Solid Midweek Victory for Fox

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:
American Idol Leads Fox to Massive Victory
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
American Idol Leads Fox to Massive Victory
Wednesday 2/25/09


Fox   13.6/21
CBS    6.9/11
ABC   4.5/ 7
NBC   4.0/ 6

CW    0.7/ 1


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008):

CBS: +35, ABC: + 5, Fox: – 1, NBC: -43, CW: -70


Note: The fast affiliate results for Wednesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET (if there are no further delays). Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Life (NBC), Life on Mars (ABC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

The two-hour live performance edition of Fox’s American Idol (which was delayed one night due to President Obama’s Address to Congress) stood well above the competition, almost doubling second-place CBS in the overnights. In the distant No. 3 spot was ABC, followed by NBC and almost invisible the CW. 


American Idol averaged a 13.6 rating/21 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


American Idol (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 12.6/21

8:30 p.m.: 13.9/22

9:00 p.m.: 14.0/21

9:30 p.m.: 14.0/21


As strong as this is, it was still 13 percent below the year ago night’s 15.7/24. 


My picks to move on are Kris Allen, Megan Joy Corkrey and, of course, rocker Adam Lambert. Whoa! As for the Wild Card spot: Allison Iraheta, who looks 40, not 16! The judges may have liked Allison but I personally had glass shattering in my house as she was singing. As for Nick Mitchell: please…go home already! American Idol is supposed to be a serious singing competition, not a half-baked farce. 


Repeats of CBS sitcoms The New Adventures of Old Christine (#3: 3.7/ 6) and compatible Gary Unmarried (#4: 3.5/ 6) took a hit in the 8 p.m. hour. But Eye net crime dramas Criminal Minds (#2: 9.0/14) and CSI: NY (#1: 8.2/14) successfully bounced back from 9-11 p.m. Keep in mind, of course, that Criminal Minds also faced ABC’s Lost, which clearly makes it a “winner.”


Speaking of Lost, a repeat of last week’s installment kicked-off the evening for ABC fourth in the 8 p.m. hour, with a 3.5/ 6. That led into the original episode at a now typical 5.8/ 9 at 9 p.m. (#3), followed by failing freshman drama Life on Mars at an estimated 4.1/ 7 at 10 p.m. Since the first six minutes of the 10 p.m. hour was Lost, these overnight results for Life on Mars are actually inflated. As for Lost, there is still interest among adults 18-49 (and that’s what counts, after all). 


A one hour edition of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (which was the second half of Tuesday’s normally two-hour telecast) was second at 8-9 p.m., with a 4.9/ 8 in the metered markets. The strength of The Biggest Losers, of course, falls within the young adult demos. Next on NBC was waiting-to-be axed drama Life (series low 2.8/ 4 at 9 p.m. — #4 in the hour), followed by a repeat of granddaddy Law & Order at a second-place 4.3/ 7 at 10 p.m.


The CW capped off Wednesday with repeats of Privileged (#5: 0.8/ 1) and the just renewed 90210 (#5: 0.5/ 1). For more on Privileged, see Ratings Box below. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Lackluster Season-Ender for the CW’s Privileged:

The end of the Tuesday episode of freshman CW drama Privileged teased the audience by claiming “To Be Continued.” But just 1.53 million viewers and a 0.7 rating/2 share among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. hour (which was barely above a repeat of lead-in 90210) means that the so-called season finale is probably the series finale. Don’t be fooled. 

-Above Average WWE Monday Night Raw on USA:

USA wrestling staple Monday Night Raw has risen to its best two-week delivery since April 2002. The Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 episodes scored an average of 6.01 million total viewers, with 4.05 million households, 3.03 million adults 18-49, and 2.9 million adults 25-54. The last time WWE Raw broke the 3-million mark among adults 18-49 for two weeks in a row was in August 2002.

