The Programming Insider: CBS, Fox Share Bragging Rights

The Voice and Glee remain in tune

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings: CBS Wins; NBC’s The Voice Still Resonates 
National Ratings in Prime Time: Week of May 2, 2011
Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time: Not in the Big Apple


Tuesday 5/10/11
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: 9.6/15, ABC: 9.3/15, NBC: 5.5/ 9, Fox: 4.7/ 7, CW: 1.0/ 2

Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday 5/11/10):
Note: American Idol aired on Fox on the year-ago evening.
ABC: +35, CW: +11, NBC: +10, CBS: – 3, Fox: -55

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

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

Ratings Breakdown:
CBS led the Tuesday overnights, inching past No. 2 ABC by 3 percent.  But third- and fourth-place occupants NBC and Fox will be on the adult 18-49 map thanks to The Voice and Glee.  In the distant No. 5 spot, of course, was The CW as a result of on-the-fence One Tree Hill (#5: 1.2 rating/ 2 share), which should have concluded a few seasons earlier, and expected-to-be-canceled freshman drama Hellcats (#5: 0.9/ 1), which collapsed right at the time it really needed audience support.

CBS opened with underrated hit drama NCIS at a dominant 10.9/17 in the overnights at 8 p.m., followed by compatible spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 9.3/14 at 9 p.m.) and critically acclaimed The Good Wife (#1: 8.5/14 at 10 p.m.), which is expected to generate a truckload of more Emmy nominations.

The standout on ABC, of course, was Dancing With the Stars, with the live results show (so long, Little Romeo) at a winning 12.5/19 in the overnights at 9 p.m.  Comparably, that was the highest-rated show of the evening.  At 8 p.m. on ABC was the Dancing With the Stars recap show (#2: 8.4/13), which is a double-digit improvement from recent occupants Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution and No Ordinary Family.  And capping off the evening was expected-to-be-renewed recent entry Body of Proof at a second-place 7.2/12 at 10 p.m.  Comparably, retention for Body of Proof out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars (12.6/19) was a modest 57 percent.

Over at NBC, The Biggest Loser returned to two hours, with an uneventful 4.6/ 7 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m.  One week earlier, the second half of breakout hit The Voice was considerably stronger at an 8.1/12 in the 9 p.m. hour.  The Biggest Loser led into a one-hour edition of relocated The Voice, which finished last at 10 p.m. with a 7.1/12.  But that was 31 percent above the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser (5.4/ 8).  And The Voice is a lock for solid dominance among adults 18-49.  If I were programming NBC, I would find a way to expand The Voice back to two hours (while decreasing The Biggest Loser to one).

Next was Fox with the prom-themed edition of Glee (#3: 6.7/11 at 8 p.m.), which is the show to beat in the time period among adults 18-49, followed by Mr. TV favorite Raising Hope (#4: 3.3/ 5 at 9 p.m.), which deserves a larger audience, and just-canceled Traffic Light (#4: 2.0/ 3 at 9:30 p.m.).  As good a show as Raising Hope is, retention this week of only 49 percent out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Glee (6.8/11) keeps it, unfortunately, on the listing of “losers.”

For more on the Fox cancellations, see TV Tidbits below.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


It was another week of split leadership, with CBS back in the dominant seat in households and total viewers and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos: adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.  Both networks finished close to year-ago levels.  ABC ranked second across the board, with its best performance in five weeks and second-largest audience (excluding the week of the Oscars) since the week of Nov. 15, 2010.  Dancing With the Stars on Monday topped the charts once again in total viewers.

Elsewhere, NBC finished fourth for the week (and third overall among adults 18-34), with minor gains from one year earlier thanks to another top 10 finish for music competition The Voice.  Excluding adults 25-54, last-place The CW remained on the downside.

In season-finale news, a two-hour edition of CBS’ critically acclaimed The Amazing Race finished on Sunday with a not-so-amazing 8.97 million viewers (#26 overall) and a 2.6 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 (#26t).  Also on Sunday, ABC’s on-the-fence Brothers & Sisters got a minor boost, with an above-average 7.18 million viewers (#37t) and 1 1/9 5 in the demo (#49).  Rumor has it ABC will conclude the Sally Field/Calista Flockhart drama with a 13-episode order in 2011-12.

In sports, The NBA Playoffs, Miami at Boston, gave ABC some leverage on deadly Saturday with 8.20 million viewers (#31) and a 3.4/12 in the demo (#10) for the night.

What follows are the live-plus-same-day ratings for the week of May 2, 2011 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the freshman midseason series report card, the top 30-rated programs for the week, and the top-rated networks on basic cable.

