ABC and Fox Share Weekly Leadership


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Idol Leads Fox to Victory, ABC Gets a Boost from Ongoing Charlie Sheen Drama 

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of February 21, 2011

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:

Arnold’s Folks


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Idol Leads Fox to Victory, ABC Gets a Boost from Ongoing Charlie Sheen Drama  


Tuesday 3/01/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only. All times are ET/PT.



Fox   11.7/18
CBS 10.0/16
ABC   4.4/ 7
NBC   4.3/ 7
CW    1.2/ 2

-Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, 3/02/10):
CW: +140, CBS: +10, ABC: – 4, Fox: -21, NBC: -23


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS), 20/20 (ABC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

No Ordinary Family (ABC), One Tree Hill (CW), V (ABC), Raising Hope (Fox), Hellcats (CW), Parenthood (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Fox won Tuesday, of course, on the strength of a 90-minute edition of American Idol, which averaged a 13.7 rating/21 share in the overnights from 8-9:30 p.m. Normally dominant CBS had to settle for the No. 2 spot, followed by distant ABC, NBC and The CW. American Idol, featuring the semi-finals, will air tonight and tomorrow as well.


Fortunately for Fox, American Idol has been holding up in the ratings with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler (the year-ago telecast scored a 14.8/22 on March 2, 2010). But Simon Cowell was sorely missed last night. Minus a true voice not afraid to call it like it is, Idol felt very shallow. 


While a 9:30 p.m. edition of Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle-like Raising Hope did get a ratings’ boost, the second-place 5.7/ 9 at 9:30 p.m. was a hefty 60 percent below the 9 p.m. portion of American Idol (14.3/21). Too bad more people have not discovered this true gem.


Despite facing Idol, CBS was clearly on the map care of NCIS (#2: 12.1/18), spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#2: 9.8/15) and older-skewing The Good Wife (#1: 8.1/13). The Good Wife, however, is not expected to win the 10 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.


ABC limped out of the Tuesday gate as usual with waiting-to-be axed No Ordinary Family (#4: 3.1/ 5) and stayed in the doldrums at 9 p.m. with sophomore V (#4: 3.5/ 6). But a special edition of 20/20 featuring…guess who?…Charlie Sheen, rose to a second-place 6.6/11 at 10 p.m., which was a considerable improvement over regularly scheduled occupant Detroit 1-8-7. Comparably, that built from the 9:30 p.m. portion of V (3.7/ 6) by 78 percent. As I am sitting here writing this analysis, there is Charlie discussing his latest issue on NBC’s The Today Show. How plain pathetic is all this? 


Elsewhere, NBC’s The Biggest Loser lost steam opposite American Idol, with a 4.6/ 7 from 8-10 p.m. That led into on-the-fence sophomore drama Parenthood at a last-place 3.7/ 6 in the overnights at 10 p.m. But the adult 18-49 variation between Parenthood and CBS’ The Good Wife will be much smaller. 


Last, and very least, was The CW’s combination of One Tree Hill (#5: 1.3/ 2) and Hellcats (#5: 1.1/ 2).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Week of February 21, 2011

Ignited by The 83rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC led the week of February 21 in households and total viewers, with its best performance among adults 18-49 (3.3 rating/9 share) in one year. Consistent Fox dominated in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34 — thanks to the still very potent American Idol.


Keep in mind that The Winter Olympics on NBC during the year-ago week had a noticeable impact on the year-to-year percent changes. CBS dipped to second in households and total viewers, with a third-place finish in the three demos and double-digit growth from one year earlier. Fourth-place NBC took a dramatic hit. And perennial cellar-dweller The CW increased by margins of 33 to 67 percent. 


ABC’s broadcast of The Academy Awards finished at 37.9 million viewers — the most-watched entertainment telecast in one year. Comparably, this beat the next closest awards show (the recent Grammy Awards on CBS – 26.7 million) by a hefty 11.2 million viewers. 


In series-premiere news, CW reality/competition Shedding for the Wedding was DOA at a mere 1.07 million viewers (#95) and a 0.5/ 1 among adults 18-49 (#94t) in the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour.