-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of Feb. 9:

What follows is a ranking of the top 20 programs in syndication based on AA (average audience) households for the week of Feb. 9:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 7.4 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.2, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros,): 5.3, Judge Judy (CBS): 4.6, Entertainment Tonight (CBS) and Oprah (CBS): 4.5 each, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 4.1, Dr. Phil (CBS): 3.7, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television) and Wheel of Fortune – Weekend (CBS): 3.6 each, Buena Vista VII Movie Package (Disney-ABC): 3.5, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.4, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.3, Seinfeld – Weekend (SPT): 3.2, Inside Edition (CBS): 3.1, George Lopez (Warner Bros,) and Law & Order: SVU (NBC Universal): 2.9 each, King of Queens (SPT), King of the Hill (Twentieth Television) and Two and a Half Men – Weekend (Warner Bros.): 2.7 each

-February 2009 Cable Highlights:

What follows are the network rating highlights worth noting in cable based on the soon-to-be concluded month of February:

ABC Family:

ABC Family rose to its best performance ever in February in prime-time based on total viewers (1.4 million), adults 18-34 (363,000), adults 18-49 (638,000) and viewers 12-34 (616,000), building by as much as 60 percent from one year earlier. Compared to all basic cable networks, ABC Family finished the month ranked seventh in adults 18-34 (up from No. 15 from one year earlier) and eighth in adults 18-49 (up from No. 22). And it has now delivered its 20th consecutive month of year-to-year growth in prime-time in total viewers, adults 18-49 and viewers 12-34.

Adult Swim:

The home of non-kids animation, Adult Swim, finished February first among all ad-supported cable networks in total day based on adults 18-34, persons 18-24, men 18-34 and men 18-24.  Compared to one year earlier, Adult Swim increased by as much as 20 percent among adults 18-24. And 17 of the top 20 telecasts for the month based on adults 18-34 aired on Adult Swim.

Cartoon Network:

Cartoon Network will complete February ranked first in all of television in prime-time among boys 6-11, building year-to-year by 30 percent in boys 2-11 and 39 percent in boys 6-11. Other demo gains ranged from 20 to 29 percent in kids 2-11, kids 6-11 and kids 9-14.


HGTV will finish the month with its largest audience in prime-time ever based on men 18-49 (132,000: up 19 percent from Feb. 2008) and men 25-49 (122,000: up 22 percent). And it scored its best performance to-date in February based on households (914,000), adults 18+ (1.05 million), men 18+ (272,000), women 18+ (781,000), adults 18-49 (421,000), adults 25-49 (384,000), adults 25-54 (486,000) and men 25-54 (145,000).


Led by SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly, Nickelodeon dominated the kids-driven cable networks in February, with 2.2 million total viewers (versus 1.6 million for The Disney Channel and 1.1 million for Cartoon Network). Nickelodeon averaged 1.2 million kids 2-11 (versus 942,000 for The Disney Channel and 592,000 for Cartoon Network).


Noggin reached a new high in February among its target kids 2-5 (282,000) audience, building year-to-year by a considerable 27 percent.

The N:

Teen driven The N also rose to its most-watched February ever, with growth of 48 percent in total viewers and 24 percent among teens 12-17.


Led by the NBA All-Star Game, TNT built year-to-year by five percent in households, nine percent in total viewers and as much as 16 percent among adults 25-54. 


Rebranded truTV reached a new zenith in February in adults 18-34 (207,000), men 18-34 (109,000), men 18-49 (259,000) and men 25-54 (286,000).   


USA delivered its best February ever in both total viewers (3.41 million) and adults 25-54 (1.61 million) in prime-time, and second best among adults 18-49 (1.59 million). Comparably, growth from Feb. 2008 was as much as 22 percent in adults 25-54.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 2/26/09
 8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)

10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)


 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Tocantins

 9:00 p.m. CSI

10:00 p.m. Eleventh Hour

 8:00 p.m. Secrets of the Furious Five

 8:30 p.m. Kath & Kim

 9:00 p.m. The Office (R)
 9:30 p.m. 30 Rock
10:00 p.m. ER
 8:00 p.m. American Idol

 9:00 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen


 8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Street King


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Jerry Seinfeld Returns to NBC:

No, he is not attempting a new sitcom. But NBC has ordered six one-hour episodes of a reality series from comedian Jerry Seinfeld tentatively called The Marriage Ref, which will feature a host of celebrities judging and advising couples who are having martial difficulties. The Marriage Ref is expected to debut next fall. For Mr. TV’s thoughts on Jerry Seinfeld, listen to today’s PIPodcast at


-Coming Up on CMT:

Cable net CMT has ordered eight one-hour episodes of a new non-scripted series called World’s Strictest Parents, which will air adjacent to Nanny 911 and will document the journey of unruly teens as they are forced to adapt to the rules and regulations of a different family. It debuts in April.


