Winning Midweek Results on NBC, Not So Beautiful Life on The CW

Thursday, September 17, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Wednesday Ratings:

Hefty Results for Dominant NBC; The Beautiful Life DOA on The CW

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
One Network Only


Hefty Results for Dominant NBC; The Beautiful Life DOA on The CW

Wednesday 9/16/09


NBC 9.4/15
CBS   4.4/ 7
Fox    4.0/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
CW    1.8/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Wednesday, September 17, 2008):

NBC: +36, CBS: -10, Fox: -13, ABC: -15, CW: -33
-Yesterday’s Winners:

America’s Got Talent (NBC), Glee (Fox), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Noticeable Losses:
America’s Next Top Model (CW)
-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

The Beautiful Life (CW), Crash Course (ABC), Primetime: Family Secrets (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

There was good news aplenty for NBC, which has now won its fourth consecutive evening and more than doubled the average overnight rating for second-place CBS. The two-hour season-finale of America’s Got Talent kicked-off the night with a dominant 9.4 rating/15 share in the metered markets, building by half-hour as follows:

America’s Got Talent (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 7.9/14 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 8.7/14 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 10.2/16 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 10.8/17 (#1)


Needless to say, America’s Got Talent remains a bona fide summer hit (and should not eventually be added during the traditional season, if that is ever an option). Congratulations, Nick Skinner. Night three of The Jay Leno Show followed with an also first-place 9.2/16 at 10 p.m. Comparably, that built by 15 percent from night two, with retention of a very respectable 85 percent out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of America’s Got Talent (10.8/17). Take a look at Leno’s three night metered market track:


The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

9/14/09: 12.1/20

9/15/09: 8.0/14

9/16/09: 9.2/16


Obviously, we have to wait and see how Leno settles in once the season officially begins. But NBC has more than successfully gotten the show sampled. 


In series-premiere news, CW drama The Beautiful Life did not live up to its title in the overnights, with a mere (and very last-place) 1.3/ 2. Comparably, retention out of the second-half of lead-in America’s Next Top Model (2.4/ 4 at 8:30 p.m.) was only 54 percent. One year earlier, a repeat of 90210 averaged a stronger 1.9/ 3 in the time period. Top Model, meanwhile, is down considerably, with an average 2.3/ 4 from 8-9 p.m. Comparably, that was a loss of a hefty 34 percent from one year earlier. 


Elsewhere, week two of musical Fox dramedy Glee held up well, with a third-place 4.5/ 7 in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. While most new shows drop in the vicinity of 10 to 20 percent in week two, Glee was completely consistent and it built from the second half of lead-in So You Think You Can Dance (3.6/ 6) by 25 percent. That is a winning performance in my book.


Overall, So You Think You Can Dance was tied for second with ABC’s Wipeout, with a 3.5/ 6 in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. Leading out of Wipeout was ABC dud Crash Course (#4: 2.3/ 4 at 9 p.m.), followed by the season-finale of Primetime: Family Secrets at a below-average and very last-place 2.8/ 5.


Capping off the evening were repeats of CBS’ combination of The New Adventures of Old Christine (#4: 3.1/ 6), Gary Unmarried (#4: 3.0/ 5), Criminal Minds (#2: 5.0/ 8) and CSI: NY (#2: 5.2/ 9).


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Steep Declines for Jay Leno in Day Two:

As expected, NBC’s still dominant The Jay Leno Show took a massive hit in day two. Based on the final Live Plus Same Day ratings, Leno on Tuesday dipped to 11.09 million viewers, with a 3.4 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Comparably, that was down by a massive 7.33 million viewers (18.42 to 11.09) and 36 percent among adults 18-49 (5.3/14 to 3.4/ 9) from Monday’s debut. Leadership, of course, is still a positive. But the 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 was down by 17 percent from the 9:30 p.m. portion of the season-premiere of lead-in The Biggest Loser (4.1/11). And the number itself suggests that the overall audience skew for The Jay Leno Show will be older. But last night, Leno got a nice boost from the season-finale of lead-in America’s Got Talent. 

Stay tuned for more results as the week progresses.
-Speaking of Tuesday:

The 11th edition of CBS’ Big Brother signed-off with 7.78 million viewers and a 2.8 rating/8 share among adults 18-49 from 9-11 p.m. Comparably, that was up by 200,000 viewers and four percent in the demo from the year-ago (one hour) season opener.     


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Thursday 9/17/09
 8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)
 9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy (R)
 10:00 p.m. Private Practice (R)

 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Samoa (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. CSI (R)

10:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)


 8:00 p.m. SNL Weekend Update Thursday (season premiere)

 8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. The Office (season premiere)
 9:30 p.m. Community (series premiere)

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Bones (season premiere)

 9:00 p.m. Fringe (season premiere)


 8:00 p.m. Supernatural

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural


 8:00 p.m. Movie: The Good Student (R)

New Program Descriptions
Community (NBC)

(which moves to Thursday at 8 p.m. on Oct. 8)

-The Premise:

A band of misfits is the focus of life at fictional Greendale Community College. Chevy Chase and Joel McHale (The Soup) star.

