CBS Wins Tuesday Overnights; Fox Poised for Victory Among Adults 18-49

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 20, 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:

McMillan’s Wife

CBS Wins; Fox Will Dominate Among Adults 18-49
Tuesday 4/28/09


CBS   9.7/15
Fox    9.3/14
NBC 6.0/ 9
ABC 5.2/ 8

CW   1.2/ 2


-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Tuesday, April 29, 2008):

CBS: +39, NBC: +30, Fox: -16, ABC: -22, CW: -25


-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC),

-Honorable Mention:
The Biggest Loser (NBC)

-Expected to Dominate Among Adults 18-49:

Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (Excluding Repeats):

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

-Ratings Breakdown:

Despite facing American Idol, CBS led the Tuesday overnight troops, with a 0.4 rating point advantage over second-place Fox. But Fox, of course, will win the evening among adults 18-49. Third in the metered markets was NBC, followed by ABC and the CW.


American Idol led the 8-9 p.m. hour, with a solid 12.8 rating/20 share. But year-to-year, the musical extravaganza dipped by 13 percent (versus a 14.7/23 on April 29, 2008). To the Idol haters waiting for the show to collapse, you have a long wait ahead! A very comfortable second in the time period was CBS’ NCIS (10.3/16), which featured part one of the spin-off pilot with Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J. Third was the first half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (4.8/ 8), followed by two episodes of ABC clinker According To Jim (avg. 2.2/ 4) and Reaper on the CW (1.2/ 2), which was not worth brining back for a second season.


With six contestants left on American Idol, the bottom two tonight is a no-brainer: Matt Giraud and Allison Iraheta. My pick to bid adieu: Allison Iraheta, the oldest looking teenager in the history of this competition. 


CBS moved into the overnight winner’s circle at 9 p.m. care of bona fide hit The Mentalist, which averaged a rock-solid 10.7/16. Next was the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show on ABC, with a comfortable 9.4/14. Surprisingly, it was the improved Chuck Wicks that was sent packing and not the injured Melissa Rycroft. Needless to say, the ties to The Bachelor have certainly helped the Fran Drescher lookalike. Am I the only one who has noticed that?


Third in the 9 p.m. hour was the second half of NBC’s The Biggest Loser (6.1/ 9), followed by Fox’s Fringe (5.8/ 8), which held only 42 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of American Idol (13.7/21), and 90210 on the CW (1.4/ 2). While Fringe always manages to score among adults 18-49, under 50 percent retention lands it in the “loser’s” circle for the first time. As for The Biggest Loser, here is the half-hour breakdown:


The Biggest Loser (NBC)

8:00 p.m.: 4.6/ 8 (#3)

8:30 p.m.: 5.0/ 8 (#3)

9:00 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#4)

9:30 p.m.: 6.3/ 9 (#3)


The projected first-place finish for The Biggest Loser at 9:30 p.m. is worthy of an honorable mention.


CBS’ veteran (and on-the-fence) Without a Trace finished first at 10 p.m. in the overnights, with an 8.2/13. But NBC’s competing Law & Order: SVU (#2: 7.2/12) will win the time period among adults 18-49. Last, and very least, was ABC’s waiting-to-be-axed Cupid, with a mere 3.8/ 6. Why ABC needed to revive a series that already failed once is a mystery.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of April 20, 2009


It was a week of split leadership, as usual, with CBS first in households and total viewers and the home of American Idol, Fox, No. 1 in the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34. Unless something unusual happens (and I would not count on that), this will remain the pecking order through the remainder of the traditional (September through May) season.  Comparably (and excluding adults 18-34, which was down by double-digits), both networks posted minor losses from one year earlier. Fox has now dominated among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 for 12 consecutive weeks.