Successful Return for Paula Abdul


Wednesday, January 5, 2011




Welcome to TCA:

The Winter Tour Begins


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Dominant Start for Live to Dance on CBS


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Traveling to TCA


Welcome to TCA:

The Winter Tour Begins


Today marks the beginning of the 11-day Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in picturesque (and usually cold) Pasadena, California. Similar to the annual summer gathering, the networks, both broadcast and cable, address approximately 200 critics from across the country (predominantly bloggers these days) looking for the so-called scoop. But, let’s be honest…nothing is likely to come close to the brouhaha that erupted last January when NBC dumped Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno came crawling back smack in the middle of the TCA festivities. Then again, you just never know what will happen. 


Unlike the dog days of summer when we wait in anticipation for the new crop of fall entries, the rating results are in and we know what is hot, and what is not, these days. Although 15 of the 22 new programs have received additional episode orders past the initial 13, there is nothing new of a breakout nature a la ABC’s Modern Family, CBS’ The Good Wife and Glee on Fox one year earlier. But there is hope, of course, for the next round of entries, and I will tell you exactly what to expect as we head into midseason. 


Cable occupies the first three days of the tour with MTV Networks, TV Guide Network, National Geographic Networks, TV One, Weather Channel and ESPN presenting today, and Turner Broadcasting, BET, Playboy Television and Discovery Networks on the agenda tomorrow. Since OWN is hosting a dinner at the hotel, the Big O herself, Oprah Winfrey, will be present. And so will I with the full scoop! Stay tuned.


Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Dominant Start for Live to Dance on CBS


Tuesday 1/04/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.



CBS   7.0/11
NBC   5.2/ 8
ABC   4.5/ 7
Fox     3.1/ 5
CW     0.6/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, January 6, 2010)

ABC: +80, NBC: -10, CW: -14, CBS: -35, Fox: -52

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Live to Dance (CBS), NCIS R (CBS)


-Honorable Mention:

The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Million Dollar Money Drop (Fox), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC), Parenthood (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was certainly not American Idol-sized results. But the two-hour debut of CBS reality/competition Live to Dance, featuring Paula Abdul, led the Eye net to overnight Tuesday victory with a dominant (and very consistent) 7.0 rating/11 share from 8-10 p.m. Here is the half-hour breakdown:


Live to Dance (CBS)

8:00 p.m.: 7.1/11 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 6.9/10 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 7.0/10 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 7.1/11 (#1)


Welcome back, Paula! CBS capped off the evening with a repeat of NCIS at a dominant 7.2/12 in the overnights at 10 p.m.


In sophomore season-premiere news, the revival of V on ABC returned with a third-place 5.0/ 7 at 9 p.m., building from lead-in No Ordinary Family (4.7/ 7 at 8 p.m.) by six percent. While we will reserve judgment until the demos come in, from an overnight standpoint this is certainly not bad. At 10 p.m., ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7, which will be replaced in April for the long-awaited arrival of crime solver Body of Proof, finished last with a 4.0/ 7.


In winter season-premiere news, NBC’s inspirational The Biggest Loser, now themed Couples, was on the map with a 5.8/ 9 from 8-10 p.m. and the half-hour breakdown as follows:


The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#2)

8:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 8 (#2)

9:00 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#2)

9:30 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#2)


One year earlier, The Biggest Loser: Couples season-opener averaged a 6.4/10 on January 5, 2010. At 10 p.m., NBC’s soon-to-relocate Parenthood finished second with an uneventful 4.2/ 7 at 10 p.m. Comparably, retention for Parenthood out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser: Couples was 70 percent.


Over at Fox, a repeat of Glee (#4: 3.4/ 5) led into a fourth-place 2.8/ 4 in the overnights for recent game show entry Million Dollar Money Drop. And The CW filled this first Tuesday of the new year with repeats of One Tree Hill (#5: 0.6/ 1) and Life Unexpected (#5: 0.6/ 1), which officially concludes with back-to-back episodes on January 18.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Respectable The Bachelor Season-Opener on ABC:

ABC’s long-running The Bachelor returned to the sked on Monday, Jan. 3 with 9.0 million viewers and a 2.9 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Comparably, that finished second overall behind CBS’ combination of sitcoms How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly. One year earlier, The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love opened stronger with 9.54 million viewers and a 3.3/ 8 in the demo on Jan. 4, 2010.


