Lackluster Holiday Weekend Rating Results

Monday, December 1, 2008
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:
Zooming Out of the Gate
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Friday 11/28/08

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

CBS   4.1/ 7
ABC 3.8/ 7
Fox    2.1/ 4
NBC 1.8/ 3
CW    1.1/ 2
-Total Viewers:

ABC: 6.74 million, CBS: 6.35, Fox: 3.30, NBC: 3.11, CW: 1.82

-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 1.9 rating/6 share, CBS: 1.4/ 4, NBC: 1.2/ 4, Fox: 1.0/ 3, 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:
-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Everybody Hates Chris (CW), The Game (CW)
-Ratings Breakdown:

With only two hours of original programming (CW sitcoms Everybody Hates Chris and The Game, and ABC’s veteran 20/20), there was little of note on this night after Thanksgiving. With that in mind, ABC led overall in both total viewers and adults 18-49 (with under seven million viewers and less than a 2-rating in the demo) with its combination of repeat theatrical The Polar Express (Viewers: #1, 6.59 million; A18-49: #1. 1.8 rating/6 share from 8-10 p.m.) and the aforementioned 20/20 (Viewers: #1, 7.06 million; A18-49: #1, 2.0. 6 at 10 p.m.).


Next was CBS care of two repeat episodes of Ghost Whisperer (8 p.m. – Viewers: #2, 6.15 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 4 — 9 p.m. – Viewers: #2, 5.97 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 4), which will be included in Mr. TV’s annual listing of winners (and losers) on Dec. 15, and a repeat of Numb3rs (Viewers: #2, 6.95 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5 at 10 p.m.).


Fox aired repeat theatrical School of Rock, which averaged just 3.30 million viewers (#3) and a fourth-place 1.0/ 3 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. NBC ran a repeat of theatrical The Incredibles (Viewers: 3.29 million; A18-49: 1.2/ 4 from 8-10:30 p.m.) and an encore telecast of The Office (Viewers: #3, 2.21 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9/ 3), which never plays well in non-originals. And the CW capped off the evening with Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 2.10 million) and The Game (Viewers: 2.03 million; A18-49: 0.7/ 2) from 8-9 p.m., and repeats of Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 1.62 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2) and The Game (Viewers: 1.54 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2) from 9-10 p.m., which finished last in every half hour. Now that the holiday season has officially begun, get used to the words repeat and encore.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Saturday 11/29/08

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

ABC 5.4/10
CBS   3.9/ 7
Fox    3.4/ 6
NBC 2.9/ 5
-Total Viewers:
ABC: 8.99 million, CBS: 6.01, Fox: 5.41, NBC: 4.61
-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 2.8 rating/8 share, Fox: 1.7/ 5, CBS: 1.4/ 4, NBC: 1.3/ 4


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:
Saturday Night Football (ABC)
-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
The night overall, as usual.  
-Ratings Breakdown:

ABC stood well above the competing networks care of Saturday Night Football (Oklahoma at Oklahoma State) at an average 8.99 million viewers and a 2.8 rating/8 share among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m. Given the low HUT levels on Saturday, you can consider this a winner. Results for any live sporting event are, of course, always approximate.


CBS and Fox shared the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, with CBS’ combination of a repeat of Numb3rs (Viewers: #3, 5.05 million; A18-49: #3, 1.2/ 4), and a two-hour edition of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: 6.49 million; A18-49: 1.6/ 5 from 9-11 p.m.) second overall in total viewers and third among adults 18-49. Take a look at the half-hour break down for 48 Hours Mystery:

48 Hours Mystery (CBS)

 9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.15 million (#3), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#4)

 9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.98 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 7.30 million (#2), A18-49: 1.8/ 5 (#2)

10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 7.54 million (#2), A18=-49: 1.9/ 6 (#2)


Fox, meanwhile, was third in total viewers and second overall in the demo care of its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #2, 5.39 million; A18-49: #2, 1.8/ 5) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #3, 5.43 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5).


Last-place NBC (a common occurrence this season) capped off Saturday with repeat theatrical Along Came Polly (Viewers: #4, 4.56 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.3/ 4 from 8-10 p.m.) and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #3, 4.71 million; A18-49: #3, 1.2/ 4). And there you have it…boring Saturday!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Sunday 11/30/08

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

CBS 10.2/15
NBC   8.6/13
ABC 7.4/11
Fox 3.7/ 5
CW 0.9/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, December 2, 2007):

CBS: +24, NBC: + 4, CW: -10, ABC: -12, Fox: -53

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, Nov. 30, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Football Overrun (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), Sunday Night Football (NBC), Desperate Housewives (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)
Movie: Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (CW)
-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by an approximate 45-minute prime-time football overrun, CBS finished first in the Sunday overnights, beating second-place NBC by 19 percent. Third overall was ABC, followed by Fox and lowly the CW, which took back the evening from Media Rights Capital with its combination of a repeat of Jericho (#5: 1.0 rating/2 share at 7 p.m.) and Sunday Movie, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (#5: 0.9/ 1 from 8-10 p.m.). While the CW may not sound like much, it did build from the week-ago encore combination of In Harm’s Way, Valentine and Easy Money by 80 percent.


