The Programming Insider: CBS Takes Friday Total Viewer Crown

Flash Point, CSI: N.Y., and 48 Hours Mystery lift network

In Today's Issue:

Primetime Ratings: Weekend Results
Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time: Baretta’s Buddy


Friday 5/20/11
Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data)

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 4.1/ 8, NBC: 3.2/ 6, ABC: 2.9/ 5, Fox: 2.1/ 4, CW: 1.3/ 2

Total Viewers:
CBS: 6.32 million, NBC: 4.65, ABC: 4.53, Fox: 3.67, CW: 2.14

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 1.5 rating/5 share, ABC: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.1/ 4, CBS: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.8/ 3

Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals.  Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

Friday’s Winners:

Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Friday Night Nights (NBC), Supernatural (CW), Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC), Dateline (NBC)

Ratings Breakdown:
It was a Friday of split low-rated leadership, which of course is nothing unusual.  CBS’ combination of Canadian drama Flashpoint (Viewers: #1, 6.68 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 3), which has plummeted among adults 18-49, a repeat of CSI: NY (Viewers: #1, 7.08 million; A18-49: #3, 1.1/ 4), and a Friday edition of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #3, 5.21 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3) led the network to overall victory in total viewers and a third-place finish among adults 18-49.  The season-finale of Kitchen Nightmares (Viewers: #3, 3.84 million; A18-49: #1, 1.6/ 6) and repeat of Kitchen Nightmares (Viewers: #4, 3.49 million; A18-49: #1, 1.4/ 5) resulted in dominance for Fox in adults 18-49 (and a fourth-place finish in total viewers).

Looking ahead, there is no reason to believe, unfortunately, that upcoming CBS drama A Gifted Man will spark much interest in the Friday 8 p.m. hour.  And Fox’s returning combination of Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe is not, as the network boasted at their upfront presentation, a “winner.”

Elsewhere, a repeat of ABC’s Shark Tank (Viewers: #2, 4.15 million; A18-49: #2, 1.1/ 4 at 8 p.m.), which moves back one hour out of relocated Extreme Makeover: Home Edition next fall, led into original installments of Primetime: What Would You Do? (Viewers: #3, 3.94 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 4) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 5.52 million; A18-49: #1, 1.5/ 5) from 9-11 p.m.  NBC populated the evening with soon-to-conclude Friday Night Lights (Viewers: #4, 3.31 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.9/ 3), which you have to give the network credit for keep on the air, and another two-hour edition of Dateline (Viewers: 5.32 million; A18-49: 1.0/ 3 from 9-11 p.m.), which will be trimmed to one hour (at 10 p.m.) out of new drama Grimm next fall.  Given the zero prospects of Grimm finding an audience, you can expect Dateline to be expanded back to two-hours by November.

In season-finale news, Supernatural on The CW closed with a last-place finish in both total viewers (2.21 million) and adults 18-49 (0.8/ 3) at 9 p.m.  An 8 p.m. edition of Supernatural attracted just 2.06 million viewers (#5) and a 0.8/ 3 in the demo (#5) at 8 p.m.  There is no reason to believe that relocated Nikita in the Friday 8 p.m. will ignite the evening next season.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 5/21/11
Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 3.6/ 7, Fox: 2.8/ 5, NBC: 2.7/ 5, ABC: 1.6/ 3

Total Viewers:
CBS: 5.35 million, Fox: 4.48, NBC: 4.04, ABC: 2.80

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 1.2 rating/5 share each, ABC, CBS and NBC: 0.8/ 3 each

Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals.  Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

Saturday’s Winners:

Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Movie: Spider-Man (ABC), Chase (NBC) and the night overall

Ratings Breakdown:
CBS was the most-watched network on this typically low-rated Saturday care of its combination of repeats of Hawaii Five-O (Viewers: #1, 4.39 million; A18-49: #4, 0.6/ 2) and NCIS (Viewers: #1, 5.85 million; #3t, 0.7/ 2) from 8-10 p.m., and long-running 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 5.82 million; A1849: #1, 1.1/ 3 at 10 p.m.).  Major League Baseball on Fox won the evening among adults 18-49, with an unimpressive 1.2 rating/5 share in the demo, from 8-10 p.m.  Results in total viewers for baseball was a second-place 4.48 million.

In series-finale news, NBC crime solver Chase earned its cancellation stripes with 3.67 million viewers (#3) and a 0.7/ 3 among adults 18-49 (#2) at 8 p.m.  That led into repeats of canceled Law & Order: Los Angeles (Viewers: #3, 3.72 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.7/ 2) and returning Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 4.72 million; A18-49: #2t, 1.0/ 3) from 9-11 p.m.  ABC capped off the evening with theatrical Spider-Man 3 at a lame 2.80 million viewers (#4) and a 0.8/ 3 in the demo (#2t) from 8-11 p.m.

Other than original episodes of CBS’ Rules of Engagement in the 8 p.m. half-hour next fall, which is nothing more than a burn-off maneuver, Saturday remains a wasteland next season.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 5/22/11
Note: The following results are based on the metered markets.

