Week of September 14, 2009
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
Stellar Opening Tuesday for CBS; Disappointing Jay Leno on NBC
-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, September 23, 2008):
NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS)
90210 (CW), Melrose Place (CW), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)
Dominant CBS had outstanding overnight results on this first Tuesday of the new season, with a first-place finish in every half-hour care of its combination of the season-premiere of red-hot NCIS (11.8 rating/19 share), the premiere of spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (11.5/18) and the series-premiere of The Good Wife (10.2/17). Take a look at the three dramas versus the year-ago metered market time period averages and notice the growth for all three.
9/22/09 – NCIS: Los Angeles: 11.5/18
On ABC, another two-hour edition of Dancing With the Stars certainly did not disappoint with an average second-place 10.2/16 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. But compared to the year-ago 9-11 p.m. telecast (11.8/18 on Sept. 23, 2008), this was a decline of 14 percent. Here is the half-hour breakdown:
How do you like that Kelly Osbourne? She can actually do something well and it was a blast seeing Ozzy and Sharon in the audience, wasn’t it?
Dancing With the Stars led into the series-premiere of crime drama The Forgotten, which finished second at 10 p.m. in the overnights with a 6.2/11. Comparably, retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars was a modest 57 percent. And The Forgotten dipped by 11 percent in the second half-hour (6.5/11 to 5.8/10), which is never a good sign. The good news, however: it beat NBC’s competing The Jay Leno Show. Keep reading.
NBC opened the evening with week two of the new season of The Biggest Loser, which averaged a 4.3/7 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. and built in every half-hour as follows:
The Biggest Loser, of course, always scores among adults 18-49. But compared to the year-ago telecast (4.7/ 7 on Sept. 23, 2008), this was a loss of nine percent. At 10 p.m. on NBC, the second Tuesday (and seventh telecast overall) of The Jay Leno Show finished third with a 4.8/ 8 in the overnights. Given the expected adult 18-49 erosion out of The Biggest Loser, this is a losing performance. As for the caliber of guests, what can you say when Pee Wee Herman is the main attraction? Speaking of Pee Wee, wouldn’t he be great as a guest star on The Big Bang Theory?
Fox filled the night with back-to-back episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, which finished fourth overall in the overnights with an average 4.0/ 6 from 8-10 p.m. (but is expected to generate interest among adults 18-49). Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:
Last, and very least, was The CW’s combination of 90210 (1.4/ 2) and Melrose Place (1.3/ 2), which declined by an average of 35 percent from the year-ago combination of 90210 (2.4/ 4) and failed drama Privileged (1.7/ 2). When the overnights are down by this much, chances are there will also be deterioration among The CW’s target young female audience.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
Week of September 14, 2009
Led by the first week of strip The Jay Leno Show, the season-premiere of The Biggest Loser, the expanded season-finale of America’s Got Talent and Sunday Night Football, NBC swept the week of Sept. 14. Comparably, NBC finished first in households, total viewers and the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34, building over the year-ago week by as much as 40 percent in total viewers. But before anyone breaks open the bottle of bubbly at the house of Peacock, keep in mind two things: the network’s aggressive stance came one week before the official start of the new season; and b) The Jay Leno is way down in week two. It is sinking faster than the Titanic.
Take a look at the five night Live Plus Same Day track for The Jay Leno Show.
Monday 9/14/09 – Viewers: 18.42 million (#2); A18-49: 5.3/14 (#2)
Tuesday 9/15/09 – Viewers: 11.09 million (#11); A18-49: 3.4/ 9 (#11)
Wednesday 9/16/09 – Viewers: 13.36 million (#7); A18-49: 3.5/10 (#9t)
Thursday 9/17/09 – Viewers: 8.82 million (#15); A18-49: 2.7/ 8 (#18t)
Friday 9/18/09 – Viewers: 7.60 million (#22); A18-49: 2.2/ 7 (#25t)
Excluding a third-place finish among adults 18-34, the home of The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, CBS, finished second with consistent growth over the year-ago week. Above-average The Emmys Awards ranked fifth overall for the week in total viewers (13.47 million) and fourth among adults 18-49, with a 4.2 rating/11 share in the demo.
