The Programming Insider: ‘Dancing’ Finale Leads ABC to Victory

Three hour finale average a 12.3 rating

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings: ABC Wins; Fox Poised for Adult 18-49 Victory
National Ratings in Prime-Time: Week of May 16, 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: Working Mama Brady

ABC Wins; Fox Poised for Adult 18-49 Victory

Tuesday 5/24/11
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
ABC: 12.3/19, Fox: 10.9/17, CBS: 6.1/ 9, NBC: 5.6/ 9, CW: 0.5/ 1

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday 5/25/10):
ABC: +16, Fox and CW: no change each, NBC: – 2, CBS: -34

Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox), Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Glee (Fox)

Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC), The Voice (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Ratings Breakdown:
ABC, of course, led the Tuesday overnight troops with three hours of Dancing with the Stars (one-hour clips show, two-hour season-finale) at an average 12.3 rating/19 share from 8-11 p.m.  The retrospective special finished second with a 7.5/12 from 8-9 p.m., followed by the live results show at a 14.6/22 from 9-11 p.m.  Here is the half-hour breakdown:

Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
9:00 p.m.: 13.8/20 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 13.9/20 (#1)
10:00 p.m.: 15.0/23 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 15.9/25 (#1)

Congratulations, Hines Ward.

Fox finished second in the overnights, but is a shoo-in for victory among adults 18-49 thanks to its combination of the final American Idol performance show (#1: 13.5/21 at 8 p.m.) and the season-finale of Glee (#2: 8.3/12 at 9 p.m.), which benefited by the American Idol lead-in support.  Comparably, American Idol was equal to one year earlier.  Although the masses are predicting victory for Scotty over Lauren, let’s be honest.  Does anyone even care?

In season-finale news, The Biggest Loser on NBC concluded this easily forgettable season with an above-average 5.6/ 9 from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 4.9/ 8 (#4)
8:30 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#4)
9:00 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#3)

Despite the added lead-in support, The Voice dipped to last-in the overnights at 10 p.m., with a 5.6/ 9.  But keep a positive eye on adults 18-49 despite facing the final hour of Dancing with the Stars.

Elsewhere, CBS populated the evening with repeats of NCIS (#3: 6.6/10), NCIS: Los Angeles (#4: 6.0/ 9) and another installment of NCIS (#2: 5.8/ 9).  And The CW capped it off with encore telecasts of One Tree Hill and canceled Hellcats, which each averaged a miniscule 0.5/ 1 in the overnights.

As a reminder, here is what you will be seeing on the broadcast networks this fall (with new shows in caps and bolded):

8:30 p.m.  MAN UP
9:00 p.m.: Dancing With the Stars
10:00 p.m.: Body of Proof

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

8:00 p.m.: The Biggest Loser (two hours)
10:00 p.m.: Parenthood

8:00 p.m. Glee
9:00 p.m.: NEW GIRL
9:30 p.m.: Raising Hope

8:00 p.m.: 90210 (new day)
9:00 p.m. RINGER

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Week of May 16, 2011

It was another week of split leadership on this final week of the traditional (September to May) TV season, with CBS first in households and total viewers and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos – adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.  Year-to-year Fox was on the minor plus side, while CBS was relatively on par.  Excluding a third-place finish in total viewers, ABC finished second across the board, with NBC fourth in four of the five categories (excluding adults 18-34), and The CW, of course, fifth.  But The CW did manage to build from one year earlier by as much as 17 percent among adults 18-49.

There were numerous season ending episodes this week (as noted in the rankings), but in the specials department was The 2011 Billboard Music Awards on ABC, which finished with 7.88 million viewers (#29 overall) and a 3.0 rating/8 share among adults 18-49 (tied for #19) in the Sunday 8-11 p.m. block.  Competing CBS made-for movie, Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost resonated with 13.93 million viewers (#8) from 9-11 p.m., but the skew of the audience was clearly older with a 1.3/ 3 in the demo (#55t).

What follows are the live plus same day ratings for the week of May 16, 2011 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the top 30 rated programs for the week, and the top rated networks on basic cable.