Since football bled into CBS’ Sunday line-up, all overnight results are approximate. And they are as follows:


 7:00 p.m. Football Overrun: 16.3/25 (#1)

 7:30 p.m. Football Overrun/60 Minutes: 13.8/21 (#1)

 8:00 p.m. 60 Minutes: 11.6/17 (#1)

 8:30 p.m. 60 Minutes/The Amazing Race: 8.9/13 (#2)

 9:00 p.m. The Amazing Race: 7.9/11 (#3)

 9:30 p.m. The Amazing Race/Cold Case: 8.1/12 (#3)

10:00 p.m. Cold Case: 8.0/12 (#2)
10:30 p.m. Cold Case/The Unit: 7.1/12 (#2)

Chicago at Minnesota on NBC’s Sunday Night Football was on the map, meanwhile, with a dominant (and estimated) 11.1/16 in the overnights for the prime-time portion from 8:30-11 p.m. Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America at a distant 3.1/ 5 from 7-8 p.m. (#3), and an also third-place 6.0/ 9 in the 8 p.m. half hour. 


ABC had what you could refer to as a typical overnight Sunday with its combination of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2: 5.6/ 9), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#3: 6.8/10), Desperate Housewives (#2: 10.0/15) and Brothers & Sisters (#3: 7.2/11), which maintained 71 percent of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Desperate Housewives (10.2/15).


Fox, which of course is dependent on the young adults demos, capped off Sunday with two repeat episodes of the departing King of the Hill (#4: 2.7/ 4 from 7-8 p.m.), mainstay The Simpsons (#4: 4.9/ 7), the regularly scheduled telecast of King of the Hill (#4: 3.9/ 6), a repeat of Family Guy (#4: 4.6/ 7) and an original installment of American Dad (#4: 3.6/ 5).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Rosie Live Bombs on NBC:

Despite the considerable promotion, NBC special Rosie Live (a potential back-door pilot) averaged a mere 5.04 million viewers and a 1.2 rating/ 4 share among adults 18-49 (based on the fast affiliate results) on Wednesday, Nov. 26. Comparably, that placed it third in the 8 p.m. hour behind Fox’s Bones (Viewers: 9.76 million; A18-49: 2.7/ 9) and CBS sitcoms The New Adventures of Old Christine (Viewers: 7.60 million; A18-49: 2.0/ 7) and Gary Unmarried (Viewers: 7.72 million; A18-49: 2.2/ 7). 


-Strong Showing for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on NBC:

The 82nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, Nov. 27 rose to an average 12.6 rating/26 share in the metered markets from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. — eight percent above its year-ago telecast. According to estimates from NBC, a total of 44.7 million viewers watched all or some of the parade coverage. That led into The National Dog Show Presented by Purina, which scored a 5.1/12 in the overnights from 12-2 p.m., building by four percent from one year earlier.

-Syndicated Programming Rankings –Week of Nov. 17:

What follows are the top 10 rated programs in syndication for the week of Nov. 17 based on households, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. Notice how off-network programming dominates the two key demographics. 


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.8 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.2, Oprah (CBS): 5.6, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 5.4, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.7, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.6, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 4.4, CSI: NY (CBS) and Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 3.8 each, Dr. Phil (CBS): 3.5

Adults 18-49:

Family Guy (Twentieth): 3.2, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 3.0, Seinfeld (SPT): 2.4, Oprah (CBS) and Seinfeld –Weekend (SPT, 2.0 each), Wheel of Fortune (CBS) and Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 1.9 each, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 1.8, CSI: NY (CBS) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 1.7 each

Adults 25-54:

Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 3.4, Family Guy (Twentieth): 2.7, Wheel of Fortune (CBS) and Seinfeld (SPT): 2.6 each, Oprah (CBS): 2.5, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 2.3, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.1, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Judge Judy (CBS): 2.0 each, King of Queens (CBS) and Law & Order: SU (NBC): 1.8 each

-Another Series-High for The Doctors:

Based on ratings for the week of Nov. 17. recently introduced CBS Television Distribution talk show The Doctors hit a record 1.7 household rating. Compared to one week earlier, that was up by six percent in households and as much as 25 percent among key women 25-54.

