Football Leads CBS to Victory

Monday, January 12, 2009
Prime-Time 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:

Your Friendly Drunk


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 1/09/09

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



CBS   6.5/11

ABC 4.0/ 7
NBC 3.6/ 6
Fox    2.5/ 4
CW    0.9/ 1

CBS: 10.26 million, ABC: 6.09, NBC: 5.54, Fox: 4.22, CW: 1.14

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 2.3 rating/7 share, ABC: 1.9/ 6, NBC and Fox: 1.6/ 5 each, CW: 0.5/ 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:

Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Flashpoint (CBS), Numb3rs (CBS)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Wife Swap (ABC), Everybody Hates Chris (CW), The Game (CW), Lipstick Jungle (NBC), Dateline (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a clean sweep for CBS on this second Friday of January 2009, with its combination of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: 10.63 million; A18-49: 2.5 rating/8 share), the second season-premiere of Flashpoint (Viewers: 10.06 million; A18-49: 2.2/ 6) and Numb3rs (Viewers: 10.08 million; A18-49: 2.4/ 7). The positive news for Flashpoint, of course, was retention out of Ghost Whisperer of 95 percent in total viewers and 88 percent in the demo. In these tough economic times, it pays to shop around for quality Canadian programming. And there is plenty of it.


In series-premiere news, NBC’s non-scripted Howie Do It, a Candid Camera-like hour hosted by Howie Mandel, got off to a respectable start with 7.68 million viewers and a 2.1/ 7 among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m. Comparably, this was NBC’s best non-Olympic performance in the time period in total viewers since Feb. 15, 2008 and best among adults 18-49 since Feb. 22, 2008. Howie Do It led into the series-finale of Lipstick Jungle, which finished fourth in both total viewers (4.08 million) and adults 18-49 (1.4/ 4) at 9 p.m. Unfortunately, Lipstick Jungle was nothing more than a “D” level version of Sex and the City. Dateline capped off the evening last at 10 p.m. with 4.86 million viewers and a 1.3/ 4 in the demo.


ABC started out slow, but built as the night progressed with its combination of Wife Swap (Viewers: #3, 4.77 million; A18-49: #3, 1.6/ 5), Supernanny (Viewers: #2, 5.60 million; A18-49: #3, 1.9/ 5) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 7.89 million; A18-49: #2, 2.2/ 6).


Fox, meanwhile, got very little mileage out of repeat theatrical Bruce Almighty (Viewers: #4, 4.22 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.6/ 5) from 8-10 p.m. And lowly the CW finished a distant fifth with its line-up of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.41 million; A18-49: 0.5/ 2), The Game (Viewers: 1.39 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2) and a repeat of 13: Fear is Real (Viewers: 882,000; A18-49: 0.4/ 1). Just what we needed…a repeat of 13 – Fear is Real! 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 1/10/09

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



CBS   4.2/ 7

NBC 2.7/ 5
ABC 2.2/ 4

Fox: 21.10 million, CBS: 6.67, NBC: 4.12, ABC: 3.38

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 8.0 rating/22 share, CBS: 1.9/ 5, ABC: 1.2/ 3, NBC: 1.0/ 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:

NFL Playoff: Arizona vs. Carolina (Fox)


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Crusoe (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox was alive and considerably well on Saturday, with Arizona vs. Carolina on the NFL Playoff at an estimated 21.10 million viewers and an 8.0 rating/22 share among adults 18-49 in prime-time. Comparably, that beat the three competing networks combined. Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always approximate. As I always say, viewers will respond to the networks on Saturday if there is something worth watching.


In the very distant No. 2 spot in every half hour was CBS with its combination of two episodes of Game Show in My Head (Viewers: avg. 6.33 million; A18-49: avg. 2.2/ 6 from 8-9 p.m.), which perked up from last Saturday’s abysmal debut, a repeat of Criminal Minds (Viewers: 6.63 million; A18-49: 1.6/ 4) and 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: 7.05 million; A18-49: 1.8/ 5). Like Howie Do It on NBC one night earlier, there were some solid laughs to be found in the mindless Game Show in My Head.


