Discovery Communications Unveil Programming Initiatives for 2010-11

Friday, April 9, 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:
A Whole Lot of Bull
CBS Sweeps Thursday 
Thursday 4/08/10


CBS    9.4/15
Fox     5.6/ 9
ABC   3.7/ 6
NBC   2.9/ 5
CW     2.1/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 9, 2009):

CW: +40, CBS: +24, ABC: + 9, Fox: + 8, NBC: -45

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS), CSI (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:

Bones (Fox)

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

CBS swept the Thursday overnight troops, with a first-place finish in every half-hour care of its combination of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (7.8 rating/13 share), CSI (9.8/15) and The Mentalist (10.8/18). In the distant No. 2 spot was Fox; followed by ABC, which took a tumble due to repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice; NBC, which was also in non-originals (from 8-10 p.m.); and The CW. 


As for Survivor, SPOILER ALERT…if you have not watched yet, avoid this paragraph.  Maybe, I am missing something. Or maybe the editors conveniently left something out. But if Danielle fought with Russell to keep Coach in the game, why did she end up voting for him (and ultimately keeping useless Courtney around?). The villains, no doubt, are toast next week. And chances are the merge will occur when the villains lose again and the contestants are down to 10. With the heroes assuming Russell is now the underdog, the slimy manipulator is going to do exactly what he did last season…get right into the top 2 and blow it by alienating too many people. Great season, but last night was very, very frustrating. 


Second-place Fox was on the 8 p.m. map, as usual, care of underrated Bones at a healthy 6.8/11 in the overnights. But already renewed lead-out Fringe slipped to a 4.4/ 7 (#2) at 9 p.m. despite facing repeats on both ABC and NBC. Comparably, retention for Fringe out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Bones (7.0/11) was 63 percent. With 24 exiting next month, Fox may want to consider moving Fringe to Monday. 


ABC’s older-skewing FlashForward seems to be inching closer to cancellation, with a distant third-place 4.3/ 7 at 8 p.m. That lead into repeats of aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy (#3: 4.0/ 6) and Private Practice (#3: 3.0/ 5) from 9-11 p.m., which never generate much interest in encore telecasts. 


NBC aired repeats of its 8-10 p.m. sitcom block — Community (#5: 2.2/ 4), Parks and Recreation (#4t, 2.3/ 4), The Office (#4: 3.1/ 5) and 30 Rock (#4: 2.7/ 4), which did not bode well for The Marriage Ref at 10 p.m. The just-renewed hour finished a very distant second behind The Mentalist with a 3.7/ 6 in the overnights. But the growth of 37 percent out of the 30 Rock encore is still a positive worth noting.


Over at The CW was freshman hit The Vampire Diaries (#4: 2.4/ 4) and veteran Supernatural (#5: 1.9/ 3). Both dramas have already been picked up for next season. And there you have it…that is Thursday.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-Week of April 5 to-Date:

Based on the live plus same day ratings through Wednesday April 7, Fox is in the lead, followed by CBS, ABC, NBC and, of course, The CW. But with Thursday and Sunday yet to be factored in, expect another week of mixed leadership, with CBS the most watched-network and Fox tops in the key demos.


Here are the results from Monday, April 5 through Wednesday, April 7 in total viewers and adults 18-49:

Total Viewers:

Fox: 14.08 million, CBS: 13.36, ABC: 10.62, NBC: 6.26, CW: 1.62

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 4.7 rating/13 share, CBS: 3.6/10, ABC: 3.0/ 8, NBC: 2.1/ 6, CW: 0.8/ 2

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap

 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 two)

10:00 p.m. Miami Medical


 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


 8:00 p.m. Smallville

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


 8:00 p.m. Movie – Anchor Man: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (R)


 8:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery  

 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. NASCAR 2010 (Phoenix International Raceway)

Sunday 4/11/10
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
 9:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters


 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race 16

 9:00 p.m. Undercover Boss (season finale)

10:00 p.m. Cold Case

 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


-More Wheel and Jeopardy:

CBS Television Distribution has renewed access mainstays Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy through the 2013-14 season by the ABC owned-and-operated stations in New York (WABC), Los Angeles (KABC), Chicago (WLS), Philadelphia (KPVI), San Francisco (KGO), Raleigh-Durham (WTVD) and Fresno (KSFN). In addition to the ABC stations, other major groups renewing both half-hours include Allbritton Communications, Fisher Broadcasting and Meredith Broadcasting Group.


-Discovery Communications Programming Initiatives:

Discovery Communications has announced its program plans for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Planet Green, Military Channel, HD Theater and upcoming OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which launches on January 1, 2011. What follows are the highlights:



New Series:

Worst Case Scenario

A six-part series based on the bestselling series of books that demonstrates how to survive in a worst case scenario. Bear Grylls hosts.


Construction Intervention

New York construction guru Charlie Frattini and his crew tackle real-life property improvement nightmares. 


