CBS Wins Wednesday; The Whole Truth D.O.A. on ABC


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

CBS Wins; NBC a Solid Second; ABC’s The Whole Truth D.O.A.


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Three Cheers!

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
CBS Wins; NBC a Solid Second; ABC’s The Whole Truth D.O.A.


Wednesday 9/22/10



CBS   8.1/13
NBC 6.8/11
ABC 5.6/ 9
Fox    4.3/ 7
CW    2.2/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, September 23, 2009):

CW: +47, NBC: +36, Fox: +16, CBS: + 4, ABC: -26

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Nicaragua (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), The Defenders (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:

The Middle (ABC)
-Solid Sampling:

Undercovers (NBC)


-Vast Improvement from Year-Ago Time Period:

Hellcats (CW)
Cougar Town (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The Whole Truth (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:
Four networks (excluding ABC) were up year-to-year on this first Wednesday of the 2010-11 TV season, with CBS first in the overnights — 19 percent above Law & Order: SVU-ignited NBC. Next was ABC, followed by Fox and The CW. Significant gains for The CW are a result of failed drama The Beautiful Life on the year-ago evening.


CBS’ relocated Survivor: Nicaragua has settled into the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour with a dominant 7.4 rating/12 share in the overnights. Comparably, this is 64 percent higher than the season-premiere of year-ago occupants The New Adventures of Old Christine (4.6/ 8 on Sept. 23, 2009) and Gary Unmarried (4.4/ 7). And it is an improvement of about 15 percent from it’s year-ago performance anchoring Thursday. As for last night’s Tribal Council…fasten your seatbelts! You will not be disappointed. 


Next on CBS was the sixth season-premiere of Criminal Minds at a dominant 8.9/14 at 9 p.m. (five percent below the year-ago opener – 9.4/15), followed by the series-debut of The Defenders at an also first-place 7.9/13 at 10 p.m. One year earlier, former time period occupant CSI: NY kicked-off with a heftier 9.4/14 on Sept. 23, 2009. And the second-hour of NBC’s expanded Law & Order: SVU season-opener (7.4/13) is poised for victory among adults 18-49. But retention for The Defenders out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Criminal Minds (9.0/14) was solid at 88 percent and the show was clearly sampled. That’s all you can ask for in week one.


On NBC, the series-debut of Undercovers rose to the task, with a second-place 6.2/10 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that was 22 percent higher than the series-launch of former failed occupant Mercy (5.1/ 8 on Sept. 23, 2009), and the young adult performance is likely to be noticeably stronger as well. Opposite Survivor, consider this a solid start for Undercovers. Next on NBC was the 12th season-premiere of a two-hour edition of Law & Order: SVU (I know…time flies!) at a very respectable 7.1/11 from 9-11 p.m. and the half-hour breakdown as follows:

Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
 9:00 p.m.: 6.3/10 (#3)
 9:30 p.m.: 7.2/11 (#2)
10:00 p.m.: 7.2/12 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 7.6/13 (#2)

Comparably, Law & Order: SVU was up by a considerable 29 percent from its season-opener in the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour on Sept. 23, 2009 (5.5/ 9). 


Over at ABC, season two of sitcom The Middle, featuring guest star Doris Roberts, was also on the map with a third-place 6.0/10 at 8 p.m. One year earlier, The Middle launched with a 5.4/ 9 (out of failed sitcom Hank) on Sept. 30, 2009. Next was the series-premiere of Better with You at a third-place 5.2/ 8 at 8:30 p.m. and retention out of The Middle of a decent 87 percent. At 9 p.m., season two of Emmy winner Modern Family perked up to a first-place 8.8/14 in the overnights — 69 percent above Better with You. One year earlier, Modern Family launched with a 7.8/12 on Sept. 23, 2009. 


At 9:30 p.m., ABC slipped to third, with the second season-premiere of Cougar Town, featuring guest star Jennifer Aniston, at a 6.1/ 9. Comparably, retention for Cougar Town out of Modern Family was only 69 percent. ABC, needless to say, can do better in this protected half-hour and my prediction is Matthew Perry sitcom Mr. Sunshine will step in come midseason. 


