Coverage of Michael Jackson Continues to Flood the Airwaves

Monday, June 29, 2009
Prime-Time Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest

TV Trivia Time:

Holy Relation!


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 6/26/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



NBC 3.6/ 7

CBS   3.1/ 6
ABC 2.7/ 5
Fox    1.2/ 2
CW    0.6/ 1

-Total Viewers:

NBC: 5.30 million, CBS: 4.66, ABC: 4.02, Fox: 1.80, CW: 897,000

-Adults 18-49:

NBC: 1.4 rating/5 share, ABC: 1.0/ 4, CBS: 0.9/ 3, Fox: 0.5/ 2, CW: 0.4/ 1


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners:


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Surviving Suburbia (ABC), The Goode Family (ABC), 20/20 – 9 p.m. (ABC), Virtuality (Fox)


-Ratings Breakdown:

NBC led this final Friday in June, beating the No. 2 network (CBS in total viewers; ABC among adults 18-49) by 640,000 viewers and 40 percent in the demo. Fox finished a distant fourth in both categories, followed of course by The CW.


A repeat of recently aired documentary Farrah’s Story, chronicling Farrah Fawcett’s battle with cancer, opened the evening for NBC with an average 4.62 million viewers and a 1.2 rating/5 share among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:


Farrah’s Story R (NBC)

8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 3.86 million (#2), A18-49: 1.0/ 4 (#1)

8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 3.90 million (#2), A18-49: 1.0/ 4 (#1)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 5.06 million (#1), A18-49: 1.2/ 5 (#1)

9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 5.68 million (#1), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#1)


Next on NBC was more coverage of Michael Jackson on Dateline at a dominant 6.64 million viewers and a 2.0/ 7 among adults 18-49 at 10 p.m. Comparably, this was the most-watched show of the evening. That’s plain said, isn’t it?


CBS aired repeats of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #1, 4.28 million; A18-49: #1, 1.0/ 4), Flashpoint (Viewers: #2, 4.56 million; A18-49: #3, 0.9/ 3) and Numbers (Viewers: #2, 5.16 million; A18-49: 3, 1.0/ 3) from 8-11 p.m. As reported last week, Flashpoint will return with new episodes on Friday, July 17. Former NBC drama Medium will step into the time period in September, but the Canadian drama is scheduled to return in midseason.


Over at depressed ABC were original episodes of canceled Surviving Suburbia (Viewers: #4, 2.76 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.7/ 3) and The Goode Family (Viewers: #3, 1.81 million; A18-49: #3t, 0.5/ 2) from 8-9 p.m., a special edition of 20/20 at 9 p.m. (Viewers: #3, 3.74 million; #2, 1.0/ 4), and the regularly scheduled edition of 20/20/at 10 p.m. (Viewers: #2, 6.01 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 5). 


Elsewhere, Fox was barely on the map as a result of failed two-hour pilot Virtuality at a mere (and fourth-place) 1.80 million viewers and a 0.5/ 2 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. Needless to say, this will not get picked-up as a series. The CW was considerably worse, meanwhile, care of encore telecasts of canceled trio Privileged (Viewers: 817,000; A18-49: 0.3/ 1), Everybody Hates Chris (Viewers: 983,000; A18-49: 0.4/ 2) and The Game (Viewers: 971,000; A18-49: 0.4/ 2). Naturally, each show finished last in their respective time periods. 


To keep you interested (which is not easy!), here is the upcoming Friday line-up this fall:

 8:00 p.m. Supernanny (new time)
 9:00 p.m. Ugly Betty (new day and time)

10:00 p.m. 20/20

 8:00 p.m. Ghost Whisperer

 9:00 p.m. Medium (new network, new day and time)

10:00 p.m. Numbr3s

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order (new day and time)
 9:00 p.m. Southland (new day and time)

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show (new)

 8:00 p.m. Brothers (new)
 8:30 p.m. ‘Til Death (return)
 9:00 p.m. Dollhouse
The CW
 8:00 p.m. Smallville (new day)
 9:00 p.m. America’s Next Top Model (R)

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 6/27/09

Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).  



