CBS Wins Thursday, But all Five Nets Are Down Year-to-Year

THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Friday, April 24, 2009
  
CBS Wins on this Alarmingly Lackluster Thursday
  
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:
A King of the Hill Milestone
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Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
CBS Wins on this Alarmingly Lackluster Thursday
 
Thursday 4/23/09
 

               HH
          Rtg/Shr

CBS   6.6/11

ABC 6.2/10

Fox    4.9/ 8

NBC 4.4/ 7

CW   2.0/ 3

   
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-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, April 24, 2008):

NBC: – 4, Fox and CW: – 9 each, ABC: -22, CBS: -28

 
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-Yesterday’s Winners:

Survivor: Tocantins (CBS), CSI (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

 

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

My Name is Earl (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Harper’s Island (CBS)

 
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-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS finished first in the overnights on this fourth Thursday in April — six percent above second-place ABC. But compared to one year earlier, all five broadcast networks lost steam. As the temperatures continue to rise, HUT levels continue to decrease. In the distant No. 3 spot was Fox, followed by NBC and the CW.

 

CBS mainstay Survivor: Tocantins won the 8 p.m. hour, with a diluted 6.1 rating10 share in the overnights. Comparably, that was 12 percent below the year-ago overnight performance for Survivor: Micronesia (6.9/12 on April 24, 2008). SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen last night’s episode of Survivor, stop reading. But arrogant Tyson’s blindside was, in my humble opinion, one of the most satisfying moments in the history of this reality/competition. Even better, in fact, was seeing equally obnoxious “Coach” suddenly kissing up to Sierra in next week’s preview.  

 

Second in the 8 p.m. hour was Fox’s underrated Bones (5.6/10), followed by a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (3.7/ 9), which stepped in for ousted In the Motherhood and Samantha Who?, NBC comedies My Name is Earl (3.6/ 6) and Parks and Recreation (3.6/ 6), and veteran Smallville on the CW (2.2/ 4). Parks and Recreation is now officially a “loser,” with a loss of another eight percent from one week earlier. Three-week overnight track: 4.5/ 8 — 3.9/ 6 — 3.6/ 6. 

 

CBS remains the network to beat at 9 p.m., with William Petersen-less CSI at a 9.0/14 in the overnights. But year-to-year, that was down by a significant 21 percent (11.4/15 on April 24, 2008). Second was Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (8.4/14), but that too dipped by double-digits — 19 percent — from one year earlier (10.3/16 on April 24, 2008). Are we all just plain bored with these aging shows?

 

Also airing from 9-10 p.m. was Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (4.2/ 7), NBC’s The Office (4.1/ 7) and 30 Rock (4.0/ 6), and Supernatural on the CW (1.9/ 3). The Office was down, but retention for 30 Rock out of The Office was a stellar 98 percent.

 

ABC moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 10 p.m. care of the just-renewed Private Practice at a 6.3/11 — 28 percent below the second half of lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (8.7/14 at 9:30 p.m.). This was, in fact, the first time an original episode of Private Practice faced NBC’s Southland (#2: 5.7/ 9) and Harper’s Island on CBS (#3: 4.7/ 8), which both lost more steam in week three. Take a look:

 
Southland (NBC)
4/09/09: 6.9/12
4/16/09: 6.6/11
4/23/09: 5.7/ 9
 
Harper’s Island (CBS)
4/09/09: 6.7/12
4/16/09: 5.5/10
4/23/09: 4.7/ 8
 

Although the audience for Southland was consistent at 10:30 p.m., Harper’s Island dipped by 12 percent (5.0/ 8 to 4.4/ 8), and that makes it a “loser.” 

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

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Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 
-Top Model Dominates on the CW:

Based on ratings for April 22, CW favorite America’s Next Top Model finished first in the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour in women 18-34 (3.5 rating/11 share), adults 18-34 (2.2/ 8), women 18-49 (2.9/ 8), females 12-34 (3.3/11) and persons 12-34 (2.1/ 7). Comparably, this was the CW’s best performance in the time period among women 18-34 since the season-finale of the prior cycle of Top Model on Nov. 19, 2008. And it matched its best ratings of the current cycle in adults 18-34 and women 18-49.