Football Dominates Weekend Ratings

Monday, January 4, 2010
Primetime Ratings:
Weekend Highlights
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits:

TV Trivia Time:

A New Year, New Trivia


Prime-Time Ratings:

Weekend Highlights

Friday 1/01/10

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



ABC 4.3/ 7
CBS   3.1/ 5
NBC   2.2/ 4
CW    0.8/ 1

-Total Viewers:

Fox: 14.35 million, ABC: 7.16, CBS: 4.70, NBC: 3.37, CW: 1.24


-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 4.6 rating/12 share, ABC: 2.1/ 6, CBS: 1.0/ 3, NBC: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 1


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 27 percent at this same point last year to approximately 33 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Friday’s Winners (keep in mind that the expectations are lower on Friday):

The Rose Bowl (ABC), All-State Sugar Bowl (Fox)


-Friday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Better Off Ted (ABC), Scrubs (ABC)


-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a clean sweep for Fox on this first Friday (and first night) of 2010, care of Cincinnati vs. Florida on the All-State Sugar Bowl at an approximate 16.05 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/14 share for the primetime portion from 8:30-11 p.m. Take a look at the half-hour breakdown:

All-State Sugar Bowl (Fox)
8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 15.95 million (#1), A18-49: 5.1/14 (#1)
9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 18.46 million (#1), A18-49: 5.8/16 (#1)
9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 17.38 million (#1), A18-49: 5.5/14 (#1)
10:00 p.m. – Viewers: 16.16 million (#1), A18-49: 5.2/14 (#1)
10:30 p.m. – Viewers: 12.29 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/11 (#1)

One year earlier, Utah vs. Alabama on The Sugar Bowl (also on Fox) averaged a less significant 12.57 million viewers and a 4.0/11 among adults 18-49 based on the final nationals on Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. Earlier in the evening on Fox, the half-hour Sugar Bowl Pre-Game Show averaged an estimated 5.86 million viewers (#2) and a 1.8/ 5 in the demo (#2) at 8 p.m. Keep in mind that results for any live sporting event are approximate.


Second-place ABC got a bump from the final half-hour of Ohio State vs. Oregon on The Rose Bowl, which dominated the 8 p.m. half-hour with a hefty 19.95 million viewers and a 5.8/16 among adults 18-49. But it was downhill for ABC from there with its line-up of Better Off Ted (Viewers: #2, 5.62 million; A18-49: #2, 1.7/ 5), Scrubs (Viewers: #4, 3.53 million; A18-49: #2, 1.2/ 3), a repeat of Better Off Ted (Viewers: #4, 2.74 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 2) and 20/20 (Viewers: #2, 5.57 million; A18-49: #2, 1.6/ 5) from 8:30-11 p.m.


Third overall was CBS with its encore combination of Ghost Whisperer (Viewers: #3. 4.51 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3), Medium (Viewers: #2, 4.68 million; A18-49: #3t, 1.0/ 3) and soon-to-conclude Numb3rs (Viewers: #3, 4.91 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 2) from 8-11 p.m. NBC populated the evening with a repeat of the recent The Biggest Loser season-finale (Viewers: #4, 3.38 million; A18-49: #4, 0.9/ 3 from 8-10 p.m.) and a repeat of The Jay Leno Show (Viewers: #4, 3.36 million; A18-49: #3, 1.0/ 3). And The CW capped it off with back-to-back repeats of Smallville at an average 1.24 million viewers (#5) and a 0.5/ 1 among adults 18-49 (#5) from 8-10 p.m. And there you have it…results for the first night of the New Year.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Saturday 1/02/10

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



Fox    3.3/ 6

NBC 2.7/ 5
ABC 2.7/ 5
CBS: 5.59 million, Fox: 5.47, NBC: 4.01, ABC: 2.68
-Adults 18-49:

Fox: 1.8 rating/6 share, CBS: 1.5/ 4, NBC: 0.9/ 3, ABC: 0.7/ 2


Note: Any prior rating results are based on the final nationals. Since the level of DVR penetration has increased from 27 percent at this same point last year to approximately 33 percent at present, the overall results may be negatively impacted.


