Huge Tune-In for the NFL Playoff on NBC Saturday

Monday, January 5, 2009
Prime-Time Ratings:
Friday and Saturday Results
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

A New Year, A New Brady Bunch Question


The Return of The Programming Insider!


After an unprecedented three week hiatus, The Programming Insider is back with your daily dose of everything TV. But before you delve into today’s column, I would be honored if you took a moment out to remember a very special person in my life. Please click here for Mr. Television’s “I Remember Mama.”


Prime-Time Ratings:

Friday and Saturday Results
Friday 1/02/09

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



Fox   6.9/12

CBS 4.7/ 8
NBC 3.5/ 6
ABC 3.5/ 6
CW    0.9/ 2

Fox: 11.92 million, CBS: 7.09, NBC: 5.36, ABC: 5.33, CW: 1.61

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.8 rating/11 share, ABC: 1.8/ 5, CBS: 1.7/ 5, NBC: 1.3/ 4, CW: 0.6/ 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:

Sugar Bowl (Fox)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Lipstick Jungle (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was no contest on this first Friday of the New Year with the annual Sugar Bowl (Utah vs. Alabama) at an estimated 12.57 million viewers and a 4.0 rating/11 share for the prime-time portion (from 8:30-11 p.m.). Comparably, the year-ago Sugar Bowl averaged 11.70 million viewers and a 4.7/12 in the demo on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. Earlier in the evening on Fox was the Sugar Bowl pre-game at an also dominant 8.67 million viewers and a 2.6/ 8 among adults 18-49 in the 8 p.m. half hour. Keep in mind that results for any live sporting evening are always approximate.


CBS finished a distant second in total viewers and third overall among adults 18-49 with its encore combination of two episodes of Ghost Whisperer (8 p.m. – Viewers: #3, 6.56 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5 — 9 p.m. – Viewers: #2, 7.21 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5) and Numb3rs (Viewers: #1, 7.50 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5).


NBC was one notch below CBS in both categories care of its line-up of the overused Deal or No Deal (Viewers: #2, 6.99 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.4/ 4), the begging-to-be officially canceled Lipstick Jungle (Viewers: #4, 4.24 million; A18-49: #4, 1.3/ 4) and a repeat of Dateline (Viewers: #3, 4.84 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 3). Look for the debut of hidden camera- driven Howie Do It, hosted by Howie Mandel, next Friday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.


ABC finished fourth overall in total viewers and second among adults 18-49 with its combination of a repeat of Wife Swap (Viewers: #4, 4.53 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.4/ 4), a repeat of Supernanny (Viewers: #3, 4.81 million; A18-49: #3, 1.6/ 5) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 6.64 million; A18-49: #1, 2.2/ 6). And last-place the CW capped off Friday with repeats of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.83 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2), The Game (Viewers: 1.47 million; A18-49: 0.5/ 2), another episode of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.60 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2), and another episode of The Game (Viewers: 1.54 million; A18-49: 0.5/ 2). Remember when Everybody Hates Chris had the look and feel of The Wonder Years? What happened?


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 1/03/09

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



Fox    3.2/ 5

CBS   2.8/ 5

ABC 2.4/ 4

NBC: 23.84 million, Fox: 5.28, CBS: 4.23, ABC: 3.79

-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 8.5 rating/23 share, Fox: 1.6/ 4, CBS: 1.1/ 3, ABC: 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: Indianapolis at San Diego (NBC)


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Game Show in My Head (CBS)

-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC beat the three competing networks combined by a whopping 10.54 million viewers and 130 percent among adults 18-49 care of Indianapolis vs. San Diego in the NFL Playoff, which averaged an estimated 23.84 million viewers and an 8.5 rating/23 share in the demo in prime-time. Keep in mind, again, that results for any live sporting evening are always approximate. The next time someone tells you the broadcast networks are dead on Saturday, remind them of these significant results. As I always say, if there is something worth watching, viewers will tune in. 


Fox finished a very distant second with its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #2, 4.78 million; A18-49: #2, 1.4/ 4) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #2, 5.78 million; A18-49: #2, 1.8/ 5) from 8-10 p.m. 


In series-premiere news, the two-episode launch of CBS’ non-scripted Game Show in My Head got lost opposite the NFL Playoff, with the results as follows:

Game Show in My Head (CBS)

8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 3.37 million (#3), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#3) – premiere

8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 3.38 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#3)


Why would CBS debut this show opposite such hefty competition? Game Show in My Head led into repeats of Cold Case (Viewers: #3, 3.91 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 2) and 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #2, 5.40 million; A18-49: #2t, 1.2/ 4) from 9-11 p.m. Last overall in both total viewers and adults 18-49 was ABC with its line-up of annual repeat special Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (Viewers: #4, 3.01 million; A18-49: #4, 0.8/ 2) and repeat theatrical Sleepless in Seattle (Viewers: 3.94 million; A18-49: 1.0/ 3 from 8:30-11 p.m.).


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Note: The overnight rating results for Sunday, Jan. 4 were not available at press time. But don’t forget to go to by approximately 12 p.m. ET for the fast affiliate tallies.   

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not   


-New Year’s Eve Late Night Results:

Based on the metered markets, ABC remained on the forefront on Dec. 31 with Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve at an average 8.5 rating/20 share from 11:30 p.m.-1:15 a.m. But, comparably, that was its lowest overnight average since 2004 (off three percent from one year earlier). Next was New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly on NBC at a 5.0/11 – up two percent from 2007. And last, and very least, was New Year’s Eve Live on Fox at a 3.4/ 7.


