Octomom Special Fizzles on Fox


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

NBC Wins; Lackluster Octomom


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Sawyer’s Nicknames


Note: The Programming Insider will be on hiatus the week of August 24. 


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

NBC Wins; Lackluster Octomom


Wednesday 8/19/09



NBC 5.0/ 9

CBS   4.0/ 7

ABC 3.9/ 7
Fox    3.1/ 5

CW    0.9/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, August 20, 2008):

Note: NBC aired The Summer Olympics on the year-ago evening. 

ABC: +34, CW: +29, Fox: +11, CBS: + 3, NBC: -72

-Yesterday’s Winners:

(Expectations are, of course, lower in the summer months)

America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage (Fox)

-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led the midweek overnight troops, with its combination of a repeat of America’s Got Talent (#2: 4.3 rating/8 share), an original installment of America’s Got Talent (#1: 6.7/11 — top-rated for the evening), and a repeat of Law & Order: SVU (#2: 4.0/ 7). Second-place CBS aired repeats of its regularly scheduled line-up of The New Adventures of Old Christine (#3t, 3.0/ 6), Gary Unmarried (#4: 2.9/ 5), Criminal Minds (#2: 4.8/ 8) and CSI: NY (#1: 4.2/ 7). That rotation will remain intact next season.


Next up was ABC care of ongoing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (#1: 4.7/ 8), a later edition of Wipeout (#3: 3.3/ 5 at 9 p.m.), and summer newsmagazine Primetime: Crime (#3: 3.6/ 6). Consider Millionaire’s return performance this summer both respectable and older skewing. If ABC decides to ever bring it back, it should drop the celebrity question at the end of each telecast, which detracts from the excitement of seeing an everyday person compete.


Over at Fox, two-hour special Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage was certainly not incredible in the ratings, with an average 3.1/ 5 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:


Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 3.0/ 5 (#3t)
8:30 p.m.: 3.0/ 5 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 3.2/ 5 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 3.1/ 5 (#4)

After viewing part of last night’s telecast, all I can personally say is three is enough for me!


Capping off this third Wednesday in August were two repeat episodes of America’s Next Top Model on The CW at an average 0.9/ 2 from 8-10 p.m. The new season of Top Model (with contestants 5’7” or under) kicks-off with a two-hour installment on Wednesday, Sept. 9.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Record Flipping Out on Bravo:

Season three of Bravo’s real estate-driven Flipping Out opened with a record 1.03 million viewers and 760,000 adults 18-49 on Tuesday, August 18 at 10 p.m. Comparably, that was up by 358,000 viewers (672,000 to 1.03 million) and a hefty 49 percent among adults 18-49 (511,000 to 760,000) from its season two premiere on June 17, 2008. 


-Above Average Big Brother:

 CBS’ growing Big Brother 11 reached another season high, with 7.98 million viewers and a first-place finish in both adults 18-49 (3.0 rating/9 share) and adults 18-34 (2.3/ 7) in the 9 p.m. hour on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Compared to last Tuesday’s telecast, Big Brother built by 1.30 million viewers and as much as 16 percent among adults 18-49. So long, Chima!


-Speaking of Tuesday:

Here are the final national rating results for Tuesday, August 18:


Total Viewers:

NBC: 9.89 million, CBS: 7.32, Fox: 5.66, ABC: 4.64, MNTV: 1.32, CW: 710,000


Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.6 rating/8 share, NBC: 2.5/ 8, CBS: 2.0/ 6, ABC: 1.4/ 4, MNTV: 0.4/ 1, CW: 0.3/ 1

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Thursday 8/20/09

 8:00 p.m. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

 8:00 p.m. Big Brother
 9:00 p.m. CSI (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. 30 Rock (R)
 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation (R)
 9:00 p.m. The Office (R)
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. NFL Pre-Season Game (Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts)
 8:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)
 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)
 8:00 p.m. Movie: Nuns on the Run (R)

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-NBC Extends Sunday Night Football:

NBC Sports and The National Football League have extended their broadcast partnership for an additional two years, taking it through the 2013 season. The original six-year deal was set to expire in 2011. Under the new agreement, NBC will broadcast 16 regular Sunday Night Football games, the NFL Opening Kickoff Thursday night game, the two Wildcard Saturday games, and all pre-season games in primetime.