-Saturday’s Winners:


-Saturday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

The night overall

-Ratings Breakdown:

CBS and Fox shared leadership on this first Saturday of 2010, with CBS the most-watched network (at just 5.59 million viewers) and Fox No. 1 among adults 18-49 (with just a 1.8 rating/5 share in the demo). Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe Saturday will ever make a comeback unless the networks step up to the plate. And, no, that will not be happening anytime soon.


CBS opened the evening with repeat special I Get That A Lot (Viewers: #2, 4.97 million; A18-49: #2, 1.4/ 4 at 8 p.m.), followed by a repeat of Criminal Minds (Viewers: #2, 5.32 million; A18-49: #2, 1.5/ 4) and 48 Hours Mystery (Viewers: #1, 6.47 million; A18-49: #1, 1.7/ 5) from 9-11 p.m. The next I Get That a Lot special airs this Wednesday at 8 p.m. Fox, of course, aired its perennial combination of Cops (Viewers: #1, 540 million; A18-49: #1, 1.9/ 6) and America’s Most Wanted (Viewers: #1, 5.54 million; A18-49: #1, 1.8/ 5) from 8-10 p.m.


Third overall was NBC care of repeats of Mercy (Viewers: #4, 2.49 million; A18-49: #4, 0.5/ 2), Law & Order (Viewers: #3, 4.37 million; A18-49: #3, 0/.9/ 3) and Law & Order: SVU (Viewers: #2, 5.17 million; A18-49: #2, 1.4/ 4). Last-place ABC aired back-to-back repeats of Desperate Housewives (Viewers: #4, 2.32 million; A18-49: #4, 0.7/ 2 from 8-10 p.m.), which never plays well outside of originals, and an encore telecast of Castle (Viewers: #3, 3.41 million; A18-49: #3, 0.7/ 2 at 10 p.m.). Depressing, isn’t it?


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Sunday 1/03/10


NBC   9.1/14
CBS    7.2/11
ABC   6.8/10
Fox     6.3/ 9

-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.


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, January 3, 2010.   

-Yesterday’s Winners:

Sunday Night Football (NBC), 60 Minutes (CBS), The OT (Fox), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Family Guy (Fox)

-Honorable Mention:
Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):



-Ratings Breakdown:

Ignited by the final Sunday night football match-up of the season, NBC led this first Sunday in 2010, with a 26 percent metered market advantage over second-place CBS. Third overall was ABC, followed by Fox, which was also boosted by football.


Cincinnati at The New York Jets on Sunday Night Football averaged an approximate 11.7 rating/18 share for the prime-time portion from 8:30-11 p.m., with the half-hour breakdown as follows:


Sunday Night Football (NBC)

8:30 p.m.: 12.3/18 (#1)

9:00 p.m.: 13.1/20 (#1)

9:30 p.m.: 13.0/19 (#1)

10:00 p.m.: 10.5/16 (#1)

10:30 p.m.: 9.6/15 (#1)


Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America as follows:


7:00 p.m. – part one: 2.8/ 5 (#4)

7:30 p.m. – part two: 4.1/ 6 (#4)

8:00 p.m. – part three: 7.9/12 (#2)


A two-hour edition of Dateline will air into two episodes (including the season-premiere) of Chuck on NBC next Sunday. No matter how many promos NBC runs for Chuck, there is no reason to believe this modest performer will ever breakout. 


