is, of course, also expected back next season.


-USA Announces White Collar:

USA Network has picked-up 14 episodes (a 90-minute pilot, plus 13 one-hour installments) of a new drama tentatively titled White Collar. White Collar focuses on the unlikely partnership of a prison agent (Tim DeKay) and a con artist (Matthew Bomer), who trades a prison sentence for the opportunity to assist the Feds in tracking down other notorious criminals. No official premiere date has been announced yet.


-DVD Alert:

The ninth, and final, season of Mr. TV’s all-time favorite, The Waltons, will be coming out on DVD on April 28. Sadly, Grandpa is long gone, Grandma is off tending to her sister in Buckingham Country, Mama is still MIA, Ralph Waite as Daddy is about to exit the series, and Robert Wightman as the “new” John Boy is no Richard Thomas.  But, even a diluted Waltons is still a show worth watching and this season will feature a young Jennifer Leigh Jason guest starring as Jim-Bob’s girlfriend, the end of the war in Japan, Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth) as her sassy twin sister Orma Lee, the return of the “fake” Curt, and a closing montage of the entire series in the final episode. 


-BET Unveils New Programming Initiatives:

Cable net BET has announced several new programs for the 2009-10 season, including a nightly talk/variety hour hosted by former The Parkers star Mo’Nique; sports-driven Changing Lanes, which chronicles the search for NASCAR’s net generation of drivers; Crews Control, a docudrama featuring Everybody Hates Chris Dad Terry Crews, his wife and their five kids; docudrama First In, which focuses on emergency response teams; and makeover series The Hollywood Treatment (with Mary J. Blige in the pilot). Other projects include Monica: Still Standing, a docudrama focusing on Grammy winning singer Monica; game show Pay It Off; and music-driven A Time to Laugh. First In, Monica: Still Standing and Pay It Off will debut in fourth quarter 2009. The Hollywood Treatment and A Time to Laugh are slated for first quarter 2010.


Scheduled to return on BET next season is 106 & Park, Bobby Jones Gospel, Brothers to Brutha, and Sunday Best, which will go back in search of the next great gospel star. 


BET Networks has also announced a new entertainment and music themed channel called Centic, which is aimed at what the network describes as today’s affluent, trend-setting, sophisticated African American adult. Centric is scheduled to debut in fourth quarter 2009 in approximately 45 million homes. 


TV Trivia Time:

A King of the Hill Milestone

How many episodes will Fox’s animated King of the Hill be reaching this Sunday?


The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…


Which one of the following series did Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark once appear on together before they began their classic roles as Gary and Val on Knots Landing?

The New Adventures of Wonder Woman

The Rockford Files


Is: a) The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. To the readers who reminded me that Gary and Val also appeared periodically on parent show Dallas, Ted Shackelford did not inherit the role of Gary until they moved to troubled Knots Landing.


All together now…


Wonder Woman!

All the world is waiting for you
and the power you possess
In your satin tights
fighting for your rights
And the old red white and blue

Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman!

Now the world is ready for you
and the wonders you can do
Make a hawk a dove
stop a war with love
Make a liar tell the truth

Wonder Woman!
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman

All our hopes are pinned upon you
and the magic that you do
Stop a bullet cold
make the axis fold
change their minds and change the world

Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman!

You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Vanessa Coates, Larry Collins, Harold Cooper, Annie Courtney, Gus Curran, Arleen Fong, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Tom Kilgallon, Stephen LaRue, Richard Lee, David Monks, Anne Moynihan, Greg Phelan, Gordon Purcell, Joe Rubi, Carol Teichman, John Wood, Ted Zawislak