College Football Spikes Ratings for Normally Lackluster Saturday

Monday, October 12, 2009
Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Happy Columbus Day


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 10/09/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



NBC 4.4/ 8
ABC 2.8/ 5
Fox    1.5/ 3
CW    1.1/ 2

CBS: 8.01 million, NBC: 6.54, ABC: 4.01, Fox: 2.30, CW: 1.73

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 1.9 rating/6 share, NBC: 1.5/ 5, ABC: 1.0/ 3, Fox: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.7/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners (excluding repeats):

(Keep in mind that expectations are lower on Friday)

Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Medium (CBS)


-Expected to End This Spring:

Numbers (CBS)

-Friday’s Losers:

Brothers (Fox), ‘Til Death (Fox), Smallville (CW), Dollhouse (Fox), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)


-Note: Any reported ratings from an earlier date are based on the final nationals.


-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led the diluted Friday troops, with a first-place finish in every half-hour care of its line-up of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: 8.60 million; A18-49: 2.1 rating/7 share), Medium (Viewers: 8.25 million; A18-49: 1.9/ 6) and Numbers (Viewers: 7.13 million; A18-49: 1.6/ 5). Medium, no doubt, is the perfect fit out of Ghost Whisperer. But veteran Numbers at 10 p.m. has sprung a leak among adults 18-49, with erosion from one year earlier (Viewers: 8.01 million; A18-49: 2.2/ 7 on Oct. 10, 2008) of 880,000 viewers and 27 percent in the demo. Ghost Whisperer is also down significantly, with a loss of 1.29 million viewers (9.69 to 8.60 million) and 22 percent among adults 18-49 (2.7/10 to 2.1/ 7).


Second-place NBC opened the evening with granddaddy Law & Order (Viewers: #2, 7.23 million; A18-49: #2, #2, 1.5/ 6), which performed admirably opposite aforementioned Ghost Whisperer, followed by Dateline (Viewers: #2, 7.02 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 5) and ongoing flop The Jay Leno Show (Viewers: #3, 5.33 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 4). As reported earlier in the week, planned 9 p.m. NBC returnee Southland has been unceremoniously canceled and Dateline will remain in the time period. The six unaired episodes of Southland are currently being pitched to cable. TNT should seriously consider it. 


Next up was ABC care of a repeat of FlashForward (Viewers: #3, 3.11 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.8/ 3), which this Lost fan just cannot get into, repeats of sitcoms Modern Family (Viewers: #3, 2.95 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3) and must see The Middle (Viewers: #3, 2.76 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3) and veteran 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 6.07 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 5). 20/20 featured an interview with a Mr. TV favorite, Valerie Bertinelli. Coming up next Friday on ABC: the season premiere of Ugly Betty, which will air with two episodes from 8-10 p.m. 


Fourth in both categories was Fox’s failing combination of Brothers (Viewers: #4, 2.35 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.8/ 3), unnecessary returnee ‘Til Death (Viewers: #4, 2.36 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 3) and sophomore fizzle Dollhouse (Viewers: #4, 2.25 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3). And last was The CW’s relocated Smallville (Viewers: #5, 2.30 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3) and a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: #5, 1.16 million; A18-49: #5, 0.5/ 2), which has not benefited by featuring shorter wannabe models only. Although Smallville built from year-ago occupants Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.70 million; A18-49: 0.7/ 2) and The Game (Viewers: 1.80 million; A18-49: 0.8/ 3) on Oct. 10, 2008 by an average of 550,000 viewers and 33 percent among adults 18-49, take a look at the year-to-year erosion:

Smallville (CW) – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2008 – Viewers: 4.12 million; A18-49: 1.6/ 4
Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 – Viewers: 2.30 million; A18-49: 1.0/ 3
Percent Change – Viewers: -44, A18-49: -37

I think it is safe to assume this is the final season of Smallville. As for former CW sitcom The Game, there is ongoing talk of cable net BET producing new episodes. Considering there are already three seasons in the can, that is a good idea. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 10/10/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



Fox    3.2/ 6
ABC 2.6/ 5
NBC 2.6/ 5
CBS: 10.06 million, Fox: 5.23, ABC: 4.21, NBC: 3.87
-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 3.4 rating/11 share, Fox: 1.8/ 6, ABC: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 0.8/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Saturday’s Winners:

College Football: Florida at LSU (CBS)


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Saturday Night Football (ABC), Presidents Cup Golf Tournament (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS stood well above the Saturday competition, proving that viewers will watch network television on Saturday if there is something worth tuning into. On that note, College Football on CBS, Florida at LSU, averaged an approximate 10.06 million and a 3.4 rating/11 share in primetime, finishing first in every half-hour. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown.

