CBS Wins Thursday Overnights; Fox the Network to Beat in Adults 18-49

Friday, March 12, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

Executive Shuffle

TV Trivia Time:

The Rich Clampetts


CBS Wins; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Thursday 3/11/10


CBS    9.3/15
Fox     9.0/14
ABC   5.9/ 9
NBC   4.5/ 7
CW     1.1/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, March 12, 2009):

Fox: +70, CBS: +12, ABC and NBC: – 8 each, CW: -50

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Survivor: Heroes vs, Villains (CBS), CSI (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Office (NBC), The Mentalist (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox is poised for victory among adults 18-49, no doubt, care of the live American Idol results show. But CBS finished first overall for the evening in the overnights, beating Fox by three-tenths of a rating point. In the distant No. 3 spot was ABC, followed by NBC and The CW.


Fox’s American Idol was the top-rated show for the night, of course, with a hefty 13.0 rating/20 share from 8-9 p.m. The next four to be sent packing were Katelyn Epperly, Lilly Scott, Todrick Hall and Alex Lambert. Kitchen Nightmares, which is not necessarily capitalizing on the lead-in support, dipped to a fourth-place 5.1/ 8 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Retention out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (13.8/21) was only 37 percent. No wonder Gordon Ramsay is so bitter!


Second at 8 p.m. was CBS’ Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at a very comfortable 7.8/12. If the heroes are struggling like they are, why leave an injured contestant in the game and vote out someone who is still strong? CBS moved into the overnight winners circle at 9 p.m. care of deteriorating but still dominant CSI at a 9.6/15. That led into The Mentalist at a very winning 10.8/18 at 10 p.m., but the race for time period victory among adults 18-49 could be close. The Mentalist, no doubt, is being considered for the Thursday 9 p.m. hour next season, which if moved will probably lead into CSI at 10 p.m. More on that when the networks announce their fall 2010 schedules in May.


ABC, which will return former Thursday 8 p.m. anchor FlashForward into the time period next week, kicked-off the evening with a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy at a fourth-place 3.4/ 8. That led into Grey’s Anatomy at a second-place 8.5/13 in the overnights at 9 p.m., followed by spin-off Private Practice at a second-place 5.9/10 at 10 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy is still expected to win the 9 p.m. hour among adults 18-49, but Private Practice has lost steam opposite NBC’s recently introduced The Marriage Ref.


On that note, week two of The Marriage Ref on Thursday remained an improvement over recent occupant The Jay Leno Show, with a 5.0/ 8 in the overnights. While that did finish third in the time period in the overnights, it did build from lead-in 30 Rock (#4: 4.4/ 7 at 9:30 p.m.) by 14 percent, and it could ultimately challenge the competitors for time period dominance among adults 18-49. Don’t forget to head to PIFeedback by approximately 10 p.m. for the fast affiliate results.


Earlier in the evening on NBC were sitcoms Community (#3: 3.5/ 6), Parks and Recreation (#3t: 3.4/ 5) and The Office (#3: 5.8/ 9) from 8-9:30 p.m. While one reader did remind me that already renewed Community does normally generate some interest among adults 18-49 (2.3/ 7 in the demo last week), based on the overnights this is indeed a “loser.” The Office, however, deserves accolades for building by 71 percent out of Parks and Recreation. 


The CW capped off this second Thursday in March with repeats of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 1.2/ 2) and Supernatural (#5: 1.0/ 2), which both are confirmed to return in 2010-11.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-Late Night Ratings Update:

Based on the final Live Plus Same Day ratings for the week of March 1, the return of Jay Leno as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show proved victorious. Leno averaged 5.6 million viewers, easily outdelivering The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS and ABC’s combination of Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Leno also won the adult 18-49 battle, leading into an also dominant Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

Here are the results by program for the week:
Total Viewers
11:35 p.m. ET
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC): 5.6 million
The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS): 3.7
Nightline (ABC): 3.6
12:05 a.m. ET
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 1.7
12:35 a.m. ET
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC): 1.9 million
Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS): 1.8
1:35 a.m. ET
Late Call with Carson Daly (NBC): 1.0 million
Adults 18-49
11:35 p.m. ET

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC): 1.5 rating/6 share

The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS): 1.0/ 4
Nightline (ABC): 1.0/ 4
12:05 a.m. ET
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC): 0.6/ 3
12:35 a.m. ET
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC): 0.7/ 4
Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS): 0.6/ 3
1:35 a.m. ET
Late Call with Carson Daly (NBC): 0.4/ 3
Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


 8:00 p.m. Supernanny

 9:00 p.m. Supernanny (100th episode, season or series finale)

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Medium

10:00 p.m. Numbers (season or series finale)

 8:00 p.m. Who Do You Think You Are?

 9:00 p.m. Dateline


 8:00 p.m. House (R)

 9:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares


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

 9:30 p.m. High Society (R)

 8:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives (R)
 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives (R)

10:00 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Academy Awards (R)


 8:00 p.m. CSI (R)

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery  

 8:00 p.m. Parenthood (R)

 9:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. Cops (original and repeat)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted  

Sunday 3/14/10
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 16

 9:00 p.m. Undercover Boss

10:00 p.m. Cold Case

 7:00 p.m. Minute to Win It (series premiere)

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It

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


Competing on Celebrity Apprentice This Season (in alphabetical order):

Rod Blagojevich, Selita Ebanks, Bill Goldberg, Michael Johnson, Maria Kanellis, Cyndi Lauper, Carol Leifer, Bret Michaels, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Summer Sanders, Sinbad, and former baseball great Darryl Strawberry.


 7:00 p.m. ‘Til Death

 7:30 p.m. ‘Til Death

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. Sons of Tucson (series premiere)

New Program Descriptions
Minute to Win It (NBC)

Hosted by Food Network’s Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), competitors participate in a series of games that escalate in difficulty for the big payoff: one million dollars.

-The Scoop:

Considering Dateline opens Sunday for NBC and Celebrity Apprentice closes it, it makes sense for the network to air something of a non-scripted nature at 8 p.m. But the competition (ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, CBS’ The Amazing Race and The Simpsons and The Cleveland Show on Fox) is tough, and Dateline is not necessarily a potent lead-in. 

-The Reality:

Given the competition, there is every reason to believe Minute to Win It will be short-lived. But NBC has no worries…it can always expand Dateline to two hours.


-Odds of Survival for Minute to Win It (Based on 1-1 to 10-1):

Sons of Tucson (Fox)

Three teenage brothers hire a seemingly nice, but misguided man to pretend to be their father after their real Dad is sent to prison for a white collar crime. Davis Cleveland, Frank Dolce, Troy Gentile, Tyler Labine and Natalie Martinez star. 

-The Scoop:

Fox, no doubt, is in search of its next long-term live action hit sitcom. The last one, in fact, was Malcolm in the Middle, and that exited in 2006. So, it can’t hurt that one of the executive producers is Justin Berfield, who played Reese. Hopefully he took notes from Malcolm creator Linwood Boomer on how to keep a successful sitcom afloat. 

-The Reality:

The positive news from the get-go is lead-in Family Guy, which brings to the table an ample number of key adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. But the obstacle, of course, is the heavy competition — Desperate Housewives (ABC), Undercover Boss (CBS) and Celebrity Apprentice (NBC). Plus, Fox has never been able to nurture a successful live action sitcom in the Sunday 9:30 p.m. half-hour. Remember The War At Home, Unhitched, The Loop, The Winner, Free Ride and Arrested Development? While there were some good solid chuckles in the pilot, Sons of Tucson will face an uphill battle.


-Odds of Survival for Sons of Tuscon (Based on 1-1 to 10-1):


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Dan Schneider Moves to the Head of the Class on Nickelodeon:

iCarly, Drake and Josh and Zoey 101 creator Dan Schneider (a.k.a. “The Mega Kids Producer”) has inked a three-year, eight-figure production deal with Nickelodeon. His next series, Victorious, which focuses on a teenage girl at a new school for the performing arts, debuts on Saturday, March 27 after The Kids Choice Awards. Congratulations, Dan!


-Betty White Heads to SNL:

Eternally young Betty White has snagged a new gig: host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Beloved Betty, a Mr. TV favorite, will host the May 8th edition, which will feature former SNL cast members Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch. Go Betty!


-Spike TV Remembers Corey Haim:

Spike TV will honor the memory of Corey Haim with a telecast of theatrical The Lost Boys tomorrow at 12 a.m. ET.


-More Sad News:

Merlin Olsen, the former football great turned actor, passed away on Wednesday evening in Los Angeles. He was 69 and was diagnosed with a rare former of cancer last year. Remembered, of course, as kindly Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie, Olsen exited the series in 1981 for a two-season stint on the similar appeal Father Murphy. Sticking with the theme of family dramas, Olsen also headlined the short-lived Aaron’s Way in 1988. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan, and three children.


Executive Shuffle


Sean Scanlon has recently joined Korn/Ferry International’s New York office as a Senior Client Partner and member of the firm’s Media and Entertainment sector within the global consumer market. As an executive recruiter, Scanlon served as president and senior management consultant to another executive search firm, where he spent 15 years building relationships and filling many of the top jobs within the industry. 

TV Trivia Time:

The Rich Clampetts


Just how much was the oil Jed discovered in his Ozark swamp land worth on The Beverly Hillbillies?


a)      $10 million

b)      $25 million

c)      $50 million

d)      $100 million


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Remember NBC musical dramedy American Dreams, which aired from 2002-05? What decade was it set in?


a)      1930s

b)      1940s

c)      1950s

d)      1960s

e)      1970s


Is: d) 1960s. American Dreams was one of those shows that everyone raved about, but few people actually watched. Sad, but very true.

-Current kudos goes to:
Marisol Amaya, Bert Benoliel, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, John Brooker, Larry Cauble, Paul Certo, Larry Collins, Leslie Creason, Audrey Davis, Terrence Dean, Deborah Engel, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Jim Forkan, Karen Gardner, Maureen Goldman, Robert Gori, Vicky Gregorian, Shannon Herlihy, Brad Hight, Michael Holland, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Kevin Jones, Deb Kainer, Marie Lefevre Karp, Mark Krause, Andi Kupersmith, Steve Kurtzer, Stephen LaRue, Charmaine Leary, Howard Lieboff, Patty Lynch, Debbie Mirr, Jim Moore, Joanne Albrecht Murnane, Michael Murphy, Jay Ogletree, Aaron Paquette, Pat Patton, Gordon Purcell, Tina Rolon, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Neal Sabin, Ron Salmon, Judy Schrader, Frances Seda, Michelle Stanton, Kristen Strauss, Carol Teichman, Jodi Titkin, Meredith Wayne, Myndi Weinraub