Curiosity: The Questions of Life, Human Planet, Earth From Space, Reign of the Dinosaurs, The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero, Engineering the Impossible, Shark Week


Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, Man. Vs. Wild, Mythbusters, Storm Chasers, The Colony

New Series / Pilots

Auctioneers (3rd Quarter 2010):

A behind-the-scenes look at one of the biggest auction houses in the country is the focus.


Battle of the Wedding Designers (2nd Quarter 2010)

Wedding designers compete to give one lucky bride and groom the event of their dreams.


Carpio Family Project (3rd Quarter 2010)

Spun-off from special Multitude of Multiples, a New York City family with 18-month old sextuplets in addition to an eight-year-old son is the focus.


Cupcake Sisters (3rd Quarter 2010)

Two sisters give up their corporate jobs to run a small cupcake shop in Washington, D.C. 


Down the Aisle in Style (4th Quarter 2010)

Expert hair and make-up teams turn nervous brides-to-be into the picture of perfection.


Homemade Millionaire (3rd Quarter 2010)

Talk show host Kelly Ripa teams up with TLC and HSN to try to help aspiring entrepreneurs.


Inedible to Incredible (2nd Quarter 2010)

Someone who thinks they can cook each week, but really can’t, is nominated by friends and family to get a recipe makeover from expert chef John Besh.


Police Women of Memphis (2nd Quarter 2010)

Four female police officers in Memphis, Tennessee are the focus of this docudrama. 


Quintuplet Surprise (3rd Quarter 2010)

An Austin, Texas family with a six-year-old daughter and their five newborn babies try to make ends meet.


Sarah Palin’s Alaska (4th quarter 2010)

The former Vice Presidential candidate takes viewers through a tour of our country’s most majestic and remote state.


Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss (3rd Quarter 2010)

The saga of three plus-size brides is the focus. 


Twist of Kate (3rd Quarter 2010)

Kate Gosselin travels around the country to find out how other people juggle work, family and all the other challenges in life. 


Down the Aisle in Style, Food Buddha, Mega Bites



New Series:

Dolphin Warriors

Dolphin mistreatment all over the world is the focus of this documentary series from filmmaker Ric O’Barry.

Last Chance Highway

The challenge to find three stray dogs new homes is the focus of each episode.


Must Love Cats

Wonderful and heartwarming encounters with the cat world are the focus.


Skunk Whisperer

An expert who specializes in humane wildlife removal responds to frantic calls from frantic homeowners. 


Taking on Tyson

Former boxing great Mike Tyson heads to the rooftops of Brooklyn to introduce viewers to the world of pigeon racing.


World’s Deadliest Towns

The delicate balance between the wild and human worlds is explored by large predator expert Dace Salmoni.


Into the Dragon’s Lair, Madagascar, Viking Wilderness, Wild Amazon


Dogs 101/Cats 101, The Haunted, I’m Alive, I Shouldn’t Be Alive, It’s Me or the Dog, Lost Tapes, Monsters Inside Me, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Pit Boss, Pit Bulls and Parolees, River Monsters, Whale Wars



New Series:

Buried Secrets

Chilling tales through first-person narration based on the victim’s perspective is the focus of this 12-part series.


James Ellroy’s LA: City of Demons

Issues involving criminal justice in America today is explored by host and author James Ellroy. 


Nothing Personal

The risky life of a hit man is the focus. Former The Sopranos star Steve Schirripa hosts.


Paperback Mysteries

Bestselling authors from The New York Times discuss real-live cases that capture their fascination in this eight-part series.


Saved on the Strip

Former high-class call-girl Annie Lobert, her new husband and her team of former prostitutes counsel women in the downward spiral of sex, drugs and violence in Sin City.


Secrets of the City

Events that often destroy communities are the focus.


The personal terror of having your every move watched and your privacy abused is explored. 


Vegas Streets

The streets of Las Vegas are chronicled.


Who (The Bleep) Did I Marry?

The stories of married couples where one spouse has a hidden and shocking secret are exposed. 


The Will: Family Secrets Revealed

The final wishes of the deceased are revealed, often with unforeseen consequences. 

Limited Series and Specials:

Based on a True Story, Cons and Frauds, Deputy Butterbean, Face To Face, ID Investigates (quarterly), Real Bayou


Cold Blood, Disappeared, I (Almost) Got Away With It, On the Case With Paula Zahn



New Series:

Fringe Science

Viewers are taken into the next century of science where the most eccentric ideas may eventually be accepted. 


Mutant Planet

The powerful forces that create the mysteries of evolution are explored.


Prophets of Science Fiction

The lives, ideas, convictions, philosophies and genius of visionaries from the field of science fiction are discussed.


What If?

The idea of one critical moment in history going another way is explored. 


The World Without

Viewers find out what the world will be like when one key element we take for granted is removed from the world every day.


Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships, The Last Shuttle Mission, Punkin Chunkin 2010, Super Humans


Build It Bigger, How It’s Made, Meteorite Men, Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman



New Series:

Fast Forward (second quarter 2010)

Thirteen unique visionaries attempt to build a greener and healthier future for our planet.


The John Patrick Show (first quarter 2011)

Designer John Patrick Fleming and his team strive to ensure that the organic label stays true to his fashion line.


