Mixed Weekend Overnight Leadership

Monday, December 8, 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:
Mad About Employment
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Friday 12/05/08

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

CBS   6.010
ABC 3.7/ 6
Fox    3.3/ 6
NBC 2.7/ 5
CW    1.2/ 2
-Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.29 million, ABC: 6.25, Fox: 5.32, NBC: 3.94, CW: 1.81

-Adults 18-49:

CBS: 2.2 rating/7 share, ABC: 2.0/ 6, Fox: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 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:
Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Numb3rs (CBS)
-Should Never Have Been Moved from Thursday:

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox), Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Fox)

-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown (NBC), Lipstick Jungle (NBC), Dateline (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS stepped back into the Friday winner’s circle with its combination of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #1, 9.71 million; A18-49: #1, 2.4 rating/8 share), a repeat of Numb3rs (Viewers: #1, 8.45 million; A18-49: #2, 1.9/ 6) and the regularly scheduled edition of Numb3rs (Viewers: #1, 9.72 million; A18-49: #1, 2.4/ 7). As a reminder, season two of Canadian drama Flashpoint moves into the Friday 9 p.m. hour in January. Good move, CBS.


Second overall was ABC care of repeat theatrical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Viewers: #2, 6.17 million; A18-49: #2, 2.1/ 7 from 8-10 p.m.) in place of the regularly scheduled Wife Swap and Supernanny, and veteran 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 6.42 million; A18-49: #2, 1.8/ 6 at 10 p.m.).


Next was Fox with its non-scripted combination of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (Viewers: #3, 5.45 million; A18-49: #3, 1.4/ 4) and Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Viewers: #3, 5.19 million; A18-49: #3, 1.5/ 5), which will be replaced in February by relocated Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and new Joss Whedon drama Dollhouse. Thank you, Fox, for trying to be aggressive on Friday. Too bad, though, that the target audience is unlikely to be home to watch live. 


Fourth overall was NBC’s deadly line-up of special Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown (Viewers: #4, 4.44 million; A18-49: #4. 1.0/ 3), the 9 p.m. time period debut of now officially doomed Lipstick Jungle (Viewers: #4, 3.58 million; A18-49: #4, 1.1/ 3), and the 10 p.m. time period debut of Dateline, which finished a distant third in both total viewers (#3, 3.80 million) and adults 18-49 (#3, 1.1/ 3).


Last, and very least, was the CW’s repeat holiday combination of Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (Viewers: 1.89 million; A18-49: 0.6/ 2) and The Story of Santa Claus (Viewers: 1.73 million; A18-49: 0.5/ 2). Fortunately for the CW, I do not label repeats as “losers.”

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Saturday 12/06/08

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

ABC 5.3/ 9
CBS   3.7/ 6
Fox    3.4/ 6
NBC 2.6/ 5
-Total Viewers:
ABC: 8.41 million, Fox: 5.36, CBS: 5.34, NBC: 3.97
-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 2.8 rating/8 share, Fox: 1.8/ 6, CBS: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 0.9/ 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:
Saturday Night Football (ABC)
-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Crusoe (NBC) and the night overall
-Ratings Breakdown:

Saturday Night Football on ABC, Oklahoma vs. Missouri on the Big 12 Football Championship, scored an easy (albeit non-spectacular) victory, with an average 8.41 million viewers and a 2.8 rating/8 share among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m. As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate. Since this was a typical low HUT level Saturday, you can consider this a “winning” performance. 


Second overall in both total viewers and adults 18-49 was Fox care of its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #2, avg. 5.52 million; A18-49: #2, avg. 2.0/ 6) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #2, 5.50 million; A18-49: #2, 1.9/ 6). Next was CBS’ uneventful combination of a repeat of The Unit (Viewers: #3: 4.13 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3), a repeat of Cold Case (Viewers: #3, 5.29 million; A18-49: #3, 1.1/ 3) and 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 6.60 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5), which deserves accolades for building by double-digits out of The Unit encore.


Last, and least in every half hour was the Saturday 8 p.m. time period debut of NBC’s Crusoe (Viewers: 2.57 million; A18-49: #4, 0.5/ 1 — both series lows), a repeat of Law & Order (Viewers: 3.57 million; A18-49: 0.8/ 2) and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: 5.76 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 4). When a show is relocated to Saturday, you know that’s the end. Crusoe’s performance could very well be an historical low for NBC in the Saturday 8 p.m. hour.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Sunday 12/07/08

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

Fox    8.1/12
CBS   7.9/12
NBC   7.2/11
ABC   6.8/10
CW    1.1/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, December 9, 2007):

Fox: +102, CW: +10, ABC: – 8, NBC: -12, CBS: -21

Note: The fast national results for Sunday will be posted at PIFeedback.com by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Football Overrun (Fox), The OT (Fox), Sunday Night Football (NBC), Desperate Housewives (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats)

Football Night in America (NBC, 7-8 p.m.), Ty Pennington: Behind the Scenes (ABC), Movie: The Cutting Edge (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Ignited by an approximate 30-minute prime-time football overrun, Fox scored a rare Sunday overnight victory, beating second-place CBS by two-tenths of a rating point. Next was football fueled NBC, followed by ABC and cellar-dweller the CW.  


