NBC Dominates Wednesday; Solid Start for CBS’ Survivor: Nicaragua


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

America’s Got Talent Ignites NBC; NBC’s Outlaw Sampled


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Note: Due to my travel schedule, The Programming Insider will not be published tomorrow. See you back on Monday, Sept. 20 right in time for the start of the new TV season!


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
America’s Got Talent Ignites NBC; NBC’s Outlaw Sampled


Wednesday 9/15/10



NBC 9.3/15
CBS   5.5/ 9
Fox    3.5/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
CW    2.1/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, September 16, 2009):

CBS: +25, CW: +17, ABC: no change, NBC: -1, Fox: -12

-Number of Days Until Start of 2010-11 Season: 4


-Yesterday’s Winners:

America’s Got Talent (NBC), Survivor: Nicaragua (CBS)
-Good Sampling:
Outlaw (NBC)

-Solid Summer Season:

Big Brother (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Hellcats (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Led by the season-finale of America’s Got Talent, it was an easy overnight Wednesday victory for NBC, which outdelivered second-place CBS by a considerable 69 percent. But CBS has plenty to smile about this morning with the season-premiere of relocated Survivor: Nicaragua at a very healthy (and second-place) 7.1 rating/12 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that beat the year-ago season-opener set in Samoa (6.1/10 on Thursday 9/17/09) by 16 percent. And Survivor should have no trouble dominating the time period among adults 18-49.


In the distant No. 3 spot overall was Fox, followed by ABC and The CW. 


The two-hour America’s Got Talent season-ender on NBC, which comes off another very successful summer season, averaged a season-high 10.4/ 16 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

America’s Got Talent (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 8.6/14 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 9.6/15 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 11.2/17 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 12.1/19 (#1)


Congratulations, Michael Grimm. While I was not really following America’s Got Talent this time around, I was certain young Jackie Evancho would win. 


Thanks to America’s Got Talent, the series-premiere/preview of NBC legal drama Outlaw, headlined by Jimmy Smits, got sampled with a dominant 7.2/12 in the overnights at 10 p.m. But three things to keep in mind about Outlaw are:

  1. It is unlikely to beat the season-finale of CBS’ competing Big Brother among adults 18-49.
  2. Retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of America’s Got Talent was only 60 percent.
  3. There was a loss of 11 percent in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour (7.6/12 to 6.8/12).

Since the goal was to get viewers to sample Outlaw, NBC did succeed. Outlaw moves into its regularly scheduled Friday 10 p.m. hour (out of Dateline) on September 24. 


Moving back to CBS, the conclusion of Big Brother scored a 4.7/ 8 in the overnights from 9-11 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


Big Brother (CBS)

 9:00 p.m.: 4.9/ 8 (#2)
 9:30 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#2)

10:00 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#2)

10:30 p.m.: 4.7/ 8 (#2)


May I personally congratulate Allison Grodner and the entire staff of Big Brother for another eventful summer season. And kudos to Hayden, who I picked from day one to win!


In week two news, CW drama Hellcats dipped 21 percent from it’s week-ago series-opener, with a very last-place 1.9/ 3 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Last week it opened with a 2.4/ 4 (on Sept. 8). While this is a major improvement from year-ago failed occupant The Beautiful Life (1.3/ 2 on Sept. 16, 2009), which is not difficult to accomplish, from an overnight standpoint this is still a losing performance. Lead-in America’s Next Top Model was on par with one year earlier at a last-place 2.4/ 4 at 8 p.m.


On Fox, the two-hour season-finale of Masterchef got lost in the heavy non-scripted competition, with a modest 3.5/ 6 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. and the half-hour breakdown as follows:

Masterchef (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 3.0/ 5 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 3.5/ 6 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 3.5/ 5 (#3)

9:30 p.m.: 4.0/ 6 (#3)


ABC capped off this final Wednesday of the 2009-10 season with repeats of The Middle (two episodes – #4, avg. 2.7/ 4 from 8-9 p.m.), Modern Family (#4: 3.4/ 5), Cougar Town (#4: 2.5/ 4) and Castle (#3: 2.9/ 5), which opens season three in the Monday 10 p.m. hour (out of the season-premiere of Dancing With the Stars) on Sept. 20.