In time period-premiere news, sitcom Rules of Engagement on CBS moved into the Thursday 8:30 p.m. half-hour with 9.45 million viewers (#25) and a 2.8/ 8 among adults 18-49 (#20t), which is similar to former occupant $#*! My Dad Says. On paper that looks good, but the retention out of The Big Bang Theory (Viewers: 12.35 million; A18-49: 3.8/11 at 8 p.m.) was modest at 77 percent in total viewers and 74 percent in the demo. 


What follows are the live plus same day ratings for the week of February 21, 2011 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the freshman midseason series report card, the top 30 rated programs for the week, and the top rated networks on basic cable.  


ABC: 6.4 rating/11 share (+78), CBS: 6.3/11 (+29), Fox: 5.8/10 (- 8), NBC: 3.2/ 5 (-74), CW: 1.2/ 2 (+33)

-Total Viewers:

ABC: 10.66 million (+87), CBS: 10.35 (+33), Fox: 10.32 (- 6), NBC: 5.04 (-76), CW: 1.99 (+39)


 -Adults 18-49:

Fox: 3.6 rating/10 share (-12), ABC: 3.3/ 9 (+74), CBS: 2.3/ 7 (+15), NBC: 1.5/ 4 (-73), CW: 0.9/ 2 (+50)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 4.2/11 (- 9), ABC: 3.9/10 (+70), CBS: 3.3/ 8 (+27), NBC: 1.8/ 5 (-75), CW: 0.8/ 2 (+33)

-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.0/10 (-14), ABC: 2.7/ 9 (+69), CBS: 1.4/ 5 (+ 8), NBC: 1.2/ 4 (-68), CW: 1.0/ 3 (+67)

Freshman Midseason Report Card
(In the order of total viewers)

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS) – Tuesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 9.81 million (#24), A18-49: 2.4/ 7 (#29t)

Grade: B-
Harry’s Law (NBC) – Monday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 8.75 million (#29), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#51t)

Grade: B
Chicago Code (Fox) – Monday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 7.87 million (#36), A18-49: 2.1/ 5 (#38t)

Grade: C+
Mr. Sunshine (ABC) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 6.12 million (#42), A18-49: 2.2/ 6 (#35t)

Grade: C-
Off the Map (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 4.84 million (#57), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#51t)

Grade: F

The Cape (NBC) – Monday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 4.15 million (#67), A18-49: 1.2/ 3 (#70t)

Grade: F
Traffic Light (Fox) – Tuesday 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 3.99 million (#71), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#57t)

Grade: F
Perfect Couples (NBC) – Thursday 8:30 p.m.

Viewers: 2.89 million (#83), A18-49: 1.4/ 4 (#63t)

Grade: F

Shedding for the Wedding (CW) – Wednesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 1.07 million (#95), A18-49: 0.5/ 1 (#94t)

Grade: F
Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (ABC): 37.92 million, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 8 p.m.): 26.61, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 22.72, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 21.76, NCIS (CBS): 21.32, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 18.69, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 7:30 p.m.): 16.03, The Mentalist (CBS): 14.78, Criminal Minds (CBS): 13.15, CSI (CBS): 12.41, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 12.35, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 7 p.m.): 12.14, The Good Wife (CBS): 11.85, Blue Bloods (CBS): 11.65, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 11.54, Mike & Molly (CBS): 11.20, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 10.93, CSI: NY (CBS): 10.89, Glee (Fox): 10.58, Hawaii Five-O (CBS): 10.45, The Bachelor (ABC) and House (Fox): 10.41 each, Modern Family (ABC): 10.17, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (CBS): 9.81, Rules of Engagement (CBS, time period premiere): 9.45, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 9.33, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 9.13, Castle (ABC): 8.99, Harry’s Law (NBC): 8.75, The Defenders (CBS): 8.68

-Adults 18-49:

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (ABC): 11.8 rating/30 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 7.9/21, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 8 p.m.): 7.3/20, American Idol – Thursday (Fox): 7.2/20, NCIS (CBS): 4.4/13, Glee (Fox): 4.4/12, Modern Family (ABC): 4.1/11, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 7:30 p.m.): 3.9/12, NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS): 3.9/11, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 3.8/11, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 3.5/10, House (Fox): 3.5/ 9, The Bachelor (ABC) and Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 3.4/ 9 each, The Office (NBC): 3.2/ 9, Mike & Molly (CBS) and Criminal Minds (CBS): 3.2/ 8 each, Survivor: Redemption Island (CBS): 3.1/ 9, Two and a Half Men R (CBS): 3.0/ 8, Hawaii Five-O (CBS), Rules of Engagement (CBS, time period premiere) and The Mentalist (CBS): 2.8/ 8 each, Oscar’s Red Carpet (ABC – Sunday 7 p.m.): 2.7/ 9, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 2.7/ 8, Mad Love (CBS): 2.8/ 7, CSI (CBS): 2.7/ 7, Castle (ABC): 2.6/ 7, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 2.5/ 7, Raising Hope (Fox) and The Middle (ABC): 2.4/ 7 each, Parks and Recreation (NBC): 2.4/ 6


