The Programming Insider: Monday 4/18/11

CBS dominates over the weekend

Prime-Time Ratings: Weekend Results Friday 4/15/11: Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data). Household Rating/Share: CBS:  4.3/ 8, NBC: 3.4/ 6, ABC: 3.1/ 5,  Fox: 2.3/ 4, CW: 1.4/ 2 Total Viewers: CBS: 6.90 million, NBC: 4.97, ABC: 4.90, Fox: 3.72, CW: 2.27. Adults 18-49: ABC: 1.5 rating/ 5 share, Fox: 1.4/ 5, NBC: 1.2/ 4, CBS: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.9/ 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: Nothing Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats): Chaos (CBS), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Fringe (Fox) and the night overall. Ratings Breakdown: There was little of note on this third Friday in April, with CBS the most watched network (at under 7 million viewers) and ABC No. 1 among adults 18-49 (with a mere 1.5 rating/5 share in the demo). 

In season premiere news, the final season of NBC’s Friday Night Lights finished fourth in the 8 p.m. hour with just 3.51 million viewers and a 0.9 rating/3 share among adults 18-49 (tied in the demo with Chaos on CBS).  While you have to give NBC credit for finding a way to keep Friday Night Lights alive (by partnering with DirecTV), viewers just never responded en masse to this quality drama.  Next on NBC was another two-hour edition of Dateline at 5.70 million viewers (#2) and a 1.4/ 4 in the demo (#1t) from 9-11 p.m.

Week three of aforementioned CBS drama Chaos remained a bust with 5.52 million viewers (#1) and a third-place 0.9/ 3 among adults 18-49 (#4t) at 8 p.m.  All together now…tick, tock…the cancellation clock is ticking.  That led into repeats of CSI: NY (Viewers: #1, 7.30 million; A18-49: #4, 1.1/ 3) and Blue Bloods (Viewers: #1, 7.88 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3) from 9-11 p.m.

Over at ABC, recent returnee Shark Tank did not impress (nor did anything else for the evening), with 5.36 million viewers (#2) and a 1.5/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#1t) at 8 p.m.  Next was Primetime: Primetime Live (Viewers: #3, 4.26 million; A18-49: #1, 1.4/ 4 at 9 p.m.), followed by veteran 20/20 at 5.09 million viewers (#3) and a 1.5/ 5 in the demo at 10 p.m. (#1t). 

Elsewhere, Fox filled the evening with original episodes of Kitchen Nightmares (Viewers: #3, 3.80 million; A18-49: #1t, 1.5/ 6) and Fringe (Viewers: #4, 3.63 million; A18-49: #2, 1.3/ 4), which is returning next season despite the anemic Friday results.  And The CW had original installments of soon-to-conclude Smallville (Viewers: #5, 2.33 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3), which is no doubt ready to end, and Supernatural (Viewers: #5, 2.20 million; A18-49: #5, 0.9/ 3), which is likely to move to 8 p.m. next season. Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat) 

Saturday 4/16/11

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data). Household Rating/Share:  CBS: 3.1/ 6, NBC: 2.9/ 5, ABC: 1.9/ 3, Fox: 1.5/ 3. Total Viewers: CBS: 4.84 million, NBC: 4.46, ABC: 3.10, Fox: 2.30. Adults 18-49: ABC: 1.0 rating/3 share, CBS and NBC: 0.9/ 3 each, Fox: 0.6/ 2. 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: Nothing Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats): Movie: Truth Be Told (Fox) and the night overall. Ratings Breakdown: Yes, Saturday night remains a sorely depressed night of television. And particularly negative was Fox made-for movie Truth Be Told in place of perennial occupants Cops and America’s Most Wanted at a mere (and very last place) 2.30 million viewers with a 0.6 rating/2 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m.  Why Fox had this movie to begin with is a mystery.

CBS was most the most watched network with its combination of repeats of CSI (Viewers: #1, 4.02 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.6/ 2) and Hawaii Five-O (Viewers: #1, 4.85 million; A18-49: #2, 0.9/ 3) from 8-10 p.m., and long-running 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 5.65 million; A18-49: #1, 1.2/ 4) at 10 p.m.  But under 5 million viewers for the evening is nothing to boast about.  And ABC was first overall among adults 18-49 care of repeat theatrical Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest at 3.10 million viewers and a 1.0/ 3 in the demo from 8-11 p.m.  That’s right…a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 was No. 1 for the evening!

Capping off this particularly lackluster Saturday were repeats of Law & Order: Los Angeles (Viewers: #2, 4.31 million; A18-49: #2t, 0.8/ 3 from 8-10 p.m.) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 4.75 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3 at 10 p.m.). Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

 

Sunday 4/17/11

Household Rating/Share: CBS: 6.2/10, ABC: 5.1/ 8, NBC: 4.4/ 7, Fox: 2.5/ 4
Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, April 18, 2010): NBC: no change, ABC: – 9, Fox: -11, CBS: -21 Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at PIFeedback.com by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, April 17, 2011. Yesterday’s Winners: 60 Minutes (CBS), The Amazing Race (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Celebrity Apprentice (NBC). Adult 18-49 Favorite: Family Guy (Fox). Yesterday’s Losers:  Dateline (NBC), America’s Next Great Restaurant (NBC), American Dad (Fox). Ratings Breakdown: Below-average CBS still scored an overnight Sunday victory, besting No. 2 ABC by 22 percent.  Third overall was NBC, followed by Fox’s animated slate, which never resonates in the metered markets.

