Fox Wins; Coverage of Barack Obama Dominates Prime-Time

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Fox Wins; Coverage of Barack Obama Dominates Prime-Time

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Far From Home


Fox Wins; Coverage of Barack Obama Dominates Prime-Time

Tuesday 1/20/09


Fox     9.7/14
ABC   8.6/13
CBS    6.4/10
NBC   5.4/ 8
CW     1.4/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008):
ABC: +105, CBS: + 7, NBC and CW: -22 each, Fox: -25


Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday 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 Tuesday, January 20, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration (ABC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

90210 (CW), Privileged (CW)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by American Idol, Fox got over the “hump” in winning fashion, with a 1.1 metered market rating point advantage over second-place ABC. Third overall on Wednesday was CBS, followed by NBC and the CW. Of note was five hours of the programming being devoted to our new President, Barack Obama. 


American Idol, of course, stood well above anything else on the evening, with a 12.5 rating/18 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. But compared to one year earlier (16.7/25 on Oct. 22, 2008), that was a decease of 25 percent. Let’s be honest: aren’t we all just a bit tired of the reality/competition at this point? 


Fox’s Fringe at 9 p.m. benefited by the improved lead-in support, with an above-average 7.0/11. But, comparably, it only ranked third in the hour. The retention out of the second half of Idol (13.0/19 at 8:30 p.m.) was just 54 percent. And one year earlier, a repeat of House was higher-rated at a 9.3/14. So, all in all, Fringe is still not exactly a “hit” series. Don’t be fooled. 


ABC was on the map care of two-hour special Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration, which averaged a healthy 9.4/14 from 8-10 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:


Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration (ABC)

8:00 p.m. 8.2/12 (#2)
8:30 p.m. 11.1/16 (#2)
9:00 p.m. 10.0/15 (#1)
9:30 p.m. 8.3/12 (#1)

That led into 10 p.m. new special A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama at a 7.1/11(#1t)  in the overnights at 10 p.m.


Over at CBS, a repeat of NCIS still managed to deliver, with a 7.1/11 at 8 p.m. But The Mentalist, which normally airs at 9 p.m., was pushed back to 10 p.m. for one hour special, Change and Challenge: The Inauguration of Barack Obama. Comparably, the news-driven hour placed fourth from 9-10 p.m., with a 5.0/ 7 in the overnights. A repeat of The Mentalist capped off the evening for the Eye net with a 7.1/11 at 10 p.m. (#1t).


Another two-hour edition of NBC’s The Biggest Loser remained at recent levels, with a 5.8/ 9 from 8-10 p.m. As always, The Biggest Loser is expected to deliver among key adults 18-49. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m. 4.9/ 7 (#4)
8:30 p.m. 4.7/ 7 (#4)
9:00 p.m. 6.5/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m. 7.2/11 (#2)

Normally scheduled Law & Order: SVU at 10 p.m. was replaced with news special, The Inauguration of Barack Obama, which was third at 10 p.m., with a 4.6/ 8. 


Last, and very least, was low-rated CW duo 90210 (#5: 1.6/ 2) and Privileged (#5: 1.3/ 2). Before the CW moves ahead with its proposed spin-off of Melrose Place, it needs to take a better look at the performance of 90210. It could certainly be better. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record The Doctors:

CBS Television Distribution daytime talker The Doctors reached a new high in the overnights, with a (weighted) 2.3 rating/5 share on Monday, Jan. 19. Comparably, that was up by 15 percent from both the lead-in and year-ago time period averages. 


-Strong Return of Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica:

The second half of the final season of Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica kicked-off on Friday, Jan. 16 with a 1.6 rating in households, 2.1 million total viewers, 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 1.4 million adults 25-54. Comparably, Battlestar Galactica finished first in the 10 p.m. hour in men 18-49 and men 25-54, building by 23 percent in households and total viewers and as much as 21 percent among adults 18-49 from the current season average.


