Fox Dominates the Week of Jan. 18

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Potent CBS

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 18, 2010

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Live From Las Vegas!


Note: Due to my travel schedule, The Programming Insider will not be published tomorrow. See you back from New York on Friday, January 29.


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Potent CBS

Tuesday 1/26/10

Note: Birmingham is excluded from the following averages.



Fox   11.4/17
CBS 10.3/16
NBC   5.8/ 9
ABC   2.4/ 4
CW    0.7/ 1

-Note: Comparisons to the year-ago evening were not available today.

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Good Wife R (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Scrubs (ABC), Better Off Ted (ABC), Human Target (Fox), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Juggernaut American Idol kept Fox afloat on this final Tuesday in January, but second-place CBS was certainly no slouch. Third-place NBC was on the map care of The Biggest Loser, while there was very little audience left for ABC or a night of repeats of The CW.


American Idol opened the evening for Fox with a hefty 16.1 rating/24 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. That led into episode three of drama Human Target, which dipped to third with a 6.7/10 at 9 p.m. Under different circumstances, that would be considered a respectable performance. But retention for Human Target out of the second half of American Idol (17.1/25 at 8:30 p.m.) was only 42 percent. And the loss of audience at 9:30 p.m. was a noticeable 19 percent (7.4/11 to 6.0/ 9).  


Rock-solid CBS remained just that as a result of NCIS (#2: 12.9/19), the most-watched scripted drama currently in prime-time, and spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#1: 10.8/17) from 8-10 p.m. A repeat of The Good Wife closed the night for the Eye net with an also dominant 7.1/12 at 10 p.m.


Over at NBC, bona fide hit The Biggest Loser averaged a 6.5/10 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 5.7/ 8 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 7.0/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 7.8/12 (#2)

Keep in mind, of course, that The Biggest Loser always scores among key adults 18-49. With stronger lead-in support, canceled The Jay Leno Show finished second at 10 p.m., with a 4.4/ 7. But retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser was only 56 percent.


Next was low-rated ABC with its line-up of Scrubs (#4) and Better Off Ted (#4: 1.8/ 3), which are no doubt just burning off the remaining episodes at this point, and back-to-back repeats of Lost (9:00 p.m.: #4, 2.4/ 4, 10:00 p.m.: #3, 2.8/ 4), which never plays well in non-originals. The final season of Lost begins next Tuesday at 9 p.m. with two episodes.


Last, and very least, were repeats of The CW’s 90210 (0.7/ 1) and Melrose Place (0.6/ 1). When these two dramas will be returning with original episodes is anyone’s guess.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 18, 2010


Led by American Idol and the record-breaking NFC Championship Game on Sunday, dominant Fox stood well above the competition, with the highest-rated week for any network in the past two broadcast season in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Comparably, Fox beat the four competing networks combined by 1.36 million viewers, 26 percent in adults 18-49, 37 percent in adults 25-54, and 28 percent among adults 18-34. 


Excluding adults 18-34, CBS finished second across the board at minor losses from one year earlier. Keep in mind that CBS’ rock-solid Tuesday rotation of NCIS, spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife were in all repeats. ABC was one notch below CBS (and one notch ahead among adults 18-34), with more severe erosion of as much as 31 percent in adults 18-34. Fading NBC finished fourth across the board, while fifth-place The CW came in at levels close to one year earlier. 


Here are the final national ratings for the week of January 18, 2010 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the top 30 rated programs of the week and the top 10 rankings in cable. Don’t forget that Hope For Haiti, the live two-hour telethon airing on all five networks was not rated in the Friday 8-10 p.m. block. 


Fox: 13.3 rating/21 share (+118 percent), CBS: 6.1/10 (-10), ABC: 4.1/ 7 (-21), NBC: 3.3/ 5 (-20), CW: 1.2/ 2 (no change)


-Total Viewers:

Fox: 24.40 million (+131), CBS: 9.55 (-12), ABC: 6.31 (-23), NBC: 5.26 (-20), CW: 1.92 (+10)


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 8.8 rating/23 share (+132), CBS: 2.4/ 6 (-11), ABC: 2.1/ 6 (-30), NBC: 1.7/ 4 (-19), CW: 0.8/ 2 (no change)


-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 9.9/23 (+111), CBS: 3.1/ 8 (-14), ABC: 2.4/ 6 (-27), NBC: 2.0/ 5 (-20), CW: 0.7/ 2 (no change)


-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 7.4/22 (+111), ABC: 1.8/ 5 (-31), CBS: 1.6/ 5 (no change), NBC: 1.4/ 4 (-12), CW: 1.0/ 3 (+11)

 Top 30 Rankings

-Total Viewers:

NFC Championship: Minnesota at New Orleans (Fox): 57.93 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 26.85, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 26.38, NFC Championship Post Game (Fox): 23.83, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 16.31, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 15.05, Criminal Minds (CBS): 14.91, The Mentalist (CBS): 14.56, CSI (CBS): 14.29, NCIS R (CBS): 14.19, CSI: NY (CBS): 13.54, CSI: Miami (CBS): 13.22, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 12.70, NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS): 12.34, 24 (Fox): 11.11, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (ABC): 10.66, Human Target (Fox): 10.46, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 10.41, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 9.95, Modern Family (ABC): 9.83, Private Practice (ABC): 9.64, Accidentally on Purpose (CBS): 9.56, Castle (ABC): 9.48, The Good Wife R (CBS): 9.41, Human Target R (Fox, Tues. 9 p.m.): 8.88, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 7.93, Cougar Town (ABC): 7.54, The Big Bang Theory R (CBS): 7.38, The Office (NBC): 7.28


-Adults 18-49:

NFC Championship: Minnesota at New Orleans (Fox): 21. rating/49 share, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 10.1 rating/27 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 9.9/27, NFC Championship Post Game (Fox): 9.5/24, Two and a Half Men (CBS) and The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 5.3/12 each, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 4.7/12, Modern Family (ABC) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 4.2/11 each, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 4.1/11. How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 4.0/10, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (ABC): 3.8/ 9, The Office (NBC): 3.7/ 9, CSI: Miami (CBS) and Private Practice (ABC): 3.6/10 each, CSI: NY (CBS) and Bones (Fox): 3.5/10 each, Accidentally on Purpose (CBS): 3.5/ 9, 24 (Fox): 3.5/ 8, Cougar Town (ABC) and Human Target (Fox, Wed. 9 p.m.): 3.4/ 9 each, Human Target R (Fox, Tues. 9 p.m.): 3.3/ 9, CSI (CBS) and The Mentalist (CBS): 3.1/ 8 each, Castle (ABC): 2.8/ 8, 30 Rock (NBC): 2.7/ 7, NCIS R (CBS) and Fringe (Fox): 2.6/ 7 each, NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS): 2.5/ 7, Chuck (NBC) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 2.5/ 6 each


What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks for the week of January 18 in the following key categories:


-Total Viewers:

Fox News: 3.21 million, USA: 3.19, Nick at Nite: 2.24, TNT: 1.98, A&E: 1.84, Lifetime: 1.73, TBS: 1.60, History: 1.54, ABC Family: 1.44, HGTV: 1.38


-Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.32 million, TBS: 929,000, A&E: 914,000, Lifetime: 908,000, TNT: 895,000, FX: 837,000, History: 767,000, MTV: 738,000, Discovery: 679,000, Tru TV: 636,000


-Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.43 million, A&E: 976,000, TNT: 919,000, Fox News: 868,000, Lifetime: 833,000, TBS: 812,000, History: 794,000, FX: 660,000, Discovery: 654,000, Tru TV: 642,000


-Adults 18-34:

MTV: 608,000, USA: 600,000, TBS: 527,000, FX: 514,000, Lifetime: 479,000, TNT: 416,000, A&E: 404,000, ABC Family: 347,000, History: 341,000, Discovery: 328,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 1/27/10
 8:30 p.m. The Middle (R)
 9:00 p.m. State of the Union Address  

10:30 p.m. Cougar Town (R)


 8:00 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine (R)