The Kamen Code (first quarter 2011)

Dean Kamen and Joanne Colan attempt to change the world for the better, using the most cutting edge technology on the planet.


Shareen Vintage (first quarter 2011)

Fashion designer Shareen Mitchell turns old duds into chic, fashion-forward pieces.


Treehugger TV (fourth quarter 2010)

Comedian Faith Salie presents a provocative look at pressing topics from around the globe.


Urban Impact (second quarter 2011)

Activist Reverend Yearwood turns his attention to environmental justice. 


Urban Insight (second quarter 2011) founder Graham Hill explores making New York City a better place in this series of vignettes.

Returning Series:

Conviction Kitchen, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Operation Wild




Greatest Tank Battles, Ultimate Weapons, Operation Homecoming, Feats of Valor/Homecoming Special



New Series:

The desire of viewers to see the world through some of the most adventurous extreme sports pro athletes is the focus. 


The Adventurist

Mountaineer Joby Ogwyn undertakes a series of extreme challenges.


American Icon: The Hot Rod

The history of the hot rod is profiled.


Café Racer

A motorcycle builder must design, engineer and create their very own dream on wheels in every episode. 


I Could Do That!

Everyday people get their chance at the controls of machines they have always admired from afar and claimed they could master.


Chasing Classic Cars, Mecum Auto Auctions: Muscle Cars and More, 2010 World Rally Championship



New Series:

Behind the Scenes: The Oprah Show Final Season

This docu-series takes viewers behind the scenes for the last season of Oprah.


Breaking Down the Bars

Women behind bars look to find the strength to confront their crimes and find redemption.


Enough Already

Peter Walsh continues in his quest to help people de-clutter their lives.


Gayle King Live!

Oprah’s best friend and O, The Oprah Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Gayle King, gets her own daily talk show.


In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman

The sex therapist and relationship expert coaches real life couples.


Inside With Lisa Ling

Former The View co-host Lisa Ling goes places most people would not dare to in search of a story. 


Kidnapped by the Kids

Children take drastic steps to spend time with their parents. 


Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind

The world’s top talent, including Lady Gaga, photographer Annie Liebovitz, fashion designer Tom Ford and director James Cameron take viewers inside their creative process.


Why Not? With Shania Twain

The country-western singer goes on a personal journey filled with risk, revelations and unexpected adventure. 


Your Own Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star

Oprah joins forces with reality producer Mark Burnett to find the next big TV star.


-Mark Your Calendars:

ABC has announced dates for the following season and series-enders as follows:


-Ugly Betty: Wednesday, April 14, 10:01 p.m. ET (series finale)

-Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: Friday, April 23, 9 p.m. ET (season or series finale)

-Private Practice: Thursday, May 13, 10:01 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Sunday, May 16, 8 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Desperate Housewives: Sunday, May 16. 9 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Brothers & Sisters: Sunday, May 16, 10 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Castle: Monday, May 17, 10 p.m. ET (season finale)

-V: Tuesday, May 18, 10 p.m. ET (season or series finale)

-The Middle: Wednesday, May 19, 8:30 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Modern Family: Wednesday, May 19, 9 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Cougar Town: Wednesday, May 19, 9:30 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Grey’s Anatomy: Thursday, May 20, 9 p.m. ET (season finale, two hours)

-America’s Funniest Home Videos: Sunday, May 23, 7 p.m. ET (season finale)

-Lost: Sunday, Sunday, May 23, 9 p.m. ET (series finale, two hours)

-Dancing With the Stars: Tuesday, May 25, 9 p.m. ET (season finale, two hours)

-FlashForward: Thursday, May 27, 8 p.m. ET (season or series finale)

TV Trivia Time:
A Whole Lot of Bull

Remember hulking character “Bull” Shannon on long-running sitcom Night Court? What was his real first name?


a)      Francis

b)      George

c)      Irving

d)      Nostradamus

e)      Seymour


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following TV characters was not a doctor?


a)      Elliot Axelrod

b)      Janet Craig

c)      Kirk Gleason

d)      Michaela Quinn

e)      Alex Stone

Is: c) Kirk Gleason, who was one of the countless quirky characters on The Gilmore Girls. According to resident guru Bob Ingersoll:


Kirk held several jobs including, but not limited to, assistant manager of Doose’s Market, cashier at the beauty supply shop, delivery man various times, waiter at Weston’s Coffee Shop, assorted entrepreneurial activities, photographer, assistant at town functions, DJ, mailman, employee at the Star’s Hollow movie theatre, and realtor-in-training.


As for the TV doctors:

-Elliot Axelrod: St. Elsewhere
-Janet Craig: Petticoat Junction
-Michaela Quinn: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
-Alex Stone: The Donna Reed Show

-Current kudos goes to:
Mikki Beno, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins (3x), Tom Condosta, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Deb Kainer, Steve Kurtzer, Charmaine Leary, Patty Lynch, Alan Perris, Jodi Perris, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Joe Rubi, Maxine Shulman, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Ted Zawislak