What follows are the top 10 rated networks on cable in prime-time for the week of February 21 based on total viewers and the three key demos.  

-Total Viewers:

USA: 3.13 million, Disney Channel: 2.83, Fox News: 2.05, ESPN: 1.96, TNT: 1.85, Nick at Nite: 1.62, History: 1.59, FX: 1.53, TBS: 1.49, A&E: 1.36

-Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.18 million, ESPN: 1.02 million, FX: 827,000, MTV and TNT: 822,000 each, TBS: 817,000, History: 705,000, A&E: 682,000, Discovery: 667,000, Comedy Central: 621,000

-Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.29 million, ESPN: 892,000, TNT: 829,000, History: 780,000, FX: 735,000, TBS: 731,000, A&E: 699,000, Discovery: 698,000, Tru TV: 567,000, Syfy: 550,000

-Adults 18-34:

MTV: 664,000, ESPN: 587,000, USA: 468,000, TBS: 456,000, Comedy Central: 442,000, FX: 430,000, Adult Swim: 408,000, TNT: 395,000, Disney Channel: 349,000, ABC Family: 320,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat; t = tie)

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-Positive Results for Telemundo:

Original novela La Reina del Sur (Queen of the South) broke the record books at Telemundo, with 2.4 million total viewers and 1.53 million adults 18-49 on Monday, February 28. Comparably, that was the most-watched novela premiere in Telemundo’s history. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Wednesday 3/02/11

 8:30 p.m. Better With You
 9:00 p.m. Modern Family
 9:30 p.m. Mr. Sunshine

10:00 p.m. Off the Map


 8:00 p.m. Survivor: Redemption Island

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds

10:00 p.m. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It (R)
 9:00 p.m. Minute to Win It

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

 8:00 p.m. American Idol (90 minutes)
 9:30 p.m. Traffic Light
 8:00 p.m. Nikita (R)

 9:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-The Hills on TV Guide Network:

TV Guide Network has acquired the repeat rights to MTV reality staple The Hills. It begins on Monday, March 7 and will air with back-to-back repeats in the 5 p.m. ET/PT hour every weekday. 


-The Centsables Promo Spots from Norm Hill Entertainment:

The Centsables and Norm Hill Entertainment have produced six 15-second spots prior to the launch of upcoming first-run animated weekly The Centsables, which strives to help kids become financially savvy. The multi-media initiative includes an interactive website, comic books, a toy line, a board game and posters featuring characters from the series. The spots are particularly timely with annual Teach Kids to Save Day coming up on April 12. For more information, visit

TV Trivia Time:

Arnold’s Folks


Remember Arnold the Pig from classic sitcom Green Acres? What were the first names of his “parents?”


a)      Doris and Fred

b)      Harriette and Carl

c)      Helen and Stanley

d)      Muriel and Henry

e)      Maggie and Jason


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was the highest rated movie ever telecast on network television?


a)      Gone with the Wind

b)      Jaws

c)      King Kong

d)      West Side Story

e)      The Wizard of Oz


Is:  a) Gone with the Wind, which averaged a whopping 47.6 rating in 1976. 

-Current kudos goes to:

Suzanne Ackley, Steve Albright, Gerry Bixenspan (2x), Barbara Bloomfield, John Brooker, John Carlo, Paul Certo, Larry Collins (4x), Tom Condosta, Harold Cooper, Audrey Davis, Sue Doron, Bob Eisenstaedt, John Ferlazzo, Karen Gardner, Maureen Goldman, Michael Holland, Deb Kainer, Kathryn Kieser, Mary Kinoshita, Tony Naldrett,  Joe Pedri, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Arthur Reinstein, Bruce Robinson, Joe Swaney, Ronnie Tallant, Don Webb

Recommended articles