CBS: 6.3 rating/10 share (+ 2), ABC: 5.4/ 9 (- 2), Fox: 5.1/ 9 (+11), NBC: 3.4/ 6 (-11), CW: 1.0/ 2 (+11)

Total Viewers: 
CBS: 10.07 million (+ 3), Fox: 8.86 (+14), ABC: 8.74 (- 1), NBC: 5.41 (- 9), CW: 1.54 (+10)

-Adults 18-49: 
Fox: 3.0 rating/9 share (+ 7), ABC: 2.4/ 7 (-17), CBS: 2.0/ 6 (- 9), NBC: 1.8/ 5 (- 5), CW: 0.7/ 2 (+17)

-Adults 25-54:
Fox: 3.5/ 9 (+13), ABC: 3.0/ 8 (-17), CBS: 2.8/ 7 (- 7), NBC: 2.1/ 5 (- 9), CW: 0.7/ 2 (+17)

-Adults 18-34: 
Fox: 2.6/ 9 (+13), ABC: 1.8/ 6 (-25), NBC: 1.5/ 5 (no change), CBS: 1.2/ 4 (-14), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-12)

Top 30 Rankings

-Total Viewers:
American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 23.56 million, Dancing with the Stars – Monday (ABC): 21.96, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 21.76, NCIS (CBS, season finale): 18.62, Dancing with the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 18.11, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, season finale): 15.61, The Mentalist (CBS, season finale); 14.11, CBS Sunday Movie – Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost: 13.93, Dancing with the Stars (ABC, Tues. 8 p.m.): 13.80, Castle (ABC, season finale): 12.93, Criminal Minds (CBS, season finale): 12.84, The Good Wife (CBS, season finale): 12.58, The Big Bang Theory (CBS, season finale): 12.30, 60 Minutes (CBS, Sun. 8 p.m.): 10.79, Hawaii Five-O (CBS, season finale): 10.41, 60 Minutes (CBS, Sun. 7 p.m.): 10.39, Body of Proof (ABC): 10.33, Modern Family (ABC): 10.30, The Voice (NBC): 10.00, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, season finale): 9.89, Bones (Fox, season finale): 9.93, Law & Order: SVU (NBC, season finale): 8.98, Glee (Fox): 8.97, House (Fox): 8.96, Rules of Engagement (CBS, season finale): 8.83, Mile & Molly (CBS, season finale): 8.64, Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, season finale): 8.61, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS): 8.46, The 2011 Billboard Music Awards (ABC): 7.88, The Middle (ABC): 7.68

-Adults 18-49:
American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 7.4 rating/20 share, American Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 6.3/20, share, Dancing with the Stars – Monday (ABC): 4.6/12, The Voice (NBC): 4.5/12, Modern Family (ABC): 4.1/11, NCIS (CBS, season finale): 4.0/11, The Office (NBC, season finale): 3.9/10, The Big Bang Theory (CBS, season finale): 3.6/12, Glee (Fox): 3.6/10, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, season finale): 3.6/ 9, House (Fox): 3.5/10, Dancing with the Stars – Tuesday (ABC): 3.5/ 9, Castle (ABC, season finale), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, season finale) and Criminal Minds (CBS, season finale): 3.3/ 8 each, Bones (Fox, season finale): 3.2/ 8, How I Met Your Mother (CBS, season finale): 3.1/ 9, Family Guy (Fox, season finale): 3.1/ 7, The 2011 Billboard Music Awards (ABC): 3.0/ 8, Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, season finale): 3.0/ 7, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 2.9/ 8, Law & Order: SVU (NBC, season finale): 2.9/ 7, The Mentalist (CBS, season finale): 2.8/ 7, Hawaii Five-O (CBS, season finale): 2.7/ 7, Mike & Molly (CBS, season finale): 2.6/ 6, Dancing with the Stars (ABC, Tues., 8 p.m.), Private Practice (ABC, season finale), Rules of Engagement (CBS, season finale) and The Simpsons (Fox, season finale): 2.5/ 7 each, The Middle (ABC): 2.4/ 8, The Good Wife (CBS, season finale) and Parks and Recreation (NBC, season finale): 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: 3.26 million, ESPN: 2.69, USA: 2.64, Disney: 2.61, Fox News: 1.76, History: 1.69, ABC Family: 1.47, Nick at Nite: 1.34, Discovery: 1.29, Adult Swim: 1.27

