NBC Wins Wednesday; Sluggish Start for Fox’s Secret Millionaire

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
NBC Wins, Modest Start for Fox’s Secret Millionaire
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
National Ratings in Prime-Time:
Week of November 24, 2008
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Good Night, John Boy
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
NBC Wins, Modest Start for Fox’s Secret Millionaire
Wednesday 12/03/08
NBC 7.0/11
CBS   5.7/ 9
Fox    4.7/ 7
ABC 4.3/ 7
CW    1.1/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, December 5, 2007):

Fox: +34, NBC: + 6, CBS: – 7, ABC: -25, CW: -62

Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Wednesday, December 3, 2008.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC), Law & Order (NBC)

-Expected Winner Among Adults 18-49:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer R (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Pushing Daisies (ABC), The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night (CBS), Stylista (CW), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led the Wednesday overnight troops, with an average 23 percent advantage over second-place CBS. Next was Fox, followed by ABC and lowly the CW.


Annual special Christmas in Rockefeller Center opened the evening for NBC with a dominant 7.3 rating/12 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. Comparably, that was an improvement of 12 percent over it’s year-ago telecast (6.5/10 on Nov. 28, 2007). With stronger lead-in support than the regularly scheduled Knight Rider, NBC’s Life at 9 p.m. perked up to a season-high (and also first-place) 5.6/ 9 from 9-10 p.m. And veteran Law & Order capped off the midweek evening with an also dominant (and season high) 8.1/14 at 10 p.m. Had Life not dipped by 24 percent from the second half of lead-in Christmas in Rockefeller Center (7.4/12 at 8:30 p.m.), that too would have been listed as a “winner.” For more of Knight Rider, meanwhile, see TV Tidbits below. 


CBS’ annual holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was below average at a second-place 6.5/11 in the overnights at 8 p.m. One year earlier it scored a heftier 8.7/13 on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007. But you can still expect a first-place time period finish among adults 18-49 for the ‘ol reindeer. Next on CBS was one hour special The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night at a disappointing (and fourth-place) 4.7/ 8 at 9 p.m. — 30 percent below the second half of lead-in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show capped off Wednesday for CBS with a second-place 5.9/10 at 10 p.m. One year earlier, the annual special scored an almost duplicate 5.8/ 9 on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007


In series- premiere news, back-to-back episodes of Fox’s well meaning Secret Millionaire averaged a so-so 4.7/ 7 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., building by half hour as follows:

Secret Millionaire (Fox)
8:00 p.m.: 4.1/ 7 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 5.0/ 8 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#3)

While these initial results were nothing extraordinary, helping the needy should be worthy of positive mention. So, let’s wait and see what the fast affiliate results like look before we pass any real judgment. 


Next overall was ABC with its low-rated combination of Pushing Daisies (#4: 3.7/ 6), which the critics raved about for nothing, soon-to-relocate Private Practice (#2: 5.3/ 9), and soon-to-depart Dirty Sexy Money (#3: 3.9/ 6), which is really a dirty, sexy shame. This show should have been a guilty addiction.


Last was the CW care of a repeat of Sylista (#5: 1.1/ 2) and an original installment of the failed reality/competition (#5: 1.2/ 2), When a network runs two hours of a clinker like Stylista, you know there is a shortage of programming!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-A Really Big Show on TBS:

Ellen’s Even Bigger Really Big Show on TBS scored 2.3 million viewers on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. — up 53 percent when compared to her show from last year’s edition of The Comedy Festival. In addition, the Ellen DeGeneres hosted special rose to 1.2 million adults 18-49, an increase of 57 percent from one year earlier.

-A Rising MyNetworkTV:

Based on ratings for the just concluded November 2008 sweeps, and led by Friday Night Smackdown!, MyNetworkTV rose to No. 10 overall among adults 18-49 across all platforms — up six notches from one year earlier. Comparatively, MyNetworkTV increased overall by 57 percent in households (1.1) and 50 percent among adults 18-49 (0.6), with growth of as much as 167 percent on Saturday.

-Britney: For the Record Scores on MTV:

The Sunday, Nov. 30th debut of Britney: For the Record on MTV averaged 3.7 million viewers with as high as a 3.5 rating among key persons 12-34. Comparably, all demos were up by triple-digit percentages over the prior four week time period average,

-November 2008 Cable Network Highlights:

What follows are the various rating highlights worth noting via cable network for the just completed month of November:

ABC Family:

Ignited by the annual Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas programming, ABC Family scored its most-watched November ever in prime-time based on total viewers (1.4 million), adults 18-49 (602,000), adults 18-34 (307,000) and viewers 12-34 (482,000). Comparably, this was the feel good cable net’s 25th consecutive month of year-to-year growth in adults 18-34 in prime-time, and 17th in a row (in both prime-time and total day) based on adults 18-49.

