Proposed First-Run Projects Vying for Clearances in Syndication for Next Season

Monday, November 23, 2009
Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Remember Lana Shields? 


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 11/20/09

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



NBC 4.3/ 8
ABC   4.1/ 7
Fox    2.3/ 4
CW    1.1/ 2

CBS: 8.02 million, ABC: 6.86, NBC: 6.64, Fox: 3.50, CW: 1.72

-Adults 18-49:

ABC and CBS: 1.9 rating/6 share each, NBC: 1.4/ 5, Fox: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.7/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 27 percent at this same point last year to approximately 33 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners (keep in mind that the expectations are lower on this evening):

Nothing. Sorry, but 8.43 million viewers for Ghost Whisperer, the most-watched show of the evening, does not a winner make.


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall, which looks more like deadly Saturday every season.


-Ratings Breakdown:

ABC and CBS led the modest Friday night troops, with CBS the most-watched and the two networks tied for first among adults 18-49. Minus Supernanny and Ugly Betty, ABC scored its biggest Friday night audience since Feb. 13, 2009 and highest among adults 18-49 since March 27, 2009. Third overall in both categories was NBC, followed by Fox and The CW.


CBS had a typical evening care of its combination of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #1, 8.43 million; A18-49: #2, 2.0/ 7), compatible Medium (Viewers: #1, 7.80 million; A18-49: #2, 1.9/ 6) and Numb3rs (Viewers: #2, 7.84 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5), which will no doubt be concluding next spring. While CBS can certainly live with its Friday results, chances are we will see an overhaul of some sorts next season. My prediction is Canadian drama Flashpoint will step into the Friday 10 p.m. hour after Numb3rs wraps up the season. 


ABC’s above-average performance came as a result of theatrical Shrek The Third, which averaged 6.33 million viewers and a 1.9/ 7 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

Shrek the Third (ABC)
8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.55 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 6 (#2)
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 6.12 million (#3), A18-49: 1.8/ 6 (#2)
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 6.95 million (#3), A18-49: 2.2/ 7 (#1)
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 6.70 million (#3), A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#1)

Veteran 20/20, which featured a murder investigation, capped off the evening for ABC with a dominant 7.92 million viewers and a 1.8/ 6 in the demo at 10 p.m. Shrek into a murder mystery…now that’s what you call flow!


NBC had a typically bland Friday with its line-up of granddaddy Law & Order (Viewers: #2, 7.52 million; A18-49: #3, 1.5/ 5), which is an improvement over year-ago occupant Deal or No Deal, compatible Dateline (Viewers: #2, 7.64 million; A18-49: #3, 1.5/ 5) and The Jay Leno Show (Viewers: #3, 4.75 million; A18-49: #3, 1.3/ 4), which scored its largest Friday audience in three weeks and best in the demo in four weeks. Even so, Leno still has a long way to go. 


Next was Fox with repeats of House (Viewers: #3, 3.34 million; A18-49: #5, 1.0/ 4) and Bones (Viewers: #4, 3.66 million; A18-49: #4, 1.0/ 3) in place of former occupants Brothers, ‘Til Death and Dollhouse. And The CW closed this third Friday in November with nine year-old Smallville (Viewers: #5, 2.45 million; A18-49: #4, 1.1/ 4), which remains an improvement over year-ago occupants Everybody Hates Chris and The Game, and a repeat of the season-finale of America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: #5, 990,000; A18-49: #5, 0.4/ 1). 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 11/21/09

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



ABC 3.3/ 6
Fox    3.2/ 6
NBC 2.8/ 5
CBS: 6.04 million, ABC: 5.34, Fox: 5.18, NBC: 4.07
-Adults 18-49:

ABC and Fox: 1.6 rating/5 share each, CBS: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 0.9/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 27 percent at this same point last year to approximately 33 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Saturday’s Winners:


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall (as usual)

-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a Saturday of low-rated three-way leadership, with CBS the most-watched network (at just slightly over 6-million viewers) and ABC and Fox tied for first among adults 18-49, each with a 1.6 rating/ 5 share in the demo. 


CBS opened the evening with a repeat of The Mentalist (Viewers: #2, 5.26 million; A18-49: #3, 1.1/ 4 at 8 p.m.), followed by a repeat of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #2, 5.60 million; A18-49: #3, 1.2/ 4) and the regularly scheduled original telecast of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 7.26 million; A18-49: #1, 1.7/ 6). The 10 p.m. edition was the most-watched show of the evening, which is certainly not saying much. 