Granddaddy 60 Minutes opened the evening for the Eye net on a winning note, with a 7.7 rating/14 share in the overnights.  But that does not mean, of course, that it will dominate among adults 18-49.  Next on CBS was The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business (#1: 5.7/10 at 8 p.m.), followed by Undercover Boss (#2: 5.6/ 9 at 9 p.m,), which was already renewed for next season, and CSI: Miami at a second-place 6.1/10 at 10 p.m.

ABC at this point needs something new to spice up its tired Sunday slate.  Although Desperate Housewives still leads at 9 p.m. with a 6.7/10 this week, that is a loss of 17 percent from one year earlier (8.1/12 on April 18, 2010).  Lead-out Brothers & Sisters, which is on the fence for renewal, followed with a third-place 5.1/ 8 at 10 p.m.—18 percent the year-ago evening (6.2/10).  Earlier in the evening on the alphabet net was veteran America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2: 3.9/ 7 at 7 p.m.), followed by the return of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#2: 4.9/ 8 at 8 p.m.), which dipped by 20 percent from the 6.1/10 former occupant Secret Millionaire delivered last week.  If I were programming ABC, I would ship off Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Friday next season.

NBC lagged from 7-9 p.m., as always, with its combination of Dateline (#3: 3.1/ 6) and America’s Next Great Restaurant (#4: 2.7/ 4).  But Celebrity Apprentice picked up steam with a 5.9/10 from 9-11 p.m., building by half hour as follows: 5.2/ 8; 5.8/ 9; 6.2/10; 6.4/11. 

Fox capped off this third Sunday in April with its lineup of repeats of The Cleveland Show (#4: 1.3/2 ), American Dad (#4: 1.6/ 3), and The Simpsons (#3: 2.7/ 4) from 7-8:30 p.m., and original installments of American Dad (#3t, 2.8/ 5), Family Guy (#4: 3.9/ 6), and The Cleveland Show (#4: 3.0/ 5) from 8:30-10 p.m.  Family Guy, which built by 39 percent out of American Dad, will no doubt score among adults 18-49. Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not

Viewers Not Mad About Paul Reiser: NBC sitcom The Paul Reiser Show kicked off in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. half hour with an embarrassingly low 3.37 million viewers (#4) and a last place 1.1 rating/3 share among adults 18-49 on April 14.  Comparably, this could be the lowest-rated series premiere on NBC in the history of the network. Source: Nielsen Media Research data.

 

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

Coming Up on CBS This Summer: The home of Big Brother, CBS, has picked up another original reality series this summer, Same Name.  The premise will revolve around celebrities trading places with total strangers who just happen to share the same name.  For one week, the star and their counterpart live in each other's houses, meet and interact with family, friends, and co-workers and experience how the other lives. No official premiere date has been announced yet for Same Name.

A.J. Cook Returns to Criminal Minds: A.J. Cook will return to CBS crime solver Criminal Minds full-time after appearing in only a handful of episodes this season. She will reprise her role as Special Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau in the season finale and will be back full time in 2011-12.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Heads to HBO: Former Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine star Julia Louis-Dreyfus will headline an upcoming HBO sitcom on HBO called Veep, the tale of a female senator turned vice president.  It is expected to debut in 2012.

AMC Beefs Up Nonscripted Slate: Cable net AMC, the home of scripted dramas Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, will introduce two reality series: Inside the DHS and The Pitch. Inside the DHS will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Department of Homeland Security, while The Pitch will follow real-life ad agencies competing for accounts.  Inside the DHS is expected to launch in fourth quarter, with The Pitch in 2012. 

Speaking of the Summer: Cable net Syfy has several original programming options planned for the summer. Debuting on Wednesday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT is Haunted Collector, the reality tale of a family of paranormal investigators who hunt down haunted items. It leads into all new episodes of Hollywood Treasure. Next is new scripted drama Alphas, which follows a team of ordinary citizens with extraordinary mental and physical abilities.  It premieres on Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT out of new seasons of Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Also coming up on Syfy is the new reality series Legend Quest, which follows archaeological explorer Ashley Cowie as she travels the world in search of some of history’s greatest and most mysterious artifacts. It opens on Wednesday, July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT out of new episodes of Ghost Hunters International. Season two of scripted dramas Haven, meanwhile, kicks off on Friday, July 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. New Saturday night movies on Syfy this summer will include Ice Road Terror (June 11), Swamp Shark (June 25), Age of Dragons (July), and Super Eruption (July), as a scientist and a park ranger (Juliet Aubrey, Richard Burgi) try to stop the eruption of a massive volcano under Yellowstone Park.

TV Trivia Time: Working on Park Avenue

What was the first name of the housekeeper Mr. Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes hired after Mrs. Garrett left for to work at Eastland on spinoff The Facts of Life? a) Adelaide, b) Charlene, c) Glenda, d) Molly, e) Pearl

The answer to Friday’s question…Which one of the following TV characters was commended by the IRS for his well organized tax return? a) Cliff Clavin, b) Jim Dial, c) Maxine Gray, d) Robinson Peepers, e) Felix Unger. The answer is: e) Felix Unger of The Odd Couple, who stressed for days when he heard the IRS wanted to speak to him.  Remember this?

On November 13th, 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: Janice Barney, Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Mitch Burg, John Carlo, Paul Certo, Audrey Davis, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Billy Hall, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Greg Janover, Marie Lefevre Karp, Richard Mann, Jim Moore, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, James Saggese, Anthony Salerno (2x), Steve Sosnick, Larry Weinstock, Tammy Wiard, Jeanne Yonkers