Charlie Sheen Threatens to Exit Two and a Half Men

Friday, April 2, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
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:
Life After MTM
Thursday 4/01/10


CBS    8.6/14
ABC   5.8/10
Fox     5.3/ 9
NBC   3.4/ 6
CW     2.0/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 2, 2009):

ABC: +81, CBS: +13, Fox: + 6, CW: – 9, NBC: -64

Note: NBC featured the series-finale of ER on the year-ago evening.

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), CSI (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:

Bones (Fox)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
FlashForward (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led this first Thursday (and first night in April) in the overnights, beating distant second-place ABC by 48 percent.  Third overall was Fox, followed by NBC, which did not benefit by two repeat hours of The Office, and The CW. Before I continue, SPOILER ALERT…I will be talking about the outcome of CBS’ Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains last night.


On that note, Survivor opened the night for CBS with a dominant 7.2 rating/12 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that was an increase of 16 percent from the year-ago edition set in Tocantins on April 2, 2009 (6.2/10). As for the show itself, why, why, why…why does everyone seem to always put their faith in Russell? Jerri would have been better off sticking with camp Rob, while Coach should have voted for Russell (instead of Countney), which would have at least put the votes in a tie. Now that Rob is gone, the villains are about to come apart and nasty Sandra seems the most likely to exit next if the villains lose again next week. Stay tuned.


Sticking with CBS, a 9 p.m. edition of The Mentalist, which has not officially flipped time periods with CSI yet, won the hour with a CSI-like 9.5/15 in the overnights. CSI at 10 p.m. still dominated, but it performed below regularly scheduled The Mentalist with a 9.0/15. Next week, CSI is back at 9 p.m., followed by The Mentalist.


Second-place ABC has sprung a leak at 8 p.m., with older-skewing FlashFoward third in the overnights with a 3.9/ 7 at 8 p.m. As I have said on countless occasions, taking the freshman drama off the air for three months killed any early momentum. Next up on ABC was aging Grey’s Anatomy (#2: 7.6/12), which will win the 9 p.m. hour among adults 18-49, followed by spin-off Private Practice (#2: 5.9/10), which could also take the time period in the demo.   


Fox’s always potent Bones kicked-off the evening second in the overnights, with a 6.4/11 at 8 p.m., followed by already renewed Fringe at a third-place 4.3/ 7 at 9 p.m. Comparably, retention for Fringe out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Bones (6.6/11) was 65 percent.


NBC populated the night with back-to-back hour-long repeat episodes of The Office (8-9 p.m.: #4: avg. 3.1/ 5 — 9-10 p.m.: #4, avg. 3.1/ 5) and recently introduced The Marriage Ref, which dipped to a series low 4.0/ 7 at 10 p.m. But The Marriage Ref did manage to build by 35 percent from the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Office encore. Personally speaking, I think The Marriage Ref is a hoot and I hope Kirstie Alley is asked back again soon. Thankfully, creator Jerry Seinfeld is not on camera every week. But doesn’t host Tom Papa sound just like him?


The CW closed the night with its already renewed combination of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 2.2/ 4) and Supernatural (#5: 1.8/ 3). Although it is a given The Vampire Diaries will remain in the Thursday 8 p.m. anchor position next season, Friday could benefit if the network paired it with former lead-in Smallville next season. For more on Friday programming, check out my feature “Is Friday the New Saturday?” online and in Mediaweek on Monday.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-More Dominance for CBS’ Face the Nation:

Based on the live plus same day ratings for Sunday, March 25, CBS News’ Face the Nation extended its winning streak over ABC’s competing The Week to 12 out of the last 13 weeks in total viewers (2.99 million), adults 25-54 (0.8 rating/4 share), men 25-54 (0.8/ 4) and adults 35-54 (0.9/ 4). 

-Final Wednesday Nationals:

Led by American Idol, Fox more than doubled the No. two network (CBS in total viewers; ABC among adults 18-49) on Wednesday. Fox, in fact, finished first in each of its four half-hours with its combination of Human Target (Viewers: 8.23 million; A18-49: 2.3 rating/8 share) and aforementioned American Idol (Viewers: 20.49 million; A18-49: 6.7/19). But worth positive noting on ABC, as always, was standout 9 p.m. sitcom Modern Family at 9.51 million viewers and a 3.9/11 in the demo, which built from lead-in The Middle (Viewers: 6.23 million; A18-49: 2.0/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.) by 3.28 million viewers and 95 percent among adults 18-49. CBS was in all repeats, hence the lackluster performance (including the 8:30 p.m. time period of sitcom Accidentally on Purpose – Viewers: 4.24 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 4).


