CBS Dominates Thursday; Normally Competitive ABC in All Repeats

Friday, December 11, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Normally Competitive ABC in All Repeats  

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:
Happy Hanukkah

CBS Wins; Normally Competitive ABC in All Repeats 

Thursday 12/10/09


CBS   8.7/14
Fox    4.7/ 8
NBC 3.7/ 6
ABC   3.1/ 5
CW    1.2/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, December 11, 2008):

Fox: +34, CBS: – 8, ABC: -22, NBC: -24, CW: -29

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Samoa (CBS), Bones (Fox), CSI (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)

-Honorable Mention:
The Office (NBC)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Fringe (Fox)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Opposite an all repeat night on ABC, CBS scored an easy Thursday overnight victory, beating the No. 2 network, Fox, by 4.0 rating points. Third overall was NBC, followed by ABC and a night of encores on The CW. 


I did not see CBS’ Survivor: Samoa yet (please don’t tell me what happened!), so I cannot comment on the show per se. But it did win the 8 p.m. hour in the overnights with a 6.4 rating/10 share. And it will, no doubt, score a very respectable victory among adults 18-49. 


A competitive second behind Survivor in the overnights was Fox’s underrated Bones at a 6.1/10, followed by NBC’s failing Community (3.3/ 5) and Parks and Recreation (3.1/ 5), a repeat of ABC’s FlashForward (2.8/ 5), and a repeat of The Vampire Diaries on The CW (1.3/ 2). Comparably, Fox’s Bones outdelivered year-ago occupant Secret Millionaire (3.7/ 6 on Dec. 11, 2008) by a considerable 65 percent. If you happen to be a fan of Secret Millionaire (and I certainly was), it returns on ABC later this season. As for The Vampire Diaries, next week The CW will be airing a marathon of 10 encore telecasts. 


Top-rated overnight honors at 9 p.m. fell in CBS’ corner, with veteran CSI at a 9.4/15. Comparably, that built from the second half of lead-in Survivor (6.4/10 at 8:30 p.m.) by 47 percent. In the distant No. 2 spot were NBC comedies The Office (4.4/ 7) and 30 Rock (4.1/ 6), followed by a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (3.6/ 6), which never plays well in encores, Fox’s Fringe (3.4/ 6), which did not benefit minus an original installment of Grey’s Anatomy in the competitive mix, and a repeat of The CW’s Supernatural (1.2/ 2). As I say every week, keep a positive eye on The Office among adults 18-49.


CBS’ The Mentalist, as usual, kept the overnight dominance intact at 10 p.m., with a 10.3/17. Comparably, that was the highest rated show of the evening. Next was NBC’s The Jay Leno Show (3.7/ 6), followed by a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice at a 2.0/ 5.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-Cable Network Rankings – Season to-Date Update:

Based on the final national ratings from Dec. 29, 2008 through Dec. 6, 2009, what follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in primetime in total viewers and the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.

Total Viewers:

USA: 3.29 million, TNT: 2.26, ESPN and Fox News: 2.22 each, TBS: 1.84, Nick at Nite: 1.73, A&E: 1.45, FX: 1.36, ABC Family: 1.32, Cartoon Network: 1.30

Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.38 million, ESPN: 1.07 million, TBS: 1.06 million, TNT: 1.04 million, FX: 774,000, A&E: 694,000, Discovery: 674,000, Syfy: 604,000, ABC Family: 594,000, Comedy Central and Spike TV: 592,000 each

Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.50 million, TNT: 1.11 million, ESPN: 1.08 million, TBS: 933,000, A&E: 724,000, FX: 716,000, Syfy: 689,000, Discovery: 665,000, History: 614,000, Food Network: 591,000

Adults 18-34:

USA: 613,000, TBS: 593,000, ESPN: 516,000, TNT: 459,000, MTV: 406,000, FX: 394,000, Comedy Central: 365,000, ABC Family: 322,000, VH1: 319,000, Discovery: 315,000