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. 


Despite the massive promotion on The Super Bowl, NBC’s revised Monday line-up of Chuck, Heroes and Medium opened with only mid-level results on Monday, Feb. 2 (with Heroes remaining down considerably year-to-year). Take a look:


8:00 p.m. – Chuck (return)

Viewers: 8.45 million (#36), A18-49: 3.0/ 7 (#28t)


9:00 p.m. – Heroes (return)

Viewers: 8.55 million (#34), A18-49: 4.0/ 9 (#17t)


10:00 p.m. – Medium (season premiere)

Viewers: 8.56 million (#33), A18-49: 2.9/ 7 (#30t)


Elsewhere, the Katie Couric All-Access Grammy Special on CBS Wednesday was a bust, with just 6.55 million viewers (#49) and a 2.0/ 5 among adults 18-49 (#54t) at 9 p.m. Part one of NBC miniseries XIII (Viewers: #53, 6.29 million; A18-49: #76t, 1.3/ 3) got squashed opposite CBS’ competing Grammy Awards on Sunday. And CBS granddaddy 60 Minutes got quite a boost as a result of bona fide hero Cpt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (see rankings below).


Here are the final national ratings for the week of February 2, 2009 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago week in parentheses), followed by the new midseason series report card and the top 30 rated programs of the week.   


CBS: 7.2 rating/11 share (+16), Fox: 6.3/10 (-14), ABC: 4.9/ 8 (- 4), NBC: 4.4/ 7 (- 8), CW: 1.2/ 2 (-20), MNTV: 1.1/ 2 (+37)

-Total Viewers:

CBS: 11.50 million (+20), Fox: 10.75 (-13), ABC: 7.76 (- 6), NBC: 6.95 (- 8), CW: 1.84 (-20), MNTV: 1.69 (+46)

-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 4.0 rating/11 share (-15), CBS: 3.2/ 8 (+14), ABC: 2.8/ 7 (no change), NBC: 2.3/ 6 (- 8), CW: 0.8/ 2 (-11), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)

-Adults 25-54:

Fox: 4.6/11 (-12), CBS: 4.0/10 (+14), ABC: 3.1/ 8 (- 6), NBC: 2.7/ 7 (- 7), CW: 0.7/ 2 (-22), MNTV: 0.6/ 2 (+20)

-Adults 18-34:

Fox: 3.4/10 (-21), ABC: 2.5/ 8 (+14), CBS: 2.3/ 7 (+15), NBC: 1.9/ 6 (no change), CW: 1.0/ 3 (+11), MNTV: 0.5/ 1 (+25)


New Midseason Series Scorecard (excluding repeats)


Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 12.99 million (#12), A18-49: 4.7/12 (#10t)


True Beauty (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.

Viewers: 6.77 million (#47), A18-49: 3.0/ 8 (#28t)


Homeland Security USA (ABC) – Tuesday 8 p.m. 

Viewers: 5.61 million (#61), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#65t)


Howie Do It (NBC) – Friday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 4.73 million (#71), A18-49: 1.3/ 5 (#76t)


13 – Fear is Real (CW) – Friday 9 p.m.

Viewers: 850,000 (#98), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#96t)

Top 30 Rankings
-Total Viewers:

America Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 26.60 million, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 26.38, 51st Annual Grammy Awards (CBS): 19.05, 60 Minutes (CBS): 16.74, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 16.55, CSI: Miami (CBS): 16.10, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC – Private Practice crossover): 15.27, House (Fox): 14.87, The Mentalist R (CBS): 14.44, NCIS R (CBS): 13.85, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 13.82, Lie to Me (Fox): 12.99, Private Practice (ABC – Grey’s Anatomy crossover): 12.91, Fringe (Fox): 12.78, Without a Trace (CBS): 12.16, CSI R (CBS): 11.78, Ghost Whisperer (CBS): 11.41, 24 (Fox): 11.34, The Bachelor (ABC): 11.02, Lost (ABC): 11.01, Bones (Fox): 10.86, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 10.84, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 10.40, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 10.35, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 10.34, How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and Numb3rs (CBS): 10.30 each, Worst Week (CBS): 9.92, Flashpoint R (CBS): 9.51, America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC): 9.28

-Adults 18-49:

America Idol – Tuesday (Fox): 10.0 rating/25 share, American Idol – Wednesday (Fox): 9.9/27, 51st Annual Grammy Awards (CBS): 7.4/18, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC – Private Practice crossover): 5.8/14, House (Fox): 5.6/14, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 5.5/12, Private Practice (ABC – Grey’s Anatomy crossover): 5.3/14, Fringe (Fox): 5.0/12, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 4.9/11, Lost (ABC) and Lie to Me (Fox): 4.7/12 each, CSI: Miami (CBS): 4.5/11, The Office (NBC): 4.3/11, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 4.3/10, The Bachelor (ABC) and The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 4.1/10 each, The Biggest Loser (NBC): 4.0/10, Heroes (NBC): 4.0/ 9, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 3.7/10, 24 (Fox): 3.7/ 8, Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC): 3.4/ 8 each, Bones (Fox): 3.2/ 9, 60 Minutes (CBS): 3.1/ 9, Brothers & Sisters (ABC): 3.1/ 8, 30 Rock (NBC) and Worst Week (CBS): 3.1/ 7 each, True Beauty (ABC): 3.0/ 8, Chuck (NBC): 3.0/ 7, Medium (NBC) and The Mentalist R (CBS): 2.9/ 7 each


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Record Performance for The Big Bang Theory:

A 9:30 p.m. airing of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory out of Two and a Half Men on Monday led the sophomore sitcom to its best performance to-date. The Big Bang Theory finished first in the half-hour in households (7.8 rating/11 share), total viewers (12.72 million), adults 18-49 (4.5/10) and adults 25-54 (5.5/12). Retention out of Two and a Half Men was 94 percent among adults 18-49.


The Saturday, Feb. 7 combination of Nickelodeon’s iCarly and True Jackson, VP, which aired as part of Nickelodeon’s “Crush Night” TEENick programming block with American Idol runner-up David Archuleta, finished as the weekend’s biggest event for kids and tweens. The episodes of iCarly and True Jackson, VP averaged a 9.0 rating with 1.9 million kids 6-11, and a 7.6 rating with 1.6 million tweens 9-14. iCarly alone finished the week first overall in kids on any platform, with 2.1 million kids 6-11 and 2.8 million kids 2-11. And it was first on cable among tweens 9-14 (1.9 million). Congratulations, Dan Schneider…you are head of the class indeed!

-Sonny With a Chance Scores on Disney Channel:

The debut of Disney Channel original series Sonny With a Chance on Sunday, Feb. 8 dominated the cable competition in the 8 p.m. half hour in total viewers (4.1 million), kids 6-11 (1.8 million) and tweens 9-14 (1.5 million). Comparably, that was the cable net’s best performance in the time period since the week of Nov. 23, 2008, building from the year-ago time period levels by 1.3 million viewers, 50 percent in kids 2-11 and 75 percent among tweens 9-14. A second telecast at 8:30 p.m. improved from its premiere by seven percent in tweens 9-14 (1.5 to 1.6 million), while retaining 100 percent of the kids 6-11 audience. 

-National Ratings in Syndication – Week of Jan. 26:

Here are the top 10 rated programs in syndication based on households for the week of Jan. 26, followed by any highlights of note:


Wheel of Fortune (CBS Television Distribution): 8.0 rating, Jeopardy (CBS): 6.6, Two and a Half Men (Warner Bros.): 5.6, Oprah (CBS): 5.2, Entertainment Tonight (CBS) and Judge Judy (CBS): 4.7 each, Family Guy (Twentieth Television): 4.3, Seinfeld (Sony Pictures Television): 3.9, Dr. Phil (CBS): 3.6, Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS): 3.6, CSI: NY (CBS): 3.5


-NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood rose to a season high performance in households (2.4), total viewers (3.3 million), women 18-49 (1.4 rating) and women 25-54 (1.7). Comparably, that was up by nine percent in households, six percent in total viewers and as much as 10 percent among women 18-34 over the previous week.


-CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors rose to a series-high 2.1 in households, making it the highest rated first-run freshman strip.


-Season highs: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Judge Judy (tied for season high) and Judge Joe Brown (2.5 – tied for season high) – all from CBS. 


-Cable Rating Highlights – Week of Feb. 2:

Wondering what happened in cable for the week of Feb 2? The following analysis comes to you from Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek’s Senior Editor, Cable TV and Automotive.  


USA Network continues to steamroll through the winter months, nailing down seven of the top 10 most-watched programs on ad-supported cable last week on the way to its fifth straight prime-time ratings win.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, USA averaged 3.35 million total viewers in the week ended Feb. 8, posting big numbers with its triad of original series (Monk, Burn Notice and Psych). USA also beat all comers with its delivery of viewers 18-49 (1.44 million) and adults 25-54 (1.55 million).

On Friday night (Feb. 6), the latest installment of Monk drew 5.68 million total viewers in the 9 p.m. time slot, securing the lead as ad-supported cable’s most-watched program during the seven-day period. Also delivering big for USA were: Burn Notice, which scared up 5.27 million viewers Thursday night at 10 p.m. and Psych, which drew 4.46 million viewers in the post-Monk slot.