-The Scoop:

The concept of community college, according to executive producer Dan Harmon at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour:

“This show does not intend to make fun of community college. I grew up in Wisconsin. I grew up broke. I went to a community college when I was 32. That’s what this is based on. I can’t think of anything more heroic and noble than an open-admission system in the educational sector. And I believe Mr. Obama agrees. So the campus in the show, Greendale, is a character in and of itself. It is a humble character. I continually compare it to Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Its ambition exceeds its grasp. And therefore, it is heroic. And I’ve never taken pleasure, nor have I ever been good at pointing at things and saying, “That is underprivileged.”

Chevy Chase on doing a sitcom:

“I honestly think that the films lately aren’t as good as most of the stuff on TV. I never thought that I would be involved in a situation comedy until I read the script, and I was delighted to go in and say, “Please hire me.”

-The Reality:
Given NBC’s limited niche audience on Thursday, there is no reason to believe Community will blow the lid off the ratings. But what I personally like about this sitcom is a) the familiar feel of the characters; b) a relatable setting; and c) the show itself. The pilot had some very funny moments and there is every reason to believe NBC will be patient to let viewers find Community. Too bad, though, that the network has all but given up on filming its comedies in front of a live studio audience. Community could have seemed perfect for that. 

-Chance of Survival for Community (Based on a scale of 1-1 to 10-1):


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Coming Up on truTV:

Cable net truTV will introduce a new series called All Worked Up, which will feature the stories of a recurring cast of characters in the workplace who are constantly calming down the people they work with on a regular basis. It premieres on Monday, Oct. 19 with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. ET.


-Four: Southern Gospel’s Best to Continue on GMC:

Gospel Music Channel has picked-up Four: Southern Gospel’s Best, which features performances by the top names and future stars of the music genre, for a second season. Production will begin immediately at the National Quartet Convention at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center in Louisville. 

-Handicapping The Emmys:

Next up in my week of predicting the upcoming Primetime Emmy Awards is Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series.  On that note…


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama:


The Nominees:

Simon Baker (The Mentalist, CBS)

Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, HBO)

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, AMC)

Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Showtime)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC)

Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)


Who Should Win: Bryan Cranston

Who Will Win: Gabriel Byrne


In Treatment is, no doubt, on Emmy’s radar given the accolades for Dianne Wiest (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama) and Glynn Turman (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama) last year. There is just something extremely satisfying about watching a show about the life of a psychotherapist and his clientele, and more than worthy Gabriel Byrne holds it all together like glue.


Elsewhere, amazing Bryan Cranston’s unexpected victory last season proves anything is possible in this category, but In Treatment is more complex. Even so, does anyone even remember Cranston as goofy Malcolm’s sitcom Dad?  Simon Baker is on the biggest new scripted hit from last season, but The Mentalist is more of a generic entry. Michael C. Hall is no stranger to the ballot, but he has never won anything. Mad Men is more about the ensemble than the lead work of Jon Hamm. And Hugh Laurie is now on a show losing steam. What all that in mind, the best bet is the work of Gabriel Byrne on In Treatment.   


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama:

The Nominees:

Glenn Close (Damages, FX)

Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters, ABC)

Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU, NBC)

Holly Hunter (Saving Grace, TNT)

Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, AMC)

Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, TNT)


Who Should Win: Kyra Sedgwick

Who Will Win: Glenn Close


Let’s be honest: Kyra Sedgwick deserves to win. She is long overdue, but the ton of star power in this category could once again overshadow her portrayal of unorthodox Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson.


Sally Field, Mariska Hargitay and last year’s winner, Glenn Close, each have one Emmy statuette under their belts for this category, but Field and Hargitay are on dramas that have lost some creative juice. Saving Grace will conclude next spring, so Holly Hunter is losing time. And first time nominee Elisabeth Moss, like Jon Hamm, could take a backseat to the large ensemble cast. Although sassy Hunter is a definite contender, Close is on a better show. Plus, Emmy is never shy rewarding past winners. Oscar may not love five-time nominee Close, but Emmy probably will. 


Don’t forget to tune into CBS on Sunday, June 20 at 8 p.m. ET for the live telecast.

TV Trivia Time:
One Network Only

Which one of the following series never switched networks?


a)      Bonanza

b)      Family Matters

c)      Matlock

d)      My Three Sons

e)      Something So Right


The answer to yesterday’s question…


Who was the second member of the Jetson family mentioned after George in the theme song?


a)      Astro

b)      Elroy

c)      Jane

d)      Judy

e)      Rosie

Is: b) Elroy.  It went like this:

Meet George Jetson.
His boy Elroy.
Daughter Judy.
Jane his wife.


-Current kudos goes to:
Carolyn Bisson, Gerry Bixenspan, Mark Braff, Jocelyn Brandeis, Brian Carney, Vanessa Coates, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Kay Copeland, Mark Cosenza, Scott Dickson, Arleen Fong, Vicky Gregorian, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Bob Ingersoll, Tom Kilgallon, Todd Koerner, Joel Kunkel, Stephen Narissi, Michael Natale, Bill Nuss, Joe Pedri, Gordon Purcell, Bruce Robinson, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Harley David Rubin, Mary Ryan, Mark Simmons, Jenny Smith, Lonnie Staley, Julie Stowell, Jeanne Yonkers, Ted Zavales