NBC’s Southland Opens Stronger Than Harper’s Island on CBS

Friday, April 10, 2009

CBS Wins; Ample Sampling for NBC’s Southland; Disappointing Harper’s Island on CBS

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:

An Easter Secret

Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Ample Sampling for NBC’s Southland; Disappointing Harper’s Island on CBS

Thursday 4/09/09


CBS   7.6/13

NBC   5.3/ 9

Fox     5.2/ 9

ABC   3.4/ 6


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 10, 2008):

NBC: + 4, CW: no change, ABC: -11, CBS: -23, Fox: -46

-Yesterday’s Winners:
CSI (CBS), Southland (NBC)
-Down But Far From Out:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:

Bones (Fox), The Office (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)

Harper’s Island (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

In the Motherhood (ABC), Samantha Who? (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished first in the overnights on this second Thursday in April, with a 43 percent advantage over second-place NBC. But the 10 p.m. battle of the two drama premieres — Harper’s Island on CBS versus Southland on NBC — was won by NBC. Third overall was Fox (one-tenth of a rating point behind NBC), followed by ABC and a night of repeats on the CW.


As the warmer weather makes its way, HUT levels continue to drop and ratings continue to decrease. With that in mind, CBS’ Survivor: Tocantins was still dominant, but below-average from 8-9 p.m., with a 6.1/11 in the overnights. One year earlier, Survivor: Micronesia (opposite a Thursday edition of Fox’s American Idol) was stronger at a 6.6/11. Not airing an original episode for two straight weeks (the clips show does not count) was not beneficial for Survivor. And what a disappointing ending that was, wasn’t it?

Right on the heels of Survivor: Tocantins was Fox’s underrated Bones at a 5.8/10. For more on Bones, see TV Tidbits below.

In series-premiere news, NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation finished third in the 8:30 p.m. time period, with a 4.5/ 8. Comparably, that built from an 8 p.m. installment of The Office (#3: 4.8/ 8) by five percent, and recent occupant Kath & Kim (avg. 3.4 rating in the metered markets) by 32 percent. While airing out of diluted My Name is Earl will not be beneficial to Parks and Recreation next week (and beyond), The Office always scores among adults 18-49 and Parks and Recreation was sampled. That’s all you can ask for in week one.


Rounding off the 8 p.m. hour were failing ABC sitcoms In the Motherhood (#4: 3.1/ 6) and Samantha Who? (#4: 3.2/ 5), which is struggling without the support of former lead-in Dancing With the Stars, and a repeat of the CW’s Smallville (#5: 1.6/ 3).


CBS stood well above the competition at 9 p.m. care of veteran CSI at a 10.2/17. Comparably, that built from the second half of lead-in Survivor: Tocantins (6.3/11 at 8:30 p.m.) by 62 percent. Finishing in the distant No. 2 spot overall were NBC’s The Office (#2: 4.7/ 8) and 30 Rock (#3: 4.5/ 7), followed by Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (#3: 4.6/ 8), which like the NBC comedies is always on the map among adults 18-49. Capping off the hour was a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (#4: 3.8/ 6), which never repeats well, and a repeat of the CW’s Supernatural (#5: 1.6/ 3). 


NBC got a nice jolt of optimism at 10 p.m., with the debut if Southland at a dominant 6.9/12 share in the overnights. Comparably, that built by a hefty 53 percent from lead-in 30 Rock, while outdelivering former occupant ER in 14 out of the last 16 telecasts. The debut of Harper’s Island on CBS finished a close second, with a 6.7/12. But unlike Southland, which lost no audience at 10:30 p.m., Harper’s Island dipped by 14 percent (7.2/12 to 6.2/11). It also dropped from the second half of lead-in CSI (10.4/17) by a considerable 36 percent. And the season (or series) finale of Eleventh Hour one week earlier was stronger at a 7.2/12. 

In a nutshell:

Southland (NBC): growth from both the lead-in and former occupant ER; no loss of audience at 10:30 p.m.

Harper’s Island (CBS): only 64 percent retention out of 9:30 p.m. portion of CSI; down seven percent from Eleventh Hour one week earlier; noticeable tune-out at 10:30 p.m.

The winner is: Southland.

Capping off the 10 p.m. hour was a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice at a distant third-place 3.2/ 5.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Sluggish Start for ABC’s The Unusuals:

Although the debut of ABC Wednesday dramedy The Unusuals was an improvement over recent occupants Life on Mars and Dirty Sexy Money, its launch this week was nothing extraordinary. The Unusuals kicked-off with 6.83 million viewers and a 2.1 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m., according to the final nationals. Comparably, that finished a distant second behind CBS’ CSI: NY (Viewers: 12.50 million; A18-49: 3.3/ 9), with retention out of Lost (Viewers: 8.56 million; A18-49: 3.8/10) of 80 percent in total viewers and 64 percent in the demo. Assuming The Unusuals drops in the vicinity of 10 to 20 percent next week, ABC will have to exercise patience if it wants this show to succeed. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Friday 4/10/09

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernanny

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It (two original half hours)

 9:00 p.m. Friday Night Lights (season finale)

10:00 p.m. Dateline

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

 9:00 p.m. Dollhouse


 8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris (R)

 8:30 p.m. The Game (R)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

 8:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!
Saturday 4/11/09
 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Ten Commandments (R)
 8:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

