CBS and Fox Dominate Week of March 8

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Fox Wins; CBS Rock Solid  

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of March 8, 2010
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Don’t Be a Dingbat
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Fox Wins; CBS Rock Solid 
Tuesday 3/16/10


Fox   14.9/22
CBS 10.3/16
NBC   4.8/ 7
ABC   4.0/ 6
CW    1.1/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, March 17, 2009):

Fox: +25, CBS: +12, CW: +10, NBC: -13, ABC: -37

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), Lost (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS)


-Inching Closer to Being Labeled a Loser:

Parenthood (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

90210 (CW), Melrose Place (CW), FlashForward: What Did You See? (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

A two-hour edition of American Idol led Fox to Tuesday victory, but there was plenty of audience left over for second-place CBS. American Idol, featuring the top 12 contestants, averaged a 14.9 rating/22 share in the overnights, building by half-hour as follows:


American Idol (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 14.0/22 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 15.1/23 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 15.2/22 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 15.5/23 (#1)


My picks for the bottom two in tonight’s live voting show are Lacey Brown and Paige Miles. Most likely to bid adieu: Lacey Brown. Although Tim Urban was certainly not extraordinary last night, his newfound confidence (and Ken doll looks) should serve him well.


Rock-solid CBS had another eventful Tuesday care of scripted dramas NCIS (#2: 11.7/18), NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 9.7/14) and The Good Wife (#1: 9.4/16), the best 1-2-3 punch in prime-time. 


In the distant No. 3 spot in the overnights was NBC care of another two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser (5.1/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.) and week three of drama Parenthood (#2: 4.3/ 7), which dipped seven percent from one week earlier. Take a look at Parenthood’s three-week overnight track:

3/02/10: 5.5/ 9
3/09/10: 4.5/ 8
3/16/10: 4.3/ 7

As for The Biggest Loser, which always resonates among adults 18-49, here is the half-hour breakdown:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.6/ 7 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 4.9/ 7 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 5.3/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 8 (#4)


Next up was ABC care of a repeat of Lost (#4: 2.6/ 4), the original installment of Lost (#3: 6.4/ 9) and clips special FlashForward: What Did You See? (#3: 3.1/ 5), which certainly did not see much in the ratings. If this is any indication, the two-episode return of FlashForward is likely to fall flat tomorrow. As I have said on numerous occasions, putting a freshman series on hiatus for three months is not a wise programming maneuver. As for Lost, the expected victory among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m. lands it back in the winner’s circle. But, with only eight original episodes left, how many more new people are going to show up on the very crowded island? At first glance, I thought Tina Fey was one of them last night!


The CW capped off the night with 90210 (#5: 1.5/ 2), which the network may want to reconsider its early renewal on, and Melrose Place (#5: 0.9/ 1), which sunk to a series low and is begging to be cut loose. For updated rating news on the network’s Life Unexpected, see Ratings Box two sections below. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of March 8, 2010

There were no Winter Olympics or Academy Awards telecast this week…nothing out of the ordinary. With that in mind, it was back to normal with CBS first overall in households and total viewers and the home of American Idol, Fox, No. 1 in the three key demos…adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. CBS was at levels virtually identical to one year earlier, while Fox dipped by margins of 14 to 17 percent in the five surveyed categories.