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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 20, 2009

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

McMillan’s Wife

CBS Wins; Fox Will Dominate Among Adults 18-49
Tuesday 4/28/09


CBS   9.7/15
Fox    9.3/14
NBC 6.0/ 9
ABC 5.2/ 8

CW   1.2/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, April 29, 2008):

CBS: +39, NBC: +30, Fox: -16, ABC: -22, CW: -25


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC),

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)

-Expected to Dominate Among Adults 18-49:

Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

According to Jim (ABC), Reaper (CW), Fringe (Fox), 90210 (CW), Cupid (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Despite facing American Idol, CBS led the Tuesday overnight troops, with a 0.4 rating point advantage over second-place Fox. But Fox, of course, will win the evening among adults 18-49. Third in the metered markets was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW.


American Idol led the 8-9 p.m. hour, with a solid 12.8 rating/20 share. But year-to-year, the musical extravaganza dipped by 13 percent (versus a 14.7/23 on April 29, 2008). To the Idol haters waiting for the show to collapse, you have a long wait ahead! A very comfortable second in the time period was CBS’ NCIS (10.3/16), which featured part one of the spin-off pilot with Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J. Third was the first half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (4.8/ 8), followed by two episodes of ABC clinker According To Jim (avg. 2.2/ 4) and Reaper on the CW (1.2/ 2), which was not worth brining back for a second season.


With six contestants left on American Idol, the bottom two tonight is a no-brainer: Matt Giraud and Allison Iraheta. My pick to bid adieu: Allison Iraheta, the oldest looking teenager in the history of this competition. 


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of bona fide hit The Mentalist, which averaged a rock-solid 10.7/16. Next was the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show on ABC, with a comfortable 9.4/14. Surprisingly, it was the improved Chuck Wicks that was sent packing and not the injured Melissa Rycroft. Needless to say, the ties to The Bachelor have certainly helped the Fran Drescher lookalike. Am I the only one who has noticed that?


Third in the 9 p.m. hour was the second half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (6.1/ 9), followed by Fox’s Fringe (5.8/ 8), which held only 42 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (13.7/21), and 90210 on the CW (1.4/ 2). While Fringe always manages to score among adults 18-49, under 50 percent retention lands it in the “loser’s” circle for the first time. As for The Biggest Loser, here is the half-hour breakdown:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.6/ 8 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 5.0/ 8 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 6.3/ 9 (#3)


The projected first-place finish for The Biggest Loser at 9:30 p.m. is worthy of an honorable mention.


CBS’ veteran (and on-the-fence) Without a Trace finished first at 10 p.m. in the overnights, with an 8.2/13. But NBC’s competing Law & Order: SVU (#2: 7.2/12) will win the time period among adults 18-49. Last, and very least, was ABC’s waiting-to-be-axed Cupid, with a mere 3.8/ 6. Why ABC needed to revive a series that already failed once is a mystery.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 20, 2009


It was a week of split leadership, as usual, with CBS first in households and total viewers and the home of American Idol, Fox, No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Unless something unusual happens (and I would not count on that), this will remain the pecking order through the remainder of the traditional (September through May) season.  Comparably (and excluding adults 18-34, which was down by double-digits), both networks posted minor losses from one year earlier. Fox has now dominated among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 for 12 consecutive weeks. 


ABC moved into the No. 2 spot in households, adults 18-49 and adults 18-34, but the network still suffered losses from one year earlier. Also excluding adults 18-34, NBC finished fourth overall, dipping by margins of 5 to 15 percent from the year-ago week. And fifth-place the CW dipped as much as 25 percent in total viewers. Even so, this was still the CW’s second highest rated week in 2009 in total viewers, adults 18-34 and women 18-34 (1.3/ 4). 


MyNetworkTV, which is still benefiting with Friday Night Smackdown! on the schedule (versus its absence last year at this time), remained on the plus side in each category expect adults 18-49 (where it was flat). 


In new series news, the overall results were not impressive, with recent entries Harper’s Island on CBS and animated Sit Down, Shut Up on Fox both being downgraded to lower profile time periods (see New Midseason Series Scorecard below). Surviving Suburbia on ABC was the most-watched, but considerable erosion out of lead-in Dancing With the Stars makes renewal a long-shot. And a second weekly episode of ABC dramedy The Unusuals did not prove beneficial. Unfortunately, the new midseason results mirror the disappointing new series returns from last fall. 


