Easy Wednesday Victory for CBS

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

CBS Dominates, ABC, Fox and NBC Neck and Neck for Distant No. 2

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
TV Nicknames
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

CBS Dominates, ABC, Fox and NBC Neck and Neck for Distant No. 2

Wednesday 12/10/08
CBS   7.8/13
ABC 4.2/ 7
Fox    4.1/ 7
NBC 4.0/ 6
CW    1.1/ 2

-Note: The year-to-year overnight rating comparisons are not available today.


Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Wednesday, December 10, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:
Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Pushing Daisies (ABC), Little Spirit: Christmas in New York (NBC), Life (NBC), Stylista (CW), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was another Wednesday of overnight leadership for CBS, which bested distant second-place ABC by a significant 86 percent. A close third was Fox, followed by NBC and almost invisible the CW. The separation between second and fourth place was just two tenths of a rating point.


CBS finished first in every half-hour with its combination of The New Adventures of Old Christine (5.4 rating/9 share), which featured a guest appearance by the riotous Megan Mullally, Gary Unmarried (5.1/ 8 – tied with the second half of Fox’s Secret Millionaire), Criminal Minds (9.4/15) and CSI: NY (8.7/15). Too bad Megan Mullally is not back in prime-time on a regular basis.


Fox’s well-intentioned Secret Millionaire finished second in the 8 p.m. hour, with a 4.8/ 8 in the overnights. That led into a repeat of Bones with a third-place 2.3/ 5 at 9 p.m.


ABC’s Pushing Daisies, which will be living up to its title very shortly, was third at 8 p.m. with a 3.7/ 7. Truth be known, I never really understood all of the creative hoopla over this show. Next was Private Practice at a second-place 5.1/ 8 at 9 p.m., followed by departing Dirty Sexy Money at a last-place 3.9/ 6 at 10 p.m. Don’t forget that Private Practice is moving to Thursday at 10 p.m. out of parent show Grey’s Anatomy in January. For more on Private Practice, see TV Tidbits below.


NBC good off to an unusually lackluster Wednesday start as a result of special Little Spirit: Christmas in New York at a fourth-place 3.0/ 5 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Equally disappointing was lead-out Life at an also fourth-place 3.3/ 5 at 9 p.m. But veteran Law & Order picked up steam at 10 p.m. with a second-place 5.7/10. What a disaster NBC is this season! The network had better hope viewers have interest in Jay Leno in prime-time.


Last, and very least, was two episodes of the CW’s Stylista (repeat and original) at an average 1.1/ 2 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. More specifically:

8:00 p.m. – Stylista (R) – 1.1/ 2
9:00 p.m. – Stylista: 1.2/ 2
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Turner Year-End Highlights:

As we inch closer to the end of 2008, Turner research guru Jack Wakshlag highlighted the following rating highlights (year to-date through Dec. 7) at his annual year-ending presentation yesterday:


TBS has exhibited growth across the board in both prime-time and total day, building by as much as 11 percent among adults 18-49 in prime. The network’s median age is now only 35 – five years younger than it’s re-branding as a comedy network in 2004. And Tyler Perry’s House of Payne now ranks as ad-supported cable’s No. 1 sitcom of all time in households, total viewers and adults 18-49. Led by The Office, four of the top five comedies among adults 18-49 air on TBS.


TNT, the home of quality dramas, ranks first among adults 25-54 in total day — up six percent from last year. And its performance both in prime-time and total day increased across the board year-to-year. TNT’s The Closer continues to rank as ad-supported cable’s top-rated series of all time, with an average 8.5 million viewers, 2.7 million adults 18-49 and 3.7 million adults 25-54 this past summer.


