Sunday Night Football Concludes on a Winning Note for NBC


Monday, January 3, 2011

Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Results

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest  

TV Trivia Time:

Welcome to Midseason

Note: The Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Los Angeles starts on Wednesday, and due to my travel schedule the next edition of The Programming Insider will be on Thursday, January 6.


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Results
Friday 12/31/10

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



CBS    3.9/ 8

ABC   3.6/ 8
NBC   2.1/ 4
Fox     1.3/ 3
CW     0.7/ 1

ABC: 6.74 million, CBS: 6.27, NBC: 3.83, Fox: 2.03, CW: 1.12


-Adults 18-49:

ABC: 1.9 rating/7 share, NBC: 1.0/ 4, CBS: 0.9/ 3, Fox: 0.6/ 2, CW: 0.3/ 1


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (ABC)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Movie: Rocky Balboa (Fox), New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

ABC won this New Year’s Eve Friday, with a first-place finish in both total viewers and adults 18-49. CBS and NBC shared the No. 2 spot, with CBS second overall in total viewers and NBC the runner-up in the demo. 


CBS populated the evening with encore telecasts of NCIS (Viewers: #1, 6.59 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9 rating/3 share), CSI: NY (Viewers: #1, 6.13 million; A18-49: #2t, 0.9/ 3) and Blue Bloods (Viewers: #2, 6.07 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9/ 3). And ABC aired repeat theatrical Wild Hogs (Viewers: #2, 5.54 million; A18-49: #1, 1.4/ 5 from 8-10 p.m.) and annual special Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which won the 10 p.m. hour with 9.14 million viewers and a 2.7/11 in the demo. Comparably, this bested the year-ago telecast (Viewers: 8.21 million; A18-49: 2.7/10 on Dec. 31, 2009) by 930,000 viewers. And it beat competing New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly on NBC (Viewers: #3, 3.87 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 5) by a significant 5.27 million viewers and a 125 percent in the demo. Am I the only one who does not get the appeal of bland Carson Daly?


Earlier in the evening on NBC were two repeat episodes of game show Minute to Win It, which averaged 3.81 million viewers (#3) and a second-place 1.0/ 4 among adults 18-49 in the 8-10 p.m. block. 


Elsewhere, Fox filled this final Friday of 2010 with theatrical Rocky Balboa (Viewers: #4, 2.03 million; A18-49: #4, 0.6/ 2 from 8-10 p.m.). And The CW aired repeats of soon-to-conclude Smallville (Viewers: #5, 1.19 million; A18-49: #5, 0.4/ 1) and Supernatural (Viewers: #5, 1.06 million; A18-49: #5, 0.3/ 1).


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 1/01/11

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



CBS    3.9/ 7

Fox     2.9 5

NBC   2.3/ 4

ABC   2.0/ 3


-Total Viewers:

CBS: 6.14 million, Fox: 4.77, NBC: 4.56, ABC: 3.14


-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 1.8 rating/5 share, Fox: 1.6/ 5, CBS: 1.2/ 3, ABC: 0.9/ 3


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 33 percent at this same point last year to approximately 38 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.

-Saturday’s Winners:

-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall
-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS and NBC led this first Saturday (and first night) of 2011, with CBS first in total viewers and NBC No. 1 among adults 18-49. But just over 6-million viewers and under a 2-rating in the demo is nothing to boast about.


CBS opened the evening with a repeat of CSI: Miami (Viewers: #1. 5.49 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9 rating/3 share at 8 p.m.), followed by back-to-back encore telecasts of 48 Hours Mystery as follows:


48 Hours Mystery R (CBS)

 9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.92 million (#1), A18-49: 1.1/ 3 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 7.00 million (#1), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#2)


And the NHL Winter Classic  on NBC averaged an estimated 4.56 million viewers and a 1.8/ 5 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m.


Elsewhere, Fox populated the night with its perennial combination of Cops (two repeats – Viewers: #2, avg. 4.71 million; A18-49: #2, avg. 1.6/ 5 from 8-9 p.m.) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #2, 4.82 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5). And ABC capped it off with three consecutive repeat episodes of V, which finished last overall for the evening with 3.14 million viewers and a 0.9/ 3 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m. The revival of V returns for season two on Tuesday at 9 p.m. this week out of No Ordinary Family, which shifts back to 8 p.m.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


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



NBC 9.8/15
CBS   8.0/12
ABC   6.2/10
Fox    6.2/ 9

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, January 3, 2010):

CBS: +11, NBC: + 8, Fox: – 2, ABC: – 9


Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, January 2, 2011.


-Yesterday’s Winners:

Sunday Night Football (NBC), 60 Minutes (CBS), Desperate Housewives (ABC)

-Honorable Mention:

CSI: Miami (CBS) – 8 p.m., Undercover Boss (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):



-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led this first Sunday of 2011 in the overnights, and it will also dominate in total viewers and adults 18-49. But it was not a slam-dunk victory. The final Sunday Night Football match-up (Flex Week) closed the season with a dominant (and approximate) 12.5 rating/19 share in the overnights from 8:30-11 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:

Sunday Night Football (NBC)

 8:30 p.m.: 11.8/18 (#1)

 9:00 p.m.: 13.1/19 (#1)

 9:30 p.m.: 12.2/18 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 12.6/19 (#1)
10:30 p.m.: 12.9/21 (#1)

Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America as follows:

Football Night in America
7:00 p.m. – part one: 2.6/ 4 (#4)
7:30 p.m. – part two: 4.4/ 7 (#4)
8:00 p.m. – part three: 8.5/13 (#2)

Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always approximate. 


Needless to say, this was a successful season for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Next Sunday (Jan. 9), the network will fill the evening with a two-hour edition of Dateline leading into the two-hour series premiere/preview of fantasy drama The Cape at 9 p.m. (which debuts in its regularly scheduled Monday 9 p.m. time period on Jan. 17 into new drama Harry’s Law).


Since CBS’ primetime line-up started late due to a football overrun, here were the estimated results by half-hour:


 7:00 p.m. – Football: 13.2/21 (#1), 60 Minutes: 9.7/15 (#1)

 7:30 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 9.5/15 (#1)

 8:00 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 10.2/15 (#1), CSI: Miami: 7.7/12 (#2)

 8:30 p.m. – CSI: Miami: 7.4/11 (#2)

 9:00 p.m. – CSI: Miami: 8.5/12 (#2), Undercover Boss: 7.4/11 (#3)

 9:30 p.m. – Undercover Boss: 7.6/11 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – Undercover Boss: 8.3/13 (#2), CSI: Miami R: 5.3/ 8 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – CSI: Miami R: 4.8/ 8 (#3)

ABC had nothing unusual to report with its combination of granddaddy America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 4.7/ 7), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#3: 5.8/ 9), Desperate Housewives (#2: 8.4/12) and Brothers & Sisters (#2: 6.1/10). As for Teri Hatcher’s new storyline as Susan, this is what you would call a typical situation for a primetime soap. Had her acting skills been better, maybe it would be more believable.


Fox also got a bump by an approximate half-hour primetime football overrun (#1: 14.2/22 at 7 p.m.), which led into post-game The OT at a second-place 7.7/12 at 7:30 p.m. The rest of the evening on Fox were encore telecasts as follows:

8:00 p.m. – The Simpsons (R): 4.3/ 6 (#4)
8:30 p.m. – The Cleveland Show (R): 3.4/ 5 (#4)
9:00 p.m. – Family Guy (R): 3.8/ 6 (#4)
9:30 p.m. – Family Guy (R): 4.1/ 6 (#4)
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record Rose Bowl on ESPN:

Based on the metered market (overnight) ratings, The Fiesta Bowl on ESPN on Saturday, Jan. 1 (TCA 21, Wisconsin 19) averaged an 11.7 rating – the best performance on record (excluding the NFL) for ESPN and all cable television. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Monday 1/03/11