-Also Of Note in Syndication:

NBC Universal’s also freshman Deal or No Deal scored a series-high 1.9 in households — up six percent from one week earlier with its third consecutive week of growth. And it also reached a new zenith in total viewers (2.74 million: +3 percent from one week earlier) and women 18-34 (0.8: +14 percent). The syndicator’s sophomore The Steve Wilkos Show, meanwhile, hit a season-high 1.1 in households, building by 22 percent from the comparable year-ago week.

-Thursday 11/27/08 Fast Affiliate Ratings:

While we were stuffing our faces on turkey, here is how the networks fared on Thursday, Nov. 27 – Thanksgiving. As expected, there was little of note on this holiday evening.

Total Viewers:

CBS: 8.85 million, Fox: 5.83, ABC: 5.76, NBC: 4.33, CW: 1.75

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.1 rating/7 share, CBS: 2.0/ 6, ABC: 1.8/ 6, NBC: 1.6/ 5, CW: 0.6/ 2

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Monday 12/01/08

 8:00 p.m. Shrek the Halls (R)

 8:00 p.m. Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas (R)

 9:00 p.m. Samantha Who?

 9:30 p.m. Samantha Who?

10:00 p.m. Boston Legal


 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. Chuck

 9:00 p.m. Heroes (part two)

10:00 p.m. My Own Worst Enemy

 8:00 p.m. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

 9:00 p.m. Prison Break


 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl

 9:00 p.m. Privileged


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Houseguest (R)

 8:00 p.m. Boston Legal (R)
 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
10:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-More TMZ:

Sophomore Warner Bros. syndicated magazine TMZ has been renewed for two additional seasons, with a pick-up by the Fox Television Stations through the 2010-11 season. Renewals include stations in the top three markets — New York/ WNYW, Los Angeles/KTTV and Chicago/WFLD. Season to-date (through Nov. 16), TMZ ranks third in the genre (behind CBS’ Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition) in households, with a 2.1 rating. Comparably, that is up by 11 percent year-to-year. TMZ has also increased by 27 percent in women 18-34 (1.1 to 1.4), 17 percent in both women 18-49 and women 25-54 (1.2 to 1.4), and as much as 33 percent among men 18-34 (0.9 to 1.2).

-NBC Prime-Time Schedule Changes:

On a belated note, troubled NBC has announced scheduling changes for next month in prime-time that will impact four nights of the week. Included are new non-scripted series Superstars of Dance and Howie Do It; and new seasons of The Biggest Loser: Couples and Friday Night Lights. Superstars of Dance, a new reality/competition from the producers of So You Think You Can Dance, will open with a two-hour installment on Sunday, Jan. 4 from 9-11 p.m. One night later it moves into its regularly scheduled Monday 8-10 p.m. block, leading into Ryan Seacrest relationship-driven hour Momma’s Boys. Tuesdays will remain unchanged care of The Biggest Loser: Couples (which returns on January 6), followed by Law & Order: SVU. And encore telecasts of SVU will step into the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour in January, giving struggling Life a much-needed break.


No changes are scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but the network is hoping to generate interest on Friday with the non-scripted Howie Do It, hosted by Howie Mandel at 8 p.m., followed by season three of Friday Night Lights and a 10 p.m. edition of Dateline (which will go head-to-head with ABC’s 20/20). Sunday in January will be populated with an array of special programming including The Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 11, Saturday Night Live Film Festival on Jan. 18, The Last Templar on Jan. 25 (and Monday, Jan. 26) and Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1.

TV Trivia Time:
Zooming Out of the Gate

Which sitcom debuted as the top-rated series overall in prime-time in its first week?

a) All in the Family
b) Friends
c) Good Times
d) Home Improvement
e) Laverne & Shirley
The answer to the last question…

What horrible thing happened to The Waltons shortly before Thanksgiving in 1933?


a) Elizabeth is crippled in an accident.

b) Grandpa has a heart attack.
c) The house burns down.
d) John Boy suffers a serious head injury.
e) Olivia finds out she has polio.

Is: d) John Boy suffers a serious head injury. All ended up fine, however, because John Boy was still well enough to take the scholarship exam for Boatwright University. But none of the Waltons ever seemed to realize that he never graduated!


As for the other choices, yes…they all happened, but not around Thanksgiving. It was never a dull moment on that mountain!

-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Synda Kollman, Beverly Morris, Alan Perris, David Ruckman