Fox finished just the opposite of CBS (second in adults 18-49, third elsewhere), but year-to-year the network was down by margins of 24 to 26 percent. Next up was ABC, followed by The CW and MyNetworkTV, which has now extended its yearly growth to 52 consecutive weeks. ABC and The CW were both on the downside.
There were two series-premieres this week (NBC’s Community; The CW’s The Beautiful World) and a host of season-premieres. They fared as follows:
With retention of just 49 percent in total viewers and 43 percent out of fading lead-in America’s Next Top Model (Viewers: 2.79 million; A18-49: 1.4/ 4), consider this a dead on arrival start for The Beautiful Life. NO one ever said ratings were pretty.
Retention out of the season-premiere of lead-in The Office (Viewers: 8.21 million; A18-49: 4.1/12) was outstanding at 96 percent in total viewers and 93 percent in the demo. But once Community moves into the Thursday 8 p.m. anchor spot, there will be plenty of deterioration.
Viewers: 2.45 million (#73); A18-49: 1.2/ 3 (#58t)
It is time to call it quits after this season for the tired One Tree Hill.
Viewers: 2.55 million (#72); A18-49: 1.4/ 3 (#50t)
The target audience for Gossip Girl is, of course, young females, and it still delivers in that area. But after a long summer of repeats, season opening levels should have been higher.
The Biggest Loser (NBC) – Tuesday 8 p.m. ET (two hours)
Consider this a positive season-opener for one of NBC’s few true hits.
America’s Next Top Model (CW) – Wednesday 8 p.m. ET
Tailoring this season to shorter models has, unfortunately, shortened the ratings.
Survivor: Samoa (CBS) – Thursday 8 p.m. ET
Yes, the deterioration continues. But Survivor is still a dependable time period winner.
SNL Weekend Update Thursday (NBC) – Thursday 8 p.m. ET
SNL in primetime is not as interesting outside a presidential campaign year.
Parks and Recreation (NBC) – Thursday 8:30 p.m. ET
Viewers: 4.89 million (#45); A18-49: 2.1/ 6 (#29t)
In season-finale news, a two-hour edition of NBC’s America’s Got Talent led the charts (see Top 20 ranking below). And CBS’ Big Brother 11 was very respectable at 7.78 million viewers (#20) and a 2.8/ 8 among adults 18-49 (#17). Far less successful was the two-hour series-finale of Fox dud More to Love, with just 4.20 million viewers (#55) and a 1.7/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#39t) in the Tuesday 8-10 p.m. block. Also on Fox was game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Viewers: #38, 5.25 million; A18-49: #62t, 1.1/ 4), which has switched from primetime to a daily half-hour in first-run syndication from Twentieth Television.
In week two news, The Vampire Diaries on The CW lost about one-quarter of its debut audience, but it was still on the map 3.77 million viewers (#62) and a 1.6/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#46t). Plus, Vampire Diaries ranked second in the Thursday 8 p.m. hour among target women 18-34 (2.6/9 – tie), behind only CBS, and first among women 12-34 (2.8/10), female teens (3.4/13) and teens (2.3/9). Melrose Place on Tuesday remains a big disappointment, however with just 1.81 million viewers (#78) and a 1.0/ 3 in the demo (#67t). Upcoming “series saver” Heather Locklear has her work cut out! Week two of Melrose lead-in 90210 also lagged at 2.31 million viewers (#74) and a 1.2/ 4 among adults 18-49 (#58t).
Aside from the aforementioned Emmy Awards, ABC aired the annual ALMA Awards, and there was minimal interest (as usual) with just 2.08 million viewers (#75) and a 0.5/ 2 among adults 18-49 (#80t) in the Friday 8-10 p.m. block.
Here are the final national ratings for the week of September 14, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the summer series scorecard, and the top 20 rated programs of the week.
