Sluggish NATPE 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009
NATPE 2009:
Overall Observations
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Come and Knock on Your Door

Note: Effective today, Nielsen Media Research will delay the release of the overnight ratings until an estimated 11 a.m. ET as it prepares for the planned digital switchover. Fast affiliate results (which are always available at PIFeedback) will not be released until 1 p.m. ET. In addition to posting the fast affiliate results at this now later time, I will also include the metered market ratings in a separate daily listing under the Ratings Box category.


.As always, go to PIFeedback, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Thursday, January 29, 2009 (now divided by Overnights and Fast Nationals) for the results.

NATPE 2009:
Overall Observations

Yes, I promised I would offer ongoing highlights from my just concluded trip to the annual National Association of Television Program Executives conference. But with the economy struggling, attendance was down (an estimated 14 percent, according to NATPE) and activity was sorely limited. Unfortunately, no one should be too surprised. Regardless, here are some key observations from a very tired Mr. TV.

-Marie Osmond:

Marie, the upcoming syndicated daytime talk show from Program Partners hosted by Marie Osmond, has been announced as a firm “go” for fall 2009 with recent clearances on WNBC in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles.  Comparably, that puts clearances to-date for Marie at approximately 70 percent of the country. Affiliates include stations from the CBS and NBC owned and operated groups, Belo, Cox, CW 100+, Lin, Local TV, Meredith, Newport, Post-Newsweek, Raycom, Sinclair, Schurz and Weigel.

-Wendy Williams:

I sat down with the lively DJ to interview her for an upcoming Mr. Television column. And what I liked about Wendy is her non-traditional presence. She is who she is, and that’s commanding, outspoken and very funny. Overall, I think viewers will agree when her talk show launches nationally in July.

-Dr. Mehmet Oz:

Naturally, I would have liked to give you my take on the new talk show with the greatest chance to succeed. But Sony Pictures Television will no longer participate at NATPE. And the distributor refused to talk to the press about Dr. Mehmet Oz for the conference. All in all, not a good move by any means.

-This TV:

MGM Domestic Television Distribution and Weigel Broadcasting have announced increased clearances for new 24/7 digital programming service This TV, which features movies and TV series from the MGM library, in approximately 60 percent of the country. New stations signing up include KTLA/Los Angeles, WPHL/Philadelphia, WHDH/Boston, WDCW/Washington, D.C., WTIC-WTXX/Hartford, and WGNO-WNOL/New Orleans. 

-How I Met Your Mother:

Twentieth Television has cleared sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which debuts in off-network syndication in fall 2010, in 75 percent of the country, including 23 of the top 25 markets. Stations include affiliates from the Fox Television Group, Bahakel, Belo, Cox, Gannett, Hearst-Argyle, Hubbard, Raycom, Tribune and Viacom.

-Street Court:

Litton Entertainment’s upcoming Street Court has been announced as a firm “go” for fall 2009, with clearances to-date in approximately 65 percent of the country. New confirmations include the Tribune stations in Philadelphia, San Diego and Grand Rapids; the Sinclair stations in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Birmingham and Las Vegas; Local TV in Cleveland and Milwaukee; and Capitol in Charlotte and Raleigh.  

-It’s the Story of Five Kids Named Brady:

How is this for nostalgia? Five of the six Brady kids (troubled Jan excluded…Eve Plumb refuses to be associated with her classic role), are out pitching a proposed talk show. We’ll call it The View = Brady style!

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record January for Oxygen:

Propelled by Bad Girls Club, America’s Next Top Model Obsessed and Snapped, female-driven Oxygen rose to its best performance in January in total viewers (434,000: +39 percent from Jan. 2008), adults 18-49 (238,000), women 18-49 (179,000: +43 percent) and women 18-34 (100,000: +64 percent).

-New Overnight High for The Doctors:

CBS Television Distribution’s freshman The Doctors rose to a new metered market high, with a 2.5 rating/6 share on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Comparably, that built by 19 percent from its lead-in and 25 percent from its year-ago time period averages. And it finished first in the time period in 11 markets.

-National Rating Results – Week of Jan. 19, 2009:

While I was at the NATPE conference digging for any potential news I could find, here were the final national rating results for the week of Jan. 19 (with percent change from the comparable year-ago period in parentheses):


CBS: 6.8 rating/11 share (+11), Fox: 6.1/10 (-12), ABC: 5.2/ 8 (+18), NBC: 4.1/ 7 (-20), CW: 1.1/ 2 (-15), MNTV: 1.0/ 2 (+25)

Total Viewers:

CBS: 10.82 million (+16), Fox: 10.54 (-10), ABC: 8.27 (+22), NBC: 6.53 (-19), CW: 1.74 (-16), MNTV: 1.69 (+43)

Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.8 rating/10 share (-16), ABC: 2.9/ 8 (+26), CBS: 2.7/ 7 (+17), NBC: 2.1/ 5 (-19), CW: 0.8/ 2 (+14), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (No change)

Adults 25-54:

Fox: 4.3/10 (-12), CBS: 3.6/ 9 (+20), ABC: 3.3/ 8 (+22), NBC: 2.5/ 6 (-17), CW: 0.7/ 2 (no change), MNTV: 0.6/ 1 (+20)

Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.5/10 (-19), ABC: 2.6/ 8 (+53), CBS: 1.6/ 5 (+14), NBC: 1.6/ 5 (-24), CW: 0.9/ 3 (+12), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data
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On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Friday 1/30/09

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap

 9:00 p.m. 20/20
10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer (R)

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint (R)

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs (R)

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It

 8:30 p.m. Howie Do It

 9:00 p.m. Friday Night Lights 

10:00 p.m. Dateline

 8:00 p.m. House (R)

 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me (R)


 8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris

 8:30 p.m. The Game

 9:00 p.m. 13 – Fear is Real (R)


 8:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!


