The Programming Insider: CBS Finales Best ABC

NCIS on CBS wraps another successful season with a dominant 11.7

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings: CBS Wins; Solid Dancing Ignited ABC
CBS in 2011-12: Five New Series, Changes on Every Night of the Week
Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time: One Network

Note: The Programming Insider will not be published tomorrow, but look for the unveiling of The CW’s fall 2011 line-up on


Tuesday 5/17/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.  All times are ET/PT.

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 10.2/16, ABC: 9.9/15, NBC: 5.1/ 8, Fox: 4.8/ 7, CW: 1.1/ 2

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

Yesterday’s Winners:
Dancing With the Stars (ABC), NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS), The Voice (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
One Tree Hill (CW), Raising Hope (Fox), Breaking In (Fox), Hellcats (CW)

Ratings Breakdown:
It was the overnight battle of CBS vs. ABC, with a night of season finales on CBS inching past the home of Dancing With the Stars by 3 percent.  In the distant No. 3 spot was NBC, followed by Fox and The CW.

NCIS on CBS closed another successful season with a dominant 11.7 rating/18 share at 8 p.m., followed by spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 10.3/15) and The Good Wife (#1: 8.8/14) from 9-11 p.m.  Kudos to the Eye net for an outstanding Tuesday this season.  ABC continues to milk Dancing With the Stars for all its worth with 8 p.m. special Dancing With the Stars: Freestyle Edition (#2: 9.8/15) leading into the live results show at a first-place 12.7/19 at 9 p.m.  So long, Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio.  Capping off the evening for the alphabet net was just renewed Body of Proof at a second-place 7.3/12 at 10 p.m.  Comparably, however, retention for Body of Proof out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars was only 55 percent.

Next fall on ABC are new sitcoms Last Man Standing and Man Up leading into Dancing With the Stars and Body of Proof.

Over at NBC, standout The Voice lost steam with a third-place 6.2/10 at 10 p.m.  But that was still 32 percent above the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser (#3: 4.7/ 7).  And it is expected to easily win the time period among adults 18-49.  Overall, two-hours of The Biggest Loser, which is one too many, averaged a 3.5/ 7 from 8-10 p.m.  Next fall, The Biggest Loser and family drama Parenthood remain intact.

Next was Fox care of demo-friendly Glee (#3: 6.7/10 at 8 p.m.), which officially peaked earlier in the season, and sitcoms Raising Hope (#4: 3.6/ 5) and canceled Breaking In (#4: 2.2/ 3).  As a reminder, Raising Hope moves to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. next fall out of upcoming sitcom New Girl.

Last and very least was The CW’s combination of the season-finale of just renewed One Tree Hill (#5: 1.3/ 2) and the series-finale of Hellcats (#5: 1.0/ 1), which clearly earned its pink slip.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


CBS in 2011-12
Five New Series, Changes on Every Night of the Week

CBS, the most-watched network, will introduce five new shows this fall (three dramas, two sitcoms), with changes impacting every evening of the week.  All three members of the CSI franchise, surprisingly, made the cut, but granddaddy CSI, which heads into season 12, shifts to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (in place of canceled Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior).  Also relocating to a new night is Emmy favorite The Good Wife, which moves to Sundays at 9 p.m. (in place of Undercover Boss, which returns in midseason) and, oddly, returning comedy Rules of Engagement, which will anchor Saturday at 8 p.m.  Leading out of Rules of Engagement will be sitcom repeats.  After years with no network willing to take a risk on Saturday, consider unfortunately doomed Rules a step in the right direction.

Earlier in the week, How I Met Your Mother has a new lead-out, 2 Broke Girls, the comedic tale of two young Brooklyn waitresses hoping to launch a successful business.  Airing out of returning NCIS and spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles in the Tuesday 10 p.m. hour is new crime solver Unforgettable, the story of a former police detective with an unusual ability.  Thursday will feature two new occupants – sitcom How to Be a Gentleman at 8:30 p.m., followed by J.J. Abrams thriller Person of Interest at 9 p.m., while drama A Gifted Man steps into the perennially troubled Friday 8 p.m. hour.

Unlike the competition, CBS the benefit of proven lead-in support for three of its five new entries: 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable, and How to Be a Gentleman.  And a line-up housed with so many hits gave the Eye net the luxury of actually trying to program Saturday.  But renewing all three hours of the declining CSI franchise sounds like shades of the once prosperous Law & Order trio on NBC, and there is no reason to think viewers will find Rules of Engagement on Saturday, which has never stood on its own (on a new night, no less).

Upcoming on CBS in midseason is crime drama The 2-2 from Robert De Niro and the aforementioned return of non-scripted Undercover Boss.  Not returning are $#*! My Dad Says, The Defenders  and recent entries Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Mad Love.

Here is CBS’s fall 2011 line-up (with new shows italicized in caps).

8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
8:30 p.m. 2 BROKE GIRLS
9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly
10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O

8:00 p.m. NCIS
9:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles

8:00 p.m. Survivor: South Pacific
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00 p.m. CSI (new day and time)

8:00 p.m.  The Big Bang Theory
10:00 p.m.  The Mentalist

8:00 p.m.  A GIFTED MAN
9:00 p.m.  CSI: NY
10:00 p.m.  Blue Bloods

8:00 p.m. Rules of Engagement (new day and time)
8:30 p.m. Comedytime Saturday (repeat sitcoms)
9:00 p.m. Crimetime Primetime (drama Repeats)
10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes
8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race
9:00 p.m.  The Good Wife (new day and time)
10:00 p.m.  CSI: Miami

New Program Descriptions


How to Be a Gentleman
Described as a male buddy sitcom, an uptight magazine writer learns the lessons of life with the help of his old high school friend.  Dave Foley, David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon star.