CBS: 6.2 rating/10 share (- 3), ABC: 5.8/10 (+12), Fox: 4.9/ 8 (+ 2), NBC: 3.6/ 6 (+ 3), CW: 1.1/ 2 (-15)

Total Viewers: 
CBS: 10.00 million (- 1), ABC: 9.09 (+10), Fox: 8.44 (+ 5), NBC: 5.73 (+ 3), CW: 1.71 (-10)

Adults 18-49: 
Fox: 2.8 rating/8 share (- 3), ABC: 2.5/ 7 (no change), CBS: 2.2/ 6 (- 4), NBC: 2.0/ 6 (+ 5), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-11)

Adults 25-54:
Fox: 3.3/ 9 (no change), ABC: 3.1/ 8 (+ 3), CBS: 3.1/ 8 (- 3), NBC: 2.3/ 6 (+ 5), CW: 0.8/ 2 (no change)

Adults 18-34: 
Fox: 2.2/ 8 (-12), ABC: 1.9/ 6 (no change), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (+ 7), CBS: 1.4/ 5 (- 7), CW: 0.8/ 3 (-27)

Freshman Midseason Report Card: (In the order of total viewers and excluding repeats) The Voice (NBC) – Tuesday 9 p.m.
Viewers: 12.58 million (#10), A18-49: 5.7/15 (#3)
Grade: A

Body of Proof (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 10.23 million (#18), A18-49: 2.0/ 5 (#44t)
Grade: B

Breaking In (Fox) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m. (leading out of American Idol)
Viewers: 7.07 million (#40), A18-49: 2.4/ 6 (#29t)
Grade: D

Mad Love (CBS) – Monday 8:30 p.m.
Viewers: 5.71 million (#51), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#36t)
Grade: D

Happy Endings (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 3.88 million (#70), A18-49: 1.7/ 4 (#52t)
Grade: F

Happy Endings (ABC) – Wednesday 10:30 p.m.
Viewers: 3.26 million (#81), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#64t)
Grade: F

Top 30 Rankings

Total Viewers:
Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 21.40 million, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 21.29, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 21.14, NCIS (CBS): 17.87, Dancing With the Stars Results Show (ABC): 16.06, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 14.15, 60 Minutes (CBS): 14.10, The Mentalist (CBS): 14.00, The Voice (NBC): 12.58, The Good Wife (ABC): 12.38, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 10.99, Criminal Minds (CBS): 12.90, Castle (ABC): 12.11, Bones (Fox): 10.94, CSI (CBS): 10.67, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 10.50, Blue Bloods (CBS): 10.37, Body of Proof (ABC): 10.23, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 10.11, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 10.00, Modern Family (ABC): 9.90, CSI: Miami (CBS): 9.85, Hawaii Five-O (CBS): 9.83, Dancing With the Stars Recap (ABC): 9.38, The Amazing Race (CBS, season finale: 8.97), Glee (Fox): 8.85, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS): 8.83, House (Fox): 8.57, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 8.52

Adults 18-49:
American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 6.6 rating/19 share, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 6.3/20, The Voice (NBC): 5.7/15, Dancing With the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.5/12, Modern Family (ABC): 3.9/10, NCIS (CBS) and Glee (Fox): 3.7/11 each, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) and The Office (NBC): 3.5/10 each, NBA Playoffs (ABC): 3.4/12, Family Guy (Fox): 3.3/ 8, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 3.2/11, Bones (Fox): 3.2/ 9, Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.2/ 8, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 3.1/ 9, Dancing With the Stars Results Show (ABC): 3.0/ 8, House (Fox): 2.9/ 8 Castle (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) and Desperate Housewives (ABC): 2.9/ 7 each, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 2.8/ 8, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 2.7/ 8, The Mentalist (CBS): 2.7/ 7, Law & Order: SVU (NBC) and The Amazing Race (CBS, season finale): 2.6/ 7 each, The Simpsons (Fox): 2.5/ 8, Parks and Recreation (NBC): 2.5/ 7, Hawaii Five-O (CBS): 2.5/ 6, Mike & Molly (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS) and Breaking In (Fox): 2.4/ 6 each


What follows are the top 10-rated networks on cable in prime time for the week of April 18 based on total viewers and the three key demos.

