Sluggish Wednesday 8 p.m. Anchor Spot

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Wednesday 8 p.m. a Sore Spot for Network Television

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
Executive Shuffle
TV Trivia Time:

Haven’t I Heard That Title Before?  


CBS Wins; Wednesday 8 p.m. a Sore Spot for Network Television

Wednesday 10/14/09


CBS   7.5/12
NBC 4.8/ 8
Fox    4.4/ 7
ABC 4.1/ 7
CW    1.5/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, October 15, 2008):

Note: The year-ago week included game five of the National League Championship Series on Fox, and the final Presidential Debate on ABC, CBS and NBC from 9-10:30 p.m. ET (with the half-hour analysis at 10:30 p.m. ET).  

CBS: +32, Fox: -23, CW: -25, NBC: -27, ABC: -36
-Yesterday’s Winners:

Criminal Minds (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), CSI: NY (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:
Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Cougar Town (ABC), Glee (Fox)

-Nothing Stands Out in the Wednesday 8 p.m. Hour:

Hank (ABC), The Middle (ABC), The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS), Gary Unmarried (CBS), Mercy (NBC), America’s Next Top Model (CW)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):
The Jay Leno Show (NBC), Eastwick (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS scored another Wednesday overnight victory, beating distant No. 2 NBC by a considerable 56 percent. Third overall was Fox, followed by ABC and, of course, The CW. Mirroring what I have been saying all season, Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. is one of the softest hours of the week in primetime. Take a look at the lackluster results on all five networks:


Wednesday 8 p.m.


Hank – 8:00 p.m.: 3.9/ 7 (#4)

The Middle – 8:30 p.m.: 4.0/ 7 (#4)


The New Adventures of Old Christine – 8:00 p.m.: 4.7/ 8 (#1)

Gary Unmarried – 8:30 p.m.: 4.3/ 7 (#2t)


Mercy: 4.3/ 7 (#2)


So You Think You Can Dance: 4.2/ 7 (#3)

America’s Next Top Model: 2.4/ 4 (#5)

Compared to one year earlier, erosion was visible everywhere. Hank and The Middle on ABC were down, on average, by 16 percent from former canceled occupant Pushing Daisies (4.7/ 7 on Oct. 15, 2008). The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried on CBS were off, on average, by 16 percent from their year-ago overnights (Old Christine: 5.4/ 9, Gary Unmarried: 5.3/ 8). NBC’s Mercy dipped by four percent from former failed occupant Knight Rider (4.5/ 7). And The CW’s veteran America’s Next Top Model declined by 11 percent from a clips edition (which always scores lower) last year at this time (2.7/ 4 to 2.4/ 4). Fox is excluded because baseball aired on the year-ago evening.


Considering how well ABC’s Lost once fared in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour, the networks may want to retool what they currently have.   Since So You Think You Can Dance on Fox is expected to win the time period among adults 18-49 with ease, that is the one show not considered disappointing. Yes, it performs much better in the summer. But as fall time period filler it could be worse. 


CBS’ Criminal Minds stood well above the competition at 9 p.m., with an 8.6/13 in the overnights. Second was NBC’s relocated Law & Order: SVU at a 5.8/ 9, which is worthy of positive mention for building by 35 percent out of the 8:30 p.m. portion of lead-in Mercy (4.3/ 7). And the good news for ABC was week four of critically acclaimed comedy Modern Family, which built by six percent from one week earlier with a 5.4/ 9. Comparably, that was up by 35 percent from lead-in The Middle. Take a look at the four-week overnight track:


Modern Family (ABC)

9/23/09: 7.8/12

9/30/09: 5.8/ 9

10/06/09: 5.1/ 8

10/13/09: 5.4/ 8


Considering the strength of Modern Family falls within adults 18-49, expect a performance in the mid-to-high three rating range. Compatible lead-out Cougar Town, meanwhile, has also settled with a third-place 4.8/ 8. Here is the four-week overnight track:

Cougar Town (ABC)

9/23/09: 6.8/10

9/30/09: 5.5/ 9

10/06/09: 4.7/ 7

10/13/09: 4.8/ 8


Given the ongoing strength for Cougar Town among adults 18-49, its honorable mention for the sassy Courteney Cox sitcom. 


Over at Fox, consistent Glee remained just that, with a 4.5/ 7 in the overnights. The CW capped off the hour with a repeat of Melrose Place at a mere 0.7/ 1. Excluding The CW, the Big 4 networks all built from their 8:30 p.m. lead-ins. 


Top-rated 10 p.m. overnight honors fell in CBS’ court, with veteran CSI: NY at a 9.3/16. In the distant No. 2 spot was NBC’s disappointing The Jay Leno Show (4.3/ 7), which dropped by 31 percent from the 9:30 p.m. portion of lead-in Law & Order: SVU (6.2/10), followed by ABC’s failing Eastwick at a mere 3.2/ 6. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Univision Dominates Friday:

Based on final national ratings for Friday, Oct. 9, Univision finished as the top-rated broadcast network among adults 18-34 (1.0 million) and teens 12-17 (199,000). Univision, in addition, ranked third among adults 18-49 (1.7 million) ahead of ABC, Fox, The CW and Telemundo.


-National Ratings In Syndication – Week of Sept. 28:

What follows are the top 20 rated programs in syndication for the week of Sept. 28 based on households, including by any individual program highlights worth noting.