-MyNetworkTV Confirms Year Four:

MyNetworkTV, which began as the home of serialized telenovelas in 2006, switched to non-scripted, and is now morphing into predominantly all repeats, has signed new deals with 140 affiliate stations representing 86 percent of the country. The network is expected to come close to its current lineup of 175 stations (totaling 97 percent of the country) once all the deals are signed. 


-Send it On Carries a Strong Tune:

Inspirational anthem Send it On, performed by Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato for Disney initiative Friends for Change: Project Green has hit it big since debuting on Disney Radio on Friday, August 7 and on iTunes on Tuesday, August 11. Send it On has finished in the top 10 on iTunes every day since it began, with all proceeds going to environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. 

-Shelley Long Joins Cast of Modern Family:

Former Cheers star Shelley Long, who came and quickly went in post-Cheers comedies Good Advice and Kelly Kelly, will join the cast of upcoming ABC sitcom Modern Family as Ed O’Neill’s ex-wife. Modern Family, which premieres on September 23, is scheduled Wednesday at 9 p.m. out of The Middle and into Cougar Town. Long’s former Cheers co-star Kelsey Grammer leads off the night in new comedy Hank. Historically, no network has ever attempted four new half-hour scripted sitcoms in a row. 


Worth repeating from the Summer Press Tour analysis of Modern Family:


ABC is so high on Modern Family, it screened the entire pilot at its upfront presentation in May. That was a smart move: the audience laughed non-stop and the buzz began to build. Unfortunately, however, Modern Family is airing smack in the middle of a brand new two-hour sitcom block, which will be no easy feat. Unfortunately, there is plenty of competition, mainly the two crime dramas: Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU. And, unfortunately, ABC has not had a hit comedy in years. But as an alternative to four dramas, Modern Family could — and should — succeed if ABC exercises patience. This is a sitcom too good to pass up.


-Chance of Survival for Modern Family (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):


-Coming Up on DVD:

Season four of Fox crime drama Bones, which anchors Thursday next season, makes its debut on DVD on Tuesday, Oct. 6.


-On a Sad Note:

News pioneer Don Hewitt, who created CBS’ 60 Minutes in 1968, passed away on Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at his Bridgehampton home. He was 86. In a career spanning six decades, Hewitt’s highlights included directing the first network television newscast on May 3, 1948; originating the use of cue cards; executive producing the first half-hour newscast for the CBS Evening News (with Walter Cronkite); and directing the first televised presidential debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960.

TV Trivia Time:

Sawyer’s Nicknames


Lost rebel Sawyer commonly refers to Kate as “Freckles,” but he has other nicknames for her as well. Which one of the following has not been one of them?


a)      Jungle Chick

b)      The Mighty Huntress

c)      Sassafrass

d)      Shortcake

e)      Sweet Cheeks


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following sitcoms never finished the season ranked in the top 20 (in households)?


a)      AfterMASH

b)      Angie

c)      My Two Dads

d)      The Odd Couple

e)      The Ropers


Is: d) The Odd Couple, which aired on ABC from 1969-74 and was never a success in the ratings. Once it began running in off-network syndication, viewers seemed to notice. As for the others:

AfterMASH: 1983-84 season: #15
Angie: 1978-79: #5

My Two Dads: 1987-88: #20 (tied with Valerie’s Family)

The Ropers: 1978-79: #8

AfterMASH, Angie and The Ropers all collapsed in season two, which the equally inane My Two Dads made it into season three. All together now:


“On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down he knew she was right. But he also knew that someday he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Sometime earlier, Madison’s wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?”


-Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Audrey Davis (3x), John Ferlazzo, Julie Friedlander, Maureen Goldman, Ken Hommel, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Steven Kurtzer, Debbie Mirr, Alan Perris, Joe Rubi, David Shearer, Andrew Stearn