The Programming Insider: Thursday 5/08/08

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Steep Year-to-Year Erosion for Fox and the CW

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:

Prime Time Programming Options

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:
Football in Evening Shade

Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Steep Year-to-Year Erosion for Fox and the CW

Wednesday 5/07/08 Metered Market Ratings
NBC5.5/ 9
ABC 4.6/ 7
CW2.4/ 4

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, May 9, 2007)
NBC: +20, CBS: – 5, ABC: -10, Fox: -20, CW: -23


Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Wednesday, May 7, 2008.


-Yesterday’s Winners:
American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
Back to You (Fox)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):
Supernanny (ABC), Farmer Wants a Wife (CW)


-Ratings Breakdown:
Led by eroding American Idol, it was another overnight Wednesday victory for Fox, which beat second-place CBS by 2.4 rating points. Third in the metered markets was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW. Year-to-year, only NBC was on the plus side (and it is compared to hours Thank God You’re Here, Crossing Jordan and Medium on May 9, 2007).

The first half of an expanded edition of NBC’s overused Deal or No Deal opened the evening first from 8-9 p.m., with a 5.3 rating/9 share in the overnights. I don’t particularly care for these traveling editions of Deal or No Deal, do you? Second was CBS’ The Price is Right at a 5.0/ 8, followed by ABC’s Wife Swap at a 4.6/ 8. Bob Barker — we still miss you!

Also airing in the 8 p.m. hour were Fox sitcoms ‘Til Death (#4: 4.0/ 7) and Back to You (#3: 5.0/ 8), which deserves accolades for building out of ‘Til Death by 25 percent, and America’s Next Top Model on the CW (3.2/ 6). As we inch closer to Emmy season, Brad Garrett from ‘Til Death is a name that should be on the ballot for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Top-honors at 9 p.m., and the evening overall, fell in Fox’s court, of course, with American Idol at a 14.8/23. But year-to-year, Idol was down by 13 percent. Jason Castro seemed relieved to be leaving, didn’t he? Second was CBS’ Criminal Minds at a healthy 8.7/13 (71 percent above the second-half of lead-in The Price is Right), followed by the second half of NBC’s Deal or No Deal (4.5/ 7), ABC’s Supernanny (3.7/ 6), and week two of CW dud Farmer Wants a Wife (1.7/ 3), which opened last week at a 2.0/ 3 in the overnights. Overall, Deal or No Deal averaged a 4.9/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.

CBS moved into the winner’s circle at 10 p.m., with CSI: NY at an 8.4/14 in the overnights. Second was NBC’s veteran Law & Order (6.7/11), followed by ABC News Special: Audition: Barbara Walters’ Journey at a 5.6/ 9. In case you are wondering what former The View co-host Star Jones had to say about Barbara’s memoir, here is what she told US Weekly:

”It is a sad day when an icon like Barbara Walters, in the sunset of her life, is reduced to publicly branding herself as an adulterer, humiliating an innocent family with accounts of her illicit affair and speaking negatively against me all for the sake of selling a book. It speaks to her true character.”

What do you think ( Was it really necessary for Barbara Walters to write this book?

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

Oprah Rises to May 2008 Sweeps High:
Ignited by guest star Barbara Walters, CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah scored a hefty 6.4 rating/17 share in the metered markets on Tuesday, May 6 — its highest rated performance of the May sweeps to-date and 10th highest rated of the current season.

Season High Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday:
The live Dancing With the Stars Results Show on ABC was the most-watched show in the Tuesday 9 p.m. hour on May 6 for the sixth consecutive week, with 18.4 million viewers. Comparably, this was ABC’s largest audience in the time period since Nov. 27, 2007. Dancing With the Stars also finished first in the hour in adults 25-54 (5.8 rating/13 share), women 18-49 (6.5/15) and women 25-54 (8.4/18).

Season to-Date Network Ratings Update:
Based on ratings from Sept. 24, 2007 through May 4, 2008, what follows are the season to-date averages for the six broadcast networks (including MyNetworkTV) compared to one year earlier. Only two networks, Fox and MyNetworkTV, are on the plus side, while losses elsewhere are as high as 27 percent among adults 18-34 for the CW. Double-digit gains for MyNetworkTV are a reflection of a) a considerably low-rated freshman season, and b) an updated non-scripted programming strategy.

