NBC Presents at The Winter Tour


Friday, January 14, 2011




On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

NBC Universal


Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

Repeat Riddled CBS Inches Past ABC


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Boy, the Way Glenn Miller Played


Note: The Programming Insider will not be published on Monday due to the President’s Day holiday. See you back on Tuesday, January 18.


On the Winter Press Tour Menu:

NBC Universal  


NBC Universal kicked-off its day at The Winter Press Tour with Syfy hours Being Human, a supernatural drama about three young roommates who try to live normal lives despite being a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf; and reality/competition Face Off, which focuses on the world of make-up artists. But it was Kara DioGuardi, who was here for Bravo music competition Platinum Hit, who hit a real sour note by refusing to answer a reporter’s question about American Idol.


“You know what, I am happy to address that with you privately,” said DioGuardi, as she was booed by the audience.  “But today, I’m really here for Platinum Hit and to celebrate that. I’m here as a hit songwriter, and I’ve sold over 150-million albums. And that’s what I love this show, because it enables me to help young songwriters — that is my passion in life — to be able to reach the market and have success.”


After the session, DioGuardi told a reporter he could read all about American Idol in the book she is writing. Boo! Hiss!


In other Bravo news, the cable network has renewed Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, The Rachel Zoe Project, Flipping Out, The Millionaire Matchmaker and Work of Art: The Next Great Artist for new seasons. Bethenny Getting Married is morphing into Bethenny Ever After next season. Kathy Griffin will be back with four new stand-up comedy specials. And the new roster of series includes Rocco’s Dinner Party, Million Dollar Decorators, Pregnant in Heels and aforementioned Platinum Hit. 


In Oxygen news, Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto of Fox’s Glee have signed on to executive produce Oxygen’s upcoming reality/competition The Glee Project. It premieres in June with the first of 10 episodes. Oxygen, in addition, will debut docu-series All About Aubrey on March 7 at 10 p.m. ET, with two new series planned for this spring: Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings and The World According to Paris, with the infamous Paris Hilton.


NBC presented in the afternoon with sessions on new series The Cape, Perfect Couples and Harry’s Law, and sophomore sitcom Community. See TV Tidbits below for Mr. TV’s observations.


Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

Repeat Riddled CBS Inches Past ABC


Thursday 1/13/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.



CBS   6.7/11
ABC 6.6/10
Fox     3.2/ 5
NBC   2.3/ 4
CW     1.0/ 2

-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.


-Yesterday’s Winners:

The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Wipeout (ABC), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), The Mentalist R (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Million Dollar Money Drop (Fox)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Despite airing predominantly repeats last night, CBS still managed to finish first in the Thursday overnights — one-tenth of a rating point ahead of second-place ABC. But ABC is the network to beat among adults 18-49. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by a night of all repeats on NBC and The CW. Smack in the middle of January and half of the line-up were encore telecasts.


A repeat of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which was just renewed for three more seasons, won the 8 p.m. half-hour, with a 7.3 rating/12 share in the overnights. Next was $#*! My Dad Says with a 6.6/10 (#1), followed by repeats of CSI (#2: 6.3/10) and The Mentalist (#1: 7.0/12) from 9-11 p.m. Although Fox’s American Idol moves into the Thursday 8 p.m. hour next week, do not expect The Big Bang Theory to just sit back and play dead.


Over at ABC, recent returnee Wipeout has brought the network to life in the 8 p.m. hour, with a second-place 6.2/10 in the overnights. Comparably (and opposite The Big Bang Theory encore), Wipeout is expected to win the time period among adults 18-49. Next on ABC was already renewed Grey’s Anatomy (#1: 9.2/14 at 9 p.m.), followed by a repeat of the pilot episode of Off the Map (#2: 4.5/ 8 at 10 p.m.). Although Shonda Rhimes, who was at The Winter Tour earlier in the week, claims Off the Map is very different from Grey’s Anatomy, it is basically Grey’s set in the jungle.


Elsewhere, Fox kicked-off the evening with lackluster game show Million Dollar Money Drop (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 8 p.m.), followed by a repeat of Bones tied for third at 9 p.m. with a 2.8/ 4. Look for Bones to benefit once American Idol steps into the Thursday 8 p.m. hour next week.


NBC, which featured a session on Community at The Winter Tour yesterday, aired a night of all repeats as follows:

 8:00 p.m. – Community (R): 2.1/ 3 (#4)
 8:30 p.m. – Community (R): 1.9/ 3 (#4)
 9:00 p.m. – The Office (R): 2.6/ 4 (#4)
 9:30 p.m. – The Office (R): 2.8/ 4 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – 30 Rock (R): 2.3/ 4 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – 30 Rock (R): 2.0/ 3 (#3)


As I have said in the past, airing a three-hour comedy block is not a wise maneuver. 