Keep in mind, of course, that results for any live sporting event are always subject to change. Also estimated last night is CBS due to an approximate half-hour prime-time football overrun. Take a look at the results for the Eye net by half-hour:


7:00 p.m. – Football: 10.2/16 (#2)

7:30 p.m. – 60 Minutes: 10.0/15 (#2)

8:00 p.m. – 60 Minutes 9.4/14 (#1)

8:30 p.m. – NCIS (R): 6.2/ 9 (#3)

9:00 p.m. – NCIS (R): 6.8/10 (#3)

9:30 p.m. – Cold Case (R): 4.9/ 7 (#4)

10:00 p.m. – Cold Case (R): 5.5/ 9 (#3)

10:30 p.m. – Cold Case (R): 4.5/ 7 (#3)


Over at ABC, there was nothing unusual to report in the overnights with its combination of America’s Funniest Home Videos (#2: 5.1/ 8), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (#3: 6.1/ 9), Desperate Housewives (#2: 8.9/14) and Brothers & Sisters (#2: 7.1/12). As always, Brothers & Sisters stood out from a quality perspective. And Fox closed the night with an estimated half-hour prime-time football overrun (#1: 12.6/20), post game The OT (#2: 7.8/12) and the animated combination of The Simpsons (#4: 5.1/ 8), The Cleveland Show (#4: 4.1/ 6), Family Guy (#4: 4.9/ 7) and American Dad (#4: 3.8/ 6). Worth noting as always was the growth for Family Guy out of The Cleveland Show (20 percent this week). 

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not
-Cable Network Rankings – Full 2009 Results:

Based on the final national ratings from Dec. 29, 2008 through Dec. 27, 2009, what follows are the top 10 rated basic cable networks in primetime in total viewers and the three key demos — adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.

Total Viewers:

USA: 3.27 million, ESPN: 2.30, TNT: 2.25, Fox News: 2.19, TBS: 1.84, Nick at Nite: 1.73, A&E: 1.47, FX: 1.37, ABC Family: 1.36, Cartoon Network: 1.30

Adults 18-49:

USA: 1.38 million, ESPN: 1.11 million, TBS: 1.07 million, TNT: 1.03 million, FX: 780,000, A&E: 706,000, Discovery: 673,000, ABC Family: 613,000, Syfy: 607,000, Spike TV: 591,000

Adults 25-54:

USA: 1.49 million, ESPN: 1.11 million, TNT: 1.10 million, TBS: 936,000, A&E: 737,000, FX: 723,000, Syfy: 690,000, Discovery: 664,000, History: 617,000, Food Network: 590,000

Adults 18-34:

USA: 616,000, TBS: 595,000, ESPN: 531,000, TNT: 451,000, MTV: 403,000, FX: 397,000, Comedy Central: 362,000, ABC Family: 329,000, VH1: 315,000, Discovery: 314,000

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Monday 1/04/10

 8:00 p.m. The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love (season premiere)

10:00 p.m. Conveyor Belt of Love

 8:00 p.m. How I Met Your Mother (R)
 8:30 p.m. Accidentally on Purpose (R)
 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. Heroes (two hours)

10:00 p.m. The Jay Leno Show

 8:00 p.m. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Texas Christian vs. Boise State)
 8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (R)

 9:00 p.m. Gossip Girl (R)


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-Cablevision and Scripps Feud:

If you live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, you are aware that Cablevision is no longer offering The Food Network and HGTV from The Scripps Networks. According to Cablevision, Scripps is asking for a 200 percent fee increase and maintains that both cable networks are still available if Scripps chooses to turn the programming back on while a contract is worked out. Scripps claims it is seeking only a modest increase. Stay tuned.

-Reege Returns:

Following his successful hip replacement surgery, Regis Philbin has rejoined co-host Kelly Ripa on Disney-ABC’s Live With Regis & Kelly today. Guests this week on the long-running morning talker are Amy Adams (Leap Year), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Home Improvement star Tim Allen, Accidentally on Purpose star Jenna Elfman, Law & Order: SVU’s Chris Meloni, overrated American Idol singer Katharine McPhee and heroic airline pilot Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger. 


-While The Programming Insider was on hiatus:

*Tyra Banks announced she is ending her five year-old syndicated talk show, which is currently airing on The CW in daytime.

*Comedy Central canceled recently introduced The Jeff Dunham Show. 

* The Discovery Channel has announced Wednesday, January 20 at 10 p.m. ET as the official return of Mantracker. 