While the scapegoat this season is, of course, the three-month writers strike, the reality of 2007-08 is the lack of any new breakout hit series and a truck-load of veteran shows losing steam. Here are the results:

Fox: 6.6 rating/11 share (+ 5), CBS: 6.6/11 (-16), ABC: 5.9/10 (- 8), NBC: 5.3/ 9 (- 9), CW: 1.7/ 3 (-19), MNTV: 0.8/ 1 (+33)

Total Viewers:
Fox: 11.12 million (+ 9), CBS: 10.43 (-17), ABC: 9.16 (- 7), NBC: 8.25 (- 8), CW: 2.58 (-20), MNTV: 1.13 (+37)

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 4.2 rating/11 share (+ 5), ABC: 3.0/ 8 (-14), CBS: 3.0/ 8 (-21), NBC: 2.9/ 8 (- 6), CW: 1.0/ 3 (-23), MNTV: 0.4/ 1 (+33)

Adults 25-54:
Fox: 4.6/11 (+ 7), CBS: 3.8/ 9 (-19), ABC: 3.5/ 9 (-13), NBC: 3.3/ 8 (- 8), CW: 1.0/ 2 (-17), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+67)

Adults 18-34:
Fox: 3.8/11 (+ 3), ABC: 2.4/ 7 (-17), NBC: 2.3/ 7 (-12), CBS: 2.0/ 6 (-23), CW: 1.1/ 3 (-27), MNTV: 0.4/ 1 (+33)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime Time Programming Options

Thursday 5/08/08
Night 15 of the May 2008 Sweeps


8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Lost


8:00 p.m. Survivor: Micronesia
9:00 p.m. CSI
10:00 p.m. Without a Trace


8:00 p.m. My Name is Earl
8:30 p.m. Scrubs (season finale, expected to move to ABC next fall)
9:00 p.m. The Office
9:30 p.m. 30 Rock (season finale)
10:00 p.m. ER


8:00 p.m. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9:00 p.m. Don’t Forget the Lyrics


8:00 p.m. Smallville
9:00 p.m. Supernatural


8:00 p.m. Movie: Terminator

The Podcast Series

Tune in today at MarcBerman.TV and Talk Back at PIFeedback.

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TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

More Breaking Bad on AMC:
AMC has renewed original drama Breaking Bad for a second season, with an order for 13 additional episodes in 2008-09. Breaking Bad features former Malcolm in the Middle father Bryan Cranston as a New Mexico chemistry teacher who suddenly becomes a drug kingpin.

Lucy Fans Take Note:
Steven Kay, who played little Stevie Appleby in the classic episode of I Love Lucy that featured Superman, will be appearing in a question and answer seminar during the annual Lucy-Desi Days in Jamestown, New York (Lucy’s hometown) from May 23-25. For more information on the festivities, click on

Ellen in High Definition:
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show will switch to high definition this fall in conjunction with its sixth season premiere on September 8, 2008. Renewed through the 2010-11 season, Ellen will now originate from the newly constructed Stage 1 complex on Warner Bros. Studios’ 110-acre lot.

Canwest Broadcasting Closes Deal with NBC Universal:
Media conglomerate Canwest Broadcasting has acquired several new and returning programs from NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution for broadcast in 2008-09 on Canadian networks Global Television and E!, and a stable of 21 specialty cable networks. New programs in the deal include comedies Kath & Kim and the upcoming untitled from The Office, Christian Slater drama My Own Worst Enemy and the remake of Knight Rider. Shows renewed by Canwest are The Office, Heroes, House, The Biggest Loser and Friday Night Lights.

Private Practice Love Interest:
Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice, which will return next fall for season two, has a love interest for Kate Walsh’s Dr. Addison Montgomery. David Sutcliffe will reprise his guest starring role as Officer Kevin Nelson for at least 11 episodes next season.

Regis Philbin Heads to Hallmark Channel:
Busy Regis Philbin will host an upcoming special on Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Heroes With Regis Philbin, on Friday, June 27 at 9 p.m. ET. Four deserving individuals will be honored and surprised with a prize from Regis that will enhance the work they do for others.

Marc Berman’s Conversations With the Stars:
In case you missed my conversation with former 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins on the Family Friendly Programming webcast, here is a link:

TV Trivia Time:
Football in Evening Shade

What was the name of the high school team that Wood Newton coached on sitcom Evening Shade?

a) The Bears
b) The Mudcats
c) The Mules
d) The Naturals
e) The Wolverines

The answer to yesterday’s question