American Idol Still a Force to Reckon With


Friday, January 21, 2011


Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

American Idol Lifts Fox to Victory


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options 


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


TV Trivia Time:


Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

American Idol Lifts Fox to Victory


Thursday 1/20/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.



Fox   10.7/16
CBS    8.7/13
NBC   3.7/ 6
ABC   3.6/ 6
CW     0.9/ 1

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


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), CSI (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)


-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Community (NBC), Perfect Couples (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), Outsourced (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

American Idol is alive and still very well on Fox, with the 8-9 p.m. Thursday telecast at a 14.4 rating/22 share in the overnights. While this was more than enough to lift Fox to Thursday victory, one day earlier season 10 of the veteran music competition opened with a 16.4/24. And relocated Bones at 9 p.m. (#2: 7.0/11) held only 45 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of Idol (15.5/23). But, let’s be honest, this is still a total standout.


Despite facing American Idol, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was on the map with a 9.5/14 in the overnights at 8 p.m. But lead-out $#*! My Dad Says slipped to a 6.6/10 (#2) at 8:30 p.m., 31 percent below Big Bang. As a reminder, Rules of Engagement relocates into the Thursday 8:30 p.m. half-hour on Feb. 24. CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of veteran CSI (#1: 8.7/13), and stayed there at 10 p.m. with The Mentalist (#1: 9.5/16). But The Office on NBC will have an advantage opposite CSI.


NBC kicked-off its three-hour sitcom block and, excluding aforementioned The Office, the results were abysmal. Take a look:

 8:00 p.m. – Community: 3.2/ 5 (#4)

 8:30 p.m. – Perfect Couples (series premiere / time period premiere): 2.9/ 4 (#4)

 9:00 p.m. – The Office: 5.3/ 8 (#3)

 9:30 p.m. – Parks and Recreation (season premiere): 3.8/ 6 (#3)

10:00 p.m. – 30 Rock (time period premiere): 3.7/ 6 (#2)

10:30 p.m. – Outsourced (time period premiere): 3.0/ 5 (#2)


Keep in mind that the second-place time period finishes for 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation is a result of ABC’s Private Practice being a repeat (#3: 2.7/ 4). The biggest clinker on NBC last night: Perfect Couples, which could not even maintain the lackluster Community lead-in despite the higher HUT levels at 8:30 p.m. While Parks and Recreation will be up year-to-year by now airing out of The Office (as opposed to out of Community last season), the 72 percent overnight retention from The Office could, and should, be better. 


Over at ABC, Wipeout took a hit opposite American Idol, with a third-place 4.6/ 7 in the overnights at 8 p.m. Last week it averaged a 6.2/10 on January 13. The rest of the evening on ABC — Grey’s Anatomy (#4: 3.6/ 5) and aforementioned Private Practice (#3: 2.7/ 5) — was in repeats. The CW’s combination of The Vampire Diaries (#5: 0.9/ 1) and Nikita (#5: 0.9/ 1) were also encore telecasts. It’s depressing, isn’t it, to see repeats in January? 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not


-American Idol Down but Far from Out:

Season 10 of American Idol on Fox, now featuring judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, opened on Fox with a hefty (and very dominant) 26.23 million viewers and a 9.7 rating/26 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the live plus same day. The No. 2 network for the evening (CBS in total viewers, ABC in adults 18-49) averaged 9.80 million viewers and a 2.7/ 7 in the demo. So, Idol is still very much the dominant player. But compared to it’s year-ago season-opener (Viewers: 29.94 million; A18-49: 11.8/29 on January 12, 2010), this was a loss of 3.71 million viewers and 18 percent in the demo. 


With Idol moving into the Thursday 8 p.m. hour and last night’s performance, no doubt, spiked by the initial curiosity, stayed tuned to see how the veteran reality/competition performs in subsequent weeks. Chances are we will see erosion of 15 to 20 percent from one year earlier.


-Speaking of Wednesday:

Here were the live plus same day results by network for Wednesday, Jan. 19:


Total Viewers:

Fox: 26.23 million, CBS: 9.80, ABC: 7.18, NBC: 5.46, CW: 1.19


Adults 18-49:

Fox: 2.7 rating/26 share, ABC: 2.7/ 7, CBS: 1.9/ 5, NBC: 1.7/ 4, CW: 0.4/ 1


-In Other Network Rating News:

NBC crime solver Chase, which formerly aired Monday at 10 p.m., moved into the Wednesday 9 p.m. hour with a mere (and fourth-place) 4.35 million viewers and a 1.0/ 3 among adults 18-49. But CBS’ Blue Bloods fared considerably better in the first of its four episode test in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour, with 12.30 million viewers (#1) and a 2.0/ 6 among adults 18-49 #3). Comparably, Blue Blues delivered 280,000 more viewers than lead-in Criminal Minds (12.02 million at 9 p.m.), with retention among adults 18-49 of 69 percent.