-More Gilmore Girls on ABC Family:

ABC Family, the home of off-network airings of Gilmore Girls, has acquired the seventh – and final – season of the former WB/CW drama. The addition of the last season gives the cable net rights to all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls.


-Mark Your Calendars:

Fox summer favorite So You Think You Can Dance will open its fifth season with a two-hour installment on Thursday, May 21 at 8 p.m. ET. One night earlier, the current season of American Idol is expected to conclude. 


-Also in May:

The one hour series-finale of ABC’s Scrubs (which never should have moved to the network in the first place) is scheduled for Tuesday, May 6. While it is not officially canceled yet, there is absolutely no hope for another season of this overrated comedy. The title for this episode is, in fact, “My Finale.”


-The Nanny Meets The Doctors:

Today’s episode of daytime talker The Doctors from CBS Television Distribution will feature former The Nanny star (and cancer survivor) Fran Drescher. Almost nine years cancer free, the outspoken nasal one is hoping to empower women everywhere to take control of their bodies. 


-Speaking of The Nanny:

All together now…


She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens,
Til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
What was she to do, where was she to go
She was out on her fanny.

So over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffield’s door,
She was there to sell make up but the father saw more,
She had style, she had flair, she was there,
That’s how she became the Nanny.

Who would have guessed that the girl we described
was just exactly what the doctor prescribed?

Now, the father finds her beguiling, watch out C.C.,
The kids are actually smiling, such joie de vivre
She’s the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan.
The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran.


TV Trivia Time:

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow


Which one of the following failed series was canceled after just one episode?


a)      Checking In

b)      Costello

c)      Public Morals

d)      Roxie

e)      Viva Las Vegas


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Where was That ‘70s Show set?

Is:  e) Wisconsin. Point Place, Wisconsin to be exact.

-Current kudos goes to:
Frank Agzarian, Joelle Alexander, Brian Armistead, Christine Aultz, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Ric Beddingfield, Mikki Beno, Gerry Bixenspan, Kimay Bloch, Michael Bobble, Marshall Boone, Dave Carfolite, Brian Carney, Vanessa Coates, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Harold Cooper, Annie Courtney, Reid Davis, James Davison, Rob Depascale, Donna Dodge, Bob Eisenstaedt, John Ferlazzo, Sara Foster, Jan Frazier, Adam Giagni, Harold Goetz, Michael Grewe, Joslyn Hansen, Heather Hardin, Michelle Harringon, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Barb Hemberger, Sherrie Henstchel, Maria Hokanson, Melissa Hogdon, Keith Hopkins, Kerry Hughes, Pat Hylkema, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Mike Jolliffe, Jodi Karp, Marie Lefevre Karp, Karen Kavanagh, David Kern, Kathryn Kieser, Jen Burdell-King, Suzanne Knoll, Kristopher Koller, Synda Kollman, Mark Krause, David Lederman, Eva Lottsfeldt, Maloney, Christy Stratton Mann, Julia McCray, Randi Mendelsohn, Debbie Mirr, Beverly Morris, Judith Mullen, Laura Nachman, Steve O’Rourke, Scott Osbourne, Aaron Paquette, Ellen Paulson, Joe Pedri, Alan Perris, Jodi Perris, Amanda Peterson, Greg Phelan, Robyn Brown-Postell, Michael Ratliffe, Conn Rigg, Mauricio Rios, Bruce Robinson, Alan Rosenfeld, Deana Rosolen, Colleen Roth, Maureen Ruane, Harley David Rubin, David Ruckman, Paul Rule, Neal Sabin, Greg Salerno, Jenny Smith, Joe Smith, Michelle Stanton, Jeff Stuewe, Ivan Tafur, Pam Tierney, Myndi Weinraub, Jim Wright, Ted Zavales, Ted Zawislak