In the specials department, that funny lady, Barbra Streisand, has nothing to smile about with Saturday 8 p.m. entry Streisand: Live in Concert at a mere 4.97 million viewers (#65) and a 0.5/ 2 among adults 18-49 (#95 – tie). Anytime you see something original on Saturday, you know the expectations are not high. 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of April 20, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   Note: Thursday of this week was the first night of the May 2009 sweeps.


CBS: 5.9 rating/10 share (- 2), ABC: 5.3/ 9 (-10), Fox: 5.2/ 9 (- 7), NBC: 3.9/ 7 (-15), CW: 1.3/ 2 (-24), MNTV: 1.0/ 2 (+11)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.21 million (- 1), Fox: 8.61 (- 6), ABC: 8.10 (-11), NBC: 6.03 (-13), CW: 1.98 (-25), MNTV: 1.53 (+17)

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.0 rating/ 9 share (-12), ABC: 2.4/ 7 (-17), CBS: 2.3/ 7 (- 8), NBC: 2.0/ 6 (- 5), CW: 0.9/ 2 (-18), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (no change)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 3.6/ 9 (- 3), CBS: 3.0/ 8 (- 9), ABC: 3.0/ 8 (-14), NBC: 2.4/ 6 (- 8), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-20), MNTV: 0.6/ 1 (+20)

-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 2.5/ 8 (-17), ABC: 2.0/ 6 (- 9), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (+ 7), CBS: 1.4/ 5 (-18), CW: 1.0/ 3 (-23), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)


New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats and in order of total viewers; Pre-empted: ABC’s Cupid and In the Motherhood)


Surviving Suburbia (ABC) – Monday 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 9.87 million (#19), A18-49: 2.4/ 6 (#35t)


Castle (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.  

Viewers: 8.21 million (#32), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#46t)


Southland (NBC) – Thursday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 8.11 million (#34), A18-49: 2.4/ 7 (#35t)


Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 8 p.m.  

Viewers: 7.97 million (#35), A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (#39t)


Harper’s Island (CBS) – Thursday 10 p.m. (moving to Saturday at 9 p.m. effective on May 2)

Viewers: 7.02 million (#41), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#49t)


The Unusuals (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m. (in place of Cupid)

Viewers: 5.81 million (#55), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#61t)


Parks and Recreation (NBC) – Thursday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 5.26 million (#60), A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (#39t)


The Unusuals (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 4.74 million (#67), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#65t)


Sit Down, Shut Up (Fox) – Sunday 8:30 p.m.  (moving to Sunday at 7 p.m. effective on May 3)

Viewers: 4.21 million (#72), A18-49: 1.9/ 5 (#49t)


Better Off Ted (ABC) – Wednesday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 4.19 million (#73), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#58)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 3.09 million (#82), A18-49: 0.9/ 3 (#86t)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8:30 p.m. 

Viewers: 3.03 million (#84), A18-49: 0.9/ 3 (#86t)


Dollhouse (Fox) – Friday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 2.92 million (#85), A18-49: 1.2/ 4 (#75t)

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 23.96 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 23.95, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 20.53, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 14.73, CSI (CBS): 14.64, Criminal Minds (CBS, Wed. 10 p.m.): 13.72, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 13.64, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 13.51, NCIS R (CBS, Tues. 9 p.m.): 12.65, The Mentalist R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 12.46, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 11.48, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 11.30, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 10.59, Cold Case (CBS): 10.57, 60 Minutes (CBS): 10.52, 24 (Fox): 10.34, The Amazing Race (CBS): 10.27, Fringe (Fox): 9.90, Surviving Suburbia (ABC): 9.87, Criminal Minds R (CBS, Wed. 9 p.m.): 9.84, The Mentalist R (CBS, Mon. 10 p.m.): 9.42, Brothers & Sisters (ABC): 9.31, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 9.26, Ghost Whisperer (CBS): 9.23, Private Practice (ABC): 9.08, The Unit (CBS): 8.84, Numb3rs (CBS): 8.82, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 8.66, Bones (Fox): 8.42

-Adults 18-49:

American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 8.3 rating/21 share, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 8.2/13, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 5.0/13, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC) and Desperate Housewives (ABC): 4.7/12 each, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 3.9/10, Fringe (Fox): 3.9/ 9, The Office (NBC): 3.8/10, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 3.8/ 9, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 3.7/10, CSI (CBS): 3.7/ 9, Survivor: Tocantins (CBS): 3.5/11, Criminal Minds (CBS, Wed. 10 p.m.): 3.5/10, Family Guy (Fox): 3.4/ 9, Private Practice (ABC): 3.3/ 9, The Amazing Race (CBS): 3.2/ 9, 24 (Fox) and Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.2/ 8 each, 30 Rock (NBC), Celebrity Apprentice (NBC) and Brothers & Sisters (ABC): 3.1/ 8 each, Heroes (NBC): 3.1/ 7, The Simpsons (Fox): 3.0/ 9, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox): 3.0/ 8, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 2.9/ 8, Lost (ABC, clips show): 2.9/ 7, NCIS R (CBS, Tues. 9 p.m.): 2.9/ 7, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 2.7/ 8, How I Met Your Mother R (CBS) and The Mentalist R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 2.7/ 7 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of April 13:

What follows are the top 20 rated series in syndication (first-run and off-network) based on households for the week of April 13:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.9 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.8, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.8, Oprah (CBS): 4.7, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.1, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.0, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 3.9, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 3.5, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.3, Dr. Phil (CBS), Inside Edition (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 3.1 each, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.9 each, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.8, King of the Hill (Twentieth) and Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.7 each, Friends (Warner Bros.), King of Queens (SPT) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC): 2.4 each


Oprah was the only talk show to grow both week-to-week and year-to-year in households, inching up by two percent in both measures. And Inside Edition accomplished the same feat in the category of newsmagazines, with an increase of seven percent in both comparisons. Two and a Half Men, meanwhile, has led the off-net sitcom genre for 78 consecutive weeks.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 4/29/09
 8:00 p.m. Presidential News Conference
 9:00 p.m. Lost

10:00 p.m. The Unusuals


 8:00 p.m. Presidential News Conference

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY

 8:00 p.m. Presidential News Conference
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order

 8:00 p.m. Lie To Me

 9:00 p.m. American Idol


 8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)


 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments

 9:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Howie Mandel Heads to GSN:

Deal or No Deal’s Howie Mandel has been named host of The Game Show Awards on GSN, the first awards show focused specifically on the quiz show format. It airs on Saturday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET.


-Hallmark Channel Remembers Bea Arthur:

Hallmark Channel will honor the late, and great Bea Arthur with 19-hour marathon of The Golden Girls this Sunday, May 3 beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET.


-Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends Bids Adieu on Cartoon Network:
Cartoon Network, the home of must see animation, will air the final five episodes of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends as part of an afternoon marathon from 1-7 p.m. on Sunday, May 3. The concluding series has produced 78 half-hour episodes, plus three feature length specials. 


-Coming Up on MTV:

MTV has announced an aggressive slate of upcoming programming initiatives, including nine new shows and five returning series. The new shows are talk/entertainment-driven The Alexa Chung Show; The Buried Life, which follows four young men on an epic quest; animated DJ and the Fro; The Stylist, which focuses on a group of junior assistants for three celebrity stylists; sports-driven The Ultimate Parkour Challenge; hidden camera Pranked; animated sketch-driven Popzilla; Gone Too Far, which delves into the lives of young adults with substance or alcohol problems; and hidden camera Disaster Date. The returning series are The Hills, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, Nitro Circus, Randy Jackson Presents and Run’s House. 


TV Trivia Time:

McMillan’s Wife


Remember McMillan and Wife, one of the three original rotating elements in the old NBC Mystery Movie? What was the name of Commissioner Stewart McMillan’s wife?


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was the name of the department store that Rhoda worked at on The Mary Tyler Moore Show?


Is: d) Hempel’s. After she moved back East, Rhoda remained a window dresser, eventually starting her own business. As a reminder, season one of sitcom Rhoda is now available on DVD. To order, click on


-Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Mary Bancroft, Matthew Berriman, John Brooker, Mark Cosenza, Annie Courtney, Reid Davis, Scott Dickson, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Michelle Harrington, Marie LeFevre Karp, Stephen LaRue, Roberta Lee, Bob Meyer, Jim O’Heir, Alan Perris, David Primuth, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Arthur Reinstein, Deanna Rosolen, Ron Salmon, Kim Smith, Michelle Stanton, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Laura Velazquez, Larry Weinstock, David Williams