NBC: 7.3 rating/12 share (+38 percent), CBS: 5.3/ 9 (+ 2), Fox: 3.3/ 6 (-25), ABC: 2.9/ 5 (-26), CW: 1.3/ 2 (-35), MNTV: 1.0/ 2 (+43)
NBC: 11.63 million (+40), CBS: 8.27 (+ 5), Fox: 5.31 (-26), ABC: 4.42 (-25), CW: 1.93 (-36), MNTV: 1.48 (+42)
NBC: 3.7 rating/11 share (+28), CBS: 2.4/ 7 (+14), Fox: 2.0/ 6 (-26), ABC: 1.4/ 4 (-26), CW: 0.9/ 3 (-36), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)
NBC: 4.3/12 (+30), CBS: 3.0/ 8 (+11), Fox: 2.2/ 6 (-24), ABC: 1.7/ 4 (-23), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-38), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)
NBC: 2.9/10 (+26), Fox: 1.9/ 6 (-24), CBS: 1.7/ 6 (+31), ABC: 1.1/ 4 (-27), CW: 1.0/ 3 (-33), MNTV: 0.5/ 2 (+25)
Top 20 Rankings
Sunday Night Football (NBC, NY Giants vs. Dallas): 24.82, The Jay Leno Show – Monday (NBC, series premiere): 18.42 million, America’s Got Talent – Wednesday (NBC, season finale): 15.79, America’s Got Talent – Monday (NBC): 13.90, The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (CBS): 13.47, The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – Wednesday and Football Night in America, Part 3 (NBC): 13.36 each, 60 Minutes (CBS): 13.12, NCIS R (CBS): 12.44, Survivor: Samoa (CBS, season premiere): 11.66, The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – Tuesday: 11.09, Bones (Fox, season premiere): 10.36, The Biggest Loser (NBC, season premiere): 9.90, The Mentalist R (CBS): 9.07, The Jay Leno Show – Thursday (NBC), 8.82, CSI R (CBS): 8.80, The Office (NBC, season premiere): 8.21, Community (NBC, series premiere): 7.89, Fringe (Fox, season premiere): 7.82, Big Brother – Tuesday (CBS, season finale): 7.78
Sunday Night Football (NBC, NY Giants vs. Dallas): 9.8 rating/26 share, The Jay Leno Show – Monday (NBC, series premiere): 5.3/14, Football Night in America, Part 3 (NBC): 4.9/15, The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (CBS): 4.2/11, The Office (NBC, season premiere): 4.1/12, The Biggest Loser (NBC, season premiere): 3.8/11, Community (NBC, series premiere): 3.8/10, Survivor: Samoa (CBS, season premiere): 3.6/11, America’s Got Talent – Wednesday (NBC, season finale) and The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – Wednesday: 3.5/10 each, The Jay Leno Show (NBC) – Tuesday: 3.4/ 9, 60 Minutes (CBS): 3.3/10, America’s Got Talent – Monday (NBC): 3.3/ 9, Glee (Fox): 3.2/ 9, Bones (Fox, season premiere): 3.1/10, Fringe (Fox, season premiere): 3.0/ 8, Big Brother – Tuesday (CBS, season finale): 2.8/ 8, The Jay Leno Show – Thursday (NBC) and Football Night in America. Part 2 (NBC): 2.7/ 8, Family Guy R (Fox): 2.7/ 6
Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)
-Sluggish Start for The Office and Earl in Off-Net:
Monday marked the off-network syndication debuts of sitcoms The Office and My Name is Earl and both were left at the starting gate. Based on 53 metered markets, NBC Universal’s The Office averaged a 1.1 rating/2 share on Sept. 21 out of a 1.6/ 3 for both the lead-in and year-ago (Sept. 2008) time period averages. Twentieth Television’s My Name is Earl maintained the lead-in average, with a 0.9/ 2, but the year-ago time period was a 1.2/ 3.
The first-run launch of Twentieth Television game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? kicked-off on Monday with a 0.9/ 2 in the overnights (based on 54 markets). Both the lead-in and year-ago time period averages was a 1.0/ 3.