-Cable Network Rankers – December 2008:

Based on data from Dec. 1 through Dec. 28, here are the top 20 rated cable networks in households broken out by total day and prime-time.

Total Day:

Nickelodeon: 1.69 million, USA: 1.23 million, Nick at Nite: 1.22 million, Disney Channel: 1.10 million, ESPN: 1.04 million, TNT: 959,000, Fox News: 910,000, Cartoon Network: 885,000, Lifetime: 881,000, Adult Swim: 853,000, TBS: 836,000, ABC Family: 775,000, Hallmark Channel: 691,000, A&E: 677,000, FX: 621,000, History Channel: 605,000, Spike TV: 596,000, Tru TV: 594,000, Discovery: 567,000, CNN: 543,000


ESPN: 2.41 million, USA: 2.31 million, Disney Channel: 1.63 million, Fox News and Lifetime: 1.51 million each, TNT: 1.48 million, ABC Family and TBS: 1.46 million each, Nick at Nite: 1.33 million, Hallmark Channel: 1.31 million, A&E: 1.09 million, Cartoon Network: 1,04 million, FX: 991,000, History Channel: 942,000, AMC: 927,000, Discovery: 900,000, Sci Fi: 898,000, Spike TV: 889,000, Comedy Central: 831,000, Tru TV: 827,000


-2008 Cable Network Highlights:

What follows are various rating highlights by cable network for 2008:


E! reached a new yearly zenith in total day based on total viewers (347,000: + 6 percent from 2007), adults 18-49 (.21: +5 percent) and adults 18-34 (.26: + 8 percent).

Hallmark Channel:

Hallmark Channel finished 2008 with a record performance in women 18-49 (156,000: +15 percent from 2007), women 25-54 (207,000: + 7 percent), adults 18-49 (235,000: +11 percent) and adults 25-54 (316,000: + 7 percent). For the full year, the feel-good cable network finished 8th overall, with a 1.2 household rating, 1 million homes and 1.3 million total viewers.

-History Channel:

History Channel broke the yearly record books in adults 18-49 (531,000) and adults 25-54 (583,000), building by 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively, from one year earlier. The median age for the network, meanwhile, dipped to an all-time low of 48.5 years.

-Sci Fi Channel:

Sci Fi Channel finished 2008 with its best overall ranking in adults 18-49 (No. 9) and adults 25-54 (No. 5) since 2005. The cable network averaged 1.28 million viewers (+ 7 percent from 2007), 615,000 adults 18-49 (-4 percent), 696,000 adults 25-54 (+ 6 percent) and 240,000 adults 18-34 (+ 3 percent). 

-Style Network:

Style Network rose to 104,000 viewers in total day — up 16 percent from one year earlier. It was also the network’s highest-rated year in households (.15) and key women 18-49 (.13).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data



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For more information, contact Jessica Ryan at 646/654-5502 or via email at




On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 1/05/09

 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor (season premiere, two hours)

10:00 p.m. True Beauty (series premiere)

 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
 8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)
 9:30 p.m. Worst Week (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

 8:00 p.m. Superstars of Dance (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Momma’s Boys


 8:00 p.m. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Texas vs. Ohio State

 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 (R)
 8:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)

10:00 p.m. NCIS (R)


New Program Descriptions:

True Beauty (ABC)

The concept of beauty gets a facelift as contestants (male and female) are judged by both their inner and outer beauty in this new reality/competition from Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher. Vanessa Minnillo hosts.


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-CBS Watch Magazine – Free Subscriptions:

Want the scoop on all of your favorite CBS programs? Survivor, The Amazing Race, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, the CSI franchise, NCIS, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds…the list goes on and on. Bi-monthy in-house publication CBS Watch Magazine is offering a free one year subscription. Just go to and click on the top left hand corner to subscribe.


-One Enchanted Evening from Target Vision:

Distributor Target Vision has announced a one-hour syndicated special, One Enchanted Evening, that will air in February and will feature a wide array of skating stars including Olympic champion Viktor Petrenko, two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan and five-time American champions Punsalen and Swallow. The broadcast window is Jan. 31 through Feb. 14 and the barter split is seven minutes national and seven minutes local. For more information, contact Phil Oldham at 914/834-6739 or via email at


-Upcoming in First-Run Syndication:

What follows is the second draft of the new first-run series (strips and weeklies) slated to debut in syndication in 2009. If anything is missing, please contact Marc Berman 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)

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:

A New Year, A New Brady Bunch Question


Remember when Bobby wrote a school paper about his hero on The Brady Bunch? Who was it?

Mike Brady
Jesse James
Davey Jones
Joe Namath
George Washington

The answer to the last question…


Which one of the following theatrical movies scored the highest household rating on the small screen?

Gone With the Wind
Love Story
The Sound of Music
The Wizard of Oz

Is:  b) Gone With the Wind, which averaged a whopping 47.6 household rating on Nov. 7 and 8, 1976. As for the others:


Airport: 42.3 on Nov. 11, 1973

Love Story: 42.3 on Oct. 1, 1972

The Wizard of Oz: 35.9 on Jan. 26, 1964

The Sound of Music: 33.6 on Feb. 29, 1976

The list of kudos recipients will return tomorrow.