CBS Wins Thursday Overnights; ABC Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Friday, December 4, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; ABC the Network to Beat Among Adults 18-49

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 thirtysomething Gig


CBS Wins; ABC the Network to Beat Among Adults 18-49

Thursday 12/03/09


CBS   6.5/11
ABC 5.3/ 9
Fox    4.6/ 7
NBC 3.5/ 6
CW    1.1/ 2

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, December 4, 2008):

Fox: +59, CBS: -23, NBC: -24, CW: -35, ABC: -38

-Yesterday’s Winners:

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

-Expected Dominance Among Adults 18-49:
Private Practice (ABC)
-Honorable Mention:
The Office (NBC)
Fringe (Fox)
-Yesterday’s Losers:

Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Despite CSI and The Mentalist airing in repeats, CBS finished first in the overnights on this first Thursday in December, with a 23 percent advantage over second-place ABC. Keep in mind that Grey’s Anatomy was pre-empted for an extra hour of spin-off Private Practice. Next was vastly improved Fox, followed by NBC and a night of repeats on The CW.


CBS’ Survivor: Samoa, which is beginning to feel like an awfully long season, won the 8 p.m. hour with a 6.5 rating/10 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. One year earlier, the season set in Gabon was slightly higher at a 7.0/11 (on Dec. 4, 2008). Second in the hour was Fox’s always reliable Bones (5.5/ 9), followed by ABC’s Flashforward (4.5/ 7), NBC comedies Community (3.1/ 5) and Parks and Recreation (2.9/ 5), and a repeat of The Vampire Diaries on The CW (1.2/ 2). Last night’s episode of Flashfoward is the last original episode we will see until March 4.


A repeat of CBS’ CSI won the 9 p.m. hour in the overnights, with a 6.3/10. But the first-half of a two-hour edition of ABC’s Private Practice (#2: 5.6/ 9) is a shoo-in for dominance among adults 18-49. Also airing in the time period was NBC’s The Office (4.4/ 7) and 30 Rock (3.7/ 6), Fox’s Fringe (3.8/ 6), and a repeat of Supernatural on The CW (1.0/ 2). Worth noting for The Office, which always scores among adults 18-49, was overnight growth out of should-be-canceled Parks and Recreation of 52 percent.


Top-rated 10 p.m. overnight honors went to CBS’ The Mentalist, with a 6.9/12. But the second half of ABC’s expanded Private Practice (#2: 6.0/10) will again win the hour among adults 18-49. Overall, the two-hour installment of Private Practice averaged a 5.8/10 from 9-11 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:

Private Practice (ABC)
9:00 p.m.: 5.6/ 9 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 5.6/ 9 (#2)
10:00 p.m.: 5.9/10 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 6.0/10 (#2)

Third at 10 p.m., of course, was NBC’s The Jay Leno Show at a 3.4/ 6. 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

-Jesse Ventura Scores on truTV:

The series-premiere of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura averaged 1.63 million viewers in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour on Dec. 2 — the biggest launch to-date of any series on truTV. Conspiracy Theory also scored truTV’s biggest deliveries of men 18-34 (206,000), men 18-49 (494,000), men 25-54 (532,000), and adults 25-54 (812,000) for a 2009 series launch, building by as much as 83 percent among men 25-54 from the year-ago time period average. 


-Record-Breaking Steven Seagal Lawman on A&E:

Also in the Wednesday 10 p.m. hour was the premiere of A&E series Steven Segal Lawman, which averaged 3.5 million total viewers and 2.0 million adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 with back-to-back episodes. Comparably, this is now the most-watched original series launch on A&E in the history of the cable net. 

-Syndicated Talk Show Update:

Based on season to-date through Nov. 22, 2009, what follows are the national rating results for all syndicated talk shows (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses). Worth nothing is the significant gains for CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors; growth for CBS’ Oprah, Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and NBC Universal’s Maury and Jerry Springer; and a second-place finish among key women 18-49 for Maury. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, of course, is the strongest new talk show since Dr. Phil seven year earlier, while already renewed freshman entry The Wendy Williams Show is on the map at a 1.2 rating in households. As for Dr. Phil, the yearly losses are considerable.