American Idol Leads Fox to More Tuesday Victory

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
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Visiting Donna Reed

American Idol Leads Fox to More Victory
Tuesday 2/03/09


Fox   11.0/17
CBS    8.8/14
NBC   6.1/10
ABC   3.6/ 6

CW    1.6/ 2


-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.


Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET (if there are no further delays). Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS R (CBS), The Mentalist R (CBS), Without a Trace (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)

-Expected Dominance Among Adults 18-49:

Fringe (Fox), Law & Order: SVU (NBC)


-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Homeland Security USA (ABC), 90210 (CW), Scrubs (ABC), Privileged (CW)

-Ratings Breakdown:

With American Idol on board there is no stopping Fox, which bested second-place CBS by 2.2 overnight rating points on this first Tuesday in February. Fox’s advantage among adults 18-49 will, of course, be much greater once the fast affiliate results are released. Third overall in the metered markets was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW.


The first night in Hollywood on American Idol opened the evening with a 14.0 rating/21 share in the overnights. But a repeat of CBS blockbuster NCIS was still on the board with an 8.7/13. Next was the first half of NBC’s two-hour The Biggest Loser (5.0/ 7), followed by ABC dud Homeland Security USA (3.7/ 6) and 90210 on the CW (1.8/ 3). As reported yesterday, 90210 will be moving to Tuesday at 9 p.m. on March 3, leading out of the returning Reaper. Good luck opposite American Idol, Reaper!


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of a repeat of breakout hit The Mentalist, which scored a 9.4/14. That’s pretty darn amazing, isn’t it? Next was Fox’s Fringe (8.1/12), which held only 55 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (14.7/22) but is still poised for victory among adults 18-49. Third was the second half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (6.7/11), followed by two more episodes of ABC’s Scrubs (avg. 3.1/ 5), and the CW’s soon-to-depart Privileged (1.4/ 2). 


Considering The Biggest Loser always generates large interest among adults 18-49, the average 5.8/ 9 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. is worthy of “honorable mention.” Take a look at the half hour breakdown:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m. 4.9/ 8 (#3)
8:30 p.m. 5.0/ 7 (#3)
9:00 p.m. 6.4/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m. 7.0/11 (#3)

As for CBS’ The Mentalist, you can consider this drama the biggest new hit series since Desperate Housewives and Lost. 


Moving ahead, CBS’ Without a Trace won the 10 p.m. hour in the overnights, with an 8.4/14. But NBC’s second-place Law & Order: SVU (6.8/11) is still expected to dominate among adults 18-49. Had the year-to-year erosion not been as steep as it is (double-digits), SVU would also be labeled a “winner.”


Third at 10 p.m. was ABC newsmagazine, Primetime: What Would You Do? at a 4.0/ 7. But worth noting was growth out of Scrubs of 29 percent. Why ABC needed Scrubs is beyond me!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Week of January 26, 2009


It was a clean sweep for NBC, which was home of the top-rated Arizona vs. Pittsburgh match-up on Super Bowl XVIII on Sunday. Ignited by three nights (Tuesday through Thursday) of American Idol, Fox finished second across the board. But the steep year-to-year erosion for Fox was a result of Super Bowl XVII (New York Giants vs. New England) on the year-ago week. NBC, of course, was up significantly, but one night of The Super Bowl (plus a record performance for a one-hour edition of lead-out The Office) does not a hit network make. There are still problems aplenty at the Peacock network.