CBS Dominates Tuesday Overnights

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
CBS Wins; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of February 2, 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:

CBS Wins; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Tuesday 2/10/09


CBS 10.9/17
Fox     9.9/15
NBC   6.3/10
ABC   2.8/ 4

CW    1.5/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008):

CBS: +102, NBC: +17, CW: -17, ABC: -26, Fox: -43


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. 10, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:

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

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)
Fringe (Fox)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

90210 (CW), Scrubs (ABC), Primetime: What Would You Do? (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Despite facing Fox’s American Idol, CBS took center stage in the Tuesday overnights with its combination of NCIS (#2: 11.0 rating/17 share), bona fide freshman hit The Mentalist (#1: 12.1/18) and Without a Trace (#1: 9.5/16). Fox will, however, dominate among adults 18-49 care of its combination of the aforementioned American Idol (#1: 13.5/21) and Fringe (#2: 6.2/10). Three observations of note are:

  1. NCIS proves that a successful show can co-exist opposite American Idol.
  2. The Mentalist is the biggest new prime-time hit since ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Lost.
  3. Retention for Fringe out of the second half of lead-in American Idol (14.3/22 at 8:30 p.m.) was just 43 percent. Needless to say, this is not a hit.

As always, NBC’s The Biggest Loser built in each half-hour, with an average 5.5/ 8 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. and the half-hour breakdown as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 4.5/ 7 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 4.8/ 7 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 6.7/10 (#2)

Look for The Biggest Loser to exhibit some strength among adults 18-49 despite the heavy competition. NBC capped off the evening with a Tuesday edition of Dateline at a 7.9/13 from 10-11 p.m. An expected first-place finish among adults 18-49 lands Dateline in the winner’s circle.


ABC was barely visible, meanwhile, with its combination of repeat holiday specials Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (#4: 3.1/ 5) and A Charlie Brown Valentine (#4, 2.8/ 4) from 8-9 p.m., two episodes of Scrubs (#4: avg. 2.8/ 4) from 9-10 p.m., and Primetime: What Would You Do? (#3: series low 2.4/ 4). And the CW capped off the evening with the lackluster combination of 90210 (#5: 1.8/ 3) and Privileged (#5: 1.3/ 2). No…90210 is not the hit serialized drama the CW was looking for. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of February 2, 2009


It was a week of mixed leadership, with CBS first in households and total viewers for the week of Feb. 2, and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Led by the above-average 51st Annual Grammy Awards telecast on Sunday (see rankings below), CBS built year-to-year by margins of 14 to 20 percent. But Fox took a hit, dipping by as much as 21 percent among adults 18-34. 


Excluding a second-place finish among adults 18-34, ABC was third across-to-board at levels close to one year earlier. NBC was also relatively on par from the year-ago week, but fourth in all surveyed categories. Next was the CW, followed by MyNetworkTV. Although the addition of Friday Night Smackdown! has resulted in consistent gains all season for MyNetworkTV, abandoning the traditional broadcasting model for repeats next season will not be beneficial. Once that happens, MyNetworkTV should no longer be considered one of the “six” broadcast networks. 

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