Fox’s Idol Juggernaut Continues

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Fox’s American Idol Shreds the Competition
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

On Broadway

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Fox’s American Idol Shreds the Competition
Wednesday 1/14/09

Fox 16.8/26

CBS 7.0/11
NBC 4.1/ 6
ABC 3.4/ 5

CW    0.9/ 1


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008):
CBS: +30, Fox: – 5, ABC: -11, CW: -18, NBC: -47


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, January 14, 2009.

-Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox)
-Honorable Mention:
Criminal Minds (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Knight Rider (NBC), 13 Fear is Real (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox’s American Idol is alive and very well, with last night’s two-hour edition at a whopping 16.8 rating/26 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Compared to one year earlier (17.6/26 on Jan. 16, 2008), that was down by just five percent. As a true testimonial to the strength of this ongoing juggernaut, the second highest-rated program of the evening was CBS’ Criminal Minds at an 8.5/13 at 9 p.m. Once again, American Idol is in a league of its own.

Here is the half hour breakdown:
American Idol (Fox)
8:00 p.m. 14.6/23
8:30 p.m. 16.8/26
9:00 p.m. 17.9/27
9:30 p.m. 17.9/27

Next Wednesday, look for the debut of Fox drama Lie to Me out of American Idol at 9 p.m.


As expected, the four competing networks took a hit opposite the new season of Idol. CBS finished a distant second overall for the evening, with its combination of The New Adventures of Old Christine (#2: 4.6/ 7), compatible Gary Unmarried (#2: 4.5/ 7), aforementioned Criminal Minds (#2: 8.5/13) and veteran CSI: NY (#1: 8.0/13). But compared to year-ago 8-9 p.m. game show Power of 10 (3.3/ 5 on Jan. 16, 2008), the CBS comedies were up by an average 38 percent in the overnights.


NBC’s soon-to-depart Knight Rider opened the evening fourth in the 8 p.m. hour, with a mere 3.2/ 5 at 8 p.m. That led into a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (#3: 3.3/ 5) and granddaddy Law & Order (#2: 5.7/ 9) from 9-11 p.m. 


In preparation of the return of Lost next Wednesday, ABC aired three back-to-back repeats, which finished fourth, on average, from 8-11 p.m. with a 3.4/ 5 in the overnights. Here is the hourly breakdown:


Lost R (ABC)

 8:00 p.m. 3.5/ 6 (#3)
 9:00 p.m. 3.2/ 5 (#4)

10:00 p.m. 3.6/ 6 (#3)


Next Wednesday, clips special Lost: Destiny Calls will air on ABC at 8 p.m., leading into two original episodes from 9-11 p.m.  


The CW took the biggest hit opposite American Idol, with its combination of week two of reality/competition 13: Fear is Real (#5: 1.0/ 2) and a repeat of 90210 (#5: 0.7/ 1). Compared to it’s week-ago debut (1.7/ 3 on Jan. 7), 13: Fear is Real dipped by a significant 41 percent. One year earlier, reality dud Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants even performed better at 8 p.m., with a 1.2/ 2. Ouch!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Record Bad Girls Club on Oxygen:

The Tuesday, Jan. 13 installment of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club rose to a season-high performance, with 1.1 million total viewers. Comparably, that was up by a significant 32 percent from one week earlier. Results among key women 18-34 (498,000: +35 percent) placed it as the second most-watched telecast in the demo for any series on Oxygen to-date.

-Top 2 Rated Programs in Syndication – Week of Dec. 29:

What follows is the top 20 tier in syndication nationally for the holiday week of Dec. 29 based on households (AA – average audience), followed by any highlights of note. Since this week included New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, many syndicated shows were pre-empted and broken out on Thursday and Friday.


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.0 rating

Jeopardy (CBS): 5.8

Oprah (CBS) and Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.4 each

Judge Judy (CBS): 4.3

Entertainment Tonight (CBS) and Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 3.7 each

CSI: NY (CBS): 3.5
Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal): 3.5
Dr. Phil (CBS): 3.2
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.1

Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television) and Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 3.0 each

Inside Edition (CBS), Wheel of Fortune – Weekend and Two and a Half Men – Weekend: 2.8 each

Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC): 2.7

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC), George Lopez (Warner Bros.), House (NBCU) and King of Queens – Weekend (SPT): 2.6 each


 -Oprah increased by 13 percent in households week-to-week, with growth of as much as 14 percent among women 18-34.


-Judge Judy has now dominated the court genre for 642 consecutive weeks.


-CBS Television Distribution’s Emmy winning Rachael Ray matched its highest rating of the season, with a 1.9 in households.