 8:00 p.m. Movie: False Witness (R, from 7 p.m.)

Saturday 1/31/09

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (R)

10:00 p.m. Life on Mars (R)

 8:00 p.m. Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials

 9:00 p.m. NCIS (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery
 8:00 p.m. Crusoe

 9:00 p.m. Saturday Night Live Sports Special (R)

 8:00 p.m. Cops

 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Napoleon Dynamite (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: LaVyrle Spencer’s Home Song (R, from 7 p.m.)

Sunday 2/01/09

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Wipeout (R)

 9:00 p.m. Wipeout (R)

10:00 p.m. Wipeout Bowl I: Cheerleaders v. Couch Potatoes


 7:00 p.m. CBS Reports: The Road to the White House 

 8:00 p.m. Cold Case (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Unit (R)

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

 7:00 p.m. Super Bowl XLIII (Arizona vs. Pittsburgh)


 7:00 p.m. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)

 8:30 p.m. American Dad (R)

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy (R)

 9:30 p.m. American Dad (R)


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R)

 8:00 p.m. Sunday Movie: Throw Momma From the Train (R)

7:00 p.m. Movie: Thicker Than Water (R)

 9:00 p.m. Movie: Love’s Abiding Joy (R)

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-ABC Announces Changes on Three Nights:

To make room for the return of the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show in the Tuesday 9 p.m. hour (on March 17), current occupant Scrubs will relocate into the Wednesday 8 p.m. anchor spot on March 18. Leading out of Scrubs at 8:30 p.m. will be Better Off Ted, the comical tale of a successful man (Jay Harrington) who runs the research and development department at a morally questionable firm. 


ABC, in addition, will give Ugly Betty a rest and open Thursday effective on March 26 with a new sitcom called In the Motherhood leading into sophomore Samantha Who? In the Motherhood features Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Jessica St. Clair as three mothers trying to cope in today’s modern world. Ugly Betty is expected to return later in the spring. There is no word, meanwhile, what will air in Samantha Who’s? former Monday 9:30 p.m. time period.

-More Howie Do It:

NBC has ordered 12 additional half-hour episodes of the recently introduced Howie Do It, which will keep it on the air until April 24. 

-Speaking of NBC:

Nineteen years after failing to make an impact with a spin-off sitcom of Ron Howard theatrical Parenthood, NBC has ordered a new pilot that will once again focus on the trials and tribulations of an extended family.

-ABC Attempts a Remake of V:

ABC is also hoping to revitalize a former failed series with a potential remake of 1984-85 miniseries-turned-weekly drama V. The network will produce a pilot of a new version of V that will focus on a female homeland security agent’s involvement in the invasion.

-ProSiebenSat.1 Group Extends Agreement With CBS:

European media conglomerate The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has extended its licensing agreement with CBS Paramount International Television that will assure the TV Group continued access to many TV series, miniseries and TV movies in the coming years.

-Style Network Acquires Supernanny:

Style Network, the destination for female viewers, has acquired the exclusive off-network rights to all seasons of ABC’s non-scripted Supernanny. It begins this fall. 

-Wanna Feel Old?:

Thirty-three years ago this week (on Jan. 27, 2006, to be exact), sitcom Laverne & Shirley debuted. And it finished its first week as the top-rated show in prime-time (ahead of parent series Happy Days). In honor Laverne & Shirley, all together now…


One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Schlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated. 

We’re gonna do it!
Give us any chance, we’ll take it.
Give us any rule, we’ll break it.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin’ it our way.
Nothin’s gonna turn us back now, 
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We’re gonna make our dreams come true, 
Doin’ it our way.
There is nothing we won’t try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there’s no stopping us.
We’re gonna do it.
On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We’re gonna make our dream come true.   
And we’ll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true

For me and you. _____________________________________________________________________________

TV Trivia Time:
Come and Knock on Your Door

What was the occupation of Chrissy’s father on Three’s Company?

a) Doctor
b) florist
c) insurance salesman
d) minister
e) teacher
The answer to the last trivia question…

Where did Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner move to when she left the very troubled town of Knots Landing?

a) Dallas
b) Japan
c) Las Vegas
d) Paris
e) Providence  

Is: b) Japan. After scheming in the troubled California suburb for nine seasons, Donna Mills as vixen Abby headed off to Japan for a new business venture. And she took young Brian (Brian Austin Green) with her.

-Current kudos goes to:

Ed Beach, Gerry Bixenspan, Calvin Cole, Larry Collins, Annie Courtney, Gus Curran, Linda D’Adamo, John Ferlazzo, Jerry Gibbons, Michelle Harrington, Darren Howard, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Kathy McClung, Anne Moynihan, Alan Perris, Joe Rubi, Michelle Stanton, Andrew Stearn, John Wood