CBS Inches Past Fox for Tuesday Overnight Dominance

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

CBS Inches Past Fox; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 4, 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:
Busy Mr. Buchman

CBS Inches Past Fox; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Tuesday 5/12/09


CBS   9.7/15
Fox    9.6/15
NBC 7.0/11
ABC 5.0/ 8
CW    1.3/ 2

Note: The overnight comparisons to the year-ago evening are not available. 

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), The Mentalist (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Without a Trace (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

According to Jim (ABC), Reaper (CW), 90210 (CW), Cupid (ABC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS inched past Fox by one-tenth of a rating point in the Tuesday overnights. But the home of American Idol will, of course, win the evening among adults 18-49 (and other key demos). Third overall was above-average NBC, followed by ABC and lowly the CW.


Beginning with NBC, the three-hour season-finale of The Biggest Loser rose to a season-high, with a healthy 7.0 rating/11 share in the overnights from 8-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown and notice how The Biggest Loser built in every half-hour.


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

 8:00 p.m.: 5.4/ 9 (#3)
 8:30 p.m.: 6.0/ 9 (#3)
 9:00 p.m.: 7.1/11 (#4)
 9:30 p.m.: 7.5/11 (#3)

10:00 p.m.: 7.8/12 (#2)

10:30 p.m.: 8.1/13 (#2)


Keep an eye on a potential first-place adult 18-49 finish for The Biggest Loser from 9-11 p.m. 


Over at Fox, American Idol won the 8 p.m. hour, with a 12.3/20 in the overnights. In my humble opinion, Adam is the standout, and has been all season, while overrated Danny Gokey should be the contestant exiting tonight. But my pick to depart is Kris Allen. 


American Idol led into the season-finale of already renewed Fringe at an estimated 7.0/11 (#4) from 9-10 p.m. I refer to Fringe as estimated because the first four minutes of the 9 p.m. half hour was the final four minutes of American Idol.


CBS had a solid night care of its combination of NCIS (#2: 9.8/16), which is one of the few shows that can stand up to American Idol, breakout hit The Mentalist (#1: 10.1/15) and veteran Without a Trace (#1: 9.2/14), which is worthy of a renewal next season.


The live Dancing With the Stars Results Show generated plenty of interest on ABC, with a second-place 9.0/14 in the overnights from 9-10 p.m. So long, Ty Murray. But bookends According to Jim (two episodes, #4, avg. 2.4/ 4 from 8-9 p.m.) and Cupid (#3: 3.6/ 6 at 10 p.m.) are waiting for the axe to swing.


Last, and very least, were CW dramas Reaper (1.2/ 2), which has no chance of a pick-up for next season, and already renewed 90210 (1.3/ 2), which should not be returning. While I understand that the target strength of the CW falls within the young female demos, overnights this low will not translate into much.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data



National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of May 4, 2009


CBS and Fox shared the top spot once again, with CBS first in households and total viewers (for the 10th consecutive week) and Fox No. 1 in the three key demos: adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Both networks were close to year-ago levels. Also mirroring recent weeks, ABC finished second among adults 18-34 and third elsewhere, with minor losses from one year earlier. 


Elsewhere, NBC ranked fourth across the board, but did manage to build by margins of 5 to 14 percent from the year-ago week. Deteriorating fifth-place the CW dipped by as much as 25 percent in total viewers. And last-place MyNetworkTV continues to benefit from the fall 2008 arrival of Friday Night Smackdown!, with growth of as much as 25 percent in adults 25-54. Once again, the true test for MyNetworkTV will come next season when the comparisons include Smackdown! in the year-ago mix.