The Programming Insider: Soggy Results for ABC, Fox Frosh Sitcoms

Idol keeps Fox on top

In Today's Issue:

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings: Fox Rules; Lackluster Midseason Comedies on ABC and Fox
Ratings Box: What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time: No Dancing Fool

PRIME-TIME METERED MARKET WEDNESDAY RATINGS: Fox Rules; Lackluster Midseason Comedies on ABC and Fox

Wednesday 5/04/11
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
Fox: 11.7/18, CBS: 6.9/11, ABC: 4.2/ 7, NBC: 3.5/ 5, CW: 1.5/ 2

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday 5/05/10):
Fox: +41, ABC and CBS: + 5 each, NBC: -12, CW: -17

Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox), Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Minute to Win It (NBC), Better With You (ABC), Cougar Town (ABC), Breaking In (Fox), America’s Next Top Model (CW), Happy Endings (ABC)

Ratings Breakdown:
It was another easy Wednesday overnight victory for Fox thanks to American Idol, which scored a hefty 14.1 rating/22 share from 8-9:30 p.m.  Comparably, Fox beat No. 2 CBS overall by 4.8 rating points.  In the distant No. 3 spot was ABC, followed by NBC and, of course, The CW.

As good as American Idol is, the challenge remains finding something worth airing out of it and that is not sitcom Breaking In.  Week five of Breaking In tied its series-low at a second-place 4.5/ 7 at 9:30 p.m. (with retention out of the 9 p.m. portion of American Idol – 14.9/22 – of a mere 30 percent).  As for American Idol, my pick to bid adieu (and it has been for the last three weeks) is Haley Reinhardt.

Over at CBS, Survivor: Redemption Island scored a typically respectable second-place 6.5/10 in the overnights at 8 p.m., which opposite American Idol should be considered a “winner.”  But given Survivor is concluding for the season on Sunday, May 15, don’t nine remaining contestants (including four on Redemption Island) seem awfully cluttered?

Survivor led into underrated Criminal Minds (#2: 8.3/13 at 9 p.m.), which does not get the attention it deserves, followed by spin-off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (#2: 5.8/10), which held only 64 percent of the 9:30 p.m. portion of its parent series lead-in (9.1/14) and is unlikely to return next season.

Over at ABC, the standout remains Modern Family, with a third-place 7.1/11 in the overnights at 9 p.m., and growth out of lackluster lead-in Better With You (#3, 3.8/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.) of a significant 87 percent.  Modern Family will, no doubt, finish a solid second in the time period among adults 18-49.  But it was downhill from 9:30 p.m. and beyond on ABC as a result of recent returnee Cougar Town (#3: 4.3/ 7), which dipped by 39 percent out of Modern Family (and that was without American Idol in the competitive mix), and two episodes of recent entry Happy Endings (#3: avg. 2.7/ 5 from 10-11 p.m.).

Earlier in the evening on ABC was The Middle at a third-place 4.8/ 8 in the overnights at 8 p.m.

Elsewhere, NBC was barely on the map from 8-10 p.m. care of two episodes (original and repeat) of game show Minute to Win It (8 p.m. – #4: 2.1/ 3; 9 p.m. – #4, 2.2/ 3) and veteran Law & Order: SVU (#1: 6.0/10 at 10 p.m.), which built by 131 percent out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of the Minute to Win It lead-in (2.6/ 4).  And The CW capped off the evening with a repeat of America’s Next Top Model (#5: 1.1/ 2 at 8 p.m.), followed by an original installment of the tired reality/competition at a last-place 1.9/ 3 at 9 p.m.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

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RATINGS BOX: What’s Hot/What’s Not

TMZ Beats ET Among Adults 18-49:
Veteran Entertainment Tonight from CBS Television Distribution remains the most-watched first-run strip in the magazine genre.  But based on adults 18-49 for the month of April, TMZ from Warner Bros. finished first with an average 1.3 rating — 18 percent above the 1.1 for ET.  Compared to the year-ago time period, TMZ rose by 8 percent, while ET dipped by 15 percent in the demo.

Large DVR Gain for Lemonade Mouth:
The debut of original Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth gained another 1.5 million total viewers via DVR playback, and now delivering 7.1 million total viewers.  Comparably, Lemonade Mouth is cable’s largest DVR gainer of the year among kids 6-11 (up 620,000 to 2.96 million) and tweens 9-14 (up 560,000 to 2.64 million), making it TV's #1 movie of 2011 among those youth demographics and solidifying it as the #1 cable movie in Total Viewers.