-What Color is Love? Scores on LMN:

Lifetime Movie Network’s What Color is Love? debuted on Sunday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. as the third-highest rated original film on the cable network to-date among key women 18-49 (451,000) and women 25-54 (463,000). Comparably, that beat its average for original movies by 27 percent in women 18-49 and 13 percent in women 25-54.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 1/21/09
 8:00 p.m. Lost: Destiny Calls (clips special)
 9:00 p.m. Lost (season premiere, two hours)

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

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00 p.m. CSI: NY
 8:00 p.m. Knight Rider
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU

10:00 p.m. Law & Order

 8:00 p.m. American Idol

 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me (series premiere)


 8:00 p.m. 13 – Fear is Real

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

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

 9:00 p.m. Tony Rock Project (R)

 9:30 p.m. Under One Roof (R)

 8:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)
 9:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)

10:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)


New Program Descriptions:


Lie To Me (Fox)

Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) headlines this new scripted drama from the producers of 24 about the world’s top deception expert who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth behind the lies in criminal investigations. With American Idol the lead-in, Lie To Me will clearly get sampled. And that makes Lie To Me the new show in midseason with the greatest chance of succeeding. 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-American Latino Syndication Announces Trevino:

American Latino Syndication, the home of first-run weeklies American Latino TV and LatiNation, has announced a new addition for next fall, original sitcom Trevino. Slated to debut on Sept. 28, 2009, Trevino will follow the struggles of a young couple (Steve Trevino and Jessica Caban) as they try to adjust to their new neighborhood. 


-Fox Yanks Hole in the Hole:

Fall 2008 non-scripted failure Hole in the Wall, which returned on Fox with back-to-back low-rated episodes in the Sunday 7 p.m. hour on Jan. 18, has been pulled from the schedule. Game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? will occupy the hour for at least the next two weeks.


-Litton Entertainment Clears Street Court in New York and Chicago:

Litton Entertainment has announced that upcoming first-run strip Street Court, which debuts next fall, will air on WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago. Stations in major groups already signed for Street Court include Barrington, Belo, Capitol, CBS, Cox, Hearst/Argyle, Journal, Local TV, Mission, Newport, Roberts, Sinclair, Tribune and Weigel. The half-hour strip will feature “Judge Mazz” (Michael Mazzariello), a tough-talking Brooklyn DA, out of the court room as he summons litigants back to the scene of each dispute.

-Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime:

Lifetime Television has picked-up a new scripted hour for 2009 called Drop Dead Diva, a comedy/drama that tells the tale of a beautiful and shallow model in training who dies suddenly and has her soul resurface in the body of a brilliant plus-size attorney. Brooke Elliott and comedian Margaret Cho star.


-Upcoming in First-Run Syndication:

What follows is the final draft of the new first-run series (strips and weeklies) slated to debut in syndication in 2009. Overall, it is slim pickings. If anything is missing, please contact Marc Berman ASAP at either 646/654-5423 or at to be included in Mediaweek’s annual NATPE listings. 


Marie (Program Partners)

Dr. Mehmet Oz (Sony Pictures Television)

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)

Johnnie High’s Country Music Review (Entertainment Concepts Int’l)

1000cc Raw Thrill (Entertainment Concepts Int’l)

Swap TV (Telco Productions)

Trevino (American Latino Syndication)

What’s in a Kid’s World (Entertainment Concepts Int’l)


TV Trivia Time:

Far From Home

Where was Radar from on MASH?

The answer to the last question…


Which legendary actress played matriarch Constance Colby on Dynasty spin-off The Colbys?

Joan Crawford
Bette Davis
Olivia De Haviland
Lillian Gish
Barbara Stanwyck

Is: e) Barbara Stanwyck, who departed after one season because she was miserable being on the series. 

-Current kudos goes to:

Michelle Amundson, Gerry Bixenspan (2x), Susan Burlison, Brian Carney, Terry Chambers, Prissy Chick, Larry Collins, Edgardo Cordero, Reid Davis, Josh Emmett, Holley Ford, Leslie Franzen, Jerry Gibbons, Adam Giagni, Harold Goetz, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Barb Hemberger, Bob Ingersoll, Cliff Jackson, Irene Kirschner, Anne Leahy, Rick Locke, Patrick Mauro, Jennifer McDonald, Marc Miller, Jim Moore, Anne Moynihan, Alan Perris, Greg Phelan, Tony Phillips. rancine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Anthony Salerno, Jason Shelley, Maxine Shulman, DeWayne Snype, Michelle Stanton, Andrew Stearn, Elaine Stevens, Carol Teichman, Laurel Whitcomb, Josh Wolk, Ted Zawislak