-Two and a Half Men extended its winning streak in off-network sitcoms to 63 consecutive weeks in households. And it ranked first for the week in women 18-49 (2.4, tie), women 25-54 (2.9) and men 25-54 (3.0, tie).


-Warner Bros.’ The Bonnie Hunt Show (a Mr. TV favorite) rose to a record 1.0 rating in households — up 11 percent from its prior 11-week average. Bonnie also equaled the week-ago rating in the three key female demos — women 18-34 (0.3), women 18-49 (0.5) and women 25-54 (0.6).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 1/15/09

8:00 p.m. Presidential Address
8:15 p.m. Scrubs (R)
8:45 p.m. Scrubs (R)
9:15 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10:15 pm Private Practice

8:00 p.m. Presidential Address
8:15 p.m. CSI (R)
9:15 p.m. CSI (featuring the departure of William Petersen)
10:15 p.m. Eleventh Hour

8:00 p m  Presidential Address
8:15 p m  My Name Is Earl (R)
8:45 p m  My Name Is Earl
9:15 p m The Office (R)
9:45 p m  30 Rock
10:15 p m  ER

8:00 p.m. Presidential Address
8:15 pm. Kitchen Nightmares
9:15 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares (season finale)

The CW:
8:00 p.m. Smallville
9:00 p.m. Supernatural

8:00 p.m. Connors’ War (R)


8:00 p.m. Movie: Octopuusy (R)


-Of Note on Cable:

The Beast (A&E, premiere): 10 p.m.


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Southland in Place of ER:

NBC originally announced that upcoming drama Kings, headlined by Ian McShane, would be stepping in for ER after it departs this spring. But the network is expected to move new crime drama Southland from John Wells into the time period, and shift Kings to Sunday at 8 p.m. as the lead-in to the two-hour edition of Celebrity Apprentice. 


-Gossip Girl Prequel in the Works:

The CW has ordered a backdoor pilot for a spin-off from young female hit Gossip Girl that will focus on the teen years of Kelly Rutherfod’s character of Lily in Los Angeles in the 1980s. The episode will air on Monday, May 11. There is no word, meanwhile, on the rumored spin-off of Aaron Spelling classic Melrose Place. 


-Chevy Chase Joins Cast of NBC’s Chuck:

Original Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase has signed for three episodes of NBC’s Chuck as a business mogul who gets accused by Chuck’s father of stealing his ideas. The story arc will air this spring.


-Tori Spelling Fans, Take Note:

It looks like Tori Spelling will finally be reprising her role as Donna Martin on the CW’s 90210 in a cameo appearance opposite Academy Award winning screenwriter Diablo Cody. Stay tuned…



TV Trivia Time:

On Broadway


Which one of the following TV characters made his living as a producer on Broadway?

Sandy Cohen
Sonny Pruitt
Joe Rossi
Maxwell Sheffield
Danny Williams
The answer to yesterday’s question…

What restaurant does Penny work as a waitress for on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory?

The Cheesecake Factory
The Olive Garden

Is: a) The Cheesecake Factory. If you are not watching The Big Bang Theory, you are missing the funniest sitcom currently airing in prime-time.


-Current kudos goes to:

Steve Albright, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Lauren Bergman, Laurie Biddle, Mark Binda, Jen Bisgrove, Gerry Bixenspan, Jordan Breslow, Dennis Burton, Michelle Butler, Brian Carney, Brandon Chavez, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Bob Connolly, Larry Corsa, Annie Courtney, Jason Dvorkin, Bob Eisenstaedt, Chris Ellis, Navid Falahpour, Connie Falcone, John Ferlazzo, Lisa Fikeys, Holley Ford, Kathy Fronsee, Jerry Gibbons, Adam Goldberg, Maureen Goldman, Sherrie Hentshel, Jerry Hermes, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Greg Janover, Mike Jolliffe, Kevin Jones, Jodi Karp, Marie Lefevre Karp, Kathryn Kieser, Carrie Kittrell, Jeffrey Langer, Alissa Levin, Adam Licker, Kelly Lindley, Derek Lopez, Judah Mezey, Nancy Nally, Tillie Nutter, Kimberley Orti, Alan Perris, Amanda Peterson, Stephen Phillips, Darlene Pietrak, Gordon Purcell, Chris Rago, Joye Riddle, Con Rigg, Colleen Roth, Adam Schmidt, Robert Sells, Janet Stigler, Robyn Swart, Ivan Tafur, David Tratner, Todd Tronson, Mike Walsh, Stephanie Watson, Myndi Weinraub, Justin Wexler, Jim Wright