As a reminder, here is what you will be seeing on the broadcast networks on Wednesday this fall (with new shows in caps and bolded), followed by the odds of survival for the new series:

 8:00 p.m.: The Middle (new time)
 9:00 p.m.: Modern Family

 9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

10:00 p.m.: THE WHOLE TRUTH
 8:00 p.m.: Survivor: Nicaragua (new day)
 9:00 p.m.: Criminal Minds
10:00 p.m.: THE DEFENDERS
 8:00 p.m.: UNDERCOVERS

9:00 p.m.: Law & Order: SVU (new time)


 8:00 p.m. Lie To Me (new day and time)
 9:00 p.m.: Hell’s Kitchen (new day)
 8:00 p.m.: America’s Next Top Model
 9:00 p.m. HELLCATS

Odds of Survivor for the New Shows (based on 1-1 to 10-1):

Better Together (ABC): 2-1
Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC): 2-1
Undercovers (NBC): 7-1
The Defenders (CBS): 8-1
Hellcats (CW): 8-1
Hellcats Ratings Snapshot
Week 1:

Hellcats (CW) – Wednesday 9 p.m.
Viewers: 3.02 million (#68 overall); A18-49: 1.2 rating/4 share (#45t)


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Sons of Anarchy Remains on the FX Map:

Monday’s installment of FX drama Sons of Anarchy, episode two of season three, finished the night as basic cable’s most-watched program in men 18-49 (1.49 million) and second (behind the season-finale of Teen Mom on MTV) among adults 18-49 (2.37 million). Sons of Anarchy averaged 3.37 million total viewers, with 81 percent retention from the week-ago season-opener.


-Not a Good Thing:

Talker The Martha Stewart Show moved to Hallmark Channel on Monday as the anchor to its re-branded 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. lifestyle programming block with just 199,000 viewers in the 10 a.m. hour. Comparably, that was down by a whopping 61 percent from the year-ago encore telecasts of classic sitcom The Golden Girls. Leading out of Martha was the debut of Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer, a topical talker hosted by Sirius XM’s Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, at just 103,000 viewers in the 11 a.m. hour. Next was the launch of half-hour Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn at 123,000 viewers at noon, which was only about one-third the audience of former occupant The Golden Girls. Encore programming from the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia TV library also dipped considerably for the remainder of the block on Monday.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Thursday 9/16/10

 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)


 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R, new time period)

 8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
 9:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

 8:00 p.m. The Office (R)
 8:30 p.m. The Office (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Apprentice (season premiere, two hours)

 8:00 p.m. Bones (R)
 9:00 p.m. Fringe (R)
 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries
 9:00 p.m. Nikita

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More Big Brother:

As expected, CBS has renewed perennial summer favorite Big Brother, which concluded the season last night, for 2011. This summer, Big Brother was on a ratings roll, with year-to-year gains of 380,000 viewers and as much as 10 percent among adults 18-34 (2.3 rating/ 8 share).


-Twentieth Television Sells Movie Package:

Twentieth Television has sold its “20 Primetime Pics” weekly movie package to 75 percent of the country, including stations on the CBS, Capitol, Griffin, Local TV, Newport, Sinclair, Tribune, Weigel and CW100 Plus stations for the 2011-12 television season. The list of 52 film titles, which will begin airing in Fall 2011, includes Aliens, Black Knight, Die Hard III: With a Vengeance, Fantastic Four, The Last Stand, Sideways, Speed, True Lies, and X3: X-Men, The Last Stand. 


-Hawthorne to Continue on TNT:

As rumored, TNT medical drama Hawthorne, featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, has been picked-up for a third season with an order for 10 additional episodes in 2011. 


-Speaking of Cable Series Renewals:

TLC has picked-up new seasons on Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Strange Sex, Four Weddings, Toddlers and Tiaras and I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.

TV Trivia Time:
Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

What was the name of Baretta’s cockatoo on the 1970s crime solver?


a)      Ernie

b)      Fred

c)      Irving

d)      Mickey

e)      Willy


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following actors from Alice also appeared in the 1975 theatrical it was spun-off from, Alice doesn’t Live Here Anymore, in the same role he or she played on the sitcom?


a)      Polly Holliday

b)      Beth Howland

c)      Diane Ladd

d)      Philip McKeon

e)      Vic Tayback


Is: e) Vic Tayback, who of course was grumpy but lovable Mel. Diane Ladd was also in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, but she played Flo in the movie and Belle on the sitcom. All together now…

Used to be sad, used to be shy

Funniest thing, the saddest part is I never knew why…

Kickin’ myself for nothin’ was my favorite sport

I had to get out and start enjoyin’ ’cause life’s too short

There’s a new girl in town, ’cause I’m feelin good.
Get a smile, get a song, for the neighborhood
there’s a new girl in town on her own two feet
and this girl’s here to say
with some luck and love life’s gonna be
so sweeeeeeeeeet!

-Current kudos goes to:
Suzanne Ackley, Steve Albright, Gerry Bixenspan, Steve Clements, Larry Collins, John Ferlazzo, Julie Friedlander, George Garner, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gordon, Ed Griffis, Ken Hommel, Bob Ingersoll, Greg Janover, Deb Kainer, Tom Kilgallon, Joel Kunkel, Melinda Lujan, Richard Mann, Alan Perris, Anthony Salerno, Michelle Stanton, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Ted Zawislak