Conan Exits Tonight Show on a High Note

Friday, January 29, 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:

Don’t Be a Square  

Dominant Fox Benefits Opposite Repeats  
Thursday 1/28/10


Fox    6.9/11
CBS   5.4/ 9
ABC 3.9/ 6
NBC 3.1/ 5
CW    2.4/ 4

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, January 29, 2009):
CW: – 4, NBC: – 6, ABC: – 7, Fox: -33, CBS: -39

-Yesterday’s Winners:
Bones (Fox), The Mentalist R (CBS)
-Success for The CW:
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The Deep End (ABC), Live for the Moment (CBS), Supernatural (CW), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

With ABC and CBS in repeats from 9-11 p.m., Fox scored a rare overnight Thursday victory (with a 1.5 rating point advantage over second-place CBS). Third overall was ABC, followed by NBC and on the map The CW.


Underrated Fox crime solver Bones kicked-off the night on a winning note, with a 7.9 rating/13 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. I consistently refer to Bones as underrated because it does not get the attention it deserves. Next was week two of ABC drama The Deep End, with a 4.4/ 7 in the overnights — 17 percent below its already lackluster debut (5.3/ 8 on Jan. 21). Considering CBS’ Survivor (which returns with the “Heroes vs. Villains” edition on Feb. 11) was not in the competitive mix, The Deep End is a definite loser.


Over at CBS, Jeff Probst pilot Live for the Moment did not live for the ratings, with a distant third-place 3.0/ 5 at 8 p.m. (and erosion in the second half-hour of 12 percent: 3.2/ 5 to 2.8/ 4). NBC aired repeats of failing sitcoms Community (2.9/ 5) and Parks and Recreation (2.6/ 4), which it is intent on saving, while freshman CW hit The Vampire Diaries scored a 2.8/ 4. Comparably, The Vampire Diaries built by four percent from year-ago occupant Smallville (2.7/ 4 on Jan. 29, 2009). 


Opposite repeats on the Big 3 networks, Fox’s Fringe got a boost, with a second-place 6.0/ 9 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Comparably, that trailed a repeat of CBS’ CSI (#1: 6.1/ 9), which it will surely beat in adults 18-49, by just two percent. Third in the hour was an encore telecast of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (4.0/ 6), followed by repeats of The Office (3.5/ 5) and 30 Rock (3.1/ 5) on NBC, and The CW’s Supernatural (#5: 2.0/ 3). Considering the improved lead-in support and lack of original competition, retention for Supernatural of just 74 percent out of the second half of The Vampire Diaries (2.7/ 4 at 8:30 p.m.) is disappointing.


CBS remained in the overnight winners circle at 10 p.m. care of a repeat of The Mentalist at a 7.3/12. Tied for second were NBC’s The Jay Leno Show and a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice, each with a 3.3/ 5. Remember NBC’s initial pitch how Leno would pick up steam opposite repeats? Not!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:


-Conan Exits on a High Note:

As Jay Leno prepares to return to NBC’s The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien exited from the long-running franchise last Friday, Jan. 22 with a whopping 10.3 million viewers. Comparably, that was his largest audience since debuting on the show on June 1. For the week of Jan. 18, Conan dominated late night with 5.3 million viewers — 1.4 million ahead of CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman (3.9 million). All things considered, it looks like NBC did Conan a huge favor: a tremendous severance package plus built-in momentum for his next hosting gig. Subdued Jay Leno, meanwhile, appeared on Oprah yesterday.

-48 Million Viewers Tune in for President Obama:

Based on live carriage on 11 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Telemundo, Univision, BET, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC), President Obama’s first State of the Union address on Wednesday, Jan. 27 attracted 48 million viewers. The household rating and share was a 29.8/45, with 34.18 million households. 

-The Juggernaut of Court:

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy, a Mr. TV favorite, hit a new season high. Based on the final national ratings for the week of Jan. 11, Judge Judy rose to a 5.0 rating in households, which was the largest year-to-year increase of any show in first-run syndication. Comparably, Judy has now led the court show genre for 697 straight weeks.