Here are the live plus same day results for Wednesday, March 31:

Total Viewers:

Fox: 14.56 million, NBC: 7.23, CBS: 6.58, ABC: 5.59, CW: 2.06

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 4.5 rating/14 share, ABC: 2.1/ 6, NBC: 2.0/ 6, CBS: 1.6/ 5, CW: 0.9/ 3

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution  

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Medium (part one)

10:00 p.m. Miami Medical (series premiere)


 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 (R)


 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

New Program Descriptions

Miami Medical (CBS)

A team of trauma surgeons in Miami who race against time to save patients with less than one hour to live is the focus of this new medical drama from busy Jerry Bruckheimer. The cast includes Richard Coyle, Elisabeth Harnois, Jeremy Northam and Lana Parrilla. 

-The Scoop:

Said executive producer Jeffrey Lieber at The Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena in January:


“Our show is very much about this concept of golden hour, which is the first 60 minutes after a trauma accident. If you did a little bell curve in terms of being able to save a life, in those first 60 minutes, if you can get to these doctors, these guys here, the odds of saving your life are way up here on the bell curve. And then the minute you hit that 60-minute mark, it starts to drop precipitously. So it’s really about how do people, doctors, people who are faced with that line between life and death in everyday — both how do they do what they do for a living, and then how do you go home and just live a life?

-The Reality:

One of the new programming trends this season was new medical dramas, and the results have not been positive. CBS’ Three Rivers is long gone, NBC’s Trauma was canceled, then brought back to struggling life for three additional episodes, and NBC’s Mercy is not capable of anchoring Wednesday. Factor in a deteriorating Friday and generic Miami Medical may not be the best possible to may to end a hectic work week. If viewing levels end up on life support, Canadian drama Flashpoint can always step in. 


-Chance of Survival for Miami Medical (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):

 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Ten Commandments (R)

 8:00 p.m. 2010 NCAA Basketball: Final Four Doubleheader


 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 (two repeats)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted  

Sunday 4/04/10
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters (R)


 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 (part two)

 7:00 p.m. Dateline

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It

 9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice


 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


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Charlie Sheen Talks About Exiting Two and a Half Men:

It looks like CBS’ Two and a Half Men could become One and a Half Men. People Magazine is reporting that Charlie Sheen will exit the long-running sitcom at the end of the season. Although Two and a Half Men is renewed through the spring of 2012, Sheen’s current contract is up. There is no word at present if the show would continue without him. And if it does depart, the network could always slide bona fide hit lead-out The Big Bang Theory to 9 p.m. Sheen’s current payday, by the way, is a reported $825,000 per episode and Warner Bros. is likely to give him a hefty pay increase. So, would he really walk away from that?


-Also Departing:

Law & Order star S. Epatha Merkerson, who has played Lt. Anita Van Buren since 1993, will not return next season if the legal drama is renewed for a record 21st season.


-Stargate Universe Staffs Up:

SyFy’s Stargate Universe has cast Robert Knepper (Heroes, Prison Break) and Julie McNiven (Supernatural, Mad Men) as guest stars in the upcoming second season. Knepper will appear in a six-episode story arc as Simeon, a member of the Lucian Alliance, while McNiven will portray Ginn, also a member of that Alliance. Season two of Stargate Universe premieres this fall.  

TV Trivia Time:
Life After MTM

Which one of the following series did not feature a cast member from The Mary Tyler Moore Show?


a)      Bob

b)      Everybody Loves Raymond

c)      Men in Trees

d)      Out of Practice

e)      Thunder Alley


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was the name of the football team on sitcom Evening Shade?


a)      The Bullets

b)      The Crusaders

c)      The Mules

d)      The Seequawkins

e)      The Warriors 


Is: c) The Mules. Often referred to as the modern day version of The Andy Griffith Show, Evening Shade ran on CBS from 1990-94 and netted Emmys for Burt Reynolds (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, 1991) and Michael Jeter (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, 1992).

-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Brad Hight, Melissa Hodgdon, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Mark Krause, Tom Lawrenson, Patty Lynch, Chuck Moffitt, Alan Perris, Colleen Roth, Maxine Shulman