Growing The Voice on NBC:
Most new series drop in the vicinity of 10 to 20 percent in their second week.  But week two of NBC music competition The Voice rose to 12.58 million viewers and a 5.7 rating/15 share among adults 18-49 in the 9-11 p.m. block on Tuesday, May 3, finishing a solid first in the demo.  Comparably, The Voice built from its already stellar debut (Viewers: 11.77 million; A18-49: 5.1/13 on April 26) by 810,000 and 12 percent in the demo.

Speaking of Tuesday:
Here are the overall results by network for Tuesday, May 3:

Total Viewers:
CBS: 14.80 million, ABC: 11.92, NBC: 10.89, Fox: 6.34, CW: 1.12

Adults 18-49:
NBC: 4.7 rating/12 share, CBS: 3.0/ 8, Fox: 2.6/ 7, ABC: 2.3/ 6, CW: 0.5/ 1

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

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ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 5/05/11

ABC:
8:00 p.m. Wipeout
9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Private Practice

CBS:
8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement
9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. The Mentalist

NBC:
8:00 p.m. Community 
8:30 p.m. The Office (R)
9:00 p.m. The Office
9:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation
10:00 p.m. 30 Rock (season finale)
10:30 p.m. Outsourced

Fox:
8:00 p.m. American Idol Results Show
9:00 p.m. Bones

CW
8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries
9:00 p.m. Nikita

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TV TIDBITS: Notes of Interest

Celebrity Wife Swap on ABC:
ABC has a new twist on a former non-scripted favorite, Celebrity Wife Swap, which will feature celebrities trading their often lavish lifestyles for a hint of what it is like to live in the real world, so to speak.  Six episodes have been ordered.

More Workaholics:
Comedy Central has renewed recently introduced half-hour Workaholics for a second season, with an order for 10 new episodes for later this year.

A&E Programming Initiatives in 2011-12:
A&E, which continues to focus on its “Real Life. Drama.” Programming slate has plans to introduce 10 new series by the end of 2011.  Confirmed in the non-scripted department are In-Laws, which focuses on married couples with overbearing in-laws; Ship Happens, the tale of independent truckers; Boar Hunters, which revolves around a family-owned hog hunting business; and Storage Wars: Dallas, which follows four Dallas storage unit hunters.  In development are Family Bonding, where two family members in crisis are handcuffed together for 48 hours; Profilers, which follows the elite performer profiles in the FBI; Cajun Blue, a real-life series about the Terrebonne Parish Sheriffs Department; Duckmen, about a multi-million sporting empire in Louisiana; Model Apartment, which goes inside the world of six models living together; and game show Hands On.

New in the miniseries department at A&E is Coma, which offers a modern day retelling of the bestselling novel.  In development among the scripted dramas are Big Mike, about a plus-sized detective; and Longmire, the tale of a sheriff in Wyoming.  Returning on A&E are scripted drama The Glades, which opens season two on Sunday, June 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; and non-scripted Storage Wars, Beyond Scared Straight, The First 48, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Billy the Exterminator, Hoarders, Intervention, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Manhunters and Parking Wars.

Sad News:
Former child star Jackie Cooper, one of the original kids on the Our Gang series, died Tuesday morning at a nursing facility in Santa Monica, California.  He was 88.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor at age 9 for drama Skippy, and honing his early acting chops in 1930s dramas like The Champ, The Bowery, Treasure Island and Peck’s Bad Boy, Cooper left Hollywood after World War II for a career in the New York theater.  A return to Hollywood resulted in starring roles in sitcoms The People’s Choice (1955-58) and Hennessy (1959-62), which he also produced and directed.  Moving to a career behind the scenes, Cooper directed more than 250 TV episodes over the years, with occasional on-screen appearances as Perry White in the Superman theatrical franchise and as a guest star in series like St. Elsewhere, Murder, She Wrote, Sledge Hammer! and Capital News.  Married three times, Cooper is survived by sons Jack and Russell, and daughters Julie and Cristina.

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TV TRIVIA TIME: No Dancing Fool

Which celebrity to-date has yet to compete on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars?

a) David Alan Grier
b) Shirley Jones
c) Susan Lucci
d) Wayne Newton
e) Jerry Springer

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

The answer to yesterday’s question…

When we last saw The Bradfords on Eight is Enough, how many grandchildren did Tom and Abby have?

a) one
b) two
c) three
d) four
e) five

Is: b) two.  Susan has Sandra Sue, who was born during the regular series run, while Joanie, who moved to Paris, had a little boy.

Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Bob Ingersoll – that’s it!