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 6.6 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 5.4, Oprah (CBS): 5.0, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 4.7, Entertainment Tonight (CBS): 4.3, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.1, Family Guy (Twentieth Television) and CSI: NY (CBS): 3.4 each, Inside Edition (CBS): 3.0, The Office (NBC Universal): 2.8, Dr. Phil (CBS): 2.6, Dr. Oz (Sony Pictures Television) and Seinfeld (SPT): 2.5 each, Live With Regis & Kelly (Disney-ABC), CSI: Miami (CBS) and Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 2.4 each, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC), George Lopez (Warner Bros.), House (NBCU) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend (Warner Bros): 2.3 each


-Wheel of Fortune was the only game show to grow versus the comparable year-ago week, with an increase of two percent.


-Durable Inside Edition was up by 11 percent from the same week last year — more than any competing newsmagazine. Week-to-week, key demo growth was as much as 13 percent among women 18-34. 


-Dr. Oz continues to build in households, going from a 2.4 to 2.5 to 2.6 in two weeks. Based on these first three weeks of national data, Dr. Oz is averaging the highest household rating of any debuting talk show since Dr. Phil in 2002.


-CSI: Miami perked up by 20 percent — the largest year-to-year gain of any off-network weekly hour.


-Two and a Half Men has now led the off-network sitcom category for 102 consecutive weeks, with growth of two percent in households from one week earlier. 


-Week two of Twentieth Television’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? increased by seven percent in households from its debut week (1.5 to 1.6). Comparably, the last game show to pick-up steam in its second week was Street Smarts from Warner Bros. in 2000. 5th Grader also delivered more week two growth than any other first-run debut since Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court in 2006.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 10/15/09
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
 10:00 p.m. Private Practice  

 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Samoa

 9:00 p.m. CSI

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist

 8:00 p.m. Community
 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation
 9:00 p.m. The Office
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock (season premiere)

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Bones

 9:00 p.m. Fringe


 8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More Made in Hollywood:

Distributor Connection III Entertainment has renewed syndicated weekly Made in Hollywood for a fifth season, with confirmed clearances in over 80 percent of the country. Sister series Made in Hollywood – Teen Edition will also return, with the two sold to the CBS Television Stations Group in a 21-market deal for the 2009-10 season. Other participating station groups include Belo, Gannett, Hearst-Argyle, Lin, McGraw Hill, Sinclair and Tribune.  


-ABC Adds The Gates in Midseason:

ABC is adding to its already hefty midseason slate with a one-hour crime drama called The Gates, which is set in a suburban community. Thirteen episodes have been ordered. Also slated on the alphabet network in January and beyond are scripted entries Copper, The Deep End and Happy Town; reality competition Fast & the Funniest; and the returning Better Off Ted, The Bachelor, Lost, Scrubs and Secret Millionaire. The remake of V steps into the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour on Nov. 3.


-Fox Extends Second Season of The Cleveland Show:

How is this for optimism?  First Fox renewed animated Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show for 13 episodes in season two before it even debuted. Now, just four weeks into the current season, the network has extended the sophomore episode order to 22, bringing the two season tally to 44. Through Oct. 11, The Cleveland Show is averaging 8.75 million viewers, with a healthy 4.4 rating/11 share among adults 18-49 in the Sunday 8:30 p.m. half hour. Comparably, that is outdelivering lead-in The Simpsons (Viewers: 8.44 million, A18-49: 4.1/11) by 310,000 viewers and seven percent in the demo.


-Also at Fox:

At the same time it extended the episode order for The Cleveland Show, Fox has cut back on upcoming midseason drama Past Life from 13 to 7 installments. Currently scheduled out of American Idol in the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour in January (in place of Glee), Past Life focuses on a psychologist with a specialty in reincarnation and past life regression therapy who teams up with a former NYPD detective to resolve people’s present day problems by exploring past life issues. Given Glee’s current momentum, chances are it will remain on Wednesday after Idol and scaled back Past Life will have to find a new home.

Executive Shuffle

Judy Kenny has been named executive vice president, sales of Twentieth Television, where she will be responsible for overseeing all sales initiatives on behalf of Twentieth, including MyNetworkTV, Carsey-Warner and Debmar Mercury. Based in New York, Kenny steps in for Bob Cesa, who is scheduled to retire in June 2010. Most recently, Kenny was executive vice president of ad sales for MyNetworkTV.

TV Trivia Time:

One of the following five freshman series titles was already the name of a prior short-lived TV show. Which one was it?


a)      The Good Wife

b)      Hank

c)      Mercy

d)      The Middle

e)      Three Rivers


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following classic comedies was on the air the least number of years?


a)      The Beverly Hillbillies

b)      Green Acres

c)      Mayberry R.F.D.

d)      The Real McCoys

e)      Petticoat Junction


Is: c) Mayberry R.F.D., which was spun-off from The Andy Griffith Show and aired on CBS from 1968 to 1971. Had CBS not decided to cancel all its rural driven comedies at the time, still popular Mayberry R.F.D. could have lasted for years longer. As for the others:

The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS): 1962-71
Green Acres (CBS): 1965-71

The Real McCoys (ABC): 1957-62, (CBS): 1962-63

Petticoat Junction (CBS): 1963-70

-Current kudos goes to:
Mark-Allen, Mark Amato, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Michael Bobble, John Brooker, Mitch Burg, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Harold Cooper,  Mark Cosenza, Reid Davis, Malcolm Dunlop, Claire Franks, Maureen Goldman, Michelle Harrington, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Ken Jobe, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, Steven Kurtzer, Howard Lieboff, Rich Miller, Jim Moore, Tony Naldrett, Bill Nuss, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Gordon Purcell, Julie Rasmussen, Bruce Robinson, Joe Rubi, David Shearer, Mark Simmons, Ronnie Tallant, Abbott Wool, Ted Zawislak