Total Viewers:
TNT: 4.02 million, USA: 2.59, Disney: 2.35, Fox News: 2.27, History: 1.89, ESPN: 1.71, Nick at Nite and FX: 1.37 each, Adult Swim: 1.32, TBS: 1.16

Adults 18-49:
TNT: 2.16 million, USA: 982,000, ESPN: 877,000, History: 824,000, FX: 670,000, TBS: 631,000, Adult Swim: 619,000, Discovery: 579,000, VS: 576,000, Comedy Central: 544,000

Adults 25-54:
TNT: 2.01 million, USA: 1.05 million, History: 921,000, ESPN: 806,000, FX: 684,000, Discovery: 610,000, VS: 581,000, Fox News: 577,000, TBS: 563,000, A&E: 533,000

Adults 18-34:
TNT: 1.18 million, ESPN: 462,000, USA: 429,000, MTV: 421,000, Adult Swim: 403,000, Comedy Central: 363,000, TBS: 355,000, History: 344,000, FX: 299,000, Discovery: 278,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat; t = tie)


RATINGS BOX: What’s Hot/What’s Not

Univision Dominates Friday:
For the 29th time this season (out of 33 weeks), Univision finished Friday as the top-rated network among adults 18-34.  Based on live-plus-same-day results for May 6, Univision’s combination of Triundo del Amor and Teresa averaged a 1.4 rating in the demo.  Univision also finished as the fifth most-watched network for the entire week in prime time in total viewers (3.4 million), adults 18-34 (1.0 million), and adults 18-49 (1.8 million).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


ON THE TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/11/11

8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Better With You (season or series finale)
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. Survivor: Redemption Island
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
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

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


TV TIDBITS: Notes of Interest

Fox Pick-Ups and Cancellations:
Fox, which unveils its 2011-12 programming plans next Monday, is expected to add six new series to its roster.  Joining previously announced Steven Spielberg drama Terra Nova and Simon Cowell singing competition The X Factor are dramas Alcatraz and The Finder, and sitcoms The New Girl and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.  From Lost creator J.J. Abrams, Alcatraz centers on a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day.  Based on The Locator book series and spunoff from Bones, The Finder focuses on an outspoken former military man (Geoff Stults) who can find anyone.  In the comedy department, I Hate My Teenage Daughter features two women who realize their children have turned out to be the same type of nasty teenage girls that made high school insufferable, and The New Girl features a quirky elementary school teacher (Zooey Deschanel) who moves in with three unruly guys.

To make room for the new entries, Fox has canceled freshman sitcoms Breaking In and Traffic Light, and dramas Human Target, Lie to Me, and recently introduced The Chicago Code.

Neil Patrick Harris Returns to The Tonys:
How I Met Your Mother standout Neil Patrick Harris will return to host The 65th Annual Tony Awards on CBS on Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.  Harris first hosted The Tony Awards in 2009, which resulted in an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Performance.

Daytime Emmy Award Nominations:
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced the nominees for the 38th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards.  PBS leads the pack with 57 nominations, with ABC one short at 56.  Next is syndication programming at 43, followed by CBS (42), Nickelodeon (25), NBC (15), The Food Network (11), The HUB (8), Disney Channel (5), A&E and Comedy Central (4 each), Disney XD and Nick. Jr. (3 each), Cartoon Network, Discovery, Hallmark, MTV, MTVU and The Style Network (2 each), and one for Animal Planet, Fox, Travel and You Tube.  The most nominated series is ABC’s General Hospital, with 21 nods, followed by CBS’ The Young and the Restless (20), PBS’ Sesame Street (16), CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful (14), ABC’s All My Children (13) and 12 each for syndication’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show and One Life to Live on CBS.

Telecast live from Las Vegas on Sunday, June 19, Wayne Brady will host, and game show hosts Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek will share The Lifetime Achievement Award.


TV TRIVIA: Not in the Big Apple

Four of the following comedies were set in New York.  Which was wasn’t?

a) Car 54, Where Are You?
b) Friends
c) The John Larroquette Show
d) Kate & Allie
e) My Little Margie

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

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Remember short-lived Golden Girls spinoff The Golden Palace, which featured the characters played by Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty running a small hotel in Miami Beach?  Who played the hotel’s manager?

a) Don Cheadle
b) Laurence Fishburne
c) Philip Seymour Hoffman
d) Billy Bob Thornton
e) Forest Whitaker

Is:  a) Don Cheadle.  Cheech Marin was the wisecracking cook.

Current kudos goes to:
Steve Albright, John Beadle, Mark Binda, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Jordan Breslow, Adam Clark, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Gus Curran, Jamie Czarnezki, Andy Ehlen, Bob Eisenstaedt, Jan Frazier, Julie Friedlander, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, David Heraux, John Hill, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Cara Jacobs, Cliff Jackson, Deb Kainer, Marie Lefevre Karp, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Steven Kurtzer, Tony Naldrett, Aaron Paquette, Alan Perris, Greg Phelan, Stephen Phillips, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Anthony Salerno, David Shearer,