NBC 2.5/ 5
Fox    2.5/ 5
ABC 1.8/ 4
CBS: 4.16 million, Fox: 4.02, NBC: 3.70, ABC: 2.69
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.4 rating/6 share, CBS and NBC: 0.8/ 3 each, ABC: 0.6/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 20 percent at this same point last year to approximately 28 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Saturday’s Winners:



-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Kings (NBC), Harper’s Island (CBS), Eli Stone (ABC) and the night overall  


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a night of shared leadership on this typically low-rated Saturday, with CBS the most-watched network (at just 4.16 million viewers) and the home of Cops and America’s Most Wanted, Fox, first among adults 18-49. Two repeat episodes of Cops averaged 3.67 million viewers (#2) and a first-place 1.3 rating/6 share among adults 18-49 from 8-9 p.m., followed by America’s Most Wanted at 4.38 million viewers and a 1.4/ 6 in the demo — first in both categories. CBS aired a repeat of Without a Trace (Viewers: #1, 3.89 million; A18-49: #3, 0.5/ 2), another burn-off episode of Harper’s Island (Viewers: #3, 3.53 million; A18-49: #2, 0.8/ 3), and a repeat of 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #2, 5.05 million; A18-49: #2, 1.1/ 4).  


Elsewhere, NBC opened the evening with another burn-off installment of Kings (Viewers: #4, 1.54 million; A18-49: 4, 0.4/ 2 at 8 p.m.), followed by repeats of Law & Order (Viewers: #2, 4.27 million; A18-49: #3, 0.7/ 3) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #1, 5.30 million; A18-49: #1, 1.2/ 4) from 9-11 p.m. ABC aired encore telecasts of Wipeout (Viewers: #3, 2.79 million; A18-49: #2, 0.8/ 4) and Castle (Viewers: #4, 2.59 million; A18-49: #4, 0.5/ 2) from 8-10 p.m., followed by canceled Eli Stone a mere (and last-place) 2.69 million viewers and a 0.5/ 2 in the demo. Depressing, I know. 


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 6/28/09


NBC 3.0/ 5
ABC 2.8/ 5
Fox    1.9/ 3
CW    0.6/ 1

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening (Sunday, June 29, 2008):

ABC: -10, CW: -14, CBS: -15, Fox: -32, NBC: -36

Note: The fast affiliate results for Sunday will be posted at by 12 p.m. ET. Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Sunday, June 28, 2009.   


-Yesterday’s Winners:


-Yesterday’s Losers:

Just For Laughs (ABC), Valentine (CW), Movie: Larger Than Life (CW), Impact, part two (ABC), Merlin (NBC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

There was little of note on this final Sunday in June, with CBS first in the metered markets — 53 percent ahead of second-place NBC. Third overall was ABC, followed by Fox and The CW.


Granddaddy 60 Minutes opened the evening for CBS first in the 7 p.m. hour, with a 6.1 rating/12 share in the overnights. Comparably, that was the highest rated show of the evening. CBS, in fact, finished first in every half hour with its encore combination of Million Dollar Password (4.2/ 7), Cold Case (4.4/ 7) and Without a Trace (3.7/ 6) from 8-11 p.m. Too bad the network is no longer producing original episodes of Million Dollar Password. 


A repeat of NBC’s Dateline at 7 p.m. (#2: 3.6/ 7) led into two original episodes of recently introduced drama Merlin, which averaged a lackluster 2.8/ 5 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., and fared as follows by half-hour:

Merlin (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 3.0/ 5 (#2)
8:30 p.m.: 2.8/ 5 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 2.7/ 4 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 2.8/ 5 (#2t)

Did anyone really think this drama would work? Capping off the evening for NBC was a repeat of Law & Order: SVU at a third-place 2.7/ 5 at 10 p.m.


Over at ABC, the conclusion of miniseries Impact had absolutely no impact in the overnights, with a mere 2.9/ 5 in the overnights from 9-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:

Impact, part two (ABC)

 9:00 p.m.: 2.9/ 5 (#2)

 9:30 p.m.: 2.8/ 5 (#2t)

10:00 p.m.: 2.9/ 5 (#2)
10:30 p.m.: 3.1/ 5 (#2)

When you see an original miniseries airing in the summer, chances are it is not worth watching. Earlier in the evening on ABC was a half-hour repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#3: 2.7/ 5), hidden camera driven Just for Laughs (#3: 2.6/ 5) and a repeat of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#3: 2.7/ 5) from 7-9 p.m.


Elsewhere, Fox was in all repeats last night (and fourth in every half-hour in the overnights) with its combination of canceled King of the Hill (1.2/ 2), American Dad (1.3/ 2), The Simpsons (2.3/ 4), another installment of King of the Hill (2.0/ 4), Family Guy (2.5/ 4) and the regularly scheduled edition of American Dad (2.1/ 4). The CW opened with a burn-off episode of former Media Rights Capital occupant Valentine (#5: 0.3/ 1), followed by theatrical Larger Than Life at a 0.7/ 1 (#5) from 8-10 p.m.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

Based on ratings through Thursday, June 25, here is the four-day average to-date for the week of June 22. Keep in mind that five hours of the Thursday line-up consisted of news programming focused on the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.


