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.

Cupid (ABC) – Tuesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 5.59 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#3)
Odds of Renewal: 10-1

It did not work the first time round, so why bother again?

Lie to Me (Fox) – Wednesday 8 p.m.

Viewers: 7.76 million, A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (not ranked because it faced President Obama’s address)

Odds of Renewal: 5-1

Minus the lead-in support of American Idol, the odds are right in the middle for Lie to Me.

The Unusuals (ABC) – Wednesday 10 p.m.
Viewers: 4.86 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3)
Odds of Renewal: 7-1

Something this quirky normally needs time to find an audience. But the recently failed Tuesday 10 p.m. time period test will not work in its favor. The Unusuals may be too unusual for its own good.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air This Weekend:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Friday 5/01/09
Night 9 of the May 2009 Sweeps

 8:00 p.m. Wife Swap

 9:00 p.m. Supernanny

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Flashpoint

10:00 p.m. Numb3rs (100th episode)

 8:00 p.m. Howie Do It (season – or series – finale)

 8:30 p.m. Howie Do It (R)

 9:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)


 8:00 p.m. Prison Break

 9:00 p.m. Dollhouse


 8:00 p.m. Everybody Hates Chris

 8:30 p.m. The Game

 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

 8:00 p.m. Friday Night Smackdown!
Saturday 5/02/09
Night 10 of the May 2009 Sweeps

 8:00 p.m. Movie: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (R)

 8:00 p.m. Without a Trace (R)

 9:00 p.m. CSI (R)

10:00 p.m. 48 Hours Mystery

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (R)

 9:00 p.m. Southland (R)

10:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)

 8:00 p.m.  NASCAR


 8:00 p.m. Movie: Say it Ain’t So (R)

Sunday 5/03/09
Night 11 of the May 2009 Sweeps

 7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

 8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

 9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters


 7:00 p.m. 60 Minutes

 8:00 p.m. The Amazing Race

 9:00 p.m. Cold Case (part one)

10:00 p.m. The Unit

 7:00 p.m. Dateline (two hours)

 9:00 p.m. Celebrity Apprentice (two hours)


 7:00 p.m. Sit Down, Shut Up (new time)

 7:30 p.m. American Dad (R)

 8:00 p.m. The Simpsons

 8:30 p.m. King of the Hill (new time)  

 9:00 p.m. Family Guy

 9:30 p.m. American Dad


 7:00 p.m. Jericho (R, from 6:30 p.m.)

 7:30 p.m. Sunday Movie: Be Cool


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-Disney Joins the Growing Hulu Bandwagon:

Hulu and the Walt Disney Company have announced an agreement to join NBC Universal, News Corporation and Providence Equity Partners as a joint venture partner and equity owner of Hulu, the growing home of online video. The deal will include full-length episodes of current shows on ABC, ABC Family, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet; classic series from ABC’s library; select titles from Disney Channel; library titles from The Walt Disney Studios; and short-form content (webisodes, sneak peeks and episode recaps). At present, ABC has been targeting its online effort to in-house site 


-HBO Announces Launch Date for Hung:

Upcoming drama Hung, the story of an underpaid high school teacher and basketball coach (Thomas Jane) whose wife (Anne Heche) has just left him will debut on HBO on Sunday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET. It leads out of True Blood, which returns for a second season.


-Million Dollar Password Returns to CBS:

Million Dollar Password, the revival of the classic game show hosted by Regis Philbin, will return to CBS on Sundays at 8 p.m., beginning on May 24. Million Dollar Password replaces regularly scheduled The Amazing Race (which concludes its current season on May 10). Busy Regis will also be seen in prime-time this summer as host of ABC’s returning Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for a two-week, 11 night programming event beginning on August 9.


-ABC Family Axes Roommates:

Just six weeks into its run, ABC Family has canceled sitcom Roommates and will burn-off its remaining four episodes on Monday, May 4. 


TV Trivia Time:

TV Locations


What city did 2001-04 legal drama The Guardian take place?

San Francisco

The answer to yesterday’s trivia question…


Who played Doug’s sister Stephanie on sitcom The King of Queens?

Kirstie Alley
Jenna Elfman
Ricki Lake
Donna Pescow
Melissa Jaret Winokur

Is:  c) Ricki Lake. The former talk show host appeared in six episodes of The King of Queens in the 2000-01 season. All together now…


My eyes are getting weary
My back is gettin’ tight
I’m sitting here in traffic
On the Queensboro Bridge tonight.

But I don’t care cause all I wanna do
I cash my check and drive right home to you.

Cause baby all my life
I will be driving home to you.


-Current kudos goes to:
Michelle Yarborough-Bauer, Bert Benoliel, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Mark Cosenza, Annie Courtney, Arleen Fong, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Martha Gonzalez, Geoffrey Gordon, Barb Hemberger, Sherry Hirsh, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Karen Kavanagh, Kathryn Kieser, Danny Leclair, David Lederman, Patty Lynch, Kathy Martin, Kim Matter, Kathy McClung, Debbie Mirr, Beverly Morris, Aaron Paquette, Alan Perris, Lisa Perry, Alex Petrilli, Greg Phelan, Joe Rubi, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Ron Salmon, Judy Schrader, Michelle Stanton, Kristen Strauss, Carol Teichman, Bobbie Termeer, Jeanne Yonkers, Ted Zawislak