The CW closed the evening with repeats of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 1.2/ 2) and Nikita (#5, 1.0/ 2). Given the time of year, there should not be so many repeats floating around.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-More Than 30 Million Viewers Tune in for President Obama:

Nielsen is reporting that 30.77 million viewers tuned into for President Obama’s address to the country on Wednesday, January 12 at the memorial service for the victims of a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. The participating networks were ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Friday 1/14/11

 9:00 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Medium
 9:00 p.m. CSI: NY

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

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It
 9:00 p.m.  Dateline (two hours)
 8:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares (R)
 9:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares (R)
 8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


Saturday 1/15/11

 8:00 p.m. Wipeout (R)
 9:00 p.m. The Miss America Pageant
 8:00 p.m. NCIS (R)
 9:00 p.m. The Defenders (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Chuck (R)
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: Los Angeles (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

 8:00 p.m. NFL Divisional Playoff Game

Sunday 1/16/11

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (R)
 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters

 7:00 p.m. AFC Divisional Playoff Game
 8:00 p.m. 60 Minutes  
 9:00 p.m. Undercover Boss

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami


 7:00 p.m. 2011 Golden Globes Red Carpet Special

 9:00 p.m. The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards

 7:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)
 7:30 p.m. American Dad (time period premiere)
 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
 8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers
 9:00 p.m. Family Guy
 9:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More Wendy Williams:

Debmar-Mercury as renewed first-run talker The Wendy Williams Show for a third season, with clearances in more than 70 percent of the country including stations in the Fox, CBS, NBC, Local TV, Tribune, Lin, Cox, Raycom, Meredith and New Vision groups. 


Season to-date, The Wendy Williams Show ranks No. 11 out of 12 talk shows, with a 1.1 rating in AA (average audience) households, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Comparably, that is equal to one week earlier. 

-Dynasty on the Big Screen:

Hit series never officially die, they end up on the big screen. And the latest entry is an update of classic ABC serialized drama Dynasty from creators Richard and Esther Shapiro. The plan is to trace the roots of the characters, with a re-telling of a young Blake Carrington meeting evil first wife Alexis. Damn it!

-Sad News:

Former Touched by an Angel star John Dye passed away on Monday of a heart attack at his home in San Francisco. He was 47. A public memorial service will take place on Saturday, January 22 at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Amory, Mississippi, the town where Dye was born and his parents still live. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Amory Food Pantry or a local food bank, or to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

-On the NBC TCA Panel Front:

Monday 9 p.m.


The Premise:

After a framed police detective witnesses the murder of the city’s new police chief by a mysterious individual, he accepts an offer to work for a private security firm and tries to clear his name by taking the guise of his son’s favorite comic book hero, “The Cape”.


Lead-in: Chuck


The Bachelor (ABC) and Dancing with the Stars in February (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS) and Mike & Molly (CBS), The Chicago Code (Fox), Gossip Girl (NBC)


Who Was on the Panel:

Keith David, Jennifer Ferrin, James Frain, Summer Glau, Vinnie Jones, David Lyons; and executive producers Tom Wheeler and John Wirth.


The Scoop:

Tom Wheeler on the theme of The Cape:


“We are beginning to see that we can capture different tones. Like one episode can have sort of a science fiction feel to it. We just finished shooting a two-part episode that has a very gothic, frightening kind of energy, I mean, truly frightening. And I love that. I love the ability to tell a story that’s a crime story in the city, but then that’s what’s great, the latitude of storytelling. So we’re going to have fun, but it’s emotionally grounded. You know, it’s character-driven.”


The Reality:

Potentially positive for The Cape was the respectable sampling in its two-hour preview on Sunday, January 9 (Viewers: 8.45 million; A18-49: 2.6/ 7). But facing CBS’ Two and a Half Men and eventually Dancing with the Stars on ABC without the benefit of any lead-in support will not be simple. 


Chances of Survival for The Cape (Out of a Scale of 1-1 to 10-1):



Thursday 8:30 p.m.


The Premise:

Three very different couples search for the perfect relationship in this new Friends-like sitcom.  


Lead-in: Community


Wipeout (ABC), $#*! My Dad Says (CBS) and Rules of Engagement (CBS), American Idol (Fox), The Vampire Diaries (CW)


Who Was on the Panel:

Kyle Bornheimer, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Hayes MacArthur, Olivia Munn, Nicolette Robinson, David Walton, Christine Woods; executive producer/director Andy Ackerman; and creator and executive producers Jon Pollack and Scott Silveri.


The Scoop:

The dynamics of Perfect Couples according to Scott Silveri:


“In a show like this that deals with relationships — we’ve seen shows that are in this arena before — it really comes down to is who these characters are and how they interact. And we’re really excited about these guys and the characters we’ve created, the people we’re lucky enough to have playing them, and their dynamics.”


