CBS Wins Thursday Overnights, but Average Network Viewership Continues to Deteriorate

Friday, May 1, 2009
CBS Wins; Overall Network Performance Continues to Erode
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:

TV Locations

Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:

CBS Wins; Overall Network Performance Continues to Erode

Thursday 4/30/09


CBS   7.7/12

ABC 6.5/11

Fox    5.2/ 8

NBC 3.9/ 6

CW   2.0/ 3


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, May 1, 2008):

Fox: + 8, ABC: -16, CBS: -17, NBC: -19, CW: -20

-Yesterday’s Winners:

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

-Honorable Mention:
Bones (Fox)
Smallville (CW), 30 Rock (NBC)
-Losing Steam:
Southland (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

My Name is Earl (NBC), Parks and Recreation (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS led the overnight troops on this below-average Thursday, followed by ABC, Fox, NBC and the CW. Mirroring recent weeks, the overall network performance remains considerably down from one year earlier.


CBS’ Survivor: Tocantins opened the evening on another winning note, with a 6.3 rating/11 share in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. But one year earlier, Survivor: Micronesia scored a 7.2/12 (and Survivor: Fiji an 8.0/13 one year before that). Regardless, dominance is still…well…dominance. Too bad, though, that conniving Debbie did not get the boot. Can you imagine her as your high school principal?


A competitive second in the 8 p.m. hour was Fox’s underrated Bones (5.9/10), followed by ABC’s Ugly Betty (4.7/ 8), NBC sitcoms My Name is Earl (3.3/ 6) and Parks and Recreation (3.3/ 5), and the CW’s Smallville (2.1/ 4), which dipped by a noticeable 28 percent from the year-ago telecast on May 1, 2008 (2.9/ 5). As for Parks and Recreation, is this show really a comedy? Ugly Betty, meanwhile, is an improvement over recent occupants In the Motherhood and Samantha Who?


CBS remained in the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m., with CSI at a 9.5.15. But one year earlier, the veteran forensic crime solving drama scored an 11.3/18. Also down considerably was Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, which went from a 10.2/16 in the overnights on May 1, 2008 to a 8.6/14 last night. Just where is the audience going?


Also airing from 9-10 p.m. were NBC’s The Office (#3: 4.4/ 7) and 30 Rock (#4: 3.7/ 6), Hell’s Kitchen on Fox (#3 overall: 4.4/ 7) and Supernatural on the CW (#5: 2.0/ 3), which is not benefiting from the declining lead-in support.


CBS’ overnight dominance continued at 10 p.m., with a repeat of Criminal Minds at a 7.3/12 — 55 percent above former occupant Harper’s Island one week earlier (4.7/ 8 on April 23). Next was the season-finale of ABC’s Private Practice (6.3/10), followed by NBC’s recently introduced Southland at a series-low 4.5/ 7. Suddenly, Southland does not look all that promising, does it? If you missed Harper’s Island, it airs in the Saturday 9 p.m. hour beginning tomorrow. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Freshman Scorecard:

Based on Monday, April 27 through Wednesday, April 29, here are the final national rating results for the recent midseason entries, followed by the odds of them returning next season (based on 1-1, the best, through 10-1, the worst).

Surviving Suburbia (ABC) – Monday 9:30 p.m.

Viewers: 8.98 million (#3 in time period), A18-49: 2.2/ 5 (#4)

Odds of Renewal: 9-1

Less than 50 percent retention out of Dancing With the Stars means that Bob Saget might be in search of a Full House reunion sooner than he had hoped for.

Castle (ABC) – Monday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 8.23 million (#2), A18-49: 2.0/ 5 (#3)
Odds of Renewal: 5-1

ABC has a tendency of bringing back one on-the-fence freshman drama every season, and the familiarity of Castle could work to its advantage.