-The Craigslist Killer Scores on Lifetime:

The debut of original Lifetime made-for The Craigslist Killer on Monday, at 9 p.m. ET ranks as the cable net’s fifth most-watched original movie premiere ever. Results among adults 25-54 (2.72 million) was the highest for any ad-supported cable network in two years. And 1.7 million adults 18-34 was the second most-watched movie premiere on Lifetime ever in the demo. 


-Over at ABC Family:

Also on Monday was the winter season premiere of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, which won the 8 p.m. hour in target women 18-34 (1.2 million) and females 12-34 (2.5 million), finishing as the cable net’s second best performance in both demos historically. Pretty Little Liars now stands as cable’s No. 1 premiere of the 2010-11 season to-date in viewers 12-34 and females 12-34, and cable’s No. 1 telecast overall this season in female teens (1.3 million).


-OWN – Day 1:

Guess what? These initial rating results are not Oprah-sized. But day one live plus same day results for new cable network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network was on the map with 1.02 million viewers, on average, in primetime, and 663,000 in total day (of all OWN programming) on Saturday, Jan. 1. Comparably, OWN finished as the No. 3 ad-supported cable network at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (behind only ESPN and USA), care of Oprah-themed Behind the Scenes, and No. 2 among women 25-54 (462,000 viewers in the demo, on average). And OWN outdelivered year-ago platform Discovery Health by double-digit percentages.


If you were expecting results similar to Oprah in first-run syndication, fuggetaboutit. But this is a respectable (albeit non-spectacular given the hype) start for new cable network OWN.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Wednesday 1/05/11

 8:30 p.m. Better with You
 9:00 p.m. Modern Family
 9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

10:00 p.m. Primetime: Celebrity Weight Loss – What Really Happens

 8:00 p.m. Live to Dance (time period premiere)

 9:00 p.m. The 37th Annual People’s Choice Awards

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It
 9:00 p.m.  Law & Order: SVU (two hours)
 8:00 p.m. Human Target (two episodes)
 8:00 p.m. Hellcats (R)

 9:00 p.m. Hellcats (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Coming Up on USA:

USA Network has given a 10-episode order for a reality/competition called WWE Tough Enough, which will be produced in association with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and Shed Media US. Slated to debut on April 4, WWE Tough Enough will feature a group of 12 contestants (male and female) looking to become the next WWE Superstar. WWE Tough Enough will air in the Monday 11 p.m. hour out of WWE Monday Night Raw. 


-More SpongeBob SquarePants:

Nickelodeon has renewed perennial kids favorite SpongeBob SquarePants for a ninth season, with an order for 26 additional half-hour episodes. The renewal will bring the series past the 200-episode mark.


-TMZ a Go for Three More Seasons:

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has renewed first-run magazine TMZ through the 2013-14 season in over 75 percent of the country, including all of the owned-and-operated Fox affiliates. Season to-date (through December 20, 2010), TMZ is tied for third with NBC Universal Television’s Access Hollywood (out of six entries), with a 1.9 rating in households, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Comparably, that is down by five percent year-to-year. But TMZ’s real strength is among young male viewers, with a 0.9 rating in men 18-34 first overall (ahead of Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, The Insider and Extra). 


-Audrina on VH1:

Recent Dancing with the Stars contestant and former The Hills participant Audrina Patridge will be the subject of an upcoming reality series on VH1 from Mark Burnett. Audrina will premiere in April. 

TV Trivia Time:

Traveling to TCA


Which one of the following TV characters would have the shortest commute attending the current Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California?

a)      Sheldon Cooper
b)      Lisa Cuddy
c)      Alan Harper
d)      Blair Waldorf
e)      Tommy Walker

The answer to Monday’s question…


Which one of the following five series did not launch in midseason?


a)      All in the Family

b)      The Dukes of Hazzard

c)      Dynasty

d)      Rhoda

e)      The Ropers


Is: d) Rhoda, which debuted on CBS on Sept. 9, 1974. As for the others:

-All in the Family (CBS): Jan. 12, 1971
-The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS): Jan. 26, 1979
-Dynasty (ABC): Jan. 12, 1981
-The Ropers (ABC): March 13, 1979
All together now…

“My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December of 1941. I’ve always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty; it lasted seventeen years. I’m a high school graduate. I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was twenty-four. My mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually, I ran to Minneapolis, where it’s cold and I figured I’d keep better. Now I’m back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!” 

-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Tom Condosta, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, David Jackino, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Steven Kurtzer, Rick Locke, Patty Lynch, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Barry Singer