For more cable rating highlights for the week, click here. Comments or questions can be directed to Anthony at


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Wednesday 2/11/09
 8:00 p.m. Lost (R)
 9:00 p.m. Lost

10:00 p.m. Life on Mars


 8:00 p.m. The New Adventures of Old Christine

 8:30 p.m. Gary Unmarried

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds
10:00 p.m. CSI: NY
 8:00 p.m. Knight Rider
 9:00 p.m. Life

10:00 p.m. Law & Order

 8:00 p.m. American Idol (two hours)

 8:00 p.m. Privileged (R)

 9:00 p.m. 90210 (R)

 8:00 p.m. World’s Funniest Moments (R)

 9:00 p.m. Under One Roof (R)

 9:30 p.m. Under One Roof (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-More United States of Tara:

Showtime has renewed recently introduced United States of Tata for a second season, with an order for 12 additional episodes. Production will be this summer.


-The Brian McKnight Show a Firm “Go”:

Litton Entertainment has announced entertainment driven weekend hour The Brian McKnight Show as a firm “go” for fall 2009.  What has worked to its advantage was MyNetworkTV announcing its plans to return the Saturday night time periods to its affiliates.


TV Trivia Time:

Keepin’ Your Head Above Water


Who played Florida’s brother on Good Times?

Bill Cosby
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Lloyd Haynes
Greg Morris
Denzel Washington

The answer to yesterday’s question…


Which one of the following series featured a character named Topanga?

Boy Meets World
Hardy Boys Mysteries
Punky Brewster
Room 222

Is:  a) Boy Meets World, which began on ABC in Sept. 1993 and met cancellation in the summer of 2000. Topanga Lawrence was played by Danielle Fishel.


-Current kudos goes to:
Suzanne Ackley, Dan Aicken, Amy Aills, Joanne Albrecht, Vanessa Wickham-Baker, Mary Bancroft, Dan Barnhardt, Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, L. Bell, Elizabeth Bellamy, Gail Belle, Gerry Bixenspan, Randy Blake, Jocelyn Brandeis, Maram Canawati, Brian Carney, Shawn Carrico, Heidi Cavallaro, Sid Cohen, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Kristen Conner, Harold Cooper, Kay Copeland, Larry Corsa, Annie Courtney, Reid Davis, Maureen Doherty, Christina D’Esposito, Ray Dittman, Sue Doron, Malcolm Dunlop, Jason Dvorkin, Chris Dykhuisen, Bob Eisenstaedt, Chris Ellis, Josh Emmett, Deborah Engel, Connie Falcone, John Ferlazzo, Patricia Finn, Ellen Foust, Marsha Galuva, Harold Goetz, Adam Goldberg, Maureen Goldman, Emily Guasman, Donna Godzisz, Geoffrey Gordon (2x), Vicky Gregorian, Scott Groneman, Joslyn Hansen, Michelle Harrington, Carolyn Hayes, Jerry Hermes, Brad Hight, Heidi Hoffmeister, Melissa Hogdon, Bob Ingersoll, Ken Jobe, Mike Jolliffe, Deb Kainer, Spencer Kancher, David Kern, Kathryn Kieser, Kristopher Koller, Andi Kupersith, Stephen LaRue, Timothy Lawlor, Tom Lawrenson, Anne Leahy, David Lederman, Kelly Lindley, Kerri Madden, Julia McCray, Michael McCray, Randi Mendelsohn, Marc Miller, Jim Moore, Beverly Morris, Michael Murphy, Lenora Nickerson, Frank Nicotero, Mashawn Nix, Tillie Nutter, Steve O’Rourke, Aaron Paquette, Amanda Peterson, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Greg Phelan, Mary Politano, Robyn Brown-Postell, Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Nick Riley, Mauricio Rios, Shanina Robinson, Lisa Tatum-Roehrig, Rachel Rosenblatt, Lindsey Rothman, Harley David Rubin, Paul Rule, Michelle Sahs, Stephen Scinto, Michael Serafini, Kristen Signore, Joe Smith, Dewyane Snype, Robbie Sosner, Michelle Stanton, Jeff Stuewe, Julie Syers, Ronnie Tallant, Jodi Tiktin, Melissa Toyofuku, Stephanie Watson, Myndi Weinraub, Evan Weinstein, Justin Wexler, Richard Wierzbowski, Meg Williamson, Beverly Wolfinbarger, John Wood, Jeanne Yonkers, Dan Zangrando, Ted Zavales, Ted Zawislak