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 8.2/13, ABC: 5.1/ 8, NBC: 4.6/ 7, Fox: 3.0/ 5

Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, May 23, 2010):
CBS: +41, Fox: – 3, NBC: -13, ABC: -34

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Yesterday’s Winners:
60 Minutes (CBS), Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (CBS), Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers:
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC), Dateline (NBC), Minute to Win It (NBC), American Dad (Fox), Bob’s Burgers (Fox)

Ratings Breakdown:
CBS won this final Sunday in the May 2011 sweeps in the overnights, but it does not mean it will dominate among adults 18-49.  Second overall was ABC, which trailed CBS by 38 percent, followed by NBC and Fox.

CBS finished first in each of the six half-hours with its older-skewing combination of newsmagazine 60 Minutes (7.7/14 at 7 p.m.), a 60 Minutes Special Edition at 8 p.m. (7.9/13), and the latest installment of Jesse Stone made-for movie franchise Innocents Lost (8.5/13 from 9-11 p.m.).  Needless to say, CBS fans like Tom Selleck.  As a reminder, current Tuesday 10 p.m. occupant The Good Wife shifts to Sundays at 9 p.m. this fall (in place of Undercover Boss, which has been pushed back until midseason).

Leading out of the season-finale of America’s Funniest Home Videos on ABC (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 7 p.m.) was The 2011 Billboard Music Awards, which rose to a 5.6/ 9 from 8-11 p.m. (and will clearly outdeliver Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost on CBS in the younger demos).

In season-finale news, Celebrity Apprentice on NBC concluded with a second-place 6.1/ 10 from 9-11 p.m.  Comparably, that built from lead-in Minute to Win It (#4: 2.7/ 4 from 8-9 p.m.) by a whopping 126 percent.  And it should have no trouble winning the block among adults 18-49.  Congratulations, John Rich.  Earlier in the evening on NBC was Dateline at a distant second-place 3.7/ 7 in the overnights behind 60 Minutes.

Leading out of a repeat of The Simpsons (#4: 1.8/ 3 at 7 p.m.) was a night of season-finales on Fox as follows:

7:30 p.m. – American Dad: 2.3/ 4 (#4)
8:00 p.m. – The Simpsons: 3.5/ 6 (#3)
8:30 p.m. – Bob’s Burgers: 2.6/ 4 (#4)
9:00 p.m. – Family Guy: 3.7/ 6 (#4)
9:30 p.m. – Family Guy: 3.8/ 6 (#4)

While you can never judge Fox on the overnights, the two obvious weak links are American Dad and Bob’s Burgers.  Next fall, The Cleveland Show moves to 7:30 p.m., with new animated sitcom Allen Gregory airing out of The Simpsons at 8:30 p.m.  Bob’s Burgers returns in midseason.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

What’s Hot/What’s Not

SNL Closes Season on a High Note:
The 36th season of NBC late night staple Saturday Night Live, featuring host Justin Timberlake and musical guest Lady Gaga, concluded with a 7.0 rating/17 share in the metered markets on May 21.  Comparably, this was its highest rated season-ender in seven years, with growth of 21 percent from one year earlier.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 5/23/11
Day 26 of the May 2011 Sweep

8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
9:00 p.m. The Bachelorette (season premiere, two hours)

8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
8:30 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
9:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly (R)
10:00 p.m. Clash of the Commercials: USA vs. the World

8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It
9:00 p.m. The Event (series finale)
10:00 p.m. Law & Order: Los Angeles

8:00 p.m. House (season finale)
9:00 p.m. The Chicago Code (series finale)

8:00 p.m. 90210 (R)
9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)


Notes of Interest

In Today’s New York Times:
Click here for Mr. TV’s take on the new fall TV season in “TV Pilots, Paranormal Is the New Normal” by Stuart Elliott in today’s New York Times.

OWN Celebrates Oprah Departure:
Unless you are living under a rock, you know that this Wednesday is the concluding episode of Oprah Winfrey’s long-running daytime talk show.  The morning after, recently launched cable net OWN will feature The Gayle King Show: Oprah Finale After Party, a live two-hour special from 9-11 a.m. ET/PT.

Baretta’s Buddy

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

Remember Fred, Detective Tony Baretta’s pet in 1970s crime solver Baretta?  What exactly was Fred?

a) alligator
b) bird
c) cat
d) dog
e) snake

The answer to Friday’s question…

Which one of the following actors will not be appearing on a new network series this fall?

a) Tim Allen
b) Zooey Dechanel
c) Sarah Michelle Gellar
d) Debra Messing
e) Christina Ricci

Is: d) Debra Messing, who will be headlining musical drama Smash on NBC, but it will not be launching until midseason.  As for the others:

Tim Allen: Last Man Standing (ABC)
-Zooey Dechanel: The New Girl (Fox)
-Sarah Michelle Gellar: Ringer (CW)
-Christina Ricci: Pan Am (NBC)

Current kudos goes to:
Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Matt Biscuiti, Gerry Bixenspan, Cory Chapman, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Larry Corsa, Mike Dugger, Daniel Haack, Bob Ingersoll, Synda Kollman, Matheson Moore, Aaron Paquette, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Julie Syers, Nina Lisa Tomlinson, Melissa Toyofuku, Stephanie Watson, Meredith Wayne, Rob Wilson