In more series-premiere news, ABC legal drama The Whole Truth was stalled at the gate, with a very last-place 3.8/ 7 in the overnights at 10 p.m.  One year earlier, failed drama Eastwick opened with a 5.6/10 on Sept. 23, 2009, and the retention out of Cougar Town was only 62 percent. The Whole Truth, in addition, dropped by 17 percent at 10:30 p.m. (4.2/ 7 to 3.5/ 6). With NBC’s upcoming Law & Order: Los Angeles stepping into the time period next week, expect considerable erosion from this already D.O.A. performance.


Moving to Fox, the two-hour eighth season-premiere of Hell’s Kitchen finished fourth overall from 8-10 p.m., with a 4.3/ 7. But keep in mind that this series always resonates among adults 18-49. And, comparably, this was an improvement of 16 percent from year-ago occupants So You Think You Can Dance (3.3/ 5) and Glee (4.1/ 6). Here is the half-hour breakdown:

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)
8:00 p.m.: 4.0/ 7 (#4)
8:30 p.m.: 4.3/ 7 (#4)
9:00 p.m.: 4.5/ 7 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 4.6/ 7(#4)

Capping off the evening was The CW’s combination of veteran America’s Next Top Model (#5: 2.6/ 4) and week three of drama Hellcats (#5: 1.7/ 3). While a 1.7 is certainly nothing to crow about, this is an improvement of 89 percent from year-ago failed drama The Beautiful Life (0.9/ 2 on Sept. 23, 2009). Looking into my crystal ball, I see a full season episode order for Hellcats. Stay tuned.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-New Series Report Card:
Based on Live Plus Same Day ratings, here are the results (in order of total viewers) for the Tuesday debuts of ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 and Fox’s Raising Hope and Running Wilde.

Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC) – Tues. 10- p.m.

Viewers: 9.34 million (#2 in time period), A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (#3)

Grade: C


The retention out of Dancing With the Stars (Viewers: 18.52 million; A18-49: 4.4/11) was only 50 percent in total viewers and 52 percent among adults 18-49. Sticking to creating crime and not fighting it, Michael Imperioli.


Raising Hope (Fox) – Tues. 9 p.m.

Viewers: 7.31 million (#4), A18-49: 3.1/ 8 (#4)

Grade: C


While this may look adequate on paper, the retention out of the season-premiere of Glee (Viewers: 12.45 million; A18-49: 5.6/16) was only 59 percent in total viewers and 55 percent in the demo. Anticipate significant erosion in week two.


Running Wilde (Fox) – Tues. 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 5.59 million (#4), A18-49: 2.4/ 6 (#4)

Grade: F

Dropping from Raising Hope by 1.72 million viewers and 23 percent among adults 18-49 is way too severe.


-Final Tuesday Nationals:

What follows are the overall results for this first Tuesday of the new TV season:


Total Viewers:

CBS: 16.25 million, ABC: 13.39, Fox: 9.47, NBC: 6.77, CW: 1.66


Adults 18-49:

Fox: 4.2 rating/11 share, CBS: 3.5/10, ABC: 3.1/ 9, NBC: 2.8/ 8, CW: 0.8/ 2


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Thursday 9/23/10

Night 4 of the 2010-11 Season

 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (season premiere)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (season premiere)


 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (season premiere, new day and time)

 8:30 p.m. $#*! My Dad Says (series premiere)
 9:00 p.m. CSI (season premiere)

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (season premiere)


 8:00 p.m. Community (season premiere): guest star Betty White

 8:30 p.m. 30 Rock (season premiere, new time)
 9:00 p.m. The Office (season premiere)
 9:30 p.m. Outsourced (series premiere)

10:00 p.m. The Apprentice

 8:00 p.m. Bones (season premiere)
 9:00 p.m. Fringe (season premiere)
 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries  
 9:00 p.m. Nikita

New Program Descriptions (in alphabetical order)


Outsourced (NBC) 

-The Premise:

A customer service manager (Ben Rappaport) in Kansas City is sent to India to train his replacement after his department is outsourced. Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show), Jessica Gower and Rizwan Manji co-star.

