Disappointing Opening Tuesday for The CW

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Karen’s Help
Lackluster Early Start for The CW 
Tuesday 9/08/09


NBC 6.0/10
CBS   5.4/ 9
Fox    3.4/ 5
ABC 3.0/ 5
CW    1.7/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, September 9, 2008):

CBS: +54, NBC: – 9, ABC: -33, CW: -37, Fox: -43
-Yesterday’s Winners:

NCIS R (CBS), Hell’s Kitchen (Fox), America’s Got Talent (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

90210 (CW), Melrose Place (CW), Shaq Vs. (ABC), More to Love (Fox)

Note: The above labels are based on the overnights; we’ll see what happens when the demos are available for The CW dramas.

-Ratings Breakdown:

Ignited by America’s Got Talent, NBC won this second Tuesday in September, with an 11 percent advantage over second-place CBS. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by ABC and The CW. While I completely understand who The CW’s core audience is, disappointing overnight results may not bode well on the young female demographics.  


On that note, season two of 90210 opened last in the 8 p.m. hour, with a 1.6 rating/3 share in the overnights. One year earlier, the 90210 remake debuted with a significantly larger 3.9/ 6 on Sept. 2, 2008. On the year-ago evening, it scored a 2.8/ 7. Do the math, and last night’s performance dipped by 59 percent from the series-premiere and 43 percent from the year-ago performance.  Yes…that is severe.


90210 led into the series-premiere of Melrose Place at an equally disappointing (and last-place) 1.9/ 3 at 9 p.m. Although that was up by 19 percent from 90210, one year earlier former failed occupant Privileged kicked-off with a 2.6/ 4 (on Sept. 9, 2008). Comparably, that was 37 percent higher than Melrose Place. While I always say you cannot judge any show by one night of overnights, this is disappointing for The CW. 


Elsewhere, NBC opened the evening with a repeat of America’s Got Talent at a third-place 4.1/ 7 at 8 p.m., followed by the two-hour original telecast of the summer favorite at a dominant 7.0/11 from 9-11 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

America’s Got Talent (NBC)
9:00 p.m.: 6.9/11 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 7.3/11 (#1)
10:00 p.m.: 7.0/11 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 6.7/12 (#1)

Second-place CBS kicked-off with a repeat of NCIS (#1: 7.0/12 at 8 p.m.), followed by the now deadly dull Big Brother (#2: 4.4/ 7) and a repeat of The Mentalist (#2: 4.8/ 8) from 9-11 p.m. Too bad Jeff blew the game by voting off Russell a few weeks ago. Natalie, Kevin and Jordan have got to be the worst top three finalists in the history of Big Brother. 


ABC aired a repeat of Shark Tank (#4: 2.3/ 4), and original installments of summer dud Shaq Vs (#3: 2.6/ 5) and summer newsmagazine Primetime: Family Secrets (#3: 4.1/ 7). And Fox capped off the evening with Hell’s Kitchen (#2: 4.4/ 7), which should have no trouble dominating the 8 p.m. hour among adults 18-49, and flop reality/competition More To Love (#4: 2.5/ 4 at 9 p.m.). 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Judge Jeanine Pirro – Day One:

Telepictures gaveler Judge Jeanine Pirro, which transitioned from The CW in daytime to syndication, opened in first-run with an average 1.1 household rating in the metered markets on Monday, Sept. 7. Comparably, that increased from the Sept. 2008 time period average (1.0) by 10 percent.  Results among women 18-49 (0.5 rating) were up by 25 percent from the lead-in average (0.4), with no change from the Sept. 2008 time period, while women 25-54 (0.5) was even in both benchmarks. For more on Judge Pirro, don’t miss the upcoming Mr. Television column in Mediaweek on Sept. 14. 


-Another Series High for Syfy’s Warehouse 13:

Based on the final national ratings for Tuesday, Aug. 18 (with DVR Live +7 playback), Syfy drama Warehouse 13 finished with a record 4.2 million viewers and 2.2 million adults 25-54, finishing first for the day among all basic cable. Warehouse 13 added almost one million viewers from additional DVR playback (959,000), including 515,000 adults 18-49 and 589,000 adults 25-54. 


-National Ratings in Primetime – Week to-Date:

Since the final national ratings for the week of August 31 will not be published until tomorrow, here is the results to-date from Monday, Aug. 31 through Friday, Sept. 4. ABC will get a tweak once the Saturday Night Football ratings are included in the mix. 

