American Idol Beats The Winter Olympics

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
American Idol Beats The Winter Olympics  
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:
Not So Musical Lucy
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
American Idol Beats The Winter Olympics 
Tuesday 2/16/10

Note: Birmingham is excluded from the following averages.



Fox   15.2/22
NBC 14.4/21
CBS     6.4/ 9
ABC   4.4/ 6
CW     0.6/ 1

-Note: The metered market comparisons to the year-ago evening were not available today.


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), Vancouver Olympic Winter Games (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The Forgotten (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

Not even the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games could stop the American Idol juggernaut, with Idol-ignited Fox outdelivering NBC by eight-tenths of a rating point in the metered markets. In the distant No. 3 spot was CBS, followed by ABC and another night of Tuesday repeats on The CW.


A two-hour edition of Fox’s American Idol, which unveiled seven of the 24 semifinalists, averaged a 15.2 rating/22 share in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


American Idol (Fox)

8:00 p.m.: 14.1/21 (#1)

8:30 p.m.: 15.6/22 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 15.6/22 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 15.3/21 (#1)


Over at NBC, the first Tuesday of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games scored a 14.4/21 in the overnights in prime-time, with the half-hour breakdown as follows:

Vancouver Olympic Winter Games (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 12.5/18 (#2)

8:30 p.m.: 13.9/20 (#2)

9:00 p.m.: 14.9/21 (#2)

9:30 p.m.: 15.1/21 (#2)

10:00 p.m.: 15.5/24 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 14.6/24 (#1)


Versus the comparable Tuesday of the Torino Games on Feb. 14, 2006 (12.7/20), this was an increase of 13 percent. Head-to-head opposite American Idol, The Winter Olympics trailed by seven percent (15.2/22 vs. 14.1/20). 


Despite the severity of the competition, a repeat of CBS’ NCIS was still on the map with a 7.6/11 in the overnights at 8 p.m. That led into repeats of spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#4: 6.1/ 9) and The Good Wife (#2: 5.7/ 9) from 9-11 p.m.


Over at ABC, episode three of the final season of Lost dipped only eight percent in the overnights from one week earlier, with a third-place 6.7/ 9 at 9 p.m. Opposite American Idol and The Winter Olympics, this was a positive worth noting. ABC, unfortunately, has sprung a leak at 10 p.m. with freshman drama The Forgotten, which lived up to its title with a last-place 3.6/ 6. Comparably, retention out of Lost was just 54 percent. Had The Forgotten not been from Jerry Bruckheimer, ABC probably would have swung the axe already.


Earlier in the evening on the alphabet network was a repeat of Lost at a fourth-place 3.0/ 4 in the overnights from 8-9 p.m.


Capping off the evening were repeats of The CW’s just renewed 90210 (#5: 0.7/ 1) and waiting-to-be canceled Melrose Place (#5: 0.5/ 1), which not even Heather Locklear can save. For more on The CW, scroll down to TV Tidbits.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Updated Olympic Winter Tallies:

Based on the first four nights of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, NBC is estimating that 129 million people have tuned in for some portion on the networks of NBC Universal, with 27.9 million average viewers. Comparably, this is the best results for a non-United States Winter Olympics since the Lillehammer Games in 1994 (37.4 million). The 27.9 million is 5.5 million above the 22.4 million for the first four nights from Turin in 2006. On Monday, NBCU’s broadcasts were seen in part by 75 million total viewers, seven million more than the first Monday from the 2006 Games (68 million).


Souce: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 2/17/10

 8:00 p.m. Modern Family (R)

 8:30 p.m. The Middle (R)

 9:00 p.m. Modern Family (R)

 9:30 p.m. Cougar Town (R)

10:00 p.m. Cougar Town (R)
10:30 p.m. Cougar Town (R)

 8:00 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine (R)

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried (R)

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

 8:00 p.m. 2010 Winter Olympics


 8:00 p.m. Human Target

 9:00 p.m. American Idol


 8:00 p.m. Life Unexpected (R)

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)

-Of Note on Cable:

Always interesting Judge Judith Sheindlin will be featured on CNN’s Larry King Live tonight.

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
-CW Renewals:

The CW has issued early pick-ups for the 2010-11 season on scripted dramas Gossip Girl, 90210, Supernatural and freshman The Vampire Diaries, plus veteran reality/competition America’s Next Top Model, which will feature cycles 15 and 16. There is no word at present on the futures of One Tree Hill, Smallville and the recently introduced revival of Melrose Place, which is expected to conclude this spring. 


-FX Pairs Louie with Rescue Me:

Upcoming FX comedy Louie, which was supposed to launch in April, has been delayed to June when it is paired with returning drama Rescue Me on an undetermined day. Louie is a single-camera comedy mixing Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy and scripted stories. 

-Coming Up on ION:

Ion Television will introduce an original Canadian drama on Saturday, March 13 called The Guard, which will kick-off with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The Guard focuses on four members of the Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Team.


-TCM Celebrates Akira Kurosawa:
TCM, a Mr. TV favorite, will celebrate what would have been legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s 100th birthday with a 24-hour marathon of his movies on Tuesday, March 23 and a month-long collection of more than 25 titles. Included will be Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and sequel Sanjuro, Rashomon, Throne of Blood, The Lower Depths, No Regrets for Our Youth, Ikiru, I Live in Fear, Red Beard, Stray Dog, The Bad Sleep Well and High and Low.


-Kevin Eubanks To Exit The Tonight Show:

The Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks, who left NBC’s The Tonight Show for ill-fated The Jay Leno Show, will only be returning to late night temporarily. While he will be present when Leno returns to The Tonight Show chair on March 1, it will be short-lived as he departs to pursue recording and touring. There is no word at present who will replace him.   


-The Documentary Channel Inks Deal for 11-Film Package of Documentaries:

The Documentary Channel (DOC) and New York City-based The Film Sales Company have reached a multi-year agreement for the network to telecast a package of 11 documentary films from the library of The Film Sales Company. The film package, which begins on Monday, March 29 at 8 p.m. ET with James Longley documentary Iraq in Fragments, will include Body of War, Jump!, Paper Clips, Beyond Conviction, Who Needs Sleep, High Score, Shoot Down and The Trials of Michael Jackson. For more information on The Documentary Channel, click here.

TV Trivia Time:
No So Musical Lucy

What instrument was Lucy Ricardo known for playing not all that well on classic I Love Lucy?

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following TV characters once competed in a dance marathon?

Sydney Bristow
Mary Camden
Michael Fairgate
Daisy Garner
Will Truman

Is: d) Daisy Garner of The Waltons. Daisy’s partner was eldest Walton sibling John-Boy Walton, who later became engaged to Daily until he found out she had a young child from a previous relationship.


-Current kudos goes to:

Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Lisa Brause, Larry Collins, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Carmen McKinley, Michael Murphy, Maxine Schulman