CBS: 4.9 rating/9 share, NBC: 4.1/ 7, ABC: 3.4/ 6, Fox: 3.3/ 6, CW and MNTV: 0.7/ 1 each

Total Viewers:

CBS: 7.50 million, NBC: 6.41, Fox: 5.29, ABC: 5.13, CW: 1.00 million; MNTV: 980,000

Adults 18-49:

NBC: 1.9 rating/6 share, Fox: 1.8/ 6, ABC: 1.7/ 5, CBS: 1.6/ 5, CW: 0.4/ 1, MNTV: 0.3/ 1

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 6/29/09
 8:00 p.m. The Bachelorette (two hours)  

10:00 p.m. Here Come the Newlyweds

 8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

 8:30 p.m. Rules of Engagement (R, new time period)

 9:00 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)
 9:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)

10:00 p.m. CSI: Miami (R)

 8:00 p.m. Law & Order (R)
 9:00 p.m. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (R)

10:00 p.m. Dateline


 8:00 p.m. American Idol (R, two hours: Michael Jackson Songbook telecast)

 8:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)
 9:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)
 8:00 p.m. Masters of Illusions (R)

 9:00 p.m. Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest


-TV Pitchman Billy Mays Dies at 50:

Infomercial personality Billy Mays, who successfully sold products like Orange Glo and OxiClean as well as co-hosting The Discovery Channel’s Pitchmen series, was found dead in his Tampa, Florida home at the age of 50 on Sunday. According to local news reports, Mays was a passenger on a U.S. Airways flight that made a rough landing one day earlier. Said Original Productions, who produces Pitchmen: “Billy Mays was one of a kind, a wonderful talent who burned bright and brought joy and delight into the homes of millions. His irreplaceable spirit and blue color demeanor will never be matched.”

-More Sad TV News:

Gail Storm, star of My Little Margie, which was originally a summer replacement for I Love Lucy, and The Gail Storm Show (a.k.a. Oh Susanna) died Saturday at a convalescent hospital in Danville, Virginia. She was 87. 


-More Coverage of Michael Jackson:

NBC’s edition of Dateline tonight at 10 p.m. ET will feature a one-hour version of 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson. And MyNetworkTV will air an encore telecast of the 2006 World Music Awards, which honored Michael Jackson, on Wednesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. ET. In one of his first public appearances in almost one decade, the tribute included some of Jackson’s most memorable musical moments, as well as a performance of “Thriller” by Chris Brown. 

-NBC Premiere Dates:

NBC has announced the following fall 2009 series and season premiere dates:


Sunday Night Football (Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers): Sunday, Sept. 13, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Jay Leno Show: Monday, Sept. 14, 10 p.m. ET (series premiere, every weeknight)

The Biggest Loser: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m. ET (two hours)

Saturday Night Live Weekend Thursday Update: Thursday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. ET

Parks and Recreations: Thursday, Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET

The Office: Thursday, Sept. 17, 9 p.m. ET

Community: Thursday, Sept. 17, 9:30 p.m. ET (series premiere)

Heroes: Monday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. ET (new time, two hours)

Parenthood: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 8 p.m. ET (series premiere)

Law & Order: SVU: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9 p.m. ET (new day and time)

Law & Order: Friday, Sept. 25, 8 p.m. ET (new day and time)
Southland: Friday, Sept. 25, 9 p.m. ET (new day and time)
Dateline: Saturday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m. ET
Trauma: Monday, Sept. 28, 9 p.m. ET (series premiere)
Community: Thursday, Oct. 8, 8 p.m. ET (new time period)
30 Rock: Thursday, Oct. 15, 9:30 p.m. ET

TV Trivia Time:

Holy Relation!


Which former TV kid is the grandson of Alan Napier, who played Alfred on Batman?

Brian Forster
Jimmy Garrett
Adam Rich
Glenn Scarpelli
Johnnie Whitaker

The answer to Friday’s question…


Which one of the following variety series did Farrah Fawcett not make a guest appearance on?

The Brady Bunch Hour
The Captain and Tennille
The Carol Burnett Show
Donny and Marie
The Sonny and Cher Show 

Is: c) The Carol Burnett Show. And that’s a real shame because Farrah could have played the new local siren that made Eunice jealous in the ongoing “The Family” sketch.


-Current kudos goes to:
Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Malcolm Dunlop, John Ferlazzo, Arleen Fong, Maureen Goldman, Geoffrey Gordon, Carolyn Becker Hayes, Sherrie Hentschel, Bob Ingersoll, Ken Jobe, Synda Kollman, Ron Salmon, Ronnie Tallant


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