*NBC has expressed interest in reviving 1974-80 detective drama The Rockford Files.


-New Offerings in Syndication for Fall 2010:

The new year has officially began and the upcoming NATPE 2010 conference in Las Vegas (Jan. 25-27 at the Mandalay Bay Resort) is now just 21 days away. With that in mind, here is an updated listing of the rumored first-run projects being pitched to stations. If anything is missing, please send me an email at


Mom Logic (Warner Bros.) – Based on the Mom Logic website, the hosts would consist of Paula Deen, comedian Judy Gold, former Early Show co-host Rene Syler and Lee Woodruff.

Nate Berkus (Sony Pictures Television) – this lifestyle driven hour is hosted by interior designer Nate Berkus, and could be delayed until Fall 2011.

Steve and Chris (Program Partners) – A combination of old episodes from the Canadian series and new installments, the hosts are Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman. 



America’s Court with Judge Ross (Entertainment Studios) – two half-hours cleared in a one-hour block

Judge Heck (Trifecta) – presided over by Missouri Federal Judge Anthony “Tony” Heckemeyer

The Lawyers (CBS Television Distribution) – similar in format to current The Doctors (with a fall 2011 launch also a possibility)

Swift Justice (CBS Television Distribution) – outspoken Nancy Grace presides  


Also, former court strip Judge Karen from Sony Pictures Television has a new distributor, Litton Entertainment, and a new title, Judge Karen’s Court


Tooned In (Trifecta) – focus on pop culture with animated hosts


The Kids Block (Showplace Television Syndication) – half-hour: targeted to 3 to 5 year olds

Curiosity Quest Goes Green (Telco Productions) – half-hour: targeted to kids age 12 and under

My Parents, My Sister & Me (Showplace Television Syndication) – half-hour: first-run sitcom

Real Green (Telco Productions) – half-hour: lifestyles driven

Treasure Hunters Road Show (Entertainment Concepts International) – half-hour: collectibles oriented

Young Icons (Entertainment Studios, Inc.) – half-hour: FCC “educational and informational”

Untitled project with Magic Johnson (Showplace Television Syndication) – half-hour: targeted to teens


American Dad (Twentieth Television)

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Warner Bros.)

Entourage (Warner Bros.)

Futurama (Twentieth)

How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth)

Meet the Browns (Debmar Mercury)

The New Adventures of Old Christine (Warner Bros.)

‘Til Death (Sony Pictures Television). 


Brothers & Sisters (Disney-ABC)

The Closer (Warner Bros.)

Criminal Minds (CBS)

Friday Night Lights (NBC Universal)

Heartland (Genesis International)

Nip/Tuck (Warner Bros.)

Numb3rs (CBS)

Ugly Betty (Disney-ABC)

The Unit (Twentieth). 


Additional off-network entries, all non-scripted, include Cash Cab (MGM), Dog Whisperer (Twentieth), Real Housewives (NBC Universal) and True Hollywood Stories (Debmar-Mercury).  


TV Trivia Time:

A New Year, New Trivia


We’ll start off easy this year…


Who played Ann Romano’s mother on sitcom One Day at a Time?

Mabel Albertson
Eve Arden
Nanette Fabray
Audrey Meadows
Martha Raye

The answer to the last question…


Which former Our Gang kid appeared in 1946 theatrical It’s a Wonderful Life?

Tommy “Butch” Bond
Darla Hood
Eugene “Porky” Lee
George “Spanky” McFarland
Carol “Alfalfa” Switzer

Is: e) Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. Switzer, who was 19 at the time, played one of the creepy high school students who opened the gym room floor, which led into the pool Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and the others fell into.

 -Current kudos goes to:
Mark Amato, Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Barbara Bloomfield, Sid Cohen, Reid Davis, John Ferlazzo, Maureen Goldman, Michael Holland, Bob Ingersoll, Synda Kollman, Bill Nuss, Maggie Nye, Gordon Purcell, Maxine Schulman, Joe Swaney