Added Jon Pollack:


“We started writing this in 2009, but I think things are the same in 2011. Gender roles have never been more confused, so that’s a good time. It gives us an opportunity really to kind of subvert a lot of gender stereotypes, which is a good time because that feels very real and honest to us. It’s fun for us to have couples where the husband and wife are best friends. It’s not a beer commercial, I think, is kind of the mantra that we’ve used. So we’re trying to be very 2011 as we look at relationships.”


The Reality:

That’s right…yet another new comedy about a group of good looking young people looking for…yawn…a good relationship. With no lead-in support from sophomore Community and opposite relocated American Idol, Perfect Couples (which already previewed to abysmal results on Monday, December 20) will not look so perfect when the ratings come in.


Chances of Survival for Perfect Couples (Out of a Scale of 1-1 to 10-1):



Monday 10 p.m.


The Premise:

A grumpy lawyer (Kathy Bates), who abruptly loses her job, finds herself partnered with a legal hotshot (Nate Corddry) and a young college student (Aml Ameen) in a new law firm.    


Lead-in: The Cape


Castle (ABC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS)


Who Was on the Panel:

Kathy Bates, Aml Ameen, Nate Corddry, Brittany Snow; executive producer Bill D’Elia; and creator/executive producer David E. Kelley


The Scoop:

David E. Kelley on the character of Harry originally being of the male gender:


“The character, as described, was this curmudgeonly, cantankerous old grump who was a man. We tried to cast him. Didn’t quite find the right actor that inhabited all the traits that we were looking for. As soon as we opened it for a woman we jumped at the idea of Kathy Bates. We didn’t know if Kathy would jump, but we got her the script, and fortunately for us, she said yes. “


Kathy Bates on doing a TV series:


“I’m really an actor driven by wanting to play a great character. And that’s what attracted me in the beginning, was finding this terrific character that just jumped off the page. And I really didn’t care at that point whether it was the little screen or the big screen. I just really wanted to play this character.”


The Reality:

Yes, Harry’s Law faces two established programs. Yes, Harry’s Law does not have proven lead-in support. And, yes, NBC has not had much luck in this time period since Medium a few seasons back. But the pilot looked promising, Kathy Bates is commanding, and competing Hawaii Five-O is not the breakout hit CBS was hoping for. That said, there could be some hope for Harry’s Law. 


Chances of Survival for Harry’s Law (Out of a Scale of 1-1 to 10-1):

TV Trivia Time:

Boy, the Way Glenn Miller Played


What President was mentioned in the opening theme song of All in the Family?

a)      Dwight Eisenhower
b)      Herbert Hoover
c)      Abraham Lincoln
d)      Richard Nixon
e)      Franklin Roosevelt

The answer to yesterday’s question…


What state was Walter “Radar” O’Reilly from on longp-running comedy MASH?


a)      Iowa

b)      Kansas

c)      Missouri

d)      Montana

e)      West Virginia


Is:  a) Iowa…Ottumwa, Iowa to be exact.

-Current kudos goes to:
Don Abel, Suzanne Ackley, Joanne Albrecht, Arlene Bailey, Becky Beaty, Mikki Beno, Gerry Bixenspan, Bobby Bernard, Carolyn Bisson, Kimay Bloch, Lisa Bruase, John Brooker, Paul Certo, Cory Chapman, Kristin Conner, Harold Cooper, Leslie Creason, Audrey Davis, Reid Davis, James Davison, Scott Dickson, Mike Digger, Sue Doron, Chris Ellis, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Beth Gelfond, Maureen Goldman, Ed Griffis, Scott Hamula, Kevin Harlan, Barb Hemberger, Jerry Hermes, Brad Hight, Melissa Hodgdon (2x), Michael Holland, Ken Hommel, Mark Howorth, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Kathryn Kieser, Tom Kilgallon, Joel Kunkel, Steven Kurtzer, Gary Kuyper, Steve La Rue, Tom Lawrenson, Charmaine Leary, Howard Lieboff, Cathy Looze, Clausia Martin, Jim Moore, Mathew Morse, Michael Murphy, Michael Natale, Tad O-ROurke, Laura Pagel, Alan Perris, Amy Preisendefer, David Presler, David Primuth, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Arthur Reinstein, Nick Rice, Con Rigg, Tina Rolon, Jim Romanovich, Lance Ross, Jay Rossi, Colleen Roth, Mary Ryan, Anthony Salerno, Carly Schinzing, Russell Schwartz, David Shearer, Janet Shute, Mark Simmons, Julie Stowell, Kristin Strauss, Trenna Underhill, Linda Weeks, Evan Weinstein,
Larry Weinstock, Tammy Wiard, Abbott Wool, Jeanne Yonkers, Ted Zawi