CBS and Fox Dominate the Week of March 30

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
 
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
 
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of March 30, 2009

 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

 
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
 
TV Trivia Time:

Happy Passover!

 
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Fox Wins; CBS Solid
 
Tuesday 4/07/09
 

              HH
          Rtg/Shr

Fox 10.0/16
CBS   9.6/15
ABC 5.4/ 9
NBC 5.4/ 8

CW   1.4/ 2

 
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-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, April 8, 2008):

CBS: +88, Fox: – 6, CW: – 7, NBC: – 8, ABC: -25

 
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Note: The fast affiliate results for Tuesday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Tuesday, April 7, 2009.   

 
 

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

 

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

Reaper (CW), 90210 (CW), Cupid (ABC)

 
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-Ratings Breakdown:

Ignited by American Idol, Fox led this first Tuesday in April in the overnights, but its lead over second–place CBS was only four-tenths of a rating point. And that puts the two networks in a horse race for dominance in total viewers. Tied for the distant No. 3 spot — in rating — was ABC and NBC, followed by a typically non-competitive the CW. 

 

American Idol opened the evening for Fox with a healthy 12.3 rating/20 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. But as good as that is, last year it averaged a beefier 14.4/22 (on Tuesday, April 8, 2008). Since about eight additional minutes of American Idol bled into the 9 p.m. half-hour, the second-place 7.7/12 for the return of Fringe from 9-10 p.m. is an overly optimistic approximation. As for American Idol, here are my picks for the bottom three: Lil Rounds (its time overrated Lil), Scott MacIntyre and 16 going on 50 Allison Iraheta. Although Allison was much better than deadly dull Kris, past triumphs will likely keep Kris safe for at least one more week. Most likely to bid adieu: Scott. 

 

Second-place CBS was on the map with its combination of NCIS (#2: 10.3/17), bona fide freshman hit The Mentalist (#1: 10.3/16) and on-the-fence Without a Trace (#1: 8.3/14), which could be facing extinction because it skews…um…too old.   What a shame that is, isn’t it?

 

ABC got off to a sluggish start last night care of animated holiday repeats It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (#3: 3.0/ 5) and Charlie Brown All-Stars (#4: 2.8/ 4) from 8-9 p.m. But the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show (so long, David Alan Grier) perked up to a second-place 9.4/14 in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. Even so, week two of Cupid sunk to a last-place 3.9/ 7 in the 10 p.m. hour, dipping by 24 percent at 10:30 p.m. (4.5/ 7 to 3.4/ 6). One week earlier, Cupid opened with a 5.0/ 8. Do the math, and that’s a loss of a significant 22 percent.  Why ABC needed to remake this loser to begin with is beyond me. 

 

NBC was on the map care of another two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser (4.9/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.), which always manages to score among adults 18-49, and deteriorating Law & Order: SVU (#2: 6.3/11), which is still poised for victory among adults 18-49. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown for The Biggest Loser:

 

The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.2/ 7 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 4.4/ 7 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 5.2/ 8 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#3)

 

The CW capped off the evening with lackluster performances for Reaper (#5: 1.4/ 2) and 90210 (#5: 1.5/ 2). Last year on this night a repeat of Reaper actually did better in the overnights, with a 1.5/ 2 on April 8, 2008. When the overnights are this low, the demographic performance cannot be all that good.