-Adults 18-49:
TNT: 1.73 million, ESPN: 1.35 million, USA: 1.05 million, History: 740,000, ABC Family: 717,000, Discovery: 695,000, TBS: 665,000, Comedy Central: 631,000, Adult Swim: 614,000, Bravo: 598,000

-Adults 25-54:
TNT: 1.66 million, ESPN: 1.37 million, USA: 1.11 million, History: 838,000, Discovery: 749,000, ABC Family: 649,000, TBS: 578,000, A&E: 577,000, Bravo: 572,000, AMC: 519,000

-Adults 18-34:
TNT: 910,000, ESPN: 687,000, USA: 450,000, Comedy Central: 411,000, Adult Swim: 405,000, TBS: 375,000, ABC Family: 368,000, MTV: 361,000, Bravo: 322,000, History: 316,000

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


What’s Hot/What’s Not

Oprah Gears Up for Series-Ender:
Today’s series-finale will, no doubt, be colossal for CBS Television Distribution talker Oprah.  Monday’s installment, “Oprah’s Surprise Farewell Spectacular, Part 1,” rose to a 10.0 rating/15 share in the metered markets – its second highest-rated show of the season.  It was outdelivered only by the episode featuring Oprah’s secret half sister on Jan. 24, 2011.

Based on live plus same day nationals for the week of May 15, Oprah extended its winning streak in syndicated talk to 628 consecutive weeks, with a 5.4 in households.  Comparably, that increased by 20 percent.

National Ratings in Syndication – Week of May 9:
What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication (first-run and off-network) in households for the week of May 9.  CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy finished first overall, with its highest ratings in seven weeks.

Judge Judy (CBS Television Distribution): 6.9 rating, Wheel of Fortune (CBS): 6.6, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 6.5, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.6, Oprah (CBS): 5.4, Family Guy (Twentieth): 4.6, Law & Order: Criminal Intent – Weekend (NBC Universal): 4.2, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 3.9, Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.2, Dr. Phil (CBS) and My Wife and Kids (Disney-ABC): 3.1 each, Inside Edition (CBS) and George Lopez (Warner Bros.): 3.0 each, Bones (Twentieth) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend B (Warner Bros.): 2.9 each, How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth): 2.8, Judge Joe Brown (CBS): 2.7, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television), Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend A (Warner Bros.): 2.6 each

Source: Nielsen Media Research data


Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 5/25/11

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

8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)
10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (series finale)

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

8:00 p.m. American Idol (season finale, two hours)

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


Notes of Interest

ABC Weekend Adventure from Litton Entertainment:
Effective this fall, distributor Litton Entertainment will supply a three-hour block of kids-driven programming to most of the ABC owned-and-operated stations and affiliates that will satisfy their FCC children’s block of educational programming obligation.  Packaged as the ABC Weekend Adventure, the six half-hours are Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown, Ocean Mysteries, Born to Explore, Agents of Change, The Delicious Adventures of Claire Thomas and Culture Click.

Nancy Grace to Exit Swift Justice:
Las Vegas based Judge Jackie Glass will replace Nancy Grace in the second season of first-run CBS Television Distribution court strip Swift Justice, which moves production from Atlanta to Los Angeles.  Glass is best known as the judge who presided over the case that sent O.J. Simpson to jail for his role in an armed robbery at a Las Vegas hotel in 2008.

More Big Time Rush:
Nickelodeon has ordered a third season of live-action comedy Big Time Rush, with an order for 20 new episodes to begin production in January 2012.


Working Mama Brady

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

What was Carol Brady’s occupation when the gang named Brady reunited for made-for A Very Brady Christmas in 1988?

a) Architect
b) Hair stylist
c) Journalist
d) Real estate agent
e) Receptionist

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following series did not air at all in the 1980s?

a) Enos
b) Father Murphy
c) Good Times
d) Harper Valley
e) Lou Grant

Is: c) Good Times, which aired on CBS from Feb. 1, 1974 to August 1, 1979.

Current kudos goes to:
John Beadle, Gerry Bixenspan, John Carlo, Tom Condosta, Maureen Goldman, Jacqueline Hague, Bob Ingersoll, Ken Jobe, Deb Kainer, Tom Kilgallon, Steven Kurtzer, Charmaine Leary, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell