Conan Exits Tonight Show on a High Note

Friday, January 29, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Thursday Ratings:
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:

Don’t Be a Square  

Dominant Fox Benefits Opposite Repeats  
Thursday 1/28/10


Fox    6.9/11
CBS   5.4/ 9
ABC 3.9/ 6
NBC 3.1/ 5
CW    2.4/ 4

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Thursday, January 29, 2009):
CW: – 4, NBC: – 6, ABC: – 7, Fox: -33, CBS: -39

-Yesterday’s Winners:
Bones (Fox), The Mentalist R (CBS)
-Success for The CW:
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The Deep End (ABC), Live for the Moment (CBS), Supernatural (CW), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

With ABC and CBS in repeats from 9-11 p.m., Fox scored a rare overnight Thursday victory (with a 1.5 rating point advantage over second-place CBS). Third overall was ABC, followed by NBC and on the map The CW.


Underrated Fox crime solver Bones kicked-off the night on a winning note, with a 7.9 rating/13 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. I consistently refer to Bones as underrated because it does not get the attention it deserves. Next was week two of ABC drama The Deep End, with a 4.4/ 7 in the overnights — 17 percent below its already lackluster debut (5.3/ 8 on Jan. 21). Considering CBS’ Survivor (which returns with the “Heroes vs. Villains” edition on Feb. 11) was not in the competitive mix, The Deep End is a definite loser.


Over at CBS, Jeff Probst pilot Live for the Moment did not live for the ratings, with a distant third-place 3.0/ 5 at 8 p.m. (and erosion in the second half-hour of 12 percent: 3.2/ 5 to 2.8/ 4). NBC aired repeats of failing sitcoms Community (2.9/ 5) and Parks and Recreation (2.6/ 4), which it is intent on saving, while freshman CW hit The Vampire Diaries scored a 2.8/ 4. Comparably, The Vampire Diaries built by four percent from year-ago occupant Smallville (2.7/ 4 on Jan. 29, 2009). 


Opposite repeats on the Big 3 networks, Fox’s Fringe got a boost, with a second-place 6.0/ 9 in the overnights at 9 p.m. Comparably, that trailed a repeat of CBS’ CSI (#1: 6.1/ 9), which it will surely beat in adults 18-49, by just two percent. Third in the hour was an encore telecast of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC (4.0/ 6), followed by repeats of The Office (3.5/ 5) and 30 Rock (3.1/ 5) on NBC, and The CW’s Supernatural (#5: 2.0/ 3). Considering the improved lead-in support and lack of original competition, retention for Supernatural of just 74 percent out of the second half of The Vampire Diaries (2.7/ 4 at 8:30 p.m.) is disappointing.


CBS remained in the overnight winners circle at 10 p.m. care of a repeat of The Mentalist at a 7.3/12. Tied for second were NBC’s The Jay Leno Show and a repeat of ABC’s Private Practice, each with a 3.3/ 5. Remember NBC’s initial pitch how Leno would pick up steam opposite repeats? Not!

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:


-Conan Exits on a High Note:

As Jay Leno prepares to return to NBC’s The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien exited from the long-running franchise last Friday, Jan. 22 with a whopping 10.3 million viewers. Comparably, that was his largest audience since debuting on the show on June 1. For the week of Jan. 18, Conan dominated late night with 5.3 million viewers — 1.4 million ahead of CBS’ The Late Show with David Letterman (3.9 million). All things considered, it looks like NBC did Conan a huge favor: a tremendous severance package plus built-in momentum for his next hosting gig. Subdued Jay Leno, meanwhile, appeared on Oprah yesterday.