 9:00 p.m. Without a Trace (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R)

 9:00 p.m. Southland (R)

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

 8:00 p.m.  Cops (two repeats)

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Hot Shots (R)

Sunday 4/12/09

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos (R)

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (two hours)

10:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives (R)

 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race

 9:00 p.m. Cold Case

10:00 p.m. The Unit

 7:00 p.m. Dateline

 8:00 p.m. Kings

 9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (two hours)


 7:00 p.m. American Dad (R)

 7:30 p.m. King of the Hill (R)

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)

 8:30 p.m. King of the Hill (R)

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy (R)

 9:30 p.m. American Dad (R)


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Movie: 3 Strikes (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Coming Up on NBC This Summer:

NBC has changed the premiere dates of its two original miniseries this summer: Meteor and The Storm. Meteor, which focuses on a giant meteor that is heading straight to earth, will air on Sunday, July 12 and 19 from 9-11 p.m. And The Storm, described as the ultimate tale of man against nature, will air for the next two Sundays on July 26 and August 2. 


-Fox Schedules Bones and Lie to Me Encores:

In a move that likely means both Bones and Lie to Me will be back on Fox next season, the network has scheduled repeats of both dramas this summer. Encore telecasts of House and Lie to Me will populate Monday beginning on May 25, and the Bones second-runs will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. leading into the new season of So You Think You Can Dance. 


-Burn-Off Theater on ABC:

As previously announced, ABC will air the final three episodes of Pushing Daisies Saturdays at 10 p.m. this summer beginning on May 30. Once Daisies concludes, the remaining four telecasts of Eli Stone will begin on June 20. And following Eli Stone is the final four installments of Dirty Sexy Money, beginning on July 18.


-Lucy-Desi Days:

Want to spend a weekend revisiting everybody’s favorite red head, Lucille Ball, and her underrated hubby, Desi Arnaz? The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York, Lucy’s hometown, will be hosting a Lucy-Desi Days festival from Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24. Included in this three day extravaganza will be video-enhanced tours of Jamestown, a collector’s show, a tribute to Orson Welles and Desilu Studios, a Tropicana luncheon, a trivia contest, a special event with Keith “Little Ricky” Thibodeaux, outdoor screenings of I Love Lucy, rarely seen episodes of Life With Lucy co-hosted by Michael Stern, Lucy’s “Number One Fan” (www.lucysnumberonefan.com), and a special tribute by Lucie Arnaz. For more information, click on www.lucy-days.com.


TV Trivia Time:

An Easter Secret


What was the secret Pat was hiding when Amy’s parents visited for Easter on Everybody Loves Raymond?

she was not a virgin when she got married
she has a gambling problem
she smokes
she has a job
Amy was adopted 

The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…


What was the name of the detective agency on Moonlighting?

Blue Moon
Gray Skies
Green Grass
Silver Rainbow
Yellow Rose

Is:  a) Blue Moon. All together now…


Some walk by night,
Some fly by day,
Nothing could change you,
Set and sure of the way.

There is the sun and moon,
They sing their own sweet tune,
Watch them when dawn is due,
Sharing one space.

We’ll walk by night,
We’ll fly by day,
Moonlighting strangers
Who just met on the way.

-Current kudos goes to:
Don Abel, Suzanne Ackley, Anna Alvord, Mark Amato, Michelle Amundson, David Ballarotto, Mary Bancroft, Becky Beaty, Gail Belle, Laurie Biddle, Carolyn Bisson, Gerry Bixenspan, Randy Blake, Kimay Bloch, Mark Braff, John Brooker, Denni Brouhard, Peggy Campbell, Patti Clements, Larry Collins, Kristin Conner, Harold Cooper, Kay Copeland, Annie Courtney, Audrey Davis, Terrence Dean, Hannah Deason, Ric Dittman, Sue Doron, Chris Ellis, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Serri Ferranter, Arleen Fong, Julie Friedlander, Michael Fruchtman, Gina Giaccardo, Adam Giagni, Leon Gittens, Maureen Goldman, Jackie Hague, Michelle Harrington, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Hentschel, John Hezlep, Brad Hight, Heidi Hoffmeister, Michael Holland, Mark Howorth, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, Mary Kalnin, Kathryn Kieser, Tom Kilgallon, Mary Kinoshita, Joel Kunkel, Andi Kupersmith, Jay Liebenguth, Rick Locke, Christy Stratton Mann, Valeri Marquart, Kathy Martin, Mary Ann McAleer, Tricia McKee, John Merrill, Sharon Merritt, Rich Miller, Debbie Mirr, Judith Mullen, Michael Murphy, Maggie Nye, Cindy O’Connor, Jay Ogletree, Laura Pagel, Aaron Paquette, Pat Patton, Alan Perris, Greg Phelan, Mary Politano, Robyn Brown-Postell, Amy Preisendefer, Michael Ratliffe, Joye Riddle, Bruce Robinson, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Jay Rossi, Colleen Roth, Harley David Rubin, Neal Sabin, Ron Salmon, Judy Schrader, David Shall, Jeremy Simms, Kim Smith, DeWayne Snype, Michelle Stanton, Mickie Steinmann, Jan Stewart, Ivan Tafur, Ronnie Tallant, Carol Teichman, Pam Tierney, Ami Weiner, Evan Weinstein, Beverly Wolfinbarger, John Wood, Ged Young, Ted Zawislak