Fox Dominates the Week of Jan. 18

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Potent CBS

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 18, 2010

Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options 

TV Tidbits:
Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time:

Live From Las Vegas!


Note: Due to my travel schedule, The Programming Insider will not be published tomorrow. See you back from New York on Friday, January 29.


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:
Idol Ignited Fox Wins; Potent CBS

Tuesday 1/26/10

Note: Birmingham is excluded from the following averages.



Fox   11.4/17
CBS 10.3/16
NBC   5.8/ 9
ABC   2.4/ 4
CW    0.7/ 1

-Note: Comparisons to the year-ago evening were not available today.

-Yesterday’s Winners:

American Idol (Fox), NCIS (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Good Wife R (CBS)

-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):

Scrubs (ABC), Better Off Ted (ABC), Human Target (Fox), The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

-Ratings Breakdown:

Juggernaut American Idol kept Fox afloat on this final Tuesday in January, but second-place CBS was certainly no slouch. Third-place NBC was on the map care of The Biggest Loser, while there was very little audience left for ABC or a night of repeats of The CW.


American Idol opened the evening for Fox with a hefty 16.1 rating/24 share in the overnights at 8 p.m. That led into episode three of drama Human Target, which dipped to third with a 6.7/10 at 9 p.m. Under different circumstances, that would be considered a respectable performance. But retention for Human Target out of the second half of American Idol (17.1/25 at 8:30 p.m.) was only 42 percent. And the loss of audience at 9:30 p.m. was a noticeable 19 percent (7.4/11 to 6.0/ 9).  


Rock-solid CBS remained just that as a result of NCIS (#2: 12.9/19), the most-watched scripted drama currently in prime-time, and spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (#1: 10.8/17) from 8-10 p.m. A repeat of The Good Wife closed the night for the Eye net with an also dominant 7.1/12 at 10 p.m.


Over at NBC, bona fide hit The Biggest Loser averaged a 6.5/10 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 5.7/ 8 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 7.0/10 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 7.8/12 (#2)

Keep in mind, of course, that The Biggest Loser always scores among key adults 18-49. With stronger lead-in support, canceled The Jay Leno Show finished second at 10 p.m., with a 4.4/ 7. But retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser was only 56 percent.


Next was low-rated ABC with its line-up of Scrubs (#4) and Better Off Ted (#4: 1.8/ 3), which are no doubt just burning off the remaining episodes at this point, and back-to-back repeats of Lost (9:00 p.m.: #4, 2.4/ 4, 10:00 p.m.: #3, 2.8/ 4), which never plays well in non-originals. The final season of Lost begins next Tuesday at 9 p.m. with two episodes.


Last, and very least, were repeats of The CW’s 90210 (0.7/ 1) and Melrose Place (0.6/ 1). When these two dramas will be returning with original episodes is anyone’s guess.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

National Ratings in Prime-Time:

Week of January 18, 2010


Led by American Idol and the record-breaking NFC Championship Game on Sunday, dominant Fox stood well above the competition, with the highest-rated week for any network in the past two broadcast season in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Comparably, Fox beat the four competing networks combined by 1.36 million viewers, 26 percent in adults 18-49, 37 percent in adults 25-54, and 28 percent among adults 18-34. 


Excluding adults 18-34, CBS finished second across the board at minor losses from one year earlier. Keep in mind that CBS’ rock-solid Tuesday rotation of NCIS, spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife were in all repeats. ABC was one notch below CBS (and one notch ahead among adults 18-34), with more severe erosion of as much as 31 percent in adults 18-34. Fading NBC finished fourth across the board, while fifth-place The CW came in at levels close to one year earlier.