Adult Swim:

The home of non-kids driven cartoons, Adult Swim, finished November 2008 first overall in total day delivery of adults 18-34, adults 18-24 and men 18-34, with year-to-year growth of as much as 26 percent among adults 18-24. 


Bravo reached a new zenith in November in prime-time based on total viewers (673,000) and key adults 18-49 (413,000). Comparably, that was up by 4 and 12 percent, respectively, from November 2007.

History Channel:

Led by specials The White House: Behind Closed Doors and Einstein, History Channel rose to new November heights, growing by as much as 12 percent in adults 18-34 and adults 18-49. 


Oxygen broke the November record books in prime-time, building year-to-year by 30 percent in total viewers (388,000) and as much as 35 percent in both women 18-49 (153,000) and adults 18-49 (211,000).

Sci Fi Channel:

Sci Fi Channel rose to its best November to-date, with 1.3 million total viewers, 605,000 adults 18-49 and 689,000 adults 25-54. Comparably, the network continues to grow among key females, with year-to-year gains of as much as 17 percent among women 25-54.


Investigative driven truTV scored its most-watched November in adults 18-34 (193,000), adults 18-49 (473,000), men 18-34 (105,000) and men 18-49 (253,00), increasing from one year earlier by as much as 20 percent among men 18-49. The median age for truTV has also dropped, with 48 years old at present five years younger than Nov. 2007.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Thursday 12/04/08

 8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty

 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008


 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Gabon

 9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour

 8:00 p.m. My Name is Earl

 8:30 p.m. Kath & Kim

 9:00 p.m. The Office

 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock
10:00 p.m. ER

 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)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Driving Miss Daisy (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Clear and Present Danger (R)

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-ABC Announces Tuesday Anchor:

ABC will open Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET effective on Jan. 6, 2009 with a new non-scripted hour called Homeland Security USA. Formerly known as Border Security USA, the short-flight series will give viewers an unprecedented look at the people and organizations that protect our country. It concludes on Feb. 3.

-Also at ABC:

The network has slashed the episode order of upcoming drama remake Cupid from 13 to 9. As reported yesterday, Cupid launches on Tuesday, March 24 at 10 p.m.

-More Midseason Changes at NBC:

Struggling NBC has announced several additional programming changes in midseason. Returning drama Medium will move back to Mondays at 10 p.m. ET (out of Heroes) on Feb. 2. Celebrity Apprentice, which has been expanded to two hours, will air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET beginning on March 9. And upcoming drama Kings, a modern retelling of the King David story headlined by former Deadwood star Ian McShane, will kick-off Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET in place of ER on March 12. 


NBC, in addition, will utilize the coveted post Super Bowl spot on Feb. 1 with a one-hour installment of sitcom The Office. And the network’s failing remake of Knight Rider, which was picked-up for the full season and was in the process of being overhauled, will end the season earlier than anticipated. The network has reduced the episode order from 22 to 17. 

-Timeless International Update:

Comedian Sinbad (A Different World) and singer Dorinda Clark Cole have been named co-hosts of Timeless International’s upcoming The 24th Annual Gospel Music Awards Show, which will air during Black History Month in February 2009. In addition, The View co-host Sherri Shepherd and Law and Order star Anthony Anderson will co-host the distributor’s The 17th Annual Trumpet Awards Show, which is slated for April 2009. For more information, contact Sean Deneny at 818/575-8428.


The CW’s Reaper is returning, but not on Thursday as reported yesterday. The sophomore drama will return on Tuesday, March 17 at 9 p.m. ET (out of 90210 and in place of Privileged). 



TV Trivia Time:
Good Night, John Boy

Which Academy Award winning actress played an early love interest for John Boy on The Waltons?

a) Sally Field
b) Jodie Foster
c) Holly Hunter
d) Marlee Matlin
e) Sissy Spacek
The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following dramas did not reach the 100 episode mark?

a) Charmed
b) Felicity
c) Hart to Hart
d) Hill Street Blues
e) Miami Vice

Is: b) At 84 episodes, Felicity was 16 short of the magical 100. As for the rest…

-Charmed: 178 episodes
-Hart to Hart: 118 
-Hill Street Blues: 146
-Miami Vice: 111
-Current kudos goes to:

Mark Amato, Mikki Beno, Sheila Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Vanessa Coates, Phyllis Epstein, Geoffrey Gordon, Vicky Gregorian, Sherrie Hentschel, Michael Holland, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Deb Kainer, Mary Kinoshita, Tillie Nutter, Alan Perris, Jodi Perris, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Dewayne Snype, Elizabeth Warner, Michelle Yarborough