NBC’s soon-to-conclude Crusoe was a bust at 8 p.m., with just 2.82 million viewers (#4) and a 0.6/ 2 among adults 18-49 (#4). That led into repeats of Law & Order (Viewers: #4, 3.36 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 2) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #3, 6.19 million; A18-49: #3, 1.5/ 4) from 9-11 p.m.


ABC capped off Saturday with repeats of The Bachelor (Viewers: #3, 3.26 million; A18-49: #3, 2.3/ 4 from 8-10 p.m.) and True Beauty (Viewers: #4, 3.62 million; A18-49: #4, 1.4/ 4). Both shows, of course, will be back in originals tonight.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 1/11/09

Note: The following results are based on the metered market ratings.



CBS 12.1/18
NBC   9.3/14
ABC   6.2/ 9
Fox     5.8/ 9
CW    0.8/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, January 13, 2008):


Note: The fast national 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, January 11, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

NFL Playoff (Final Hour, CBS), The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC)

-Down But Far From Out:
24 (Fox)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)

Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC aired The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and Fox ran the long-awaited seventh season-premiere of 24 on this second Sunday of January 2009. But CBS dominated in the overnights care of final hour of San Diego vs. Pittsburgh on the NFL Playoffs, which sky-rocketed to an estimated 22.7 rating/35 share from 7-8 p.m. That led into an 8 p.m. edition of 60 Minutes (#1t: 10.7/16), followed by Cold Case (#2: 8.4/13) and The Unit (#2: 6.9/11), which dropped by 14 percent from the second half of lead-in Cold Case (8.0/12 at 9:30 p.m.). Keep in mind that all results for CBS are approximate due to the prime-time football overrun.


Golden Globe night on NBC opened with the Red Carpet Special second in the overnights in the 7 p.m. hour, with a 5.5/ 9. The 66th Annual festivities were on the map, with a 10.6/16 from 8-11 p.m. One year earlier, coverage of The Golden Globes was thwarted by the writers strike. But the year before that, it averaged a considerably heftier 15.8/23 in the overnights on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007. Comparably, that puts last night at a loss of a noticeable 33 percent.

Take a look at the half-hour breakdown from last night:

 8:00 p.m. 10.4/15 (#2)

 8:30 p.m. 10.9/16 (#1)

 9:00 p.m. 10.1/15 (#1)

 9:30 p.m. 10.4/15 (#1)

10:00 p.m. 11.3/17 (#1)
10:30 p.m. 10.6/17 (#1)

For a complete listing of winners (congratulations 30 Rock, Mad Men and John Adams), click on


Over at Fox, the two-hour season-premiere of 24 was sampled opposite The Golden Globe Awards, with a 7.3/11 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. But the sixth-season opener on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007 (which did not air against The Golden Globes) averaged a 10.2/14. Comparably, that puts last night’s metered market average at a loss of 28 percent. Whoever did tune it stuck with the entire telecast as follows:

24 (season premiere)
8:00 p.m. 7.2/11 (#3)
8:30 p.m. 7.3/10 (#3)
9:00 p.m. 7.4/11 (#4)
9:30 p.m. 7.3/11 (#4)

Earlier in the evening on Fox were back-to-back repeats of The Simpsons at an average 3.1/ 5 from 7-8 p.m.


Opposite heavier than normal competition, ABC was below average with its combination of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 5.0/ 8), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#4: 5.9/ 9), Desperate Housewives (#3: 8.1/12) and Brothers & Sisters (series-low 6.0/10). 


The CW capped off Sunday with a repeat of Jericho (#5: 0.6/ 1) and a repeat of classic theatrical Carrie (#5: 0.9/ 1), which is better suited to air around Halloween than at present.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not   


-Syndicated Magazine – Season to-Date Results:

Based on data through Dec. 28, 2008, what follows are the national rating results for syndicated magazine shows in households, women 25-54 and adults 25-54 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses):


Entertainment Tonight (CBS Television Distribution): 4.3 rating (-12 percent), Inside Edition (CBS): 2.9 (-15), TMZ (Warner Bros.): 2.2 (+10), Access Hollywood (NBC Universal: 2.0 (-20), The Insider (CBS): 1.9 (-24), Extra (Warner Bros.): 1.7 (- 6)

Women 25-54:

Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 2.6 (-19), TMZ (Warner Bros.): 1.5 (+15), Inside Edition: 1.5 (-25), Access Hollywood (NBC Universal: 1.3 (-24), Extra (Warner Bros.): 1.1 (- 8), The Insider (CBS): 1.1 (-27)

Adults 25-54:

Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 2.0 (-17), TMZ (Warner Bros.): 1.4 (+17), Inside Edition: 1.3 (-19), Access Hollywood (NBC Universal: 1.1 (-15), Extra (Warner Bros.): 0.9 (-10), The Insider (CBS): 0.9 (-18)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data



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On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 1/12/09

 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor (two hours)

10:00 p.m. True Beauty

 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
 8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
 9:30 p.m. Worst Week
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 8:00 p.m. Superstars of Dance (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Momma’s Boys

 8:00 p.m. 24 (two hours, time period return)
 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl
 9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill
 8:00 p.m. Twilight Zone (R)
 8:30 p.m. Twilight Zone (R)
 9:00 p.m. Masters of Illusion
 8:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)

10:00 p.m. NCIS (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-NBC Schedules Chopping Block:

Chopping Block, a new NBC eight episode reality/competition with Chef Marco Pierre White, will debut on Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. Current occupant Knight Rider will have completed its original episode run by then. Maybe the next time one of the networks decides to remake a classic series, they will remember the non-success of this version of Knight Rider (and Bionic Woman, also on NBC, one year earlier).


-More ‘Til Death:

In a move to generate more original episodes for off-network syndication, Fox has renewed current benchwarmer ‘Til Death for a fourth season, with an order for 22 additional half-hours. The 15 remaining episodes from this season are expected to surface at a later time.


-SOAPnet Announces February Start Date for Being Erica:

Being Erica, a new scripted drama from SOAPnet that follows a 32-year old woman who travels back in time to relive various events, will premiere on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. ET. Thirteen episodes have been ordered.


-Fans of In Treatment, Take Note:

Production on a second season of the Emmy winning half-hour HBO drama has begun in New York. Look for the return of In Treatment in April with Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest, plus new cast members Hope Davis, Russell Hornsby, Alison Pill, Sherri Saum and former Frasier co-star John Mahoney.


-Speaking of HBO:

HBO Documentary Films has unveiled its upcoming list of specials for 2009, beginning with The Trials of Ted Haggard on Jan. 29, the story of the once larger-than-life founder and pastor of Colorado’s New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Next is Right America: Feeling Wronged on Feb. 16, which takes a look at conservative Americans who are against the recent Democratic presidential victory; followed by The Black List, Vol. 2 (Feb. 26); Death on a Factory Farm (March); Trouble the Water (April); Thriller in Manila (April); The Alzheimer’s Project (May); Earthquake in China (May); Boy Interrupted (June); Sergio (June): and an untitled documentary on Barack Obama also in June.


The HBO2 documentary entries, meanwhile, will include The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 (Feb. 18), which recounts the night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered; They Killed Sister Dorothy (March); The Final Inch (April); White Horse (April); Be Like Others (May); Loot (June); and In a Dream (July), which chronicles a bohemian South Philadelphia family. One new HBO documentary will debut one Wednesday each month, with encore presentations on the other Wednesdays.


TV Trivia Time:

Your Friendly Drunk


What was the name of the doorman on sitcom Rhoda?


The answer to Friday’s question…


Budding superstar Anne Hathaway was featured in a late 1990s family drama that lasted one season. What was the name of it?

Get Real
Hyperion Bay
Promised Land
Safe Harbor
Time of Your Life

Is:  a) Get Real, which aired on Fox from Sept. 8, 1999 to April 12, 2000. As I have said many times in the past, Get Real deserved a much longer shelf life.


-Current kudos goes to:
Steve Albright, Gerry Bixenspan, Jordan Breslow, Cory Chapman, Vanessa Coates, Larry Collins, Sue Doron (2x), John Ferlazzo, Bob Goldman, Pat Hylkema, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Tillie Nutter, Aaron Paquette, Alan Perris, Marilyn Rutkowski, Myndi Weinraub, Deborah Winikoff, Dan Zangrando, Ted Zawislak