College Football (CBS)

 8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 8.35 million, A18-49: 2.7/ 9

 8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 9.88 million, A18-49: 3.2/11

 9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 10.79 million, A18-49: 3.5/11

 9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 8.95 million, A18-49: 2.9/ 9

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 10.92 million, A18-49: 3.8/12

10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 11.46 million, A18-49: 4.0/13


Regularly scheduled Saturday Night Football on ABC, Michigan at Iowa, could not compete with a below-average 4.21 million viewers and a 1.3/ 4 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m. — third in both categories for the evening. Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always approximate.


Elsewhere, Fox has a typical Saturday care of its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #2, avg. 5.11 million; A18-49: #2, avg. 1.8/ 6) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #2, 5.34 million; A18-49: #2, 1.9/ 6). And NBC capped off the night with of the final 90 minutes of the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament (Viewers: #4, 3.70 million; A18-49: #4, 0.6/ 2 from 8-9:30 p.m.), an approximate half-hour repeat of medical drama Trauma (Viewers: #4, 2.73 million; A18-49: #4, 0.6/ 2), and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (#2, 4.70 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 3). 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 10/11/09


NBC   8.5/14
CBS    8.3/13
ABC   5.9/ 9
Fox     3.7/ 6

-Percent Change From the Comparable Year-Ago Period (Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008):

CBS and NBC: +20 each, ABC: -18, Fox: -60


Note: Fox aired game three of the Los Angeles/Philadelphia match-up on the National League Baseball Championship Series on the year ago evening.


Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, October 11, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Football Overrun (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis at Tennessee (NBC), Desperate Housewives (ABC)


-Expected Positive Results Among Adults 18-49:

The Simpsons (Fox), The Cleveland Show (Fox), Family Guy (Fox)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Brothers (Fox), Three Rivers (CBS)


-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC and CBS were neck-and-neck for leadership in the Sunday overnights, with NBC beating the Eye net by just two percent. Keep in mind that all individual program results for CBS are approximate due to an estimated 45-minute NFL Football primetime overrun. ABC finished third overall in the overnights, followed by Fox, which is dependent, of course, on adults 18-49.  The CW no longer programs Sunday. 


NBC featured Indianapolis at Tennessee on its Sunday Night Football match-up, which averaged an approximate (and below average) 10.9 rating/17 share in the overnights for the primetime portion from 8:30-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:


Sunday Night Football (NBC)

 8:30 p.m.: 10.3/16 (#1)
 9:00 p.m.: 11.3/17 (#1)
 9:30 p.m.: 12.1/19 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 10.8/17 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 10.0/16 (#1)


Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America, which performed as follows by half-hour:


Football Night in America (NBC)

7:00 p.m. – Part 1: 2.1/ 4 (#3t)

7:30 p.m. – Part 2: 4.1/ 7 (#2)

8:00 p.m. – Part 3: 6.9/11 (#2)


Since results for all programming on CBS is approximate, here is the half-hour breakdown as follows:

 7:00 p.m. – Football: 14.6/25 (#1)
 7:30 p.m. – Football/60 Minutes: 13.2/22 (#1)
 8:00 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 9.4/15 (#1)

 8:30 p.m. – 60 Minutes/The Amazing Race: 7.6/12 (#2)

 9:00 p.m. – The Amazing Race: 6.0/ 9 (#3)

 9:30 p.m. – The Amazing Race/Three Rivers: 5.1/ 8 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Three Rivers: 5.3/ 8 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – Three Rivers/Cold Case: 5.3/ 9 (#3)


One week earlier, medical drama Three Rivers debuted with a 6.0/ 9 in the overnights on Oct. 4. As predicted, this is clearly a “loser.”


ABC opened the evening with the final half-hour of NASCAR Racing (#2: 4.2/ 7), followed by a half-hour version of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 3.9/ 6 at 7:30 p.m.) and its declining combination of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (#3: 5.7/ 9), Desperate Housewives (#2: 7.7/12) and Brothers & Sisters (#2: 5.9/10). Year-to-year overnight erosion for ABC from 8-11 p.m. was 20 percent for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (7.1/11 to 5.7/ 9), 24 percent for Desperate Housewives (10.1/15 to 7.7/12) and 18 percent for Brothers & Sisters (7.2/12 to 5.9/10), which is currently featuring Kitty’s (Falista Flockhart) battle with cancer. 