Based on overnight results from yesterday, it is safe to say that Sony Pictures Television talker Dr. Oz is the real deal. Dr. Oz remained consistent at a 1.7/ 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 22, building by a hefty 31 percent from both the lead-in and Sept. 2008 time period averages (1.3/ 4 each).
Here is the final Live Plus Same Day rating results for Monday, Sept. 21, the first official night of the 2009-10 season. Fox’s victory stems from the two-hour season opening edition of House.
Fox: 9.8 rating/15 share, ABC: 9.6/15, CBS: 7.6/12, NBC: 3.7/ 6, CW: 1.5/ 2
Fox: 17.13 million, ABC: 15.00, CBS: 12.16, NBC: 6.01, CW: 2.13
Fox: 6.7 rating/16 share, CBS: 4.1/10, ABC: 3.5/ 9, NBC: 2.5/ 6, CW: 1.1/ 3
What follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in prime-time for the week of September 14:
ESPN: 4.49 million, USA: 3.33, Fox News: 2.61, A&E: 1.59, Nick at Nite: 1.58, Cartoon Network: 1.55, TNT: 1.53, TBS: 1.48, FX: 1.36, Syfy: 1.30
ESPN: 2.33 million, USA: 1.20 million, TBS: 899,000, FX: 785,000, TNT: 737,000, A&E: 711,000, Spike TV: 710,000, MTV: 657,000, Syfy: 643,000, Bravo: 631,000
ESPN: 2.31 million, USA: 1.41 million, A&E: 776,000, TNT: 773,000, TBS: 757,000, Syfy: 714,000, Fox News: 686,000, FX: 682,000, Spike TV: 637,000, Bravo: 612,000
ESPN: 1.13 million, TBS: 521,000, USA: 513,000, MTV: 485,000, FX: 428,000, Spike TV: 399,000, VH1: 340,000, A&E: 319,000, Bravo: 317,000, ABC Family: 314,000
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
9:30 p.m. Cougar Town (series premiere)
8:00 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine (season premiere)
9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (season premiere)
10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (season premiere)
9:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (season premiere)
10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show
9:00 p.m. Glee
8:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model
9:00 p.m. The Beautiful Life
The daily events inside a hospital are seen through the eyes of three nurses. Taylor Schilling (Dark Matter), Jamie Lee Kirchner (Rescue Me) and Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) star.
Here is what executive producer (and former ABC programming exec) Lloyd Braun had to say at the recent TCA Summer Press Tour on NBC airing Mercy in the fall:
“First of all, at any point in time in any given year, you can have a million arguments among everybody about are you better off being fall, you’re better off being mid-season, are you better off being first, second, or third. And at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter. There are shows that work because they’re the first out. There are shows that work because they are the last out. I mean, we’ve been doing this long enough so that we have seen it happen or really seen it not happen in every possible circumstance you can imagine.
Family dramedy Parenthood, based on the Ron Howard theatrical, was initially planned to lead-off Wednesday for NBC. But the series was pushed back to midseason due Maura Tierney’s unfortunate illness, and benchwarmer Mercy was moved into fall battle ground. The good news, of course, is the lack of competition in the time period. Wednesday at 8 p.m. is one of the softest hours in television. But that does not necessarily mean viewers will tune into yet another drama about nurses in this too early time period.
-Chance of Survival for Mercy (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
Three very different families (traditional with a working father, homemaker mom and two kids; gay who just adopted an Asian baby; and an older man married to a much younger woman) are the focus of this single camera comedy. Julie Bowen (Ed), Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and former Married With Children patriarch Ed O’Neill star.
Said creator Steven Levitan at the Summer Press Tour:
“I think comedy is harder because to play comedy well, you have to play drama well and then add a layer of comedy, of lightness on top of that. If it’s just the lightness, then it’s something bad. But when it’s done well, it’s very complex. And there are very few people who can do it. When we’re casting comedies, the talent pool is a fraction of the talent pool available to those casting dramas. So there are very rare
talents for people who can be funny in a very real way.”