-Speaking of Syndication:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs based on households for the week of Jan. 11:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.0 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.3, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 5.4, Judge Judy (CBS): 5.0, Oprah (CBS): 4.6, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.5, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.7, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 3.5, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC Universal): 3.3, Inside Edition (CBS): 3.1, The Office (NBCU): 3.0, Dr. Oz (Sony Pictures Television) and Dr. Phil (CBS): 2.9 each, Seinfeld (SPT) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 2.8 each, Live with Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 2.7 each, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.6, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC), George Lopez – Weekend (Warner Bros.) and Two and a Half Men Weekend (Warner Bros.): 2.5 each

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


 8:00 p.m. Supernanny

 9:00 p.m. Shark Tank

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Medium

10:00 p.m. Numbers

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order

 9:00 p.m. Dateline

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Dollhouse (series finale)

 9:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares (season premiere)


 8:00 p.m. Smallville

 9:30 p.m. Smallville (R)

Saturday 1/30/10

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

10:00 p.m. Castle (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie – Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Magic of Ordinary Days (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery  

 8:00 p.m. NBC Sports

 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 1/31/10

 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 52nd Annual Grammy Awards


 7:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)

 9:00 p.m. Saturday Night Live Sports Extra  


 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. American Dad


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-ABC Axes Ugly Betty:

Four year-old Ugly Betty, which recently moved from Friday at 9 p.m. ET to Wednesday at 10 p.m. in search of a larger audience has been canceled. The final season episode order has been cut back from 22 to 20.


-Speaking of ABC:

Reality franchise Wife Swap will return on Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. in place of Supernanny and into upcoming non-scripted series Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In the series, chef, TV personality and best-selling author Jamie Oliver will head to Huntington, West Virginia to start a cooking initiative. Crime solver Castle, meanwhile, has had its sophomore episode order increased from 22 to 24. Needless to say, there will be a third season of Castle.


-ABC Family Pick-Ups:

Feel good ABC Family has picked-up two one-hour dramas for later this year — Huge and Pretty Little Liars. Based on the book of the same name, Huge follows the lives of six teenagers and the staff at a weight loss camp. Pretty Little Liars focuses on four estranged friends who are reunited one year later after one friend ends up missing and they start receiving anonymous messages from someone who knows all their secrets. Ten episodes of each have been ordered. 


-Neil Patrick Harris Game Show Host:

How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris has been tapped as host and executive producer of a potential CBS game show called The Cube. The premise will involve contestants trying to win money by completing talks inside a chamber designed to reduce stress. 


-Joe Dirt Pilot on TBS:

TBS will attempt to enter the original animation arena with a pilot script from Rules of Engagement star David Spade for an animated version of theatrical The Adventures of Joe Dirt. The project, entitled Joe Dirt, will follow the exploits of a mullet-sporting, car-loving loser with a heart of gold.


-Samantha Harris to Exit DWTS:

Dancing With the Stars co-anchor Samantha Harris has exited ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which returns for its 10th edition on Monday, March 22. Although there is no news who will fill her shoes, here is someone I hope does not land the gig: actress, talk show host and former contestant Lisa Rinna.


The deal points for Twentieth Television’s upcoming Don’t Forget the Lyrics in first-run syndication is 2.5 minutes national / 5.5 minutes local (and not 3.5/3.5 as reported on Wednesday).

TV Trivia Time:

Don’t Be a Square 


Who was the initial center square in the remake of classic game show The Hollywood Squares in 1998?


a)      Jim J. Bullock

b)      Whoopi Goldberg

c)      Martin Mull

d)      Shadoe Stevens

e)      Bruce Villanch


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which entertainer is not currently performing in Las Vegas?


a)      Louie Anderson

b)      Carrot Top

c)      Cher

d)      Bette Midler

e)      Donny Osmond


Is: c) Cher, who is currently rotating with Bette Midler.


-Current kudos goes to:
Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Michael Campellone, Larry Collins, Phyllis Epstein, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, Mary Kinoshita, Mark Krause, Patty Lynch, Stephen Narissi, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Ron Salmon