Total Viewers:

NBC: 6.66 million, CBS: 6.53, ABC: 4.58, Fox: 4.25, MNTV: 1.61, CW: 960,000

Adults 18-49:

CBS, NBC and Fox: 1.6 rating/5 share each, ABC: 1.4/ 4, MNTV: 0.6/ 2, CW: 0.4/ 1


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 9/09/09
 8:00 p.m. President Obama Address
 9:00 p.m. Wipeout
 10:00 p.m. Primetime: Crime

 8:00 p.m. President Obama Address

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

 8:00 p.m. President Obama Address
 9:00 p.m. America’s Got Talent

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)


 8:00 p.m. So You Think You Can Dance (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Glee (series premiere following last May’s preview)


 8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (season premiere, two hours)


 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)

-Of Note on Cable:
Season Finales:
Leverage (TNT): 9 p.m. ET

The Real World: Cancun (MTV): 10 p.m. ET

How’d You Get So Rich? (TV Land): 10 p.m. ET

New Show Descriptions


Glee (Fox)

-The Premise:

An optimistic thirtysomething teacher (Matthew Morrison) attempts to transform a group of misfits and outcasts in the high school glee club into serious competitors. The cast includes Lea Michele, Jayma Mays, Cory Monteith and Dianna Agron. 

-The Scoop:

How Glee compares to Disney Channel’s High School Musical franchise:


“Before coming with up the idea and breaking the pilot story, none of us had ever really seen High School Musical,” said executive producer Brad Falchuk at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. “Obviously High School Musical is great, but this is a little bit edgier, a little more adult. It’s something you can watch with your kids, but the idea is to keep things a little more adult than High School Musical is. So I wouldn’t say we’re trying to cash in on it.”


“The form follows the content — it’s not like we’re throwing music onto a show,” added co-executive producer Ian Brennan. “It’s about a glee club, the music comes out of it. We’re able to take advantage of the theatrical format. It’s not about lawyers or doctors singing. It’s like the music is in there. We just kind of let it breathe.”

-The Reality:

Previewing out of American Idol for one episode on Tuesday, May 19, Glee was sampled by 9.62 million viewers with a 3.9 rating/10 share among adults 18-49, according to the final nationals from Nielsen Media Research. But it finished third in the 9 p.m. time period in total viewers (behind the season finales of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and CBS’ The Mentalist) and second in the demo. And the retention out of American Idol was just 40 percent in total viewers and 45 percent among adults 18-49. That said, the initial results were disappointing. 


Putting the first set of ratings aside, Glee could work if lead-in So You Think You Can Dance holds up and Criminal Minds on CBS and relocated Law & Order: SVU on NBC hurt each other competing for the same viewers. But given the lack of success historically of dramas with musical interludes (Fame was canceled on NBC after less than two seasons, then picked-up in first-run syndication) and no track record of So You Think You Can Dance working outside of the summer, Glee could face an uphill battle. If good intentions translated into ratings success, Glee would be a shoo-in to succeed. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. 


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


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Little People, Big World – Season Five:

Fans of Little People, Big World (a favorite in the Mr. TV household) should mark their calendars for the fifth season-premiere on Monday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Unlike Jon and Kate, Matt and Amy are happily together and focusing on life as the kids get older. 

-Speaking of Fan Favorites:

Tonight marks the freshman season-finale of TV Land’s riotous How’d You Get So Rich? with my personal favorite, Joan Rivers. Unlike the glut of backstabbing reality, How’d You Get So Rich? is comically reminiscent of the old Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous franchise and worthy of a second season renewal. How about it, TV Land?

-The Best in Fashion Trendsetting on TCM:

Turner Classic Movies, a Mr. TV favorite, has unveiled the cable net’s 15 Favorite Trendsetting Films in advance of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which is scheduled for Sept. 10 to 17 in New York. They are (in chronological order): Pandora’s Box (1929), Letty Lynton (1932), It Happened One Night (1934), Pat and Mike (1952), Rear Window (1954), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), And God Created Woman (1956), Auntie Mame (1958), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Shaft (1971), Annie Hall (1977), Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Flashdance (1983). For more information, click on http://www.tcm.com/dailies


-Keith Marder – Real Estate Agent:

I personally think Keith Marder has a career either in front of the camera or behind it writing jokes. But the former PR maven is switching gears and is now employed in residential real estate at Halstead Property in New York. Any potential buyers or sellers can contact Keith at kmarder@halstead.com or via phone at 212/381-2632 (office) and 917/622-4883 (cell). Good luck, Keith!

TV Trivia Time:
Karen’s Help

Remember Karen’s smart-mouthed maid Rosario on Will & Grace? What was her occupation before Karen hired her?


a)      Bouncer

b)      Cigarette Lady

c)      Go-Go Dancer

d)      Masseuse 

e)      Waitress


The answer to yesterday’s question…


In the lengthy season one opening credits of The Waltons, what was John seen bringing home to the family?


a)      a horse

b)      an ice box

c)      a radio

d)      a record player

e)      a TV set


Is:  c) a radio. The clan of 11 used to gather around that oversized radio and listen to shows like Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and Fibber McGee and Molly. 


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Paul Certo, Kay Copeland, Audrey Davis, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Barb Hemberger, Michael Holland, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Rich Miller, Debbie Mirr, Jim Moore, Colleen Roth