-The Reality:

The good news from the get-go is the compatibility: Outsourced fits well out of The Office. But since none of NBC’s Thursday night comedies are breakout hits, why introduce yet another half-hour that looks like it has only limited appeal? And, more importantly, why delve into a subject matter that may feel unhappily familiar? Expect rating results similar to former occupant 30 Rock (which heads to 8:30 p.m.), and that is not necessarily a positive. In case you don’t know. 30 Rock has never been much of a ratings grabber. 


-Chance of Survival for Outsourced (Based on a scale of 1-1, the best, to 10-1, the worst): 5-1


$#*! My Dad Says (CBS)

-The Premise:

Based on the Twitter feed, William Shatner headlines this comedic tale of an outspoken old man who can no longer take care of himself and the son who moves back home as his caregiver. 


 -The Reality:

If my timeline is correct, the last time CBS opened with comedies in the Thursday 8 p.m. hour was in the fall of 1965 with Gilligan’s Island and My Three Sons. That’s right…45 years ago! Needless to say, this strategy is a risk. But the good news is red-hot relocated lead-in The Big Bang Theory, which will definitely give it support. And competing 30 Rock on NBC is not what you would call a ratings hit. So, there could be room for $#*! My Dad Says, which is generating early interest from the controversial title and popular Twitter feed. Let’s just hope, however, that episodes two and beyond are a major improvement from the generically dull pilot. 

-Chance of Survival for $#*! My Dad Says:5-1
My Generation (ABC)

-The Premise:
Shot documentary style and based on a series from Scandinavia, a group of former high school students in Austin, Texas reunite after 10 years.

-The Reality:
One of the more creative new entries of the season, My Generation’s main problem is the show itself. Similar to Friday Night Lights, it may be too simple looking and slow moving to attract a mass appeal audience. And the competitive Thursday 8 p.m. hour will not be beneficial. While you can’t blame a network for trying something creative, you can’t force the audience to tune-in if it does not feel familiar. And nothing about this hour feels all that comfortable. 

-Chance of Survival for My Generation: 10-1


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Fox Confirms New American Idol Judges:

After months of speculation it is official: Jennifer Lopez and rock legend Steven Tyler will be joining Fox’s American Idol opposite returning Randy Jackson in January for the 10th season. In addition, music producer Jimmy Iovine will appear as an in-house mentor, working behind-the-scenes with the next batch of contestants. 


-Another New J.J. Abrams Series on NBC:

Prior to the debut of Undercovers last night, NBC committed to another new scripted hour from J.J. Abrams. The untitled comedic drama will feature former Lost stars Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn as two ex-black ops agents. 


-Teri Hatcher on Smallville:

No, she is not leaving ABC’s Desperate Housewives. But former Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman star Teri Hatcher will guest star in the final season of The CW’s Smallville in her former role of Lois Lane.

TV Trivia Time:
Three Cheers!

What was Coach’s real first name on beloved sitcom Cheers?


a)      Alvin

b)      Dominic

c)      Ernie

d)      Fred

e)      Louis


Which one of the following classic TV characters did little Dennis Mitchell on sitcom Dennis the Menace live near?


a)      Margaret Anderson (Father Knows Best)

b)      Lucy Carmichael (The Lucy Show)

c)      Ernie Douglas (My Three Sons)

d)      Gomer Pyle (Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.)

e)      Donna Stone (The Donna Reed Show)


Is: e) Donna Stone from The Donna Reed Show, who Jay North as Dennis and Joseph Kearns as good ‘ol Mr. Wilson once visited.

-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta. John Ferlazzo, Julie Friedlander, George Gardner, Jerry Gibbons, Ed Griffis, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Synda Kollman, Steve Kurtzer, Debbie Mirr, Alan Perris, Colleen Roth, Anthony Salerno, Maxine Shulman, Mark Simmons, Jonathan Vaden