Fox capped off Sunday with its combination of a Sunday 7 p.m. edition of recent entry Brothers (#3t, 2.1/ 4), a repeat of The Cleveland Show (#4: 2.6/ 4) and the regularly scheduled 8-10 p.m. animated combination of The Simpsons (#4: 4.4/ 7), The Cleveland Show (#4: 4.4/ 7), Family Guy (#4: 4.9/ 7) and American Dad (#4: 3.7/ 6). Although Fox will clearly be on the map among adults 18-49 (and other young adult demos), the animated block was down by an average 15 percent in the overnights compared to one week earlier.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Final Thursday Nationals:

It was another Thursday of split leadership, with CBS the most-watched network and ABC No. 1 among adults 18-49. Worth positively noting for NBC was the one-hour wedding of Pam and Jim on The Office at an above-average 9.42 million viewers and a 4.8 rating/12 share among adults 18-49 from 9-10 p.m. Comparably, that finished second in the demo overall for the evening behind veteran Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (5.4/14), but it did not help lead-out The Jay Leno Show, which finished a distant third with 4.84 million viewers and a 1.7/ 5 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Earlier in the evening on NBC, freshman comedy Community moved into the 8 p.m. anchor spot with a mere (and fourth-place) 4.87 million viewers and a 1.9/ 6 in the demo.


For a complete listing of the Thursday program results, go to

Total Viewers:

CBS: 13.77 million, ABC: 10.90, Fox: 8.06, NBC: 6.38, CW: 2.99

Adults 18-49:

ABC: 4.0 rating/11 share, CBS: 3.4/ 9, NBC: 2.8/ 8, Fox: 2.5/ 7, CW: 1.4/ 4

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 10/12/09
 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars
10:00 p.m. Castle
 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
 8:30 p.m. Accidentally on Purpose
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 8:00 p.m. Heroes
 9:00 p.m. Trauma

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. House
 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me
 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-Dallas Fans, Take Note:

Talks are apparently underway for a new version of classic serial Dallas from Warner Bros. that would air on TNT and focus on the next generation of Ewings, including J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son John Ross and Bobby and Pam’s adopted son Christopher. Several members of the original cast, including Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, have been asked to participate. If my math is correct, John Ross is pushing 30 by now.  


-Lauren Graham Signed for Parenthood:

Former Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham will join the cast of NBC’s upcoming Parenthood in place of Maura Tierney, who exited the series due to health issues. Originally scheduled in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour, Parenthood was pushed back to midseason to accommodate Tierney. Parenthood is the second version of 1989 Ron Howard theatrical. The first was a half-hour sitcom that was canceled after just 13 episodes in the fall of 1990.


TV Trivia Time:

Happy Columbus Day


Which one of the following TV characters would definitely not be working today?


a)      Cliff Clavin

b)      Carrie Heffernan

c)      Dee Dee McCall

d)      Mel Sharples

e)      Janet Wood


The answer to Friday’s question…


Who played Tatum O’Neal’s Academy Award winning role in the short-lived TV sitcom version of Paper Moon?

Suzanne Crough
Pamelyn Ferdin
Jodie Foster
Helen Hunt
Kristy McNichol

Is: c) Jodie Foster. Paper Moon the TV series aired on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. from September 1974 through January 1975. The lead-out show was relocated The Odd Couple, which moved back to Friday (at 9:30 p.m.) in January to burn-off its final episodes. 


-Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Mark Binda, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Calvin Caltvedt, Paul Certo, Larry Collins, Reid Davis, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Michael Fruchtman (2x), Geoffrey Gordon, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Brad Hight, Greg Janover, Ken Jobe (2x), Irene Kirschner, Todd Koerner, Mark Krause, Steven Kurtzer, Chris Lara, Michael Lehman, Michele McAleer, Jim Moore, Tony Naldrett, Stephen Narissi, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Con Rigg, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, Mary Ryan, Greg Salerno, Kim Smith, Michelle Stanton, Richard Storrs, Kelly Swindell, Carol Teichman, Carson Turell