 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor (season premiere, two hours)

10:00 p.m. Castle (R)

 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother

 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement

 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men

 9:30 p.m. Mike & Molly

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O

 8:00 p.m. Chuck (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? (R)


 8:00 p.m. House (R)

 9:00 p.m. Lie to Me (R)


 8:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)

Of Note on Cable:

-Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family): 8 p.m. (season premiere)

-Greek (ABC Family): 9 p.m. (season premiere)
-The Closer (TNT): 9 p.m. (season finale)

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-Another Kardashian Spin-off:

A third spin-off from E! docudrama a Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been confirmed and will focus on married sister Khloe and basketball star hubby Lamar Odom. Production is expected to begin next spring. Spin-off No. 2, Kourtney & Kim Take New York, featuring sisters Kourtney and Kim opening a Dash boutique in the Big Apple will premiere on E! on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 10 p.m. ET.

-More Judge Karen:

Litton Entertainment has renewed first-run court strip Judge Karen’s Court for a second season, with confirmed pick-ups in 57 markets to-date (including WPIX-TV in New York). Represented station groups include Capital, Fusion, LIN, Nexstar, Roberts, Sinclair, Tribune and Weigel.


-Debuting Tomorrow – Live to Dance on CBS:

Since I will not be around tomorrow to give you the scoop on Live to Dance, which opens on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, here is my take now. Dancers of all ages compete for a grand prize of $500,000 in this new reality/competition with Paula Abdul as the lead judge and mentor. It airs in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour on CBS beginning on Jan. 5, and as good as it is to have feel-good Paula back, it is unlikely to feel the same minus Simon Cowell to counter her gooiness.

-New January Series Premiere Dates:

As we unofficially enter into midseason, here is a listing (in order of airdate) for the new January series premieres of note:

-Live to Dance (CBS): Tuesday, Jan. 4, 8 p.m. ET
-Bob’s Burgers (Fox): Sunday, Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. ET

-The Cape (NBC): Sunday, Jan. 9, 9 p.m. ET (two-hours, regular time period debut on Monday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. ET)

-Episodes (Showtime): Sunday, Jan. 9, 9:30 p.m. ET
-Shameless (Showtime): Sunday, Jan. 9, 10 p.m. ET
-Lights Out (FX): Tuesday, Jan. 11, 10 p.m. ET
-Off the Map (ABC): Wednesday, Jan. 12, 10 p.m. ET
-Harry’s Law (NBC): Monday, Jan. 17, 10 p.m. ET

-Retired at 35 (TV Land): Wednesday, Jan. 19, 10:30 p.m. ET

-Perfect Couples (NBC): Thursday, Jan. 20, 8:30 p.m. ET

-Fairly Legal (USA): Thursday, Jan. 20, 10 p.m. ET (75-minutes)

-Kourtney & Kim Take New York (E!): Sunday, Jan. 23, 10 p.m. ET

-Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? (WE): Tuesday, Jan. 25, 9 p.m. ET

-Stand Up Mother (WE): Tuesday, Jan. 25, 10 p.m. ET
-Working Class (CMT): Friday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. ET

TV Trivia Time:

Welcome to Midseason

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


The answer to the last question…


Gruff Mr. Edwards trekked for miles in the snow to spend Christmas with the Ingalls family in their first holiday in Walnut Grove on family drama Little House on the Prairie. What did he bring with him that made Mama Caroline ecstatic?


a)      a rocking chair

b)      cider

c)      clothing for Mary, Laura and Carrie

d)      sweet potatoes

e)      a turkey


Is:  d) Sweet Potatoes. It took very little to please that clan named Ingalls!


The list of kudos recipients will return later this week. As a reminder, the next edition of The Programming Insider will be live from The TCA Winter Press Tour in Pasadena on Thursday, Jan. 6.