Fox’s aforementioned football overrun opened the evening with a hefty 17.0 rating/28 share in the overnights at 7 p.m., leading into post-game The OT at an also dominant 12.6/20 at 7:30 p.m. Second in the hour was CBS’ veteran 60 Minutes (10.1/6), which is enjoying a season of solid growth, followed by ABC special Ty Pennington: Behind the Scenes (3.7/ 6), the first hour of NBC’s Football Night in America (2.3/ 4) and a repeat of Jericho on the CW (0.7/ 1). At this point, aren’t we all beginning to tire of Ty Pennington?


Following the final half-hour of Football Night in America (#4: 5.6/ 9 from 8-8:30 p.m.), the Washington vs. Baltimore match-up on NBC’s Sunday Night Football dominated with a below-average (and approximate) 9.3/14 from 8:30-11 p.m. But this does not mean, of course, that it will win the block among adults 18-49 in every half hour. 


The season-finale of CBS’ The Amazing Race did not pick up steam in the overnights, with a third-place 6.6/10 from 8-9 p.m. But Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for, Front of the Class, perked up to a 7.4/11 from 9-11 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Front of the Class (CBS)

 9:00 p.m.: 6.7/10 (#3)

 9:30 p.m.: 7.0/10 (#3)

10:00 p.m.: 7.7/12 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 8.1/13 (#2)

ABC came in at typical Sunday 8-11 p.m. overnight levels with its combination of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 6.6/10), Desperate Housewives (#2: 9.7/15), which was one of the better episodes of the season last night, and Brothers & Sisters (#3: 7.2/11). All three series will not be returning with original episodes until January.


Following The OT on Fox was the Allstate BCS (Bowl Championship Series) Selection Show (#3: 6.8/11), followed by an 8:30 p.m. edition of veteran The Simpsons (#4: 4.7/ 7) and repeats of Family Guy (#4: 4.5/ 7) and American Dad (#4: 3.5/ 5) from 9-10 p.m.


The CW capped off Sunday with movie The Cutting Edge at a distant 1.2/ 2 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. As weak as that is, it is still a double-digit improvement from recent occupants Valentine and Easy Money. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not  

-Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh Scores on Nickelodeon:

Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh, a holiday movie based on the popular Nickelodeon series written by Dan Schneider and Steve Molaro (who is also a supervising producer on The Big Bang Theory), roared to the Friday finish line with a considerable 8.1 million viewers on December 5. Comparably, that will place it as the third highest-rated entertainment program (excluding news and sports) on all of cable this year. 

-Speaking of Steve Molaro:

Congratulations to Steve and everyone else involved on CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. It’s the best prime-time sitcom to hit the airwaves since Everybody Loves Raymond. And it’s cool to be a nerd! Don’t miss it!

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

 8:00 p.m. A Charlie Brown Christmas (R)

 9:00 p.m. Boston Legal

10:00 p.m. Boston Legal (series finale)

 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory

 8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother

 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men

 9:30 p.m. Worst Week

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami
 8:00 p.m. Chuck
 9:00 p.m. Heroes
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: Blizzard (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
-It’s Official:

NBC White House correspondent David Gregory has been named permanent moderator of the network’s Meet the Press. He begins his new role next on Dec. 14. 

-Fans of The Waltons, Take Note:

Season eight of family drama The Waltons, which was originally telecast in 1979-80, will debut on DVD on Jan. 6 from Warner Home Video. Look for the temporary return of Mama Olivia, the arrival of Cousin Rose and her two grandchildren, the rise of World War II and the recovery of the fake John Boy. The bonus feature on this DVD set is two-hour retrospective special A Decade of the Waltons, which features highlights from the series. The disc will feature all 24 episodes from season eight and retails for $39.98. 

-Remembering Beverly Garland:

It is with great sadness to report the passing of TV legend Beverly Garland, who died in her Hollywood Hills home on Friday after a lengthy illness. Remembered, of course, for her three-season stint as Fred MacMurray’s TV wife Barbara on My Three Sons, Garland made the history books as TV’s first policewoman and the first actress to headline a dramatic series in 1957-59 syndicated series Decoy. Garland’s first regularly scheduled prime-time series role was in short-lived live sitcom Mama Rosa in 1950, and she played Bing Crosby’s wife in 1964-65 comedy The Bing Crosby Show. Garland is also remembered as the mothers of Kate Jackson on Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Stephanie Zimbalist on Remington Steele and Teri Hatcher on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman; and, more recently, for her recurring roles on family drama staple 7th Heaven and daytime serial Port Charles. 


Over the years, Garland peppered her resume with approximately 40 different movie roles (including low budget classic Swamp Women); and dozens of guest starring appearances on series like The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, Rawhide, Here’s Lucy, Mannix, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Marcus Welby, M.D. She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983, and was inducted into the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2001 for recognition of 50 years in show business. And she had a side career as the owner of The Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood, California.


For more on my thoughts on the wonderful Beverly Garland, who I had the opportunity to meet in person at the Television Critics Association Press Tour a few years ago, listen to today’s podcast at www.marcberman.tv. 

TV Trivia Time:
Mad About Employment

What did Paul Buchman do for a living on sitcom Mad About You?

a) advertising executive
b) dentist
c) documentary filmmaker
d) newspaper writer
e) salesman
The answer to Friday’s question…

Which one of the following short-lived network crime dramas continued in first-run syndication for one season?

a) Get Christie Love
b) Joe Forrester
c) Martial Law
d) Private Eye
e) Sirens

Is: e) Sirens, which aired on ABC for five months in 1993, followed by a year in first-run syndication from 1994-95.

-Current kudos goes to:

Don Abel, Mark Amato, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Marie Lefevre Karp, Synda Kollman, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Gordon Purcell, Neal Sabin