ABC is so high on Modern Family, it screened the entire pilot at its upfront presentation in May. That was a smart move: the audience laughed non-stop and the buzz began to build. Unfortunately, however, Modern Family is airing smack in the middle of a brand new two-hour sitcom block, which will be no easy feat. Unfortunately, there is plenty of competition, mainly the two crime dramas: Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU. And, unfortunately, ABC has not had a hit comedy in years. But as an alternative to four dramas, Modern Family could — and should — succeed if ABC exercises patience. This is a sitcom too good to pass up.
-Chance of Survival for Modern Family (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
A divorced 40 year-old woman with a teenage son finds her life getting complicated after she starts dating a man 14-years her junior. Courteney Cox stars.
“Getting older is harder anyway, but living in Hollywood’s exceptionally hard doing it. But what I love about my character is everything’s real. It would be really scary if I wasn’t married and I had to go back out there again. And it is true most men date women that are younger. Or I could go out with someone older and it’s a hard world, and I think that they deal with it beautifully.”
To-date, the critics have not been kind and no one from Friends has found a follow-up hit series. But if lead-in Modern Family generates some steam, Cougar Town has a shot of succeeding.
-Chance of Survival for Cougar Town (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
Based on the John Updike novel and the 1987 feature film and described as a 30something Charmed, three single women who live in the New England town of Eastwick discover they have supernatural abilities after they meet a devilishly sexy man. Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle), Sara Rue (Less Than Perfect), Rebecca Romijn (Pepper Dennis), Jon Bernthal and Paul Gross star.
Said executive producer Maggie Friedman at the Summer Press Tour:
“This is a show about women. It’s a show about empowerment. It’s a show about friendship. But we feel like it’s very different from Desperate Housewives. And we were actually very conscious, and ABC wanted us to be conscious, of not trying to copycat or do things that they had done. We are definitely our own world, our own universe. It’s a very unique show that, hopefully, will appeal to the same people because that’s a good show.
The movie it’s a very iconic movie. It takes place in the ’80s. It’s very much of that time. And we feel like this version is contemporary. It’s about problems that people are dealing with today. And the characters are very different. In the movie, the magic is sort of ephemeral. You don’t really understand where it’s coming from or what it’s about. And in this version, each of the women has a very specific power that she’s dealing with that sort of reflects back on her life’s journey and her problems. And it’s just a very different world but, hopefully, evocative of the same sense of fun and sex and all that good stuff.”
Eastwick could, of course, be a female alternative opposite male-driven CSI: NY on CBS and NBC’s sinking The Jay Leno Show. But why was it suddenly necessary to remake a movie (The Witches of Eastwick) that came out in 1987? Was it really that good a movie?
-Chance of Survival for Eastwick (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):
Notes of Interest
Former SNL star Martin Short, who also came and quickly went as a syndicated talk show host and sitcom star, will join season three of FX drama Damages in an undetermined role. And the great Betty White, a Mr. TV favorite, will guest star as herself on NBC’s Emmy winning 30 Rock.
Four of the following five choices was the actual title of a TV series. Which one wasn’t?
a) Jack and Mike
b) Joe & Mabel
c) Nick & Hillary
d) Ricki and Roy
e) Walter and Emily
The answer to yesterday’s question…
What kind of establishment did Brenda Morgenstern work for on Rhoda?
b) Dry cleaner
e) Toll booth
Is: a) Bank. Brenda was a bank teller. To the masses who answered toll booth, that is where Brenda’s boyfriend (and future husband) Benny worked.
-Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Becky Beaty, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins (2x – sorry Larry!), Kristin Conner, Annie Courtney, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Adam Giagni, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Steven Kurtzer, Debbie Mirr, Jim Moore, Tony Naldrett, Alan Perris, David Primuth, Gordon Purcell, Con Rigg, Colleen Roth, Kim Smith, Michelle Stanton, Joe Swaney, Ted Zawislak