2 Broke Girls
Two struggling waitresses at a Brooklyn diner (Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings) aspire to open their own cupcake shop, but the catch is the $250,000 in start-up capital needed to make their dream come true.


A Gifted Man
The life of a brilliant surgeon (Patrick Wilson) changes forever when his deceased ex-wife begins teaching the meaning of life from the “hereafter.”

Person of Interest
From Lost creator J.J. Abrams, an ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel), presumed dead, and a scientist (Kevin Chapman) team up to attempt to prevent crimes before they occur.

The 2-2 (Midseason)
Six young NYPD rookies are the focus of this crime solver starring Leelee Sobieski, with Academy Award winner Robert De Niro listed as one of the producers.

An ex-cop with the ability to remember everything is drafted back onto the force.  Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) stars.


What’s Hot/What’s Not

Final National Ratings – Week of May 9:
It was another week of split leadership, but perennial household and total viewer winner CBS also dominated in adults 25-54, with a one-tenth of a rating point advantage over second-place Fox. Led by juggernaut American Idol, Fox continued to rule in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.  Excluding a third-place finish in adults 25-54, ABC finished second, with NBC fourth and The CW fifth.  Other than The CW, which slid considerably, network viewing levels were relatively on par from one year earlier.

Here are the overall results by network, followed by the top 20 rated shows of the week:

CBS: 6.4 rating/11 share (no change), ABC: 5.6/ 9 (+ 2), Fox: 4.9/ 8 (+ 4), NBC: 3.2/ 5 (- 9), CW: 1.2/ 2 (-20)

-Total Viewers: 
CBS: 10.51 million (+ 1), ABC: 8.89 (+ 3), Fox: 8.35 (+ 4), NBC: 5.14 (- 7), CW: 1.92 (-17)

-Adults 18-49: 
Fox: 2.8 rating/8 share (- 3), ABC: 2.4/ 7 (- 4), CBS: 2.4/ 7 (-11), NBC: 1.7/ 5 (- 6), CW: 0.9/ 3 (-18)

-Adults 25-54:
CBS: 3.3/ 8 (- 8), Fox: 3.2/ 8 (- 3), ABC: 3.0/ 8 (- 3), NBC: 2.0/ 5 (- 9), CW: 0.9/ 2 (-10)

-Adults 18-34: 
Fox: 2.3/ 8 (-12), ABC: 1.8/ 6 (- 5), CBS: 1.5/ 5 (-12), NBC: 1.3/ 4 (-17), CW: 0.9/ 3 (-25)

Top 20

-Total Viewers:
American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 23.05 million, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 22.45, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 20.77, NCIS (CBS): 17.62, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 17.54, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 14.74, The Mentalist (CBS): 14.07, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS, season finale): 13.30, Criminal Minds (CBS): 13.29, Castle (ABC): 12.60, 60 Minutes (CBS): 12.24, Blue Bloods (CBS, season finale): 11.79, CSI (CBS, season finale): 11.77, The Good Wife (CBS): 11.73, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 11.28, Survivor: Redemption Island Reunion (CBS): 10.91, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 10.78, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS, Wed, 8 p.m.): 10.77, Bones (Fox): 10.49, The Voice (NBC): 10.45

-Adults 18-49:
American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 7.1 rating/20 share, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 6.5/20, The Voice (NBC): 4.7/12, Modern Family (ABC): 4.3/11, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.2/12,  Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS, season finale): 4.0/10, Glee (Fox): 3.7/11, NCIS (CBS): 3.5/11, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 3.4/11, Dancing With the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.4/ 9, Survivor: Redemption Island Reunion (CBS): 3.4/ 8, Criminal Minds (CBS) and The Office (NBC): 3.3/ 9 each, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 3.2/ 9, Bones (Fox) and Family Guy (Fox): 3.2/ 8 each, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS, Wed, 8 p.m.): 3.1/ 9, Castle (ABC): 3.1/ 8, Desperate Housewives (ABC, season finale): 3.1/ 8, House (Fox): 3.0/ 8

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/11811

8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. The Middle (R)
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. Cougar Town
10:00 p.m. Happy Endings
10:30 p.m. Happy Endings

8:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (season finale)
10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It  
9:00 p.m. Minute to Win it (R)
10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU

8:00 p.m. American Idol (90-minutes)
9:30 p.m. Breaking In (series finale)

8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)
9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (season finale)


Notes of Interest

More CW Renewals:
The CW, which unveils its fall 2011 lineup tomorrow, has added veteran One Tree Hill and freshman drama Nikita to its list of renewals.  With pick-ups already issued to 90210, Gossip Girl, America’s Next Top Model, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural, expect three of the 10 hours of the schedule to be populated with new programming.


One Network Home

Note: To respond to the trivia, please click HERE. Do not click Reply

Four of the following series started on one network and ended on another.  Which one did not?

a) Bonanza
b) In the Heat of the Night
c) JAG
d) Matlock
e) Scrubs

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Who played Deputy Sebastian Shark in CBS legal drama Shark?

a) David James Elliott
b) Mike Farrell
c) John Larroquette
d) Chi McBride
e) James Woods

Is:  e) James Woods.  Shark aired from 2006 to 2008.

Current kudos goes to:
Jerry Beyer, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, John Brooker, John Carlo, Larry Collins, Andy Ehlen, Jim Forkan, Karen Gardner, George Gardner, Maureen Goldman, Jack Hill, Melissa Hodgdon, Marie Lefevre Karp, Synda Kollman, Anne Moynihan, Kimberley Orti, Joe Pedri, Darlene Piertak, Brooke Rizzuto, Jay Rossi, Colleen Roth, Harley David Rubin, Russell Schwartz, Maxine Shulman, Julie Syers, Abbott Wool, James Wooten