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried (R)
 9:00 p.m. State of the Union Address 

10:30 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)

 8:00 p.m. Mercy (R)
 9:00 p.m. State of the Union Address 
 8:00 p.m. American Idol
 9:00 p.m. State of the Union Address 

 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)

 9:00 p.m. Life Unexpected (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Martha Trades First-Run Syndication for The Hallmark Channel:

In a surprise announcement, hostess extraordinaire Martha Stewart will take her long-running, but low-rated NBC Universal daytime talk show out of first-run syndication in favor of feel-good cable net The Hallmark Channel. The move goes into effect in September


The agreement between Martha Stewart Living Enterprises and Hallmark Channel will include the development of new first-run series and prime-time specials tailed to Martha’s wide array of lifestyle knowledge. Martha’s talk show, which will remain in production from her New York studio, will air on Hallmark Channel weekdays from 10-11 a.m., kicking off a two-and-a-half hour block of Martha Stewart-themed programming. An encore of the flagship talker will air later in the day.

The upcoming absence of Martha will, of course, open an hour of real estate in daytime.   Two distributors actively looking to capitalize on the availability are Program Partners, care of Canadian talk show Steve and Chris, and Meredith Corporation, home of women’s driven lifestyle hour Better, hosted by Audra Lowe. Other candidates will naturally include the array of available court, game and other talkers. But before anyone gets too teary-eyed about the pending absence of Martha in first-run, keep in mind that the daily hour ranks dead-last among the 14 current syndicated talkers. Season to-date (though Jan. 10, 2010), Martha is averaging a 0.6 rating in households — down 14 percent from one year earlier, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Results among key women 25-54 (0.4) are off by 20 percent.

From a ratings perspective, that is not “a good thing.”


-Ellen Goes Mobile:

Ellen DeGeneres will announce the availability of a free Ellen iPhone and iPod touch application on the App Store during Ellen’s 52nd birthday celebration on the show today. The Ellen App is the only application available that features an exclusive iPhone-shot celebrity video content section, which will allow fans to browse and navigate through her latest monologue, video clips and pictures from the show. For more information, go to


-Sad News from Warner Bros.:

Mera Lome, a beloved staff producer at the New York bureau of syndicated magazine Extra passed away on Monday, Jan. 25 after a serious illness. She was 34. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute
c/o Ms. Holly Gibout,
Northwestern Memorial Foundation

676 N. St. Clair Street, Suite 2050

Chicago, IL 60611
TV Trivia Time:

Live From Las Vegas!


Which entertainer is not currently performing in Las Vegas?


a)      Louie Anderson

b)      Carrot Top

c)      Cher

d)      Bette Midler

e)      Donny Osmond


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What famous entertainer did Roseanne and Dan Conner go to see in Las Vegas in an episode of classic comedy Roseanne?


a)      Barry Manilow

b)      Liberace

c)      Sammy Davis, Jr. 

d)      Tom Jones

e)      Wayne Newton


Is:  e) Wayne Newton, who appeared as himself on the episode. All together now…


If what doesn’t kill us is making us stronger
We’re gonna last longer
Like the Great Wall of China
Or that rabbit with the drum
If there’s one thing that I learned
While waiting for my turn
Is that in each life some rain falls
But you also get some sun.


 -Current kudos goes to:
Mary Bancroft (2x), Janice Barney, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan (2x), Lisa Blatt, Barbara Bloomfield, Shari Ann Brill, Cory Chapman, Larry Collins (2x), Tom Condosta, Kristen Conner, John Ferlazzo, Renee Foley, Arleen Fong, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Shannon Herlihy, Brad Hight, Heidi Hoffmeister, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Greg Janover, Deb Kainer, David Kern, Mark Krause, Joel Kunkel, Patty Lynch, Tricia McKee, Tony Naldrett, Aaron Paquette, Pat Patton, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Sandra Pettway, Amy Preisendefer, Gordon Purcell, Joe Rubi, David Ruckman, Maxine Schulman, Kim Smith, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Jodi Titkin, Trenna Underhill, Diane Werner