Saturday Night College Football on ABC finished second overall in total viewers (5.19 million) and tied for first among adults 18-49 (1.6/ 5) from 8-11 p.m., while Fox’s perennial combination of Cops (original and repeat) and America’s Most Wanted performed as follows:

Cops (Fox) – 8:00 p.m.

Viewers: avg. 5.16 million (#2), A18-49: avg. 1.7/ 6 (#1)

America’s Most Wanted (Fox) – 9:00 p.m.

Viewers: 5.20 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#1)


Last was NBC with its encore combination of Mercy (Viewers: #4, 2.16 million; A18-49: #4, 0.4/ 1), Law & Order (Viewers: #4, 4.27 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 5.78 million; A18-49: #3, 1.5/ 5). As I say every week, what a night!


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 11/22/09


NBC   9.5/15
CBS    8.4/13
ABC   8.0/13
Fox     3.3/ 5

-Percent Change From the Comparable Year-Ago Period (Sunday, November 23, 2008):

NBC: +17, ABC: +16, CBS: +11, Fox: -65


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, November 22, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

60 Minutes (CBS), Sunday Night Football (NBC), The 2009 American Music Awards (ABC)


-Expected to Generate Interest Among Adults 18-49:

The Amazing Race (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

NASCAR (ABC), Brothers (Fox), Cold Case (CBS), Three Rivers (CBS)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Sunday Night Football led NBC to overnight victory — 13 percent above second-place CBS, which also benefited by an approximate half-hour primetime football overrun. Third overall was ABC, which was above-average as a result of The 2009 American Music Awards, followed by Fox in the distant No. 4 spot. 


Philadelphia at Chicago on NBC’s Sunday Night Football averaged an approximate 12.0 rating/18 share from 8:30-11 p.m. in primetime, with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


Sunday Night Football (NBC)

8:30 p.m.: 11.5/18 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 12.1/18 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 12.6/19 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 11.6/18 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 12.3/20 (#1)


Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America as follows:


7:00 p.m. – part one: 3.1/ 5 (#2)

7:30 p.m. – part two: 4.8/ 8 (#2)

8:00 p.m. – part three: 7.6/12 (#3)


Since program ratings for CBS are approximate due to the estimated 30-minute primetime Football overrun, here is the breakdown by half-hour:


7:00 p.m. – Football: 14.0/23 (#1)

7:30 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 11.5/18 (#1)

8:00 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 10.2/16 (#1)

8:30 p.m. – The Amazing Race: 6.8/10 (#3)

9:00 p.m. – The Amazing Race: 7.1/11 (#3)

9:30 p.m. – Cold Case: 5.9/ 9 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Cold Case: 6.3/10 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – Three Rivers: 5.2/ 9 (#3)


Flipping time periods did not, unfortunately, help either Cold Case or Three Rivers last night. 


Over at ABC, The 2009 American Music Awards averaged a hefty 9.5/15 in the overnights from 8-11 p.m., building by noticeable 20 percent from the 7.9/12 on the comparable year-ago evening. Here is the half-hour breakdown:


2009 American Music Awards (ABC)

8:00 p.m.: 7.8/12 (#2)

8:30 p.m.: 8.9/13 (#2)

9:00 p.m.: 10.1/15 (#2)

9:30 p.m.: 10.5/16 (#2)

10:00 p.m.: 10.5/17 (#2)

10:30 p.m.: 9.2/16 (#2)


Earlier in the evening on ABC was a half-hour edition of The Ford 400 on NASCAR Racing (#3: 2.8/ 5) at 7 p.m., following a half-hour repeat edition of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 3.7/ 6 at 7:30 p.m.). 


Below-average Fox capped off this fourth Sunday in November with its combination of Brothers (#4: 1.9/ 3), which is expected to be canceled at any moment, a repeat of The Simpsons (#4: 2.5/ 4), the regularly scheduled edition of The Simpsons (#4: 3.9/ 6), The Cleveland Show (#4: 3.7/ 6), Family Guy (#4: 4.2/ 6) and American Dad (#4: 3.3/ 5). Brothers, of course, is a “loser,” but since the strength of the animation falls within the young adult demos, let’s wait and see what happens. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Daytime Ratings Update:

Based on the final Live Plus Same Day ratings for the week of Nov. 9, CBS remained the most-watched network in daytime, while NBC and ABC finished neck-and-neck for second. First among key women 18-49 was NBC, followed by ABC and CBS. Take a look at the results:

Total Viewers:
CBS: 3.62 million, NBC: 3.06, ABC: 3.03
Women 18-49:
NBC: 912,000, ABC: 865,000, CBS: 732,000
Top 5 Programs Among Women 18-49:

The Young and the Restless (CBS): 1.14 million, General Hospital (ABC): 976,000, The View (ABC): 924,000), Days of Our Lives (NBC): 912,000, One Life to Live (ABC): 806,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 11/23/09

Night 26 of the Nov. 2009 Sweeps

 8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars
 9:30 p.m. Find My Family (series premiere)
10:00 p.m. Castle
 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
 8:30 p.m. Accidentally on Purpose
 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami  
 8:00 p.m. Heroes
 9:00 p.m. Trauma

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. House
 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me
 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)

New Program Descriptions
Find My Family (ABC)

People in desperate search of a long-lost relative or friend are the focus of this new non-scripted series. Six episodes have been ordered. Next week, Find My Family moves into the Monday 9 p.m. hour out of holiday specials. 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Bill Moyers Announces His Retirement:

Bill Moyers, host of PBS’ veteran Bill Moyers Journal, will step down from the weekly show on Friday, April 30, 2010. Also concluding that night will be Now on PBS, which has been canceled. 


-Cable Schedule News:

The seventh season of Lifetime’s Project Runway, which returns to New York, will begin on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. Season two of lead-out Models of the Runway will also kick-off that evening at 11 p.m. ET. Also in January, season four of Platinum Weddings on WE will open on Sunday, January 3 at 9 p.m. ET.


-More on Oprah’s Departure:

Click here to hear what Mr. has to say.




-First-Run Syndication Contenders:

The upcoming NATPE 2010 conference in Las Vegas (Jan. 25-27 at the Mandalay Bay Resort) is still two months away. But here is a listing of the rumored first-run projects being potentially pitched to stations. If anything is missing, please send me an email at


Mom Logic (Warner Bros.) – Based on the Mom Logic website and similar sounding to ABC’s The View, the hosts are The Food Network’s Paula Deen, comedian Judy Gold, former Early Show co-host Rene Syler, Lee Woodruff and the overexposed Kate Gosselin. 


Nate Berkus (CBS Television Distribution) – Queen Oprah is bucking for her fourth successful spin-off with an hour focused on interior designer Nate Berkus.


Steve and Chris (Program Partners) – A combination of old episodes from the Canadian series and new installments, the hosts are Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman. 



America’s Court with Judge Ross (Entertainment Studios) – two half-hours cleared in an hour block.

Judge Heck (Trifecta) – presided over by Missouri Federal Judge Anthony “Tony” Heckemeyer.

The Lawyers (CBS Television Distribution) – similar in format to current The Doctors (but rumored to launch in fall 2011).

Swift Justice (CBS Television Distribution) – Outspoken HLN host Nancy Grace presides.  


Tooned In (Trifecta) – focus on pop culture with animated hosts


In returning news, former Sony Pictures Television court show Judge Karen is back from the dead with a second-season pick-up from Litton Entertainment. 


Off-network sitcoms vying for clearances are American Dad (Twentieth), Curb Your Enthusiasm (Warner Bros.), Entourage (Warner Bros.), Futurama (Twentieth), How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth), Meet the Browns (Debmar Mercury), The New Adventures of Old Christine (Warner Bros.) and ‘Til Death (Sony Pictures Television). In the hour-long drama category are Brothers & Sisters (Disney-ABC), The Closer (Warner Bros.), Criminal Minds (CBS), Heroes (NBC Universal), Numb3rs (CBS), Ugly Betty (Disney-ABC) and The Unit (Twentieth). Additional off-network entries could include Cash Cab (MGM), Dog Whisperer (Twentieth), Real Housewives (NBC Universal) and True Hollywood Stories (Debmar-Mercury).  


TV Trivia Time:

Remember Lana Shields? 


Which one of the following sitcoms briefly featured a middle-aged sex-bomb named Lana Shields?


a)      Alice

b)      Fired Up

c)      Nurses

d)      Suddenly Susan

e)      Three’s Company


The answer to Friday’s question…


Remember Fish, the short-lived spin-off from Barney Miller featuring Abe Vigoda as grumpy Det. Phil Fish and Florence Stanley as his understanding wife Bernice? How many kids did they become foster parents to on Fish?


Is: d) 5. The foster kids were Mike, Loomis, Victor, Jilly and Diane. Loomis was played Todd Bridges prior to his long-running stint on Diff’rent Strokes.

-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Larry Collins, Harold Cooper, Reid Davis, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Kerry Hughes, Bob Ingersoll. Ken Jobe, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, Steven Kurtzer, Patty Lynch, Greg Phelan, Colleen Roth, Michelle Stanton