Rebranded truTV, the former home of Court TV, will end 2008 with its best prime-time delivery of men 18-34, men 18-49 and men 25-54. Its median age, 48, has dropped by four years from one year earlier. And the composition of male viewers, 54 percent, is up by five percent. Individual series responsible for truTV’s rise in male viewership includes Black Gold, The Smoking Gun Presents, Ocean Force: Huntington Beach, Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel and The Principal’s Office. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Thursday 12/11/08

 8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty (R)

 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)


 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Gabon

 9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour

 8:00 p.m. My Name is Earl

 8:30 p.m. Kath & Kim

 9:00 p.m. The Office

 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock
10:00 p.m. ER

 8:00 p.m. Secret Millionaire (time period premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (time period premiere)


 8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: National Lampoon’s Vacation (R)


 8:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)

 9:00 p.m. Movie – Christmas Town (R)

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-Telco Announces Two New First-Run Weeklies:

Telco Productions, the home of Animal Rescue, Dog Tales and Missing, will add two half-hours — Dragonfly TV and Swap TV — to its growing inventory of first-run syndicated weeklies. Dragonfly TV is a science themed series that engages teens and kids as they learn. And Swap TV will feature two kids as they swap lives for a once-in-a-lifetime weekend adventure. For more information, contact Alex Paen at 310/828-4003 or via email at apaen@telcoproductions.com.

-Lucy’s New Year’s Eve Countdown on TV Land:

TV Land will close 2008 with a 13-hour (26 episode) marathon of I Love Lucy on Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. All month long, TVLand.com has asked viewers to vote for their favorite episodes, and the ones with the biggest results will be chosen. Count me in!

-Speaking of Marathons:

SOAPnet will air a 10-hour marathon of Private Practice on New Year’s Day beginning at 9 a.m. ET. All episodes are from the second season.

-Rumor Alert:

Word has it that the legendary Stevie Wonder will be competing on the upcoming 8th edition of Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Stay tuned.

-20th Annual Producers Guild Awards Announced:

The Producers Guild of America has unveiled its list of nominees in television for the 20th Annual Producers Guild Awards, which are as follows:

Comedy Series:
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)
Drama Series:
Boston Legal (ABC)
Damages (FX)
Dexter (Showtime)
Lost (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Non-Fiction TV:
Deadliest Catch (Discovery)
Frontline (PBS)
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo)
60 Minutes (CBS)
This American Life (Showtime)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Project Runway (Bravo)
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
Top Chef (Bravo)

Winners will be announced on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium.

-Upcoming in First-Run Syndication:

What follows is the first draft of the new first-run series (strips and weeklies) slated to debut in syndication in 2009. If anything is missing, please contact me at either 646/654-5423 or at mberman@Mediaweek.com to be included in Mediaweek’s annual NATPE listings. 

Marie (Program Partners)
Dr. Mehmet Oz (Sony Pictures Television)
TD Jakes (CBS Television Distribution)
Wendy Williams (Debmar Mercury)

Judge Jeanine Pirro (Warner Bros.) – being pitched in first-run after one season on the CW in daytime

Street Court (Litton Entertainment)
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Twentieth Television)
The Brian McKnight Show (Litton Entertainment)
DragonflyTV (Telco Productions)
Swap TV (Telco Productions)


TV Trivia Time:
TV Nicknames
What nickname did Karen fondly call Jack by?
a) Baby
b) Darling
c) Honey
d) Jack-Boy
e) Poodle
The answer to yesterday’s question…

What state was comical Norman Lear serial Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman set in?

a) Illinois
b) Indiana
c) Mississippi
d) Ohio
e) Pennsylvania

Is: d) Ohio. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman took place in the fictional Fernwood, Ohio.

-Current kudos goes to:

Mikki Beno, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Mary Collins, Harold Cooper, John Ferlazzo, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Vicky Gregorian, Brad Hight, Melissa Hodgdon, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Deb Kainer, Marie LeFevre Karp, Mary Kinoshita, Adam Licker, Alan Perris, Peter Poore, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Conn Rigg, Deanna Rosolen, Colleen Roth, Neal Sabin, Anthony Salerno, Mark Simmons, Ronnie Tallant, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Carol Teichman, Meg Voss, Elizabeth Warner, Ged Young, Ted Zawislak