Also on Wednesday, week two of ABC drama Off the Map dipped to 5.79 million viewers (#3) and a 2.1/ 6 in the demo (#2) at 10 p.m. One week earlier, it launched with 7.57 million viewers and a 2.3/ 6 among adults 18-49 on January 12. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Friday 1/21/11

 9:00 p.m. Primetime: What Would You Do?

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Medium (series finale)
 9:00 p.m. CSI: NY (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It (R)
 9:00 p.m.  Dateline (two hours)
 8:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares (season premiere)
 9:00 p.m. Fringe (new day)
 8:00 p.m. Smallville (R)

 9:00 p.m. Supernatural (R)


Saturday 1/22/11

 8:00 p.m. Wipeout (R)
 9:00 p.m. Movie: Blades of Glory (R)
 8:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)
 9:00 p.m. The Mentalist (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Chuck (R)
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: Los Angeles (R)

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

 8:00 p.m. Cops
 8:30 p.m. Cops (R)
 9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted

Sunday 1/23/11

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives

10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters


 7:00 p.m. AFC Championship Game (from 6:30 p.m.)

10:00 p.m. Hawaii Five-O (R)

 7:00 p.m. Dateline
 8:00 p.m. Movie: Sex and the City  
 7:00 p.m. The Simpsons (R)
 7:30 p.m. American Dad
 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
 8:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers
 9:00 p.m. Family Guy
 9:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show

TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Angela Bromstad Exits NBC:

On the heels of Comcast’s official takeover of NBC comes word that Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, is exiting the network. Said Bromstad in an email to her colleagues: “Today I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving NBC Universal. I cannot possibly sum up my thoughts and emotions in an email but suffice it to say I have tremendous respect for the company and for the people with whom I have had the privilege to work with and know during my time here. I take great memories and friendships with me and I wish you all the best going forward.” 


The original plan was for Bromstad to stay with the network, reporting to new entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.


-ABC Announces Return Date for Take the Money and Run:

ABC’s upcoming non-scripted Take the Money and Run, which comes from the producers of The Amazing Race and CSI, will launch on Thursday, April 14 at 8 p.m. ET (in place of the winter edition of Wipeout). Combining all the elements of a spy thriller with the current reality/competition format, Take the Money and Run will pit everyday people against real life law enforcement for a grand prize of $100,000. 


-Also at ABC:

Alphabet net reality/competition Shark Tank will return on Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. in place of the departing Superanny. Shark Tank features entrepreneur wannabes pitching their products to a panel of five wealthy tycoons (Barbara Corcoran, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary) to see if they are willing to invest in their product. 


-Wendy Williams Heads to GSN:

Daytime talker Wendy Williams has a new gig: game show host. Williams will host upcoming original GSN strip Love Triangle, which will focus on a dater caught in a real-life love triangle. It premieres on Monday, April 18 with an initial order of 32 episodes.   


-Jimmy Kimmel Upgraded by Five Minutes:

In late night, every minute counts. That said, ABC late night talker Jimmy Kimmel Live will move from 12:05 a.m. to midnight ET effective on Friday, February 4. Lead-in Nightline, which has been airing from 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. ET, will be cut to 25-minutes.


-More Cake Boss: Next Great Baker:

TLC has renewed Cake Boss: Next Great Baker for a second season, with an unspecified number of new episodes for later this season. The expanded 90-minute season one finale airs on Monday, January 24 at 9 p.m. ET.


-New Afternoon Line-Up on TeleFutura:

Spanish speaking network TeleFutura has unveiled its new afternoon line-up (Las Nuevas Tardes de TeleFutura), which will kick-off on Monday, Jan. 24. Court show strip Verdicto Final, hosted by Judge Cristina Pereyra, will air at 4 p.m., followed by novela Manana Es Para Siempre at 5 p.m. ET, and newsmagazine La Tijera at 6 p.m., hosted by Tanya Charry. 

TV Trivia Time:



Which one of the following series was not set in Florida?

a)      Cane
b)      Empty Next
c)      Gentle Ben

d)      The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo

e)      Wiseguy

The answer to yesterday’s question…


Who was the first center square on game show The Hollywood Squares in 1966?


a)      Ernest Borgnine

b)      Sid Caesar

c)      Jerry Lewis

d)      Paul Lynde

e)      Rose Marie


Is:  a) Ernest Borgnine, who turns 94 on Monday. Although the masses answered Paul Lynde, he was not the center square that first week.

-Current kudos goes to:
David Ballarotto, Gerry Bixenspan, D.C. Carter, Tom Condosta, Bob Ingersoll,
David Jackino, Synda Kollman, Tom Lawrenson, Rick Locke, David Ruckman, Anthony Salerno